The Impossible Wonder Family Index
A Wonder Family portrait... with an addition

Without credits being given back then, I'll just assume that the writer for all these tomes was Robert Kanigher, and the art was done by the legendary team of Ross Andru & Mike Esposito (although a couple issues look a trifle off. Bad day? Assistant?). Editor was also Robert Kanigher (guess he needed the extra income, or maybe he couldn't find anyone else who'd write for the comic) and the book was published by National Comics Publications, Inc. and later by National Periodical Publications, Inc.

And my apologies if I forget to mention that some aspect of the story was giant. EVERYTHING was, except for the central characters. Giant birds, giant fish, giant giants... You name it. Just assume that everything is, and I'l try to remember to note when the rule was broken.

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ISSUE 105: April, 1959. Comics went for 10 cents back then, and there was a HUGE "Approved by the Comics Code Authority" seal on each cover. WF (Wonder Family) explained by simple historical story. If you close your eyes when they talk about Diana's father, this story is IN CONTINUITY. 13 pp. Just Diana and Hippolyta (she went blonde a few issues earlier after the comic gave up the H.G. Peter-style art. Previously she'd been a brunette who was darned hard to differentiate from her daughter, like today's version) appear from the WF. Hippolyta and all the other Amazons do not demonstrate any special powers. Oh, and Diana wears a plain chiton in this. I'll tell you when there are costume changes.

WW #105"Secret Origin of Wonder Woman" (with a little banner: "A Wonder Girl story") What an interesting issue this was! The Silver Age had started less than ten issues before when DC finally gave up on trying to keep up the Moulton/Peter feel for the book. Now we readers got to see Diana from the cradle, when she was granted powers by Aphrodite, Athena, Mercury (though Diana was already demonstrating speed), and Hercules (though, too, she already was quite strong). All this BEFORE the Amazons (apparently a nation of both men and women) suffered the calamity of having all their men wiped out in "the wars." Why yes, we may assume that this Diana indeed had a father, and from following stories we may assume that said father was Hippolyta's lover, Prince Theno.

Like I said, interesting stuff. No wonder the cover proclaimed that this particular origin story was "Never before revealed!"

To flee the wars, the queen decrees that the nation will take off in one ship (mighty crowded), which young Diana builds in one night. She guides the ship on its way, shoving it from a whirlpool, pulling together a giant snowball to put out a shipboard fire, and remaining awake when all the others are knocked unconscious as they sail through "a sea of gases." The ship finally comes out of the danger to face an island paradise, where they build their new home (with Diana handling the heavywork, of course).

Athena tells them, "You have just passed though the mists of eternal youth! You will always remain as you are providing you never leave this island! Princess Diana will grow to young womanhood -- and will also remain that way -- under the same condition -- never to leave Paradise Island!"

Diana is shown swimming up a waterfall, riding a roc and running off a mean-spirited whale. "She became versed in every language ever spoken..." including "caveman dialect," something Kanigher brought up quite a few times during the series. "Every science is made known to the girl wonder..." (Note we're shown huge telescopes and chemistry labs. The Silver Age Amazons, like the Golden Age ones but even better in this respect, knew their sciences.)

The story ends with narration: "Thus begins one of the most legendary careers of all time! And from time to time, we shall invite you on other breathless tales of adventure with the unique Wonder Girl!"

Note of interest: There's a one-page "Linda Lee" cartoon in the issue. (By Oksner? Maybe he just inked it.) Linda (Supergirl) Lee debuted in the May issue of Action Comics -- that's right, the very next month. This Linda even wears her brown hair in a pageboy, much like Linda (Sgirl) Lee did after she was adopted by the Danvers. Danverses. Whoever.

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ISSUE 106: May, 1959.
WF explained by historical story, making this IN CONTINUITY. 9 pp. Members of WF in story: Hippolyta (no powers)(oh, just assume she has no powers until I tell you) and Diana.

WW #106"The Invisible Wonder Girl!" Diana's running around without displaying any powers, putting others in harm's way. Wait -- it's not really Diana, but Rrara, a chameleon girl from the Chameleon Planet. Her shape changes are only illusions (yet when her people are shown, the changes are real enough. Hello, editor?), and she can't be photographed when she does them. She'd changed places with Diana just to have some innocent fun, but when she tries to switch back so Diana can fight a maurauding flying saucer (darn those pesky things, anyway!), she can't. A rain of cosmic dust on the Chameleon Planet finally allows Diana to return to Earth, but won't let Rrara return to her own world. Diana repels the flying saucer, which accidentally flies into its own death rays (can't have Diana actually harm a villain) and is destroyed. Diana says of Rrara, "As long as she can't go back to her own planet -- let's make her an honorary Amazon and teach her everything we know!" Rrara seems delighted at the prospect. Hey, I would, too.

