“Oh… hi there, it’s great to see you, I hope you didn’t have a particularly hard time finding your way down here, the majestic mansion of mystery known as Precinct1313 certainly is a notoriously convoluted place… infinite in fact. So kudos for locating this particular annex. Usually, of course, the Precinct’s resident Carrion Crow Of Woe – Eldritch would have guided you here, but, he’s been feeling rather nonplussed since his recent encounter with Supergirl’s cat Streaky, so he is on a rather lengthy corvidae sabbatical right now… “
Though, as long as you followed my implicit instructions, it wasn’t necessarily a huge task to navigate – turn left at the Movie Mausoleum, head directly forward until you reach the Comic Crypts and then turn right and head into the boundless Ancient Amazon Archives, whereupon you will find an additional wing that leads ceremoniously unto the art gallery of the atavistic Greek gods themselves. A small part of which contains an extensive exhibition of malice and enmity, of beings whose one purpose in life is to oppose that which is truth, hope and love… the aspirations that ultimately transform into a celestial persona known as Wonder Woman.
Now, it’s well known throughout comic-book circles that Gotham’s grim guardian – The Batman has the greatest and most eclectic gallery of foes, and without a doubt the most famous of all SuperVillains reside within their ranks, even non comic-book fans have heard of the likes of the Penguin, Riddler, Two Face, and of course the medium’s most memorable and malevolently maniacal nemesis – The Joker.
With that said, the Themysciran Titan also possesses a wild array of distinctive adversaries to challenge her ongoing mission of peace, though maybe lesser known outside of comicdom, they are still most certainly as iconic and maliciously menacing as Batsy’s archive of antagonists.
Silver Swans, Gods Of War, Cheetahs, Psycho Doctors and malevolent Witches, Wonder Woman’s eclectic cast of foes really are as wild and diverse as the Caped Crusader’s… in fact, when you really delve headlong into their malign and pernicious psyche they are a hell of a lot more distinct and disparate than almost any enemies the pointy eared vigilante has in his antagonistic ranks.
ARES – GOD OF WAR
Of course, with Ares having been the prime villain in the 2017 Wonder Woman film he has rocketed up the ranks of Diana’s nemeses, though, if you have been a fan of Ms Prince’s comic for many a year (or literally decades, a la moi) then he has always been one of her most enduring and dangerous foes.
In Greek mythology, Ares is the son of Zeus and Hera and one of the twelve Olympian Gods. Designated as the God of War, Ares revels in the savagery and bloodletting of eternal human combat from whence he derives his power. In the Wonder Woman mythos, Ares (in the post crisis DC Universe) was Diana’s greatest enemy, it was through the actions of this barbaric god that Diana left her home of Themyscira so she could resist Ares’ threat on human kind, as he poised to unleash World War III upon the planet. Ares mercilessly opposed the creation of the Amazon race, who were championed by his own half sister – Artemis, who chose to preach the peaceful idylls of the earth goddess Gaea to the fledgling Amazon race, much to the chagrin of Ares who vowed to corrupt and destroy the immortal sisterhood.
My personal favourite Wonder Woman villain of all time is most assuredly Diana’s principal nemesis – The Cheetah, but did you know that the current holder of that appellation, one Barbara Ann Minerva, is actually just one of many that have held that titular title over the years? no? well read on fellow fans of ferocious felines.
Making her first ever appearance in Wonder Woman #6 was the original variant of the capricious cat – Priscilla Rich, created by the awesome alumni of William Moulton Marston and Harry G. Peter way back in 1943. This golden age version of Cheetah was a spoilt rich girl with an inferiority complex and split personality, who when shown up by Wonder Woman at a charity event, attempted yet failed to take the life of Diana. Later, falling into the mire of her dissociative identity disorder, Priscilla donned a colourful costume and became the first Cheetah.
Cheetah 2.0 was actually Priscilla’s very own niece – Debbie Domaine, who was very much removed from her aunt personality wise, being an ecology activist and fast friend with Wonder Woman herself. After Priscilla passes away, Debbie was kidnapped by the cult of Kobra, her aunt’s former villainous identity is revealed and through torture and insidious indoctrination, Debbie became the new embodiment of Cheetah.
Currently chowing down on hapless humans and ruining Wondy’s day is Barbara Ann Minerva – former British archaeologist and heiress. Babs inherited her predatory powers from the ancient plant god – Urzkartaga, who, trapped for aeons in the Urzari jungle sought a champion to free him of his imprisonment and herald his way to ultimately raise an army and conquer the known world – this avaricious avatar ended up being Babs Minerva. First appearing in Wonder Woman (volume 2) #170, Babs continues to create chaos for the Themysciran Titan to this day, and recently was the main villain in the celluloid classic that is Wonder Woman 1984. (We also interviewed her a couple of years back – right here)
Witch-Goddess – Circe is next in our iniquitous inventory of villainy, first ushered unto the DC Universe in the 1949 issue of Wonder Woman #37, this original (pre-crisis) version of the character, created by Robert Kanigher and Harry G. Peter was a centuries old sorceress who acquired her immortality from a rare elixir named Vitae, and was eventually banished to an uninhabited island in space known as Sorca, for her crimes against the Amazon race.
