Wednesday, September 22, 2010

The Top 20 Wonder Woman Covers of the 1970s

Honorary Mention: Ms. Magazine #1 (1972)
I remembered this at the last minute, and it's technically not a comic book cover, but there's serious historic and aesthetic value here.

20) Justice League of America #128 (March, 1976)

This one almost made my top ‘70s Atom cover list, because I love that little guy at everyone’s feet pointing at a “dead” Wonder Woman. It only just made this list, because Hawkman’s manner is just so damned considerate of our girl.

19) Diana Prince as The New Wonder Woman #189 (August, 1970)

I don’t imagine most people think “Wonder Woman” when they see a lady garbed in white oriental dress firing an anti-aircraft weapon at an attacking plane. Well, the book was called “Diana Prince,” and she’s got a full cartridge of leaden STFU if you don’t like it.

18) Wonder Woman #230 (April, 1977)

One of the great Cheetah covers, which counts for a lot, because Wonder Woman is just sort of ducking out of the way. No points for swerving, y’know?

17) It Aint Me Babe (July 1970)

Feminist commix by Trina Robbins, who eventually did work on “real” Wonder Woman books. I’m not sure it helps an argument to include Bessie the Cow amongst a group of heroines, and I guess Olive Oyl is supposed to finally be fightin’ the man. Brutus is gonna eat rat poison if he’s not careful. I love that song, by the way.

16) Wonder Woman #260 (October, 1979)

Speaking of which, we don’t get enough of Wonder Woman getting prosecuted on account of being demonstrably insane. Usually she’s either falsely accused or crazy without consequence. I guess it’s the virgin/whore thing again.

15) DC 100-Page Super Spectacular #6: World's Greatest Super-Heroes! (1971)

This was on three of the four cover countdowns I’m running today, but in this instance it isn’t by default amongst a bad lot. Wonder Woman is center spotlight, arm-in-arm with the World’s Finest.

14) DC Special Series: Wonder Woman Spectacular #9 (1978)

No, she's not saluting the Nazi flag, but that's how you'll remember it.

13) Adventure Comics #459 (September 1978)

I love Jim Aparo in general, and this is a rare instance of his drawing the Amazing Amazon. Additionally, she’s right up front with a great looking Flash and well ahead of an adequate Green Lantern. Put that on your button, DC! (Not on your button: Deadman or Elongated Man, but they’re looking fine here. Not so much Darkseid’s severed head.)

12) Wonder Woman #206 (July, 1977)

Let me break this down for people: It’s okay for black people to be villainous, so long as they are a) competent and b) balanced out by equally competent black heroes somewhere down the line. I don’t think anyone’s impressed with Nu’bya or whatever her name is as a Post-Crisis third rate heroic Amazon, but a badass Nubia competing as an adversary against Wonder Woman puts the best of Bronze in the Age. Besides, she got a doll. Did Cheetah get a doll? Either way, that makes Nubia one of the Wonder Woman villains for Generation X fans, at least in the mainstream. Think Black Manta, not Rocket Racer.

11) Wonder Woman #250 (December, 1978)

I’ve never read this comic, and I don’t know who that short-lived “new” strawberry blond Wonder Woman is. What I do know is that Princess Diana is straight up battered and trembling on that cover, which is a big deal.

10) Wonder Woman #219 (September, 1975)

I don’t care how “helpless” she claims to be-- she's about to beat that whole lot down.

9) Justice League of America #143 (June, 1977)

Superman just cannot be bitch slapped enough for my taste.

8) Wonder Woman #240 (February, 1978)

This made my top Steve Trevor covers list, because JLG-L is a champion, and the story just writes itself. Once again, the trembling says so much.

7) Limited Collectors' Edition #C-41: Super Friends (December, 1975)

More people watched Super-Friends that have ever read a single Wonder Woman comic in her entire history, and this is one of the single most iconic images related to that show. If it wasn't for Wendy & Marvin, Diana would be the foremost figure.

6) Amazing World of DC Comics #15 (August, 1977)

Mike Nasser, ladies and gentlemen. Also technically a magazine, but one about comics with comic art and, most importantly, pinkness. You can see this cover on the newsstand from the tenth floor.

5) World's Finest Comics #204 (August, 1971)

Once again, the blog has "Diana Prince" in the name, so I love the White Age of Wonder Woman. Plus, it's Neal Adams, who takes up two spots on this list, with another eight by artists working under his influence. Across all my '70s cover lists, Adams makes prominent showings. Bonus points for social relevance!

4) Wonder Woman #196 (November, 1971)

Sekowsky! This cover is just so f'd up, that once seen it cannot be unseen. If you look at it for more than a minute you a) can trick your eyes into seeing the inverse image projected against a white wall b)are probable perverted.

3) DC Special Series: Secret Origins of Super-Heroes #19 (Fall, 1979)

Everybody is cheering and elevating Wonder Woman to her proper stature. We need this image everywhere yesterday.

2) Wonder Woman #249 (November, 1978)

Something tickles me about that "Plus: Amazons!" It's like selling a football game with "Plus: Cheerleaders!" It's completely unnecessary, but you can't fault them for selling the goods. Also, Wonder Woman looks lovely and dynamic, she's got a back-up super-heroine, and there's peril creeping up from behind. This one has been used in merchandising, a rare exception from this list.

1) All-New Collectors' Edition #C-54 (1978)

Super-People tangling with Superman makes for good cover. José Luis García-López is even more reliable in that respect. Let the battle of the sexes begin!

More of Today's 1970s-tastic Cover Countdowns!


LissBirds said...

Is that a video camera, Mr. Dibney?

Dinah looks so happy in #3. This moment seems like it ranks up there with Guy Gardner getting punched in the face for her.

Diabolu Frank said...

Superman's feeling that, too! His head's going all boi-yoi-yoing!

karl said... you know where I can get no. 14, the Spectacular issue? Been looking for it everywhere.

Diabolu Frank said...

I bought mine out of a fifty cent bin a few years ago, and would consider giving it away once I get around to reading it. If you're disinclined to take your chances waiting on me, you might try My Comic Shop, a Texas based company I get most of my back issues from these days. They're charging $3.60-$13.00, depending on grade. It's at the following address:

karl said...

Thats very kind of you, I appreciate it. I will take note of that address but may I also take you up on your offer? Of all the issues I have, I have virtually all of them except this particular one [for some reason it was never released for long in England, where I am] and have often wondered about what was in it.
I would love to have this issue to complete my collection; I have all the others in this post! Whenever youre ready to let me maybe have it;
My email address is
and thank you once again!

Diabolu Frank said...

I'll prioritize a review of the issue and go from there. I've got to do some Bronze Age stuff soon, so it'll be an easy fit.