Sensation Comics #15 is a very convoluted tale. Mostly, it’s a story about how Diana almost reveals her secret identity to Steve Trevor. I feel like Marston read a Superman comic book about Lois almost finding out about Clark-Superman and thought that Wonder Woman needed that kind of story.
And I have to say, no, Wonder Woman did not need this tale. Especially since she’s been seriously considering telling Steve as she realizes that in order to have a real relationship with him, he needs to know. Especially because you know her mother would have to meet the man Diana was dating.
Anywho, there’s an explosion in Diana’s office while Steve’s there; but during the explosion, Diana’s civilian clothes are destroyed, revealing her Wonder Woman costume underneath. Which leaves Steve being like ‘where’s Diana? OMG, is she dead?” Luckily, Wonder Woman finds a rug, rolls it up, and dresses it in her extra Diana clothing. At first, Steve’s a little bit like ‘wow, Diana looks like a limp rug’ and then he’s like ‘holy cow, arms don’t move like that.’ But Steve believes Wonder Woman as she whisks off rug!Diana to the hospital. Continue reading “Wonder Woman Wednesday: Sensation Comics #15”
Just when you thought Wonder Woman couldn’t be more wacky, Sensation Comics #14 is told from the point of view of Abies Balsamea, a fir tree. His pals call him Fir Balsam. And he wants you to know that he and Wonder Woman are friends and that he helped her out.
In spite of my criticisms of William Moulton Marston’s writing of Golden Age Wonder Woman — the racism, the sexism, and how he puts his fetishes on display in comic targeted toward children — I’ve always felt that he had a certain level of craft behind his stories. He cares a lot about developing Wonder Woman’s world. Crazy as they may be, his plots are packed carefully with action and twists. Essentially, early Wonder Woman is a collection of short stories.
That said Marston’s story in Sensation Comics #13 is greatly disappointing. There are two main plot threads cobbled together in a sloppy way. When looking into Marston’s intent here, it seems like he came up with an idea to have Wonder Woman and Etta Candy on a bowling team together and left it at that.
In Sensation Comics #12, we stay in the world of ridiculous. The ridiculous world of Hollywood. However, instead of being an off-world tale, we have the second resurrection of Baroness Paula Von Gunther. We all missed her and her wacky Nazi antics very much. This also is the last issue in Wonder Woman Archive Edition Volume 1.
Colonel Darnell receives a letter from Supreme Pictures saying they want to produce a film about Wonder Woman. The film’s for patriotism you see. However, Wonder Woman doesn’t exactly have a P.O. Box or phone number. So Diana calls Etta, who then uses the metal radio to signal Wonder Woman.
At first, Wonder Woman refuses to star in the picture. But then Darnell reminds her how the film will serve America (and Steve’s already in Hollywood on a case), and she agrees. On one condition, that Diana Prince, Etta, and Beeta Lambda Sorority accompany her to California. Continue reading “Wonder Woman Wednesdays: Sensation Comics #12”
In Sensation Comics #11, Marston has held in his cabinet of curiosities long enough. They’re back and with full-force. And I also say, with a breath of relief, that even though his fetishes are on display, this is the least offensive tale I’ve read in a while. Yes, cabniet of curiosities is open, but the young girls and boys reading this aren’t going to get it. It’ll go right over their heads.
Most all of Wonder Woman’s tales have taken place in America (with brief trips to Paradise Island, Europe, and Mexico) and very much centered on the fact that Wonder Woman’s here to protect American interests. However, Sensation Comics #11 marks a departure from this. Notably, this is the first tale which mentions Wonder Woman’s membership to the JLA. Her missions with them is where she met Queen Desira of Venus. And in this tale, Queen Desira calls on Wonder Woman to help her friends over on Planet Eros.
There’s a funny moment where Wonder Woman reminds Desira that she does not possess a space ship. (Logic in comics?) But Desira has that solved. You see when people sleep, their astral bodies can go on any adventure, including one to the light-years away Eros. Wonder Woman brings both Etta and Steve along for the trip because Etta insists she come, and for some reason, Wonder Woman thinks the people of Eros will respect Steve’s position in the U.S. Army. Okay, Wonder Woman, I guess that’s a fine excuse to bring your crush. (Steve’s also treated like the “girl” in this scene as he goes to Eros only half-dressed in his uniform because he was being too slow.) To protect her secret identity, Wonder Woman falls asleep in Etta’s dorm room. Continue reading “Wonder Woman Wednesdays: Sensation Comics #11”
In Sensation Comics #10, Wonder Woman helps Steve Trevor take down some Japanese and German spies who are attempting to blow up a train carrying soldiers. This is all fine and dandy and pretty much Marston’s standard Wonder Woman plot. But not so fast. There’s a twist.