Post the DC Comics shake up of their universe in the Crisis storyline, Circe’s previous history was re-written by the great George Perez, though the core of her characterisation remained similar. In this revision of her mythos, Circe is the daughter of the Greek Titans – Hyperion and Perseis and is an immortal sorceress and former princess of the isle of Colchis (legendary resting place of the Golden Fleece) An advocate of the goddess – Hecate for millennia, her powers are myriad including the ability to change and reform reality and matter, she can control minds and raise the dead to fight for her, on top of the more mundane and everyday powers (at least in the comic-book world) of flight and strength. We also interviewed the malefic Circe a few years back – Right Here, though our poor hapless interviewer would really rather forget his calamitous conference with the witchy wonder!
Like felonious feline – Cheetah, the capricious cygnet known as Silver Swan has been inhabited by three very different persona over the decades. A trio of women have inherited the majestic yet melancholic moniker of The Silver Swan, beginning with the tragic tale of Helen Alexandros. Helen was a talented ballet dancer, who oft found herself bereft of balletic opportunities because (or so she believed) of her average looks and physique. Striking a pact with Ares for angelic beauty, Helen was gifted the exquisite form she so desired on the proviso that she destoyed the Amazon champion, Wonder Woman. Mystically enhanced by Ares, she became the Silver Swan, and was granted the powers of flight, super strength and the capacity to unleash powerful sonic blasts using her voice.
Second in line to ruffle her feathers at Diana was Valerie Beaudry, a lonely and dejected personality with low self esteem and severe social anxiety problems. In fact her only connection to societal structure came in the form of a pen pal – Henry Armbruster, industrial head of Armbruster International. Upon meeting for the first time, Henry exploited Valerie’s longing for acceptance and friendship by choosing her for his secretive Silver Swan project. Through experimentation, Valerie emerged as the new face of the Silver Swan, retaining all the powers of the previous Alexandros avian variant. With the succour of wonder Woman, Valerie gradually broke free from the manipulative control of Armbruster, and in due course became an agent of justice, initially joining the meta-human team – The Captains of Industry, and a brief stint in The Suicide Squad.
The swan song of this group of volatile volitants and current holder of the sonic scream is Vanessa Kapatelis, a former adherent and eventual friend of Diana. Yet, Vanessa’s friendship with Wondy and her inherent insecurities were perniciously preyed upon by Witch-Goddess – Circe, who utilised Vanessa’s diffident personality and slowly turned her against the Amazon princess. With the assistance of the diabolical Doctor Psycho, Circe conditioned and transformed the insecure former friend of Diana into the latest form of the Silver Swan. Even after Wonder Woman defeated Circe and released Vanessa from her thrall, her unjustified torment continued as she was summarily kidnapped from recovery at a Buenos Aries hospital by deceitful pharmaceutical mogul – Veronica Cale. Cale modified Vanessa through cybernetic implants and sent her out, once more, to fight her former friend, Diana. With her eventual defeat again at the hands of Wonder Woman, Vanessa retreated to the paradise isle of Themyscira for rehabilitation and solace.
Phew! and that, my astounding Amazonian associates is just the literal tip of the proverbial iceberg when it comes to the astonishing Amazon’s array of aggressive antagonists, I mean I could go on (an on) but this post is already reaching near encyclopedic proportions! Yet, with Wonder Woman’s 80th anniversary on the near horizon (October 21, Wondy fact fans) you can be sure that there’ll be plenty more posts emanating from the Precinct’s Ancient Amazon Archives, celebrating not just our favourite Hellenic herald but also her nearest and not so dearest…
Day Of Wonder: Precinct1313 Celebrate The Themysciran Titan With The Return Of… Classic Wonder Woman!
Day Of Wonder – A Celebration of all things Wonder Woman is upon us my astounding Amazonian associates! Hera’s heraldic hero of hope has been astonishing us with fantastic feats and stunning storylines for well over 75 years, and in that time has immersed herself in all forms of entertainment media, through comic-books, television, animation, novelisations, video-games and, most recently, a bombastic big budget live action movie courtesy of Gal Gadot and Patty Jenkins.
We love Wondy here in Precinct1313, she is, without a shadow of doubt, our most beloved comic-book character of… all… time! (sorry Batsy!) but looking back through our recent posts we realise that we haven’t written a great deal about Zeus’ favoured daughter in a while, which constitutes a travesty… one that will be rectified forthwith with the return of our popular Classic Wonder Woman series, the last episode of which was posted 2 years ago to this day (and can be re-experienced right HERE)
So why not join us as we head back to the golden shores of Amazon paradise Themyscira to bask in the illuminating presence of Princess Diana and her immortal sisters, as we once more head down into the Ancient Amazon Archives to relive Wondy’s greatest triumphs and tribulations…
Classic Wonder Woman: The Odyssey Returns…
The golden sands of Themyscira beckon us back to their bounteous beauty as we search for meaning beyond our enlightening and impactful odyssey through it’s ancient Amazon archives.
Our colossal crusade reached its crescendo two years ago to this day, and since exiting the labyrinthian libraries we have ultimately found our lives empty and devoid of the inspiration that these bygone Amazonian tales regaled us with, since returning to mortal realms. So it is with new found purpose that we once more set our sights on the idyllic isle of the immortals and venture forth unto the archives to retrieve and collate the tenacious tomes that reside within its deepest recesses.
