Wonder Woman w/o Powers Intro: Wonder Woman #177
A far-distant solar-system, whose planets know only peace and happiness… Until a strange, fearsome creature casts its ominous shadow over one of those planets, spreading terror and destruction! Soon the entire planet falls victim to the evil presence of a terrifying, alien ruler! Then, one by one, the neighboring planets topple under a fiery, menacing onslaught! At last the final planet in the conquered galaxy falls prey to the unquenchable greed of the all-mighty alien… Klamos!
Klamos the Mighty demands the people of Cronta bow their heads to their new ruler. However, he’s missing one thing: “a queen fit to rule with me! But she must be the most beautiful and powerful female in any world!”
Emissaries approach the planet earth and “witness the talents of a fantastic female – Wonder Woman,” as well as “another earthly female of incredible abilities” (Supergirl.)
The emissaries use a “spectrum beam” to turn the sun red so Supergirl loses her powers and they can use a "force field" to abduct her.
Part 2: The Captive Queens
An emissary disguises itself as a man in danger and tricks Wonder Woman into wearing bracelets that turn into handcuffs. She then joins Supergirl in the force field and…
As anticipated, Supergirl and Wonder Woman are the two survivors of an epic battle, but they refuse to fight each other… until Klamos threatens to destroy Earth if they don't!
Part 3: A Fight to the Death
Supergirl and Wonder Woman fight in the arena and Supergirl seems to have the upper hand…
It’s all a ruse, though, to expose the fact that “Klamos is nothing but a robot – created by Grok to rule the galaxy for him!” Supergirl and Wonder Woman reveal their true leader to the people of the planet, but Grok disappears, threatening, “I shall repay you for what you have done to me – perhaps your planet Earth will be my next conquest!”
Wonder Woman was created by William Moulton Marston and first appeared in All-Star Comics #8 (Dec/Jan 1941.) When Captain Steve Trevor crashes on Paradise Island, Queen Hippolyta hosts a competition to determine the Amazon most worthy of returning him to “Man’s World,” where she will remain to fight for justice. Forbidden to participate, her daughter, Diana, wears a mask and wins the competition. Hippolyta must honor the victory and sends Diana on her journey with a special uniform.
Wonder Woman appeared in Sensation Comics #1 a few months later (Jan 1942,) then in her own title a few months after that (Summer, 1942.) Sensation Comics continued for 116 issues, ending in Jan/Feb 1952, but Wonder Woman’s last appearance was in #106 (Nov/Dec 1951.) The Golden Age of Comics for Wonder Woman ended with Wonder Woman #104 (Feb 1959.)
…and the Silver Age began with #105 (April 1959.) In the story, Secret Origin of Wonder Woman, her origin was changed when Diana’s powers were explained as blessings from the gods: beautiful as Aphrodite, wise as Athena, stronger than Hercules, and swifter than Hermes.
Robert Kanagher had been writing for Sensation Comics since #41 (May, 1945) and for Wonder Woman since #29 (May/June 1948.) Irving Novick had been drawing Wonder Woman for only a few issues, since #173 (Nov/Dec 1967.) The Planetary Conqueror in #177 was a one-off for writer Bill Finger and artist J. Winslow Mortimer, the only time either one wrote or drew a story for an issue of Wonder Woman.
The characterizations are certainly dated, with the super-heroines concerned about superficial, womanly things…
However, it’s a perfect example of how, in the late 1960s, a change was needed to update the character of Wonder Woman. I’m not sure the change needed to be as drastic as it was, but we’ll determine that together as we explore the next chapter in the long history of Princess Diana of Themyscira…
Return next Wednesday as we "forget the old... the new Wonder Woman is here!"
Title: Wonder Woman
Issue #: 177
Cover Date: Jul/Aug 1968
On Sale Date: 5-2-68
Writers: Bill Finger
Penciller: J. Winslow Mortimer
Inker: Jack Abel
Editor: Jack Miller