In 1975, Lynda Carter debuted as Wonder Woman—and on Thursday, the iconic superhero enters the digital world via DC Comics.
Announced earlier this year at New York Comic Con, Wonder Woman ’77 debuts as a digital first series from writer Marc Andreyko (Batwoman) and follows the story of the popular Amazon Princess (as well as her alter ego, Diana Prince), taking most of its inspiration from the 1970’s television show. Artist Drew Johnson tackles the first issue “Disco Inferno” part one of three: “The Velvet Ropes” while additional artists are expected to be announced in the future.
Similar to the design of Jeff Parker’s Batman ’66, Wonder Woman ’77 launches in six weekly installments that will later be available in print. New chapters are available for download on Thursdays via the DC Comics App, Readdcentertainment.com, comiXology.com, Google Play, Kindle Store, Nook Store, iBooks, and iVerse ComicsPLUS.
With books by Image, IDW and Dark Horse Comics, and acclaimed DC titles like Batwoman and Manhunter under his belt, the talented Andreyko seems like the natural choice to bring Lynda Carter’s character to life. EW spoke to him about writing Wonder Woman ’77, how he feels about introducing her to a new generation of fans, and just how different (and similar) the comic is to the classic show.
EW: Talk to me a little bit about how this project came about. I mean, did DC come to you and say “we want you to write this,” and you said, “Lynda Carter? Absolutely!”
MARC ANDREYKO: No, actually. I was having lunch with Hank Kanalz, who’s in charge of DC Digital, about a year ago, and he said, “Hey…you’re having such success with Batman ’66, when are we going to see Wonder Woman ’77 with Lynda Carter?” And he looked at me and raised an eyebrow, and cut to a couple months later…I got a call and he was like, “Hey, do you want to do this?” And I said, “Do I want to do this? Of course!” [laughs] One of those times when I planted a seed that was probably already in the works, and they came to me and said we’d love to have you on it. So I jumped at the chance.
Did you ever think that this [writing Wonder Woman] was something that you’d get a chance to do in your career?
You know, specifically with characters based on existing people, you never know—with license and business and stuff like that—you never know if you’re going to get the rights. So it’s something I wanted to do, but it was never anything I actually pinned my hopes on ever actually happening. But once again, like I said, Batman ’66 happened and I went, “Well, they’re doing this, this is the next one in the canon that should be up there…” And luckily, I was in the right place at the right time.
I’m curious as to how close will this comic will follow the original TV show. Are fans going to be familiar with what they see and read?
Well, it’s meant to be completely accessible. If you watched the show in the 70’s and know the show, it’s definitely in canon there. But I will be introducing new characters, characters and villains in the comic book who were never seen in the TV show, because if I was only writing the villains on the TV show, it would be gangsters and mobsters. There aren’t a lot of exotic villains there. So being able to incorporate characters we haven’t seen before and see what they would’ve looked like in the ’70s has been a lot of fun. There are the two main characters, of course: Diana Prince [Wonder Woman] and her love interest, Steve Trevor. And there will be appearances from some other familiar characters along the way, and some people that we’ve never seen in the TV show before. But it’s very much faithful and respectful to the tone of the show and Lynda’s performance, what made it all so timeless.
Related to the previous question, when you were writing this, did you feel like there was a line you had to balance between taking existing material and putting your own spin on it?
For something like this, putting my own take on it takes a back seat to serving the material. Cause it is akin to coming on to a TV show as a writer. They’ve established the form and tone, and my job is to serve that form and tone and tell the most compelling story as well as I can. So this is more about putting the storytelling many, many cars ahead of my ego on the train. [laughs]
The landscape of comics has changed so much over the years between spin-offs, creator-owned titles and digital offerings, which is making it easier for people who want to start reading. And with the launch of Wonder Woman ’77, you’re essentially going to be introducing this character to a new wave of people who either aren’t familiar with her, or who never saw the television show.
It’s a thrill. I learned to read from comic books when I was three and a half years old—comics and Sesame Street—and to be able to bring new people who might remember the show or might not remember the show to try this out is great. It’s a huge privilege and a huge responsibility to be able to open up this world to new people. It’s exciting.
You’re going to run six weekly consecutive chapters, correct?
Yes, and then they’re still hammering out what the schedule will be after these six initial launch.
So given the break between runs, is it safe to assume that there be two different story arcs?
Yes, well—the first six are two three-part stories. So, week one through three is one story, and week four through six is another story.
I feel like that also helps where accessibility is concerned.
Yeah. The way digital works, it’s kind of like the old movie serials of the ’30s, where it’s like, “come back next week for a new chapter!” Which is a lot of fun.
Most of your other projects have been digitally-based as well. Are you more comfortable now working in that medium as opposed to traditional comic storytelling?
The digital stuff is different storytelling in some sense, but it’s not a completely divergent storytelling from traditional comics. There are a couple of formatting things you need to be aware of, but it’s not too different. They’re complementary.
What can you tease about Wonder Woman ’77? Give us something good!
Well, in the first story arc, there’s an appearance of a classic Wonder Woman villain who has not yet appeared, and it takes place at a disco. And the disco is Studio 52. So, that should make people start looking up in their Wonder Woman encyclopedias! [laughs]