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  1. #91
    Senior Member Polar Bear's Avatar
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    There was a short thread a while back asking about "classic" Wonder Woman runs; there wasn't much consensus. Here's a link.

    Also, Newsarama's list of great Wonder Woman stories is here. DC's anthology of Greatest Wonder Woman Stories is reviewed here. I'm trying to find Brian Cronin's CBR list, too.
    Anyway, it is cool for you to acquire acrimony of crumbling time on blast this website.
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  2. #92

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    Wonder Woman is one of those Golden Agers who had great stories from the get-go. With many GA characters they had a slow but steady improvement over time. It seems to me it's easier for later creators to improve on something that was raw and unformed in the beginning, rather than something that was well-done and satisfying in the beginning.

  3. #93
    Senior Member Ish Kabbible's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Scott Harris View Post
    Wonder Woman #250
    On another note, there's no backup story. And there's no mention of the backup story anywhere, not in the lettercolumn even. Apparently they decided to just ditch it, mid-cliffhanger and all. Apparently the evil god and Char the centaur king are languishing with Etta Candy's French fiance in the land of abandoned plotlines. I didn't miss the backup story at all because frankly, it was pretty bad.
    You have just witnessed the DC Implosion in regards to Wonder Woman.And as if you really need more WW to read from this time period, she also appeared in Worlds Finest (or was it Adventure Comics?) when those titles converted into the extra size dollar format.
    What do you plan to read after you're done with WW? What's best to wash you're brain of this tripe?

  4. #94

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    Quote Originally Posted by Ish Kabbible View Post
    And as if you really need more WW to read from this time period, she also appeared in Worlds Finest (or was it Adventure Comics?) when those titles converted into the extra size dollar format.
    It was both! I think the World's Finest run was a little earlier and took place in WWII on Earth-2 while the Adventure run was later and I think it was on Earth-1. I'm not sure though. I have most of the World's Finest issues, though I am still missing a handful so I haven't read any of them yet. The Adventure issues are surprisingly hard to get cheap on account of the JSA feature in the same issues, which continued from All-Star and which featured the death of Batman.

    As for what I plan to read... well, it depends on which runs I have finished in the mean time. I do have two completed runs I still need to read: The Strange Tales SHIELD series (I have Strange Tales #135-168 and have read just the SHIELD storyline up through #148) and the Lee/Kirby JiM/Thor ( I have read up through #112 in Essential format and have #113-206 waiting to be read, though I have read some random issues in this run a long time ago when I was a kid). So it might be one of those runs, I'm not sure. The Strange Tales is a bit problematical as I don't have the beginning of the Dr. Strange Eternity storyline yet, from earlier Strange Tales issues nor do I have the SHIELD solo series or the follow-up Doctor Strange series completed either from after #168. So we'll see.
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  5. #95

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    Jack C. Harris was an editor on those issues of World's Finest with Wonder Woman (on Earth-Two). When she left, Shazam! took her place. The Adventure run happened with the Implosion, with the Wonder Woman of Earth-One appearing there.

    As memory serves, we'll see some tangental link with that Amazons back-up series coming into play soon. The thing about it is I'm not sure how to feel about the baby-doll nightgowns and the metal bras. It's so funny and good girl good, but it's also kind of embarrassing.

  6. #96
    Run Runner shaxper's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Scott Harris View Post
    Wonder Woman #219
    Marty Pasko, Curt Swan and Vince Coletta



    Synopsis: This one is a doozy. Wonder Woman is wandering around when she saves a woman from being hit by a car. Rather than being happy about this, the woman tries to kill Diana because she's so angry at being saved. But Diana doesn't have too much time to think about it because she's tasked in her U.N. job with solving a mystery: Prominent women's lib leaders are literally vanishing into thin air. She investigates and discovers a common link: They had visited the same beauty parlor. She goes there and is doused with a special shampoo that transports her to another dimension where women are physically stronger than men but have been mentally enslaved. It turns out the girl she saved earlier is from this dimension. The big problem: When women travel between these dimensions, it reverses their emotions. So the male leaders in this other dimension have been kidnapping women's lib leaders so they will give speechs to the enslaved women to convince them to remain enslaved, because the leaders have been emotionally reversed into believing the opposite of women's lib.