Chapter 1: The Return
The journey was arduous, our ship was a ramshackle and decrepit shadow of its former self, two years since its last voyage and nary a care given in that time to its upkeep and condition. We could almost be forgiven for our lack of maintenance for the intrepid vessel, when we departed Themyscira we never believed we would ever return to the fabled isle, and the ship that wrought our original voyage became a painful memory of a past we desired to never see end.
“The Odyssey” was the name we had borne our ship with, an apt moniker for our journey certainly bore out its titular title. Though badly dilapidated, the vessel forged its way through the vast oceans and deadly perils of our pilgrimage with an almost sentient purpose. Themyscira island had been hidden away by the old Gods for millenia to protect its imperishable inhabitants from the horrors and injustices of the outside world, and though we had once proudly walked its flaxen beaches and lush forests, finding our way back was to be a feat worthy of Hercules himself.
Standing at the bow, I braced myself against the cooling zephyr and tang of acrid sea salt, in the not too far distance a storm of such severity that it could only have been created by Poseidon himself in an effort to deter our perilous journey brewed, its course set for our bijou and insignificant vessel. The Odyssey hit the deadly squall head on, its sails buckled and warping from the extreme pressure of the sudden tempest, the decks ruptured beneath our feet flooding deadly ice cold death unto our intrepid ship… all seemed lost, and yet…
Warmth and bird song greeted us as we opened our eyes to the incredulous sight of what was the most beautifully beguiling and serene being we had ever encountered.
“Merciful Minerva! are you alright?” came the comforting voice from this resplendent soul “Be calm now, you are safe, your vessel is done, I am afraid, but I have managed to pluck you from a certain watery grave… welcome back mortals, to Themyscira!”
To Be Continued…
Happy Wonder Woman Day, My Astonishing Amazonian Associates!
Meanwhile, in the 1960’s… Donna Troy’s past is a hotbed of alternate paths, though she is often mistaken as the original holder of the title of Wonder Girl, it was actually Wonder Woman herself that was the source of that character, as put forward by Robert Kanigher during his early 60’s run on Wonder Woman. Wonder Girl during the iconic Kanigher series of issues was actually awesome adolescent Amazon, Princess Diana, brought forward in time to adventure alongside her grown up self, with help from Wonder Tot (yes… really!) and Queen Hippolyta.
The title of Wonder Girl has actually been held by four different characters over the course of Wonder Woman’s extensive run, though only three of them are officially canon as legitimate versions in DC Universe legend. Donna was actually the second holder of the title, making her first appearance in 1965, and was later succeeded by Cassandra Sandsmark in 1996. The other character to briefly hold the moniker was Drusilla, a small role that took place during issues #182 – #184 in the very late 60’s, this is the version of Wonder Girl that was actually featured in the 70’s Lynda Carter starring Wonder Woman television series, played Debra Winger.
But it is Donna who generally comes to mind whenever Wonder Girl is referred to, similar to how most fans see Babs Gordon as the definitive Batgirl, even though Betty Kane held the title many years before her. And if all that seems mildly confusing… then welcome to the rabbit hole that is Donna’s multiple origin stories, take a deep breath my amazing Amazonian associates for we are about to venture forth into said hole, to ultimately discover… Who Is Donna Troy?
Donna made her first appearance in The Brave and the Bold #60 in 1965, as a member of the sidekick superteam – Teen Titans, which primarily consisted of Robin, Aqualad, and Kid Flash.
It was Marv Wolfman who first proffered an origin tale for Donna in Teen Titans #22 in 1969. The story established that Donna was human orphan who was saved by Wonder Woman from a devastating fire. Diana, unable to find any parents or guardians for Donna, adopted her and took her to Themyscira, where she was trained by the Amazons and eventually given super powers through the mysterious Purple Ray, which successfully transferred powers from the island’s Amazon inhabitants, it was during this issue that she adopted the name of Donna Troy.
Classic 1985 mini-series Crisis on Infinite Earths redefined many DC characters in a company wide reboot, including Donna’s genesis. In this new variant of her history it was actually the mythical Titan Rhea that rescued Donna from the fire. Donna is raised on New Cronus by the Titans, alongside eleven other orphans receiving legendary powers, with each orphan named after a famous Greek city, with Troy being chosen for Donna. She also adopted the new pseudonym of Troia and a new Darkstar costume which contained the immeasurable power of the Titans themselves.
Post Crisis on Infinite Earths, Donna’s creation was changed once again. In this new concept, Donna was a magically created duplicate of Wonder Woman created by the sorceress Magala, as a playmate for WW. Being mistaken for Diana herself by the villainous Dark Angel, Donna is kidnapped, and cursed to consecutively live out virtually endless variations of past lives, with each defined by varying degrees of torment and misery. She was later saved from this endless cycle of suffering by Diana, Hippolyta and the third version of the Flash, Wally West. Realising that Donna was created from a sliver of Diana’s anima, Queen Hippolyta accepted her as a daughter, and during a coronation held on Themyscira, announced Troia as a second Princess to the Amazon nation.
