In Dennis O’Neil’s swan song as Editor, we are presented with a special “women’s lib” issue. Whether this was a last minute attempt to placate the feminists who had so derided the de-powered version of Wonder Woman, or whether this was a final act of defiance by O’Neil to show that this version of Diana also had those same feminist ideals is unclear. Either way, the very obvious “anti-men” tone comes through very loud and clear!
O’Neil signs off the issue by announcing that from #204, new Editor Robert Kanigher would be taking over the reigns and doing “a whole other thing”. The abruptness and ramification of this editorial change would only become truly apparent to the reader once they had seen the following issue, because not only did it see the return of the original William Moulton Marston version of the Amazon Princess, with super powers, tiara, golden lasso and star-spangled costume of red, blue and gold, but there would not even be a resolution to this issue’s cliffhanger ending!

The changes made to Diana had split fans right down the middle and as time had worn on, cries to return Wonder Woman to the version envisaged by her creator became more impassioned – and not just from comic book fans. It took Gloria Steinham’s famous first edition of Ms. Magazine, with the original William Moulton Marston version of the Amazon Princess proudly displayed on the cover, to remind the American public just why Wonder Woman had been created as a character in the first place and just what she represented. An article in this new Women’s Lib magazine entitled “Wonder Woman Revisited” denounced the recent changes in the comic as part of an “evil male plot” to water down the mighty Amazon Princess. The campaign to establish the traditional red-white-and-blue image of Wonder Woman as the emblem of feminism continued with the 1972 ‘Ms. Books’ publication of a hardcover book called “Wonder Woman”, containing a collection of reprints from the Amazon’s earlier adventures.

The famous cover of Ms. Magazine.

The public’s positive reaction to this and the Ms. Magazine cover finally helped persuade DC to re-appoint Robert Kanigher as editor of the “Wonder Woman”, who subsequently undid everything that had come before, taking her back to her original roots! In his editorial, Kanigher described his comeback as “a sentimental return of the Amazing Amazon to the unique origins that made her so celebrated for decades”.

And she has not looked back since…