Sunday, June 21, 2015

The Diana Prince Adventures - Part Three!

Diana Prince's adventures continue in this third volume of the series, collecting up a wide array of stories written and drawn (mostly) by Mike Sekowsky with (mostly) inks by Dick Giordano.

It begins with a trilogy of sorts, a fantasy adventure which sees Diana drawn into a fantastic conflict between barbarians and an evil queen's empire when she finds herself lost in another dimensional world. Captured by the evil queen's henchmen she finds an ally in a rugged barbarian and the duo fight to escape the arena in which they are to fight to the death for the entertainment of the masses. The story continues with a short frame story set in the barbarian's camp where Diana tells him of her origins giving the creators a chance to showcase two vintage tales from Wonder Woman's recent past. The saga concludes in the following issue when the barbarian hordes attacks and finally bring down the enemy. The final issue is a well-crafted all-battle issue.

What follows is a tasty hodge-podge of stories of different genres. Diana seeks how a deadly prankster who has some years before caused a number of people to die and some to exist in desperate comas. She finds herself in a foreign country and once mistaken for a beautiful princess becoming her double and defender, in a story which admits its debt to The Prisoner of Zenda. Next we find a beautifully rendered ghost story with Diana and Ching trying to stay alive along with several other guests in a haunted inn which offers up hospitality and death. This issue was inked by Wally Wood, a perfect choice to give Sekowsky's pencils a wonderfully restrained atmosphere.

The next tale is a team-up with Superman by Denny O'Neil and the art team of Dick Dillin and Joe Giella. The duo are fixed up on a date by a computer from the future who uses the device to warn them of an impending death which will have enormous consequences for the whole planet. Their struggle to save the Earth is met with limited success.

Finally we have a wild and not wholly satisfying yarn in which Diana is forced by circumstances to protect a foreign ambassador to the United States and finds that there are all sorts of agendas involved. This last story lacks the punch and elegance of Sekowsky's previous entries despite some great action sequences. This was his last outing on the character he'd helped revamp a few years before and had been at once editing, writing, and drawing since.

After his departure DC bought a little time with two reprint issues showcasing some of Diana's more recent experiences as the "New Wonder Woman".

See the covers below.

More next time as some new talents take over.

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  1. I’m surprised the cover for #196 made it past the Comics Code…Maybe just a sign they were loosening their grip on things by this point in the seventies?

    1. That one is my favorite of the bunch. Does that make me a bad guy :)

    2. They were indeed I think loosening their grip, but this was also the time when Bob Oksner was producing some of the more memorable Lois Lane covers, any of which might've been rousing material for those looking to say comics were trying to get readers to think less than pure thoughts.

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