- The Washington Times - Friday, June 16, 2017

UPPER MARLBORO, Md. — Wonder Woman, DC Comics’ famed Amazonian princess, not only has a No. 1 live-action movie to celebrate but a new theme park adventure at Six Flags America.

Named Wonder Woman: Lasso of Truth, the extreme swing ride, takes brave visitors soaring 24 stories in the air and then spins them around at top speeds of 40 miles per hour.

Nested in the park’s Gotham City area, next to the Superman: Ride of Steel roller coaster, Wonder Woman’s red, white, blue and yellow, star-studded attraction is the tallest in the park.

“We wanted an iconic ride that redefined our skyline, and we believed this tower ride was the next big thing for us,” says Dave Johnson, Six Flags America’s director of marketing.

“With this being the summer of Wonder Woman, we are so fortunate to have this ride in our park that offers a tremendous view and thrill for our guests,” he says.

Walking up to the attraction, riders can first learn about Wonder Woman through a series of informative billboards, also containing great comic book illustrations that cover her powers and core principals.

That’s a great idea, by the way, to keep youngsters engaged in reading and aware of her comic book roots.

Up to 32 riders are seated at one time, two per a secure swing tethered by chains, and they experience quite a gentle lift-off, barely blinking, before they are over 250 feet in the air.

As a feeling of free flying sets in while rotating around in a 98-foot circle within the two-minute ride cycle, riders are finally brought back down to earth, through an equally gentle decent that will only slightly tweak the stomach.

It’s worth noting that the tower is a bit of an engineering wonder.

Adam Sandy, chief business development officer for Ride Entertainment, the group that conceptualized and installed the attraction, said the Lasso of Truth can withstand sustained wind gusts of up to 43 mph, though it’s a very safe bet that park guests would never be on the ride in those conditions.

More specific to its design, the structure’s internal integrity features the bottom of the tower embedded into the ground and encased in rebar and concrete for sturdiness.

The six-sided structure is constructed with vertical and diagonal steel members to allow wind to pass through it and offer much less air resistance than other typical “pole style” tower rides.

On hand for the ride’s unveiling earlier this week was the famed superheroine in person, ready to greet fans of all ages and even stopping for photos.

Wonder Woman’s battle costume — red leather bustier, blue shorts, gold headband and chest plate — was a near-perfect replica last seen in her DC Comics “New 52” monthly sequential art series that debuted in 2011, and it came complete with lasso.

She promised to be a regular visitor to the attraction.

Wonder Woman: Lasso of Truth is a great fit for the adventurous tween, 44 inches and taller, who’s not ready to tackle the coasters.

However, for those unaware, Six Flags has a great selection of other, more harrowing rides in Gotham City, based on DC Comics’ legends.

The best include:

• The Joker’s Jinx: The Clown Prince of Crime’s super-thrill coaster blasts riders (54 inches and taller) from 0 to 60 mph in three seconds. The attraction uses multiple upside-down loops in a daunting configuration to test wills.

• Superman: Ride of Steel: Answering what it would be like to experience dive-bombing Lex Luthor, the intimidating roller coaster plunges riders (54 to 76 inches tall) down 20 stories and nearly flies through 5,000 feet of red track, peaking at over 70 mph. New to the experience is a virtual reality component that requires riders to wear goggles (available after 6 p.m. to park close).

• Batwing: Guests lay back in this unusual roller coaster and get flipped over to learn how to swoop like their favorite Dark Knight patrolling Gotham. Moving at more than 50 mph, humans are jettisoned head-first around more than 3,000 feet of track that’s filled with twists and loops.

• Joseph Szadkowski can be reached at jszadkowski@washingtontimes.com.

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