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Showing posts with label Wonder Woman. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Wonder Woman. Show all posts

Sunday, March 4, 2018

Book Review Wonder Woman Unbound: The Curious History of the World's Most Famous Superheroine

Book Review - Wonder Woman Unbound: 

The Curious History of the World's Most Famous Superheroine

Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★

The Curious History of the World's Most Famous Heroine
Wonder Woman Unbound

Wonder Woman Unbound: 
The Curious History of the World's Most Famous Super Heroine
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.

About the author:
Tim Hanley is a comic book historian, and the author of WONDER WOMAN UNBOUND: THE CURIOUS HISTORY OF THE WORLD'S MOST FAMOUS HEROINE, INVESTIGATING LOIS LANE: THE TURBULENT HISTORY OF THE DAILY PLANET'S ACE REPORTER, and THE MANY LIVES OF CATWOMAN: THE FELONIOUS HISTORY OF A FELINE FATALE.

His website, Straitened Circumstances, discusses Wonder Woman, Lois Lane, and women in comics, and his column "Gendercrunching" runs monthly on Bleeding Cool. He has contributed to several pop culture sites, including the Los Angeles Review of Books and The Comics Journal. He lives in Halifax, Nova Scotia, between his massive stacks of comic books.

This book is great because it discusses the complete history of Wonder Woman from her beginnings to the present day (circa 2014, that is). Even being a diehard Wonder Woman fan there were parts of her history that I didn't even know. I didn't know that there was a point in time in which Wonder Woman lost her powers. I would love to find some of those old comic books to read them. This is a great book for any diehard Wonder Woman fan as well as anyone new to Wonder Woman. This book contains a lot of information and is an excellent resource!

Wonder Woman Unbound: The Curious History of the World’s Most Famous Heroine is an entertaining and thoughtful history of the creation and evolution of the most iconic female character is comics. The author begins where all good comic book stories begin: the origin story. In 1941, psychologist and inventor William Moulton Marston (the creator of the systolic blood pressure test, the precursor of the polygraph test) set out to create a comic book heroine that not only would appeal to women, but also prepare young men for a feminist future. Marston’s philosophy was strongly rooted in the belief of female superiority, and he believed that one day women would take their place as the leaders of the world. Wonder Woman, then, was originally meant as a guide to teach boys to submit to female authority.

The author has clearly made a valuable contribution to comic book historical research, yet I found that Wonder Woman Unbound is best enjoyed if it’s not treated like a scholarly tome. If Wonder Woman Unbound ends up on the required reading list for a college course on gender studies, popular culture, or freshman composition, I wouldn’t be surprised. It’s the kind of book that can get conversations going, and no professor is going to miss this opportunity to push sex into the forefront of the discussion. 
This book is such an interesting exposé on such a famous hero. And not just discussing her attributions but also other women in comics and even critiquing the males that society reveres. This books borders a master's thesis and I recommend this to anyone who is fascinated by comic books, the industry, Wonder Woman and most importantly, feminists.
Great book, highly recommended!
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Book Review - Wonder Woman Unbound

The Curious History of the World's Most Famous Superheroines

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Wonder Woman Unbound: The Curious History of the World's Most Famous Superheroine

Wednesday, February 21, 2018

Movie Review Wonder Woman

Movie Review - Wonder Woman

Wonder Woman - Amazon.com
Wonder Woman

Before she was Wonder Woman, she was Diana, princess of the Amazons. Fighting alongside man in a war to end all wars, Diana will discover her full powers and her true destiny.


The storyline in a nutshell: Diana leaves her paradise Island of Themiscyra that is magically hidden from the rest of the world to fight alongside men in a war to end all wars.

Wonder Woman is a movie that everyone can comprehend and accept, which is not brooding and polarizing like other DC movies. Unlike many comic book movies that make the main character one dimensional, I have never seen so many profound aspects in a fictitious superhero movie before. It is a movie beyond woman equality, history, war, ethics and even religion. It’s about honor, duty, good, evil, love and doing what is right.

