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Saturday, October 15, 2016

THE TOP 5 GREATEST BATTLES OF WONDER WOMAN

THE TOP 5 GREATEST BATTLES OF
WONDER WOMAN


BY
John "THE MEGO STRETCH HULK" Cimino

WONDER WOMAN
Created by: William Moulton Marston, Harry G. Peter and Elizabeth Holloway Marston  First Appearance: ALL STAR COMICS #8 (1941)


Wonder Woman is without a doubt one of the most important superheroes ever created. While being the first "true" female comic book superhero character, she is also a founding member of the Justice League, Queen of the Amazons and a full-fledged demigoddess who can kick some serious ass. In her homeland on Paradise Island, she is known as Princess Diana of Themyscira, and to the outside world, she is known by her secret identity Diana Prince. But no matter where she, Wonder Woman commands the utmost respect! She's so respected in fact, that she is a member of the "holy" Trinity of DC Comics (Superman and Batman are the other members), so nobody can deny her influence and value to the comic book world.

Created by the American psychologist and writer William Moulton Marston, with his wife Elizabeth Holloway Marston, and artist H. G. Peter. Their cohabitant, Olive Byrne, is credited as being Marston's muse for Wonder Woman's physical appearance. Marston was also inspired from early feminists, and especially from birth control pioneer Margaret Sanger. This idea of an all-powerful female character that could stand out in a boys world and give the girls something to cheer for was ingenious. So ingenious in fact that both boys and girls continued to follow her comic book adventures every month (and that was something never really done up until that point in time).

Wonder Woman was sculpted from clay by her mother, Queen Hippolyta, and given life along with superhuman powers as gifts by the Greek Gods. However, in recent years she has been depicted as the daughter of Zeus, and jointly raised by her mother Hippolyta and her aunts Antiope and Menalippe. Her Amazonian-training helped to develop a wide range of extraordinary skills in strategy, hunting, fighting and weapon mastery. She possesses an arsenal of magical items, including the Lasso of Truth, a pair of indestructible bracelets, a golden tiara, and an invisible jet. In older stories, she had a wide-range of devices based on Amazon technology. Although Diana is 5,000 years old, her first exposure to non-Amazon society will have only come within the last 100 years, so she is still learning to understand the world around her. While the Amazons were originally created to protect "man's world," they ultimately abandoned it.

Wonder Woman was created during World War II and was initially depicted fighting the Axis military forces as well as an assortment of colorful super villains, although over time her stories came to place greater emphasis on characters, deities, and monsters from Greek mythology. Many stories depicted her rescuing herself from bondage, which inverted the "damsels in distress" trope that was common in comics during the 1940s. But the character always managed to sustain throughout the years and has developed into one of the most powerful superheroes in the DC Universe who is arguably second only to Superman. 

With that type of a reputation, you know Wonder Woman had to earn her stripes by battling it out with the worst the DC Universe could throw at her. And that is what this write up is all about. So presented to you, for the first time ever is Wonder Woman's top 5 greatest battles! Battles that defined her into the comic-myths and showed us readers that any character no matter what color, nationality or sex can endure forever and become an icon for all.


5.) UNLIMITED ACCESS #1 (1997)





Writer: Karl Kesel  Art: Pat Olliffe and Al Williamson

Access returns from an adventure with Spider-Man and reverts to his identity as Axel Asher. At that moment, Mantis attacks his school and Spider-Man tackles him when Juggernaut and Wonder Woman enter the fray and brawl it out. This fight is particularly interesting because Juggernaut is one of the heaviest-hitters from the Super-Heavyweight class in the Marvel Universe and Wonder Woman is one of the "royal" elite Super-Heavyweights in the DC Universe - how would they match up one-on-one? Well, the Amazon Princess bestowed with the power of the Greek Gods proves to be far superior to the magic of Cytorrak and totally pummels Juggernaut in hand-to-hand combat. Now working together with Spider-Man, they both knock out their enemies, who are then mysteriously teleported away. This fight proved that Princess Diana is clearly in a class all by herself by giving Juggernaut one of his biggest beat downs ever.