DC Comics, seemingly not content with having only three (!?) variants of Donna’s complicated past decided that a fourth version was necessary, which resulted in the 2005 released mini-series The Return of Donna Troy, though this four issue run did attempt to clear up Donna’s multiple origin tales and give the fans a definitive version of their second favourite Amazon warrior.
Through this titanic tale, she realised she was an amalgamation of multiple Donna Troys from across DC’s multiverse, retaining knowledge and memories from each and every variant of herself.
And just when you think that DC had confused poor old Donna enough, along came their 2011 reboot The New 52. Once again DC fundamentally changed their slew of Superheroes’ background storylines, including that of Ms Troy.
Initially Donna is nowhere to be found during this rambunctious reboot, with the most recent version of Wonder Girl, Cassie Sandsmark taking centre stage at the forefront of the Amazon acolytes. It was much later, in the pages of Meredith and David Finch’s take on Wonder Woman, that Donna re-emerged into Amazon mythology with an origin rather similar to an earlier tale. Created in Wonder Woman’s image by her enemies, Donna’s job was to usurp the Amazon princess and wrest control, but is ultimately defeated by Diana, which sets her on a path of some serious soul searching.
“Suffering Sappho” are you confused,and perplexed enough thus far!? well nevertheless it isn’t over yet for luckless Donna and her multiple choice past. In 2016, DC’s Rebirth ushered in another soft reboot of their unique universe and with it another obligatory Donna variable! We can but hope that this time Donna can finally have some closure on her convoluted origin story, but I wouldn’t put money on it…
Like the proverbial Phoenix itself, ‘Classic Wonder Woman’ returns, regenerated and reinvigorated after its semi-conclusive epilogue last episode. We reached our objective denouement by both completing our original purpose; a chronicle of Wonder Woman comic-book covers, charting her heroic history from the 1940’s through to modern day, whilst counting down to her 75th anniversary. Plus we managed to surface from the Ancient Amazon Archives, from whence we recounted these great tales of Herculean proportion, in fact the trek through the archives formed an epic tale all its own (why not visit the archives yourselves, fellow fans, and relive that Olympian Odyssey.)
But from any ending a beginning can be wrought, reborn like the aforementioned Phoenix, arising from the ashes of it’s predecessor in Greek mythology, just like Diana has done so many times in her very own munificently multifaceted mythos.
And so we begin a new chapter in the ongoing chronicles of Wonder Woman, and what better place to start than with an original take on Diana’s childhood and subsequent upbringing on the secluded tranquil paradise island known as Themyscira, home of the legendary Amazons.
Jill Thompson is an Eisner award winning writer and illustrator who has worked in the industry for nigh on 30 years. She has collaborated on titles such as Sandman alongside the inimitable Neil Gaiman, and in the eighties worked with the great George Perez, drawing Wonder Woman. Perez is highly regarded for his classic run on Wonder Woman in the 80’s and 90’s, revitalising the character for a modern audience. Thompson’s spouse is comic book writer Brian Azzarello, who was responsible for the highly acclaimed Wonder Woman run in 2011 after Diana was relaunched in DC Comics’ New-52 reboot.
Almost three decades later Thompson has returned to the venerable paradise island to retell the tale of Wonder Woman from a fresh and even more mythical perspective with ‘Wonder Woman: The True Amazon’
Thompson begins her story before the birth of Diana, back when the Amazons fought a war against nine armies led by Heracles and his father Zeus, who had disguised himself in a bid to seduce the Amazon Queen, Hippolyta. Zeus’ wife Hera discovered her godly consort’s plan and, with the help of Poseidon, rescued the Amazons and delivered them to a secret island, where they thrived and prospered as immortals untouched by the outside world for millennia.
Hippolyta though longed for a child of her own, she would fashion a baby out of sand and clay and would nightly sing to it a sad and sorrow filled song, that eventually reached the ears of Olympus, the Gods upon hearing the melancholic strain cried tears of gold and silver that fell onto Themyscira, breathing life into the childlike sculpture.
And thus Diana was born, reckless and at times arrogant due to her being not only the sole child on the isle of the Amazons, but also one gifted with superhuman powers by the Gods of Olympus. It’s this supercilious and condescending attitude that takes centre stage in Thompson’s retelling of Diana’s childhood, spoilt from birth and treated as if she can do no wrong, Diana begins to believe that she actually is better than all else around her, a literal gift from the gods. That is until she meets Aletha, a stable girl who isn’t overawed by Diana like all the others, her friendship cannot be attained through the usual methods of boasting, and on occasion bullying which causes Diana, initially, to change her imperious attitude, in a bid to procure this seemingly unattainable Amazon’s affections, yet an even greater upset lies in her not too distant future.
‘Wonder Woman: The True Amazon’ is an astonishing piece of work from Jill Thompson, an alluring yet at times provocative take on the world’s first female Superhero. The story has a level of true emotional depth oft unfound in certain Superhero comics. The retelling may be seen as divisive by some, but Thompson adds a level of humanity to Diana that elegantly supersedes her demi-god status, which ultimately allows the story a much more poignant and emotive accessibility. Of course we would be remiss if we didn’t mention Thompson’s astounding artwork that adorns the pages of her groundbreaking graphic novel. Breathtaking is a word that fits her visual style perfectly, each and every panel is a fully hand painted watercolour by Thompson, the book really stands out when compared to it’s modern counterparts. The True Amazon is truly a work of art, and cannot come more highly recommended.
