WONDER WOMAN ’77 MEETS THE BIONIC WOMAN: Graphic Novel Review

Legendary heroines finally join forces in an exuberant new graphic novel from DC and Dynamite Comics.

 

FORTY YEARS AGO, television held the potential for a spectacular crossover event that could have brought together two of the era’s most popular and exciting small-screen characters, Wonder Woman (Lynda Carter) and the Bionic Woman, also known as Jamie Sommers (Lindsay Wagner). It would have been a ratings blockbuster for sure. But, alas, it never happened, and I can’t help but wonder if this long-overdue dream team-up has finally come about because somebody besides me is still shaking their head over that missed opportunity.

But however it came about, Wonder Woman ’77 Meets The Bionic Woman is everything fans of both series could hope for—a cleverly blended story that feels fresh and contemporary while remaining true to both series. And more importantly, to both characters.

 

The Diana Prince and Jamie Sommers we meet here are exactly as they were on TV back in the ’70s, which is to say that writer Andy Mangels (Star Trek; The X-Files) has done an outstanding job of capturing their voices and personalities. So it’s no surprise that these women form an instant bond. Each is appreciative of the other’s uniqueness, and they waste no time in deciding to join forces against a combined threat representing villains from both their pasts. That’s right, Jamie and Diana aren’t the only ones teaming-up in this story. If you remember both series you’ll be excited to hear that there are Fembots and Nazi scientists in the mix as well, along with “good guys” like Jamie’s boss, Oscar Goldman, and  Diana’s strong-willed kid sister, Drusilla. Even Max the Bionic Dog gets to play!

But it’s that kind of book, so packed with fan service and references that at one point an exasperated character asks “Can we finish with the salutatory exposition, please?” In the next panel, everyone just sort of smiles and immediately we realize that we’re in on a joke.

You have to appreciate a comic that has a sense of humor about itself.

The artwork, by Judit Tondora (Protectors), is uniformly solid, with even supporting characters drawn to look like the actors (Debra Winger, Lyle Waggoner, Carolyn Jones, etc.) who portrayed them way back when. Which brings me back to something I said earlier. This crossover should have happened four decades ago, on television. But since it didn’t, this book serves as a long-overdue consolation prize for fans who always knew this team-up would work.

Lynda Carter (l.) and Lindsay Wagner during the 1970s, in-character as Wonder Woman and Jamie Sommers.

                                     

 

Stephen Vincent D’Emidio is the editor and publisher of Wonder Alliance. steve@wonderalliance.com

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