19 October 2012

Review: Wonder Woman: The complete History

Wonder Woman: The complete History
Wonder Woman: The complete History by Les Daniels

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

This is sort of a coffee table book-style treatment of the history of Wonder Woman, both as a character and of the people who created her. In some ways, it's great - in others, kind of lacking.

The book is great in the respect that it has a lot of photos of memorabilia, of different Wonder Woman publications and such that probably wouldn't see the light of day unless you were a heavy collector. It also tosses some older comics into the context of the times, which is kind of neat - especially for a superhero like Wonder Woman who has gone through so many incarnations.

The interesting parts for me were the parts discussing how Moulton created Wonder Woman, and how much of a foil for much of his studies and ideology regarding feminism and sexuality Wonder Woman truly was. I'd love to read a much larger take on that someday, but starting there and then discussing the context of the Lynda Carter show and the pressures that future writers faced, it was very interesting.

The downside is in two places. For one, it's much less about the Wonder Woman story and more about the story of how the Wonder Woman story came to be. Those hoping for a history of the actual saga are going to be missing something. The other downside is that it effectively ends right around the Crisis on Infinite Earths even though the book was written in the mid-2000s. There's plenty of opportunity to expand, especially during the Rucka era, that would have been beneficial.

Regardless, a good entry-level piece about one of the more iconic heroes out there. Worth a look if you're interested in this sort of thing.

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