DC Retroactive: Wonder Woman-The 70s #1
Title: Savage Ritual
Writer: Dennis O’Neil
Art: J. Bone & Dick Giordano
Colorist: Kevin Golden
Letterer: Dezi Sienty
Cover Artist: J. Bone, Carrie Strachan
Editor: Kwanza Johnson
Publisher: DC Comics
Wonder Woman’s first foray into the Retroactive series is this unfulfilling offering from Dennis O’Neil. As Wonder Woman returns to Paradise Island, she finds it sinking beneath the ocean. Diana is swept up by an extraterrestrial intelligence who has established a series of trials for her to atone for the time she “devalued” herself, and our now-powerless Wonder Woman finds herself in battle with Joan of Arc and Goliath. And if that sounds strange and convoluted, that’s because it is. Rather than a celebration of Wonder Woman in the 70s, the book feels more like an indictment of the time period. The ending doesn’t even really make sense, with the alien bailing after two trials, leaving the third dangling. (This would be acceptable in an ongoing series, even a mini-series, but not in a one-shot that has little to no chance to being followed up in the future). Although the story is confusing, J. Bone’s artwork is considerably better. His style works well with the old-school Wonder Woman, especially in her mod outfit from the time period. It’s a cool looking issue, even if the story is a mess.
We also get a back-up story from the time when Wonder Woman had renounced her powers and heritage, which is what the first story seems angry about. Also written by O’Neil, this story is drawn by Dick Giordano. This time Wonder Woman and her blind mentor, I-Ching, are sent on a quest to find a kidnapped friend. Somehow, along the way, Diana winds up searching for a magic gem and throwing down with Catwoman. If this is indicative of the stories of the time period, I can’t necessarily say that poking holes in the era is unwarranted. Giordano was a great artist, but his work couldn’t really make me feel this weak story that doesn’t feel like Wonder Woman at all.