DIANA PRINCE: WONDER WOMAN VOL. 1
Collection: Diana Prince: Wonder Woman© 1968-1969
Publisher: DC Comics © 2008
Written by: Denny O’Neil, Mike Sekowsky
Penciled by: Mike Sekowsky
Inks: Dick Giordano
Cover Art by: Mike Sekowsky & Dick Giordano
Wonder Woman created by: William Moulton Marston
The Sixties were quite the time weren’t they? Now some may think the Space Race, those damn hippies that your grandparents hate, Kennedy, muscle cars and the Silver Age of comics with brand new heroes like The Fantastic Four, a new Green Lantern and a new Flash. Then came a new Wonder Woman! Wait, what?
Wonder Woman sales were tanking to the point of cancellation and the legendary Denny O’Neil came for the attempted rescue of Wonder Woman and how does one rescue her? By taking away her powers and her costume! Wait, what?
Diana Prince is an odd almost you have to read it to believe it kind of story. As the story starts as Steve Trevor is on trial and Wonder Woman has to clear his name. Later on, the Amazons have to save their power and strength and in a sense hop to another dimension. Diana decides to stay to help Steve but in doing so must relinquish her godly powers and traits. This here almost sounds a bit convoluted.
As the story progresses Diana picks up a Chinese martial arts mentor by the name of I-Ching and is later on helped out by other male patrons usually carrying guns. The story continues into a globe trotting adventure against a new threat known as Doctor Cyber and their agents.
The story is pretty straight forward for the most part, not hard to follow but a bit silly. Be prepared for one particular twist and another surprising thing with a particular main-stay and iconic character. They were really trying to turn over a new leaf here. Diana transforms into a martial arts expert with silly, yet entertaining new weapons like explosive earrings. What is problematic though is the fact that Diana gets almost too emotional at times throughout the series in the traditional and sexist womanly way one could interpret. Next is her almost over-abundant reliance on male characters.
Nonetheless, the action is great, it is something new and the final issues take a different, more classical Greek approach with quite the ending. What is interesting to note is these last two issues are written by artist Mike Sekowsky. Meanwhile, Sekowsky the artist really drapes this arc in the Sixties with all of the Diana costumes, designs and backgrounds. Best way to describe it – think Austin Powers but on the comic page. Giordano especially helps make everything have that Sixties pop. His cover work is great as each one gets you pumped and piqued to see what is in store for each issue. Looking over it it feels like a time capsule of the Sixties. Sekowsky draws fine, nonetheless the art does feel a bit dated to some degree.
By no means a horrible read, certainly interesting and different. Understandable if you are a devout, traditionalist Wonder Woman fan and cannot stomach this idea. If you are a fan of The Avengers and no not that one you’re thinking. I’m referring to one with a lackluster film starring Uma Thurman, yeah… that one. If you are familiar with the original series that movie was based off with the Emma Peel character and enjoy it, this may be for you. But I would recommend it as interesting history lesson on the sixties and portrayal of women of the time. I will note the one I reviewed is an older printing which states it collects issues #178 – #183. This is not accurate as it also includes issue #184. This is an old printing and would be better off tracking down Diana Prince: Wonder Woman Vol. 1 which collects all of these and SUPERMAN’S GIRL FRIEND LOIS LANE #93.
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