Sunday, March 06, 2011

Yes, I miss the Invisible Jet

I've realized something else from reading pre-Crisis Wonder Woman. I'm actually really fond of the Invisible Jet. It was really prominent in the Golden Age stories, and they didn't get rid of it until the Perez reboot when she got flight. To this day, it is still one of the most recognizable elements of her franchise. I've gotten guys from the office across the hall coming over to ask me to explain the Invisible Jet.

It was a really neat addition. It allowed her to do aerial rescues hanging from a rope ladder and she basically used it like Batman uses the batplane. It gave her a communications and tech base where-ever in the world she went. It let her easily transport large groups of people without looking silly. (Yeah, she and Superman can carry a bus, but it looks odd.) And it was something that Steve, Etta, and Hippolyta could all fly in case she needed help.

It served a really good purpose in the origin story as a way to transport Steve back from the island. (In fact, questions about the Invisible Jet are my excuse to recount Wonder Woman's origin story.) I think I've written before about how I cringe at the idea of someone with multiple injuries being carried from the Bermuda Triangle to Boston in someone's arms, after all. Diana's an expert carrier, and I love that she carts Steve all over the place in some of these stories but I really think a long trip would be better with him strapped into a stretcher.

But it had to go, because the Perez reboot got rid of the idea that the Amazons were a technologically advanced civilization. Instead, they spent 3000 years with no technological breakthroughs, despite never having had a Dark Ages, being inclined to academic pursuits and having the uninterrupted wisdom of the Ancient World at their fingertips. Oh, and being followers of Athena.

Still, that's being dumped slowly but surely. Byrne gave us kind of the Invisible Jet, only to have someone later take it away. And the Purple Ray has been referenced. The Amazon Library, when it shows, is freaking amazing and I think Harbinger set up that tech but it's there. Really, we need some equivalent of Paula and Tonia back on the island, researching science day in and day out for the Amazons.

We might get that. (Probably with Greek names.) As much as fans are clinging to the Perez reboot as the definitive origin still, a revision is coming. Infinite Crisis changed the timeline already. Odyssey and Flashpoint will give them any excuses they want. I think, with the news of the TV show and his inclusion in the last animated movie, it's not a stretch to suspect we're getting Steve back (fingers crossed we'll be keeping old Steve as a father or uncle to him.) I have my doubts about the jet, though.

But man, I liked it. And I think they could get away with it. It'd establish the Amazons as technologically advanced again. They could explain her using it by having her flight power develop more slowly, even just having it be a gift from her accomplishments in the first story. I am annoyed/enraged with the JMS story arc, but I don't think a revised origin story where she starts off with the basic strength/speed/invulnerability and slowly gains her other gifts through a trial by fire in Man's World would be a terrible thing.

I'm sure that the current talent at DC is more than capable of turning it into a terrible thing, but I wouldn't say it's inherently a bad idea.


  1. You're completely right. The loss of the plane/jet is a big loss of Wonder Woman's mythos and should be rectified

  2. Right! Yeah! Flying's okay, but being a fighter jet pilot is inherently cool!