review by VJ Miller, Sr.
Once again, Roy Thomas has dug deep into the DC archives to ferret out the most representative stories of the Maid of Might during the Second World War.
Wonder Woman was created in 1941 by Dr. Charles Moulton Marston a graduate of Harvard in 1915. The war was raging in Europe when WW came on the scene but the US would be plunged into that war by December of that year.
M.C. Gaines, publisher of All-American Comics (which was formerly allied with DC Comics) chose to publish WW for a six month trial as long as Marston wrote the script. H.G. Peter was hired and paid by Marston to do the artwork. Marston would publish under the pen name of Charles Moulton; a combination of his and M.C. Gaines middle names.
Wonder Woman’s debut would be as a backup story in All-Star Comics #8 before starting in Sensation Comics #1. A special clause was written into Marston’s contract by Gaines that would ensure that DC, who later bought out Gaines, would continue to keep Wonder Woman in print. What it was you will have to read the book to discover; no spoilers here.
What to do with WW:
Superman could likely have won the war single handed what with all his powers, so DC decided to keep him in America to fight all the subversives and fifth columnists. Batman was a normal human being and could be shot and killed easily, so he too remained at home to fight saboteurs and spies. The Maid of Might was handled differently.
With her strength and speed plus her ability to ward off bullets with her bracelets, she got into the thick of the fighting in both theaters of action.
With all her abilities I’m not so sure she actually exercised the Wisdom of Athena. Many times when Steve Trevor was in danger, Wonder Woman, who had fallen in love with Steve, would rush blindly into traps and endanger her secret identity. She nearly always had to rely on her friend, Etta Candy and the girls from the college to rescue her.
Wonder Woman would also have to fight Mars, the God of War on more than one occasion, along with his many minions.
At the Wars end, Wonder Woman would shift her tactics to helping veterans find their place in the world where they could live in peace.
See my other reviews: Superman the War Years and Batman the War Years
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