    Got that? Anyway, Wonder Woman sort of outsmarts the menfolk. They tie her up with her lasso and command her to be subservient. But since her emotions have been reversed, the command actually forces her to rebel against them. So she kicks some male butt, then grabs all of her Earth women and rushes back to Earth just before the dimensional portal collapses forever.

    Notes: Okay, I have some major problems with this story. In general, I find most comic book attempts to deal with the women's lib movement of the 70's to be ham handed at best. I guess that's par for the course considering how race relations are also dealt with in comics from the time, but for some reason those efforts don't grate on me nearly as much as these attempts to deal with gender issues. Having not lived through this time period I guess it's just hard to wrap my head around how much gender relations have, in fact, changed since the early-mid 70's, but based on comic books anyway, they certainly have.

    Despite how clumsy the story comes off, I don't mind the effort, mainly because it takes place in the pages of Wonder Woman. Questions about gender relations are built into the fabric of the character; dealing with these questions was one of the main reasons William Marston created Wonder Woman in the first place, so she should be dealing with this sort of thing, especially in the 70's.

    But man, this comic, i don't even know you guys. The way women's lib is portrayed is just so out there to me. IN particular, there is one sequence where they head to the beauty salon and Wonder Woman thinks "What would a liberated woman like Betty Jo want with a sexist establishment like a beauty parlor?" As though wanting to look good goes against the ideals of equality.

    Then, Elongated Man and Sue Dibny have a conversation about this where Ralph says "But I thought duding yourself up for a man was supposed to be sexist -- so there's no such thing as a beauty parlor for liberated women!"

    Sue smartly answers that "this place doesn't give a hang about what men think is beautiful dear, it teaches women to... please themselves." Ralph's enlightened response? "Sounds like a crock."

    Of course, I realize I've got 37 years perspective on Ralph here, but the comic basically portrays women's equality as being nearly tantamount to militant man hating. And it's true that the early women's lib movement was more strident, by necessity, to get their message across. But honestly, this whole issue just reads like a hamfisted and confused metaphor that falls somewhere near early Luke Cage on the comic book scale of cultural sensitivity.

    My Grade: D. I appreciate the effort of dealing with gender issues at all in the pages of Wonder Woman, but this is just back-asswards.

    This has always been one of my favorite "wrong" covers of all time!

  7. #97

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    Wonder Woman #251
    Jack C. Harris, Jose Delbo and Vince Colletta



    Synopsis: The new Wonder Woman, Orana, presents herself to America, but they don't know what to make of her, assuming she must be some kind of imposter. orana gets ticked off and smashes a couple things to prove her might, then storms off, wondering to herself how Diana ever dealt with the madness of the outside world.

    Meanwhile, Diana steals one of the Amazon spaceships (seriously, these people apparently have an amazeballs space program) and flies it to New York. She arrives back in her apartment just in time to be met by a guy from NASA. Diana, you see, sent them a letter a couple issues ago and it turns out they've selected her to join their astronaut program. See, that Amazon space program is going to come in real handy now. They drag her off to a press conference to announce her as NASA's newest astronaut.

    Orana, meanwhile, is still having major problems. She sees some cop cars chasing a crook and assumes the cops are the bad guys, so she mashes their cars. Once she realizes her mistake, she pursues the bad guy, only to cause a massive accident when she mistakenly creams a car engine. In the confusion, the bad guys get away and the cops lament the fact that the new Wonder Woman has no clue what she's doing. Orana is ticked, especially when she sees the newspaper with an account of Diana's press conference.

    Orana confronts Diana who tells her to go screw; orana may be the new Wonder Woman, but Diana is still going to live her life in man's world anyway and if Orana doesn't like it, she can lump it. Orana offhandedly mentions there is some menace called Warhead running around, and Diana is horrified; turns out she saw the U.N. file on this guy, who is a terrorist arms dealer who proves the value of his weapons by demonstrating them on helpless civilians. He's developed a new super space bomb thing that can wipe out a big chunk of New York. Orana scoffs at this, unable to believe anybody would be that evil, and leaves, thinking Diana must be trying to trick her.

