Feels like we’ve been waiting forever, but “Wonder Woman” is finally days away from hitting the big screen. With hat in mind, I figure this is a good time to tell you about some more underrated Wonder Woman adventures.
Before we get to the list, a quick reminder: just like my previous underrated comics posts, this Wonder Woman list features a few stories you probably missed when they first came out. But these comics are by no means necessary to enjoy “Wonder Woman” in theaters. And finally, my Wonder Woman list is not in any particular order.
They’re just good comic stories you might enjoy before or after seeing the movie. And away we go:
Just Imagine: Wonder Woman (2001)
The most surprising project of 2001 saw comics legend Stan Lee present his take on various DC icons. Most of the Stan Lee Just Imagine specials were largely forgettable, but his take on Wonder Woman was actually fun.
Stan Lee takes the Wonder Woman saga to the jungles of Peru, where beautiful idealist Maria Mendoza is powerless to save her father from a local tyrant. But when she discovers an ancient artifact (a golden staff), it connects her more fully to her heritage, she becomes a paragon of power the likes of which the world has never known.
This was a very different take on Wonder Woman, but I think that’s what I liked bes about it. It wasn’t trying to change history, it told its own story instead. Plus, not only is Just Imagine: Wonder Woman written by Stan Lee, but it also features art by Jim Lee!
Wonder Woman #329 (1986)
With a striking cover by Jose Luis Garcia-Lopez, and a script by Gerry Conway, and art by Don Heck; “Of Gods and Men,” sees Hades agree to help both the Anti-Monitor and Mars against the Olympian gods and the Amazons.
Meanwhile on Paradise Island, despite Wonder Womans encouragement, Hippolyta sees devastation and refuses to try to continue; But Kore appears to both Amazons and tells them Hades has fallen in with the Anti-Monitor, and both of them will find no respite in the underworld.
At that point, the dead Amazons are reanimated by Hades, turned into zombies, and sent against Hippolyte, Wonder Woman, and Kore, but Diana defeats them and Kore sends them back to Hades realm. On Earth, Lauren Haley dies as she falls in a crevasse; Wonder Woman returns to Washington, D.C. and reunites with Steve Trevor; They kiss, embrace, and declare their love for each other, leaving Etta alone with Howard; Howard admits he is in love with Etta, and she says that she has a feeling they will never see Wonder Woman or Steve again; Steve heads for Olympus with Wonder Woman in the Robot Plane; On Olympus, Wonder Woman, Steve, and Hippolyta’s Amazons face Mars and his zombie legions.
Wonder Woman #329 was the last issue of the original Wonder Woman series that started in 1942. This issue was also a Crisis on Infinite Earths tie-in issue, and brought an end to Wonder woman as comic fans knew her.
Wonder Woman Special #1 (1992)
When the Cheetah is captured in a hostile post-Soviet nation, Wonder Woman seeks the help of both god and man to rescue her. In this 1992 one-shot, Deathstroke and Wonder Woman try to get along and travel to Pan Balgravia in order to rescue the Cheetah in “Operation: Cheetah Part One.”
I remember picking up the Wonder Woman Special because the convenience store where I got my comics didn’t carry the Deathstroke series. So not only did I get a solid Wonder Woman tale, but I was also introduces to Slade wilson.
Wonder Woman Special #1 was written by William Messner-Loebs, with art by Jill Thompson & Jay Geldhof.
Wonder Woman #73 (1993)
Breaking news: Paradise Island is missing! And I guess that means the Amazons are missing too! But before Diana can begin to do anything about to find her home, she faces a greater challenge… Diana has to find a job!
The Wonder Woman era written by William Messner-Loebs had its ups and downs. But the strangest plotline he introduced was when Diana opens a fast food taco restaurant. Yeah, you read that right. If memory serves me, I think it was called Wonder Taco.
Wonder Woman #73 was written by William Messner-Loebs, with art by Lee Moder and Ande Parks. Cover art was by the amazing Brian Bolland.
Wonder Woman Annual #3 (1992)
The summer of 1992 was the summer of Eclipso The Darkness Within. The story spread into all the DC Annuals that year, with varying results. Some of the annual were great, while others fell flat. One of the highlights of the company wide crossover was Wonder Woman Annual #3 written by William Messner-Loebs, with art by John Dennis, David Johnson and Ande Parks, and a cover by Joe Quesada and Kevin Nowlan.
In this annual, Wonder Woman is nearly killed during an encounter with a terrorist because of the mistaken intervention of a retired super-hero. Unknown to Diana, it’s all part of Asquith Randolph’s plan to get her angry enough to become ‘eclipsed.’ If Asquith succeeds, then Eclipso will control one of the most powerful heroes in the world.
This was my first Wonder Woman annual, and I only bought it because I was collecting the Eclipso story. But this issue set such a high bar for me, that no other Wonder Woman annual has come close to matching it. I got a full story, with interesting supportign characters, and I got to see Wonder Woman kicking ass. Not bad for a 1990’s annual.