Other Diana Prince appearances
across the DC Universe.

JLA #69 Justice League of America #69 (Feb. 69: story: Denny O'Neil, art: Dillin & Greene, editor: Carmine Infantino) "A Matter of Menace!" Diana's on pages 3 and 4, warning the JLA about a threat to Green Arrow and then resigning because of her non-powered status. Of interest is that the JLA has never met Diana Prince before, at least not to know she's Wonder Woman, and they wonder how she broke into their secret HQ until they figure things out. They graciously tell her to "feel free to return at ANY TIME... and to call upon us for help!" Note: her resignation isn't accepted and she's put on leave of absence instead.

JLA #100 JLA #101 JLA #102

Justice League of America #'s 100-102 (August-October, 1972; writer: Len Wein, art: Dillin and Giella, editor: Schwartz) This is one of those annual crossovers the JLA insisted on having back in the pre-Crisis days. They grew longer and longer each year until JLA was nothing BUT the annual crossover. Each year they'd try to dig up another group they could team up with in addition to the Earth-1 JLA and Earth-2 JSA. This year it was to be the Seven Soldiers of Victory. Yawn... Don't quote me on this, but I think this may have been the first appearance of the Earth-2 Wonder Woman.

For you youngsters, the pre-Crisis, post-Golden Age DC Universe contained parallel dimensions. The Silver Age characters were all on Earth-1, and Flash discovered another world, Earth-2, where the superheroes of the Golden Age still lived. Of course many weren't the true Golden Age heroes, but rather amalgams of Golden Age characters who lived lives of strict continuity and no-nonsense. The Golden Age WW certainly couldn't fill that bill, so they pasteurized and homogenized the character and came up with an Earth-2 WW who would become almost impossible to differentiate from the Earth-1 WW (once she got her powers back).

The story begins as far as we're concerned with Diana invited to a JLA meeting to celebrate their 100th meeting. But Earth-2's Doctor Fate transports everyone to Justice Society of America Headquarters on his world. A menace called the Iron Hand has given them 48 hours to turn domination of the Earth over to him, or a giant, badly-manicured hand will close around the planet and crush it. Dr. Fate has a clue: the image of the tombstone of a member of the Seven Soldiers of Victory, but doesn't know what it means. The mystic members of the two groups combine to call upon a giant named Oracle who tells them about a battle in the past between the Soldiers and a creature called Nebula Man. One managed to destroy his threat but sacrificed his own life doing so. The rest have been flung through time and forgotten by the modern world... except for Oracle.

Diana stays behind as the League and Society break up into teams to go back in time to rescue the Soldiers.

In the second issue, Diana updates some late-arriving JSA members (and the reader) as to where the story stands. This time we get to see the Earth-2 WW (who wears briefs, not shorts) in action during Robin Hood's time as her team rescues Green Arrow-2. At the end of this issue, the Iron Hand has snuck into JSA headquarters and is sneaking up behind Diana.

By the time all the teams return (and we find that the Crimson Avenger's sidekick, Wing, was the deceased member of the bunch), the Iron Hand jumps out with Diana in tow. She fakes a faint and then turns around and karate chops him, severing his mechanical hand. Unfortunately, the mechanics of the hand are what controlled the giant Earth-menacing hand. In order to destroy the hand, the Red Tornado takes a copy of the Soldiers' Nebula Rod that originally defeated the Nebula Man and does his kamikaze thing. (Don't cry; he came back a few years later, feeling much better.)

Just about the only interesting part of this story is Diana's dialogue once she has defeated the Iron Hand. Batman has just congratulated her on her prowess. She says, "Save the COMPLIMENTS for later, BATMAN! Right now we need INFORMATION! Talk, IRON MOUTH -- tell us how to STOP that colossal hand of yours -- or I'll take you apart a BONE at a time!"

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Jerry Lewis #117 The Adventures of Jerry Lewis #117, Mar-Apr. 1970. Oh! Oh! Bob Oksner art! But oh my god, what a misogynist storyline! I guess that's in keeping with the portrayal of a famed misogynist.

Diana Prince is making personal appearances in movie theatres for some reason, and while signing an autograph for Jerry, she pulls a leg tendon. "I can't go to just ANY doctor!" she claims. "Criminals in this city might learn about my injury, and take advantage of my helplessness! I must go back to Paradise Island and Dr. Bratwurst."

