Tuesday, November 16, 2010


What? I haven't put WONDER WOMAN on the list yet? Well, here she is, though the cover of WW #169 does show her getting the worst of it. However, one may rationalize that not only does she beat the villain, she beats him so badly that even Grant Morrison won't dare bring him back.

I wish that my first (if not only) representative WW post could hail from the classic Marston-Peter run. Trouble is, like many superhero comics of the Golden Age, many of the battles therein were short-rounders. I haven't yet read all the Golden Age WONDER WOMAN stories, but of the substantial number I have read, none of them seem all that noteworthy, with the possible exception of a two-page struggle in which WW sword-fights the Greek hero Achilles. But that would be a measure of last resort.

As silly as the Silver Age WONDER WOMAN stories are (with or without villains named the Crimson Centipede), writer Robert Kanigher and artists Ross Andru and Mike Esposito did deliver in the big-ass battle department, particularly in the latter half of the sixties, just before WW's transformation into an Emma Peel/Modesty Blaise clone. One interesting touch in WW #169 is that although the heroine initially finds it tough to duke it out with a many-armed opponent, those difficulties fall away when the criminal Centipede makes the mistake of swiping WW's "bracelets of restraint." In less than a dozen panels she swats that bug and then almost goes for Steve Trevor as well, except that the resourceful soldier-boy manages to slip the heroine's bracelets back on.

The battle with this villain may not be the absolute best of the Kanigher-Andru period, but the absurdity of the villain goes a long way toward making it a personal favorite.

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