Wonder Woman Unbound: The Curious History of the World’s Most Famous Heroine
by Tim Hanley
Synopsis from Goodreads:
2015 Amelia Bloomer Project List
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.
I LOVE WonderWoman I always have. Even before I ever read or watched anything with her I was always drawn to her. Why? Because she was THE kickass chick! She could do what the guys could do and sometimes she did it even better. She was female independence. The woman who could take care of herself. She did not need a man. After reading a bit about her and finding some basic stuff out I came to want to know more about her and her history.
So reading this book crushed me. It opened my eyes to the fact that at times she wasn’t the woman I thought she was. BUT! what an interesting history she has! The backstory I knew was only one of them. She went through many changes since Marston created her in the beginning . The Golden Age where she was Superior to men, Kicked butt and helped defeat the Axis, possibly had bondage interests(?) and had no interest in Steve only to save him. The Silver Age where she became enamored with Steve and he started saving her. The Bronze age she gave up everything to be with Steve. I mean through this book the author pretty much points out how through out the years and women made strides forward Wonder Woman kept changing hands and going backwards. Steinem at least brought Wonder Woman back into the mainstream.
I found this book to be extremely interesting and the author had some wonderfully humorous notes at times. There was some parts where he went on and on about other wonderful females from comics and I wanted more Wonder Woman but it was nice to see how she compared to others and to see how these women faired in the comic world through history ( Man, Lois Lane for one, Superman was kind of a dick) . I still love Wonder Woman and even though she has an odd history ( Marston, man….that dude was something else.) and an ever-changing origin story. I enjoyed reading the different personas that she held over the years.
I still adore Wonder Woman and to me she’s always going to be a kick ass female super heroine. I will cross my fingers in hopes that someday she will get story that she deserves until then I’m still going to enjoy her stories and focus on the positive. She kicks ass wether along side some dude or for some dude. She’s been around for years and she still is going.
I’d recommend this to those who want to find out some history behind Wonder Woman and how she has changed through out the years and how she compared to other women in comics.