Weekly Wonder Woman: Wonder Woman ’77 #5-6

Convergence is upon us. However, beyond a brief appearance by Futures End Wonder Woman in issue #2…

Futures End Wonder Woman in Convergence #2

…that’s pretty much been her only appearance so far, as far as I can tell.

That means this week I’ll only be looking over issues #5-6 of Wonder Woman ’77. If you remember, when last we left her, Lynda Carter Wonder Woman was having a fight with Cathy Lee Crosby Wonder Woman and wondering if she was the real thing or not. Now, in the conclusion of the story, we discover who’s the true Wonder Woman as a plethora of villains turn up for a fight that only the real thing can finish.

Wonder Woman '77 #5

Wonder Woman ’77 #5-6

Confronted by what appears to be her mother and sister, Wonder Woman is more taken aback to discover that the duo before her are actually Julia and Vanessa Kapatelis.

That's not my mother

Needing some air, Wonder Woman heads outside where she finds her imposter… who tells Wonder Woman she’s actually Donna Troy.

You're Donna Troy

They fight, but the real Wonder Woman triumphs in the end.

Wonder Woman wins

With a little help from the real Steve Trevor.

Steve Trevor is a hobo

I am Wonder Woman

I am, too

Wonder Woman’s about to extract the truth, when reality collapses around her, revealing the truth: she’s been a prisoner of Dr Psycho!

Wonder Woman is a prisoner

Dr Psycho revealed

Using his mental powers, he convinces Wonder Woman she’s being attacked by all her enemies at once.

Wonder Woman's villains revealed

Wonder Woman fights them, but it takes the Lasso of Truth to reveal that her enemies aren’t truly there – and to defeat Dr Psycho.

The Lasso of Truth reveals all

Dr Psycho defeated

Diana returns Dr Psycho to prison.

Dr Psycho returned to prison

Back home, rather than go out with Steve, Diana instead decides to have a night in… by herself.

Go out with Steve?

No. Time for a night in

Is it any good?
It’s all kind of lovely to look at and a good read, so you should buy it, I reckon. It’s fun, it has some good moments

A while back, I was wondering precisely who the target audience for this book would be. Initially, I concluded it would be ‘silver surfers’; however, following issue #3, I revised that and decided it would be for people who like:

…fluffy, empty, 70s-themed but not especially authentic stories, with mild connections to both the comics and the TV series and characters who look about 75% like their TV counterparts

On the strength of this three-parter, though, I’m going to revise again – either I keep guessing wrongly or the target audience keeps changing: you decide which is more likely. Because I’d say that Wonder Woman ’77 is indeed something ‘silver surfers’ would like, except not for quite the reasons I first thought.

The masterplan here appears to be essentially to retrofit Lynda Carter onto a melange of the canon of the various 1970s TV incarnations and of Volumes 1 and 2. Issue #4 pumped the story full of references to both the Lynda Carter TV series and the Cathy Lee Crosby pilot.

Issue #5 took us on from there to give us references to Donna Troy, who never appeared in the TV series, and to Julia and Vanessa Kapatelis, who first appeared during George Perez’s run on Volume 2 of Wonder Woman in the 1980s.

The Kapateles

Doctor Psycho has been an omnipresent villain of Wonder Woman’s since her very earliest days, yet like virtually all her other comic book adversaries, never made it to the TV series. But the roster of villains that he presents for her in issue #6 are almost all from Volume 1, including Giganta, the original Cheetah Priscilla Rich, Baroness von Gunther (one of only two villains who did make it to the TV series) and Doctor Cyber. The only exceptions are a Skrill from the TV series and the Wonder Woman ’77 version of the Silver Swan introduced in issue #1.

Couple that with the fact that Wonder Woman, who can’t fly in the TV series, goes all 1980s and flies her way to the prison at the end of issue #6, and it’s pretty clear that in a similar manner to Sensation Comics, Wonder Woman ’77 is trying to give new stories to the fans of the old continuity (or to the detractors of the new continuity). However, rather than sticking to one particular continuity or inventing a completely new one, writer Marc Andreyko is drawing only all old continuities simultaneously, using the Wonder Woman TV series as his visual and fundamental story foundation, and Volume 1 as his primary source of enemies, but willing to fold in Volume 2/3 continuity if he feels like it.

In a sense, it’s refreshing, as it allows him to take the most iconic aspects of Wonder Woman throughout the ages, yet not be wedded to them. Anyone who loves Wonder Woman, no matter what, will be greatly pleased, too. As will those Silver Surfers who might have watched the TV series and read Wonder Woman pre-1987.

On the other hand, however, it’s slightly confusing and doesn’t really satisfy fans of any particular continuity. Love the TV series? This isn’t it. Love the Golden Age? This isn’t it. Love Volume 2? This isn’t it.

Minor plot niggles just to round things off: admittedly, Diana doesn’t really understand the whole secret identity thing in pretty much any continuity, but she should have cottoned on that all was not what it seemed when she called ‘Julia’ her mother, but ‘Julia’ (supposedly in a world where Diana definitely isn’t Wonder Woman) says she’s ‘not Hippolyta’. Why would she think Diana Prince’s mother is Hippolyta? Then several pages later, Diana says “Ms Troy? No, I’m Diana Prince— I’m Wonder Woman!”

Oops. Good job it was all a dream.

Also, the 70s ‘headache’ reference is somewhat forced to say the least, the Lasso of Truth was the standard Get Out of Jail Free card for such stories, and Dr Psycho was a slightly obvious reveal. But I still loved it overall.

Rating: 4.5/5

Disclaimer: Owing to the small fortune it would take to buy every single DC comic each week, this is not a guaranteed rundown of all the comics that feature Wonder Woman. If you know of any I’ve missed, email me or leave a comment below and I’ll cover them the following week