1975’s ‘Wonder Woman’ Coloring Book: The Most Inappropriate Kids’ Comic of All Time
I've never really been much of a Wonder Woman fan, but I genuinely hope that the upcoming TV show is a massive success that propels the character to the forefront of pop culture. If nothing else, it would almost guarantee that we'd get more stuff like this:
Recently unearthed by Mark Anderson of Andertoons -- who also provided us with an incredible set of vintage super-hero greeting cards -- Wonder Woman Faces The Menace of the Mole Men was a coloring book released in 1975, but loosely based on a story that was originally published back in 1943. And it has the distinction of being one of the most insane comic book stories I've ever read.
I know I say that a lot, but seriously, trust me on this one. By the time we get to the part where Wonder Woman's getting coated in glow-in-the-dark paint so that she can compete in an evil dance marathon, you'll understand that I'm not kidding around.But I'm getting ahead of myself. As the story opens, Wonder Woman is in her civilian identity where she apparently works at the United Nations, organizing a special ladies-only international jam band:
Now, I'm about as well-acquainted with the history of the UN as you probably expect from a product of the South Carolina public school system, so I was pretty surprised to find out that in 1975, there were only six member nations.
I have to say, though, that I am completely fascinated by these ladies, and not just because the artist got as far as a bonnie Scottish lass with a set of bagpipes before realizing that he only knew about two identifiable instruments from other nations and had to fudge his way through by giving a mini-skirted Beefeater a drum. This is a band made up of exactly one drum, bagpipes, a harp, a mariachi trumpet, and whatever the hell they play in the Netherlands, which I believe would have something to do with death metal. Who thought that would be a good band?! Besides Pitchfork, I mean. So underground.
Literally, in fact, as their medley of national anthems is interrupted by a the very Earth itself opening up and swallowing them hole, a problem that prompts Wonder Woman to summon her invisible jet through the power of mental radio control.
I mention this because it is the least crazy thing that's going to happen in this entire story.
Anyway, once she's got her plane, Wonder Woman... well, she basically leaves, hence the plane. Just straight up watches the Ladies of the United Nations Lonely Hearts Club Band tumble down a fault in the planet and decides it's time to get out of there without so much as a "Hang in there, girls!" Not exactly the most heroic response.
To be fair, though, she is leaving to get help, specifically from Paula, Paradise Island's Only Nerd!
Or maybe she's an Amazon hipster, which would explain why Wonder Woman is so keen to keep her informed about the latest developments of bagpipe/mariachi fusion bands.
Once Paula's been collected for vague, somewhat sciencey reasons, the two Amazons fly back to New York and shove their way past the police line so that they can climb down the crevasse that's just shown up on 42nd Street. Predictably, they end up losing their grip on the rocks as the fault seals itself back up, and -- because this is a Wonder Woman story -- end up in a world populated by glowing chained-up slave girls.
Apparently that hole in the ground was so deep that it went all the way to Gor.
At this point, this story starts to feel like it could suddenly turn into a softcore Cinemax porn flick at any time, mostly because it insists on delivering lines like "How do you know our tongue," not to mention this little gem:
From here on out, "Menace of the Mole Men" devolves into a litany of fetishes that even William Moulton Marston would've looked at and said "Hey, c'mon guys, there's kids reading this stuff." Despite the fact that they both have super-powers, Wonder Woman and Paula just decide to go along with with the bondage games being played by the underground civilization, ostensibly so that they can learn more about just why all these women are a) glowing, b) chained up, and c) taking orders from a dude in a mini-dress and pixie boots.
According to Calla, the "Chief Slave," this underground civilization is the result of a disaster that trapped their ancestors underground "thousands of years ago," with the curious side effect being that the women developed the ability to see in the dark, while the men all went blind and thus instituted a policy of glow-in-the-dark slavery for all women.
Yeah, about that. I realize that we checked anything even resembling logic at the door when we started this thing, but one assumes that in a society in which half of the population can see and the other half is totally blind, the latter half is going to have a pretty hard time enslaving the former. The obvious answer, of course, is that they're just totally into it, but everybody except Calla seems pretty bummed out by the whole situation.
Incidentally, this is all explained to Wonder Woman as she's being encased in plastic, bound with chains, slathered in body paint, and then shocked with electricity while her shoes are taken away.
Guys, that's the most fetishes I've ever seen in one place at one time, and I've been on the Internet for thirteen years.
Once she's suitably prepared, Wonder Woman is taken to meet the King of the Mole Men, who -- and this is my absolute favorite part of the story -- is named Blakfu. Sadly, he's not quite as entertaining as he sounds, which, considering that it sounds like the title of the long-lost third Dolemite movie, is pretty much a given. Still, pretty awesome.
Anyway, Wonder Woman finds out that Blakfu is planning to
take down that jive-ass Willie Green conquer the surface world, because of course he is. In order to head off this plan, Wonder Woman creates a distraction while Paula easily escapes (which they could've done at any time) and goes back to Paradise Island to make a couple dozen copies of Wonder Woman's lasso so that the UN band and the female slaves can tie up the men and make them their slaves.
As you might expect, Blakfu responds by forcing Wonder Woman to dance in iron shoes on an electrified hot plate.
This, of course, presents no real problem for Wonder Woman, whose uncanny knack for dance marathons ranks alongside being able to talk to birds as one of her lesser known powers. Interestingly enough, though, the story details that she keeps this up -- accompanied by the band, which I assume involved at least one totally shredding bagpipe solo -- long enough for the evil underground slavers to get bored and start telling Blakfu to just go ahead and shoot her.
He insists for some reason that she keep on dancing -- and before you ask, he only sees a shapeless glowing blob gyrating, although it's entirely possible that he's into that -- and Wonder woman's plan to stall works out fine. Paula comes back with the lassos, and Wonder Woman sets about a good ol' fashioned regime change.
And then she operates on Blakfu's eyes to cure his blindness.
I know, I was surprised that Wonder Woman can cure blindness with a set of dental tools too. And even more surprised that she did so without even bothering to put on a pair of gloves.
As for why she goes through the trouble of sharing Paradise Island's advance optic surgery techniques with Man's World, it turns out that Blakfu and Calla have secretly been in love with each other the whole time. That makes sense, right? I mean...
What's not to love?
Once he's able to actually see her, Blakfu falls even more in love with Calla, and he decides to marry her and give up his dreams of conquest. Thus, Wonder Woman returns to the surface, and evil is... Well, I guess evil is completely rewarded with absolutely no negative consequences whatsoever for kidnapping, attempted murder and a thousand years of slavery that is described within the story itself as involving cruelty and fear.
Nice Job, Wonder Woman!