Wonder Woman

An ad for issue #177 of Wonder Woman. The Irv Novick cover contained a fairly standard Bill Finger/Win Mortimer tale of the Amazon princess. People reading the comic can have had little notion of what they had in store the following issue. With sales of the super-heroine flaccid at best, Carmine Infantino charged Mike Sekowsky with the task of revitalising the ailing title. Sekowsky took the then-hit British TV show The Avengers as inspiration—specifically the character of Emma Peel as portrayed by Diana Rigg. Out went the red and blue star-spangled bathing suit, Paradise Island, the Amazons and super-powers. In came a white catsuit, a fashion store, and a little chap with dark glasses….

Ads announcing the big changes appeared in DC comics over the months:

Wonder Woman ad, Mike Sekowsky

Wonder Woman ad, Mike Sekowsky

Now, I really like the Mike Sekowsky run, much of which was written by Denny O’Neil before the artist himself took over, but many people don’t. I suppose the changes stripped Diana of everything that made Wonder Woman Wonder Woman, but they were a bold experiment. In the long run it didn’t work and within a five years the costume and the Amazons were back.

Image ©2012 DC Comics