How did Wonder Woman comics get away with all the bondage imagery in the stories, and the blatant proselytizing for bondage as well? It could be that it happened because at the same time Wonder Woman was created and becoming famous, there was plenty of much more, um, ALARMING bondage imagery floating around out there, like this cover from the December 1943 issues of Rangers Comics.
The thing about the 1940s, especially the early 1940s was, it was just full of news about horrible things that the German and Japanese were doing to people. The American propaganda machine was in full swing, and having a lovely time of it, given that the only thing they had to do to make the Germans and the Japanese look like monsters was tell the truth about the things they were doing. This came in conflict with the naturally censorious nature of American media at the time (the Hayes Code was in full effect and the Comics Code was less than a decade away) but you can't really do a good job of describing how horrible and monstrous a group of people are without giving some idea of what horrible and monstrous things they do, so the censorious urges tended to lose out to the pragmatic needs of the propogandists.
So the media tended to have some fairly graphic descriptions of the horrible things the Japanese and the Germans were up to, and of course the comic book publishers with their taste for the lurid, were all over that like white on rice. As you will see, Wonder Woman's imagery of happy drum majorettes in chains was mild compared with what many other publishers were up to.
For example, who did this cover, John Willie? Granted, it's about the freakiest cover I've been able to find in my researches (though it isn't all that far from many others in terms of the intensity of its bondage imagery as you will see) but it has a real kink feel to it. I guess for me it's the combination of the clingy black dress that does nothing to conceal the outlines of the damsel's figure, especially her breasts, the provocative pose with her body bent backward and her neck exposed, her hair in bondage in some kind of iron clamp thingie, and the chains on her upper arms as well as her wrists ... really, did John Willie do this cover?
Think this cover was a freak, an outlier in the world of statistics? Think again. Though it's the freakiest, it's not the freakiest by much. Click on "To Next Pic!" to see more proofs of a like nature.
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