Monday, June 29, 2015
Super-Heroine Number One!
Following her time as the "New Wonder Woman", Diana Prince returned to her Amazonian roots and her bathing suit all-American costume to fight super-villainy across the globe. A few issues after her return to classic form, she proposes an unusual challenge for herself. Having no memory of her time before her transformation, she is unaware that the Justice League have shifted operations to a satellite above the Earth. Rocked by this she suggests she needs to prove herself to the team by performing twelve labors which they will observe and grade to see if she deserves readmission to the ranks. That's the thematic thread which ties together the stories in Wonder Woman - The Twelve Labors.
The Leaguers are reluctant but agree and so we are presented with a few years of truly offbeat adventures in which the comics reads almost like a Justice League team-up book as each League member in turn reports, and sometimes takes a greater role in the story. These are wild stories, some vivid and lively and some just plain confusing. I've read that the stories were revisions of Golden Age tales which might account for the oddball nature of some of the plotting, but whatever the case this is an uneven batch.
To make things even more curious a gang of creators step in to make the series happen. Writers Cary Bates, Elliot S Maggin, Len Wein, and Marty Pasko shape the stories. Artists Curt Swan, Dick Giordano, John Rosenberger, Irv Novick, Dick Dillin, Jose Delbo, and others supply the visuals. This change of the guard so often adds to the team up nature of the stories which become increasing complicated as the series unravels.
She battles old foes Mars God of War, the Duke of Deception, as well as modern foes Felix Faust and Chronos. She saves the world several times from alien robots and ruthless magnates, and even takes on her old foe Doctor Cyber from her "Diana Prince" days as well as a carbon copy of herself.
Needless to say, Wonder Woman does indeed win back her position in the Justice League of America. It's weird, and perhaps somewhat demeaning that this was the path chosen by the creators to get her back on board, but it did created a frame in which some entertaining stories were told.