Wonder Woman is a good mix of action helped by the back drop of The Great War/World War I. It is not just plain adventure but has a narrative focused on the increasingly treacherous world with diminishing tolerance and morality. While I don't consider it good to compare, it was inevitable to see similarities with Captain America: The First Avenger.
This doesn’t just create a good visual. After a three-movie streak of stinkers from DC studios, this moment demonstrates what makes superheroes, something Zack Snyder apparently doesn’t appreciate. Heroes represent, not the recourses we’re willing to live with, as with Snyder's Superman, but the aspirations we pursue, the better angels we hope to achieve. We all hope, faced with the nihilism of the Great War, that we’d overcome bureaucratic inertia and face our enemies head-on.

In some ways, this Wonder Woman, directed by relative novice Patty Jenkins, accords with DC’s recent cinematic outings. Diana’s heroism doesn’t stoop to fighting crime, a reflection of cultural changes since the character debuted in 1941. Ordinary criminals, even organized crime, seem remarkably small beer in today’s world. Crime today is often either penny-ante, like common burglars, or too diffuse to punch, like drug cartels. Like the Snyder-helmed movies, this superhero confronts more systemic problems.

But Snyder misses the point, which Jenkins hits. Where Snyder’s superheroes battle alien invaders, like Superman, or pummel the living daylights out of each other, Wonder Woman faces humanity’s greatest weaknesses. The Great War, one of humanity’s lowest moments, represents a break from war’s previous myths of honor. Rather than marching into battle gloriously, Great War soldiers hunkered in trenches for months, soaked and gangrenous, seldom bathing, eating tinned rations out of their own helmets.

This shift manifests in two ways. First, though Diana speaks eloquently about her desire to stop Ares, the war-god she believes is masquerading as a German general, this story is driven by something more down-to-earth. General Ludendorff’s research battalion has created an unusually powerful form of mustard gas. The very real-world Ludendorff, who popularized the expression “Total War,” here successfully crafts a means to destroy soldiers and civilians alike. He represents humanity’s worst warlike sentiments.

Second, this Wonder Woman doesn’t wear a stars-and-stripes uniform. Comic book writer William Moulton Marston created Wonder Woman as an essentially female version of Superman’s American values, an expression externalized in her clothing. This theme carried over into Lynda Carter’s TV performance. But this Wonder Woman stays strictly in Europe, fights for high-minded Allied values rather than one country, and apparently retires to curatorship at the Louvre. Her values are unyoked to any specific nation.

Recall, Zack Snyder’s Superman learned from his human father to distrust humankind, and became superheroic only when threatened by Kryptonian war criminals. Diana, conversely, learned to fight for high-minded principles—which she learned through myths which, she eventually discovers, are true without being factual. Snyder’s Superman, in fighting General Zod, showed remarkable disregard for bystanders, his film’s most-repeated criticism. But Diana charges into battle specifically to liberate occupied civilians. The pointed contrast probably isn’t accidental.

Unfortunately, Diana learns, war isn’t about individual battles. She liberates a shell-pocked Belgian village, and celebrates by dancing with Steve Trevor in the streets. But General Ludendorff retaliates by testing his extra-powerful chemical weapons on that village. No matter what piteous stories she hears about displaced, starving individuals, ultimately, her enemy isn’t any particular soldier. It’s a system that rewards anyone willing to stoop lower than everyone else, kill more noncombatants, win at any cost.

In a tradition somewhat established by the superhero genre, Diana culminates the movie with a half-fight, half-conversation with her antagonist. Ares offers Diana the opportunity to restore Earth’s pre-lapsarian paradise state by simply scourging the planet of humanity. (Though Greek in language, this movie’s mythology reflects its audience’s Judeo-Christian moral expectations.) Diana responds by… well, spoilers. Rather, let’s say she simply resolves that fighting the corrupt system is finally worthwhile, even knowing she cannot win.

Wonder Woman’s moral mythology resonates with audiences, as Superman’s doesn’t, at least in the Snyderverse, because she expresses hope. Watching Diana, we realize it’s easy to become Ludendorff, wanting to not just beat but obliterate our opponents. Yet we desire to emulate Diana, standing fast against human entropy and embodying our best virtues. Diana is a demigod, we eventually learn, and like all good messiahs, she doesn’t just rule humanity, she models humanity’s truest potential.


This is by far the best DC to be made since The Dark Knight. Although I remain loyal to Marvel, I am pleased with DC success with Wonder Woman as it is one of the most well rounded, entertaining superhero movies to date.
 
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Wonder Woman

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