    Diana decides she has to try and save new York even if she isn't Wonder Woman, so when Warhead shows up to test his bomb, Diana is there. To her pleasant surprise, Orana is also waiting, having decided to take Diana's warning seriously. But Orana is still a rookie at using the Wonder WOman weapons and Warhead gets the upper hand. Diana springs into action to help, telling orana to cover her while she takes care of the bombs. Orana tries to confront Diana about interfering and trying to hog the glory; but as she is distracted, Warhed opens fire and kills Orana with a burst of machine gun fire.

    In a distraught rage, Diana hurls the bomb right into Warhead's helicopter, blowing him and all his men straight to hell. Then Diana returns Orana's body to Paradise island, where she is interred in a special tomb bearing the name Wonder Woman. Diana is then given back her costume and tools and once again resumes her rightful place as the one, true Wonder Woman.

    Notes: I really liked this issue. Last issue Orana seemed like a conniving, mean-spirited beyotch. In this issue, though, we see she really believes herself to be the best candidate to be Wonder Woman and present the Amazonian message to the world, which makes her confusion over the outside world's ways even more emotionally impactful. She's really trying here, but she just can't get up to speed on things fast enough.

    In a very real sense, this two-part storyline is a precursor to the "replacement hero" storylines that were so prevalent in mid-late 80's Marvel. The story has the same basic outline and contains the same message: By having a replacement take over -- and fail -- we see why Diana is Wonder Woman and why nobody else is. It's not the costume or the powers, it's her heart and wisdom; her compassion and understanding allowed her to integrate herself into the outside world in a way that Orana just couldn't understand because she did not possess Diana's character.

    This is very similar to stories like the replacement Cap or Thunderstrike in Thor and other replacement hero stories form Marvel a decade later. The difference is, this being late 70's DC instead of late 80's Marvel, the story lasted just two issues instead of 20. I do think it actually loses a little impact because of this, especially with the subplot of Diana getting her NASA job being fit in to such a short tale.

    Overall, though, this was a very good ending to this two-parter and probably the most memorable story in the Wonder Woman issues I have read so far (breast-head demon aside).

    Oh, and in the lettercolum, someone wrote in to declare that Jose Delbo and Vince Colletta is "the ULTIMATE Wonder Woman team!" I can't see how anybody would argue with that fact, right?

    My Grade: A-. It has everything it needs, but the execution could have been a little better. Still very, very good though.
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  8. #98

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    Wonder Woman #252
    Jack C. Harris, Jose Delbo and Joe Giella



    Synopsis: Wonder Woman is starting her new job as an astronaut, when a training flight goes haywire. She saves the astronaut in peril, but he seems to have gone nuts, blathering about someone called the Empress of the Silver Snake. Turns out that while he was in space, he was approached by a golden woman riding a giant silver snake. She inspected him and then chucked him back to Earth.

    Meanwhile, Diana meets her fellow astronaut trainees. One of them is a dude who clearly wants to hook up with her. Diana gives him the brushoff, then flies into space. Up there, the Space Shuttle is being attacked by the Empress of the Silver Snake, so Diana jumps into the fight. To her surprise, the Empress was actually looking for her. Even worse, she is way too powerful for Diana, draining her soul right out.

    At the last second, Diana breaks free in order to save the Space Shuttle from crashing into the Earth. The Empress is shocked by this, as she thought Diana was pure evil for some reason, so she goes into total shutdown mode, seemingly killing herself. Diana is flummoxed and decides to bring the Empress and her snake to paradise Island for a post-mortem. To be continued!

    Notes: It's nice to get some new supporting characters, though this whole NASA thing seems a bit odd to me. Diana flies into space on her own twice in this issue. At one point she does try and explain in a thought balloon why she's become an astronaut, so that America can one day enjoy the same high tech space program the Amazons already have. But... I don't know. It seems like slumming, plus I don't see how she's going to be able to keep her identity secret, what with being monitored all the time as an astronaut candidate. Hell, you would think the physical alone would set off some alarm bells. It just doesn't make much sense.

    Neither does the Empress, though I have a pretty good idea where they are going with this.

