Revelations of a mysterious boyfriend.
by Brett Jett
"How could Wonder Woman be interested in Steve, who seemed so weak and so boring?" ---Gloria Steinem.
"Steve Trevor was dull and boring and I didn't like him much so I disposed of him." ---Mike Sekowsky
"What does she see in that man?" ---Batman.
Just yesterday I saw a clip of Wonder Woman in Batman's "Brave & the Bold" show on YouTube, and laughed as Batman's remark summed up the sentiments fans have had for decades! Trina Robbins even postulated that Steve Trevor is simply so stupid that he constantly fails to put two & two together..LOL..(Oh nevermind that Etta Candy & the Holliday girls couldn't figure it out either, huh?) Geez, such harsh sentiments from fans!!
And what a shame, becuz Steve is the prototype that inspired many other boyfriends of female protagonists...Michael Samuelle, Riley, Borias, Michael Vaughn, etc.
The difference between them & Steve is that their creators fully developed them, complete with rich backstories. Heck, Lois Lane also used to be tagged as boring & unsexy...that is, until writers further developed & modernized her, starting with the Teri Hatcher incarnation, but still keeping & building off of her core personality. Even tho Dr. William Moulton Marston built certain attractive core elements into Steve, he had an agenda to use WW to inspire a Matriarchy, which didn't leave much time to refine the significance of those elements...something I'm sure he would've done had he continued living today. However, that doesn't mean that he created a boring character in Steve. The truth about Steve is that he was created specifically as the ideal boyfriend for Diana, using sound attraction psychology...whereas Siegel & Shuster created Lois Lane simply based on their experience with one particular hard-nosed, empowered girl that they knew & wanted.
Why he's had problems:
Steve Trevor is a character that is actually more misunderstood than Wonder Woman. Fortunately, he's easier & shorter to explain than WW, requiring only one article (this)......
William Marston did design Steve with certain, attractive core elements that make up not only the ideal man for WW but one that most women would fall for. But like the rest of the mythos, these core points weren't easy to decipher nor readily perceived as they were hidden in the background and weren't properly accentuated, becuz Dr.Marston was too busy spotlighting Wonder Woman. Thus, Steve seemed boring & useless. This is more of a problem for the Steve character than Lois, becuz of the difference in gender dynamics...As men are more visual, all that's required to accentuate Lois' worth was simply a better visual...via better artist, sexier actress, etc. But for female fans to get a sense of worth & attraction for Steve requires more character development, which William Marston never got around to further accentuating what he already built into Steve. Thus making it harder on Steve, as men typically don't perceive attractive worth via character development anyway.
And the problem got worse as subsequent writers misinterpreted Steve as they did Wonder Woman, and left out those core elements that were laid out by Dr.Marston in the background. The 70's Women's Movement didn't help things either...As men became wussies this was reflected in the writing for Steve Trevor, both in the comics and the 70's show. No wonder female fans thought he was boring! Heck, the "Galactic Guardians" show's Steve was truer to Dr.Marston's concept than Lyle Wagner's!! And Michael Jelenic's portrayal even made me angrier with how he made Steve self-deprecating & apologetic for being a man, totally disrespecting men! Most men just don't know how to be men, kissing up to women, approval-seeking, etc. Its the lack of understanding of gender dynamics that writers didn't pickup on the cues that made Dr.Marston's version of Steve a man who Wonder Woman loves...The true Steve is a real man who doesn't apologize for it. Especially during the Women's Movement, people mistakenly thought that WW changing Steve meant turning him into whatever a woman feels he should be (AKA a wussy), when in fact, she was only meant to make him a better man by inspiring hope in him while he does his work.
Another thing screwing with the Steve Trevor mythos is that a lot of feminists, zealots, & wussy guys, all have this crazy idea that a powerful woman doesn't need a man to complete her. WTF?
Being powerful has nothing to do with one's emotional needs. Its not good to be lonely. WW was designed to have human needs. Portraying Wonder Woman longing for a man does NOT send a bad message to girls. How can you send a message that was already known? Girls will naturally grow up pining for boys, whether you portray it in a comic or not!! Especially in today's world, being independent does not mean being lonely...it just means that you are self sufficient, and don't need to feed off of others.
This is one of the reasons why I created my own private WW world with its own continuity...becuz DC & mainstream fans don't know what the hell they're doing. And quite frankly, me & Coww find my WW stories a lot more exciting than what Mainstream puts out. In my world, I do Steve right, and I keep it that way.