Out of Their League

Out of Their League


On Wednesdays I look at various chapters in Wonder Woman’s history. Click here for previous installments.

The history of Wonder Woman, at least in my lifetime, seems to have been one abrupt shift after another as the powers-that-be at DC Comics see the need to reinvent the world’s most prominent super-heroine every few years. We’ve covered a number of these start-from-scratch revamps on this blog already, particularly occurring in the last few years. But this habit of trying to “fix” Wonder Woman goes back a long ways. We’ve  seen Wonder Woman abruptly renounce her powers and become a karate-chopping mod detective in 1968, along with a sudden scrapping and replacement of her entire supporting cast. We’ve seen the mod era just as suddenly erased in 1973 with the return of Wonder Woman’s longtime writer-editor from the 1940s through the 1960s, Robert Kanigher, who took a similar scorched-earth approach, killing off Diana’s erstwhile mentor and erasing her memory of the whole period. As we’ve seen, the next few issues were a little weird, not only returning Wondy to her previous status quo, with her old costume and powers, but actually retelling Kanigher’s old WW stories from the 1940s with new art.

And now, abruptly again, that oddly retro period stops with entirely new management on the title: Julius Schwartz, mastermind of the superhero revival of the Silver Age and longtime Justice League of America editor, took over editing Wonder Woman, bringing in a reliable roster of writers to tell the next batch of tales: Len Wein, Cary Bates, Elliot S! Maggin and Martin Pasko. Appropriately enough, the next eleven issues would be all about Wonder Woman earning her way back into the Justice League after a long absence.

Read more