Monday, January 15, 2007

Wonder Woman-#78

Of all the comic characters to make it through the Silver Age, Wonder Woman seems the least likely. Her comic was embarrassingly bad during the late 1950s and early 1960s, and in the late 1960s DC hopped her aboard the secret agent bandwagon just as the bloom was leaving that genre.

It is not that the character was intrinsically mediocre; indeed the Golden Age Wonder Woman was quite entertaining. Perhaps the Comics Code Authority meant that WW's adventures had to be toned down to eliminate the bondage and feminism that marked the earlier era?

Take for example this horrific issue from 1955, the very beginning of the Silver Age:

It's a gorilla! Playing baseball! With Wonder Woman!

The premise for the story is that Wonder Woman is helping out a little old lady that runs a private school. The terms of the will that endowed the school require that their baseball team meet another school's baseball team every year. Unfortunately, the little old lady's school has been quarantined for measels and thus will be unable to meet its obligations. So they enroll a gorilla... please stop laughing... and ask Wonder Woman to teach it.

So now it's down to the ballgame, featuring Wonder Woman and the Gorilla against the nine from the other school. And somehow now the loser of the game will have to merge with the other school. That's a funny kind of annual game--wouldn't it end after the first year? And since the mean old man who's the principal of the other school gets to set the rules of the game....

Of course, it's not hard to guess that Wonder Woman hits a homer.

Curiously, the "every year" phenomenon comes up again in the second story:

Somebody appears to have forgotten to tell Wonder Woman about this law, as every time one of her weapons fails, she remarks on how fortunate she is to have the others. Fortunately, with her ingenuity, she is able to overcome the weaknesses of her weapons for that one day.

The third story is actually an interesting one. In Wonder Woman's day job as Romance Editor of the Daily Globe (this appears to be the first time this is mentioned), she is offered $1,000,000 for charity if she will act out a three-act film. She discovers the role is quite dangerous (requiring her to fight a robot octopus for example), but continues to do her part because it's for charity. In the end, it turns out to be Wonder Woman's old nemesis, Angle Man, trying to get rid of her, but she catches him so the million plus the proceeds from the film are put to good use.

1 comment:

MarvelX42 said...

"electronic devices"? I thougbht that Womder Womans stuff worked because of magic.