It was just another weekend at a department in Columbia when a toddler pointed at the toys displayed on the endcap of an aisle with excitement and gasped.
“Look mommy, it’s Wonder Woman,” the little boy said gleefully.
Thanks to the first live action Wonder Woman movie that hit the big screen over the weekend, children across the Midlands are discovering what comic book fans have known all along: the princess of the Amazons is pretty darn cool and a force to be reckoned with.
The movie has contributed to a stream of customers at local comic book stores who are interested in learning more of the character who has long been regarded as part of the trinity of DC Comics’ poster children.
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At Silver City Comics in Cayce – among the oldest comic book stores in the Southeast – Wonder Woman Day on Saturday was a huge hit, said store owner Ann Hart and her daughter, Angela Augustine, who manages the shop.
“I can’t keep Wonder Woman stuff in,” Hart said. “No matter what, it sells.”
Long-time fans are using the movie as an introduction of the character to their children. It also helps that leading up to Wonder Woman’s first appearance in film, DC Comics launched the online series DC Super Hero Girls aimed at young girls; much of the first season revolved around Wonder Woman as she adapted to being at Super Hero High School.
But Wonder Woman’s popularity never faded among comic book fans, even after TV stations stopped airing reruns of the show that first premiered more than 40 years ago, said Ray Hunter, owner of Cosmic Rays on Devine Street in Columbia.
It was just about time she got her own movie, he said.
“I’m just really glad that it’s good,” said Hunter of the movie. “I’m really grateful that I lived long enough to see these characters come out of the pages of comic books onto the big screen.”
Greg Lombardi, who works at Hunter’s store, said it was evident that fans were initially leary of the movie, because excitement for books and merchandise started to pick up this week instead of opening weekend. Nonetheless, the duo said they’ve seen more little girls walking in search of books.
“It’s really exciting to see little kids get excited about comic books,” Lombardi said.
Comic books fuel a child’s imagination, Augustine said, and can give children characters who can help them grow as people. They also encourage children to read, she said.
Before Hart became the owner of Silver City Comics, she spent nearly 20 years as a geography teacher. She purchased the store a few years before retiring. But her education started when she taught herself how to read – with a comic book.
Now, she and Augustine get to share Wonder Woman with their young and seasoned customers.
“Everybody loves Wonder Woman,” Augustine said. “Now, you have a newer generation that likes Wonder Woman, but you also have old school fans who no matter what, she is it. Wonder Woman will always be popular.”