When Wondy was Awesome, part 3 (Chalk Drawings)
This next is not actually a story about Diana herself, but rather a story about the people around her and the world she lives in. That's not uncommon in a general sense, but it's actually relatively rare with Diana - you just don't get stories about Themyscira or a day in the life of Philippus the way you get stories about Gotham or the investigative exploits of Lois Lane. So this, the story of tertiary cast member Lucy Spears, is a bit of a rare gem in that sense.
It's also a rare gem in many other senses, as you'll see once you click the cut.
The story of Lucy Spears is not entirely her own. It starts, rather, with Vanessa "Nessie" Kapatelis - the adolescent daughter of Julia Kapatelis, and housemate to our very own Amazon Princess.
Nessie, with Julia and Hermes, forms the nucleus of Diana's supporting cast for most of Perez' run, so we see a lot of her - she's sort of our window into how the rest of the world views Diana. She's also very much a teenager, in that she's an asshole of a social climber, constantly worried about boys, and completely self-involved. Astonishingly, she still manages to be relatable and sympathetic. Part of this is just because she and Diana clearly, genuinely love each other, and that goes a long, long way; but Perez is also very good at showing the underlying insecurity and very rational fears that motivate her jerk behavior.
For example, this is Nessie, her best friend Eileen, and the boy she likes, Barry, going to see a park opening where Diana is scheduled to speak.
Barry and Nessie are sort of dating... something that only started after Diana started living at her house. (The poster he's boggling over is, naturally, of Diana.) But after roughly twenty issues, Diana still doesn't seem to much know or care who Barry is, and that's when we first meet Lucy Spears.
When next we see Lucy, Vanessa has just come back from Themyscira, and has had both her vacation photos and her thoughts on the place memorialized in a Times article. This, unsurprisingly, affects her social standing.
Eileen is, quite frankly, a better friend than Nessie deserves. But it's her defense of Nessie here that leads, several issues later, to our first real glimpse of Lucy's personality.
So Nessie and Lucy get pretty close after that. In fact, Lucy replaces Eileen as Nessie's best friend, for fairly obvious reasons.
In fact, Nessie and and Lucy are so tight that Nessie follows Lucy to summer camp.
Lest that totally turn you off Nessie forever, though, we finally get to see what's going on underneath, a little bit, with issue 41, which is basically one long letter home from the summer camp.
(pardon my photoshop; the text is hand-script tight italics in the original, and doesn't tolerate the vagaries of time, scanning and resizing particularly legibly. It's all Perez' words, I promise. I debated over the font - if it's not legible enough either, please do comment, I'll redo it with a different one.)
Ignoring that vanishingly few teenage girls would actually speak this way to their own mother, Perez is pretty impressive at capturing the essence of the experience of being one here for someone who never has.
So, that's Lucy and Nessie. And then, a few issues later...
There's a lot of flashback narrative here, but I think it manages to not be confusing. Which is very good storyboarding on Perez' part.
This is mostly Nessie's story, but we also get Diana's perspective:
(Nessie tried to take some flowers over to the Spears' house, but got verbally abused and run off by Lucy's grieving parents, which Julia didn't take well.)
Scans from Wonder Woman v2 22-46, which are, like most of Diana's history, uncollected and unavailable outside of quarter bins, piracy and ebay.
Next time: More trouble from the spawn of Ares, and men walk on Themysciran shores, which isn't the catastrophe it would have been pre-Crisis but still manages to spell more trouble than it initially seems worth.