Sensation Comics #16 is both the most offensive and the most entertaining plot that Marston has written in a while. There was a lot of heart-and-soul in this comic. It’s essentially a romantic-comedy with a spy-catching thriller stuck in there too. Think Wonder Woman as a Liam Neeson character catching spies while stuck in 27 Dresses. Or something like that.
The comic starts with Diana receiving a telegram from Etta announcing that she is getting married. Marston spends about half a page with Diana, Steve, and even Colonel Darnell laughing about Etta getting married. That’s right, even Etta’s best friends, whose butts she’s saved again and again, can’t believe anyone would want to marry her.
I mean, who needs enemies when you can have friends like Diana and Steve?
This makes me even more glad that Etta marries Steve. Because seriously, what a bunch of assholes. I hope every night when Steve closes his eyes, he feels guilty for being such a jerk. (Yes, I *know* DC messed with the worlds that the Golden Age stuff is supposed to take place on.) And of course, the only reason Etta sent the telegram is because she wanted Diana there. She even lets her bring Steve along. Continue reading “Wonder Woman Wednesdays: Sensation Comics #16”
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”
Paula may have reformed last story from Wonder Woman #3, but now she has to prove that her devotion to Wonder Woman is true. And it is literally a trial by fire.
But first, Colonel Darnell is distressed that his best secretary Diana Prince is missing. Steve’s a little bit like ‘oh, well, I found her horse and clothes and Paula’s car.’ Oh, Wonder Woman, you can really do better than Steve.
Good old Kibby Maxwell shows up as he’s the last eyewitness to see Diana Prince and Paula. When Darnell and Steve ask Kibby if he remembers Paula and have him look at a photo of her, he remembers seeing her lurking around the munitions factory that his mother Ann works at. (A little 1940s culture with woman working at the munitions factory as all the men are off at war.)
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.
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 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”