Hola and welcome, my absolutely astounding Amazon associates, to the 80th anniversary of the Themysciran Titan known as – Wonder Woman! That’s right, William Moulton Marston and Harry G. Peter’s groundbreaking fictional female first appeared in print exactly eight decades ago to this day, in the October 1941 issue of Sensation Comics #08.
If you’ve been a follower of the Precinct for awhile now, you more than likely know our affinity and adoration for Diana, in fact near forty percent of the post output here has been about the wondrous one’s myriad adventures. We have regaled you, dear reader, with comic and graphic novel reviews, psychological breakdowns of Diana’s mantra and impact, not only in the world of comics but also in real life situations of feminism, emancipation and acceptance, not to mention in-depth looks at her many allies, and foes, biographies of her creators, and the sundry stunning writers and artists who have depicted her over the decades.
Wonder Woman is THE most important fictional female character ever committed to print, a shining beacon of hope and bastion of empowerment and equality, in the popular world of the superhero, she is the anomaly, relying on forgiveness, love and acceptance, rather than just the fist. That said, she is also a three millennium old Amazon warrior, who has been training, alongside her immortal sisters, in martial mastery since her illustrious and divine creation by a pantheon of Greek gods, so, if she needs to kick arse, let’s just say, very few can stand before her might.
So, in celebration of Wondy’s eighty year reign, we would love to share with you a selection of our favourite Precinct1313 Wonder Woman posts from throughout the past eight years of this blog’s existence, that regale our love and admiration of the scintillating scion of the sublime. Enjoy, and… Happy 80th Anniversary Diana, we love ya!
Wonder Woman: The True Amazon
Eisner Award winning writer/artist – Jill Thompson’s perfect parable of Diana’s earlier years is an alluring and sometimes provocative take on the Themysciran Titan, the storytelling contained within this terrific tome has a level of true emotional depth oft unfound in the medium, and you can re-visit our 2016 review – Right Here.
The legendary pairing of the Themysciran Princess and sullen eyed Cimmerian – Conan the Barbarian is equalled in this titanic tale by the mythical mixing of it’s superstar creators – Gail Simone and Aaron Lopresti. Simone’s slow but epic build up in the story allows us to richly immerse ourselves into Conan’s savage and tempestuous reality, of which you too can experience if you visit our glowing review from 2020 – Right Here!
Wonder Woman: Rebirth
Greg Rucka, Liam Sharp and Nicola Scott’s Rebirth series was a phenomenon both visually and in it’s stellar story-telling, and world building, and has ended up with the distinction of being one of my absolute favourite ever takes on Gaea’s glorious gal, and you can find out why when you re-visit our 2016 post – Right Here.
Why We Love Wonder Woman
A more recent post from July 2021, where we spend time reflecting on the core attributes about Zeus’ favoured daughter that initially attracted us to the classic character, and why we still hold her in such reverence. Why not wend your way over to this particularly poignant post – Right Here!
Wonder Woman: Tempest Tossed
Celebrated author – Laurie Halse Anderson and illustrator – Leila Del Luca provided a fresh and funky new take on Diana’s early upbringing on Paradise Island. A superb coming of age drama that’s not afraid to delve into the darker recesses of humankind, but is ultimately a tale of family, friends, love and emancipation. Indulge your senses in our review – Right Here.
Diana – Princess Of The Amazons
Diana: Princess of the Amazons tells the tale of the wondrous one many years before she became the icon known as Wonder Woman. An eleven year old girl growing up on the idyllic paradise island of Themyscira. This fabulous fable is an uplifting tale about dealing with the inevitable growing pains that everyone ultimately experiences on their emotional journey into adulthood. A young adult novel that can be enjoyed by all ages, and you can start your very own voyage into this wildly wonderful world – Right Here!
Happy 80th Anniversary Diana! Just 20 More Years To The Centenary!!
Hola, my absolutely astonishing amazonian associates, and with just two short weeks left until the 80th celestial celebration of the scintillating scion of the sublime known as Wonder Woman begins (October 21 – Wondy fact fans!) DC Comics have unleashed a 100 page super spectacular dedicated to the glorious reign of the Themysciran Titan. Does this titanic tome live up to it’s eight decade premise, and should you rush off to your local comic-book emporium to snafu a copy tout-suite? Well, the simple answer would be a resolute YES, but let’s dive a little deeper shall we…
Diana’s dazzling and dynamic debut was in the 1941 issue of Sensation Comics #8, and from that humble beginning we have since been regaled with eight excellent decades of her ongoing odyssey for emancipation, liberation and love. You see, Wondy’s rich heritage is tied to her unique ability to empathise and forgive, traits that aren’t necessarily intrinsic to the preponderance of costumed clad heroes, who tend to rely on the fist. Wonder Woman was cut from an altogether different cloth, preferring to extend a hand in friendship, rather than raise a fist in anger.
