Where it began…

[click on illustration for larger image…]

Wonder Woman was created by the American psychologist William Moulton Marston and artist Harry G. (H.G.) Peter. She first appeared in All Star Comics #8, released in 1941. Comic book legend has it that Diana, Princess of Themyscira (aka Wonder Woman), was sculpted from clay by her mother Queen Hippolyta and given life by Aphrodite, along with superhuman powers as gifts by the Greek Gods.

Marston drew a great deal of inspiration from early feminists including birth control activist Margaret Sanger, the aunt of Olive Byrne, who lived with Marston and his wife Elizabeth. Marston combined his, Elizabeth’s and Olive’s feminist ideals to create a superhero character that young girls and boys could look up to. He designed Wonder Woman as a model of that era’s unconventional, liberated woman to appear in a comic book world that, at the time, was dominated by superpower male characters such as the Green Lantern, Superman (its flagship character), and Batman.

The above sketch might be considered her first appearance. The handwritten notation between Marston and Peter reads:

“Dear Dr. Marston, I slapped these two out in a hurry. The eagle is tough to handle – when in perspective or in profile, he doesn’t show up clearly — the shoes look like a stenographer’s. I think the idea might be incorporated as a sort of Roman contraption. Peter”. In red pencil, below the figures, Marston responds, “Dear Pete – I think the gal with hand up is very cute. I like her skirt, legs, hair. Bracelets okay + boots. These probably will work out. See other suggestions enclosed. No on these + stripes – red + white. With eagle’s wings above or below breasts as per enclosed? Leave it to you. Don’t we have to put a red stripe around her waist as belt? I thought Gaines wanted it – don’t remember. Circlet will have to go higher – more like crown – see suggestions enclosed. See you Wednesday morning – WMM.”

This may be my first favorite Brunette.

I am such a boy…

[Basic info via Wikipedia – original illustration and transcription via Heritage Auctions…]