A Look Back at Wonder Woman #20 (1988)

Disclaimer: This is my original work with details sourced from reading the comic book and doing personal research. Anyone who wants to use this article, in part or in whole, needs to secure first my permission and agree to cite me as the source and author. Let it be known that any unauthorized use of this article will constrain the author to pursue the remedies under R.A. No. 8293, the Revised Penal Code, and/or all applicable legal actions under the laws of the Philippines.

It’s the second week of March already. That means we are slowly but surely inching closer to the March 30, 2021 scheduled releases of Wonder Woman 1984 on 4K Blu-ray, Blu-ray and DVD! If you have not yet ordered a copy of the sequel starring Gal Gadot as the Queen of Superheroes, you can do so now if you want to. I already ordered my copy. You can also read my retro review of the 2017 Wonder Woman movie.

On to literature! Last time, the George Perez-led story not only saw the end of Diana’s visit of Greece, it also fully presented to readers what was back then the modern portrayal of Circe (DC Comics’ own take on the false Greek goddess) who proved to be at the time the most sinister and most powerful supervillain Wonder Woman faced. Wonder Woman #19 also showed the Queen of Superheroes in her most vulnerable state.

Now that Diana and her friends have returned to America, we can find out what happens next in this look back at Wonder Woman #20, published by DC Comics in 1988 with a story written and illustrated by George Perez based on an idea by Carol Flynn. Bob McLeod was in charge of the finishes.

The cover.

Early story

The story begins in the City of Boston at night. Three Chinese men are running away from something until Wonder Woman confronts them. One of the men fires several bullets at her but each bullet got blocked by her using her tremendous reflexes and braces. After Wonder Woman disarms the gunman, another Chinese man tries attacking her with sharp weapons only to be defeated easily. The other Chinese man tries to run away but gets caught by Wonder Woman who uses her lasso. In reaction to his question, Wonder Woman demands answers.

Elsewhere, investigators are searching for clues and details inside a lady’s modern looking office. Lying on the floor is the dead body of a victim and according to the investigator’s report, she had been dead for a few hours. The victim is none other than Myndi Mayer, a highly successful publicist who made a career out of the media and celebrities. Wonder Woman happened to be her most recent, high-profile client. Mayer was involved in the Wonder Woman fair.

Based on their findings, Myndi Mayer looked like she didn’t go without a fight. A bloody letter opener was found in her hand and her purse was found next to her body emptied. Traces of white powder were found on her desk. Mayer’s secretary Christine Fenton was visited by the investigators who told her about the death of her boss. She did not express any surprise and told them that it was only a matter of time before Mayer’s end came. Christine added that she warned Mayer about a certain man.

The investigators then show Christine the sketch of man based on the description of an eyewitness. She expressed surprise as she recognizes him…

Quality

Wonder Woman takes part in the search for truth.

Wow! This is one dark Wonder Woman story to read and I can say that it is a very inspired work written by George Perez based on an idea by Carol Flynn. This is not your typical story of showing the Queen of Superheroes fighting someone evil or saving people from disaster. This is a murder mystery that is laced with corporate intrigue, crime, legal wrangling and the everlasting struggle to determine the truth.

Myndi Mayer’s death really set of a series of events and revelations that are no less striking. Considering the many details about law, crime, investigations and corporate intrigue, the in-depth writing here indicates that George Perez did a lot of researching and found ways to tell a very cohesive story with Wonder Woman playing a role. I should state that as of this writing, this particular story comes close to becoming realistic and reflective of 1980s life. This is top-notch writing by Perez!

When it comes to characterization, Myndi Mayer was deeply portrayed to be in deep trouble both personally and professionally. Of all the Wonder Woman comics of the post-Crisis era of DC Comics I’ve read so far, this one clearly defines Mayer and goes beyond her usual appearance as a prolific publicist.

On Wonder Woman, as mentioned earlier, she does not get to fight a super villain. Rather she takes part in the search for truth and tries her best to solve the mystery even though she is not even fully familiar with the way law and order works in the world of man. In some ways, her approach to literally putting pieces of the puzzle into place and approaching people in different places reminds me somewhat of Batman’s detective work but without the vigilante approach.

Conclusion

This page about the murder investigation at the scene of the crime has some Watchmen vibes to it.

I can say that Wonder Woman #20 (1988) is not only a great comic book to read but also one of the most unique stories about the Queen of Superheroes ever published. By this time, George Perez has proven himself to be very prolific in storytelling on top of his great ability to draw art. I should state I love the way the story was structured and the way it ended delivered both impact and intrigue.

If you are seriously planning to buy an existing hard copy of Wonder Woman #20 (1988), be aware that as of this writing, MileHighComics.com shows that the near-mint copy of the comic book costs $41.

Overall, Wonder Woman #20 (1988) is highly recommended!

+++++

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