Join us again next time for more ‘Classic Wonder Woman’ my affable Amazonian associates!
After our Herculean trek through the Ancient Amazon Archives reached it’s climactic crescendo in our previous instalment, we find ourselves, once more, basking in the alluring beauty of the legendary paradise island known as Themyscira. A warm breeze again caresses our skin as we cross the tranquil tapestry of forests, mountains and rivers that ultimately unfolds before us to form this awe inspiring isle of immortals.
Bird song greets our ears and a serene calm seems to hang over this ethereal island. As we move further inland, ancient baluster rise from the ground arranging a beautacious path that weaves it’s way towards an ancient city that defies mortal eyes with it’s diaphanous presence of elegance, gleaming incandescently in the golden hue of the sun. The Baluster give way to pennants softly swaying in the breeze, with each of these intricate vexillum vying for our attention with their Daedalian imagery of the Hellenic Gods and Amazons.
Our heartbeat quickens and anticipation heightens as we finally reach the majestically wrought marble gates that lead, ultimately, into the elysian rapture that is the city-state of Themyscira. Hanging conspicuously from a single strand of an unknown golden gossamer to the side of the grand gates is an elaborately detailed horn depicting Zeus’ nurturing goat Amalthea, softly blowing into the Cornu causes the Mycenaean styled gate to slowly reveal the magnificence of it’s interior, a vision so resplendent that it can only be relayed to mortal eyes through… ‘Classic Wonder Woman’ Precinct1313’s comic cover countdown to the 75th anniversary of the Themysciran Titan.
And lo our odyssey reaches its conclusion as we find ourselves at the denouement of this quest to celebrate the creation and continuation of the world’s premier and most important fictional female character. The journey through the Ancient Amazon Archives has been filled with many tantalising tales of heroism, and heartbreak, a grand adventure that ultimately ends here with the 75th anniversary of Princess Diana of Themyscira, better known to the world as Wonder Woman.
DC Comics, that fine purveyor of the fantastic, have pronounced that today is their official celebration of Diana’s virtual birth, it coincides with the United Nations event naming the wondrous one as their ‘Honorary Ambassador For The Empowerment Of Women And Girls’ and you can count on Precinct1313 to commemorate this monumental occasion with a week long salute to our favourite fictional female.
Our Olympian Odyssey through the ancient Amazon archives continues expeditiously as we leave behind the Herculean Amphitheatre of knowledge we surreptitiously unearthed in our previous instalment, and guide ourselves through a small vestibule daedally draped in silken banners that portray the subjugation and eventual emancipation of the deific Amazons from their ancient adversary Hercules.
Upon closer inspection of the various Vexillum we notice one of them softly swaying back and forth, possessed of a zephyr of air from an unknown source. Pushing aside the intricate pennant we discover a set of majestic marble steps that lead upwards, twisting and turning erratically, triumphantly obscuring our vision of their eventual end.
After what feels like an eternity of elevation our perpetual pace comes to cessation as we find our progress halted by a lavishly engraved bronze Mycenaean style Lion Gate. Incisively running our fingers across a prominent carving of a Lioness, we discover a hasp ingeniously masquerading as one of it’s intricate incisors. Pulling the hasp towards us causes the Lion Gate to slowly open… instantly we move our hands to shield our eyes as blinding sunlight pores in through the now unlatched gateway, after months spent scouring the archives under scant torchlight, the suddenness of the solar rays scorch our eyes.
With the colossal Amazon archives now behind us, does this mark the end of our epic odyssey? or is it symbolic of a new beginning for Wonder Woman? these questions and more can only be answered through… ‘Classic Wonder Woman’ Precinct1313’s comic cover countdown to the 75th anniversary of Diana of Themyscira.
A new day does indeed dawn on the paradise island known as Themyscira, as our Hellenic Herald embraces a new origin story, and siblings of Godlike stature. In September 2011, DC Comics relaunched it’s entire line of comic books, with the elaborate event being named ‘The New 52’ fifty two titles each following a classic DC character. Diana was no longer birthed from clay, moulded by her mother Queen Hippolyta, and given life by a pantheon of Greek Gods, but instead is the demi-goddess daughter of Zeus himself. Her original origin is revealed to be nothing more than an elaborate cover story to protect her from the preconceived wrath of Zeus‘ wife Hera.
DC brought on board sensational scribe Brian Azzarello to pen her ongoing tales of fantastic fiction, and astounding artist Cliff Chiang to bring her virtual soul to life. Together they succeeded in producing one of the most celebrated runs in Wonder Woman‘s long and varied history.
Join us again next time for more ‘Classic Wonder Woman’ my accomplished Amazonian associates!
Our ongoing odyssey through the ancient Amazon archives has begat many magnificent and momentous tales of bravery, heroism and valour as we have pedantically pursued the scintillating sisterhood of antediluvian Amazon warriors, and their champion, Diana of Themyscira.
As we continue to negotiate the vast annals of knowledge, our perpetual path brings us ever closer to the ultimate truth behind the legends of Gods, and monsters, sacrifice and salvation and the hellenic herald who would lead her sisters into the light of a new world and, in the fullness of time, become the emancipator of humanity itself.
