Wednesday, October 7, 2015

The Classics - Wonder Woman #178 & 179

   Note that the best-remembered story of Wonder Woman was from a time when she stopped being so wonderful.

   Reading those pivotal issues from 1968, you get the sense of desperation. Over the course of two issues the creative team teased a new look - and then delivered it.

   The team behind it was writer Denny O'Neil and the unusual art team of Mike Sekowsky and Dick Giordano - an odd mix of raw "old school" style pencils and modern, slick inks.

   The "New" Wonder Woman was teased in the first issue - she still has her powers and original costume, but she goes undercover as she tries to prove Steve Trevor is not guilty of murder - so she adopts modern fashions and disguises herself as a "civilian."

   It's the next issue - #179 - where the "New" version is actually revealed.

   Steve is again framed for a crime he didn't commit - and at the same time, Diana is called back to Paradise Island, where her mother announces that the island is being removed from this world for a while - and to stay behind, Diana must give up her super-powers.

   She does - so away goes the star-spangled costume, the invisible plane and her magic lasso - and she returns to the world a normal mortal.

   An encounter with the wise martial artist I Ching leads her to training in ancient fighting techniques, and that (along with her new, mod wardrobe) gave us a new take on the classic character.

   The series wasn't great - the stories were wonky and the art was a bit odd - but it was a blast of fresh air into a stale series that badly needed a boost.

   It must not have made much of a difference in sales - the "new look" only lasted about two years - but it was a shocking move for the staid and square DC, revamping a character who had been unchanged for more than 20 years.

Grade: B


1 comment:

James said...

Knowing my tastes in comics, it should not surprise you that this is my favorite era of Wonder Woman comics. I just loved them!