Written by Marc Andreyko
Drawn by Drew Johnson
Published by DC Comics
This is an intriguing new series. It’s telling brand new Wonder Woman stories but is based on the classic 1970’s Wonder Woman TV series, which starred Lynda Carter. This is the version of Wonder Woman that remains most ingrained in the public consciousness, especially among those who’ve never read comic-books (ie. the majority of the population), and I’ve always said myself that if I were given the chance to write a Wonder Woman comic, or direct a movie, this is the foundation I would use. Set in 1977, which I think would be the 2nd or 3rd season of the TV series, it maintains that status quo. Wonder Woman works for a U.S. Government agency, the I.A.D.C. as special agent Diana Prince, with Steve Trevor as Director of the agency.
This opening chapter is called DISCO INFERNO part 1 of 3: The Velvet Ropes. A brilliant Russian scientist named Dr. Sergei Topovia has defected to America, and it seems that the Russian government is plotting to have him kidnapped and brought back to their country. The story opens with Wonder Woman thwarted the latest attempted kidnapping by a gang of fierce female Russian women on roller skates, armed with hammers and sickles.
Yes, you read that right. Wonder Woman vs. Russian women on roller skates.
It sounds silly, and while it’s clearly an attempt to capture some of the “campy-ness” of the TV series, to Marc Andreyko’s credit, he has it totally played straight. There are no winks to the audience or meta-commentary in the dialog, this is taken seriously, which is what makes it work and it’s good to Wonder Woman in heroic action. After defeating the Russians and saving the Dr., Wonder Woman return to I.A.D.C. HQ and we get to see the classic “spin” as she transforms back into Diana Prince.
After conferring with Steve Trevor about the case, it is mentioned that, for some reason, Dr. Topovia is refusing direct government protection, even after this kidnapping attempt. So Steve says that they have to monitor him covertly. Learning the doctor is on his way to “Studio 52”, the hottest disco club in NY, Steve and Diana plan to go to he club to keep an eye on him for the night, which means the two of the dressing up in disco gear. The story ends on a cliffhanger, which I won’t spoil her, but we get an appearance of a classic Wonder Woman villain…
A very good first story, jumps right into the action and there’s just enough background info given to catch the audience up to speed, so that I think you could follow along easily even if you hadn’t seen the TV series. Andreyko seems to have a handle on this character and continuity, which makes the story flow so well. And, like I said, he embraces all the 70’s aspects of the time period without being over-the-top.
However I do have to deduct a few points for the art. Drew Johnson does a decent job for the most part, except I noticed that his character’s faces all seemed rather expression-less. No matter what happens, no one seems to be showing much emotions. Wonder Woman has a perpetual blank-look on her face, while Steve has a smile or grin most of the time. I don’t if it’s because of the pressure in making Wonder Woman/Diana look like Lynda Carter and Steve Trevor look like Lyle Waggoner, which he does very well, but I see it with the background characters too. I wish Nicola Scott, who drew the cover with inks by Annette Kwok, was drawing the interiors as well.
Still, I wholeheartedly recommend this issue to any Wonder Woman fan. Currently it’s available digitally. I believe the plan is that this series gets released digitally in separate chapters first, for .99 cents each, and when each story is completed it then will get released as a full print comic-book. But why wait? Grab it now!