Wonder Woman - Archives, Volume 4 (Archive Editions (Graphic Novels))

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9781401201456: Wonder Woman - Archives, Volume 4 (Archive Editions (Graphic Novels))

Collects comic books following the development of Wonder Woman's powers and philosophy as she battles villains including Dr. Psycho and the Cheetah.

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For the early Wonder Woman stories, charm is pretty much the sole attraction. The 1944 stories reprinted in volume 4 of WW's Archive series are about as visually crude as comics ever got. The best to be said of artist Peter's stiff figures and inept staging is that they're reminiscent of folk art, and yet this stuff possesses an undeniable, loopy fascination. Created by psychiatrist Marston as an alternative to the predominant male superheroes, WW was an amazon come to "Man's World" to fight crime. Her adoption as a feminist icon in the 1970s wasn't misplaced. In several stories here she clears women accused of murder, and she repeatedly rescues her hapless boyfriend, Steve Trevor. The prevalent bondage and submission in her m.o., however--anyone ensnared by her magic lasso was compelled to obey--complicates feminist readings. If difficult to imagine enjoying at face value, her adventures constitute a fascinating glimpse at an enduring cultural icon in formation. Gordon Flagg
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