    My Grade: C -. Boring at best. Not really much to say about this one. Ho-hum.
    Last edited by Scott Harris; 11-02-2012 at 08:15 PM.
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  9. #99

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    Wonder Woman #253
    Jack C. Harris, Jose Delbo and Frank Chiaramonte



    Synopsis: Okay, so Diana didn't bring the Empress to Paradise island, instead the Amazons all fly into space to investigate things. To nobody's surprise, the Empress awakens, says some cryptic stuff about the Amazons and flies off. Hippolyta seems to be hiding something but Diana can't figure out what, so she goes back to Earth for her next round of astronaut training.

    This involves some banter with this new love interest guy, Mike. He gets strapped into one of those g-force machines, just in time for the Empress to sabotage it. Luckily, Diana jumps in and save shim, and somehow nobody at NASA notices this, because apparently they don't monitor their test subjects. When Mmike comes to, he kisses Diana, which is fine, except then he calls her "Angel," which is what that dead simp Steve Trevor always called her, so she gets upset and confuzzled and wanders off in a hormonal fog.

    To clear her mind, she flies into space, where the Amazons are again battling the Empress. And the Empress thrashes them all, because she knows everything about their powers; fusing and breaking bracelets, Hippolyta's power girdle, whatever. Then it is revealed what her true identity is: Hippolyta's sister, Diana, who was killed in the back-up story in #247 and who our Diana is a duplicate of. Turns out that when she died, her spirit wandered for awhile before getting sucked into space, where she was eventually reborn after coming into contact with a giant magic gold rock. She then saw Wonder Woman and thought that some evil spirit had taken over her own body, so she returned to Earth to save herself.

    Hippolyta, however, mentions that Diana is actually dead and the Empress is like... oh crap, you're right, I am dead! Guess it slipped her mind. But as soon as she remembers she's actually dead, she drops dead again. A couple of nameless goddess types show up [note: it's Athena and Aphrodite] and escort her soul into the afterlife. The End!

    Notes: Okay, so you win some, you lose some. In #248, Jack C. harris decided to go completely weird with the undead demon beneath the army base, and that ended up being entertainingly bizarre. This time, he again eschews a normal tie-up for the subplot loose ends and goes instead with this crazy magic rock space empress thing. And frankly, it sucks to high heaven.

    The character stuff at NASA is still kind of interesting, but not really all that interesting. So far Mike is a blank slate; he's just a good looking guy who wants to get in Diana's pants, and if that's all it took to be a cool character, I'd have my own feature at DC right now. I like that Jack C. Harris is trying to establish a new status quo for Diana, with a new job and new supporting characters, I'm just not into the stuff he is actually setting up. Good in theory, dodgy in execution.

    I also appreciate that he's trying to tie up some loose ends form the abandoned backup series, but honestly, it sucked so bad that any stories continued from it are doomed to also suck, as this issue proves.

    The lettercolumn, on the other hand, has a really interesting What if? moment in it. According to the editors, they had been planning to have Diana become romantically involved with another member of the JLA, but then a fan wrote in and suggested it, so they ditched the whole idea because they were afraid they would be accused of stealing the idea. I don't they actually had any legal grounds to worry, but I'm wondering which JLA members it was. Superman is out, Flash is out, Green Arrow is out, Elongated Man is out, Atom is out and Hawkman is out because they all had wives or girlfriends at the time. That pretty much leaves, what, Batman and Green Lantern? It's not going to be Phantom Stranger (though that would be really interesting) or Red Tornado. I hate to say it, but Green Lantern kind of makes the most sense, in which case, I'm glad that kid wrote the letter because that would have been excruciating to read.

    Anyone know if they ever revealed the truth behind this?

    My Grade: C-. Would be lower except the cover is pretty cool.
    Last edited by Scott Harris; 11-02-2012 at 09:38 PM.
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  10. #100

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    I don't know who the lucky/unlucky guy would have been (assuming it wasn't Black Canary or Zatanna), but GL would be a good guess, because Jack C. Harris was editing Green Lantern. Ross Andru was editing The Flash as well as Wonder Woman, so those two could have paired up in a few months after Iris died, but not at this juncture as Barry's wife was still alive. I think Aquaman is a better possibility, because his marriage to Mera was on the rocks (after little Arthur's death) and the Sea King was appearing in Adventure Comics, as was the Amazon Princess, and Ross Andru was taking over the editorial seat from Paul Levitz on Adventure. Teaming them up in Adventure in one feature would have left more room for another feature. Also because Aquaman is a king and Diana is a princess, it's the kind of combo a reader might write fan fiction about.

