As Wonder Woman is about to blast onto our cinema screens this Summer, this is a timely reminder of her origins and her incredible adventures.
She was created by psychologist William Moulton Marston in the early 1940s, to rival the masculine Super Heroes of this period. Wonder Woman is no less than an immortal Amazonian Princess, the daughter of Queen Hippolyte. She earns the right to leave her home on Paradise Island to use her strength, compassion and intelligence to help humanity achieve peace and equality.
Over the years her visual style and fashions have changed with the times, and her story has taken many complicated twists and turns. To help us get a grasp of them, this guide provides a four page timeline to her stories that take us through her original Golden Era starting in December 1941, the Silver Age in 1959, The Bronze Age in 1968, The Dark Age in 1988, The Modern Age in 2001 and The New Age beginning in 2011 when the focus is on her own self discovery rather than on saving the world.
The book looks at the main characteristics of her universe followed by chapters that cover each of the eras outlined in the opening timeline. These chapters cover the key storylines, comics, enemies, allies, friends and themes accompanied by the stunning visuals that bring her existence into vivid life for the reader.
Using her invisible aircraft, the unbreakable golden lasso of truth, bulletproof bracelets, and (when necessary) her Sword of Hephaestus and battle armour, she has tackled a wide range of villains. Her enemies of the Golden Age all tended to use deception and disguise to conquer and torture humanity. One example is a school teacher who takes on the appearance of a blue snowman who can freeze anything he touches, another is Zara, The High Priestess of the Cult of the Crimson Flame no less, who uses trickery and illusion to gain power over the world. In the following Silver Age her enemies turned from being metaphors for the Nazis to reflecting our Cold War fears of mutated monsters and alien invaders.
Comic book writer Greg Rucka, who was involved in relaunching the Wonder Woman series for DC Comics, provides a short Foreword noting that since her creation she has “embodied feminism and inherently progressive values”. Certainly this is a fitting tribute to 75 years of the legend and art of Wonder Woman that all fans should own.
WONDER WOMAN: THE ULTIMATE GUIDE TO THE AMAZON WARRIOR / AUTHOR: LANDRY Q. WALKER / PUBLISHER: DK PUBLISHING / RELEASE DATE: 2ND MAY