Marston decided that Diana and Etta wouldn’t just hang around Canada capturing Nazis for the holiday season. Instead, the women take off to Paradise Island. But not before some shenanigans. Eve Brown and Dorothy Lord are arrested as spies, and Etta petitions to Diana to prove that they’ve innocent. Apparently, Paula Von Gunther has given them up so she can get a lighter sentence.
In this tale from Wonder Woman #2, Wonder Woman is defeated by Mars’ Earl of Conquest. Okay, she’s not really defeated, but almost. At least, she winds up back on Mars.
Conquest understands Wonder Woman’s Achilles’ heel, which is that she’s always up for a challenge. Thus, he devises a plan with the help of the Italians under Mussolini. (Which is the first time that Marston’s mentioned the Italians as an enemy.) Count Crafti is sent to seduce Wonder Woman, and his bodyguard Mammotha is sent to challenge Wonder Woman physically. In fact, Conquest’s astral body takes over Mammotha’s body for the story. Conquest makes Mammotha even stronger than the 8-foot giant normally is.
Wonder Woman being Wonder Woman and so in love with Steve Trevor, she does not fall for Count Crafti’s seduction. In fact, she just tries to sell him war bonds. (She’s always hawking war bonds these days. In fact, this issue ends with a short that I won’t cover where she tells the tale of a stranded soldier to get you to buy war bonds.) Continue reading “Wonder Woman Wednesdays: Wonder Woman #2, part 4 of 4”
In this tale from Wonder Woman #2, Deception promises to recapture Wonder Woman for Mars after Greed comes back a failure. He promises to play Wonder Woman for a fool, and truthfully, he made a pretty good play with Wonder Woman’s naturally trusting and honest nature.
The kooky Deception also seems to be the only one to really employ people versus just bribing or forcing them to do his bidding. Sure, they’re all slaves of Mars and chained, but he seems to get better results. Especially compared to Greed who had a hard time even with evil people like Hitler. Deception has a “lie factory where hundreds of slaves work day and night writing plots, deceptions, false propaganda, fake publicity and personality camouflage.” He also has things called phantasms, which are basically empty people shells that his astral body can take over.
Hitler makes his first appearance in Wonder Woman #2. We must be in the time where Hitler was making his rounds so every hero could punch him in the face. I’m greatly disappointed to report that Wonder Woman does not punch Hitler.
Instead, Hitler eats a rug. Yes, eats a rug. It seems that he’s under Mars’ control, and without Mars’ influence onto him, he flounders around in paranoia and second-guesses his generals. In a way, Marston writes a very mentally ill Hitler who’s a slave to Mars compared to a psychopath. I think we’re supposedly to find him comedic and pathetic, but this isn’t my type of humor.
Anyway, together Wonder Woman and Steve spy on a top-level Nazi meeting. Hitler and the other Nazis plot to steal the US Treasury’s gold, a plot suggested by Mars’ agent Greed. Mars has sent Greed to Earth in order to capture Wonder Woman to bring her back to Mars, the planet. Steve and Wonder Woman hide in the 13th half-floor, spying from above. I’m sure there’s a Being John Malkovich joke in there somewhere. Continue reading “Wonder Woman Wednesdays: Wonder Woman #2, part 2 of 4”
Wonder Woman #2 comes with an introduction about the creative team. Here William Moulton Marston takes off his mask and reveals the man behind the pen name. He’s also pictured with H.G. Peter and two editors. Unlike Wonder Woman #1, this shows an all-male team, instead of making motions of the women involved.
In the first story, Marston sets the stage with a conflict between Mars (Ares) and Wonder Woman. In the tradition of the lies adults tell children, Marston explains to his young readers that World War II rages on at the behest of Mars. Mars craves war and wants to keep it on the planet. Whereas Aphrodite, Wonder Woman’s goddess, only wants love, and unfortunately, Mars is currently winning this battle.
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.)
The last story in Wonder Woman #1 may be the most offensive story written yet. Okay, actually, I don’t think it’s any more offensive than the one about the circus’ elephants earlier this issue.
In this story, Mint Candy, brother of Etta and solider in the US Army, is targeted by Japanese spies in order to get information about his division’s orders. In a very convoluted plot, Mint hits his head after a fall from a sabotaged motorcycle and Etta and Diana head to the Candy family’s ranch in Texas to cheer him up. Etta wants to set Mint up with Diana, and Diana just wants information to save America from the Axis.
Mint’s portrayed as something of a Gomer Pyle-like character. He’s simple-minded, but is always trying to do his best to help out his country. While the text never says he’s not good enough for Wonder Woman, it’s implied. But that’s okay because he ends up finding true love away. He also serves as Steve’s damsel-in-distress proxy for this tale.
In this tale from Wonder Woman #1, Diana and Steve go to visit Baroness Paula Van Gunther in prison. Some Allied boats keep getting sunk, and no one knows how the Axis are coming across the information of where the boats are going to be. They figure Paula will know. Interestingly enough, this is the first Wonder Woman story which relays on a male character to help save Wonder Woman. Granted, the male character is Freddy, the prison warden’s young son who’s probably about 10-years-old. Which is why I’m okay with it, if we’re aiming this story at young girls and Freddy is otherwise portrayed as the annoying younger brother of Mabel.
In the second story collected in Wonder Woman #1, Diana and Steve go to the circus, which is having a fundraiser for the army’s benefit. The circus turns into the most racist comic I’ve ever read. Unlike other racism featured in Wonder Woman, yellowface drawings and blackface with jive dialog, the entire plot is racist and full of ethic stereotypes of Burmese, along with another Japanese spy.