The Return of Wonder Woman

Once again Robert Kanigher returned to hold the editorial reins of the magazine with issue #204. He instituted profound changes in this issue. Dealing with established continuity, he killed Ching, inflicted Diana with complete amnesia, and sent the Amazons back to Earth.

Kanigher was establishing a new history for his heroine, and for one particular new element to fit in his plans he had to change a few pieces of Wonder history. He re-established that Aprhodite made the Amazons and that Hippolyte was instructed to sculpt a statue that became Diana. However, this statue was not that of an infant, nor a toddler, but of a young girl. It is at this point in the narrative that was being fed to Diana to replace her amnesia that Hippolyte witheld information from her daughter for the first time in the 30-year history of the book. It was a scene that was to be pivotal.

During the course of the story, Wonder Woman regained her old powers and a slightly different costume: it now had a brief instead of shorts, and the tiara covered only the front of the head, among other changes. Diana became a mousy translator at the UN in her secret identity and took on an oriental and a black roommate.

But it was another person who made her presence most keenly felt through this short run: Nubia, a black woman who dressed in armor and wielded a magic sword. She was every inch as powerful and cunning as Wonder Woman, and the two battled to a draw each time they met. Nubia declared that she should be Wonder Woman, but she was not an Amazon and lived instead on a floating island as princess of a warlike tribe of blacks who dressed in a pseudo-deepest-Africa fashion.

NubiaAres, now referred to as Mars, was responsible for Nubia. Hippolyte finally told Diana her complete origin through memory tapes which explained that "Hippolyte was instructed to fashion two figures out of raw clay... one dark -- one light... thus the queen became the proud mother of two daughters..." (In this neew origin, just two issues afer the other one, the statues of Diana and Nubia were those of infants.)

Mars stole into the nursery and kidnapped the one he called Nubia just before the gods arrived to endow Diana with powers. And yet Nubia would grow up to have the same powers Diana did. Although Mars trained her in all forms of combat, she had to wear a ring that kept her hypnotically under his control. Needless to say, Wonder Woman freed her from Mars's domination, and Nubia went back to live in peace with her peaople. She later was to appear as the Wonder Woman of Africa in Super Friends #25.

At the beginning of issue #204, Diana Prince was a celebrity and widely recognized, but by the end of that same issue and with the addition of some glasses, no one knew her. In fact, they referred to her as a "Plain Jane," causing her to sob to herself.

A "troubleshooter diplomat," Morgan Tracy, was introduced as the new romantic interest for WW/Diana. And to make sure we all knew that this was fantasy, issue #205 had an atomic bomb exploding just offshore of New York City -- and nobody noticed or cared except those who were on a ship at Ground Zero.

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