Wonder Woman’s Greatest Stories

Coming from DC in April:

Writers: William Moulton Marston, Robert Kanigher, Dennis O’Neil, George Pérez, and Phil Jimenez
Artists: H.G. Peter, Ross Andru, George Pérez, Phil Jimenez, and others
Cover Artist: Alex Ross
Price: $19.99 US/$23.99 CAN
Page Count: 192 pages

Finally! I’m very curious to see what stories are included in this book. They seem to be aiming to cover all of the major eras, but I don’t know that I’d include any of Denny O’Neil’s I Ching-era stories in the “greatest” category when looking at the character’s history overall.

That’s part of the problem with Wonder Woman, though — great character, notable lack of truly outstanding stories. There’s never been any one volume you could shove in someone’s hand and say “here, read this”. The recent reprints of the George Pérez run have come close, but they’re still ongoing stories in the traditional superhero soap opera style.

Hopefully this book will remedy that.

Update: Ragnell says that a Showcase for the character is also planned, but I can’t find confirmation anywhere. Either that means my search skills are failing me, or it will be out after April 2007, which is as far ahead as DC has officially announced.

At Ragnell’s blog, a commenter says:

There’s like 40 years’ worth of Wonder Woman that has NEVER been collected and now we are getting two different volumes almost simultaneously. I fear the “Greatest” volume may have very little of that huge untouched archive for us. They’ll almost certainly include the widely reprinted origin story from Sensation #1, and the stories by the two post Crisis writers listed are likely already available in graphic novel format, so to be entirely pessimistic that could leave us with as little as two previously unreprinted stories.

Which is an interesting point. It’s true that companies make more money if they can repurpose art they’ve already cleaned up for a previous reprint project. Clearly, based on the comments here, there’s a market (size unknown) for little-seen Wonder Woman stories of any era. But a Greatest volume has to balance fresh reprints with the title mandate. I’d be surprised if I wasn’t already familiar with at least some of the stories in a such-titled book.

15 Responses to “Wonder Woman’s Greatest Stories”

  1. Ragnell Says:

    I’d like a Chronicles, personally. An affordable reprint of the Golden-Age stories.

    We will be getting a Showcase soon.

  2. Craig Says:

    Although I wasn’t even close to being alive when they were released, I love love LOVE the Diana Prince/white jumpsuit era, especially the issues with Mike Sekowsky inked by Dick Giordano. Fantastic art! And the storyline with Diana jumping through time to collect the greatest warriors from various eras to fight a war with the Amazons…that’s good stuff!
    I’m very enthusiastic this morning……..

  3. Johanna Says:

    Enthusiasm is good! That’s a pleasant side effect of projects like this — an excuse to talk about the old stuff again!

  4. Dave Carter Says:

    Now they need to issue a Showcase Presents Wonder Woman volume…

  5. Johanna Says:

    That’s what Ragnell was saying, that one’s supposedly on its way.

  6. Dave Carter Says:

    Oh good. Any idea when?

  7. Lyle Says:

    Hm, I agree that they probably don’t deserve to be called the greatest stories, but I’ll be happy to see those O’Neil stories at an acceptable price. I’ve long been curious to evaluate those stories for myself but the back issues I’ve found have cost more than I’ve been willing to spend on my curiosity. I’d really like to see Samuel Delaney’s stories from that era, though. I remember him commenting on his short run (IIRC, he did the last two issues before going back to classic WW) and offering a great quote like “They wanted a feminist take on Wonder Woman, but never asked any feminists to write it.”

  8. Craig Says:

    …and of course, there was that issue with the cover declaring it the ‘women’s lib issue’ …and inside, Wonder Woman declares she doesn’t even LIKE women! Quite the logic jump, there.

  9. StevenRowe Says:

    Hard to imagaine someone thinking that the Sekowsky issues (O’Neil didnt last that long before being replaced as writer by Sekowsky) arent classics — but one person’s trash is another person’s treasure. Certainly Sekowsky was a large breath of fresh air after DC spent ten years in trying to destroy Wonder Woman with (IMHO) awful awful stories. As the silver age was dying (both Marvel and DC were cancelling some superhro titles), many of the other superhero books were becoming more vapid – not less. these stories strived to do something different, something new. Obviously it doesnt work now to some of yall, but I certainly recall folks then and now, who feel these are some of the best comics – not just best Wonder Woman, best comics, done.
    – personaly, I cant say – I havent re-read them in years; but to short change this period (and I suspect the ONeil story is one of the Schwartz edited stories), is rather disappointing.

  10. Johanna Says:

    My clearest memory of that period, Steven, is the atrocious Brave & Bold #63, where Wonder Woman and Supergirl decide to give up heroing so they can go to Paris, buy pretty clothes, and get boyfriends. It’s so bad it sticks in your head.

    But checking the GCDB shows me that that was six years or so before the Sekowsky era, of which I remember mostly I Ching and WW not knowing what to do with her life… an accurate reflection of the real-world struggle to know what to do with her. I just can’t call turning her into a Diana Peel rip-off “some of the best comics done”. Especially once you consider the anti-female content and covers.

  11. Rob S. Says:

    I’m just hoping some Gene Colan art makes an appearance. I can’t get enough of his work these days.

  12. Craig Says:

    I’ll second that, Rob. I thought his run on WW started off a little weak, but #297 contains some of my favourite work by Gene. Cool Kaluta cover, too!

  13. Ragnell Says:

    Johanna — No official confirmation, but when we sent in letters complaining about lateness, I whined about the lack of a Showcase. The return letter promised June. I could scan it if no one believes me.

  14. Ragnell Says:

    (That’s why I wasn’t linking a solicit, because it was just in a letter. But, from what I’ve seen of letter responses they don’t tend to make such specific promises unless it’s already set for an announcement. They know we’re on the internet spreading rumors all over the place.)

  15. Johanna Says:

    Ragnell, no, that’s great, that they’re telling people a specific time. Thanks for letting us know!




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