Lost Crossovers: Jerry Lewis Meets Wonder Woman

It’s been a year and a half since I last wrote about comedian Jerry Lewis’ team-ups with the core DC super heroes in the pages of his implausibly long-running comic book series, so it’s probably time to tick this final one off of the list. Having previously rubbed shoulders in prior years with Batman and Robin (in what was an exceptionally good story), Superman and the Flash, for his last bite of the apple, the childlike cut-up wound up sharing an adventure with the Amazing Amazon–at a time when she was perhaps at her least amazing.

As opposed to Jerry’s earlier forays into the DC Universe, this final team-up was written not by Arnold Drake but rather Alan Riefe. Riefe, an author, did a scattered amount of writing for DC during the early portion of the 1970s, while Drake was gone from the firm by this point, having joined with a number of other creators in demanding a pension and other long-service benefits from DC/National. The artwork, once again, was by Bob Oksner, whose style was perfectly suited to the demands of the comedy, but who could also skew dramatic when necessary–and whose pretty girls were a selling point.

Unfortunately, while this story is explicitly touted as featuring the new Wonder Woman, it reads very much as though writer Riefe and editor Murray Boltinoff weren’t all that familiar with what had been done to the character over the past year. In short, in an attempt to spike interest in her series, Diana Prince had given up her Amazon power and taken to running a boutique while studying the martial arts under her sightless Asian instructor I-Ching. She would get involved in spy adventures very much inspired by Diana Rigg in the UK-import television series THE AVENGERS, and took to wearing white outfits. So most of the magic and the mythology had been stripped out of the series in an attempt to make it more relevant. But you wouldn’t know that from this JERRY LEWIS tale.

Consequently, the story was consigned to “Earth-B”, the made-up limbo of continuity invented by fans who couldn’t reconcile Boltinoff’s titles with the rest of the DC line. This one opens with Jerry and his obnoxious nephew Renfrew going to a personal appearance of Wonder Woman. While she’s drawn in the modern style, the writing makes it seem as though Riefe was thinking of the classic version of the character. At a certain point, Diana falls and pulls a muscle, requiring her to return to Paradise Island for treatment. For some unknown reason, she decides to bring Jerry and Renfrew with her (this despite the fact that Paradise Island has always been forbidden to men. )

Diana goes to see her physician, Dr. Bratwurst, who also shouldn’t be set up on Paradise Island. The Doctor was expelled from his own community for attempting dangerous experiments. Bratwurst tells Diana that she needs to stay off of her let so that it can heal. Just then, a pair of Amazons come racing up, telling Diana that her mother Queen Hippolyta, has been taken prisoner by the evil Zodor. He’s demanding the Sacred Pearl of the Amazons as ransom. Diana’s in no condition to fight Zodor, but after Jerry winds up imbibing a formula made up by Dr. Bratwurst, he finds that he’s immune to pain, and so Diana talks him into taking on the mission in her stead.

Unfortunately, Bratwurst’s formula begins to wear off almost immediately, leaving Jerry at a huge disadvantage. Through some capering and the dumb luck of comedy, he’s able to vanquish Zodor’s sinister emissary, the Mighty Bulque. In order to get the other Amazons to follow Jerry into battle, Diana fits him up in a wig and armor of her own. Even so, the Amazons are reluctant to get involved, so it mostly falls to Jerry Renfrew, Diana and a few other hangers-on to accomplish the mission.

By this point, dr. Bratwurst has attempted to recreate his pain-killing formula, but he’s gotten something wrong, so now Jerry is suddenly able to breathe fire when he belches. But this new attribute is enough to permit Jerry to lay waste to Zodor’s forces completely. Now, only the big man remains–but Renfrew is able to take him down with a well-placed shot from his slingshot–using the Sacred Pearl as its stone.

After that, all that remains is the wrap-up. Dr. Bratwurst cures Jerry of his flaming discharges, Diana drops Zodor off on a remote island far away from Paradise Island, and Jerry, Renfrew and Diana all return to America in time for her public appearance–and she’s apparently healed up enough to make it. It’s honestly a bit of a mess of a story, and somehow not quite as amusing or plugged into the mythology of the guest character as the preceding three adventures were.

That all said, this issue also happens to include the book’s Statement of Ownership, giving a good snapshot of just how well it was selling during this period. And the results are a bit surprising. Over the course of the prior year, the book had sold 174,125 copies on a print run of 348,000, giving it an efficiency of 50%, which is one of the best percentages we’ve seen for titles of this era. So somebody must have been liking this series.

8 thoughts on “Lost Crossovers: Jerry Lewis Meets Wonder Woman

  1. > For some unknown reason, she decides to bring Jerry and Renfrew with her <
    According to her speech balloon, she didn't decide, they just didn't let go. Jerry was holding onto her and Renfrew to Jerry's pants leg.


  2. > For some unknown reason, she decides to bring Jerry and Renfrew with her <
    According to her speech balloon, she didn't decide, they just didn't let go. Jerry was holding onto her and Renfrew to Jerry's pants leg.


  3. Almost worth reading this just for “Jercules”. 😉 I wish Roger Stern had written Wasp, or C.M. Monica, or even B.K. Dane Whitman call Hercules this, during some of his “unprofessional” or “inappropriate” outbursts or moods.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I think someone has called the Marvel Hercules that at some point — though I think it may have been Hawkeye, and it was probably spelled Jerkules.

      And that makes me wonder if maybe I did it in THUNDERBOLTS, but I’m not going to go look…

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Took me longer to find it, but thanks for listing #22. Totally credible & clever for her to say it.


  4. The mythology wasn’t all that gone — Wonder Woman had made a dimensional visit to Paradise Island just a few months earlier, and would make another not long after. IIRC some men showed up on Paradise Island while it was off in the other dimension so maybe the rules got voided — though that wouldn’t explain the doctor.


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