Great Paragraphs: Batman is gay, Wonder Woman needs more bondage and the Joker is supersane

Grant Morrison, on of comic books’ most successful writers, breaks down superhero psychology in the May 2012 edition of Playboy:

BATMAN

“Gayness is built into Batman. I’m not using gay in the pejorative sense, but Batman is very, very gay. There’s just no denying it. Obviously as a fictional character he’s intended to be heterosexual, but the basis of the whole concept is utterly gay. I think that’s why people like it. All these women fancy him and they all wear fetish clothes and jump around rooftops to get to him. He doesn’t care—he’s more interested in hanging out with the old guy and the kid.”

WONDER WOMAN

William Moulton Marston, the guy who created Wonder Woman, was a noted psychiatrist.He’s the guy who invented the polygraph, the lie detector. He was one of those bohemian free-love guys; he and his wife, Elizabeth, shared a lover, Olive, who was the physical model for Wonder Woman. What he and Elizabeth did was to consider an Amazonian society of women that had been cut off from men for 3,000 years. That developed along the lines of Marston’s most fevered fantasies into a lesbian utopia. Although they’re supposedly a peace-loving culture, all these supergirls’ pursuits seem to revolve around fighting one another, and this mad, ritualistic stuff where girls dress as stags and get chased and tied up and eaten symbolically on a banquet table. The whole thing was lush with bondage and slavery. Wonder Woman was constantly being tied up or shackled—and it was hugely successful. When Marston died in 1947, they got rid of the pervy elements, and instantly sales plummeted. Wonder Woman should be the most sexually attractive, intelligent, potent woman you can imagine. Instead she became this weird cross between the Virgin Mary and Mary Tyler Moore that didn’t even appeal to girls.”

THE JOKER

“I identify with the Joker to a certain extent—at least the way I write him, which is as this cosmic fool. He’s Batman’s perfect opposite, and because of that he’s as sexy as Batman, if not more so. When the Joker was introduced in 1940, he was a scowling homicidal maniac. Then they took out the violence and death, and he became the chuckling clown, driving around in his Joker-mobile. Then he was the giggling mental-patient version from the TV show: Cesar Romero with his mustache covered in greasepaint. Suddenly in the 1970s he was killing his henchmen again. And in the 1980s he was a gender-bending transvestite. I said, Okay, we’ve had all these varied versions of the Joker. Let’s say it’s the same person who just changes his head every day. I rationalized that by saying he’s supersane, the first man of the 21st century who’s dealing with this overload of information by changing his entire personality. I quite like him, because he’s a pop star—he’s like Bowie.”

via The Super Psyche.

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