Marc Andreyko Spins a Nostalgic Tale with Wonder Woman ’77

 

 

Issue #1 Cover for Wonder Woman '77

 An Interview
By
David Rondinelli

In a post New 52 world, DC Comics has made some creative moves that truly are new. As a publishing empire with many classic characters and crossovers, it's been interesting to see them revitalize some of their brand name players. One such beloved character who is receiving a renaissance is Wonder Woman. Her own self-titled series has come to much acclaim with a new, celebrated, artistic team starting with issue #36. We’ve seen the Amazing Amazon get an anthology make-over as DC started up Sensation Comics again. Her love affair with Superman has become a stellar seller with Superman/Wonder Woman, and she’s always been a part of the Justice League. October saw the publicationThe Secret History of Wonder Woman by Jill Lepore and Diane is set be portrayed by Gal Gadot in the big screen film Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice. DC hasn’t stopped there as they’ve decided to inject new storytelling by taking Wonder Woman back to her television roots.

With the success of Batman ’66 we will be getting Wonder Woman ’77, which launches today. Here we will see the Wonder Woman universe through the setting of the 70’s television show. Wonder Woman herself will be made in Lynda Carter’s likeness, as if the two could even be separated. Marc Andreyko, the series writer who is also openly gay, get’s the project of a lifetime as he takes the reigns for Diana’s first major story arc. Below he opens up about how he got the gig, what it will be like taking Diana back to the 70’s and what a Lynda Carter laced book will mean to gay and straight fans alike.

 

DR: What kind of world building are you going to incorporate into Wonder Woman ’77? Will you be meeting 70’s incarnations of some of the Greek gods or other DC characters you’ve worked on like Batwoman on Manhunter?

MA: I don’t know about Batwoman or Manhunter, but there will be a lot of the villains from the comic book that will be seen in the 70’s incarnation if they existed on the 70’s TV show.

DR: Only Wonder Woman villains or any villain from the DC universe?

MA: Well right now, it’s just going to be the Wonder Woman villains. There’s always the potential to expand, but I really want to set up Wonder Woman’s universe and give her a solid rouge’s gallery before I start trying to run into other places.

DR: Lynda Carter’s portrayal has earned her a cult status in the gay community. As a gay comic writer, what does it mean to you to be writing this title? 

MA: Well, it it’s an absolute thrill. It’s a thrill being a writer to write this character but definitely a lot of impact that Lynda’s performance had on lots of young women and lots of young budding gay men.

She had all that great bling and an elegant and really classy performance that [many great leading actresses’] from the 30’s and 40’s [gave to audiences.] They were strong characters who happened to be women, not just women characters, which is always interesting to me.

DR: What do think are some of the benefits of placing Wonder Woman in this time period?

MA: Well, I love the 70’s. As a child of the 70’s, anytime I can go back and revisit bellbottom pants, discos, and feathered hair is a good day. I also think that, because we didn’t have cell phones or pocket computers back then, it requires storytelling that’s a lot more intricate because there weren’t these technological shortcuts.

DR: How did you get involved in the project? Did you lobby for it, or was it assigned to you?

MA: You know it was somewhere in between. I was having lunch with [someone at DC and I said,] “You know Batman ‘66 is such a success when’s Wonder Woman ‘77 going to happen.” He kind of looked at me with a sort of mischievous grin. Cut to months later, one day I got an email from the editor of the book, and he said, “Hey, you want to do this,” and I said, “‘Want to do this’, oh I am doing this and no one else is allowed to touch this, it’s mine.” So it was a fairly stress free journey to get this project off the ground, at least on my end.

DR: Can you give us any hints as to what Diana’s first big adventure will be about?

MA: It is a three part story. It deals with Diana and Steve Trevor keeping an eye on a group of Russian nuclear scientist who defected to the Soviet Union and some bad guys who want them back. The first arc is called “Disco Inferno” and takes place in a super hip trendy disco in New York called Studio 52.

DR: Did you have a lot of experience in the 70’s to draw on, or did you have to do a lot of research?

MA: Well I was born in 1970, so I was really young throughout the 70’s, but you know I’ve always loved that era. I was drinking chocolate milk; I wasn’t hanging out at the disco, but I have strong memories of that period. I did a lot of fashion research to give the artists some ideas of what Diana’s civilian clothes could look like.

DR: Who is doing the interior art?

MA: The first chapter is by Drew Johnson and we have a bunch of other artists in various stages of working on other chapters, but they haven’t been announced yet.

DR: What is it about your writing style that makes you such a strong storyteller for kick-ass ladies?

MA: Well I think once again, it goes to the place of I write these characters as characters first. I don’t write them as female characters. Every character I write, even if I’m writing a straight man, I don’t write straight male Batman, I write Batman and being a straight male is a part of who he is, but it’s also an utterly insignificant part of who he is. So, I think I try to approach these women as characters who are equal and their difference doesn’t marginalizes them or minimize them. It’s just something that’s to be celebrated and treated as equal footing to all the other male heroes.

DR: You’ve had a hand in bringing gay relationships into comics with characters like Batwoman and Obsidian. What is it about the comic book medium that emphasizes a voice for the gay community?  

MA: Well, I think it goes back to the whole secret identity thing. What a lot of young people today don’t realize is how lucky they are to have as much freedom and acceptance as that they do now. You know back then in the 70’s, 80’s and even the 90’s being out was rare and took a lot of courage because it wasn’t as accepted and seen culturally as much in the open as it is now. I think the whole idea of, “Who you think I am isn’t who I really am, and who I really am is pretty cool, but I have to keep it a secret.” That resonates with gay people. That resonates with all people. I think we all go through that.

DR: What’s coming up for you and your future projects?

MA: Well, I’ll do Wonder Woman ‘77 and I’ll be wrapping up Batwoman with issue #40 and [Batwoman] Annual #2 and I’m doing a two part Batman and the Outsiders arc for a Convergence miniseries that’s coming out in April and May when DC makes their move to Los Angeles. I will also have some creator owned stuff that will be announced very early on in the New Year. 

Be sure to make this title a hit by getting your own copy available now, and be sure to follow Marc Andreyko on Twitter for all his upcoming project @Marcandreyko. Follow DC comics for more updates at their website at dccomics.com.

"Disco Inferno" part 1 of 3: "The Velvet Ropes."

Take a trip back to the days of disco with everyone's favorite Amazon Princess. Wonder Woman hits the dance floor in pursuit of an escaped Russian spy.