So Di, Jerry and some kid sidekick/nephew named Renfrew travel between dimensions to meet up with the doctor, who must be a man because he is, after all, a DOCTOR, and we can't have women be doctors, can we? At any rate, Queen Hippolyta has been kidnapped, and because Diana can't walk, she sends Jerry off to rescue her because "this is your chance to prove yourself, Jerry!" Just let me hold my stomach here a minute... The story progresses, involving a giant, fat Amazon called Brawnhilde who falls in love with Jerry, even when Diana dresses him up as herself, complete with Amazon breastplate and wig, to fool the other Amazons.

Sexism in action depicting AmazonsDiana asks others to help in the raid. "Not me!" one Amazon says. "My hair's wet! I'll catch my death of cold!" Another: "Sorry, I've got ironing to do!" "I've got a beauty parlor appointment!" "Will we be back by three? I have a roast in the oven!"

You get the picture. Anyway, Hippy is rescued, they return to Earth, and Jerry gets a kiss for his efforts, and you've just wasted fifteen cents on this trash.

Let's all adjourn to the bathroom to lose our lunches.

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Adventure #397
Adventure #397, Sept. 1970. A cleansing of the palate. "Now... Comes Zond" seems to be a Sekowsky-Sekowsky/Giordano production. Hey, Sekowsky was editor as well. Ca-ching! At this point in her life, Linda (Supergirl) Danvers is a senior in college, and gets the blues -- thus requiring new clothes. Surprise! The boutique she selects just happens to belong to Diana (and we see Cathy Perkins at work as salesperson).

Having achieved a new civilian wardrobe, Supergirl demonstrates one-time powers of telepathy (sloppy writing/editing there, Mike!) to discover that a crime victim was injured through her participation in a mystical cult for a being called "Zond." Procuring a Zond cultist disguise, Supergirl infiltrates the group only to have Zond blast her with magic, leaving her costume in shreds.

At Diana's boutique

Killing two birds with one stone, Supergirl visits Diana (1) to have her contact Morgana the Witch to help and (2) to get new clothes. That's some boutique -- Di has a Supergirl variation outfit straight off the rack -- Supergirl's first change in costume since she came to Earth -- and gets Morgana some hip new threads as well.

The wonderfully snooty Morgana has a snit when she finds that her mother's thief of a stablehand is practicing magic now, and she's quite happy to help out. Morgana unmasks Zond, Supergirl kicks his butt, Morgana cures the victim, and Diana provides emotional support throughout but not much else.

Note to Supergirl fans: one of the most intriguing of Sgirl's villainesses, Nasthalthia (Nasty) Luthor, is introduced in the second story. Nasty had one HELL of a lot of potential! She was a cross between Veronica Lodge and Dr. Cyber -- and of course she was Lex's niece (but not through Lena Thorul, whom Sekowsky apparently had forgotten).

Btw, I liked the bathing suit variation on the far right of the cover much better than the split-sided miniskirt Supergirl went with. (I repeat: NO SKIRTS FOR FLYING HEROINES!)

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Lois Lane #93
Lois Lane #93: July, 1969. Curt Swan turned in one gorgeous cover! Inking looks to be Giordano. Interior pencils are Irv Novick, but there are no credits as to writer or inker.

"The Superman-Wonder Woman Team!" was the first story that I noticed had the ENTIRE WORLD knowing that Diana Prince used to be Wonder Woman. Remember the days when DC characters raised money for charity? This story begins with Diana Prince appearing on a news show to invite Superman to perform with her in a circus act for charity. Diana asks Lois to procure a "Mercury Stone" from a local museum that will allow Diana to fly and surprise Superman. She certainly does, and when the crowd yells for Superman to plant one on Diana's lips, he does so -- right in front of Lois, the cad. Of course this sends Lois into one of her jealous fits, only she was going through a weepy phase back then, so she sobs a lot instead of confronting her boyfriend and asking what the hell he thought he was doing?

Good ol' Perry White, the weak writer's pawn, decides to rub salt in Lois' wounds and assigns her to cover Supes' and Di's "private lives." Superman, the cad, snuggles up to Diana right in front of his girlfriend and her camera. And Superman tells Diana at one point, "I know you only used to be able to glide on air currents! I can't get over the way you fly so easily!" Oh, Supie, they're going to forget about the gliding for the rest of the millennium!

Anyway, despite Lois not being an expert in Amazon Training (which as we know is how Diana learned martial arts so quickly), Lois takes martial training and confronts Diana in front of Superman. Diana wallops her and Supie (the cad) just sits there grinning like an idiot, then flies off with Diana.

