It’s now eight months after her film’s initial release, and still, Wonder Woman continues to have an impact on the superhero genre of films — shattering barriers and records in the process while being a figure women and girls everywhere can look up to. While it’s awesome to focus on the current, many of the newfound fans have no idea about the character’s history with DC Comics and the many different paths she’s taken over the decades. DK Books recently released a brand-new guide revolving around the character for those wishing to find out more about her in Wonder Woman: The Ultimate Guide to The Amazon Princess.
Like a couple of the DK guides we’ve reviewed, this one is divided up into sections with the hope of introducing you to the character while also presenting you a linear timeline of what Wonder Woman has experienced. The primary focus in the first part of the book is on the myth and the legend that is Diana and her heritage, along with the awesome stuff she has (her armor and invisible jet). Then there’s her history on the island, leaving for the modern world, and all of the prominent enemies in her path. From there, you basically get as direct a path about the character and her history through a set of specific chapters: The Golden Age, The Silver Age, The Bronze Age, The Dark Age, The Modern Age, and The New Age.
One of the benefits the guide has going for it compared to others is that it’s focused on a single character. So a lot of the stuff that normally would be skipped over or forgotten due to space is given a proper look. A good example of this is the Silver Age — there’s a lot of silly stuff because it was the ’50s and ’60s, but they don’t really ignore that much. The book doesn’t shy away from the idea of how women were treated and depicted differently over the years and how the character changed some of the norms in her own way. But it still focuses on some of the traditional aspects of comics like Steve’s love for Diana and how DC writers kept trying to link her to some kind of romantic involvement over time.
Much of the book is centered on key events in the life of Wonder Woman and the enemies she had to deal with. A good case for this is the fight against Anti-Monitor in the ’80s and how he essentially erased her from existence for a time, which then bled into what the call The Dark Era in the book where they made her homeless and accused of murder at one point. (To be fair, it is DC — everyone gets accused of murder at some point with a mugshot cover.) It’s both important and vital to have this info in a guide like this because it reminds us how badly you can screw a character with such a heritage up if you do it improperly. But it also shows how they managed to make the character bounce back time after time as one of the most enduring names in the DC Universe.
Of all the DK guides we’ve seen recently, we have to give extra props to Wonder Woman: The Ultimate Guide to The Amazon Princess. The book does wonders to show off and educate those who want to get to know more about Wonder Woman better than a lot of the other material that’s out there, including some of DC’s own archives. There are a lot of women who are now interested in the character beyond it just being a summer film, and they may not know where to start or where to go when getting into the character. This is a pretty good starting point, or at the very least, a great reference guide to knowing more about her in general and everything her character has endured. The guide is $25, which isn’t too shabby, especially for one focused on a single hero. Its a must-have for anyone wanting to know everything they can about Diana of Themyscira.