Writer, adman, PR pro & martial arts maven, Abe Novick examines Judaism through the lens of pop culture. A contributor to JPost since 2005, he...
Fri,Apr 18,2014 18 Nisan 5774
(Photo of Gal Gadot by Reuters)
It was the year of the wrecking ball. From Miley’s twerks to Lady Gaga’s whacked out skirts, female celebs are in need of a new kind of hero. Even Jen Lawrence fell down on her knees while ascending the stage to accept Oscar in ‘13.
But wait. Look up in the sky. It’s an invisible plane. No it’s a giant Amazon. Well, it’s actually Israeli actress, Gal Gadot on her way to playing Wonder Woman (aka Diana Prince) in director Zack Snyder’s upcoming sequel to “Man of Steel” (no name for the new flick yet) set for July 2015. As Jpost reported, the film will feature this year’s Superman (Clark Kent) Henry Cavill, along with Ben Affleck as the caped crusader, Batman (Bruce Wayne.)
For those who grew up on TV in the U.S. during the 1970s, it may be hard to imagine anyone replacing the image of lariat-wielding Lynda Carter, who turned Wonder Woman into a pop icon.
But alas, wonder of wonder, miracle of miracles, this new Wonder Woman is no shiksa goddess. Gadot was a 2004 Miss Universe contestant from Israel and was in three of the “Fast & Furious” franchise films, which just recently lost one of its costars Paul Walker. She also served in the Israeli army for two years as a fitness instructor and according to “Fast & Furious” director and producer Justin Lin, when he learned of this he went and altered the character’s back-story to a Mossad agent. Holy double-backing duplicity Batman!
But, don’t let that turn your dial. The back-story of how Wonder Woman originally came into being is just as interesting.
Originally created by a psychologist named William Moulton Marston the character first appeared in December 1941, the same year as Captain America, and a few years after The Man of Steel first leaped onto the comic book scene. Unlike, Superman, Batman and the Marvel Universe though, she was one of the few comics not created by Jews.
Yet like those supers, she fought for justice and peace and, speeding ahead of her time, sexual equality. Based on a warrior princess of Amazonian heritage born out of Greek myths, and known in her homeland as Princess Diana of Themyscira, she has a secret identity to all of us mortals as Diana Prince.
But maybe what’s most interesting, is her creator, who gave her a Golden Lasso as a weapon, which had the power of making anyone it captured obey and tell the truth, was also the inventor of the polygraph (AKA lie detector.) He even wrote, “Wonder Woman is the psychological propaganda for the new woman who should, I believe, rule the world.”
Since that time, her lineage and storyline has been altered to fit the political climate of the age, from sympathetic heroine to invincible martial artist. But what runs through as a constant, is her compassion which depending on the circumstances, can be a strength or a weakness.
Today, with political battles in Presidential politics heating up for 2016 and with all the talk of Hillary on the ticket, it will be interesting to see how fans might react to both a woman on that ticket (and a woman on this new movie ticket.)
Abe Novick is a writer and communications consultant and can be reached at abebuzz.com