“The World Needs Heroines”
In this beautifully designed book, Robert Greenberger has collected the 100 Greatest Moments in DC Heroine history. He includes a brief introduction, and then organizes the moments alphabetically by heroine. All the major characters you will surely recognize are here: Wonder Woman, Meara, and Bat Woman, but also many minor characters who played important roles themselves (for example, Elasti-girl and Jesse Quick). From the super-heroines who took on super-villains, to the women who fought for social issues like “Don’t ask, Don’t tell,” gay marriage, and living with HIV. And many who were depicted as having historically “male” jobs, and were leaders of industry. It was also interesting to see how the characters fit into the greater allegiances within the DC world: The Suicide Squad, The Justice League, or in their own partnerships, Birds of Prey and the Gotham City Sirens.
The collection features a good array of heroines dating from the earliest DC comics and artists to editions that were published within the year. It would have been easy to pack the collection with later examples because there just are more in the modern era, but Greenberger provides a good cross section of the different ages.
My only criticism is that although there is a good plot summary connected to each “moment,” I felt like a little more analysis would have helped to locate each selection within the social and cultural history outside of the comic frames. It might have been interesting to organize the book chronologically for this reason.
I enjoyed the the changing art styles, outfits (capes and cowls), weapons and special powers. But what I really liked was the developing and progressive roles each character played and continues to play in DC’s long history.
4 out of 5 stars
Thank you to NetGalley, Quarto Publishing, and Robert Greenberger for the copy for review.