Sunday, January 29, 2012

Review: Wonder Woman Archives Vol. 2


WONDER WOMAN ARCHIVES VOL. 2 (DC, 2000; Hardcover)
Collects Wonder Woman Nos. 2-4 and selections from Sensation Comics Nos. 13-17 (cover dates Fall, 1942- May, 1943).
Writer: Dr. William Moulton Marston
Artist: Harry G. Peter
This is every bit as good as the issues collected in the first volume. The bondage and S&M overtones are still everywhere, and I can't help but laugh when I wonder what people thought of this stuff in 1942-43. Wonder Woman always seems to get tied up and/or is forced to submit. It's funny how Wonder Woman tries to convince a lady to have her make her man her slave, because he'll love her for it. Too funny. 
The writing, the artwork and the lettering are all outstanding. H.G. Peter really has a unique flavor to his art, straddling a line between cartoon-y and serious. The 'Christmas story' on Paradise Island was surreal. I wonder where Peter got his photo referencing for the bondage get-ups and other strange costumes. I wouldn't think that it was common at that time.
Issue 2 features an 'arc'. There are several stories in that issue, as was common at the time, but they all point to a larger story arc. Baroness Paula von Gunther reforms and becomes an Amazon. She was Wonder Woman's only nemesis at this point in time, so it was a bummer to see her become a heroine. The Nazis are also recurring antagonists.
The OCD zone- The paper has a nice, creamy, off-white color to it, similar to the pulp paper of the day, and I like it quite a bit. The linework and color restoration are excellent. The book has sewn binding, but it is Canadian sewn binding. It's a bit stiffer than Chinese sewn binding, but the book does lay reasonably flat. 

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