Wonder Woman Secret Files & Origins #2- Profile Page (July, 1999)

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I've spoken elsewhere about how crappy and unloved DC's Secret Files were, but I have affection for them because of all their quirky, value-added qualities. See, the JLA could and often did support a yearly edition, between all their members, tie-in books, and the like. Characters like Green Lantern and the Flash had more trouble, based on singular series with fewer satellites, but they were popular enough that the demand was there. I expect the Wonder Woman editions were based more around some sort of moral imperative. The main series was selling less than 40K a month, and her second SF&O only brought in half that.

An initial edition was easy, since it was the first round of profile pages for the Amazing Amazon and her cast since the early '90s, before characters like Artemis and Cassie Sandsmark had even been created. Here's a tour guide of Paradise Island, there's a timeline of post-Zero Hour history, and why not a feature on the new invisible spaceship. That one sold as well as a regular issue, but I guess John Byrne's faithful 20,000 readers left with him the following year.

New writer Eric Luke was revisiting the Titans of legend, so reintroductions and a lot of splash pages filled out a lead story. The Wonder Woman profile page seen above, written by Joanna Sandsmark with art by Phil Jimenez, basically summarized the previous year's storyline. There were a few new villains, a look at the Wonderdome (don't ask,) and a stroll through Donna Troy's messed-up continuity (which could have been a volume unto itself.) You kind of knew they were running out of steam when the last page was a pin-up and a corny passage on the "Code of the Amazons." It's a shame that Wonder Woman SF&Os excluded the mini-Chase continuation by co-creator D. Curtis Johnson, featuring his DEO agent investigating the DCU.

It took three years to reach #3, with a lead written by Jimenez re-retelling the story of the Amazons with the many retcons that had been invented inserted into the chronology. The profile ballooned to two+ page spreads heavy on text, possibly inspired by Jimenez's work on the big hardcover DC Encyclopedia. It was quite comprehensive, and it's no surprise Jimenez finally became involved with a Wonder Woman encyclopedia (which is awesome, by the way.)

Origins of Secret Files

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