Tuesday, August 25, 2015


Three Men and a Babysaurus

I'll say this again: If you can look at a picture like the one above and still honestly tell me that you don't think there's any kinds of stories worth telling about Wonder Woman, then I'm going to have to ask you to leave this invisible plane, please.

Having read dozens upon dozen of these older Wonder Woman tales, I've been a little confused as to the modern interpretation of the character. According to the stories of the last two decades, Wonder Woman is the ultimate warrior, a character bathed in blood and trained in every deadly art known to mankind and then some. Her Lasso of Truth and her magic bracelets have become her least important armaments, she's now do-goodering behind a shield and a sword for the most part. Her contribution to almost every conflict is to grimace about the difficult choices of life and death inherent to violent conflict.

Pay up, Mortimer.
But here's the thing - Amazons have been living on a Utopian island for more than three thousand years, undisturbed by mankind and perfecting their own society. They have not experienced anything like war in millennia. They have a physical culture, of course, they run and joust and have fights, but these to celebrate competition and the physical self, not to wage war - the fields of Paradise Island aren't scattered with kanga corpses.

Likewise, Wonder Woman came to Man's World initially out of curiosity, and then to promote the Amazon utopian way of life to the rest of the planet. Amount of warfare involved with this: zero. She didn't even kill her Nazi enemies or what-have-you, she just sent them to late-night cable softcore women's prison.

So stories like this, where Wonder Woman is offered a ridiculous challenge and jumps at it despite its utter ludicrousness, seem so much truer to the character to my mind than the ones where she's snapping necks and then yelling at Superman for being a pussy about snapped necks (at the time, anyway).

The story begins, as all stories do, with two wealthy white men making deals inside a gentlemen's club. In some sort of Amazonian Trading Places, millionaires Scragg and Merriweather are debating the general merits of Wonder Woman. Merriweather is a big booster of the amazing Amazon, so Scragg decides to trick him into some sort of apparently super-clever bet; if Wonder Woman can perform a seemingly impossible task as set by Scragg, then Scragg gives a million to charity. If she doesn't, then he WON'T! The scales are ... the scales are minimal at best, but here we go!

Scragg and Merriweather agree to test Wonder Woman's suitability as a babysitter, but not any old babysitter! Her first charge is a beached baby whale resting on a nearby sandbar, while the second is a baby Dumbo Drop evidently.

I think he's tasting you.
According to the baffling headline, "All efforts to reach baby elephant dropped by chute from crashed circus plane fail!" is one of those headlines which raises so many more questions than it answers. Was the baby elephant piloting the plane? Did he bail? Is the baby elephant bored with his humdrum life and so decided to try skydiving? Do all the circus animals skydive? The answers to these mysteries could fill their own book.

The final baby to be sat by Wonder Woman is a bright red T-Rex frozen in ice, and who subsequently escapes. Listen, I know I'm crossing a lot of streams here, but Wonder Woman obviously babysits Devil Dinosaur, which works out really well because of the dual initials things. Wonder Woman and Devil Dinosaur! Say it soft and it sounds like praying.

As conflicts and violence goes in this story, there's absolutely none - Wonder Woman pulls a swordfish beak out of the whale's tail (I didn't know they could just lose their beaks like that, but y'learn a new fundamentally wrong thing every day), she makes a little rescue slide out of her lasso for the elephant, and she basically just rides the T-Rex around for a while until they become friends, and then a charity gets a million dollars.

And if you still think that's not enough for a story and you gotta bring in some necks to break, then I do not know what to do with you.

Final accomplishment: Friends with baby T-Rex.


James W. Fry 3.0 said...

I'm with you! That splash pages is thirty-one goddamn flavors of awesome! In a world where I was God-Emperor---well, actually we'd all be in a LOT of trouble. But there'd be a lot of comics like this to read before the inevitable crumble of civilization. Certainly room for your DARK KNIGHTs and your WATCHMENs and your MURDERDEATHBLOODSLASHSTRIKEKILLFORCEAAAGHAAAGHAAAAAGHs----but a lot of this, too.

John T. Kennedy said...

Beautiful. Who's the artist?

Calamity Jon said...

It's credited to H.G.Peter

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