This article appeared in the first issue of my zine, Hola!, dated January, 1978, long before anyone ever heard of a Crisis (the original one, not the 4,672 Crises that have appeared since). I thought I'd include it on this site because it was written during the height of the worst of WW's continuities (that is, up until post-ICk), when we WW fans were trying to make sense of it all in any way we could. If this were astrophysics, it would be called making epicycles upon epicycles... something we find happening in the DCU today. Time for another Crisis, anyone? (No, no! Don't listen to me unless you want to reboot the entire enchilada with a little logic!)
by Carol A. Strickland
I am a stickler for continuity. Is it any wonder then that I've written hate letters to Wonder Woman and World's Finest lately? No, I haven't complained about the sloppy writing or repetitive, trite plots, but rather I've concentrated on the character they insist on starring in their Wonder Woman stories. She has nothing whatsoever to do with any established continuity at DC!
I detested what DC was doing to the Wonder Woman mythos! Starting with issue 222 of her magazine, Princess Diana of Earth-1 (WW-1) met and relinquished her comic to the Wonder Woman of Earth-2 who lived during the time of the second World War (making her WW-2II, so as not to confuse her with the Earth-2 Wonder Woman who has been operating in the present, WW-2). This Earth-2 WW was not the heroine I and other readers expected.
As most comic fans know, Earth-2 is the place where the Golden Age super heroes are assigned. Those heroes, about whom Earth-Real people (that's us) read during WWII, battled Nazies on a world parallel to ours and the one which saw the start of the Justice League of America.
Time flows more slowly on Earth-2; thus, the heroes of WWII there are still able to fight crime today (although most are retiring) as members of the Justice Society. For example, Black Canary started her career on Earth-2 during the war, when she was around eighteen. With a normal flow of time, she should be somewhere in her early fifties, Earth-Real time, and middle forties, Earth-1 time. Yet though she's switched Earths, she still does not seem to be more than in her late thirties, and probably a lot less: seemingly an amazingly long youth to her fellow JLA-ers. But to her old JSA buddies, who see her every year or so, the Black Canary is aging very quickly.
It is on Earth-2 then that much early DC comic book history is placed. The modern, Earth-1 Batman has little in common with his earlier self, so the assumption is that our Batman has an Earth-2 double who has shared some of the same adventures as our Bats, but who has also had adventures that B-1 has not had.
With this in mind, most comic fans assigned the early Moulton/Peter Wonder Woman to Earth-2. Indeed, in Justice League #135, Wonder Woman-2 battled Queen Clea of Atlantis, the same character that the Golden Age WW battled in Comic Cavalcade #18, Sensation #36 and Wonder Woman #8 and 28.
But today's Earth-2 Wonder Woman is... different.
The early Wonder Woman's boyfriend, Steve Trevor, had blond hair; now he is shown as a brownette. Etta Candy was a wrestler who eventually went to a controversial college; Etta-2II is General Blankenship's secretary. Hippolyte of the Golden Age was a brunette; Hippy-2II is a blonde. WW used to change clothes normally (if a little fast); WW-2II does a pirouette and -- instant costume! Diana Prince started her career as a lieutenant; Diana-2II is a yeoman. In other words, the entire Earth2II situation closely follows that of last season's Wonder Woman TV series, which isn't an entirely bad thing, except for one item:
What excuse is DC giving us for messing up their continuity? DC would have us accept this strange Wonder Woman as the real, Earth-2II McCoy. If we do, then the ORIGINAL Moulton/Peter Wonder Woman MUST NOT have been on Earth-2! The only explanation I can think of, Bridwell help me, is that she was from yet ANOTHER Earth. Would you believe an Earth-2a?
Having finally figured this out, my doubts as to the legitmacy of WW-2II are clearing up -- except for one more thing. The books themselves must somehow come out and state that the Golden Age WW was not on Earth-2. Lord knows it took an eternity for World's Finest to admit that the late, unlamented "Super Son" series was imaginary/parallel world. Should it take Wonder Woman that long to explain its continuity?
Indeed, in the Wonder Woman Spectacular that came out last December, an attempt was made to resolve the Golden Age/TV differences. The result was THE poorest comic that I have ever seen, one that I wouldn't allow a kid under age fifteen to read. All concerned seemed unaware that the three Wonder Women's adventures have progressed to the point where there can be no resolution, except to recognize all three's existence.
The idea of these three makes separation of the WW's fairly simple. The Wonder Woman of Earth-2a started things off, lasting in the comic books until the advent of the Comics Code or thereabouts. Then came another Wonder Woman, one whose adventures rarely made any sense; a Wonder Woman whose continuity was so screwed up that the stories often featured her as a girl who knew that she'd be Wonder Woman when she grew up, and wore a Wonder costume to symbolize her coming glory. Those stories had a continuity of their own, for the most part. I am tempted to make up another WW and call her Wonder Woman-I (for Inconsistent), but instead I'll point out that some of these stories CAN be saved, and made part of the WW-1 tradition. How? Let's look.
Wonder Woman et al are all trademarked and/or copyrighted by DC Comics, Inc. Buy their comics!