Real Life Superheroes

Comic Con Africa 2018

Reed Exhibitions Africa and ReedPOP; the world’s largest producer of pop culture events, in partnership with VS Gaming; South Africa’s largest independent gaming brand and the leading platform for online gaming in Africa, has successfully hosted the first Comic Con Africa event at the Kyalami Grand Prix Circuit and International Convention Centre situated close to Midrand. It was a spectacular 3 day event showcasing comic books and science fiction and fantasy related films, television and similar popular arts featuring a great range of pop culture and entertainment elements across virtually all genres. With fun features such as animation, toys, gadgets, clothing, collectible card games, table-top games, anime, manga, video games, webcomics fantasy novels and more, there was something for everyone.

What would a Comic Con Africa convention be without professional gaming tournaments, cosplay competitions and promotions for new movies and series, such as the launch of the new Doctor Who season premier. Fans could also njoy celebrity panel discussion, seminars, workshops as well as photograph and autograph sessions with some of their favourite stars, the highlight being Travis Fimmel; an icon for his roles in the 2016 film Warcraft and the epic drama series Vikings.

So, some might be reading this and wondering why experienced, accredited and professional polygraph examiners are showing so much interest in this fun and entertaining superhero mashup event. As some might know, there is a special link between a well known member of 'The Justice League' and a historical figure in the world of polygraph.

William Moulton Marston

Mr William Moulton Marston was born on 9 May 1893 and lived until 2 May 1947. He was also known by his 'pen name' Charles Moulton. He was an American Psychologist, inventor, self-help author and comic book writer accredited with the creation of one of the most infamous heros of all time. One that has recently become quite popular in the cinemas. He was also the inventor of an early prototype of the lie detector.

Marston was the creator of the systolic blood pressure test, which became one component of the modern polygraph invented by John Augustus Larson in Berkeley, California. Marston's wife; Elizabeth Holloway Marston, suggested a connection between emotion and blood pressure, observing that, "when she got mad or excited, her blood pressure seemed to climb". Although Elizabeth is not listed as Marston's collaborator in his early work, Lamb, Matte (1996), and others refer directly and indirectly to Elizabeth's own work on her husband's research. She also appears in a picture taken in his laboratory in the 1920s (reproduced by Marston, 1938).

Marston set out to commercialize Larson's invention of the polygraph, when he subsequently embarked on a career in entertainment and comic book writing and appeared as a salesman in ads for Gillette Razors, using a polygraph motif. From his psychological work, Marston became convinced that women were more honest than men in certain situations and could work faster and more accurately. During his lifetime, Marston championed the latent abilities and causes of the women of his day.

Wonder Woman

On October 25, 1940, an interview conducted by former student Olive Byrne (under the pseudonym "Olive Richard") was published in The Family Circle (titled "Don't Laugh at the Comics"), in which Marston said that he saw "great educational potential" in comic books. (A follow-up article was published two years later in 1942). The interview caught the attention of comics publisher Max Gaines, who hired Marston as an educational consultant for National Periodicals and All-American Publications, two of the companies that would later merge to form the very popular DC Comics.

In the early 1940s, the DC Comics line was dominated by superpower-endowed male characters such as Superman, Batman and the Green Lantern. Most of those names might sound familiar to anyone who walked close to a cinema lately.

According to the Fall 2001 issue of the Boston University alumni magazine, it was the idea of Marston's wife, Elizabeth Holloway Marston, to create a female superhero. Marston recommended an idea for a new kind of superhero, one who would conquer not with fists or firepower, but with love. "Fine," said Elizabeth. "but make her a woman." Given the go-ahead, Marston developed Wonder Woman, moulding her character on the unconventional, liberated, powerful modern women of his day. Marston's character was a native of an all-female tribe of Amazons, who became a crime-fighting U.S. government agent, using her superhuman strength and agility, and her ability to force villains to submit and tell the truth by binding them with her magic lasso.

After her name "Suprema" was replaced with "Wonder Woman," which was a popular term at the time that described women who were exceptionally gifted, the character made her debut in All Star Comics #8in December 1941. Wonder Woman next appeared in Sensation Comics #1 (January 1942), and six months later, Wonder Woman #1 debuted. Except for four months in 1986, the series has been in print ever since. The stories were initially written by Marston and illustrated by newspaper artist Harry Peter. During his life Marston had written many articles and books on various psychological topics, but his last six years of writing were devoted to his comics creation.

2017 Film and Real Life Lie Detection

On 15 May 2017 the Wonder Woman film was released starring Gal Gadot as the titular character and co-starring Chris Pine and David Thewlis as the villain Ares. The film was hailed as a success by critics and fans alike and is considered one of the more beloved movies of the generally called DC cinematic universe. Gal Gadot however made her first appearance as the iconic superhero in the 2016 film Batman vs Superman: Dawn of Justice alongside Ben Affleck as Batman and Henry Cavill as Superman. The film set events in motion for the grand entrance of The Justice League in their own film which was released on 26 October 2017, in which Wonder Woman is again one of the headlining superstars in an all-star spectacular.

Sadly, we might not have a 'Lasso of Truth'; one of the main magical items used by the mighty hero to force her opponents to tell the truth, we do have training, years of experience and state of the the art lie detection technology to help us find the truth, when you need it most. So while Wonder Woman might not be able to swoop-in with day saving grace, the polygraph examiners of the Polygraph Institute of South Africa is happy to assist. After all, catching bad guys and championing the truth is what we heroes do.