Nostalgia buffs, rejoice. “Disco Inferno,” the first chapter of a three-part tale titled “The Velvet Ropes,” launches the digital first chronicles of Wonder Woman. Much like “Batman ’66,” this comic reaches back to the iteration of the character that has ingrained itself most deeply into pop culture. In this case, that iteration is Diana Prince from the 1977 “Wonder Woman” television series starring Lynda Carter. Written by Marc Andreyko and drawn by Drew Johnson, “Wonder Woman ’77” #1 makes a strong, fun first impression.
The time period of the Lynda Carter television series brings tacky (now pseudo-retro) fashion and Cold War paranoia with it, so it seems only natural that the threat that opens “Wonder Woman ’77” #1 is a bunch of roller-skating Russians. Andreyko makes a smart choice in introducing Wonder Woman to the reader through battle and then constructs her world in front of the reader, including introductions to Diana Prince, Steve Trevor and I.R.A. (the Inter-Agency Defense Command super computer). Topping it all off, by the end of “Disco Inferno,” Andreyko brings in one of Wonder Woman’s more recognizable comic book foes but filters that character through 1970s fashion and sensibilities.
Andreyko’s story benefits from Drew Johnson’s tight, smooth artwork. No stranger to the adventures of Wonder Woman, Johnson returns to the character that he drew for his 2003 Greg Rucka-written run, albeit with a very different interpretation of her. Johnson makes this Wonder Woman distinct from his previous work and imbues her with just enough of Lynda Carter’s appearance to make his source quite obvious for readers independent of the comic’s title. Wonder Woman’s trademark costume change spin makes an appearance and affords Johnson and colorist Romulo Fajardo, Jr. a true opportunity for collaboration. As he does with Wonder Woman, Johnson anchors Diana Prince in the retro time and style of the series. Taking everything a half-step further in his collaboration with Fajardo, however, Johnson presents readers with a wink and a nod as he draws a white suit-clad Diana Prince hitting the town in search of answers.
Fun time-influenced threats, new details and characters and just enough camp make “Wonder Woman ’77” #1 a smart, engaging debut. An affordably priced, well-paced introduction, this comic is yet another fine feather in the DC Digital First initiative’s cap. Readers don’t have to be well-versed in either the comic book or television interpretations of Wonder Woman but the more understanding they bring to this story, the more they will get out of it. “Wonder Woman ’77” adds another series to my digital-first reading subscription.