Monday, November 29, 2010

Groove's Faves: "The Grandee Caper!" by Delaney and Giordano

What it is, Groove-ophiles! Today we're gonna turn the Waybak Machine back to August, 1972, so we can check out sci-fi legend Samuel R. ("Chip") Delaney and Dick Giordano's paean to Women's Liberation (to say that WL was a huge topic back in '72 is like saying it's a little chilly at the North Pole). "The Grandee Caper!" (the title only appeared on the cover, by the way) was editor Denny O'Neil's swan song as editor of Wonder Woman (#203), and it was, as O'Neil calls it in the letter's page, "...a small but nonetheless polished milestone..." that "...gets Diana solidly into women's liberation." Ironically, after all the years of "Diana Prince as Emma Peel", somebody finally gets the "New Wonder Woman" right--and it turns out to be the final issue of that era. With ish #204, Robert Kanigher would re-take the reins of WW (he'd written tons of WW tales during the Golden and Silver Ages--again, to put it mildly) and take her back to "her roots"--which means tossing out everything she'd done and learned during the "Mrs. Peel" era. But more for on that you'll have'ta wait for our New Year's Eve 2010 party (Yeah, Ol' Groove can be sneaky!). Right now, dig on a fine story with suh-weet Dick Giordano art (is it just me, or does Diana look just like Elizabeth Montgomery in the last panel of page 21?). Enjoy!


  1. Part of the irony here, Groove, is that certain leaders of the WL movement thought that the "new Wonder Woman" was insulting to women. Gloria S provided the intro to an early 1970s hardcover collection of golden age WW stories and cover featured the "original" WW on the first issue "Ms." She claimed the "original" WW was an excellent role model for girl and that the "new" WW was an embarrassing cliche that presented women in subservient roles (remember I Ching?). I'm pretty sure that DC's switch back to the "original" WW was corporate politics: "If the 'original' WW is cover featured on 'Ms,' we might sell more copies of the comic if it too featured the 'original' WW"---the same mentality that produces comic book adaptations of films such as "Jonah Hex"!

  2. I remember seeing that MS#1 also. It was set up right next to the two long rows of comics at my local corner store. It sold out! I remember seeing young woman from the locale college & woman in their 20's & 30's pushing in front of me to buy WW comics!

    I was like what the.... as a 10/11 year old. They were invading my turf! LOL! But I was actually worried they might start buying up other titles. LOL! I loved the original WW & hated the ms.Peel version myself. Even if I only very occasionally bought WW as a boy.

  3. Ha, great twist at the end! And here I was all set to rip the politics and economics of the issue apart, and Delaney was just setting us up for the big moral dilemma.



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Special thanks to Mike's Amazing World of Comics and Grand Comics Database for being such fantastic resources for covers, dates, creator info, etc. Thou art treasures true!

Note to "The Man": All images are presumed copyright by the respective copyright holders and are presented here as fair use under applicable laws, man! If you hold the copyright to a work I've posted and would like me to remove it, just drop me an e-mail and it's gone, baby, gone.

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As for the rest of ya, the purpose of this blog is to (re)introduce you to the great comics of the 1970s. If you like what you see, do what I do--go to a comics shop, bookstore, e-Bay or whatever and BUY YOUR OWN!