  11. #101

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    Wonder Woman #254
    Jack C. Harris, Jose Delbo and Joe Giella



    Synopsis: Wonder Woman saves a car that drove into a river and it turns out the passengers are her two fellow astronaut trainees. Who cares.

    Meanwhile, the gods are watching. And some of them are angry. You see, Diana defied the gods by going to man's world in #251 and becoming Wonder Woman again. So Mars decides to punish her, even though he seems to be outvoted by Athena and Aphrodite. And the rest of the pantheon apparently just does not care one bit either way.

    Meanwhile meanwhile, Angle Man is trying to figure a way out of prison, where he has been stuck since #243. An idea comes to him and apparently it's areally good one, because next thing you know, Diana and the other astronaut trainees are on high alert because Angle Man has broken out of prison and threatened to steal the Space Shuttle. Diana rushes to Cape Canaveral, but it's too late, the shuttle is gone. So she figures he must be hiding it in space and she follows him up there. Sure enough, the shuttle is there, but Angle Man has a force field around it that teleports Wonder Woman away every time she tries to enter. he demands 10 million dollars in gold.

    Wonder Woman comes up with a plan. Angle Man said the force field was aligned to her, so she decides to bring other people into space with her to take them out. No, not JLA members or other qualified superheroes; her astronaut trainee buddies, of course. They rig up a second space shuttle, complete with a "fake" weapon designed to scare Angle Man, and prepare for launch.

    Suddenly, though, the shuttle launches ahead of schedule and the weapon is fully armed and operational. Diana is really confused, especially when the astronaut leader turns out to be in cahoots with Angle Man. Not possible, right? Well, Diana realizes that the leader, the general who rigged up the weapon and the shuttle pilot (Mike, her supposed love interest) have all been taken over by agents of Mars: the Duke of Deception, the Earl of Greed and Lord Conquest. Apparently Baron Gluttony and Viceroy Sloth were busy.

    Safely taking out the second, armed rogue space shuttle, Diana scoops up the remaining astronaut trainee, a lady, and whisks her to the other shuttle where Angle Man is waiting. Diana has figured it out: Angle Man himself is being controlled by Mars. So Diana does a fastball special with her astronaut pal, who goes right through the force field as expected and clocks Angle Man. Because, Diana also figured out, the astronaut lady is possessed by the spirit of Athena, who decided to even the odds.

    Mars is pissed, but Athena tells him to sit on it. The end!

    Notes: This is the final Jack C. Harris issue. He mostly ties up what he's been working on; Hippolyta has been moaning since #251 that the gods will be angry at Diana, so here they get angry. Harris leaves the book with a new status quo -- Diana now works for NASA, lives in Houston and has a potential boyfriend in fellow astronaut Mike -- so he accomplished what he needed to. On the other hand, what do you think the chances are that Paul Levitz, the new writer, will keep any of that stuff around when he takes over? Yeah, exactly.

    So to review the Jack C. Harris era, the first issue was a terrible implosion of the Earth-2 series, then he had a series of boring and mediocre superhero stories that set up a new status quo for Diana, including killing off Steve Trevor. Along the way he wrote one genuinely good story (the Orana Wonder Woman story in #250-251) and two stories that were very entertaining just because they were batcrap crazy (the death of Steve Trevor in #248 and the even crazier talking breast monster story in #246). All in all, then, it was a highly uneven and mostly tedious run that accomplished the bare minimum, but it also gave us a couple high points, which is more than can be said for the previous 20 issues or so. Four memorable issues out of 13 isn't great, but face it, we've seen a lot worse in this readathon.

