LitStack Recs: Wonder Woman Unbound & Blue Highways

by Tee Tate

Wonder Woman Unboundww
The Curious History of the World’s Most Famous Heroine

Tim Hanley

I’ve made this recommendation before, but with television’s Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. returning for a third season recently, as well as the DC Comics television tie-in Gotham back for season two, lots of superhero movies on the horizon, and a Wednesday release of some exciting comic book titles, I found myself paging through my copy of Tim Hanley’s Wonder Woman Unbound and decided that I wanted to offer it up again, for those who may have missed my recommendation the first time around.

Author Tim Hanley is quite the subject matter expert when it comes to Wonder Woman, the legendary DC Comics heroine in her red white and blue spangled outfit and her golden lasso of truth, but he does it in an effortless, conversational and enthusiastic way that makes what could have been somewhat dry material instead a very intriguing and entertaining read. He is able to pull in lots of elements – comic book development, the growth (and in some cases, the decline) of the comic book publishing industry, the whims and triggers of society and historical elements – and blend them in a thoroughly engaging and easy to follow read that not only shines a light on Wonder Woman but our society as a whole. He obviously is a fan, but one who is able to share his enthusiasm with devotee and novice alike.

“In Wonder Woman, Marston (psychologist William Moulton Marston, creator of Wonder Woman in 1941) presented a brand-new kind of character. While his ideas about female superiority never really caught on, the long-term impact of the first powerful, independent female superhero cannot be understated. In a genre that so rigidly enforced typical gender roles and relied on a very narrow view of femininity, Wonder Woman shattered those expectations for millions of young readers each month. It’s sometimes hard to see the ingrained societal structures that dictate daily life, but by inverting these structures Wonder Woman comics shed a light on the tenets of these systems, along with a sharp critique.”

Whether you are a Marvel Cinematic Universe buff, a DC Comics die-hard, a Wonder Woman fan, a purveyor of pop culture, a history buff or simply someone who likes to gather knowledge, Wonder Woman Unbound would be a great read for you. Fun, captivating, charming, and chock full of information, stories, and clear deduction, Wonder Woman Unbound will not only expand your horizons, but give you a greater appreciation of this trend-setting industry that birthed not only one of our greatest cultural heroes, but harbors one of our most enduring pastimes – the comic book universe.

–Sharon Browning

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