Make It So: Superman ’78/Wonder Woman ’77 by Jerry Whitworth
Announced earlier this month, Robert Venditti and Wilfredo Torres will be bringing back Richard Donner’s Superman (1978) film for the limited comic book series Superman ’78. Little to nothing is known about the title but it’s speculated to take place between the events of the first two motion pictures. While only slated to last six issues, if the book performs well, it could easily lead to more entries. A popular option could be teaming the iconic portrayal of Superman by Christopher Reeve with the equally iconic Lynda Carter Wonder Woman. Something of a double header, Superman dominated the big screen while Wonder Woman was a hit on the small screen in the late ’70s. A combination of the two has been a dream of fans for decades that thus far has only been a fantasy. Lets take a look what such a series could entail.
When Batman ’66/Wonder Woman ’77 was announced in 2016, it was one of those dream projects that blew people away. At the time Lynda Carter was playing Wonder Woman in her television series and Christopher Reeve portrayed Superman in movie theaters, Adam West returned to his iconic role as Batman for the Challenge of the Super Friends-inspired Legends of the Superheroes. Featuring the Justice League of America against the Legion of Doom, the two-part special event didn’t perform well enough in the ratings to warrant an ongoing television series. Likely working against it was that it didn’t have Superman or Wonder Woman who were tied up in the aforementioned projects. The worlds of Batman ’66 and Wonder Woman ’77 converged with the emergence of Ra’s al Ghul, a character inspired by the rogues of James Bond which complimented the portrayal of Wonder Woman as a secret agent for her series. Something similar could easily be applied for Superman.
Over the course of his adventures, Superman contended with a number of organizations. Project Cadmus produced Dabney Donovan and an iteration of Bizarro. SKULL gave rise to the Atomic Skull and a version of Metallo. But likely the biggest development could be Intergang and the introduction of the New Gods. Lead by Bruno “Ugly” Mannheim, Intergang acted as an arm of Apokolips on Earth. Obsessed with the Anti-Life Equation to enslave the universe, Apokolips’ ruler Darkseid believed Earth was central to uncovering the Equation’s secrets and provided arms to Intergang in exchange for their aid in that effort. In the comics as well as across various media, Darkseid’s forces made their way to Earth and worked with Intergang. Notably for Superman: The Animated Series, Granny Goodness eventually took over Intergang leading to Supergirl and her cousin Superman battling the Female Furies. Darkseid and Wonder Woman are no strangers to each other. On Super Friends, Darkseid sought her for his bride. In the comics, the New Gods of Apokolips battled the Greek Pantheon. In both the comics and animation, Wonder Woman was mind controlled with other heroes by Darkseid that she lead on his behalf. More recently, Darkseid revealed a daughter in Grail he had with the Amazon Myrina that became a reoccurring foe of Wonder Woman. It would, of course, go without saying that if the world gets a Superman ’78/Wonder Woman ’77 series, it could then easily lead to Batman ’66/Superman ’78/Wonder Woman ’77. It should be noted, though, the final issue of Batman ’66 featured a cameo from a decidedly George Reeves-inspired Clark Kent that could provide its own story in and of itself.