4.) WONDER WOMAN #9 (1987)  



Writer: Len Wein  Art: George Perez and Bruce Paterson

Myndi Mayer and Princess Diana arrive at Barbara Minerva's penthouse who easily tricks Diana into handing over her magic lasso. But Barbara is then forced to tell the truth when she holds the lasso and her deception is revealed. Diana is furious, and unfairly blames Myndi for the deception and takes her lasso and leaves. Later, Barbara uses the magic of the god plant to transform into the Cheetah and heads out to hunt the Amazon Princess. She finds Diana asleep in the woods and ambushes her to gain the upper-hand. Cheetah's new magical powers prove to be truly dangerous with her claws cutting Diana and hurting her badly. Diana eventually turns the tide of the battle by catching Cheetah in her lasso, but the magic of the god plant protects her from the lasso's power. Cheetah attacks again and now overpowers Diana, but before she can capitalize on it and land a killing blow, she's stopped by a gunshot from Julia Kapetelis. Cheetah is then hurled into a lake and when Diana goes looking for her arch-nemesis, she cannot be found.


3.) ALL NEW COLLECTORS' EDITION #C-54 (1978)


Back Cover


Writer: Gerry Conway  Art: Jose Louis Garcia-Lopez and Dan Adkins

In June of 1942, Wonder Woman stops a group of Nazi Suicide bombers from kidnapping a scientist and then stops their leaders when they assault Albert Einstein. When she tries to explain it to her boss, he says the FBI deny anything like that happened. Doing some investigating on this, Diana discovers an agent and professor are working on something called "Project Manhattan." As Diana breaks into a vault in the War Department and steals a file on the Manhattan Project, she is horrified at what she reads.

As Clark Kent and Lois Lane return from Midway to finish their story, Perry tells them that Chicago is being attacked by Wonder Woman! Soon Superman flies to Chicago to reason with her, but she has decided to eliminate all nuclear weapons no matter who gets in her way. As the two greatest heroes in the DC Universe clash in a battle of the ages, they realize that fighting in the city will just get someone hurt. They decide to continue their slugfest on the moon. Simultaneously, Baron Blitzkrieg is poised to attack the Manhattan Project research center in Oak Ridge, Tennessee while Sumo Samurai gets ready to attack the Manhattan Project research center in Los Alamos, New Mexico. Realizing that Earth is trouble, Superman and Wonder Woman, cease their battle and return to Earth.

There they split up to find the two halves of the reactor: Diana faces Sumo in Japan and Superman hunts down the Baron. The two heroes defeat the villains and bring them and the two halves of the reactor to a small island where the villains betray each other and perish in an explosion. The heroes return to Washington D.C. where President Roosevelt assures both of them that the United States would never use the bomb to kill anyone (yeah, rrrright). Satisfied, the heroes take their leave.


2.) WONDER WOMAN #28 (1948)





Writer: William Moulton Marston  Art: Harry G. Peter

This issue not only tells one of Wonder Woman's greatest battles ever, but it also signifies the first time a group of super-villains form a team. Wonder Woman's most deadly rogues; Giganta, Queen Clea, Byrna Brilyant, Dr. Poison, Blue Snowman, Hypnota, Zara, Cheetah and their leader Eviless form the dreaded Villainy Incorporated! Together their plan is simple; take control of Paradise Island and destroy Wonder Woman.

While the villainous team manages to capture the Amazons along with the Queen Hippolyta, Wonder Woman eventually comes to the rescue and sets them free. Banding together with the Queen and the Amazons, Wonder Woman attacks Villainy Incorporated and defeats them all. While the plot is pretty simple and straight forward, this is classic Golden Age super-heroic storytelling at its finest and truly an iconic moment within the Wonder Woman mythos.


1.) WONDER WOMAN #219 (2005) 





Writer: Greg Rucka  Art: Tom Derenick, George Jeanty, Karl Kerschel, David Lopez, Rags Morales, Nelson DeCastro, BIT, Bob Petrecca, Mark Propst and Dexter Vines

Wonder Woman confronts Maxwell Lord at Checkmate headquarters while a mind-controlled Superman is suffering from delusions that someone is attacking his loved ones. Diana attempts to talk Max into releasing her teammate, but he refuses, and uses his powers to cause Superman to attack her without any hesitation or restrain. Thus begins the greatest battle of Wonder Woman - a life and death struggle against the Man of Steel who will stop at nothing to destroy her. A slugfest so brutal, that it takes her Amazonian strength and skills to their absolute limits. During their intense fight, Max begins recording it by using the Brother Eye satellite just to show how dangerous the two combatants really are to the world.

