The greatest TV heroines of the 1970s meet for the very first time! Ain’t modern mash-up culture wonderful? Your Major Spoilers review of Wonder Woman ’77 Meets The Bionic Woman #1 awaits!
WONDER WOMAN ’77 MEETS THE BIONIC WOMAN #1
Writer: Andy Mangels
Artist: Judit Tondora
Colorist: Michael Bartolo & Stuart Chaifetz
Letterer: Tom Orzechowski & Lois Buhalis
Editor: Matt Idelson
Publisher: Dynamte Entertainment/DC Comics
Cover Price: $3.99
Previously in Wonder Woman ’77 Meets The Bionic Woman: Debuting in 1976, ‘The Bionic Woman’ was the story of Jaime Sommers, a professional outlet critically injured while sky-diving. Experimental bionic implants saved her life, allowing her to take a positive with the OSI, a secret government agency, using her cybernetic abilities for the greater good. The year previous, the same network brought us the adventures of Diana Prince, an Amazon who came to the Unites States during World War II, using her own abilities to work first with the War Department and then with a secret government agency known as the IADC. In short: Two excellent spies with awesome powers, and off we go!
MEANWHILE, IN 1977
This issue opens with a very helpful recap page, letting you know the information you need to know about Jaime Sommers and Diana Prince, including their respective spy agencies, the OSI and the IADC. Said agencies have brought both women to Washington DC for a joint operation, but before that happens, there is a massive crisis as a building explodes and threatens to collapse. Wonder Woman and Jaime leap into action together, immediately accepting the presence of the other and making for a particularly useful team. (Amusingly and/or wonderfully, the creators choose to add the respective sound effects of their powers as seen on ABC-TV, which did bring a smile to my face.) After dealing with the collapse, Jaime and Diana find that it is related to their new assignment: Working together on a protective detail for a particular high-level mind. This leads to another lovely action sequence (with, it should be noted, Jaime quickly figuring out that her new partner and Wonder Woman are the same woman, even remarking how it seems odd that Steve Trevor doesn’t) and ends with a sneak attack on IADC headquarters and a mysterious mastermind in the wings…
FAST-PACED AND ENERGETIC
This book takes off running from the very first page, and doesn’t let up until the final pages, but it doesn’t feel rushed. Indeed, the action actually feels remarkably refreshing, as the shows these characters came from had a tendency to drag sometimes (which, to be fair, was the mode of the day for superhero dramas of the times; The Incredible Hulk likewise has issues with this.) Artist Tondura does a great job with likenesses, always a concern with adapted properties, keeping everyone based on an actor on-model with the same level of detail as the comic-originating characters. Andy Mangels knows his stuff when it comes to classic TV, meaning that characters like Oscar Goldman, IRAC the IADC AI (say that ten times fast) and more are seen in these pages, and all of the developments stay within the established parameters of both shows (a more difficult proposition that one might think when you’re dealing with comic book versions of TV.)
THE BOTTOM LINE: REALLY ENJOYABLE (FOR THE RIGHT AUDIENCE)
In short, it’s a book designed to appeal to fans who remember the shows, but doesn’t require plot devotion or perfect recall (which is good, since I don’t remember a lot about The Bionic Woman.) Wonder Woman ’77 Meets The Bionic Woman #1 does a remarkable job with a difficult proposition, resulting in a fun story with well-rendered art, earning 3.5 out of 5 stars overall. It makes for a fun read, and one that I recommend in a pleasingly retro sort of way…