Monday, August 27, 2018

That Crisis Moment In Wonder Woman #53

You would think that 32 years after it hit the stands that the impact of Crisis on Infinite Earths #7 would lessen in me.

After all, while Supergirl did die and was subsequently erased from the DCU, she has come back in multiple incarnations. She has tremendous runs with amazing creators since COIE. She is at the peek of her popularity.

Crisis on Infinite Earths #7 has become a touchpoint in comic history. It gave *that* Supergirl an incredibly heroic death, one of sacrifice to save the many.

I have come to respect Crisis for what it has meant for Supergirl fandom, her character, and her mythology.

So I am not surprised when I still see that issue get referenced. Usually it takes the form of an homage of the famous cover.

But this week, in Wonder Woman #53, I saw my first COIE #7 dialogue homage. No surprise, it comes from Supergirl scribe and fan Steve Orlando.

In the book, Wonder Woman, Diana, and Aztek enter the Thirteen Heavens to fight Tezcatlipoca.

In the middle of the battle, Tezcatlipoca looks at Diana and says the line 'You turn in battle, woman?'

"That is a fatal mistake."

I read it and paused.

I turned back a page to read it again.

I felt that twinge, that feeling of scar tissue aching decades after the wound inflicted.

Because that line is basically what the Anti-Monitor said to Supergirl right before inflicting a mortal wound in Crisis on Infinite Earths #7.

That is not coincidence. That is homage. That is honoring that scene and what it meant.

But what amazed me is that despite reading 32 years of comic since that issue hit the rack, despite hearing the blatherings of villains and heroes as they throw down, I immediately knew this particular phrase was from here.


That is what COIE #7 means to long time Supergirl fans. We still mourn that Kara. We still know that scene, the words, the actions.

So I want to thank Steve Orlando for writing that line in Wonder Woman. It still stings a little bit ... but that's a good thing. It means the moment still carries that importance. Even all these years later.


Anonymous said...

Wow. That's a cool reference. I wonder whether someone else realized.

We can and will probably do argue endlessly about Supergirl's fridging and the motivations behind it and the later decision to ban every mention of Kara Zor-El as well as their consequences... but what can't be argued is CoIE #7 was an historical issue and Kara was the focus of it.

Martin Gray said...

Wow Anj, I am awesomed by you!

Anj said...

Shucks Mart, I'm blushing!

Anonymous said...

Damned impressive memory Anj, and a great example of why I read your blog!

I think just about every word Orlando writes and name he drops needs Googling to get the full meaning. That’s his style, his calling card, maybe his primary strength (or weakness) depending on a reader’s preference.

I liked this issue of Wonder Woman even though parts were tricky to follow. The art remained fascinating even though the panel design meant gleaning the text order required some effort. His books take me triple the time it takes to read many others.

His last 2 issues don’t reach the excellence of his moving WW #51. But that story was extra special I thought.

Soon there will be a 5 part crossover with JL Dark including 2 oddly titled specials: a JL Dark and WW #1, and a WW and JL Dark #1, that are 2 separate books! Better put in your orders.

Professor Feetlebaum said...

I wonder if Orlando had intended to use those lines in a Supergirl story (keeping the original "girl") before her book was put on hiatus. I don't have this issue of Wonder Woman, but I assume she survived. It makes a nice homage in a Wonder Woman story, but it would have been something to read that dialogue in Supergirl followed by a different outcome.

Anonymous said...

Well its not like DC would ever countenance snuffing out Wonder Woman, expelling her from continuity and telling her fans to go to hell...not with a film franchise on the line.



Gary said...

Hi Anj - nice catch.

Hope you don't mind but I've put a link back to this post on my COIR #7 page here.


Unknown said...

>>>I felt that twinge, that feeling of scar tissue aching decades after the wound inflicted.

Very well put, Anj. I know I would have recognized that dialogue if someone had woken me up in the middle of the night and asked me about it. I'm less sure I would have noticed it snoozing through a WW comic, though.

It's curious to think about if it would have had that weight if not for the desert walk that was the coming 20 years as a Supergirl fan. All those lost opportunities. And we never did get her back.

Speaking of lost opportunities.. did you know Alan Moore's "For the Man Who has Everything", one of the best ever Superman stories, was supposed to have featured Supergirl (instead of WW) but he wasn't allowed to use her? In today's DCU, no one is surprised to find WW there, being how she's front and center these days, but back then it was just weird. Of course it should have been Kara there on his birthday. Of course it should have been her fighting Mongul to save him. Tell me you don't think it would have made that story even better.

Damn. Scar tissue indeed.


Martin Gray said...

It was super-sad Supergirl wasn’t in Whatever Happened..., but we all knew she was dead in Superman’s time; having her appear with the visiting Legion as a young girl allowed for a wonderfully poignant moment between the cousins. I cried.

And even had grown Kara been around, Wonder Woman made sense – OK, we didn’t have that horrible ‘Trinity’ tag back then, but Superman, Batman and Wonder Woman were unarguably DC’s Big Three back then, the best-known, most-merchandised of ther heroes. They should have been together for big moments.

Martin Gray said...

Oops, I’m in the wrong Alan Moore story... I’ll get me coat!

Anj said...

Interesting about Supergirl potentially being in the Black Mercy story. I suppose it would have made a little more sense from a family point of view.

Alas, no Kara!

Do you remember where you heard that?

Unknown said...

@Martin Gray: Yeah, wrong story. Your comment made me so confused I wasn't sure how to respond. :)

@Anj: As I recall, it was in an Alan Moore interview I read a long time ago. Possibly the gigantic interview published in The Comics Journal. I will try to find it.


Unknown said...

Found it. The quote is: "...I originally wanted to use Supergirl but then Julie Schwartz informed me that she'd be popping her bright red clogs during Crisis on Infinite Earths and suggested that I use Wonder Woman instead."

It comes from "Alan Moore's Writing for Comics" -

There is a PDF of it online. Page 37 of PDF(35 of text), left column.