SDCC: Marvel: Spider-Man and His Amazing Friends Panel
After nearly 1,400 ballots were cast, YOU the reader ranked your favorite comic book characters of all-time from 1-10. I assigned point totals to each ranking and then tabulated it all into a Top 50 list. We’re now revealing that list throughout September. Here is the master list of all the characters revealed so far. The countdown continues…
7. Wonder Woman – 1780 points (42 first place votes)
Created by William Moulton Marston, Wonder Woman is Diana, of the Amazons who live on the isolated island paradise of Themyscira. After a U.S. military intelligence officer named Steve Trevor landed on the island and informed the Amazons of the situation going out in “Man’s World,” the Queen of the Amazons (Diana’s mother) decided that a member of their race must go to the land of Man to represent the island. They held a contest and Diana (wearing a disguise because she felt her mother would disapprove) won the right to represent the Amazons in the world of Man.
That is just what Diana does, serving as an Ambassador of Peace, while at the same time, also fighting crime, including being a prominent member of the Justice Society of America (a team of superheroes).
Originally, it was the villainy of the Nazis that drove the Amazons to send Wonder Woman out into the world, and those early World War II adventures (where Wonder Woman took on the secret identity of Army nurse, Diana Prince and began a “will they or won’t they?” relationship with Steve Trevor) became so well-identified with the character that they formed the basis of the Wonder Woman television series decades later.
Wonder Woman was one of just a handful of DC superheroes who maintained her own title after the superhero comic book busted in the late 1940s. Eventually, Wonder Woman’s comics adopted more of a mythology-based approach (what with there being no Nazis left to fight) and the comic went to even stranger heights with the establishment of “Wonder Girl” and “Wonder Tot,” younger versions of Wonder Woman who eventually actually went on adventures TOGETHER!!!
Around this time, Wonder Woman became a founding member of the Silver Age version of the Justice Society, the Justice League of America.
During the late 1960s/early 1970s, there was a brief period where Wonder Woman lost her powers and stopped wearing her costume and instead fought crime just using her awesome fighting prowess.
During the 1980s, George Perez revamped the title, making it more about Diana’s mission of peace (as well as increasingly stressing the Greek gods as important figures in the series).
Recently, Diana received a brand-new costume during a storyline where her past was manipulated. The new 52 has introduced us to yet ANOTHER new costume for Diana (although much closer to her original outfit). Only time will tell what changes to her history have occurred in this new continuity (so far, so good, though, as the first issue of her new series was quite cool).
6. Flash (Wally West) – 2471 points (67 first place votes)
John Broome and Carmine Infantino created young Wally West soon into their run on Flash. Wally was the nephew of Barry (the Flash) Allen’s girlfriend, Iris, and when Barry was giving him a tour of the police station Barry worked at, the same freak accident that gave Barry his powers happened to Wally!!!
Now with the same speed powers as Barry, Barry quickly added Wally as his partner. First in a kid-sized version of Barry’s suit, but then later, in his own colored suit.
Wally served as Barry’s sidekick for many years, and also helped co-found the Teen Titans, where Wally continued to do his superhero deeds.
Eventually, though, Wally grew tired of the hero game, and gave it all up. Tragically, though, soon after Wally made this decision, his mentor (and, after Barry married Iris, his uncle), Barry gave his life to save the Earth.
Wally was then forced to become the Flash.
And while at the beginning of his tenure, Wally was a bit immature, he soon grew into one of the most notable heroes of the current generation. A big point in his maturation was his relationship with reporter Linda Park. The two had been friends for awhile, and their flirtatious banter during writer Bill Loebs’ run was excellent, but during Mark Waid’s tenure on the title, he had the two begin a relationship, and soon, Linda’s love for Wally was all Wally needed to really grow as both a person AND a hero.
Wally and Linda eventually married, but after giving birth to twins, Wally was forced to take his family with him, as he basically went into the Speed Force in an attempt to stop an evil villain. Eventually, the group returned, with the children now grown a bit, and with superpowers! For a time, they fought crime together as a bit of a riff on the film, the Incredibles (you know, an actual super-powered family).
Recently, with the return of Barry Allen, Wally West took the opportunity to spend more time with his family and not do the superhero thing as much. With the new DC 52 reboot, we will soon find out what, if any, of Wally’s past remains the same in the new continuity. Heck, we don’t know for sure that Wally West was ever even the Flash in the current continuity.
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