Wonder Woman: All the Anniversaries

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Last week, Superman hit #700; this week, it’s Wonder Woman‘s turn to reach a double-zero landmark, with #600. Here’s a quick history of the amazing Amazon’s anniversaries.

November 1950: Sensation Comics, which was effectively to Wonder Woman what Action was to Superman or Detective was to Batman, hits its 100th issue. “Wonder Woman, Hollywood Star” is a twelve-pager by Robert Kanigher and Harry G. Peter. Sensation was an anthology title, though, and other ongoing features in the issue include “Dr. Pat” (a spunky, mystery-solving woman M.D.), “Astra” (a girl reporter of the future) and “Romance, Inc.” (which predated Mystery, Inc. by several decades). Sensation wasn’t long for the world, though: originally a monthly, it had gone bimonthly in late 1949, subsequently ditched Wonder Woman to become a horror comic with #107, and ended with #109. On the radio: Nat King Cole’s “Mona Lisa.”

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August 1958: The issue number of Wonder Woman #100 seems like a bit of an afterthought from its cover. But it does include a brief story called “Wonder Woman’s 100th Anniversary,” by Kanigher, Ross Andru and Mike Esposito, in which the Amazons are hoping to put the 100th issue of her comic book in a time capsule, but don’t manage to get clear documentation of various adventures she has until she grabs Paradise Island with her lasso and hauls the entire island up into the air so a tidal wave that conveniently turns up on the next-to-last page will miss it. It took sixteen years to hit this point: Launched in 1942 and quarterly for most of its first few years, Wonder Woman went bimonthly in 1946 and started appearing eight times a year in 1954. On the radio: the Everly Brothers’ “Claudette.”

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May 1972: Wonder Woman had slipped back to bimonthly publication in mid-1967, and had traded in her costume for a white outfit a year or so later. It seems to have skipped everyone’s mind that #200, by Denny O’Neil and Dick Giordano, was going to be a big anniversary issue–roughly her 30-year anniversary of publication, for that matter. Creepy Jeffrey Jones bondage cover, too. Although arguably not quite as creepy as the cover that had run two issues earlier. On the radio: Loretta Lynn’s “One’s on the Way.”

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May 1982: As a 40th-anniversary celebration, Wonder Woman #291-293 are devoted to a three-part story, written by Paul Levitz and Roy Thomas, drawn by Gene Colan with various inkers, guest-starring most of DC’s superheroines, and saddled with titles like “Comes the Adjudicator!” The series had finally gone monthly in 1977; three months before this issue appeared, it’d gotten a soft relaunch with this hilarious cover. On the radio: J. Geils Band’s “Centerfold.”

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February 1983: Wonder Woman #300 is a crowded, oversized special issue centered on Diana’s dream life, written by Roy and Dannette Thomas and Dan Mishkin, and drawn by Colan with a handful of guest artists, some previously associated with Wonder Woman (like Ross Andru and Dick Giordano). The original Wonder Woman series continues through February, 1986’s #329, when it ends with a Crisis on Infinite Earths tie-in. On the radio: Evelyn “Champagne” King’s “Love Come Down.”

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