    This issue also contains a statement of ownership which is quite interesting. Average sales over the past 12 issues was just 122k, which is pretty darn low for a big superhero book at this time. However, the issue closest to filing sold a whopping 192k copies, which is a gigantic boost. It doesn't say which issue this was, but I am guessing maybe #250 with the anniversary replacement story? I don't know, but there had to be some reason for a change that big.

    My Grade: C-. Jack C. Harris ties things off with another boring story.
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  12. #102

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    Wonder Woman #255
    Paul Levitz, Jose Delbo and Vince Colletta



    Synopsis: Diana returns to the U.N. because they are having a space conference. During the first speech, which is being overseen by her former boss, Morgan Tracy, she notices that one of the dudes on stage has a gun. Excusing herself, she turns into Wonder Woman in secret, then surreptitiously clocks the guy with a thrown tiara, which nicely boomerangs right back to her. Tracy then takes the guy out. Problem solved without anyone noticing Wonder Woman is even there.

    A bigger problem is that the guy with the gun can't remember anything about the incident. Tracy and the authorities try to interrogate him, only to have another dude pul a gun on tracy and then forget the entire episode. Meanwhile, Wonder Woman wanders around Manhattan, helping people out and remembering why New York is so much cooler than Houston. Also, as Diana she gets offered a new, different job at the U.N.

    Anyway, she's hovering around when she sees a protest starting outside the U.N. and again, someone pulls a gun, and again they are blank eyed and apparently being mind-controlled. She stops them, only to have Tracy himself try to kill her with a knife. Then the perp of the moment appears: The evil Bushmaster, who has some kind of mind control device. It doesn't work on Diana, so instead he blasts her with an electric beam that has a much more obvious and instant affect.

    When he turns his attention back to the target, however, she breaks free of the electric field and begins kicking his butt. Realizing he's whupped, Bushmaster flies away and Diana can't catch him. She returns to Houston for more astronaut stuff, while Bushmaster radios his unseen boss that he has what he came for: A file on Diana Prince. DUN DUN DUNNNNN!!!!!!

    Notes: The first issue from Paul Levitz and it's blatantly obvious that he's going to ditch the Houston/astronaut thing. The whole issue sets this up, with the contrived return to the U.N., the job offer and several pages of Diana being reminded why she loves New York. And I don't necessarily fault Levitz for wanting to ditch everything Jack C. Harris set up; a job at the U.N. fits Diana thematically to a T, what with her peace mission. It makes a lot more sense than randomly becoming an astronaut.

    The Bushmaster is kind of interesting, in that he looks more like a 90's villain than a 70's villain, other than his floating disc thingy. He's got one cybernetic looking eyepatch, a bunch of random bits of armor like shoulder pads and such, and a bunch of straps and pouches and thingies attached to him. This oddly has the effect of making him seem a lot more modern than any of the foes Diana has been fighting, even if it is a bit of overkill. But for 1979, this Liefeld style costume was downright forward thinking.

    Strangely, the lettercolumn continues to be answered by Jack C. Harris even though he has no other affiliation with the book at this point, being neither writer nor editor. And just as a previous lettercolumn contained a bombshell What If? moment, this one has an even bigger one. A reader wrote in to say they wanted more superheroine guest stars, as Jack C. Harris reveals that, with Batman's Brave and the Bold and Superman's new DC Comics presents both going gangbusters, they had just proposed to DC editorial a brand new team-up book: Sensation Comics starring Wonder Woman alongside a rotating cast of DC stars. How awesome would this have been? I have to think that if they had proposed this one or two years earlier, during the height of the Wonder Woman TV series, when Wonder Woman was already being featured in multiple books (such as World's Finest and later Adventure), they might have gone for it. Or if the implosion hadn't just happened. It's a real missed opportunity, because I think a new Sensation Comics team-up book could have worked really well. Shucks!

    My Grade: B. I liked all the stuff with Diana wandering around New York, visiting old haunts and helping normal folks. Bushmaster was not quite as lame as most of her villains and Levitz seems to have a direction in mind for the book. Not a bad start at all.
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  13. #103

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    Wonder Woman #256
    Paul Levitz, Jose Delbo and Vince Colletta



    Synopsis: If you've been following along, you will know exactly what happens in this comic just from the cover. but just in case, I'll give a short synopsis anyway.

