All Articles
All Articles

Wonder Woman: Amazon, Hero, Icon


Wonder Woman: Amazon, Hero, Icon

A colorful, career-spanning book featuring rare and unpublished illustrations of America's favorite super heroine

by CH Contributor
on 10 May 2010

by Sam Hatmaker

When we heard about Rizzoli's new book "Wonder Woman," celebrating the original female superhero, we called on NYC-based fan Sam Hatmaker to lend his perspective on the icon who inspired his extensive collection. Read on to learn more about one of the more comprehensive books on the leading lady published to date.


With punchy illustrations popping off the pages, "Wonder Woman: Amazon, Hero, Icon" spans the history of the most popular super-heroine in the world of comic books. Author Robert Greenberger, a former editor at DC Comics, breaks the book down in sections: The creation of the character, her Amazonian origins, her arsenal of weapons and gadgetry, her allies and her adversaries.

Enthusiasts and aficionados will find unpublished design art and rare, alternate pieces, mostly by artist Terry Dodson, a fan favorite. But none show the actual "birth" of Wonder Woman being carved in clay (or stone) by the Amazon Queen. The book also gives cursory treatment to many of her major friends and foes, with few mentions or pictures and no real history or descriptions to help readers unfamiliar with these characters.

In fact, Greenberger barely revisits the 1970s live-action television series, the only version familiar to many audiences. Omitting even a single image of actress Lynda Carter in that famous star-spangled outfit (although perhaps for legal reasons), makes the book more suited to those looking for a fresh addition to the coffee table or for true obsessives. Wonder Woman completists will find that the trade paperback's reprinting of the first three "Modern Age" story arcs by illustrator and writer George Pérez, who wrote the foreword, sell for a comparable price.


For the casual fan, "Amazon, Hero, Icon" packs a good deal of information and trivia, with vividly reproduced, thoughtfully organized artwork. But it seems that Greenberger really couldn't decide what he wanted the book to be. If he wanted it to tell the unabridged story of Wonder Woman through her history in comics, he skipped too many aspects that have shaped the character. If he wanted to show her cultural relevance—why Wonder Woman continues to captivate fans old and new alike—then he needed to explore the ideals of the comic series and how they relate to the real world.

WonderWoman_p014.jpg WonderWoman_p061.jpg

Even after 208 pages, you would still need a faithful comic reader to explain why so many people find this Amazon fascinating, hold her as their hero, or think of her as an icon. See for yourself by getting it from Amazon or Powell's in hardcover.

The CH25 is a showcase of creators and innovators from a broad range of disciplines who are currently working to drive the world forward.

Douglas Riboud + Justin Guilbert

How a mission to create great coconut water led to a whole new way of doing business

Read More
We’ve made a conscious decision to be as transparent and honest as we can, and let people decide for themselves

Joshua Harker

Pushing the boundaries of sculpture with intricate 3D printing

Read More
My intent was to explore and depict the architecture of the imagination, to interpret and share forms evident in the mind’s eye

Sabine Seymour

A future where smart clothes are as ubiquitous as zippers

Read More
In the future you will not buy a piece of 'functional' clothing without SoftSpot

Meredith Perry

How searching the Internet helped a 22-year-old invent wireless electricity

Read More
It’s not about where the information is, it’s about how you use the tools

Corinne Joachim Sanon

The chocolatier bringing social change to Haiti and bean-to-bar chocolate to the world

Read More
Seeing the poverty surrounding me and the lack of jobs and opportunity bothered me

LaToya Ruby Frazier

Documenting the slow, troubling change in Braddock, Pennsylvania

Read More
I am not a journalist, I am a conceptual documentary artist using my visual expression for building narratives that are unseen and unheard

Melissa Kushner

Addressing the needs of orphans and vulnerable children in Malawi through microenterprise

Read More
Poverty is complicated, there is an increasing temptation and pressure in the development space to oversimplify things

Marcus Weller

Using technology to turn motorcycle helmet design on its head

Read More
I was taken aback both by the number of people that doubted it, and by the equally large number of people that got behind it

Dan Barasch + James Ramsey

A quest to make the future brighter—underground

Read More
We both share a passion for groundbreaking technology and a shared love of New York

Tarren Wolfe

The next-generation appliance making kitchens greener—literally

Read More
Our goal is to provide food for everyone in the world, and the best place to start is in our very own community

Kathleen Supové

The NYC performance artist who’s radically reinventing the piano recital

Read More
I like pieces that are virtuosic, that show off the piano and what it can do, and are awe-inspiring

Lulu Mickelson

A civic leader bringing change to NYC through design

Read More
Human-centered design is one of the many tools that we can use to better engage the public

Kegan Schouwenburg

Revolutionizing orthotics through 3D-printed insoles

Read More
What orthotics do is they effectively change the geometry of what your alignment is like

Jonathan Sparks

Reinventing electronic music by inventing multi-disciplinary instruments

Read More
Recorded music is becoming so cheap, so the value of music is now in live performance

Sarah Kunst

The entrepreneur single-handedly changing the landscape for women in tech

Read More
People who live on a planet that is half women but can never seem to find any when they need one, I have solved your problem

Matt Kenyon

Fusing art and technology to disrupt concepts of corporate America

Read More
I want the work to live in the world and circulate, so it can generate more dialogue

Cynthia Breazeal

How an emotional, empathetic robot named Jibo stands to revolutionize communication

Read More
The thing that's so provocative about social robots is that it's fundamentally a community technology

Tal Danino

The bioengineer who’s programming DNA to fight cancer

Read More
[Manipulating genes] is very new, people are just learning how to program these organisms

Alex Kalman

The tiny museum in Manhattan that’s redefining museums

Read More
The mission is to put this small simple and powerful tool into the hands of as many people as possible

Eelke Plasmeijer

The locally driven restaurant that’s upending Balinese food culture

Read More
We really try to keep things simple and let the produce do the talking

Pauline van Dongen

The Dutch designer blazing the wearable technology path

Read More
I’m fascinated by concepts of change, movement, energy and perception; since they are closely related to the way we experience the world

Leopoldine Huyghues Despointes

The young filmmaker and non-profit founder who just wants people to follow their dreams

Read More
I feel confident and ready to accomplish so much more, the movement is on

Vanessa Newman

Redesigning pregnancy for the post-gender generation with Butchbaby & Co.

Read More
I want my customers to feel comfortable and unchanged, in that becoming pregnant didn't take away from or compromise their identity

Roxie Darling

From un-shampoo to transgender identity, the NYC colorist boldly defining the next chapter of hair

Read More
Hair color is as much a science as it is a craft

George Arriola and Monohm

An heirloom electronic for the post-smartphone era

Read More
We agonized during the design process as all hyper-obsessed craftspeople should
Loading More...