Wednesday, May 25, 2022

Today in Comics History, May 25: Happy birthday, Diana Prince! (Both of 'em!)

Born on this day, per the 1976 Super DC Calendar: Diana Prince, US army nurse who moved away to South America, leaving her identity to be used by Wonder Woman!

from Super DC Calendar 1976 (DC, 1975), letters by Ben Oda

That's an awful lot of Social Security fraud just to get close to your crush, Princess. I do believe we call that stalking.

from "[Wonder Woman Comes to America]" in Sensation Comics (1942 series) #1 (DC, January 1942), script by William Marston as Charles Moulton, pencils and inks by Harry Peter

Nurse, later Lieutenant and Major, "Diana Prince" remained the secret identity of Wondy throughout the Golden and SIlver Ages in the Pre-Crisis, and the name's origin story was retold for new audiences:

from "The Secret Origin of Wonder Woman!" in DC Special Series #19 (DC, Fall 1979), script by Cary Burkett, pencils by José Delbo, inks by Vince Colletta, colors by Gene D'Angelo, letters by Ben Oda

It was even in effect as a story device when the real Diana Prince returned. She's mad as Zeus and she's not gonna take it anymore!

from Wonder Woman (1942 series) #237 (DC, November 1977), script by Gerry Conway, pencils by José Delbo, inks by Vince Colletta, colors by Elizabeth Safian, letters by Milt Snapinn (?)

But post-Crisis, when George Pérez rewrote Wonder Woman's origin, there was no Diana Prince secret identity: she was simply know in the world as "Princess Diana of Themyscira," confounding those of us who couldn't spell "Themyscira" without looking it up and copying/pasting it, which what I've done right now. The "Diana Prince" identity returned, interestingly enough, in the first post-Pérez issue, when Diana magicked up some psychic paper to create a civilian identity for herself on a rescue mission with Deathstroke to retrieve Cheetah from a foreign jail. Whew! 'Zat high concept enough for ya, kids?

from Wonder Woman Special #1 one-shot (DC, May 1992), script by William Messner-Loebs, pencils by Jill Thompson, inks by Jay Geldhof, colors by Matt Hollingsworth, letters by Albert De Guzman

My point (and I do have one, even if I've gotten sidetracked by research and origin stories) is that, according to the Super DC Calendar '76, Ms. Famous Original Prince also left her birthday to be adopted by Pre-Crisis Princess Diana. (Wonder Woman's real "born from clay" birthday is March 22, as we noted earlier this year!)

from Wonder Woman (1942 series) #294 (DC, August 1982), plot by Roy Thomas, script by Marv Wolfman, pencils by Gene Colan, inks by Frank McLaughlin, colors by Carl Gafford, letters by Ben Oda

What did Diana get for her birthday this year? Mattel's Electronic Football. Great gift, General.

Happy birthday, Diana Prince, whichever one you are!

commercial for Mattel Electronic Football (1977)


ten-cent media said...

Vince Colletta should have inked every Wonder Woman book. His deftness drawing women was unparalleled for their beauty and their sexiness. Earlier WWs were cartoons while later versions showed WW as steroid-pumped Frazetta swipes. You can point to Vinnie's many and varied talents or echo his many critics, nobody drew more beautiful women in comics than Vince Colletta. Or outside of comics. See

Bully said...

Thanks, ten-cent media!I

I do have my jokes about Colletta, but I will absolutely agree he drew dandy-lookin' women, and i really do especially like his romance comics!