Superman says that he wishes Diana were super-strong and invulnerable, so his enemies couldn't harm her (which is the reason we're told that he hasn't married Lois or Diana yet), and poof! Diana begins to act like a Kryptonian! The couple perform various super-deeds, and without a formal proposal, we see Diana preparing for the coming nuptuals -- in front of Lois.

Lois finds the REAL Diana Prince held prisoner at the ancient mansion the fake Diana has conveniently purchased. Lois had become suspicious of the too-super Diana, and suspected that a disguised Kryptonian was behind everything. Ar-Ual, one of the zillion Phantom Zone prisoners who managed to escape at some time during the Silver Age, wants to rule the Terran crime world, hidden safely behind the disguise of being Superman's wife. You'd think he would have found out SOMETHING on the honeymoon...

But Superman has heard Lois' voice, and hurrying to tell her that he was going to cancel the wedding to Diana (glossing over the fact that he had indeed dumped Lois for her without asking any questions about powers, etc), now rescues the two with ease. At the end of the story, Diana reassures Lois: "Much as I admire Superman, I hope you didn't think I'd ever be a competitor of yours for his love, Lois!" Would that present-day writers thought the same way.

Superman and Lois should have been guests on Jerry Springer. They had one sicko relationship!

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B&B #87B&B #105

Brave & Bold #87, Dec-Jan 69-70. "The Widow-Maker!" "Conceived, written and pencilled by Mike Sekowsky, Inked by Dick Giordano," is what editor Murray Boltinoff says in the lettercol.

Diana and Ching stop off at a fashion show put on next to a racetrack, and Di finds herself hit on by Bruce Wayne, who claims that she doesn't know Batman's secret ID. In this issue, Diana's not famous, much less known as the former Wonder Woman. Even so, she catches the attention of one Willi van Dort, a racer who drives a car called the Widow-Maker. Every opponent he's faced who has stood a chance against him has wound up mysteriously dead. As Bruce takes his car through a qualifying lap, we discover that he's likely on Willi's list as well.

Diana watches Willi giving instructions by "finger talk" to his deaf crew, spelling out to Ching the German message. She claims that she doesn't know German, even though pre-DP Wonder Woman was a master of almost all languages. And also, Willi had spelled out everything instead of using the quicker form, sign language. How odd. But convenient for the writer. Luckily Ching knows German and translates that the crew have been instructed to sabotage Wayne's car.

That night Bruce comes upon the saboteurs, but Diana and Ching sweep in as well. "I can't let a woman and blind man rescue me," Bruce thinks, "My male ego won't let me!" Even so, he's sloppy and is soon felled. Diana remarks, "Poor Bruce -- he doesn't know the first thing about handling himself in a fight!"

Doctors bar the possibly-concussed Bruce from driving, so Diana somehow gets the princess and prince of the country to grant her a special racing license (??) and qualifies in test runs to drive Bruce's car. But Willi isn't pleased to see Batman -- the man who'd stopped Willi's father from a plan of taking over the world -- informing Diana that Batman will be taking Bruce's place in the race, not her.

Diana spots some more sign-spelling for Willi's team to set up traps along the track (which seems to be quite large and meandering, part in, part out of a racetrack) and winds up paralleling the race, trying to outspeed the actual racers and thwart all the traps before they can menace Batman. On the other side, Willi does every dirty trick he can to dispose of Bats within the race.

A flat tire stops Diana, and the bad guys hold her at gunpoint to watch the final trap at the finish. Unfortunately for them, Willi had blown one of Batman's tires in the final stretch, so it is he who finishes first -- and dies in a fiery crash. Batman limps in in second place, but alive.

The story ends with Diana being carted off to jail. Some guy claims she's stolen his car, and it turns out that her rented car and his are identical, and somehow she did indeed go off with the wrong car (keys and all). (NPR's Car Guys say this kind of thing happens all the time.) Batman calls out to her that Bruce Wayne wants to have dinner with her that night, and she replies, "Tell him okay -- if he'll go my bail!" and thinks, "What will the old JLA members think when they find out an ex-member's got a police record?"

Actually a fairly good story, with a lot of Bruce Wayne and little Batman, some interesting predicaments and lots of action.


Brave & Bold #105, Jan-Feb 73. "Play Now... Die Later!" writer: Bob Haney. Art: Jim Aparo. Editor: Murray Boltinoff. Diana doesn't make an appearance until page 11. Page 11! Rrrrr...