Toward the end of this huge back and forth brawl, Diana finds herself overpowered and badly injured with a broken wrist. She will call upon flocks of birds to distract Superman, while she ties up Maxwell Lord in her Lasso of Truth. While the Man of Steel quickly attacks again, she brings him to his knees (and back to his sanity) by slicing his neck with her magical tiara and demands to know how to end the mind-control once and for all. Under the influence of the Lasso, Max reveals that the only way to end his control over Superman would be to kill him. Diana realizes that this is the only way she can put a stop to the immense threat of an insane Superman running amok in the world. She then makes her decision and breaks Maxwell Lord's neck, killing him instantly.



Agree? Disagree? Let's hear it fanboys!


Check out other "THE TOP 5 GREATEST BATTLES OF..." here:

   John "The Mego Stretch Hulk" Cimino
John Cimino is a Silver and Bronze Age comic, cartoon and memorabilia expert that runs a business called "Saturday Morning Collectibles." He buys, sells, appraises and gives seminars on everything pop culture, so if you got something special, let him know about it. He contributes articles to ALTER EGO, BACK ISSUE and THE JACK KIRBY COLLECTOR from TwoMorrows Publishing and has appeared on the AMC reality show Comic Book Men. He also represents some of comicdoms biggest stars and brings them to a Comic Con near you. John still thinks he's really Captain Marvel, people just don't have the heart to tell him he's just an obsessed fanboy that loves to play superheroes with his daughter Bryn. Contact him at johnstretch@live.com or follow on twitter at @Elastic_Hulk and have some fun.

www.heroenvy.com

10 comments:

  1. FINALLY!!! Somebody showing respect to this great character!

    Thanks a bunch John, much love.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you.

      While doing the research for this, I was surprised to find out that there wasn't any articles written on Wonder Woman's greatest battles. So being the genius that I am, I decided to write one lol. In all seriousness, this was fun to do. Glad you enjoyed it.

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  2. I like her fight Circe from WW #174-176. Maybe not the most epic power duel she's ever been in, but NOTHING beats seeing Diana lead practically every female superhero in the DCU into battle to rescue their menfolk.

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  3. Right when I clicked onto this I knew what what going to be number 1, nice list.

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  4. That fight with Juggernaut must have been fan fair, just like Storm against Wonder Woman.

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  5. That fight with Juggernaut proves DC Greek Gods > Cytorrak.

    DC Gods are forces of nature. Abstract beings with the power to destroy the universe or create one. They can only be hurt by other gods or sufficient supernatural forces. Beings like Superman can stagger them but can't kill them.
    DC Odin can create parallel universes just to fool Ragnarok.
    Vishnu can destroy all of creation with a blink of an eye.
    Cronus has conquered Heaven where Lucifer has failed. No Presence though.
    DC Ares can conquer the Universe below and the Heavens above during the Imperiex War
    Mikhohai can create thousands of worlds just to name a few.


    Juggernaut tangles with Thor who is supposed to be a "god" but isn't immortal and can be KOed with mere fists.

    Grand Wonder

    ReplyDelete
  6. First Born...

    It was all over the place and stretched out, too long (wa-aay too long) and too weird, but, it was definitely one of her most iconic battles.

    She also had some great scraps with Ares, Queen Atomia, Doctor Cyber, Medusa, Devastation, Cheetah, Silver Swan, the Adjudicator and the White Magician, but, I can't really say she's had her defining battle or story, yet. She hasn't had that protracted fist-fight in the street, as the fabric of reality unravels, and helpless mortals tremble. She hasn't had that battle that forces us to look at her, as though we're seeing her for the first time.

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  7. Great list!!

