In stark contrast to the George Perez version, we see a Diana that has to deal with the more everyday problems of living in Man’s World, like paying for food and lodging, in an effort by Messner-Loebs to make the Amazon Princess more relatable to her readers.
This approach is something that many writers that followed have tried to adopt – arguing that Diana depicted as a godlike, perfect being is sometimes too aloof and out of touch with her readership, who cannot easily emphasise with the character as a result. Yet these writers seem to completely miss the point as to why people love this character.
She is like nobody else. She is a miracle. A Wonder. And something that we all look up to. To bring her “down to earth” is to miss the point as to why people aspire to be like her. Taking away her “wonder” and making her more ordinary may serve as a useful story device occasionally. But to make it a character trait is not, I believe, what her creator would have wanted. He wanted her to be a true “Wonder Woman” that – although perhaps a goddess amongst mortals – is comfortable being around ordinary people and stops at nothing to protect those same innocents, whom she never perceives as being “beneath her”. On the contrary – she would give her very life for these people putting their importance above hers. And that is what makes her so magnificent…a super human who is actually more humane than any of us. And that in turn inspires us to strive to be that better person too.
And that’s why I always want my Wonder Woman to be just that. “Wondrous”.
As Wonder Woman stands on the small outcrop of rock that remains she tries to process her discovery. Her mother…her friends…all vanished like ghosts. What on earth can have happened here?
She sees Steve’s Sea Plane anchored nearby and assumes he is diving below. She dives into the water and swiftly swims down to the sea bed where she finds Steve, in scuba gear, investigating the rock bed. She swims down behind him and taps him on the shoulder. He turns to see her smiling back and in shock opens his mouth, dropping his breathing mouthpiece. He quickly swims to the surface to gasp for air as she bobs up beside him.
He smiles and hugs her warmly, asking where she had been. as she flies them both up out of the water and onto the Sea Plane, she replies that she had been marooned in space but that it was a long story and totally unconnected to what had happened to Themyscira. Steve in turn responds that the island’s disappearance is indeed a mystery and from his investigations to date there was no signs of fire or explosions. But there’s nothing else either. It’s just a clump of rock.
He adds that his own mother, Diana, was buried on the island so he has a stake in finding out what had happened. He had feared that Wonder Woman had been caught up in the event too and he felt responsible somehow. After all, it had been his arrival on the island that had inadvertently brought the Amazons into the 20th Century. Wonder Woman replies that he is destroying himself unnecessarily and that is not what her mother would want. His head sags though and tells her that the Amazons had built a glorious civilisation and that he cannot just let it end like this. She replies that it will not – as long as they remember their loved ones. But it really will have all been for nothing if they both let their grief drag them into the grave too.
She adds that Etta loves him and that she should go home to his wife. Build their airline. Live life. He asks her how she can be so calm about losing her mother and the Amazon Princess replies that what has happened had happened and perhaps nothing tragic has occurred at all. The Universe is a strange and wonderful place and she feels in her heart that her mother has simply gone somewhere – and that she will be in touch when she ‘s ready to do so. Let’s go home” she says. And as Steve powers up the engines and takes off into the sky, Wonder Woman takes a final look back at where her home had once been and says goodbye to her mother.
Back home at the Kapatelis residence Julia offers Diana the old couch in her basement to bed down on, now that Quinn was renting her old room. the professor had tried to offer Diana the couch in the living room but the Amazon preferred the privacy of the basement. Perhaps this was a sign that the Amazon Princess was really ready to go off on her own in the world. Perhaps. But the rustling of a rodent each night finally made Diana’s mind up that she certainly needed a place of her own – and that meant she needed money – and therefore a job!
Most of the job adverts call for skills that she does not possess. Must have own car. Must have own tools. Must have own insurance. Must be available to travel 300 days a year etc. etc. Times are tough and the country is in recession. Many businesses have gone to the wall and jobs can be hard to come by.
Diana signs on at the agency and is sent to numerous job interviews. However, in every case she is met with enthusiasm but also with the consistent response that the company is simply not hiring at present – or is closing down!
Returning home after another fruitless day Diana bumps into Quinn in the kitchen, who asks her how things are going. The deflated Amazon Princess replies that things are not going well at all and that after two weeks she has got nowhere. And what is worse nobody else she knows is finding work either. “What will happen to this city…to this country…if people cannot find meaningful work?” she asks. Quinn responds that Diana worries too much about everyone else and she should instead concentrate on number one for a change. She cannot help anybody if she herself is poor. But Diana responds that her mother had sent her out into Patriarch’s World to lead by example. She is supposed to help the poor and the powerless…to show women how to be strong without violence. But right now all she can think about is money and how to get a job!!!!