Immigrants from San Sebastian are bringing their war to the Latin sections of Gotham. Bats calls Diana (who is fluent in Spanish) in to be a duenna to the sister of one of the gang ringleaders. Even though it was Bruce who came on to the sister, for some reason he thinks that she has come on to him in order to sucker him into a con concerning the girl's father, a leader of the revolutionaries, who is being held for ransom -- or is he?

Can you say "deus ex machina?" On page 11 (which, as you remember, was the page Diana first sees in the story), Diana talks to her "Amazon guardian angel." Huh? But then later in the story as Diana lies unconscious on the docks with a semi hauling towards her, unable to stop, isn't it convenient that the guardian angel reappears to carry Diana to safety? Ecch. I hate bad storytelling. And then later in the story as Batman finds the kidnapped father onboard a ship, Diana swings in through a tiny porthole -- which Mr. Haney must have realized was a bit of a reach, because he has Diana say, "It's good I keep a porthole-slim figure -- not an Amazon's!"

Father is rescued, military equipment that was being smuggled to San Sebastian is found, Batman gets a sloppy kiss from the (probably underage) girl... Yawn (with a bit of a disgusted shiver thrown in).

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World's Finest #204 World's Finest #204: August 1971. "Journey to the End of Hope!" Story: Denny O'Neil. Art: Dick Dillin & Joe Giella. Ed: Julius Schwartz.

Through mental manipulation, Perry White and I Ching convince their respective super-people to computer date and -- surprise! They're hooked up together. When they use an elevator to get to a radio station where they'll be interviewed, the doors open instead to the year 2171, where Earth is a barren, airless world. Superman has to act fast to find a pocket of air in which to place Diana while he takes a look-see.

He finds a computer (which had done the manipulating), which shows him possible futures for his time. Most are positive futures, but this one came about because of the actions of one man at a campus riot on the day the story started. But the computer bombs before he can discover who the man is. Superman and Diana return to the present.

Diana tries to talk the rioters down while Superman deflects gunfire. Diana returns with a guy who looks like the target man -- he's alive and well. But another man who greatly resembles the first dies from a bullet wound. The two don't know if they've saved the world or doomed it. Cue the eerie music...

Of course the story contains the obligatory clinch scene: Diana: "You're a nicer guy than I gave you credit for! Funny... We've been ACQUAINTANCES for years -- yet we've never really gotten to be FRIENDS! Maybe we should DO something about that!" Superman: "Diana... in another second or so, I'll feel like kissing you -- and we both know I SHOULDN'T!" Diana: "Right you are -- darn it!"

Good dialogue, stilted art (never have liked Dillin), an atypical-for-comics early-70's ending. Too much emphasis on Superman and not enough of Diana. Yawn. Nice Adams cover.

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Superman #233

Superman #240Superman #241Superman #242

Let's get the setting straight: It's 1971, and DC had been pulling major changes across its line for the past couple years -- changes like Wonder Woman giving up her powers to become Diana Prince. Over in Superman's books, his stories had become the same ol' same ol', endlessly repeated with few variations, Superman juggling planets on his pinky, that kinda thing. Then issue #233 (Jan 1971) pulled the rug from out from under Superman fans: A powerful blast from a Kryptonite engine left Superman invulnerable to Green K. One series of panels shows him actually eating a chunk of the by-now ubiquitous stuff when a criminal threatens him with it. In addition to all this, Morgan Edge made Clark Kent a roving TV reporter, modernizing the concept and yet putting Clark into more identity danger by having to cover up when he was the object of his reports at the same time he was supposed to be behind the camera. Clever situation! (Denny O'Neil was scripting, Julie Schwartz editing) And Superman discovered that he suffered mysterious bouts of weakness every time he passed the scene of the K-engine blast. As issues went by, we discovered that a Sand Creature in Superman's image had been formed at the time of the blast. The Creature was able to leech some of Superman's energy from him, and began to follow him around, looking more and more like him as time progressed.

Really cool and eerie concept.

(And if you think this was bringing Superman into the modern age, I believe the backup story was the first to portray Lara Lor-Van -- that's Supie's mom -- as an astronaut and not as some careerless female who went from her father's house directly to Jor-El's, with only baby-making on her mind.)