As we continue apace the corridors of collation, we glimpse, in our peripheral vision, an evanescent trail of golden light that guides us to a small crevice located in the ancestral archive walls. Reaching cautiously into the cleft our hand alights upon a small but infinitely intricate lever, pulling this down causes the walls to slowly unveil their secrets, folding in of themselves to reveal a hitherto unseen amphitheatre of Herculean magnitude, with every inch of this precious structure overflowing with vast volumes of lore pertaining to the revered history of Hera’s adopted daughters.
Once more, as if Zeus himself guides our path, we happen upon a volume so elaborate that it is hard to believe that even the Olympic Gods themselves could ever forge such a magnificent tome, a book so mysterious and rich in power that it could only ever be translated through… ‘Classic Wonder Woman’ Precinct1313’s comic cover countdown to the 75th anniversary of Diana Prince.
Welcome my fellow comic book loving compatriots to another astonishing advent in Amazon lore, an intense, illuminating issue that is brought to you by those luminary lights of cosmic creation – J.Michael Straczynski, Phil Hester, Eduardo Pansica, and Alex Sinclair. Wonder Woman #608 was unleashed in April 2011.
Wonder Woman #608 continues the ‘Odyssey’ storyline that began in the anniversary special Wonder Woman #600, which rebooted our heroic herald with a new backstory and costume. Though the lengthy fourteen part epic tale by master scribe J.Michael Straczynski was a well structured and finely wrought piece of narrative, the fundamental changes made to Diana during this saga, never sat well with fans, and was ultimately rebooted soon after, when DC Comics began the ‘New 52′ complete overhaul of it’s entire multiverse.
Join us again next time for more ‘Classic Wonder Woman’ my adroit Amazonian associates!
Our effervescent expedition through the ancient Amazon archives continues apace as we descend yet another level into what is a seemingly infinite array of chambers and corridors, with each and every recess literally crammed with untold millennia of encyclopedic knowledge pertaining to the deific Amazon race.
This new tier though appears more majestic than the three previous floors we negotiated, the palatial surroundings are bathed under an ethereal light that transcends even the anterior archives in elegance. Diaphanous silks drape across the walls, and each turn of the interminable passageways present us with an exquisite effigy of one of the founding Gods of Olympus, layered in gold and precious stones that denotes their importance to the noble race of warriors and artisans.
The hellenic architecture of the passages give way to an extraordinarily large Propylae gate that forms the entrance to an elegant repository that house the largest collection of tomes and parchments we have yet seen in our ongoing odyssey. One wall though contains a single volume, bound in leather and embossed in gold leaf this intricate book shimmers under the luminescent glow of the nearby torches. Carefully opening the tome, our eyes alight upon the magnificence of the interior narrative, an elaborate exposition that can only be translated through… ‘Classic Wonder Woman’ Precinct1313’s comic cover countdown to the 75th anniversary of Diana Prince.
A scintillating six hundred issues into the astonishing adventures of the amazing Amazon, and DC merge the previous three volumes and return Diana’s foray into man’s world to its original numbering. This oversized anniversary special brings together a legion of tantalising talent to create a commemorative comic of epic proportion.
The cadre of comic-book composers gathered together for this illustrious issue include – George Perez, Amanda Conner, Gail Simone, Phil Jimenez, Jock, Adam Hughes, J. Michael Strazczynski, Nicola Scott and many, many more. Plus, an incomparable introduction by stunning seventies superstar of the original Wonder Woman TV series, the lovely Lynda Carter!
The anniversary issue comprises five different tales of the Themysciran Titan, with the highlight for this fevered fan being the short tale written and drawn by the amazing Amanda Conner. We find Wonder Woman teaming up with Power Girl and one time Batgirl Cassandra Cain to battle the inexplicable Egg-Fu! It also touches upon a power we rarely see used by Diana, her innate ability to empathise and to some extent converse with animals, as she gives Power Girl a look into why her pet cat is out of sorts in a heartfelt and amusing tale.
Join us again next time for more ‘Classic Wonder Woman’ my adventurous Amazonian associates!
Pushing ever deeper into the cavernous chambers of the ancient Amazon archives we happen across an expertly crafted statue of Queen Hippolyta, the intricate design is so meticulous that it could only have been created by the Gods of Olympus themselves.
Tracing our fingers across the elaborate effigy we notice that the grandiose Sarissa spear that the likeness of the Amazonian Queen clutches in its left hand has a small catch hidden just below the tip. Lifting the catch cautiously causes the graven image of Hippolyta to suddenly drop the Aspis shield it was wielding. Upon retrieving the heavy bronze Aspis from the dusty chamber floors we notice, secreted behind the leather interior of the shield, a slim tome that can only be translated through… ‘Classic Wonder Woman’ Precinct1313’s comic cover countdown to the 75th anniversary of the Titan of Themyscira.
Once more unto the breach my Amazonian affiliates as we celebrate yet another illustrious issue from those ceaseless composers of fantastic fiction – Gail Simone, Aaron Lopresti & Matt Ryan. Wonder Woman (volume 3) #41 was released in April 2010.
