• Aaron Fonseca

Wonder Woman: Where Did the Amazons Get a Gun?

Today, learn how the Amazons had a gun on hand to be able to test Wonder Woman's bullet-deflecting skills!

This is "Gonna Change My Way of Thinking," a feature spotlighting notable examples of retcons that don't fit into the framework of Abandoned an' Forsaked, which is specifically about stories that outright "overturn" older stories. There are many examples of "retroactive continuity" that do not actively abandon the works of the past (especially cases where the overall continuity was rebooted). Some of them are minor, some of them are major, all of them are interesting enough to me that I figure that they are worth writing about.

Last week, I did a piece on why Wonder Woman incorporated the American flag into her costume, as there were different versions of the story before and after Crisis on Infinite Earths. The same reader, Doug F., suggested a couple of Wonder Woman-related questions and they were tied together, but I thought that they were interesting enough to tackle them separately. So we had the American Flag costume question and now on to why, exactly, the Amazons had a gun with them to test Wonder Woman's bullet-deflecting skills.

HOW DID THE GOLDEN AGE AMAZONS GET A HOLD OF A GUN?

One of the hallmarks of the early days of comic book was that the way that the comics were produced had a direct impact on how the stories were treated. What I mean is that comic books were intended as disposable items of entertainment and as a result, you weren't really expecting anyone to actually be reading these stories again. This is why the major heroes like Superman and Batman would often revisit their origins, since the presumption was that you WOULDN'T KNOW their origins, because you wouldn't still have the older issues of their comic book adventures to look to for references. As a result, there were often a number of outlandish plot points that were thrown in there that you were just meant to accept and move on with. For instance, when William Moulton Marston and H.G. Peter wanted to give Wonder Woman a secret identity, she just happened to run into a woman (also named Diana) who was basically her twin and that woman sold Wonder Woman her identity and so Princess Diana became Diana Prince. It's totally absurd, but hey, it worked. And if you picked up an issue three-four issues later, she's just Diana Prince now, deal with it.

A lot of that attitude was also present in All Star Comics #8 (which was a special preview of Wonder Woman ahead of her "official" debut as the lead feature of Sensation Comics), when Marston and Peter show Wonder Woman's final test to see if she could become Wonder Woman, which was having another Amazon shoot a gun at her and see if she can deflect the bullet with her bracelet...



Forget, for a moment, simply the question of "Where did the Amazons, who never leave their island, get a gun?" (which is a fine question, in and of itself), and let's think for a second about how not only do the Amazons have guns, but they apparently use them so much that the other Amazons are literally chanting "Bullets and bracelets" for the final match as if it is their most favorite pastime in all of Paradise Island, like it's their Wheel of Fortune or The Price Is Right...



"YEAH! BULLETS AND BRACELETS! WOOOOO!"

However, I think a whole lot of this stuff can be handwaved by the fact that the Amazons have a magic sphere that allows them to observe anywhere or anytime in space and time...


So that's presumably the answer for how they learned how to make their own modern weapons.

Okay, so how about AFTER Crisis on Infinite Earths?

HOW DID THE AMAZONS GET A GUN AFTER CRISIS?

Here, George Perez decided to lean HEAVILY into the whole question of "How did the Amazons get a gun?" He even specifically addressed it in the written material that was printed in Wonder Woman #1 in 1986 (by Perez, Greg Potter, Len Wein and Bruce Patterson). Here, when it comes time for Diana to play "Bullets and Bracelets," this time it is all about how she has to face the "Flashing Thunder"...



This is right up there with The Little Mermaid's whole "dinglehopper" and "snarfblatt" (names for a fork and a pipe, respectively). Anyhow, Diana goes for her test and one of the older Amazons just pulls out a gun and it's this whole mysterious deal...


Once Diana succeeds in her "Bullets and Bracelets" routine (how amazing are the expressions that Perez gives Diana during the test?), we even get a mysterious reference to how the gun is tied in with the mysterious namesake for Diana whose armor design is also the inspiration for Wonder Woman's costume...


It was all revealed in Wonder Woman #12 (by Perez, Wein and Patterson), when Wonder Woman encountered Diana Trevor, Steve Trevor's mother who had accidentally landed on Themyscira during the 1950s, when her plane crash landed. She carried her side arm with her...


When she saw some Amazons in trouble, she went in, gun a-blazing, which was quite a sight for the Amazons to see at the time...


In the end, her modern weaponry saved the day, but not before she was herself killed during battle...


Hades then fills in what happened after Trevor died. The Amazons took what was left of her uniform and used it to make Wonder Woman's costume, they also named Diana after her and, of course, put the gun into a place of honor where it could be used for their later tests to pick out Wonder Woman...


The gun help up well for an almost 30 year weapon, right?



16 views0 comments