It seems the digital format has become a testing ground of sorts for DC Comics as they’ve published a few series via digital and then collected them later in the paper format. The most recent out today is Wonder Woman ‘77, based in the TV show universe. Let’s take a look and answer the question, is it good?
Wonder Woman ‘77 Special #4 (DC Comics)
So what’s it about? Read the official DC summary:
After narrowly escaping Wonder Woman (and the law) once before, Gault (actually his disembodied brain!) plots revenge…and seeks a new body to house his evil! Plus, “Worlds Collide” when a tape full of government secrets gets swapped for some excellent Super Funk! We peek at “The Man Behind the Curtain” when a dictator tries to fulfill his daughter’s final wish. And in “Seeing Stars,” Wonder Woman proves herself not a just the protector of Earth…but of the universe.
Why does this book matter?
The plus side to readers is the content in these collected versions tend to be good nugget-sized stories that have a beginning, middle and end. This issue contains four stories with varying plots, though two contain music!
Fine, you have my attention. What’s good about it?
Seriously, dude, you are an idiot for not putting it together!
If you adored the TV show this is a no brainer pick up because it not only captures the fun and kooky nature of the show, but centers around that version of Wonder Woman. Wonder Woman maintains a secret identity, an invisible plane, and a silly sense of fun. If you ever wanted (or maybe even needed) to see Wonder Woman dance to funk, this is the book for you. I’m not a fan of the TV show, but even I found the silly nature to the stories (like how they wrap up each story with big grins and everyone happy) to be a bit infectious.
Each story is different, from a Russian spy attempting to get U.S. secrets from a disgruntled secretary only to be thwarted by a band in a funk rock group, to an alien that’s kidnapped astronauts. Both of those stories have wild moments that are out-of-this-world silly (like Wonder Woman spinning into her costume and later spinning into an astronaut suit!) but there’s also a more traditional superhero story too. You’ll just about do a spit take when you see Wonder Woman standing on the front of a Mack truck blocking bullets with her wrist bands. The third of the bunch (which opens this book) focuses on Harlow Gault who’s a supervillain brain with psychokinesis powers. This story certainly has the darker tone and more serious nature of the main DCU Wonder Woman stories, especially when Gault manages to take over Wonder Woman’s mind!
The art in each story is good with most taking a more realistic approach to Wonder Woman. The Gault story is drawn by Bom Derenick with color by Carrie Strichan and they do well to make Gault’s robotic form domineering but also detailed enough so the reader can take him seriously. The psychic battle is top notch stuff too and I loved Strichan’s Wonder Woman battle armor. The second story, drawn by Dario Brizuela has an old school vibe (maybe it’s all the 70’s clothing) and though it doesn’t get to explore supervillains like the other stories do it suits the story. The third story is drawn by Tess Fowler and it has a somewhat cartoony vibe compared to the other two. She draws a good David Bowie lookalike and Diana’s spin into her costume is possibly the best of the book. The final story is drawn by Christian Duce and it uses a thinner line that reminded me of Jason Masters work on James Bond. The more architectural environments certainly give this story a more realistic feel.
It can’t be perfect can it?
The super happy endings, the goofy nature to much of the stories, and the 70’s vibes are loud and clear. If you’re not into that, this just isn’t for you, but if you’re willing to have a bit of fun with your heroes you just might love it.
That said, the second story focused on Russian spies didn’t do much for me. The story was slow and didn’t give Diana much to do beyond look cool in her street clothes and punch out some Russians. This story certainly felt most like the TV show given the budget, but aside from the Mack truck scene could easily be skipped.
Harlow Gault from the TV show!
Is It Good?
If you’re up for some nostalgia, Wonder Woman ‘77 Special has a lot of goofy charm and big happy endings. It’s certainly not for everyone, but three of the four stories are well worth a look.