|This is also an editorial cartoon depicting the modern woman trying to "have it all."|
Then there’s the history of the “Wonder Family,” an invention of Kanigher’s which, frankly, allowed him to tell the same stories through three iterations of the same character – the adult Wonder Woman, her teenage incarnation of Wonder Girl, and her turn as a loathsome preschool homunculus by name of Wonder Tot.
|The panel before this, they literally |
explain that the Wonder Woman Family
Before we get that far, though, let’s get back to the Wonder Woman Family. At a time when the Batman and Superman books were full of similarly-costumed sidekicks and partners, Wonder Woman only had a shallow supporting cast bereft of fellow super-types. The solution became to tell tales from the Amazon’s past, teamed up in each instance with their mother Hippolyta – now blonde, and often going by the name “Wonder Queen” – and sometimes having basically the same adventures recycled through different Wonder-protagonists. An amoeba from space falls in love with Wonder Woman, an amoeba from space falls in love with Wonder Girl, it’s almost like a new story!
This particular adventure – the first in which the WW Family paradoxically united (Wonder Woman vol.1 No.124 “The Impossible Day,” August 1961) – opens with Diana Prince and Steve Trevor discovering cave paintings depicting Wonder Queen and Wonder Woman’s various youthful incarnations fighting a dinosaur. The earliest known Tijuana Bible? No, it’s a mystery which sends Wonder Woman dashing back to Paradise Island like an idiot (she HAS a phone)!
Choosing to tackle her mailbox rather than pursue the Neolithic mystery, a well-meaning Wonder Woman then lies about how much mail they’ve received from her readers demanding an adventure featuring all three incarnations of Wonder Woman teamed up. Oh, so much mail, everyone wanted to see that! Gosh! Huge fibs, major major fibbing going on there.
|I mean, honestly.|
The Wonder Family idles around doing nothing in particular until they happen to float past a nuclear test being conducted on a nearby island. While they whisk the radioactive fallout away from Paradise Island, they fail to notice a green-skinned, beanie-capped monolith of a man pop out of the explosion - a shape-changing Multiple Man who visits destruction on the world while chanting his mantra “What I want … I take! Whatever stands in my way … perishes! Nothing can stop --- me!”
In reverse order, the Multiple Man battles the Wonder Family in the shapes of a dinosaur, a burning giant, an evil bracelet, and a torpedo. It’s that first shape which leads to the clam-slamming sequence, which I honestly cannot believe made it past the editors. They musta had a bet riding on anyone noticing.
It’s while Multiple Man is in his dinosaur form that the Wonder Clan (no relation to Wonder Clam, recently plowed by a radioactive torpedo) pursues him through the time barrier, ending up amidst a society of stone age cave men. When Multiple Man is destroyed (by channeling lightning bolts through Wonder Woman’s magic lasso, just like all the science textbooks say will work), the cave people honor the moment by rendering the event on their cave walls, the prehistoric equivalent of commemorative plates.
And THAT, explains Diana Prince, is why the entire Wonder Woman Family is depicted on a cave wall fighting a dinosaur … except hold on a second. The battle against Multple Man was imaginary, a product of edited film. The sequence where Steve and Diana find the cave painting happens before the imaginary sequence, so it must be real. So how did an imaginary event cause a real-life circumstance in the far past? I dunno, but did I mention the scene where a dick-torpedo rams a clam-vagina? Fun times going on in the pages of Wonder Woman is what’s going on, man.
|THIS EXPLAINS NOTHING!|