The Wonder Woman: 80th Anniversary Super Spectacular celebrates these astounding attributes with a 100 page awe-inspiring anthology featuring nine stunning stories that run the gamut of her hallowed Hellenic history, from the glorious Golden Age, through Silver and Bronze eras right up to her modern day adventures, there’s a thrilling and timely tale for whichever variant of Diana is your personal fave, residing within these resplendent pages of this awesome album!
Each of the nine stories presented in the anthology represent a different facet and perspective on Diana’s oeuvre, from the books opening chapter – In Memoriam – by Michael Conrad, Becky Cloonan and Jim Cheung, which explores the amazing amazon from lifelong compeer and beau – Steve Trevor’s perspective, as he regales her accomplishments to friend and confidante – Etta Candy.
Personal favourite of the terrific tales on offer would have to be – Better Angels – by Vita Ayala and Isaac Goodheart with a sensational story that features the felonious furry feline – Cheetah. This chapter feels like it’s been ripped straight from the late eighties/early nineties run of comics, certainly in character design and costumes, with what starts as a battle of wits and brawn between the two eternal nemeses ultimately concludes with a morally uplifting ending that beautifully conveys Wonder Woman’s ability to inspire anyone to do the right thing… even ravenously rabid rival – Cheetah.
There’s also a compelling compendium of comic cover collectables available to peruse and purchase, each one representing a different era of her radiant reign, showcasing her past, present and future to commemorate her enduring legacy. Being a huge fan of Diana’s original outfit (golden eagle top and blue and white star spangled skirt) I, of course went with the Gold and Silver age variants, but there is, most assuredly, a cover out there for every single fan of Gaea’s glorious gal.
The Wonder Woman: 80th Anniversary Super Spectacular absolutely lives up to Diana’s eighty year legacy, with a glorious gathering of scintillating scribes and astonishing artists, this commemorative comic is a must buy to all fans of the astounding Amazon. Plus, if you’ve never indulged in a Wonder Woman comic-book experience before (tell me that ain’t so…) then this is also a fantastic place to acquaint yourself with the single greatest fictional female in comicdom history… don your red boots, grab your golden lasso, jump into your invisible jet and speed your way down your local comic-book emporium and grab a piece of comic-book history, by the horns of the mighty Minotaur, you will not regret it!
“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…
Suffering Sappho! DC Comics titanic twelve tome testament to the Themysciran Titan will include brand new series launches, anthology specials, free comics and more…
That’s right, my astonishing Amazon affiliates, DC Comics, the bastion of superlative superheroes, will be honouring Diana’s long lasting legacy as the world’s foremost female freedom fighter with an absolutely astounding array of anthologies and albums commencing on October 21 with a 100 page super spectacular featuring thrilling tales of the Themysciran Titan’s timeless acts of hope and empowerment.This terrific tome is brought to you by acclaimed auteurs such as – Amy Reeder, Becky Cloonan, Jim Lee, Jose Luis Garcia-Lopez, Laura Braga and many, many more. The collectable comic will also feature a veritable virtuoso of variant covers that spotlight Wondy across her many different incredible incarnations throughout the Gold, Silver, and Bronze ages of comicdom.
Wonderful Women Of The World brings together a perfect plethora of talented artists and writers to celebrate the many international female role models across the globe. With Wondy standing for truth, justice and equality, she has been a superlative source of inspiration to real life pioneers in the world of activism, science, sport, and diplomacy and this new title will include visionaries such as – Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Greta Thunberg, Serena Williams and Malala Yousafzai amongst others. With a colossal cover by the fantastic Nicola Scott, and spearheaded by best selling author – Laurie Halse Anderson, this terrific title will be available to purchase on September 28.
Of all the titles so far announced, the one I’m personally most hyped for is the Phil Jimenez and Kelly Sue DeConnick collaboration – Wonder Woman Historia: The Amazons. Millennia ago, Queen Hera and the goddesses of the Olympian pantheon grew greatly dissatisfied with their male counterparts, and far from their sight, put a plan into action. A new society was born, one never before seen on Earth, capable of wondrous but also terrible things, yet their existence would not stay secret for long. When a woman in despair, named Hippolyta crosses the Amazons path, a series of events is set in motion that will ultimately lead to an outright war in Olympus, and the creation of Earth’s greatest guardian! Phil Jimenez is one of my absolute favourite WW artists/writers of all time, and his work on this first issue is looking sumptuous and spectacular! Wonder Woman Historia unleashes on October 19.
From October 5th you can follow in the fantastic footsteps of Nubia and the Amazons. Spiralling out of the thrilling Infinite Frontier storyline, this marvellous mini-series by Vita Ayala, Stephanie Williams and Alitha Martinez finds Nubia embracing the role of Queen of Themyscira, but with this prestigious position comes climactic challenges! With the unexpected arrival of new Amazons, Nubia is forced to confront her past and forge a new path forward for her beloved sisters. Though, little does she know, that a great evil grows beneath the idyllic island of Themyscira, and it’s now up to the former guardian of Doom’s Doorway to unite the tribe before their perfect paradise is lost, forever!