Wonder Woman Theme (The Best Themysciran Symphony Dialogue Dance Mix) by TazDamianDevil: www.youtube.com/watch?v=yivtn1qRo20
Outro music: Wonder by The Doubleclicks: www.thedoubleclicks.com
Review Summaries for the Hearing Impaired
(Not exact transcripts, these are the summaries I write up that I base the recordings on. I’m including them in the post to make the podcast more accessible.)
All Star Comics Vol. 1 Issue 18
We start with an airplane running out of gas over the ocean, crashing on an uncharted island. The pilot is pulled from the wreckage by two women, who say they’re shocked to see a man on paradise island. The dark-haired woman, called Princess, takes the uniformed officer to the hospital through what looks like an ancient Greek city. At the hospital, Hippolyte, the queen, learns from his ID that he is Captain Steve Trevor of the US Army Intelligence Service. She says he must leave as soon as he’s healed. Her daughter the princess falls in love with the man but her mother forbids her to see him. When the princess asks why Hippolyte says it’s finally time to tell her the history of the Amazons.
Next we have a section of mostly text about how in ancient Greece Hercules tried to conquer the Amazons, but Hippolyte challenged him to singe combat because she knew she couldn’t lose while wearing Aphrodite’s magic girdle. She defeated the son of Zeus, but he tricked her and took the girdle, so the Amazons became enslaved. and there’s a picture of the Amazons getting chains on their wrists. Aphrodite wouldn’t help since Hippolyte succumbed to the wiles of men, but later she relented and Hippolyte was able to get the magic girdle back. The Amazons defeated Hercules’ forces and took off in their ships, and Aphrodite commanded that they leave the world of men and make a world for themselves where they would never be beguiled by men–and as a reminder they had to always wear the bracelets they’d been chained with, which is why every Amazon seems to be wearing cuff bracelets on each wrist. As long as they keep their promise to the goddess these wonder women live an eternal life with no war, illness, or hatred, which is why the American must leave as soon as possible.
The princess wants to know how the pilot got to Paradise Island, so her mother uses the Magic Sphere of Athena, really just a big round mirror, to show her what happened. This mirror lets the Amazon queen see the outside world, which is how they all speak English and know about modern technology.
So the magic sphere gives us a flashback to America where Captain Trevor has discovered a German spy ring, but when he confronts them they knock him out and put him in a stolen American “robot plane” that they set to fly over an aerodrome while they fly high above it dropping bombs. The idea is to make it look like Steve’s a traitor, which works until he wakes up and chases the German bomber far out over the ocean until he runs out of gas and crashes on Paradise Island.
Hippolyte decides to ask the gods how to return the man to his homeland, and Athena and Aphrodite tell her that once again the entire world is in danger, so the gods caused the plain to crash on Paradise Island so that the strongest Amazon warrior can return with the Captain to fight oppression and preserve freedom for America and all womankind. The queen decides to hold a tournament to choose who will go, but refuses to let her daughter enter because the winner will never be allowed to return. They hold the contest, and when there are only two contestants remaining–one of whom insists on wearing a mask–they have the final test of “Bullets and Bracelets.” This is where the contestants shoot guns at each other and have to use their cuff bracelets to catch the bullets. The masked Amazon wins, and to the surprise of no one who’s not a ’40s comic book character it’s actually the princess. The queen accepts her daughter’s right to be their Wonder Woman in America, tells her to to call herself Diana after her godmother the moon goddess, and gives her a red strapless dress with a gold eagle on the torso and a blue star-spangled skirt the queen designed for the contest winner to wear in America.
Wonder Woman Vol. 2 Issue 1
In 30,000 BC, a caveman, angry at being kicked out of his tribe because his hand was bitten off by a saber-toothed tiger, uses a club to lash out at his pregnant wife as she tries to comfort him. As her blood pools on the cave floor, he watches in fright when a blast of light erupts from her body and shoots into the sky.
