Thursday, May 31, 2018

“Wonder Girl's Mystery Suitor!” (July, 2000)

On a shore of Paradise Island, Queen Hippolyta looked on as her teenage daughter Diana used her Amazon bracelets to deflect lightning bolts during a rainstorm. Aphrodite appeared in the heavens to condemn this frivolous use of the pantheon's gifts, and ordered Diana to find an appropriate suitor by sundown to prove herself worthy of the Goddess of Love's continued patronage. Diana was swiftly propositioned by her Silver Age beaus Mer-Boy and Bird-Boy, but she only had eyes for a beautiful new arrival, Centaur-Boy. This suitor demonstrated great powers, but was also terribly conceited, only wishing to talk about himself. Though she struggled with her desire for him, Diana ultimately lassoed him to demand the truth. "Your beauty is only skin deep, Centaur-- and I could never love anyone whose flaws outweighed his charm! You're part of Aphrodite's test, aren't you?"

And so it went that Centaur-Boy was a mere illusion, and Aphrodite congratulated Diana's passing the true test to gauge her understanding of "the value of the love that powers you... No matter what the threat, you must always be true to your heart-- and never give it to one unworthy!" Centaur-Boy vanished, leaving Wonder Girl to contemplate whether she would someday choose between Mer-Boy and Bird-Boy.

“Wonder Girl's Mystery Suitor!” was a short back-up story in Silver Age 80-Page Giant #1 by Mark Waid & Ty Templeton

Tuesday, May 8, 2018

Silver Age: Teen Titans (July, 2000)

In an adventure set during the early days of the Teen Titans, Wonder Girl Donna Troy was helping her friends read their fan mail, and said of one solicitation to take her to the prom, "Ha ha ha. Tell him my eight-foot alien boyfriend doesn't like me dating other guys." An autocratic lawman at the beachfront property of the ultra-rich Seaside used hi-tech mind control and a well armed masked gestapo to create a town of Stepford teens. Individual young people manage to temporarily rebel and send letters seeking the aid of the Titans. Wonder Girl suffered the archer Speedy's incessant flirtations while investigating with Robin, Kid Flash and Aqualad. Soon, the team was forced to battle Sheriff John Law's police force, captured, and tortured. In Wonder Girl's case, she was held in space by magnetic poles repelling shackles holding her arms and legs. With Robin unable to think, Speedy came up with a plan that used Donna's magnets to help free the team. Donna complimented Speedy, which only invited more advances.

Meanwhile, the alien Agamemno caused the foes of the Justice League of America to swap bodies with our young heroes' mentors. Batman in The Penguin's body, Aquaman in Black Manta's, and Flash in Mr. Element's sought help from their charges, but found that they were off on a mission. Tracing the Titans to Seaside, the trip was unable to convince their wards of their true identities, and a three way clash ensued involving Sheriff Law and the Titans themselves being mind-controlled. Eventually, "The Penguin" helped Robin overcome his conditioning and capture Law's men, while the Sheriff himself appeared to perish and the "villains" made their escape. In a story largely centered on Robin, the Boy Wonder never does manage to figure out that Batman and Penguin have swapped places, despite some rather arch tells. "The Tyrannical Terror of Sheriff Law" was by Marv Wolfman, Pat Oliffe, and Andrew Hennessy. For my taste, there were far too many turnabouts without much actual progress, and the premise was exactly the sort of arch throwaway nonsense that makes me continue to avoid actual Silver Age Titans material. Oliffe draws a lovely Donna, but she isn't given much to do.