This Is a Switch
This was a reintroduction of sorts for me to an era of Diana Prince/Wonder Woman’s life that I know very little about, the time that the Amazon Princess was an agent of the United Nations. Also in this issue I learned that though Steve Trevor had been killed in the loss-of-super powers Wonder Woman era, he’s been revived here in ’76, having adopted the last name, “Howard.” Apparently both Steve and Diana are finding it troublesome to cope with his resurrection as both have changed much in the time since his death. Diana is now a much more independent “career girl”, and Steve no longer wishes to play the damsel in distress to Diana as Wonder Woman. I surprised myself with how much I enjoyed the more realistic drama between this couple, and I imagine at the time having Steve know that Diana is Wonder Woman was an exciting twist. I’m of course comparing this to past issues of Wonder Woman from the ‘60s when the Amazing Amazon would swoon over her love for Major Trevor (UGH).
Unfortunately neither of the book’s stars get much resolution as Hephaestus, God of Fire, and new agent of Ares, the God of War, has created a device that he intends to test on the Amazing Amazon. Hephaestus’ “Viscero-Combuster” ignites mystical flame that spreads with the intensity of human emotion and the Greek God hopes to use it to create more war and hatred on the planet Earth in the name of Ares. While Wonder Woman devises a way to avert Hephaestus’ first attack, she soon comes to realize that her latest assignment as Diana Prince puts her in direct conflict with the Fire-God when he follows Ms. Prince to a movie set and decides to use the film’s star, forlorn actress/singer and in desperate need of a comeback, Julie Gabriel, as the catalyst for the next test of the Viscero-Combuster.
While the drama and action is a little campy and over the top, even for the late Seventies, that’s not to say this wasn’t an enjoyable story with solid artwork. My only real concern was the callous way Wonder Woman uses her magic lasso on the movie crew to prevent them from feeling emotion to keep Hephaestus’ mystic flame at bay. I realize the Amazon Princess was desperate to save so many lives at once, but to take over their wills without a second thought was a first, a little unsettling. This issue ends with Amazon and Greek God in stalemate and is to be continued!~ Hype