Western Comic: Wonder Woman ’77 Special #1

December 13th, 2015

51owyA3bWxL._SX323_BO1,204,203,200_TV in the 1970s has the most amazing ability to be beloved in retrospect even though it was largely unwatchable then and absolutely excruciating now. Despite the obvious craptasticness of the the acting, plots, special effects and dialogue, people wax poetic about things that actually made me cringe as a child. One of those things that people love is the Wonder Woman TV show with Lynda Carter. I remember tuning each week and making cringey-face as Diana Prince pretended to be less cool than she was so as to never indicate that she was strong, powerful or much better at the job than the Steve Trevor. In the middle of a feminist wave, I found it to be just short of enraging.

But, there was a female superhero on TV. So I watched the show. Lynda Carter deserves praise. She did her best when the writing mostly threw her under the bus.

Imagine my surprise when people discussed this show as if it was, actually feminist..and good! Really? Diana spent the end of every episode lying so as to never hurt Steve’s feelings or make him feel less than the hero. This was, and is, as far as I’m concerned, pretty much the antithesis of feminism. Maybe if women spoke up about what – and how much – they actually do, and stopped trying to coddle men, there’d be more equality. Maybe. Probably not. ^_^;

In any case, I was flabbergasted that people saw Wonder Woman as a feminist icon and not just a big ball of cheesteastic 70s TV. I watched The Secrets of Isis and Shazaam, too. The fear of the terrible has never been a problem for me. ^_^ Nor am I prone to delusion about the things I enjoy. Remember the three rules of fandom here on Okazu:

Just because you like something, doesn’t mean it’s good.

Just because you don’t like something, doesn’t mean it’s bad.

And just because something is bad doesn’t mean you can’t like it. ^_^

So when it was announced that a special comic anthology was being created to  highlight the show, I was like, yeah, okay, bring it on. Well, Wonder Woman ’77 Special #1 was kinda fun. Yes, it’is super cheesy, with Steve’s low cut dancing outfit and the dialogue, which really does sound like a reflection of the TV show, I kind of enjoyed it, despite myself.  Completely unlike Andy Mangels who writes a companion essay, a man besotted with wonder, as he might say, I liked it for it’s tacky and oh-so-70s self, and not any delusions about a bigger picture.

If you haven’t actually watched the show, but want to see it through the eyes of people who loved it, then definitely get this comic. Diana Prince is a “modern” American woman, she can bring home the bacon and fry it up in a pan. She can save the day and never make Steve Trevor question his masculinity. She is a relic from a decade that I am so very glad is now ancient history. I look forward to one day ever getting a…something, anything…that Wonder Woman deserves. (The upcoming pissing contest between Batman and Superman is not going to be it.) But in the meantime, there was a time, a long time ago, when Wonder Woman had her own TV show and it was a lot of fun, but never good. Relive those days in Wonder Woman ’77, if you dare. ^_^

Ratings –

Overall – 8

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8 Responses

  1. Eric P. says:

    Have you heard of the new movie coming out? It’s being made by a primarily female crew, I guess to give it the sense of being made by women for women. I don’t know how much difference that’ll make in how decent it’ll turn out, but their update of the character might still be interesting.

  2. Stacy L says:

    Serendipitously, immediately prior to reading this post I watched the decent if stylistically conventional 2012 documentary Wonder Women: The Untold Story of American Superheroines, which discusses Wonder Woman and how the character changed over the years, going from a strong active protagonist in the 1940’s (fighting the good fight against the AXIS powers of course), to being a pathetic figure in the 50’s, when that decade sought to remove all trace of female agency in popular culture as well as the social sphere. [Think that’s the longest (coherent) sentence I’ve ever written]

    The fondness for the 70’s TV show you speak of is brought up in the doco, with awareness expressed that at the time this was like begging for crumbs when seeking good representation.

    It’s all news to me, having only been vaguely aware the character even existed growing up in Australia in the 80’s. I was reading Asterix and Tintin, which were fine, but now I think back and really wish there’d been equivalent comics stories with female protagonists. Hence why I now focus on seeking out such things.

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