10:56am PT by Graeme McMillan
'Wonder Woman '77': Writer Marc Andreyko on Bringing Lynda Carter's Amazon Princess Back to Comics
Thursday sees the release of the first issue of Wonder Woman '77, a digital comic based on the 1970s television version of DC Entertainment's Amazon Princess, as portrayed by Lynda Carter. As writer Marc Andreyko told The Hollywood Reporter, he was unwittingly responsible for its creation.
"I'm friends with [DC senior vp integrated publishing] Hank Kanalz," the writer said during a phone conversation at the end of 2014. "We went out to lunch last year where I said, 'Batman '66 is such a big success, when are you gonna do Wonder Woman '77 with Lynda Carter?' He looked and me and said, 'Hmm.' A few months later, I got an email saying, 'Hey, you wanna do Wonder Woman '77?' " Laughing, he said his response was along the lines of, "Is the sky blue?"
Andreyko called the project — which will get a print release later in 2015 — "a dream come true," in large part because of his affection for the original TV show, which ran from 1975-79 on both ABC and CBS (it switched networks with its second season, which also updated the show's setting from the 1940s to the 1970s). "I loved the show," he said. "I'm surprised that I didn't have permanent brain damage from spinning around trying to change my clothes. I went to catholic grade school, so having to get up at 6 o'clock in the morning and put on a uniform, for weeks I'd get up and spin, and spin, and hope that my tie was on."
The draw of the show at the time wasn't just its mere existence — "As a kid, there was such a dearth of superhero material, except for comic books, that seeing a live-action show with costumes and special effects was amazing," Andreyko remembered — but its star. "There's a reason that people around the world still think of Lynda Carter when they think of Wonder Woman," he said. "There was just an elegance, and a class and a level of respect and accessibility, that was unseen for a very long time. There's something about the poise and respect that she brought to the character that makes it an iconic portrayal of an iconic character. As a kid, you were just like, 'I want to be a good person because Wonder Woman's a good person.' "
In writing the series, Andreyko said that he's taken a cue from the Batman '66 series. "I think [Batman '66 writer] Jeff Parker has done a magnificent job of capturing the tone of the Batman TV show, and cutting through years of postmodern irony and snark to get to the heart of it," he explained. "He's not just making fun of it, which I think is smart — that's a really weak joke with a punch line that's so obvious that you can't use it more than once. If you're coming into it from a point of judgment, you shouldn't be writing it."
Similarly, Wonder Woman '77 will feature "stories that would have fit on the show, but without looking down my nose at it," the writer said. "I really love the show, and the legacy of Lynda Carter looms large. I want to do right by her. I want to do right by this material, and by this character."
Wonder Woman '77, written by Andreyko with art by Drew Johnson, is available digitally now.