Realworlds: Wonder Woman
Glen Hanson &
Allan Neuwirth, writers,
Salgood Sam, artist
(DC Comics, 2000)

In Wonder Woman, the second of DC Comics' new Realworlds series, Wonder Woman is really Brenda Kelly, an actress playing the superheroine role in a popular post-World War II serial. But now that Nazis are fading out as prime villain material in the public consciousness, the studio decides to ride the new wave of social fear and mistrust: communism.

Even as Wonder Woman battles the evil Red Menace on-screen, Kelly's friends and colleagues are falling victim to the Red Scare all around her. Once-respected film-makers are losing their jobs and reputations for knowing the wrong people or for attending the wrong parties in their youth.

This isn't a story about super powers, or even fisticuffs as a means of solving problems. It's about loyalty and convictions. As such, it's very successful -- although the ending seemed a little rushed. Too bad they couldn't cram a few more pages in there. Both the writing and art do a good job of conveying a sense of Hollywood and politics in early 1950s America.

Mark this up as another coup for DC and Realworlds.

[ by Tom Knapp ]

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