Wonder Woman ’77, a new digital first series based on the Lynda Carter television show, was announced this fall at New York Comic-Con, and then was pretty much never mentioned again by DC Comics until yesterday when a preview went up in advance of its release today. So now it’s here! Albeit with little fanfare. You’d think they would have hyped this up some more, especially with the success of Batman ’66. But regardless, we’ve got a fun new Wonder Woman comic book to read and that is always a good thing.
The comic, much like the show on which it’s based, is set in the 1970s, with Wonder Woman fighting crime and Diana Prince working at Inter-Agency Defense Command with Steve Trevor. After a gang of Soviet roller derby ladies tried to kidnap a scientist who defected to America (and were thwarted by Wonder Woman, of course), Diana and Steve set out to rescue another high profile defector. The scientist embraced American life in the 1970s and was a fixture at the city’s hottest discotheque, Studio 52, so Diana and Steve put on their disco finery and hit the club only to find the villainous Silver Swan in a cliffhanger ending.
Obviously, all of that sounds fantastic. I mean, Wonder Woman beating up a Soviet roller derby girl gang? Diana Prince at a disco? That’s just great stuff, and writer Marc Andreyko does a solid job of turning these fun premises into a good story. The book is campy, but not too over the top, and captures the vibe of the television show well. I also like that the series in bringing classic Wonder Woman comic book villains into the show’s universe. The show was usually its own thing, and a lot of elements from the comics didn’t make their way to the small screen, so it’s cool to see Lynda Carter tackling iconic Wonder Woman foes. The Silver Swan is a particularly good choice for a disco-themed story; that outfit screams 1970s.
The art is excellent as well. First, Nicola Scott’s cover is absolutely amazing. Is this going to be a poster? It should be a poster, or at least a print. I want to hang it on my wall. Second, Drew Johnson’s interior art is fantastic too. Johnson is no stranger to Wonder Woman, having drawn her series during Greg Rucka’s run and most recently a fill-in story of his from a few years back was repurposed into an enjoyable two-issue Sensation Comics arc. He transitions from the comic Wonder Woman to television Wonder Woman beautifully, capturing Lynda Carter’s likeness really well. His Lyle Waggoner could still use a little work, but frankly no one has even cared about Steve Trevor.
Johnson also does a good job portraying the era. Everything feels very 1970s, and he really goes all out when it’s called for, like in the scenes set at the disco. Check out the outfits that Diana and Steve are rocking:
They are both era appropriate and character appropriate. Diana’s outfit is nice but somewhat demure for such a happening disco (and the all white is reminiscent of the mod era of Wonder Woman), as befitting her less flamboyant alter ego, while the confident lothario Steve Trevor’s wearing a shirt open almost down to his navel. It’s also a fun switch-up from typical superhero fare; most times, the man is more covered up and the woman’s got the navel plunging neckline.
All together, this is a fun book that captures the television show in a variety of ways while also exploring beyond the limitations of the program. I have a feeling that it will read better in print form than in digital; the pacing is a little slower, and indicative of a team writing and drawing for it to be read all at once rather than to maximize each digital issue. Nonetheless, it’s still an excellent first issue, and a great addition to Wonder Woman’s impressively good and ever-growing digital library.
Speaking of which, it looks like Sensation Comics is going to be on hiatus while Wonder Woman ’77 comes out. As I understand it, Wonder Woman ’77 is going to come out in chunks rather than continuously, and I’m hearing that Sensation Comics will be back at the end of the month, so my guess is that we’ll get the full three parts of this Wonder Woman ’77 and then it will be back to Sensation Comics on Thursday until we get another few weeks of 1970s hijinks. I have no idea when the print issue of this story will available, because I don’t think it’s been solicited yet. It will be April at the earliest, I assume.