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Wonder Woman w/o Powers Pt. 15: Wonder Woman #189

Now we find Diana and Patrick in the office of inspector McLean of the Hong Kong police who has just informed Diana that two days ago I Ching had slipped into Red China in search of Lu Shan, who had escaped there after the death of Dr. Cyber and the collapse of her plan to rule Earth!

Pat also tries to discourage Diana, showing her what she will be up against if she tries to enter Red China. He fails, though, so agrees to go with her. They meet an old friend of Pat’s (he has a lot of those), a make-up man who gives them Asian faces, and then fly across the border quietly in the middle of the night.

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As they approach Ashai, the village Ching had mentioned in the past, their plane is suddenly attacked…

Nevertheless, they make it into the village and immediately locate Ching.

By order of the government, the villagers are being transported north to work in the mines, where they will surely die. How in the world, though, can they rescue so many people?

Many pages depict the heroes plotting and the villagers preparing, but I find it hilarious that these two panels appear in the middle of the action:

The villagers escape, but the military is hot on their trail. When a crying child reveals their location, there’s a brief skirmish. The good guys seem to have the upper hand, but Diana is unable to stop one of the soldiers from radioing a message.

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Bad luck becomes worse as the steamboat is attacked by bandits, then even worse as the military flies overhead. Diana does her best to fight back, but it takes Pat to show her how it’s done…

The calvary, in the form of a British gunboat arrives in the nick of time so there can be a happy ending. Later…

Miss Prince – for disobeying her majesty’s laws – your passport is being confiscated and you are given 24 hours to leave Hong Kong...

Tragic, perhaps, but more importantly…

Thoughts

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If issue 188 was a breeze that rushed us along, 189 was a heavy wind that we had to fight against. I didn’t care for it. The story is uneven and comes in a familiar format of which I’m not particularly fond: interrupting a larger journey for a smaller side trip to take care of unrelated business.

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Here, forget the search for Lu Shan, Ching’s friends need help. While it makes the story a nice one-off, it really interrupts the larger story the series is telling. Plus, it ends with Diana and company being thrown out of Hong Kong. Does that mean the search for Lu Shan must end?

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I also don’t care for the politics of the story. I mean, the reality of the situation overwhelms the fun adventure of most the previous issues. This is a personal preference. I’m sure quite a few people would enjoy the action that seems taken from a comic about war, not superheroes.

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The letter column, The New Wonderful World of Wonder Woman, has the most incendiary comments yet from a reader, Tom Tanner, each point to which “the Editor” replies… quite bluntly:

The title masthead on the cover is sloppy and vapid. (Tanner) The old Wonder Woman was dropped because the sales on the old WW were so bad that the book was going to be dropped. (Editor)
Just because you have pitches the old WW out the window does not mean that you must ignore all the work that Charles Moulton put in his original character. (Tanner) Super characters, or as they are called “The Union Suit Set,” aren’t doing too well with today’s readers – and it’s to today’s readers that we must cater to, not to a bunch of old fuddy duddys who only look back. (Editor)
The idea of a woman having a man for a sidekick is stupid. If they were equals, fine, but sidekicks are a thing of the past. He is not that good a character, he is dull, he is old, he is helpless, and he seems to have only one dimension as far as emotions go. (Tanner) I-Ching and Diana Prince are equals. He is not helpless, and he has quite a set of emotions. (Editor)
The stories in the new WW are mundane and childish. I have seen better work come out of your typewriter, yet this talent has not shown itself so far. (Tanner) I personally feel that too many of DC’s stories are still being written and plotted for the year 1940 instead of 1970. (Editor)

Wow! Who says social media trolls and fan negativity are a new phenomenon? They’ve been with us always, just not as clearly visible. Kudos to Mike Sekowsky for taking on this bully.

Title: Wonder Woman

Issue #: 189

Cover Date: Jul/Aug 1970

On Sale Date: 4-30-70

Writer: Mike Sekowsky

Penciller: Mike Sekowsky

Inker: Dick Giordano

Editor: Mike Sekowsky


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