Wonder Woman Unbound by Tim Hanley
Finished reading on March 31st, 2014
Published on April 1st, 2014 by Chicago Review Press
Wonder Woman Unbound tells the story of how Wonder Woman came into being and how she and the comic books have changed over their 70-year-long history.
Wonder Woman began in the 1940-s as the first female superhero to have her own comic book, that in addition to the stories of her life and heroism, also had a short section in which every month a new important woman from history was introduced. Wonder Woman – an Amazon made out of clay by her mother Hyppolyta, who got superpowers depending on the story from the Olympian goddesses.
It was very interesting to read about how the comics were like in the 1940-s, where apparently there was a lot of bondage – Wonder Woman bound people up with her golden lasso, or was put into chains by someone else, and how that was received by the public and what happened afterwards. As Wonder Woman’s beginning falls into the Second World War era, she had a lot to do in the far – fighting the Japanese or German Nazis on her own, etc.
However as times changed, so did Wonder Woman, the writers and editors of the comic books. You can read about several reboots for the series with new origin stories, and different depictions of the Amazons and why are they living in an all-female society.
It is interesting, although sad to read about how the “Wonder Women of History” is substituted with short stories about superstitions about marriage, and advice on dressing and dancing. And Wonder Woman herself is changing as well, to conform to the times.
Although the book is about Wonder Woman, the reader gets more acquainted with a lot of other female superheroes and other characters in those comic books as well, since she is compared to them, for example in the way she is portrayed versus Lois Lane in Superman or for example, to Star Sapphire in Green Lantern, etc.
Despite Wonder Woman being the most famous (probably) female superhero, she isn’t really too popular, except as an icon for feminism.
Wonder Woman Unbound was certainly a fascinating read.
I have to admit though, that I knew nothing whatsoever about Wonder Woman before reading this book, except for the fact that she’s a brunette and that I knew because of The Big Bang Theory. Despite that, it was interesting to read, as in a way it combines the story of Wonder Woman and how women have been treated and what has been their role in society.
I received this book for review from the publisher via NetGalley.com