A Brief History of Wonder Woman in the 1980s on Polygon

With Wonder Woman 1984 set to hit theaters (and streaming in some countries) on Christmas Day, I had the pleasure of writing an article for Polygon on the state of Wonder Woman in the 1980s. The issue that would’ve been available in comics shops in December 1984 was Wonder Woman #323, and coincidentally it featured several folks we’re about to see in the movie: Wonder Woman, of course, but also Steve Trevor and the Cheetah! So I used that issue as a jumping off point to discuss where the book was as a whole.

In short, it was a continuity mess. Four decades of stories, along with a rotating series of creators with big new takes for the flailing title over the course of the 1970s and 1980s, had made things nigh incomprehensible. Check out the article to see all the details, but suffice it to say Wonder Woman was a poster child for why DC decided to clean up it’s continuity in 1985 with Crisis on Infinite Earths.

But good news was on the horizon, with George Pérez stepping in to reboot the series in 1987 and start a new era of creative excellence for the Amazing Amazon. The Pérez era would go down as a classic run, and inspire future Wonder Woman stories for generations to come, including Wonder Woman 1984!

Put on your fanny pack and parachute pants and head on over to Polygon to read all about Wonder Woman in the 1980s!

Published by Tim Hanley

Tim Hanley is a comic book historian and the author of Wonder Woman Unbound, Investigating Lois Lane, The Many Lives of Catwoman, and Betty and Veronica: The Leading Ladies of Riverdale.

3 thoughts on “A Brief History of Wonder Woman in the 1980s on Polygon

  1. I’ve got to say, I like the pre-reboot 1980s a lot better than you do. Not so much Don Heck’s art, but the Thomas/Colan run was great, articularly their version of the Silver Swan. And that Captain Wonder was more powerful than WW because Steve naturally imagined she was several times stronger than she really was.
    I enjoyed the Dan Mishkin run too. But of course I’d been reading since the start of the UN era so I didn’t have any continuity losses. And I had the muddled period after the jump back to WW II as a benchmark for really bad WW, which helped me appreciate the period (side note: I’ve often wondered why they didn’t set the modern-day series in the IADC like the TV show).
    I agree about Conway’s Cheetah, who was a pointless reboot. Did enjoy Conway marrying off Steve and Diana in the last issue though, even if it didn’t last.

    1. There are definitely great moments pre-reboot, and some fun stories. But yeah, having those years of knowledge seems key! I can’t imagine jumping onto the book in 1984! It would be so confusing.

      1. Now that I read the Big Two much less consistently (and they do soooo much rebooting) I appreciate how easy it is to get lost.
        Looking forward to checking out your list of Best WW.

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