Ray Caspio

"a shapeshifter of an actor" - Cleveland Plain Dealer

Wonder Woman No. 15: The Return of Wonder Woman

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This is the fourth in my ongoing series of comic book covers based on the Lynda Carter Wonder Woman television show!  I'm particularly proud of this one because when I look at it, THAT is the Wonder Woman in my head.  I've finally given it form.  I decided to add the sketch and digital inks that became this illustration.

Episode No. 15 (including the pilot movie):  The Return of Wonder Woman

This episode marked the switch from a World War II setting to the modern day (in this case, 1977), and also a change of networks from ABC to CBS.  The premise was:  Wonder Woman returned to Paradise Island after World War II since the Nazi menace had been taken care of.  In 1977, fate intervenes, and IADC Agent Colonel Steve Trevor crashes on the uncharted body of land in The Bermuda Triangle known as Paradise Island just like his father before him.  Princess Diana rescues him and finds out that she's still needed in the outside world:  this time, to stop a terrorist plot.

In the "new" series, Major Steve Trevor (Lyle Waggoner) was now Colonel Steve Trevor, Jr., Private Etta Candy (Beatrice Colen) was gone, and Joe Atkinson (Normann Burton) replaced General Blankenship (Richard Eastham) as "the boss" of the series.  That wouldn't last very long.  Diana Prince was no longer disguised as a mousy secretary:  she was on her way to becoming a stylish woman of the 1970s.  By the end of the series, she'd even ditched the glasses and bun/ponytail she used to disguise herself.  I prefer the CBS series to ABC because of the new confidence Lynda Carter gave Diana Prince and Wonder Woman.  In describing the dualities of the role, Lynda Carter has said she always considered Diana Prince as who the woman really was and Wonder Woman as what she could do.  I heartily agree with that interpretation.

The first time I saw this particular episode was on the old fX Network in 1994 because it never appeared in syndication on the networks in my area before that.  fX edited it down to one hour long episode and one half hour episode, cutting scenes in the process, so I was delighted to finally see it in its entirety when Columbia House released it on VHS.  Of course, now it's on DVD, but Warner Brothers edited out the opening teaser and the cannon shot that preceded the theme song.  There are a number of odd choices WB made on the DVD release so hopefully one day they'll actually release the complete series, unedited. 

background photos by Frank J. Lanza Photography, courtesy of Theater Ninjas
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Ray Caspio received a 2016 Creative Workforce Fellowship. The Fellowships is a program of the Community Partnership for Arts and Culture. Funding for the Fellowship program is made possible by the generous support of Cuyahoga County residents through a public grant from Cuyahoga Arts & Culture.