So what's this got to do with Diana Prince? Issue 240 (July 1971, story: Denny O'Neil, art: Curt Swan & Dick Giordano, editor: Julius Schwartz), "To Save a Superman," brought Ching to the offices of Clark Kent to offer his services. Ching had seen beneath the disguise to Superman, and tells Clark, "I possess lore of ancient savants... of civilizations long VANISHED from the Earth! Before SCIENCE was, MAGIC ruled! I believe this magic ALONE can cure your illness!" By this time Superman is practically powerless, so he relents to a mystic procedure at Ching's home that night. Ching draws his life essence forth so he can examine it, but intruders surprise him, and only the non-super Superman is left to battle off the intruders successfully.

Ching draws out bad essences
Next issue, #241 (Aug '71, same staff), "The Shape of Fear!" shows Superman invigorated by his triumph. "I've had a taste of the GLORY of being NORMAL!" he tells Ching. "To win through DETERMINATION... COURAGE.. to be no MORE than myself -- and no LESS! For YEARS I've been DREAMING of WORKING and LIVING as a plain man -- without the RESPONSIBILITIES.. the LONELINESS... of SUPERMAN!" He's ready to dismiss Ching.

But though Ching sympathizes, he reminds Superman of his responsibility to the world and begins his ritual again, drawing forth Superman's very soul. The soul searches for the Creature and sucks its power from it. When the soul returns, it reunites with its body and Superman is Superman once again.

But not in the thinking department.

He starts doing crazy things: building jail blocks in the middle of a city street, just to show off his power to a criminal; demonstrating that maybe his head's getting a little large as he treats people like sycophants.

Reading the paper, Diana remarks on Superman's growing record of mistakes. Ching confronts Superman and tells him that the head injury he sustained from the intruders was the cause of brain damage that became permanent when Supie got his powers back. Superman doesn't listen and takes of in a snit.

Ching and Diana summon the Creature
So Diana watches as Ching reluctantly calls upon the forces of dark magic to lead them to the Creature, whom Ching identifies as a being from the alternate-possibilities realm of Quarrm., brought into this dimension from the force of the Kryptonite engine blast. The creature had been absorbing the powers and even the intelligence of Superman until Ching had stopped it the other night.

Diana breaks in!
Now Ching, Diana and the Creature become a team. Diana breaks into Morgan Edge's apartment (so the reader can be set up for the "Morgan Edge double" plotline that was introduced this issue; otherwise there's really no reason for them to be there), and she calls Superman. He arrives -- through the wall because he didn't feel like using a door or window -- and asks Diana why she wanted him. She says she just wanted to give him a kiss, which she does, and he says, "Can't BLAME you!" But while his attention is drawn, the Creature approaches him and drains some power from him. Superman escapes by crashing through a window and the Creature follows. Unbeknownst to both, a third creature from Quarrm has been released and is roaming Metropolis's streets. When Superman confronts it, all his powers drain away and he is beaten.

Diana gives Superman a betraying kissIssue 242 (Sept 1971) "The Ultimate Battle!" (same credits) brought the climax. Superman's taken to the hospital, where he undergoes brain surgery (Jimmy Olsen, Diana and Ching stand by in the waiting room) as the Creature battles the Quarm-demon. The Creature now possesses two-thirds of Superman's power as well as his mind and soul. It retreats to figure out strategy.

The demon stalks the hospital and swats off Diana and Jimmy's attempts to stop him. When the demon reaches to grab Superman from his bed, Superman wakes up and drains the demon's power. The two are equals now. But the Creature joins the battle and together they force it back to the rift between dimensions.

Now the Creature tells Superman that he's going to kill him because the Creature wants to live. If the two touch, they know there will be a cataclysmic explosion. Ching joins them and gestures so that they may combat without harming each other. The battle within and above the earth sets off natural cataclysms that destroy the world in six minutes.

Luckily for them, the battle turns out to have been all in their minds. Ching brings them out of their trance and the Creature voluntarily returns to Quarrm. Before it can disappear, Ching offers to return all the Creature's powers to Superman, but Superman says, "No! I've seen the DANGERS of having TOO MUCH POWER... I am human -- I can make mistakes! I don't WANT -- or NEED -- more..." So the Creature takes his leave, and the DCU is granted the gift of a powered-down Superman, a character who can face dangers on a more human level.

Wow.

This, my friends, is what we call an EPIC. It had lots of action, lots of characterization, and LOTS of soul-searching. One of the all-time great comic stories...

And Diana Prince and Ching were there.


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