Most longtime Wonder Woman fans remember the classic 70s-era TV series starring Lynda Carter, but did you know that there was an earlier small screen iteration prior to this…and that Diana was blonde? And everyone remembers Smallville, but how many of you recall the earlier series focusing on Superman’s youth, this time from the producers of the first three Superman movies?
Discovering or re-discovering these earlier versions is easier than ever before now that Wonder Woman, the original 1974 TV pilot starring Cathy Lee Crosby and Superboy: The Complete Second Season are available on DVD for the first time.
Influenced by properties like James Bond and The Avengers (the British TV series, not the comic book), Wonder Woman re-imagined Diana as more of a super spy than a super hero. As developed by writer John D.F. Black (Star Trek, Shaft), this take on Wonder Woman featured a hero with little in the way of super powers hunting down a villain (portrayed by Ricardo Montalban) who had stolen classified information about American agents. Also drastically different was Diana’s mod-inspired costume, though elements such as her iconic bracelets, lasso and her Amazonian home of Paradise Island make appearances. While a product of its time, this take on the revered character is certainly worth a look for DC comics fans, if for the nostalgia factor alone.
The second season of Superboy brought with it a new lead actor—Gerard Christopher—and a writing staff that included several DC luminaries (including Andy Helfer, Cary Bates, Denny O’Neil and Mike Carlin), along with a slew of familiar villains such as Metallo, Mr. Mxyzptlk, Bizarro and a now much more familiar-looking Lex Luthor (played by Sherman Howard, another replacement from the first season). As before, the series focused on Kal-El’s more youthful years, only the stakes were decidedly higher. Produced by Alexander and Ilya Salkind, Superboy ultimately spanned four seasons and remains an under-the-radar classic that introduced a new generation of fans to the Boy of Steel.
Both titles are now available through warnerarchive.com and other major online retailers. Click the images below for more information or to purchase them now!