Independent Lens: Wonder Women! The Untold Story of American Superheroines

About This Episode


Female superheroes, warrior princesses, and other icons of women's empowerment in pop culture owe their existence to Wonder Woman — the unlikely brainchild of a Harvard-trained pop psychologist. From Wonder Woman’s original, radical World War II presence, to her uninspiring 1960s incarnation as a fashion boutique owner, to her dramatic resurrection by feminist Gloria Steinem and the women of Ms. Magazine, Wonder Woman’s legacy continues today.

Wonder Women! The Untold Story of American Superheroines explores the nation’s long-term love affair with comic book superheroes, and raises questions about the possibilities and contradictions of heroines within the genre. The film goes behind the scenes with Lynda Carter, Lindsay Wagner, Gloria Steinem, Kathleen Hanna, comic writers and artists, and others who offer an enlightening and entertaining counterpoint to the male-dominated superhero genre. Exploring how our highly visual culture places more emphasis on the appearance of girls and women rather than on their deeds, Wonder Women! urges women to claim the action genre — and media in general — as their own, if they want to change how they are represented.