Wonder Woman, whose first live-action movie premieres June 2, is usually described as “beautiful as Aphrodite, wise as Athena, stronger than Hercules and swifter than Mercury.” But that hasn’t protected her from some really dumb stories over her 76-year history. Here’s a Top 6 list of silly Wonder Woman bits.
6. His girl Friday
Before the Justice League, there was the legendary Justice Society of America (JSA), which united the greatest superheroes of two publishers in 1940. Naturally, it wasn’t long after Wonder Woman’s 1941 debut that Hawkman, chairman of the JSA (renamed Justice Battalion during the war) invited the Amazing Amazon to join their prestigious group — to take the minutes. “Wonder Woman, the members of the Justice Battalion feel that even though you’re now an honorary member, we’d like you to act as our secretary,” announced the Winged Wonder in 1942. “Why,” replied Diana, who could probably have twisted Hawkman into origami, “that’s quite an honor!”
5. Want fries with that?
For a little while in the ’90s, Diana worked in a fast-food joint called Taco Whiz. I can’t even.
4. Polly paradox
In 1986, a new origin established Diana as in her 20s, not in her 520s. So who was in all those “Wonder Woman” comics going back to 1941? To solve this dilemma, writer/artist John Byrne dressed Diana’s mother Hippolyta in the iconic costume and sent her back in time to fill in. The JSA called her “Polly.” Which is weird, because Hippolyta has been alive since ancient Greece — she didn’t have to go back in time to be in World War II. She was already there. You’d think people would notice a thing like that.
3. Short stories
In the early 1960s, DC began running stories of Wonder Woman when she was a baby. She was called Wonder Tot and met genies, monsters and mer-people, as you do. She also met herself as a teenager and an adult for a number of stories, initially as a result of Hippolyta splicing old family movies together. These were called “Impossible Tales,” likely because they were.
2. Birds and bees (and fish)
Also in the early ’60s, DC began running stories of Wonder Woman as a teenager. These “Wonder Girl” stories featured the Amazing Adolescent dating the sort of boys who were available around Paradise Island, which didn’t allow (human) males. Specifically, that would be Ronno the Mer-Boy and Wingo the Bird-Boy. Ronno was from a race of people who were fish from the waist down. Wingo was from a race of people who were birds from the waist down.
Do I need to explain what’s wrong with this picture?
1. Who’s the baby daddy?
Long-running comic characters often have details of their history changed or updated. But even by that standard, Wonder Woman’s past is amazingly fluid. Some things remain somewhat standard. Diana’s powers always come from the Greco-Roman gods, as gifts or genetics. Her mission remains constant: to bring peace to “man’s world.” She’s always the daughter of Hippolyta, queen of the Amazons.
But her daddy? Well, usually she doesn’t have one — in most origins, she’s a clay statue brought to life by the gods.
In 1959, though, writer Robert Kanigher (briefly) gave her a real father, later revealed as some dude named Theno, who was lost at sea. In fact, in that story, all the Amazons had husbands, but they all were wiped out in the wars. “Woe is us,” one Amazon said, rather un-Amazonly. “We are … alone ... now!”
Alone — and talking like William Shatner. Oh, the humanity!