With “Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice” two days away, I’ve been telling you about some comic book stories I fell are underrated. Two weeks ago I told you about five underrated Batman stories, and last week I wrote about Superman’s underrated tales.
Today, it’s Wonder Woman’s turn. But first, a quick reminder: just like the Batman and Superman posts, the Wonder Woman list features a few stories you probably missed when they first came out. And just like the previous lists, these comic stories are by no means necessary to enjoy “Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice” in theaters.
They’re just good comic stories you might enjoy before or after seeing the movie. And away we go:
Legend of Wonder Woman #1-4 (1986)
Not to be confused with the 2015 series of the same name, this 1986 four issue mini-series by Kurt Busiek and Trina Robbins, came in the aftermath of “Crisis on Infinite Earths.”
Today, Busiek is a well-known comic writer, but back then, Busiek was still a relatively new name in comicdom. Trina Robbins on the other hand, was an illustrator/writer who had worked extensively on underground comics during the late 60s/early 70s and was the co-founder of Wimmen’s Comix in 1972.
Robbins was a huge fan of the Golden Age Wonder Woman and wasn’t really fond of the contemporary Wonder Woman stories. Eventually a deal was struck, and the result was a mini-series that was intended to be a fond look back at Wonder Woman before they jumped headlong into the modern 1980s.
This is a great mini-series, and should pretty easy to track down online. What a shame the Kurt Busiek and Trina Robbins Wonder Woman era only lasted four issues though.
Wonder Woman #195 (2003)
The team of writer Greg Rucka and artist Drew Johnson began their run with this issue, one of my all time favorite Wonder Woman comics.
In “The Mission,” as Wonder Woman fights to capture the brutal dictator of an African nation, a new hire at the Themysciran Embassy discovers just how enormous Diana’s mission truly is. This issue gives us a glimpse on how Wonder Woman affects those around her. It’s amazing stuff, considering the hero is barely in the issue.
But a great Rucka story, beautiful interiors by Drew Johnson, and a killer Adam Hughes cover, I ain’t complaining.
Wonder Woman #66-72 (1992)
“Exodus into Space”
The 6-part “Exodus into Space” arc was written by William Messner-Loebs, with art by Paris Cullins. The story begins when a female cosmonaut is stranded in orbit when her ship’s computer breaks down. Soon, Wonder Woman becomes involved in a rescue attempt due to the efforts of the enigmatic Asquith Randolph, who intends to blow her into deep space.
Up to this point I had never bought a monthly Wonder Woman comic. That all changed in the Summer of 1992 during a vacation to Prince Edward Island. On the 12 hour drive from Boston, we had to stop a few times and I was always on the lookout for a comic rack.
Just after crossing into Canada we stopped at tiny strip-mall, and one store had the first two parts of “Exodus into Space.” Over the next few weeks I kept checking store after store for the rest of the story, because dammit, I was hooked and needed to know how Wondy got out of this mess.
Wonder Woman #170 (2001)
“She’s a Wonder!”
Phil Jimenez and Joe Kelly co-write a “She’s a Wonder!,” with Jimenez also providing the art. This issue is the tale of the amazing Amazon as documented by intrepid reporter Lois Lane.
In Wonder Woman #170 Lane joins Diana on a trip to the United Nations, to the White House for official business with President Luthor, on a visit with Steve Trevor and Etta Candy, as a guest on a talk show, and more.
Before the day is over however, Lois finally confronts Diana on her relationship with Superman. But it’s not the Man of Steel who seems to have captured Diana’s heart.
What could easily have been nothing more than a catfight, was brilliantly executed by Phil Jimenez and Joe Kelly. This issue was highly underrated.
Superman & Wonder Woman Whom Gods Destroy #1-4 (1996)
Sigh, I miss Elseworlds. Those stories were always fun for me. Anyways, in Whom Gods Destroy, Superman rocketed to Earth in 1938. By 1996, Clark Kent has hardly aged a day, while his beloved Lois Lane has watched herself grow older with each passing year, with the gulf between immortal man and mortal woman ever widening. But when Lois gets the chance to obtain her heart’s desire, she finds herself transformed by the power of ancient gods into the Man of Steel’s perfect mate–a Wonder Woman whose life and love will endure as long as Superman’s.
This four issue mini came courtesy of writer Chris Claremont and artists Dusty Abell and Drew Geraci. It was suprisingly good twenty years ago, and it still holds up. This may be an Elseworlds story, but it may also prove to be the ultimate Superman love story.