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Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Book review: Ink-Stained Amazons and Cinematic Warriors: Superwomen in Modern Mythology

by Jennifer Stuller

Stuller traces the appearance of superwomen (a designation for which she gives criteria at the outset) in the modern mythologies of popular media (TV, film, and comics), starting with Wonder Woman's 1941 debut. Not just a trip down memory lane, Ink-Stained Amazons critiques as well as cataloging, using figures from Buffy to Pam Grier to Lois Lane and, of course, my favorite Amazon to tell a story of the ebb flow of feminist ideals in popular culture, suggesting (not always explicitly) an overarching understanding of the role of myth in self-making and the formation of ideals and calling for an evolution in our understanding and representation of heroism. A good, fun, read that gives lots to think about.

And, if you're anything like me, leaves you with the Wonder Woman theme stuck in your head for a long time.

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