Place your bets now: Will Wonder Woman hit its 45th issue, or its 600th?

by  in Comic News Comment
Place your bets now: Will <i>Wonder Woman</i> hit its 45th issue, or its 600th?

Just as Marvel has returned several of its long-running titles — Captain America, Thor and Incredible Hulk, among the more recent — to their original numbering, DC Comics is contemplating the same approach with at least one series.

In this week’s “DC Nation” column, DC Comics Executive Editor Dan DiDio opens the door to the possibility that Wonder Woman, one of the company’s most consistently published titles, could mark its 600th issue in June 2010 (rather than No. 45 under the current system). Debuting in 1942, Wonder Woman was relaunched in 1987 and again in 2006, each time with a new No. 1 issue.

“In case you didn’t know, there is a group of Wonder Woman fans who feel that her ongoing series needs the numbering that would be reflective of her time and stature in the industry,” DiDio writes. “After all, both Superman and Batman are closing in on issue 700, and Wonder Woman, being an integral part of our trinity, should be right up there with them. … Not a bad argument. These fans felt so strongly about this, they even started a mail-in postcard campaign to plead their case.”

He offers the counter-argument that the current numbering — Issue 36 comes out later this month — “is more inviting to the casual fan who might want to come in and sample a series without feeling like the story is weighed down by over 65 years of history.”

Of course, by tinkering with the numbers, DC creates aggravation for those collectors who meticulously catalog and store their comics. (Yes, they’re still out there.) Worse still, perhaps, is the appearance of DC following Marvel’s lead, again.

I don’t care either way. But for those who want Wonder Woman to mark that 600th-issue anniversary next summer, DiDio issues a challenge: “600 postcards for a 600th issue. (And please no multiple mailings; they will be counted as one.)”

Odds are that it’s going to happen. After all, DC kicks off its yearlong 75th-anniversary celebration in January. With Superman and Batman both hitting the big 7-0-0 in 2010, and with possible movement on the decade-in-development Wonder Woman movie, the publisher’s unlikely to pass up a similar milestone for the Amazon princess.