This compelling comic showcases a literal Clash of the Titans, as two of DC’s heavy hitters collide head on. Kryptonian – Power Girl is the Earth 2 variant of Supergirl and possesses the same powers and skills as her parallel dimensional cousin, super strength and speed, near invulnerability, flight and more, making her a very ferocious foe to her rogues gallery of enemies. Unfortunately for the amazing Amazon, today, all of Power Girl‘s focus is directly on taking down Diana, in a battle royale of epic proportion.
Possessed by the offspring of Ares, Power Girl believes Diana to be a fake and instantly sets about exposing the truth by attempting to pummel the Themysciran Princess with all her immeasurable might. Though the two powerhouses are equals in both strength and fortitude, Power Girl is not an Amazon and with millennia of training and combat expertise, Diana is more than a match for the raging Kryptonian.
Another fantastic issue from Simone and Lopresti that pits two of DC Comics’ most loved heroines. Standout moments of this two part tale entitled ‘A Murder Of Crows’ are Wonder Woman extolling that she is “a little peeved” (after getting swatted by a down town bus that Power Girl is hefting like a baseball bat) and Power Girl punching Diana so hard she ends up across the border in Canada!
Join us again next time for more Classic Wonder Woman, my adroit Amazonian associates!
Our torches flicker white hot incandescence across the walls of the ancient Amazon archives as we continue our research into the millenia long annals of the Olympus created Amazon race. We have descended vast depths since beginning this investigation, floor after floor of extensive libraries detailing every facet of the venerable Amazons and their feats of great valour, which are then regaled to you through – ‘Classic Wonder Woman’ Precinct1313’s comic cover countdown to the 75th anniversary of Zeus’ favoured daughter.
This weeks tantalising tome is brought to you by those veracious virtuosi of comic book excellence – Gail Simone, Aaron Lopresti & Matt Ryan. Released in September 2009.
After her titanic struggle against the unremitting foe Genocide and a sorrowful departure from her home of Themyscira, Diana returns to her apartment in Washington DC. It is here she learns that Genocide is still alive, though broken and is being harboured by Dr Psycho in Japan, Psycho is using an underground Meta-Human fight arena as cover whilst he sets about returning Genocide (who is actually the corpse of Wonder Woman, stolen by Ares in the future and corrupted to become Genocide) to full power.
Diana consults fellow Justice League member Dinah Lance (better known as Black Canary) about her dealings with illegal operations such as Psycho’s fight den, who gleefully agrees to join Diana on her mission to infiltrate the Meta-Human arena as competitors. Cue another fantastically written tale by the talented Gail Simone, the quirky tale follows our two celebrated heroines on a journey through zany Japanese culture and even comparisons of Super female bust sizes(!?)… Of which the plentiful Power Girl comes out on top… of course!
I love this run of Wonder Woman by Gail Simone, in my opinion it rivals all the greats that came before and after it including George Perez and the more recent saga by Brian Azzarello. Simone just ‘gets’ the character like no other, it helps also that her talent runs the gamut of both deep dramatism and incredibly funny comedy. Rounding this series off perfectly are Aaron Lopresti’s fantastic visuals, his characters exhibit real emotion and his articulation of facial expressions in his art is worthy of the great Keith Giffen himself, and that is high praise indeed.
Join us again next time for more Classic Wonder Woman, my astonishing Amazonian associates!
Pushing ever deeper into the ancient Amazon archives we discover a seemingly forgotten pathway, heavily shrouded in near impenetrable darkness and coated in a fine layer of dust and cobwebs. Beyond this hidden path lies a small ornate room illuminated from some unknown and otherworldly source, and at its centre lies a magnificent manuscript that can only be translated through – “Classic Wonder Woman” Precinct1313’s comic cover countdown to the 75th anniversary of Princess Diana of Themyscira.
This week’s tantalising tome is brought to you by those boundless bastions of comic book creation – Gail Simone, Aaron Lopresti & Matt Ryan. Released in July 2008.
The startling story secreted behind the colossal cover is the first part of a four issue mini-series entitled “Ends Of The Earth” and marks the beginning of Gail Simone’s legendary run on the awesome Amazon’s adventures.
Diana must brave the mystical demonic dimension known as the Black Horizon, this desolate plane has devoured many a great warrior who has encountered its perilous landscape. Bereft of many of her powers and fighting a growing bloodlust in her veins, Diana must journey through this dangerous dimension to reclaim her soul from a demon lord who lives at the edge of all existence.
Join us again next time for more Classic Wonder Woman, my astute Amazonian associates!
The ornate chambers of the Amazon archives are vast, stretching as far as any mortal’s eyes can see. We make our way deeper into the legendary library, stopping occasionally to survey the various parchments and tomes, the millenia long annals of Amazon deeds and feats are contained in this sacred place, and conveyed to you through ‘Classic Wonder Woman’ Precinct1313’s comic cover coundown to the 75th anniversary of the Themysciran legend.
This week’s tenacious tome is brought to you by the mythical maestros of comic book creation – J. Torres, Julian Lopez, & Marta Martinez. With the classic cover rapturously rendered by – Terry & Rachel Dodson. Released: December 2007.
