Friday, September 14, 2012


WONDER WOMAN ARCHIVES VOL. 6 (DC, 2010; Hardcover)
Collects Wonder Woman Nos. 13-15 and selections from Sensation Comics Nos. 41-48 (cover dates May- December, 1945)
Writers: Joye Murchison, Robert Kanigher, and William Moulton Marston.
Artist: Harry G. Peter
Here we are six volumes in, and all of the elements that have made this such a charming, amusing read are present in all of their glory. The dominance/submission and bondage overtones, the post-suffragette movement/ proto-women's liberation movement sentiments, and the can-do attitude that American displayed during World War II are all here, and I love it.
The stories do tend to get somewhat formulaic, so they are best read in small doses. I'll read 1-3 at a time, and then put the book down for a few days. Rinse. Repeat. Marston was suffering from polio during this time, so he delegated scripting to Joye Murchison and Robert Kanigher. I can only assume that they went off of his plots, because there is very little difference in tone and style from his own scripts. Indeed, if writing credits weren't provided, I wouldn't have suspected that were different writers at all. 
H.G. Peter's artwork is incredible as usual, being worlds more detailed than was necessary for the time. I love the intricacy of the hairdos on the women, for example. I wonder if he studied bondage magazines or something, because he is always depicting new and unusual constraints for Wonder Woman. I still chuckle when I think of children buying this stuff. It's no small coincidence that Wonder Woman was extremely popular amongst soldiers in World War II. 
In Issue 13 Wonder Woman fights the Seal Men, who look so ridiculous that they rule. In this issue it is revealed that she can bench press 15,000 lbs. (6803.88555 kg), jump 150 ft. (45.72 meters), and lift 25 tons (22679.6 kg). I have no idea how these abilities compare to those depicted in other eras of the title, but as a kid who grew up studying such things in The Official Handbook of the Marvel Universe, I find such specifications to be fascinating.
Junk Food For Thought rating: 5 out of 5.
The OCD zone- While the linework and color restoration are markedly improved over volume 5, pages 136, 149, and 152 look terrible, enough for me to lower the linework restoration rating.
The paper is a nice, thick coated stock with a bit more of a sheen than the Archives have traditionally had. It has the same nice sewn binding that DC should employ on all of it's high end hardcovers.
Linework restoration rating: 4.5 out of 5.
Color restoration rating: 4.5 out of 5.
Paper rating: 5 out of 5.
Binding rating: 5 out of 5.

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