    Diana interrupts the Royal Flush Gang as they try to steal some important machine. She gets overconfident, though, and they get away. The next day, she and her fellow astronaut trainees are put in lockdown until the authorities figure out what's going on with the Royal Flush Gang. Diana takes this time to borrow the JLA files on the Gang from Red Tornado. She figures that this is a new gang with a new leader, but for some reason the 10 is missing. She suspects this is bad news.

    Patrolling the area, Diana catches the Gang on their next heist. Again they get away, except this time she takes out the Jack. using her lasso, she gets info on their hideout, but nobody is there.

    Back at base, she and the other trainees cool their heels, even after word comes in that the new super computer has finally arrived despite the Gang's attempts to steal it. Diana and her possible new boyfriend Mike go for a romanctic-ish car ride. However, she finds something in his car that convinces her he is the inside man for the Gang. Follwing him on his "errand," she catches the Gang flat-footed and takes them out, including the mysterious 10. Sure enough, Mike is the 10.

    In an epilogue, a guy shows up at NASA with Diana's U.N. file (which Bushmatser stole last issue?) saying he's with U.N. security and he's there to investigate Diana. However, the brass informs him that she just quit and has moved back to New York to take that new job at the U.N. she was offered last issue. The End!

    Notes: Yeah, to nobody's surprise, Mike turns out to be the new 10 in the Royal Flush Gang. This nicely gets rid of him and gives Diana an excuse to leave Houston behind to re-re-start her life again back in New York, where we saw last issue that her heart is truly at. It's obvious Levitz didn't want anything to do with this Houston stuff and it only took him two issues to dump all of it. To his credit, he didn't break too many eggs doing it, just writing out Mike, who was a one-dimensional nobody anyway.

    I always like seeing the Royal Flush Gang, and I appreciated that they sort of whupped Diana a couple times, as they took on the whole JLA previously, something they made sure to note during their fights. I also liked Diana studying the files to get a better understanding of her foes. Very Avengers of her.

    Jack C. Harris continues to answer the lettercolum. I wonder if he just wanted to stay on as long as the letters were about his run?

    My Grade: B-. Nothing real special, but a decent superhero book that moved Levitz's plan forward while also getting rid of dead weight (Mike). Using the Royal Flush Gang is just a bonus.
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  14. #104

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    Wonder Woman #257
    Paul Levitz, Jose Delbo and Vince Colletta



    Synopsis: Wonder Woman returns to New York and checks out her brand new penthouse apartment, which is basically the same as her last one. She comments how nice it is to be able to order this stuff up instantly using Paradise Island gold. I bet!

    The next day, an armored car is attacked by a dinosaur (and some armed thugs) in the middle of Manhattan. Wonder Woman shows up to fight the thugs and ends up being really surprised to see a dinosaur. She fights it for a bit and then it vanishes into thin air.

    Later that night, another heist takes place, this time at a museum -- with a giant bear helping the crooks. Before they can get away in their helicopter, though, Diana shwos up and stops them. But the bear vanishes into thin air. A pattern!

    Meanwhile, Diana settles into her new job despite former boss Morgan Tracy causing trouble by calling her a security risk. Which she is. but she also again catchs a bunch of crooks in the act and tries to stop them the next night, only to be wrapped up by a gigantic snake. She's then gassed and placed in a big bubble. The bd guy? Why, it's former Challengers of the Unknown villain Multi-Man, who is a shapeshifter. He explains that he wised up after getting his trash kicked by the Challengers, so instead of trying to take over the world, he just uses his powers quietly to make himself rich. Well, quietly except for the giant dinosaur on fifth avenue thing.

    Speech over, he dumps Diana's bubble off his helicopter. She frees herself, though, and the ocean water below revives her when she splashes down. She then summons her invisible plane, calls the JLA headquarters for information on Multi-Man and tracks him down. This time he's robbing a museum as an elephant, which seems like a poor choice. Diana swoops in and kicks his butt. he then turns into a bug and tries to fly away, as he escaped before, but this time she's ready; she creates a whirlwind with her lasso that knocks him out, then she uses the lasso to command him to maintain bug form until further notice. The end!

