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Wonder Woman w/o Powers Pt. 31: World's Finest #204

Teamed together for the first time in a tale of tragedy… triumph… and today… Superman and the New Wonder Woman… Journey to the End of Hope!

Superman flies over “a large eastern university” and sees an angry mob below. Later, at the Galaxy Building, editor Perry White assigns Clark Kent a story on computer dating, even though Clark is now a television newscaster, not a “newspaperman.”

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Meanwhile, Ching tells Diana Prince that it is not healthy for her to be alone and recommends a computer dating service. Days later, she meets her date… Clark Kent! When the two are victims of an attempted mugging, Diana fights back so that Clark can protect his secret identity.

Their date is apparently as guests on a radio talk show, but when they open the door to the WMCL studio, they walk into “a flat, cold vista of sheer desolation!” In this strange place, the only oxygen is buried in a pocket under the soil. Superman builds an adobe to protect Diana while he investigates the alien world.

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Superman encounters a robot that, in case you weren’t paying attention to the cover, tells him that he’s on Earth 200 years in the future (2171.)

The robot further informs Superman that unless he and Diana can prevent the premature death of a man during a student riot in 1971, the desolation of the once-green Earth will be great.

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Unknown to our heroes, the thugs that attacked them have stumbled into the same time warp and have brought guns into the adobe where Diana is waiting. Superman arrives just in time and it’s his turn to thwart their intentions of payback.

By whirling around and around to build velocity, Superman is able to return them all to present day. Diana and Superman arrive at the riot and prevent a molotov cocktail from being thrown into the crowd. Nevertheless, even though they rescue a boy that seems to match the description of the person the computer described…

Thoughts

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World’s Finest #204 features a fun story about time travel and doing something in the present to prevent something bad from happening in the future. However, I love the twist ending… The results of time travel are unpredictable. Sometimes you do something right, but you might also do something wrong. As Superman exclaims, “We’ll never know!”

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The story takes place about a year ahead of the chronology I’ve been following in this series. At that time, Superman had not yet encountered Wonder Woman without powers and he’s surprised to see what she can do. I chuckled when a mere moment or two of conversation causes him to want to kiss her. Such is the attraction the two have shared over the years.

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Although she doesn’t do anything terribly out of the ordinary from her adventures in her own title at the time, I can’t help but wonder if this was a test run for writer Denny O’Neill, who would take the reins of Wonder Woman a few issues later. He hits the important notes for her character, yet sticks to the important ones, not diving much deeper.

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This issue also features a backup story with Captain Comet (The Guardians of the Clockwork Universe from Strange Adventures #22) and one with Green Arrow (The Rogue of 1,000 Ropes from Adventure Comics #176), both from 1952. It’s one of the 25-cent “bigger and better” issues that experienced a brief run before cover prices landed on 20 cents.

Title: World's Finest

Issue #: 204

Cover Date: Aug. 1971

On Sale Date: June 3, 1971

Writer: Dennis J. O'Neil

Penciller: Dick Dillin

Inkers: Joe Giella, Dick Giordano

Editor: Julius Schwartz


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