April 18, 2014

Wonder Woman Unbound by Tim Hanley



Wonder Woman Unbound by Tim Hanley
Publisher: Chicago Review Press
Paperback Publication Date: April 1, 5014
Source: Chicago Review Press via NetGalley

Description:

This close look at Wonder Woman's history portrays a complicated heroine who is more than just a female Superman with a golden lasso and bullet-deflecting bracelets. The original Wonder Woman was ahead of her time, advocating female superiority and the benefits of matriarchy in the 1940s. At the same time, her creator filled the comics with titillating bondage imagery, and Wonder Woman was tied up as often as she saved the world. In the 1950s, Wonder Woman begrudgingly continued her superheroic mission, wishing she could settle down with her boyfriend instead, all while continually hinting at hidden lesbian leanings. While other female characters stepped forward as women's lib took off in the late 1960s, Wonder Woman fell backwards, losing her superpowers and flitting from man to man. "Ms. "magazine and Lynda Carter restored Wonder Woman's feminist strength in the 1970s, turning her into a powerful symbol as her checkered past was quickly forgotten. Exploring this lost history adds new dimensions to the world's most beloved female character, and Wonder Woman Unbound delves into her comic book and its spin-offs as well as the myriad motivations of her creators to""showcase the peculiar journey that led to Wonder Woman's iconic status.



My Thoughts:

I've been a fan of Wonder Woman since back when I was a 10 year old girl running around the house in my Wonder Woman Underoos. Okay, the truth is that my little sister owned them. Let me rephrase: I've been a fan of Wonder Woman ever since I stared jealous daggers at my sister as she ran around the house in her awesome Wonder woman Underoos! (I had Spider Woman. They were cool too...I guess.)

When I saw Wonder Woman Unbound on NetGalley I squealed in excitement. I'd like to thank Chicago Review Press for the opportunity to read this title. 

It'd been a long while since I'd spent any quality time with my favorite Amazon princess. There were glimpses of her in the Justice League cartoons my son watched when he was younger but I hadn't visited her world in many years. Reading Wonder Woman Unbound reminded me of why I was a devotee of hers back in the day.

At the beginning of Wonder Woman's run the message, as written by her creator William Marston, was subliminal but quite clear: submit to the loving authority of women. (Helloooo, bondage!) 

Sadly, Marston died not long after creating Wonder Woman. Since then her path has been less powerful. She spent years mooning after a man and marriage. There was a glimpse of her feminist beginnings when she appeared on the cover of the inaugural issue of Ms. magazine and Wonder Woman gained popularity during the fantastic Lynda Carter Wonder Woman TV series during the late 70's.

Wonder Woman Unbound is a wonderful commentary on feminism in comics. Wonder Woman is one of the most iconic characters in comic book history and reading this book is a great way to learn about her creation, her journey, and about the larger issue of women in comics. Geek out and read it!



8 comments:

  1. This sounds good even though I have no special affinity for Wonder Woman as a kid. Side note: The Girl saw the Ms. Magazine cover and exclaimed, 'Wonder Woman! Is that her golden lasso behind her back?!' She may end up with more of an affinity. :)

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    1. My daughter (14) is all into Wonder Woman lately. She grabbed a few comics and a super awesome WW mug. Sounds like the new generation will keep up the WW love :D

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  2. I think I kind of JUST missed Wonder Woman as a kid, so I don't know too much about the show/comics, but this sounds fun! And I know a ton of people that I'm going to point toward this review, because I think they'd adore this book.

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    1. I bet you totally missed it. I'm an old lady, lol. You should pick up a comic one day...she's a groovy lady!

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  3. I know so little about Wonder Woman, it's embarrassing. Growing up, I totally thought she was just the girl version of Superman, because their costumes matched.

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    1. I've had decent timing with Wonder Woman. I was very little when the TV show was on but I remember it. And then my kids came along and got into Justice League so I caught some of her shenanigans then as well. After reading this book I want more :D Where's the nearest comic book store???

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  4. I’m going to send this to a friend as a gift because she’s friend’s with the Wonder Woman actress’s nephew (I met him once but that was ten years ago, so sending him the book myself would be awkward). Then again, maybe he’s already read it.

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    1. Good idea, Allison! There's nothing better than the gift of books :D

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