Fast-forward to 1200 BC: on Mount Olympus, Artemis, goddess of the hunt, wants to create a new race of mortals to lead mankind closer to the gods with love and compassion. Ares argues to Zeus that this will never work, that man only understands violence. Athena says violence will cause mankind to destroy itself, which would be the end of the gods as their worship is what gives the Olympians strength. Zeus refuses to give his blessing, but will not stop his children from creating this new race. Ares leave Olympus, sure that mankind’s lust for war will eventually make him stronger than the god of thunder, while Athena and Artemis decide to go ahead with their plan. Hermes takes them to the Underworld, where they meet with Demeter, Aphrodite, and Hestia, goddesses of harvest, love, and the hearth, respectively. The five goddesses travel to Gaea’s womb–a place called the Well of Rebirth–where dwell the souls of women whose lives were cut short by men’s fear and ignorance. The Olympians send these souls back to earth, reborn as fully grown women–all except one, a soul with a special destiny whose time is yet to come. The five “midwives of Gaea” greet their new daughters, telling them of their mission to lead humanity by example. They give the leaders of the Amazons, Hippolyte and Antiope, special girdles of Gaea that they must always wear.
The Amazons build a city-state ruled by compassion and justice called Themyscira, but the rulers of the rest of Greece are jealous and come to fear them. A servant of Ares tells Heracles (props for using his original Greek name instead of the Roman Hercules) that the queen of the Amazons mocks him, driving the son of Zeus into a rage. He leads his army to Themyscira where he’s greeted by Hippolyte, who asks him to chose peace. Instead he attacks her, but when she out-maneuvers him he decides that the Amazons are worthy allies. The celebrations of peace are cut short, however, when Heracles drugs the queen and orders his men to attack. Themyscira is torched and the Amazons put in chains. Waking, Hippolyte asks Athena for vengeance, but the goddess of wisdom tells her the Amazons lost their way when they withdrew from humanity instead of leading it. The Amazons are freed, but instead of listening to the queen’s cries for peace they slaughter their captors. Only Heracles escapes, carrying Hippolyte’s sacred girdle with him. Antiope wants to hunt him down, but Hippolyte says they must follow Athena’s instructions and go to the Aegean Sea. Antipoe decides to reject Olympus, giving her girdle to Hippolyte and leading her followers away. Once at the Aegean, the remaining Amazons are told by their goddesses that as penance for their failure they must guard a great evil hidden on an island paradise. Though they must now keep manacles on their wrists as a symbol of their former bondage, they will remain immortal as long as they keep watch and allow no mortal man to set foot on their new home. For thousands of years the Amazons follow their goddesses’ command, building a civilization based on peace and justice as they make sure the great evil remains hidden.
As the centuries pass, the Amazons slowly lose contact with the gods, except the oracle Menalippe. Hippolyte asks about the strange yearnings she’s been feeling lately, so the oracle explains how the Amazons are reincarnations, but only the queen was pregnant at the time of her first death (presumably she was the caveman’s wife from the beginning of the issue) and that she’s hearing the call of her unborn daughter. She’s instructed to sculpt an infant out of clay, and the goddesses send the last soul from the womb of Gaea into the child, each granting her a blessing: from Demeter, power and strength; from Aphrodite, beauty and a loving heart; from Athena, wisdom; from Artemis, the eye of a hunter and unity with the beasts; from Hestia, fire to open men’s hearts to her; and from Hermes, who I guess had nothing better to do that day, speed and flight. Her mother names her Diana after a great and holy Amazon warrior who died nobly that the Amazons might live. The girl grows up, loved by all and surrounded by the wisdom and strength of thousands of years of Amazonian culture, until the day that Menalippe has a vision of Ares gone insane, his power multiplied a thousandfold to the point that it consumes the entire world, including their island paradise. For whatever reason the gods are unable to stop him, but command the Amazons to choose a champion to fight against the god of war. The queen declares a tournament, but Diana is told she is too young to compete. Wanting a purpose in life, Diana prays to Athena, who tells her her time has come. Cue the tournament, the masked Diana is revealed to be the winner. Hippolyte wants to forbid it, but knows she can’t fight the will of the gods when she learns Athena spoke to her daughter. That night at the temple of Hades, which appears to be the Amazon equivalent of a cemetery, the princess is given final test called the Trial of Flashing Thunder. Philippus, the head of the Amazon army, pulls out a modern-day pistol that she says she’s not seen since “the tragedy” and fires it at Diana. She blocks the bullets with the silver bracelets she won a champion, and she is given special warrior’s garb based on the standard of the warrior after whom she was named, which seems to be an emblem of blue and yellow stars with a red winged W symbol that appears on both the box that held the gun and a tomb in the temple. As the sun rises, the Amazons cheer to see their new champion: Wonder Woman.
