Wonder Woman #170

Wonder Woman #170, May 1967 (reprinted in DC Special #16)

Our story opens as Wonder Woman and her fellow Amazons frolic in the fine open air of Paradise Island. Later, a flying saucer lands near WW and several “gorillas from outer space” emerge.

“Great Hera!” cries our heroine, not unnaturally.

The Gorillas arrive

It soon transpires that these gorillas have come to our world to take WW as their Queen! Not particularly surprised by this—I daresay she gets similar propositions on a frequent basis—WW is more anxious that the male gorillas get off Paradise Island lest the Amazons lose their powers. She politely asks them to leave, but they just laugh in her face.

WW thumps

Angered, the amazing Amazon throws herself headlong at the gorilla King, but he’s soon juggling her in the air with his feet like a mad circus act!

WW uses her lasso on the King and orders him to leave, but the mystical rope has no effect. In response he merely pulls out a raygun and shoots our heroine. The ray gun has a weird effect on Diana—she’s transformed into a gorilla! “S-suffering Sappho!”

WW disappoints

However, having done the deed, the King is none too impressed with the result. “You were beautiful as a Amazon!” he says, resignedly.

Thinking fast, the now hirsute WW suggests the King change her back so he can once again gaze upon her beauty. He does so. She goes on: “Nowhere in the world do unlikes share a throne! Since you don’t like me as a gorilla – – why not change yourself into a man – – so we can be similar?”

Again, the heart-struck King agrees and turns his weapon on himself.

Big mistake!

Lasso

WW instantly seizes the opportunity to lasso her now human opponent. She orders him to return whence he came. “I am compelled… to obey your every command!” he cries.

The King and his cohorts meekly return to their flying saucer and take off—but not before this touching exchange:

King: “I will never forget you, beautiful Amazon! You will haunt my dreams!”

WW: “That’s very sweet of you to say so – – but fate didn’t mean for us to be together!”

Sniff… Hey—stop your sobbing at the back there.

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The tragic tale of a space-gorilla’s doomed infatuation with Wonder Woman. You just know it can only have been written by Bob Kanigher, who was then coming to the end of his twenty-year stint as the amazing Amazon’s editor and scripter. Art, as ever, by Ross Andru and Mike Esposito.

With stories like this, it’s perhaps not surprising that a major change was coming for Diana—both in terms of her treatment, and the creative team crafting her adventures. Mike Sekowsky was sharpening his pencil, and, for good or ill, nothing would ever be quite the same again…

Images ©2011 DC Comics