razzatazz's Wonder Woman #226 - A Life in Flames review

Golden helpers

In terms of what to expect out of the silver age, this issue pretty much has it all and pulls it off relatively well.  The gods Ares and Hephaestus have created a device which reacts to human emotion and will create a corresponding fire.  Meanwhile there is an actress that has been having trouble with here career which Diana is forced to care for as a result of a new position at the United Nations.  The powers being utlized here were a bit more realistic than usual than the complete lack of logic for some abilities and I thought Hephaestus made an interesting antagonist (especially with his metallic robot helpers.) 

  Perhaps the best part of the story is that Steve knows Diana and Wonder Woman are one and the same, which takes a lot of the unnecessary drama out of the series (and was a fact about their characters which regrettably didn't last long).  I also somewhat liked Diana's civilian clothes not that it is relevant to the enjoyment of the comic.  
Edited by Glenn1441

Fascinating to me that so many who have posted reviews of '70s era Wonder Woman comic books reference them as 'Silver Age.' They are not. And though there are some discrepancies among serious collectors as to when eras end and others begin, the mid-'70s comics are absolutely Bronze Age books. What makes this two-part story so iconic for those of us who grew up with these books is that such an unlikely, even unwitting, villain as Hephaestus -- considered among the gentlest of Greek deities -- was chosen to battle the Amazing Amazon -- a wonderful surprise! The golden handmaidens are a beautifully illustrated reference to the god's mythic 'robots' that the ancient Greeks imagined he created to aid his lame limbs -- a wonderful nod to high-tech Olympus! Moreover, interest in the Wonder Woman comic was renewed around this time (sales had been flagging for years) thanks to the excitement and buzz of the television series starring Lynda Carter. Indeed, not long after this issue hit newsstands, the comic would 'return' to Wonder Woman's Golden Age-roots, to benefit from the success of the series (which was set in 1942 for its initial 14-episodes). José Delbo and Vince Colletta handle the artwork -- satisfying in its economy of line and simple grace. Trivia: The uncredited cover image of the Amazing Amazon was chosen for the now highly collectible, vinyl lunchbox issued a year or so later. As to the over-the-top action: Welcome to the '70s, folks, when heroes were truly larger-than-life, and displays of 'clever' solutions to challenges mixed brawn and might with, um, rather impossible ingenuity. But hey, we loved it!

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