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Comic Legends: The Truth Behind Wonder Girl Becoming a Teen Titan

Welcome to Comic Book Legends Revealed! This is the seven hundred and forty-ninth installment where we examine comic book legends and whether they are true or false.

As usual, there will be three posts, one for each of the three legends.

NOTE: If my Twitter page hits 5,000 followers, I'll do a bonus edition of Comic Book Legends Revealed that week. Great deal, right? So go follow my Twitter page, Brian_Cronin!

COMIC LEGEND:

Bob Haney didn't pay attention to Wonder Girl's appearances in Wonder Woman when he added her to the Teen Titans.

STATUS:

I'm Going With False

One of my very first Comic Book Legends Revealed dealt with how Wonder Girl was added to the Teen Titans by mistake.

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Quoting from that legend, "[I]n the late 50s, writer Robert Kanigher, in the pages of Wonder Woman, had decided to give Wonder Woman the same approach that Superman was given, by telling tales of when Wonder Woman was a toddler (Wonder Tot) and a young girl (Wonder Girl).

These stories proved to be quite popular (so popular that, by 1965, there would be issues where Wonder Girl's name would be larger than Wonder Woman's on the title of the comic), so Kanigher's next step was, in the early 60s, to tell "impossible tales" where there would be a team-up of Wonder Woman, herself as a toddler, herself as a girl, and her mother."

A few years later, Bob Haney then added Wonder Girl to the roster of the newly formed Teen Titans (Robin, Kid Flash and Aqualad had had a team-up by Haney and Bruno Premiani a few issues earlier and it had done well enough that it got a sequel in Brave and the Bold #60, with the heroes now becoming an official team)...

Here she is waving goodbye to her mother, Queen Hippolyta, along with Wonder Woman...

Now, as I wrote in that Comic Book Legends Revealed oh so many years ago (man, it was nearly FIFTEEN YEARS AGO), it WAS, in fact, a mistake, as, again, Wonder Girl was not a distinct character, but rather just a younger version of Wonder Woman.

However, for years, people have been dinging Haney for not reading the stories correctly (Here's an example, just used because it came up on a quick Google search, "But hilarity ensues when a new writer, Bob Haney, misinterprets the four as completely separate characters. Haney messes up the continuity of the overall story and somehow makes it so that Wonder Woman is her own sidekick, as Wonder Girl.") I was no better, as I have said much the same thing over the years.

Last year, though, I was re-reading the Wonder Girl appearances directly leading up to Haney's formation of the Teen Titans and it really looks like we've gotten it wrong about Haney all along. I wrote about this in a piece last year and my pal, Joshua Lapin-Bertone, thought that it worked well as a Comic Book Legend and I think he is right, so here we are!

Anyhow, a few years after the introduction of the "Impossible Stories" concept, we were up to late 1964 (around the time that Haney would be sitting down to write Brave and the Bold #60, which came out in April of 1965) and things were not particularly obvious that Wonder Girl WASN'T a distinct character.

In Wonder Woman #147 (released in May of 1964), we got a reference by Wonder Woman in the front of the issue...

but that's it. Everything else in the issue treats Wonder Girl very much like a distinct character...

However, four months later, in Wonder Woman #150, there is no introductory explanation...

It's just right into a story starring Wonder Girl...

featuring Wonder Woman, like it's totally normal...

And the next issue, specifically starring Wonder Girl, also doesn't explain it as anything but a story featuring a teen hero who fights alongside Wonder Woman, to the point where she dreams she IS Wonder Woman...

Check out when she meets up with the other members of her family, calling Hippolyta "mother"...

There is no "careful" reading of that comic book that would get you to believe anything other than Wonder Girl being Wonder Woman's teen sister.

#152 is also like that, but since that came out in December, I think that's pushing things for a comic book (Brave and the Bold #60) that came out in April. But a September and November comic book would be right in line with when Haney was writing Brave and the Bold #60, so it all makes sense why he would think Wonder Girl was a distinct character who was the OTHER daughter of Hippolyta.

For years, everyone (me included) gave Bob Haney a hard time about his "careless mistake" that introduced Wonder Girl, but in reality, Haney was just following the lead of the actual Wonder Woman comic book series by adding Wonder Girl to the Teen Titans as a distinct character. It's still technically a mistake, but not the haphazard one we always thought it was.

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Check out some other legends from Legends Revealed:

1. Was Beverly Hills Cop Really Originally Written for Sylvester Stallone?

2. Did Jay Thomas Get Fired From Cheers Because He Insulted His Co-Star Rhea Perlman?

3. How Did Tom Petty's Wife's Accent Lead to the Song “Edge of Seventeen”?

4. Did a Singer Once Record 28 Variations of the Same Hit Song Depending on Where the Song Was Released?_______________________________________________________________________________

Check back soon for part 2 of this installment's legends!

And remember, if you have a legend that you're curious about, drop me a line at either brianc@cbr.com or cronb01@aol.com!

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