When the first few pages of Wonder Woman '77's inaugural installment finds the Amazon Princess squaring off against a trio of Soviet roller-derby assassins, clearly it's setting a very specific tone. DC's latest digital-first series borrows its core conceit from the successful Batman '66, presenting new comics stories from the world of an old TV adaptation.
Indeed, so far it's fairly faithful to the show's then-present-day setting, with Diana Prince and Steve Trevor working for a fictional government intelligence agency (the IADC) and getting their exposition from IRA the computer. Accordingly, in terms of period pieces, it's not exactly The Americans, but writer Marc Andreyko and artist Drew Johnson have done a great job capturing both the look of the show and the style of its leads. Their Lynda Carter is spot-on, and their Lyle Waggoner evokes TV-Steve's sparkly toothed swagger perfectly. Johnson (with colorist Romulo Fajardo Jr.) draws an especially detailed 1977, from the subtleties of Wonder Woman's costume to the crowds at Studio 52. (Of course it's "Studio 52.")
Still, neither Andreyko nor Johnson are strangers to the Amazing Amazon, and they include enough grace notes to indicate that this version hasn't gotten too far from her roots. Wonder Woman's retort to the Soviets that she's a citizen of the world, an all-white outfit for her night on the town and the final reveal of the special guest villain are all welcome touches. This first chapter moves along efficiently, presenting a fight scene, an expository interlude -- "protect a defecting scientist!" -- and then Diana and Steve's trip to NYC in search of said scientist. (See, he loves loves the nightlife, he's got to boogie, etc.) Throw in a star-spangled scene transition and the package is complete.
The Lynda Carter Wonder Woman series wasn't as stylized as its Bat-predecessor, being more of a '70s-typical action show than a subtle commentary on comics or super-people. Regardless, it's hard to deny Carter's charm, which is one of the main reasons she's so closely identified with the character. Wonder Woman '77 is well-positioned to take advantage of the series' goodwill and expand its scope via a different medium. So far it's off to a great start.
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