“Beautiful as Aphrodite, wise as Athena, swifter than Hermes, and stronger than Hercules.” With these words Wonder Woman creator, William Moulton Marston set out to create the ultimate feminist icon. There were plenty of superheroes that were role models for boys, but what about girls? Great Hera! 

wonder woman

According to Smithsoniam MagDr Marston was also an internationally famous psychologist in the 1940’s. In February 1941, Marston submitted a draft of his first script, explaining the ‘under-meaning’ of Wonder Woman’s Amazonian origins in ancient Greece, where men had kept women in chains, until they broke free and escaped. ‘The NEW WOMEN thus freed and strengthened by supporting themselves (on Paradise Island) developed enormous physical and mental power.’ His comic, he said, was meant to chronicle ‘a great movement now under way—the growth in the power of women.'” Dr. Marston was also the creator of the lie detector machine, whose concept would be incorporated into Wonder Woman’s golden lasso of truth.

Wonder Woman made her debut in All Star Comics #8. at the end of 1941 and on the cover of a new comic book, Sensation Comics, at the beginning of 1942, drawn by an artist named Harry G. Peter. She went on to her own title which spanned 329 issues, before the character was killed off in “Crisis on Infinite Earths” and she was later reinvented. Her star-spangled career has spanned over 75 years; she was a U.N. Ambassador, and she twirled her lasso into the title of the most popular female character of all time.

When most of us hear the name Wonder Woman, we instantly think of the statuesque Lynda Carter who brought her to life in the 70’s on the small screen. Like all of us, Wonder Woman has changed many, many times over the years. From her liberated no-costume stance in the 70’s to a completely different looking outfit and accessories in modern times.  She recently made an appearance in the movie blockbuster “Superman Vs. Batman.” Actress Gal Gadot was well-received in this new interpretation. So much so, Wonder Woman will FINALLY have her own movie June 2. 2017.

To prepare for this invasion of Amazonian awesomeness, we have compiled FIVE, yes, FIVE of the BEST books to help you brush up on your Themiscyrian knowledge.

1. The Encyclopedia Of Comic Book Heroes Vol. 2 From the back Of The book – Wonder Woman is a complete chronicle of the world and adventures of one of the most beloved and enduring heroines in the history of comic books. This massive work of research is written in a clear, lucid prose that crackles with excitement. This book explores every conceivable aspect of the Wonder Woman legend. Its pages brim with enough pulse-pounding adventure and scholarly detail to thrill the hearts of Wonder Woman fans, pop culture enthusiasts, nostalgia buffs. feminist theoreticians, and general readers everywhere. Lurking within this volume are such archetypes of male chauvinism as Doctor Psycho, a “psychopathic madman” whose all-consuming passion is “to enslave the women of the world;” as well as more conventional megalomaniacs like Egg Fu the First, a crafty creation of the Red Chinese, possessing “the most baleful brain that has ever been steeped in Oriental cunning for the sole purpose of annihilating the free world!” But none of them are a match for Wonder Woman, the alluring Amazon princess who is “as lovely as Aphrodite, as wise as Athena, as fleet as Mercury, and as strong as Hercules.” Her adventures in a world fraught with such evils and dangers constitute a complex feminist mythology of surprising beauty, richness, and imagination. Michael Fleisher has now restored that mythology to us, in all its intricacy and depth. Look up “Cheetah” and find a meticulously detailed article. Look up “Amazons” and find a compelling entry that could as well be a treatise on some exotic remote culture, complete with surveys of its history, laws, customs, myths, and scientific achievements. The article on Wonder Woman herself, over fifty pages long, is the definitive biography of the character. In it, Fleisher examines every aspect of the Wonder Woman mythos, including its darker side, reflected in its treatment of such psychologically charged topics as sadism, slavery, humiliation and bondage.

2. The Secret History of Wonder WomanFrom The Dust Jacket – In Jill Lepore’s riveting work of historical detection, Wonder Woman’s story provides the missing link in the history of the struggle for women’s rights—a chain of events that begins with the women’s suffrage campaigns of the early 1900s and ends with the troubled place of feminism a century later.

3. Wonder Woman: The Golden Age Omnibus Vol. 1 –  These stories introduce the mythology of Wonder Woman as she battles the powers of evil, from crooked business owners to Nazi spies. Features Wonder Woman’s first appearance in ALL STAR COMICS #8, and continues in SENSATION COMICS #1-24 and WONDER WOMAN #1-7.

4. Wonder Woman : The Ultimate Guise To The Amazon PrincessFrom The Dust Jacket – Culled from the archives of DC Comics, Wonder Woman: The Ultimate Guide to the Amazon Princess details the amazing exploits, incredible adversaries, and magical weapons of the greatest comic book heroine. Packed with original comic book images and a timeline charting Wonder Woman’s entire career, this comprehensive illustrated treatment will delight fans of all ages and win over many new ones.

5. Wonder Woman : The Complete History From The Dust Jacket – She is STRONG. She is INVINCIBLE. She is WONDER WOMAN—the most popular super heroine of all time. Les Daniels honors her superhuman strength, her peace-seeking mission, and her fabulous outfits throughout the years. The unconventional Dr. William Moulton Marston originally created her as “psychological propaganda for the new type of woman who should rule the world.” And Wonder Woman, known to her friends as Diana, has triumphed for sixty years, whether battling evil fascists or ensnaring villains with her magic lasso. Filled with a fascinating array of archival comic book art, photographs, and paraphernalia, and designed by Chip Kidd, Wonder Woman follows on the heels of the successful Batman and Superman histories to complete this popular superhero series. Not only a sure hit with collectors and fans, this celebration of Wonder Woman’s independent spirit will also appeal to the larger girl-power audience of today. Colorful, complete, and captivating, Wonder Woman: The Complete History is a true tribute to this splendid superhero.

If you are just discovering Wonder Woman for the first time and are curious about her adventures without breaking the bank,  Bookmans sells most comics for just fifty cents! Please check your favorite store for the availability of all titles, toys and DVDs.

For The Glory of Gaea!