    Notes: This is a perfectly decent story that is undermined slightly by how completely idiotic Multi-Man looks. Luckily, he's in animal form most of the comic, because his costume is really, really stupid. This is actually one of the biggest flaws in Wonder Woman as a series: Almost all of her villains look or are terrible. Even some of the best stories in the run so far have been undermined by having dopey villains; in #251, for instance, the second half of the Orana story, the villain -- who was just an arms dealer with no apparent powers -- was given an incredibly dumb costume for no reason at all (he looked like a living missile, hence the name Warhead). Add in guys like The Bouncer, with his mutant leg muscles, and you have a situation where even the good stories are being severely damaged by the lame design of the villains.

    Why can't Wonder Woman get some good villains? It shouldn't be that hard, but the only decent recurring villains she's had so far have been Mars (as god of war, diametrically opposed to Diana's peace mission) and his minion the Duke of Deception (Diana's version of Loki). The Cheetah is a classic, but she was only in one issue and it was on Earth-2. Every other villain has been boring, terrible or both at the same time, except possibly for Angle Man, who honestly seems like he should be a cool Flash villain rather than a Wonder Woman villain. He is interesting, but seems out of place in her world.

    More set-up about Diana being investigated, but this time it seems to be Morgan Tracy doing it instead of Bushmaster or the nameless agent int he last issue. I'm not sure if those subplots are connected or not.

    Very cool cover by Ross Andru and Dick Giordano. Funny thing, this scene does happen in the story -- and after saving the kid, Wonder Woman takes this moment to chastise her parents for getting too close to a giant dinosaur. She tells them that next time this happens, they should flee instead. As though they are bad parents for not anticipating an attack by a giant dinosaur in midtown Manhattan. Geez, Diana, lighten up.

    I did appreciate the Challengers of the Unknown tie-in.

    My Grade: B-. A solid superhero comic that could have been slightly better if Multi-Man wasn't so stupid looking and therefore hard to take seriously.
    At last, Boy Comics finally gets its own website!

  15. #105

    Default

    Wonder Woman #258
    Story by Paul Levitz and Paul Kupperberg, art by Jose Delbo and Vince Coletta



    Synopsis: Wonder Woman swoops into West Point just in time to stop a rampaging tank. This is the second attempt on the life of the Commandant, so she sticks around to keep watch while they go through their graduation services. An officer shows up whose son just washed out of West Point. Could he be responsible? Duh.

    Another attack takes place, this time a bunch of mortar shells falling randomly on the crowd. Wonder Woman tries to stop them but gets knocked into a mine field. Using the speed of Hermes, she races through the minefield faster than they can explode. She then takes out the radio tower where the signals are coming from.

    Just then, a jet takes off with a full payload. Wonder Woman gives chase in her invisible plane and they have a dogfight in midair. The enemy jet fires a missile, but not at Diana -- he's targeting a nuclear power plant that could blow up the entire Hudson Valley. Wonder Woman stops it, then takes out the jet, revealing, no surprise, the officer from before.

    Turns out his son committed suicide after being drummed out of West Point, so he decided to shut down West Point forever to prevent any more young boys from dying there. Wonder Woman sympathizes and leaves as the guy is dragged off into custody. The end.

    Notes: And just like that, the Paul Levitz era ends. Will we ever find out what Bushmaster and his mystery boss were doing with Diana Prince's U.N. file? Or will this subplot go the way of Etta Candy's French fiance? Time will tell.

    There's really nothing interesting about this story. it's pretty much all action. I did like seeing Diana use her super-speed. Otherwise, though, it was telegraphed right form the get-go who was behind the attacks, so it was just a matter of watching Wonder Woman trash a bunch of army weapons until she could get to the guy. Ho hum, whatever.

    Next issue, Gerry Conway takes over again. Can he do better on Earth-1 than he did on Earth-2? Why am I not excited?

    Also, is it just me, or does a strangely large percentages of Wonder Woman covers involve her being in mid-air somehow?

    My Grade: C. This was a comic book, no doubt about it.
    Last edited by Scott Harris; 11-03-2012 at 10:01 PM.
    At last, Boy Comics finally gets its own website!

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