Cover of Wonderful Women of the World, featuring Wonder Woman in front of a full moon

Cover Story: Hey There, Diana

It would have been hard to pick a handful of the women included in this book to grace the cover, so I’m glad the cover designer leaned into the Wonder Woman theme and just went with this great version of Diana. She definitely says powerful and heroic.

The Deal: 

Edited by Laurie Halse Anderson, Wonderful Women of the World is based on a feature that highlighted amazing women from history that ran in Wonder Women comics from 1942 to 1954. This book version is separated into five sections based on Wonder Woman’s personality and guiding tenets—Strength, Compassion, Justice, Truth, and Equality—and covers 24 women, some of whom you’ve definitely heard of (Venus and Serena Williams, Ruth Bader Ginsberg, Beyoncé) and some you might not have (tech founder Mariana Costa Checa, climate change activist and educator Francisca Nneka Okeke, and water scientist Márcia Barbosa) in the form of illustrated portraits and short comics.

Talky Talk: Just the Facts, Ma’am

The stories in Wonderful Women of the World are pretty brief, but most of them make it very clear why their subjects are featured in such a book. (Some are a little more … obtuse? Not as focused on the actual subject/more on the story of the author and why they connected with their subject.) Each comic is different from the one before it, thanks to the fact that they were all written (and illustrated) by different writers, but each ties nicely together thanks to the overarching “wonder women” theme.

Arty Art: Pick ‘N’ Mix

Pages via DC

Much like each comic was written by a different author, each comic was also illustrated by different artists. Some were more to my taste than others, but all had redeeming qualities. It was fun reading an anthology that featured such a mix of styles; there’s something for everyone within!

Study Buddy: RBG

As a woman who lives in Texas, a state that is actively working to restrict my rights, I’ve never missed Ms. Ruth Bader Ginsberg more. Pretty sure she’s writing a SCATHING dissent from wherever she is in the afterlife.

Study Buddy: Mari Copeny

You might know her better as Little Miss Flint, but Mari Copeny—a young woman 24 years my junior—is my absolute hero. When her government let her down, she stood up and hasn’t backed down since.

Study Buddy: Ellen Ochoa

Ellen Ochoa was the first Latina in space (in 1993) and is a massive inspiration to someone who once wanted to be an astronaut. She had a passion and a dream and worked unbelievably hard to make it happen. She would probably be disappointed in me for dropping Physics for Engineers my freshman year of college, but we’ve all got our strengths—and physics is 1000% not one of mine.

Extra Credit: Diversity

Faces of all different races, ethnicities and genders.

Wonderful Women of the World features 24 stories/comics/portraits of some seriously amazing women from all walks of life who differ greatly in their race, gender identity, sexual orientation, religion, political viewpoints, career, etc. It’s a wonderfully (heh) diverse book, but it’s not only diverse because of the women highlighted but also because of the women and nonbinary people who wrote and illustrated the stories (nearly 60 of them).

Class Standing: Most Likely to Change the World

Thank you for introducing me to a lot of amazing heroes I didn’t know about before, Book. I credit you with giving me back some hope for humanity and some inspiration on how I can do better to maybe make all these women’s lives just a bit easier. No one should have to carry such weight alone!

Literary Matchmaking

Bad Girls Throughout History: 100 Remarkable Women Who Changed the World

Ann Shen’s Bad Girls Throughout History: 100 Remarkable Women Who Changed the World features a mix of lovely illustrations and educational mini-biographies of some seriously badass historical figures.

Dead Feminists: Historic Heroines in Living Color

Another great collection about amazing women, Chandler O’Leary and Jessica Spring’s Dead Feminists: Historic Heroines in Living Color turns powerful quotes into art.

Wonder Woman: Tempest Tossed

In addition to editing this anthology, Anderson also wrote an actual Wonder Woman graphic novel for DC: Wonder Woman: Tempest Tossed.

FTC Full Disclosure: I received a copy of this book from DC Comics, but got neither a private dance party with Tom Hiddleston nor money in exchange for this review. Wonderful Women of the World is available now.

Mandy (she/her) is a manager at a tech company who lives in Austin, TX, with her husband, son, and dogs. She loves superheroes and pretty much any show or movie with “Star” in the name.