The internets are still abuzz with the news that Wonder Woman and Superman are going to hook up in Justice League #12 in an annoying bit of stunt storytelling. But did you know that they almost hooked up in World’s Finest #204 in August 1971? This was during the mod era, when Wonder Woman gave up her superpowers to become the human Diana Prince, and the issue is pretty bonkers.
It’s got a sweet cover by Neal Adams (how can that not grab you?) and was written by Wonder Woman’s writer at the time, Denny O’Neil, with art by Dick Dillin and Joe Giella. It appears to be a response to the Kent State shootings that had happened a year before when the National Guard opened fire on unarmed students who were protesting the invasion of Cambodia, killing four and wounding several others. This sort of real world tie-in was pretty common at the time, especially in Denny O’Neil books… he had Speedy addicted to heroin over in Green Lantern/Green Arrow too, and thus got into issues surrounding drug use.
Apparently the gravitas of a campus massacre wasn’t enough, though, so they added a computer from the future to tell Superman that someone killed at this shooting would be the person who could have saved the planet from turning into a barren wasteland 200 years later. It seems like a bit of an odd addition to a very somber, real world subject, but so it goes.
And then it gets SO heavy. The future computer tells them to stop the shooting so they go and try to do so, but a car explodes and someone dies, and they’re not sure if it’s the person they were supposed to save because the future computer wasn’t very specific. This is literally how the issue ends:
See you next month, kids, when Superman teams up with your pals the Teen Titans, even though the planet could be DOOMED. Oh, 1970s attempts at relevance… you were so hilarious. How many kids had nightmares from this comic, do you think? Good lord.
ANYWAY, back to the hooking up. Sorry for the tangent but this issue was pretty epic. In the middle of the story, Superman saves Diana from some goons and she’s all grateful and they embrace, and the sexual tension is just palpable. Here’s how it plays out:
Superman says they probably shouldn’t, Wonder Woman agrees, and so they don’t kiss. The end. They don’t mention it again for the rest of the issue, they just get back to trying to save the world. They both realize that hooking up is such a completely stupid idea that they pretty much forget about it.
The best part is that they don’t say WHY they shouldn’t. They just both know that it’s a really dumb idea and so they don’t kiss. What did Superman and Wonder Woman know in the 1970s that Geoff Johns and Jim Lee don’t know now? Where’s a time-traveling computer when you need one… that would come in handy right about now.
Anyway, I just wanted to point out that these two crazy kids used to be smarter than they are these days. So if Justice League #12 is bringing you down, go check out World’s Finest #204 instead!!