Thirteen issues into Volume 3 of Diana’s daring adventures brings you a startling story entitled “Mothers and Daughters”, a crossover issue in conjunction with the mini-series “Amazons Attack”. After the cataclysmic events of Infinite Crisis, the Amazons return to Earth to find their Princess, Diana, illegally held in detention by the United States Government.
Led by their Queen, Hippolyta and her adviser Circe, and joined by Greek mythical creatures that includes, Pegasus, Hydras and Cyclops, the Amazons attack the USA, with Hippolyta hellbent on destroying the world of men. Unknown to Hippolyta and her sister Amazons though is that the whole event was orchestrated by Circe, who is using the war as a means to destroy the Amazons and their fabled home of Themyscira.
Join us again next time for more Classic Wonder Woman, my astonishing Amazonian associates!
A warm breeze caresses our face as we cross a small river that quietly flows its way through the centre of the paradise island known as Themyscira. Just up ahead lies the intricately carved gateway that leads down to the ancient Amazon archives, where great tales of heroism and legends may be found, and retold in “Classic Wonder Woman” Precinct1313’s comic cover countdown to the 75th anniversary of Diana Prince.
This weeks cool cover celebrates the beginning of a new chapter for the Amazon Herald, as we join Donna Troy as the new holder of the title of Wonder Woman, in the very first issue of volume-3 of the awesome Amazon’s continuing adventures. This terrific tome is brought to you by – Writer: Allan Heinberg. Artists: Terry Dodson, Rachel Dodson, and Alex Sinclair, with the colossal cover by Terry Dodson. Released: August 2006.
The tantalising tale secreted behind the captivating cover is titled “Who Is Wonder Woman” and picks up one year after the catastrophic events of Infinite Crisis. Diana has stepped away from the role of Wonder Woman, passing the mantle unto Donna Troy. Donna was once known as Wonder Girl and is Diana’s exact duplicate, brought to life by the Sorceress Magala originally as a playmate for the Themysciran Princess. Donna made her first appearance in The Brave and the Bold #60″ in 1965. Created by Bob Haney and Bruno Premiani. She is most fondly remembered as a founding member of The Teen Titans, though she has also allied herself with, The Justice League, Darkstars and the White Lantern Corps.
Join us again next time for another classic WW cover, my affable Amazonian associates!
Join us as we wend our way across the beautiful paradise island of Themyscira, before descending into the depths of the ancient Amazon archives in search of yet more ‘Classic Wonder Woman’ Precinct1313’s comic cover countdown to the 75th anniversary of the legendary Amazonian Princess.
This week’s terrific tome is brought to you by, Greg Rucka, Ray Snyder, Cliff Richards and Todd Klein, with another captivating cover by the talented JG. Jones. Released December, 2005. The tantalising tale secreted behind the classic cover is titled ‘Blood Debt’ and once again finds our hellenistic heroine tangling with her nemesis, Cheetah.
We’ve written about the felonious feline Cheetah on several occasions, being that she is one of our all time favourite supervillains. Wonder Woman’s constantly recurring arch-nemesis has been around since 1943 and was developed by Wondy’s creator William Moulton Marston. There have been several versions of the character over the decades, beginning with the original – Priscilla Rich, followed by Deborah Domaine and finally post-crisis variant (and our favourite) Barbara Minerva, who is easily the most deadly and ferocious of the pack.
In ‘Blood Debt‘ Diana and Cheetah face off once more. Diana is on trial at the Hague for the murder of the villainous Maxwell Lord (details on that right here, fact fans) after the incident was broadcast across the planet by the (Batman created) Brother Eye satellite system. Diana pleads not guilty to the charges and is given parole, but whilst residing in the Hague and awaiting trial, she is once again attacked by Cheetah, only this time, the malicious moggie manages to defeat a world weary Wonder Woman.
Join us again next time for another classic WW cover, my astounding Amazonian associates!
Return with us once more to the tranquil island of Themyscira, where we continue our exploration of the ancient Amazon archives in search of yet more “Classic Wonder Woman,” Precinct1313’s comic-cover countdown to the 75th anniversary of the Amazon Princess. This weeks terrific tome is brought to you by – Christopher Priest, Mike Collins, and John Stokes, with the captivating cover by legendary artist Mike Deodato Jr. Released November 1, 1998.
Wonder Woman #1,000,000 was a core part of a 1988 crossover storyline that ran through an initial 4 issue mini-series and encompassed most of the DC Universe’s monthly comics. It presented the reader with a vision of the 853rd century, wherein the current super-team Justice League Alpha co-operate with their original 20th century counterparts in an attempt to stop the nefarious plans of immortal Super-Villain Vandal Savage.
Wonder Woman of the 853rd century shares many traits with her 20th century equivalent, strength, skill and the ability to fly. She also has similar accoutrements of war including the quintessential golden lasso of truth. Her bullet deflecting vambraces though are unique to this future version – the bracers Harmony and Charity are A.I. aware and capable of creating indestructible force shields, weaponry and confer tactical and strategic advice upon command. This future Amazing Amazon does differ in one rather unusual way though – she was cast of marble, and granted existence by the Goddess of truth who appointed her the protector of Venus, which has since become the new domain for the Amazons.
Join us again next week for another classic WW cover, my accomplished Amazonian associates.