“Welcome to the human race, babe” smiles Quinn. She adds that Diana should not worry too much about “meaningful” employment as everyone has – at one time or another – had to slum it job wise. She should just think herself lucky she is not “slinging the refried’s” at the local Tacowhiz, which is where Quinn had worked for three years to pay for school.
As Diana bedded down that night once more on the couch, she recognised the irony of her situation. A month ago she had toppled a galactic empire. Now she was lying on a borrowed couch, listening to the scratching’s of a large mouse – or small rat!!!
The next day Diana visits the local Tacowhiz and is told by the proprietor, Hoppy, that indeed the fast food outlet is hiring. In fact they are always hiring! While it may not pay well it gives people the chance to earn a living. As the bemused Amazon Princess tries on her uniform and il-fitting hat, Hoppy instructs her on the finer points of service, including ensuring she wears her hair under her hat at all times, not serving too big a food portion and always asking the customers if they would like a coke to go with their tacos – as the profit margins in the soft drink are large!
Now she has a regular shift Diana begins again her quest for an apartment. As she is strolling down the street she spots one of the men she had spoken with a few days ago to ask for directions. She asks how he is and he says that he has a job now, selling bunches of roses on the street. When she asks where his friend is he replies that he has not seen him around for a while, as people without a job or money tend to drift away.
Diana continues on her way still struggling to find anywhere vaguely affordable. At last she visits an old lady called Mrs. Camille Sly who is advertising the rental of one of her rooms. As she leads Diana upstairs to the room in question, Camille explains how this had been a nice neighborhood once and she had been rich, but before she knew it she had grown old and afraid to live alone, facing countless bills to pay. She had then realised that with twenty four rooms her large home could become a source of revenue.
The old lady then asks if Diana has been looking for a place long and the Amazon Princess explains who she has been viewing dozens of places but the deposits and rentals being asked are all too expensive. And even though Camille is not asking as much as those places, Diana tells her that even so, it is still more than she can really afford. But the lady smiles back and responds that in truth it sounds like Diana does not really have an alternative does she?
Camille then opens the door to the room, which is tiny, and tells Diana that it has no bed and was previously a sitting room. However, the couch will make a nice place to snuggle. Diana looks around the room as Camille pops downstairs to get the paperwork for signing and the Amazon Princess hears the familiar rustle of another rodent…
The next day Diana is walking to work wondering if she needs a second job just to make ends meet. She sees a man in a suit, clearly a big shot, with two body guards, walking towards her on the sidewalk. The man is holding onto a little girl’s hand. Just then a young private detective by the name of Micah Rains steps across the street and addresses the surprised man as Mr Antonio Sazia, adding that the paper in his hands states that Sazia’s ex-wife has legal custody of the young girl. Sazia sneers and casually orders his henchmen to kill the detective.
The two thugs draw their weapons and Micah dives for cover under a hail of bullets. He returns fire and takes down the two guards, who reveal themselves to be robots. Annoyed, Sazia then draws his own weapon, catching the detective by surprise. But as he opens fire his bullets bounce harmlessly off an Amazon bracelet worn by Wonder Woman, who is now in costume. She demands to know what is going on and Sazia assumes that Wonder Woman is working with the detective.
He produces a head set from his inside pocket and placing it upon his head, suddenly transforms into a fire breathing demon before their eyes!
Micah grabs the young girl and together with Wonder Woman run for cover behind a nearby parked van. Wonder Woman asks the detective who this Antonio Sazia is and Micah replies that he is just supposed to be some mid level Mafioso guy – and that the detective is surprised that all the rumours about him being a demon were actually true after all. Incredulous, she asks why he had confronted Sazia even though he knew the man was involved in organised crime and might have infernal powers too – and then proceeded to provoke him without any powers or any plan?
Flustered, Micah tries to argue that he did have a plan, but she has already launched herself up into the air. As she had hoped, the demon chases after her into the sky. She lets him get close enough and as he prepares to unleash his fiery breath at her, she loops behind him and slams into the small of his back, knocking off the head set. Instantly he transforms back to a man and completely out for the count, falls towards the ground. But she catches him mid fall and lands back on the street carrying him under one arm like a rag doll!
“That, for future reference, was a plan!” she tells the bemused private detective. She then recommends that Antonio Sazia should be taken to the police so that the authorities can straighten all this out, before casually tossing him the head set, warning him not to put it on.
But as she begins to walk away however, Micah tells her she had handled herself pretty well “for a chick”, before asking the stunned Wonder Woman…”How’d you like a job?”.