(Sidenote: This tale features quite a bit of racist stereotyping as the main villain, who actually gets a lot of face time, is Ishti, a Japanese spymaster of some sort. He talks in broken English and stutters over his “s”es. There’s also a brief appearance of a train porter, who’s black and indistinguishable from the porter in the last issue.)
Sensation Comics #9 marks the return of one Diana (Prince) White. That’s right, she’s back like a bad rash. Just kidding. But maybe Wonder Woman will learn a lesson about how you just can’t buy someone else’s identity. Or not.
Unfortunately, this issue also contains more racism in the drawings (Dr. Cue) and an overtly sexist character (Dan White) who’s never really called on it.
Diana and Steve are out to lunch together, and suddenly, this guy starts harassing Diana. He’s basically calling her a hussy for cheating on him. But Diana’s never met him. Dan White starts saying, “Don’t you remember our baby?” And Wonder Woman’s like “I’ve never had sex with a man, much less given birth.” Steve’s basically “WTF, Diana? Do you have a secret life?” Confusion abounds. Steve punches Dan in the face so Dan runs away.
Confusion until Diana remembers that Dan White is the name of the other Diana’s finance, now husband. D’oh. This is why you can’t buy someone’s identity, Wonder Woman. Unless the person’s dead and the body’s hidden; then you can make a delightful TV show about it.
Okay, normally, I make it a policy not to review comics like Sensation Comics #8; comics which are blatantly racist, sexist, homophobic, or ablist, except to point out how very peeved I am. I’m not letting Sensation Comics #8 off the hook, despite continuing my review below. That said, Sensation Comics #8 depicts the first black people in Wonder Woman’s otherwise white world. These black people are workers in a hotel, and because it’s 1942, you guessed it, Peter drew them in black-face and Marston gave them “uneducated” dialog. And throws in some classism or just segregation over how black people are the only ones who take the stairs. FAIL.
Sensation Comics #7 was one long milk ad. I was pretty sure I’d see a milk-mustached Wonder Woman at the end of this.
Interestingly enough, expect for stopping some robbers in the first issue, this is the first time Diana’s gone on a mission for civilians.
On her way to meet stay with a friend in Baltimore, Diana goes missing. What actually happens is she stops to buy milk for a poor woman and her little girl. The woman tells Diana that her son died of malnourishment, and soon her daughter will join him because she hasn’t had milk in weeks. The price of milk has skyrocketed for no reason and they can’t afford it anymore.
Here in Sensation Comics #6, Marston’s cabinet of curiosities seems to get the better of his storytelling. We see the first appearance of Wonder Woman’s famous lasso; the first time she’s allowed to return to Paradise Island; and the first time she rides a torpedo. I read this issue aloud to Jason, and he made the comment that Marston seemed to be inserting his fantasies every couple scenes.
The cover for issue #6 says it all really with Wonder Woman riding on a giant kangaroo and having lassoed a bad guy. Yes, this issue will be just as ridiculous.
At the beginning, Diana gets two weeks vacation as Darnell’s off to England, a newly promoted Major Steve Trevor’s in charge, and Diana and Lila get in yet another fight for Steve’s affections around the office. Hippolyta, like any empty-nester, demands her daughter return home. Diana’s thrilled given she was told she could never return. However, Athena and Aphrodite have decided she’s done such a wonderful job in the world of men that Diana deserves a reward for her efforts.
Wonder Woman comes home just in time for the athletic trials. Trials which involve the Amazons riding giant kangaroos, lassoing one another off them, and carrying their tied-up opponents off the field. Yeah, whatever Marston was smoking, where can I get some? Superhero comics are by nature on the ridiculous side, of course; but Marston pulls out all stops here. Continue reading “Wonder Woman Wednesdays: Sensation Comics #6”