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ISSUE 107: July, 1959. WF explained by historical story, but the entire raison d'etre of the story is WG looking at her future self which creates a mountain of paradox, as much as if, say, Hippolyta ever went back in time to become Wonder Woman, so I'd put this OUT OF CONTINUITY. 13 pp. Members of WF in story: Hippolyta and Diana (by end of story in chiton Wonder costume)

WW #107"Wonder Woman, Amazon Teen-Ager!" The redheaded Mer-Boy, Ronno, makes his first appearance. One day young Diana looks into the "time and space televisor" and sees herself grown up as Wonder Woman. So of course Wonder Girl wants a costume that mimicks her older self, but has to earn its three parts. Ever the masochist, Diana herself suggests three impossible missions to perform.

The stars she finds inside a giant clam on the bottom of the ocean, but she has to battle a deep-diving swordfish to save Mer-Boy. A glowing lasso (not necessarily THE magic lasso) has to be retrieved from the mouth of a volcano on Volcano Island. Diana has to ride the air currents (sigh... remember when) to safety and then use the lasso on a giant roc who gets Mer-Boy in its clutches. How ironic that the roc's nest contains the eagle emblem that will complete young Diana's red and blue chiton Wonder uniform. The changeover becomes complete when Mer-Boy takes Diana's "hair ribbon" (gee, all this time I thought it was a little royal diadem) as a souvenir.

Note: The Wonder series had her doing these little origin stories all the time. How WG got her costume. How WW got her Invisible Plane. How WW got her magic lasso. How WW got her groove back. Pay no attention to any of them for they all contradict each other. Note: Wonder Girl's the featured character on the cover! (She wears her diadem/hair ribbon like a headband on this cover only, and it has a red star in the center.)

Wonder Girl meets Mer-Boy

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ISSUE 109: Oct, 1959. WF explained by historical story. Even though it's incredibly stupid, I see no reason not to deem this IN CONTINUITY. 12 pp. Members of WF in story: Diana and Hippolyta. Note: Amazons are showing deviations from normal human abilities, and Hippolyta says she'll try to stop a missile which could mean with powers that she doesn't demonstrate, or by scientific means. Diana's costume has lost its short-sleeved look but her diadem/hair ribbon is back.

WW #109"Wonder Girl in Giant Land!" Paradise Island has a "missile-screen" and "air raid defenses." They don't work too well, for several missiles hit Paradise Island. Diana deflects one missile and rides it back through the rift it came through into "a time warp... another dimension!" where everyone and everything are giants (a frequent WW motif of the era). Diana deals with the giants: if she wins a contest of their devising, they'll stop bombing Paradise with their fireworks.

She has to leap from one cliff to another, but there are no air currents for her to ride the great distance. So she hitches a ride on her opponent, and the laughter of the giants watching stirs the air enough for her to ride the rest of the way.

A male (!) giant tries to ride a giant unicorn, and Diana must best him. She succeeds in fashioning reins from vines and hanging on long enough to win the contest. The next task is to swim through an unswimmable current to reach a certain rock. Diana digs a hole at the bottom of the river to divert the current, which creates a whirlpool, which she glides out of and then jumps along the waterway ("like a pebble bouncing on the surface of the water") to touch the rock. She didn't swim, but these giants are good ol' boys who loose one final firework for Diana to ride back home. We don't know how many buildings it damaged when it went off.

Note: WG is featured character on cover.

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ISSUE 111: Jan, 1960. WF explained by historical story. IN CONTINUITY. 11 pp. Members of WF in story: just Diana. Mer-Boy alternates between blond and strawberry blond.

WW #111"Battle of the Mermen!" Mer-Boy gets a (one-time) name: "Renno," which is different from Mer-Man's name of Manno, which might mean that they're different people or that their culture changes names at adulthood, or that the editor was just asleep that day because Manno hadn't appeared in WW's series yet, had he?

A tiara of pearls is the prize at the annual Sea Dance. Only when Wonder Girl saves him from a shark does the shy Renno ask her to the dance. But some "undersea centaurs" slip through Renno's secret passage and crash the dance. WG doesn't help Renno fight the centaurs because she doesn't want his feelings hurt that a mere girl would or could help, but she does save the crowd from some falling debris and lassos two centaurs. She shapes some coral into a mirror (?) to scare off a huge, nasty killer whale. Doesn't Paradise Island attract any nice whales?

The centaurs are so thankful that WG saved them from the whale that when she urges them to shake hands with the merpeople, they do. Diana is awarded the pearl tiara as a reward and she and Renno give a nice sermon about friendship for everyone in the world.

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