    Here are my TOP 5 Greatest Battles:

    5. Vs White Magician - She had to use the gauntlet of Atlas to win because she was depowered fom the start and almost spent when restored to full power. This fight caused the death of Artemis.

    4. Vs Genocide - Only she stood a chance after numerous lives have perished and the Justice League are unable to stop it. She had to overcome attacks from both mental and physical fronts and succeeds.

    3. Vs First Born - She had to go unleash her godmode just to win and she did. She punched a hole though his chest where the New 52 Olympians were routed and Orion treated like a toddler.

    2. Vs Ares - World War 3. Earth is about to be destroyed. She faced the god of war at his realm where he's omnipotent. What can she do where Mjolnir, heat vision or a gamma-powered punch would surely have no effect? The lasso of Truth. Ares learned the folly of his ways.

    1. Vs Cronus - The father of Zeus has trashed Olympus, toyed with the Hindu gods including Vishnu who could destroy all of creation effortlessly and has conquered Heaven where Lucifer has failed (deemed a threat to the Presence by the King Angels themselves). Not only is the universe is at stake but the Heavens above it. She won using her wisdom more than her skill and strength. (2nd greatest strength feat ever - she destroyed the scepter with her bare hands which is the only thing that can contain it. A mere fraction of it caused a galaxy-wide destruction. Just think Mjolnir but definitely more durable. Like lots.)

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  8. She still hasn't had that bare-knuckle brawl with her 'arch' and the story the leads up to it ..that defines her, as a superheroine. It's a battle that, when it happens, it will be clear to everyone, new and old to the comic, why she's doing what she's doing and why we give a damn. I think it will be a battle, in which Diana sacrifices herself to end some unimaginably fearsome threat - a threat that promises to enslave humanity, destroy the world or change it, beyond reckoning, forever! Does she walk away from that fight? Is she carried away? I don't know, but, it'll be the defining fight of her seventy-five years in publication, ..and, as infuriating as it is to say...

    We haven't seen that fight, yet.

    The First Born arc, had it not been stretched out to sell trade paperbacks, might have been that story. I think that the problem with that story - the BIG problem - is that Brian Azzarello didn't do a very good job of illustrating the threat First Born posed to the world. He hinted at it, with First Born's origin issue, but failed to show us how his conquering the world would play out in the present day. Diana didn't know First Born's origin story, which was wiped from history, by Zeus; so, we can't say that she was fighting to prevent him from doing to the modern world, what he did in the past. We don't really know what Diana imagined she was protecting the world from, and Mr. Azzarello never bothered to make that clear - he should have. Had he made the threat clearer - blood gushing from everyone's eyes for a thousand years, everyone turning into pork chops, a third Schumacher Batman film - the First Born Arc might have been the greatest WW story ever told.

    When I think of all the ways that this story fell short, in spite of everything it had going for it - potentially classic super-villains, best WW supporting cast, ever [EVER!!!] - it just makes me mad. I think most of Azzarello's contributions to the comic, notably the First Born and Cassandra the Mad (a-aand her badass CARRIER), were brilliant! I still think, comparatively speaking ..and as a complete work, it stands a full head and shoulders above nearly every WW story that I've ever read, ..but, the First Born arc also continues to be one of the most disappointing comic book stories that I've ever read.

    In spite of many fans' problems with Mr. Azzarello's changes to the comic, this story came very, very close to being WW's DKR.

    When that story finally comes together, we will all know it, and there'll be no doubt, amongst die-hard WW fans. There'll be a narrative atmosphere of epic eventfulness about it. It will feel like an important story. As with all great comic book stories, there will also be an unscripted inevitability there; it will feel like the story that had to be told, and, when it's done, the wait will have been worth it. Ironically, I think there will also be a little disbelief at what we've read, and we'll all just slump down, a bit, in whatever chair we read it in, ..steamed in our own juices.

    Most importantly, however, there will also be a feeling that it's Diana's battle. Somehow, we will know that she had to be there. It will feel like she was the right one or the only one, who could fight this battle! There've been a few WW moments, where a writer came close to that, over the years, ..but, not nearly close enough. That story will be the Dark Phoenix Saga or Dark Knight Returns for WW fans, ..and it just hasn't happened, yet.

    ReplyDelete