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Wonder Woman Unbound: The Curious History of the World's Most Famous Heroine Paperback – April 1, 2014
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With Superman and Batman more popular than ever thanks to successful film franchises, Hanley turns an eye to Wonder Woman, the most famous female superhero. Created in 1941 by William Moulton Marston, an academic whose research helped invent the lie detector test, Wonder Woman was a mighty Amazon who reflected Marston’s beliefs that a female-dominated world would be a more peaceful one. Even as Wonder Woman took on Nazis and mad scientists, Hanley notes that the prevalence of bondage in the original comics adds a sexualized element and complicates Marston’s assertions that men should submit to women. Nonetheless, Wonder Woman remained a feminist and a fetishist until the 1950s, when censure and societal pressure made her more domestic. The Lynda Carter–fronted TV show brought Wonder Woman to the silver screen as a tough and dynamic heroine, but she has since been eclipsed by her male counterparts as her comics have grown stale and attempts to bring her back to the screen have floundered. A lively and important examination of a key feminist icon. --Kristine Huntley
"I’ve never seen more information about Wonder Woman than in Wonder Woman Unbound! Author Tim Hanley tells us everything we’ve never asked about Wonder Woman because it simply never occurred to us: from her mythic Golden Age origins through her dismal Silver Age years as a lovesick romance comic character, and worse yet, when she lost her costume and powers in the late 1960s. Our favorite Amazon’s saga becomes upbeat again with the 1970s advent of Gloria Steinem and Ms Magazine, and Lynda Carter’s unforgettable portrayal of her on television. And it’s all told with a dollop of humor, thanks, Tim!"- Trina Robbins, author of Pretty in Ink, North American Women Cartoonists from 1896 to 2013
"Wonder Woman is the sum of her parts, and all of those parts should be examined thoroughly—something this book does very well." —Bust
"A lively and important examination of a key feminist icon." —Booklist
"Bondage, polyamory, lab coats, comic books, feminism: this story has everything. It's weird and complicated, but at least it has a good interpreter in Hanley." —Chicago Reader
"...the author offers a compelling and insightful consideration of a cultural icon that has endured and engaged with the culture for many decades without ever truly being known. A richly detailed, often-surprising work of comic-book scholarship." —Kirkus
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I've really enjoyed both of Hanley's books - would love to read a book by him on Barbara Gordon!
in the comics. Other than that this is a good critique and history of the character and comics in general.