She’s one of the most prominent members of the Justice League, but Wonder Woman’s ultimate dream might just be becoming a 1930s adventurer in the mold of Indiana Jones. This was revealed in JLA #9, when the League was captured by the villainous Key, who placed each member in a coma-like dream-state to show them each of their hearts’ desires.
Launched in 1996, JLA saw the long-awaited return of the seven big guns to the Justice League after years of C- and D-list heroes filling out the roster. For the first time in a long-time, Superman, Batman, Wonder Woman, Green Lantern, The Flash, Aquaman and the Martian Manhunter were back on the team, and fans couldn’t have been happier with the results. Written by superstar creator Grant Morrison and drawn by Howard Porter, the book quickly became one of DC’s most popular titles in both sales and critical acclaim. Thanks to the all-star cast and the mind-bending threats the League frequently faced, JLA would on to influence works like The Authority and The Ultimates, the effects of which can be felt in superhero epics to this day.
Written by Grant Morrison and with art by Oscar Jimenez, JLA #8-9 depicts the return of the Key, a rather goofy villain introduced in the Silver Age who uses “psycho-chemicals” to access other senses beyond the five human ones. He reappears in the pages of JLA, having refashioned himself into a major threat after unlocking even more mental powers during a self-induced coma. To show off his upgraded powers, the Key storms the JLA Watchtower and uses his newly-advanced “psycho-virus” to trap each member in a dream, siphoning off their powers so he can open a portal that will allow him to conquer the universe. This sets the story up for several “Elseworlds”-styled dream sequences showing off the secret inner desires of each member of the League. Batman’s dream shows him retired and married to Catwoman, while Superman’s has him operating as the Green Lantern of a Krypton that never exploded. Yet Wonder Woman’s dream is quite possibly the most interesting of them all, which sees Diana operating as an adventuring archaeologist, traveling the world with her longtime love Steve Trevor, dressed in a rather familiar looking tan shirt and brown fedora.
Wonder Woman Dreams Herself As An Indiana Jones-style Adventurer
In her dream, a de-powered Steve and Wonder Woman find themselves fighting a horde of zombified Nazi soldiers, trying to prevent Baroness Paula Von Gunther from acquiring an artifact of great power. It’s a fun little side-story, and even though it takes up only three pages of the two-issue arc, Morrison and Jimenez pack in enough ideas to carry a whole series worth of stories. Creative flourishes like using “Eurasian maggots” to fend off the Nazi zombies, or the treasure of No, the Primal She-God, give the side-story that classic pulp feel with a Morrison-ian twist. Diana’s miniskirt outfit also recalls the time she lost her powers in the Sixties and became a mod martial artist.
Wonder Woman’s Partner Steve Trevor Dons Indy’s Iconic Outfit
Ultimately, the Key plans are foiled thanks to the arrival of new member Conner Hawke, the Green Arrow of the 1990s. All the Justice Leaguers are freed, and we never saw any of their respective dream-worlds again. It’s a story that’s begging for a continuation, so with any luck, we’ll get to see Wonder Woman’s Indiana Jones-inspired dream-world again in the pages of Justice League or other DC titles.