Wonder Woman Vol. 4 Issue 1
We start in Singapore at night, where a guy with dark purple skin and glowing orange eyes and teeth is sharing drinks on the top of a tower with three normal-looking women who are apparently unphased by or don’t notice his appearance. He says he’s the sun–s u n–of a king, which they interpret as son–s o n. He comments on how his father’s wife is ticked off by her husband’s serial unfaithfulness, then explains that his father is missing and he needs to find him. The man then lifts all three women off the ground and tells them they can see everything. Because the rest of their conversation is spread throughout the issue, I’ll summarize it here: the man explains the women are his oracles, and he needs to know things that are going to happen. They explain, in the usual vague manner of prophecies, that a storm is coming, and it will be caused by someone who will rule in fire and wear a crown of horns. The man’s family will be betrayed by blood, and his father wants something no one should ever want.
Back to Singapore, the three oracles, floating in mid air, tell the purple man that one of his father’s children will murder and take the place of another, and that this is what his father wants. As the sun rises, the man’s skin begins glowing orange and all four catch on fire. As he becomes a being of fire, the man asks where “he” is, and the oracles say “he” doesn’t exist yet just moments before they’re consumed by the flames and their bones fall to earth.
The New, Original Wonder Woman
WWII: Nazis plan to fly a new long-range bomber to Brooklyn to take out the production facilities for a new type of bomb. A spy for the Americans informs the military, which decides to send Major Steve Trevor to intercept the plane over the Bermuda Triangle. He takes out the bomber, but his plane is destroyed and he washes up on the shore of Paradise Island.
He’s discovered by Princess Diana, who takes him to her mother. The queen initially allows him to be nursed to health by Diana, but when her daughter starts falling for the Major insists he must be taken home as the presence of a man will destroy the tranquility of Paradise Island. She holds a tournament to see who will take him, where–you know the drill by now: Diana wins disguised in a mask and wig. She dons the costume her mother made so that the Americans will know she is on their side, then flies an invisible plane to DC with the recovering Trevor. During the flight he awakens and, seeing himself among the clouds, asks if he’s in heaven.
Diana delivers him to the hospital, then explores this new world waiting for him to fully recover. Discovering that she needs money to buy a dress, she accepts a talent agent’s offer to make her famous after he sees her block bullets with her bracelets while stopping a robbery. During a stage performance a Nazi spy fails to kill her with a machine gun. The talent agent’s plans to tour her across the county are cancelled when Wonder Woman learns Steve has recovered, but when he tries to take her half of the money she easily defeats him. Disguising herself as a nurse, Diana checks on Steve, who awakens and, remembering seeing her face among the clouds, wonders if she’s an angel.
Meanwhile the Military learns the Nazis are sending another bomber, so Steve leaves the hospital but is kidnapped by Nazi spies and, after being given truth serum, tells them how to find the plans for the new bomb. When Nurse Diana learns Steve’s no longer at the hospital, she performs her first soon-to-be-famous spinning costume change and heads to his office to discover that his secretary is a spy. A fight ensues, ending with Diana using her lasso of truth to learn about the second bomber and where Steve is hidden. She uses the invisible plane to takes out the Nazi aircraft then rescues Steve from the remaining spies. The next day Major Trevor arrives at his office and is introduced to his new secretary: Diana Prince, who in no way looks like Wonder Woman wearing a uniform and glasses, nosireebob.