By Richard Bruce BA, MA, and PhC in Economics

Gilda of Oz Influenced Wonder Woman

In the second Oz book written by Frank Baum, The Marvelous Land of Oz Glinda the good witch lassos the evil witch, Mombi, with a golden thread. Mombi had hidden from Glinda by transforming herself into a number of things. As Glinda saw through Mombi's transformations she ultimately changed into a griffin. The magical golden thread transformed Mombi back into a witch, thus revealing her true self.

Wonder Women has a golden lasso that forces people to tell the truth, thus revealing their true self.

Glinda tells Mombi that the magic thread can not be broken. Wonder Woman's lasso is generally considered unbreakable, though over the last eighty plus years of comic books I believe there has been at least one exception.

After capturing Mombi with the golden lasso. Glinda wears a magic necklace with a pearl that turns black when Mombi lies and white when she tells the truth. So just as Wonder Woman can force the truth out of an unwilling villain with her golden lasso Glinda can with the combination of her golden thread and her pearl necklace do the same thing.

This is the major reason that I believe that Glinda the good witch inspired some elements of Wonder Woman, specifically the golden lasso of truth. There were, however, some other minor similarities that may be mere coincidences.

Glinda commanded an army composed entirely of women, just as Themyscira, the island where Wonder Woman comes from, has an army entirely of women, the Amazons. This is revealed in the same book as the above, The Marvelous Land of Oz. This however could easily be coincidence and is not nearly as impressive as the golden lasso.

Finally Oz and Themyscira are both hidden lands, unknown to most of the human race. Since such hidden lands were quite common in adventure literature of the period, this is still less impressive than the all women armies.

It is important to note that The Marvelous Land of Oz was published in 1904. Wonder Woman first appeared in 1941. Perhaps the creators of Wonder Woman read the Oz books as children.

Returning to the important issue, the golden lasso of truth, the inspiration for Wonder Woman having the power to force truth out of people was no doubt inspired by the fact that the creator of Wonder Woman, William Moulton Marston, was one of the major contributors to the invention of the poly-graph lie detector. He did this about two decades before he created Wonder Woman. So the story of Gilda the Good Witch may have inspired the idea that Wonder Woman's power came through the golden lasso, but the idea that she could tell if peole were lying no doubt came from the invention.

Wonder Woman was one of the earliest female superheroes and is frequently considered the most important. A little over 300 million was spent on the two big budget Wonder Woman movies, and they took almost a billion dollars at the box office.

Using Google I searched to see if my speculation is original and it appears that it is.

I strive to discover things that are true, original, and important. I would argue that this qualifies.

Last edited August 26, 2015

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