Wonder Woman #124 cover

Wonder Woman #124, August 1961

“The Impossible Day!”

A mystery comes to light when Diana Prince and Steve Trevor discover a ancient cave painting of dinosaurs battling four members of the Wonder Woman family. Trevor wonders how this is possible—not only did dinosaurs live “thousands” of years ago, but Wonder Girl and Wonder Tot “are merely Wonder Woman at different ages! It’s impossible for all three … to appear at the same time and the same place…”

Diana’s mind flashes back to a recent occurrence on Paradise Island. It seems that “thousands of letters” have been pouring in from readers demanding to see Wonder Woman, Wonder Girl and Wonder Tot in an adventure together. Diana’s mother, Queen Hippolyta, thinks ups a radical solution: she splices together several strips of film of Wonder Woman at various ages to create an impossible scene. By further careful editing she expands on this concept to create scenarios of the “trio” interacting with each other—and herself as a self-styled Wonder Queen. Accompanying her daughter into the vast Amazon film library, Hippolyta spends hours creating an entire “impossible” adventure featuring the whole Wonder Woman Family.

Wonder Woman #124, film splice Wonder Tot, Wonder Girl

Gliding the air currents over the sea, the quartet spy a nuclear test. They spin to create vortex to “wash” the radiation cloud in rain. Far below, unbeknownst to them, a fantastic figure emerges from the blast. They first spy it as it transforms into a projectile speeding across the waves. Attempts to communicate are met with an attack that lands our heroines at the bottom of the ocean. Wonder Tot grabs a giant clam and captures the projectile inside. She drops it from a great height and it smashes to bits.

Wonder Girl and Mer-Boy, Wonder Woman #124

Mer-Boy arrives to ask his girlfriend Wonder Girl out on a date, but they’re distracted as a giant green figure materializes from the wreckage. This “Multiple Man” seems indestructible as the heat from his body boils the sea, and Wonder Girl’s red-hot lasso threatens to burn her hands! The pair manage to drag the giant under the water and encase him in melted lead from sunken treasure chests. “Multiple Man will no longer threaten the peace of the world!” opines Wonder Girl as Wonder Queen fashions a bracelet from the metal heap.

Wonder Queen and bracelet from Wonder Woman #124

Later, Hippolyta begins to act very strangely, becoming a menace to all on Paradise Island. “Multiple Man’s baleful influence continues!” she cries, as she kisses goodbye to all three of her daughters and has herself sent back in time to where “there will be no one to harm!” Following her, Wonder Woman, Wonder Girl and Wonder Tot rescue Hippolyta from the “baleful influence” as the bracelet removes itself from her wrist. Multiple Man then reconstitutes himself as a dinosaur and threatens a bunch of cavemen. The Wonder Family waste no time in bringing him down—thereby creating the scene immortalized on the cave wall back at the story’s beginning.

Wonder Woman Family, Wonder Woman #124

Finally, our heroines unleash a cunning plan on the Multiple Man that slingshots him into the sky where he gets hit by lightning and utterly destroyed.

“The first impossible adventure starring the entire Wonder Woman Family at the same time — is over!” says Hippolyta as the film ends.

“I hope all the readers who asked for it — are satisfied!” replies Diana, and she asks said readers what they think of these impossible adventures…

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So, there you go. That’s the real origin of Wonder Girl right there—none of this Donna Troy nonsense of later years. Nope, she was just a young Diana. Unfortunately, Bob Kanigher soon forgot this, and Bob Haney probably never even knew it in the first place, so very soon Wonder Girl was appearing in her own adventures and as a member of the contemporary Teen Titans—hence the later need for a new origin. And what a tangled web that weaved! I think we can all be grateful that Wonder Tot never survived the Silver Age, cos God knows what they’d have had to come up with the explain her away!! This wasn’t the first appearance of Wonder Girl, by the way, she first arrived in Wonder Woman #105.

Over in Superman comics Mort Weisinger was having much success with the Superman Family, and so the order went out that the other heroes ought to follow suit. Jack Schiff brought about the Batman Family, and Kanigher had little choice but to create a family for Wonder Woman. We can be grateful that a dog wasn’t on the cards to join Krypto and Ace—but then again we’d already had the giant kangaroos of Paradise Island!

As ever with Kanigher’s Wonder Woman stories, this is a thoroughly bonkers tale. He could do sterling work, especially on the war stories with Joe Kubert, but he seemed to just throw anything and everything at the Amazon whether it made sense or not! These stories are often a lot of fun if you’re in the right mood, but it’s best to check your brain at the door. That Michael Fleisher, when compiling the Wonder Woman volume of the Encyclopedia of Comic Book Heroes, was forced to ignore these stories because they could not fit into any kind of continuity, lets you know all you need to.

The art is by Ross Andru and Mike Esposito, and they acquit themselves in fine style.

Images ©2012 DC Comics