I'm going to tweet a quick thread about the unseen villain in WW1984, who really drives the story despite never appearing onscreen. Light spoilers only. Meet the Duke of Deception, one of the first villains in Wonder Woman. Image
He was introduced in 1942. The WW II setting was important; WW's creator Marston was a psychologist using mythology and comics to get at the problems of his then-current world. So the god of War, Mars, did his work with the aid of Conquest, Greed, and Deception, each personified.
I appreciate that Jenkins picked up on this history; it's a neat follow-up to the first movie, where the spirit of War, as Ares/Mars, was the main villain. Here he is w/ the 3 henchmen in 1942 (notice Lord Conquest gloating over controlling Hitler). Deception is on the end. Image
In the comics, Deception can take on many faces, and he tends to work behind the scenes. He can even cause Wonder Woman herself to doubt basic reality--even the reality of her life with Steve Trevor. The psychological messages in the early Marston scripts are very intentional. Image
The original Lasso wasn't a lasso of Truth, but Compulsion, although WW frequently used it to make people confess the truth. As she and the Lasso have become more identified with the spirit of Truth, villains who deceive or are deceived become more important to her story.
So, while we never see him on screen, Deception is the villain from the get-go. I might have liked to see that spelled out a bit more up front, but I think the opening scene lays it out without being explicit. Deception and cheating never lead to good things.
Being careful not to spoil anything: whether the film's central conceits work for the viewer or not depends in part on how much we see Deception himself, or itself, as the villain, more than Lord or Minerva. We get a clue very early on that the wish-fulfillment is a lie. Image
I see folks saying that the film's message is that we shouldn't have dreams/wish for better things, and I'm pretty sure that's not the intention. Maybe Deception needed to be foregrounded more specifically (though I like that he's in the background). It goes back to the opening.
It was never about granting wishes--it was about taking shortcuts, trying to cheat your way to your desires, and not dealing with the messy reality of what is. And that is VERY classic Duke of Deception, and again, deeply rooted in the WW character's psychological origins.
If the first film was about Wonder Woman learning to believe in the human capacity for love, this film, although not as elegantly to be sure, was about her faith in the human ability to grapple with truth, even when we really don't want to. That's where Deception comes in. Image
On a personal note, as someone who's done a lot of counseling work and is in recovery, I found this a pretty profound message. Denial and self-deception are easy. We want the easy way. Truth is hard, but truth can save us.
Anyway, hope this bit of comic history adds something to your experience with the film. I appreciate that Jenkins really has done some digging deep into Wonder Woman's history and brought it to the present. Here's a 1970s panel for you to enjoy! /fin Image

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More from @Shaker_aphra

30 Dec
I had such a good time talking about Wonder Woman history with @SER1897 and @doctor_eon I scanned some panels from comics that I'm pretty sure are inspiration for the look and feel of @PattyJenks WW84. So here's a thread! Image
The above and subsequent panels from WW 223 are from 1976. Writer Martin Pasko, artist Jose Delbo. A great example of WW using powers that DO NOT INVOLVE AN EFFING SWORD, ahem. :) Image
From the same comic. It was ordinary forWW to swing in using her lasso. Image
Read 10 tweets
28 Dec
OK! I'm going to re-watch Superman 1978 for the first time in IDK, 20 years? #SUPES78
Observation: These opening credits are sooo influenced by Star Wars. Also Trevor Howard is in this--and he is directly referenced in the 70s WW comics when resurrected Steve Trevor re-names himself Trevor Howard. Hmmm! #SUPES78 #WW84
Opening close-up on icy-looking city giving way to Jor-El announcing "undeniable fact" against criminals. Which are also kinda sexist. Why is only the lady accused of "perversions"? Anyway, bad people trying to overthrow Krypton. #SUPES78
Read 14 tweets
28 Dec
While we're talking about white men committing terroristic violence, how about the "random act" in Illinois? google.com/amp/s/www.cbsn…
When I walk into a room and forget why I'm there and decide to read the newspaper instead, THAT is a "random" act. You don't randomly get a gun and kill people. Unless you're a white man, apparently.
It's one thing to say the motive is unclear at this time. But it's not okay to pretend that white men are just prone to occasional random malfunction that leaves people dead, like a tornado or something.
Read 4 tweets
13 Dec
The NYT story about Dr. Jill Biden and Mr. Whoeverthe Fuckeheis manages to give the impression that academics appropriated the title "doctor" from physicians, when in fact it's the other way around, historically.
It's a Latin term borrowed into English (probably via French) and the root word means "teacher," so claiming it's inappropriate for a Doctor of Education to use the term is some especially rich mansplaining nonsense.
The original "doctors" as the term was used in English were learned in religion, and licensed to teach religion but it came to apply to a wider range of knowledge, including knowledge of medicine and other academic topics, by 1400.
Read 10 tweets
20 Aug
Scenes from a USG university this week: 1. being told there is no procedure for faculty who are informed that a student has been exposed to Covid-19 or tested positive. No procedure. (thread)
Scenes from a USG university this week: 2. Potentially infected employees are supposed to contact HR, and HR (not a physician) makes the call as to whether the employee goes back to work while test results are pending. (HR advises said employee to return. Supervisor overrules.)
Scenes from a USG university this week: 3. Sympathetic HR staffer low-key admits to a potentially infected employee that the university is not going to be forthcoming about numbers, so apply for telework if you at all can.
Read 10 tweets
12 Jul
Wow, @learnfreckle sure has some racist trash material in its social studies. "How much of the world was explored by 1482?" You mean, by non-white people? MOST OF IT.
More crap from @learnfreckle which is ridiculously biased. It's 1482--most of Western Europe was "dominated by the Catholic Church." The materials are ridiculously biased towards a British Protestant-centric worldview, like something from the 50s.
Then there's this little gem of a study question from @learnfreckle that makes me wonder if the United Daughters of Confederacy wrote their material.
Read 23 tweets

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