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I'm not normally a non-fiction kinda gal but I was really curious about this title and I'm glad I gave it a go!
I missed the Wonder Woman era of comics and cartoons but the two reasons that drew me to this book were: I'm a traditional nerd and comic books and superheroes dressed in primary colours appeal to me, and this is the era of the modern feminist.
Tim Hanley splits the book into three main sections, the Gold, Silver and Bronze age of comic book history and the roles that both Wonder Woman and Diana Prince play in those eras.
I found the Golden Age to be particularly fascinating, Wonder Woman was created by a guy called William Marston in 1942. Among other things, he was a psychologist with an interest in dominance and submission - this is something that makes a whole lot of sense when you look back and realise how much time the characters spend being tied up or lassoed.
On that note - wear headphones while listening to this in public places or at work unless you want to share some learning on sexual psychology and bondage with passers by. Learn from my mistakes.
The purpose of Wonder Woman as a character at the time of her creation was to represent a strong female who doesn't need a man to complete her, which was pretty progressive in the WW2 era when women were being forced back behind the kitchen sink when their husbands came back from the war. However, future writers didn't seem to honour this idea and she steadily grew more pathetic, needy and scantily clad.
I love that someone took the time to write this book, especially someone who seems as disappointed with her progression as a character as I am. I would love to know Hanley's thoughts on Gal Gadot's incarnation of Wonder Woman.
During the 1960s, when feminism took its first stand, Wonder Woman was dusted off and used as an icon but she could only work as such if you ignored most of her storylines and stuck to her original persona. This point in the book opened my eyes to something that I already knew in an abstract way- women were still struggling for anything resembling equal rights in the 60s, the battle we're waging today in the western world is nothing compared to that - the decade my own mother was born in!
Colby Elliot narrates this excellent quality work impeccably, his voice definitely kept my attention when I was struggling to concentrate (this is my first non-fiction audiobook after all!).
This is a book I would recommend to WonderWoman fans, fans of comic books in general and people with even the most fleeting of interests in feminism. It doesn't dwell heavily on personal opinions but tells us the facts about how Wonder Woman has been portrayed in comics and TV in the past 70 years. Yes. 70 years. Anyone else feel old?
Audiobook was purchased for review by ABR.
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114 of 121 people found this review helpful
This book is a great detailing of how Wonder Woman has changed with the times and other females in general throughout comics, both Marvel and DC. The author does list more books that he has researched into writing this book so I'm going to be sure to look into them. It is a head scratching affair when you hear how people thought back then but that's what's also fascinating about it as well. It's good that we've grown, and still are growing, from that bigotry mindset. Any person that claims to be a fan of Wonder Woman in general or has a curious mind for history, should listen to this book, and perhaps getting the physical book too since they're charts and pictures that are mentioned.
1 of 1 people found this review helpful