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Comic Book Questions Answered: Was Earth-1 Wonder Woman Active in World War II?

Comic Book Questions Answered – where I answer whatever questions you folks might have about comic books (feel free to e-mail questions to me at bcronin@comicbookresources.com). Here is a link to an archive of all the past questions that have been answered so far.

This question is courtesy of my pal, Hisham Zubi.

Enjoy!

Hisham asks:

Was the Silver Age Wonder Woman active in World War II?

This is based on two observations:

1) The original Cheetah, Priscilla Rich, died at an advanced age and was replaced by her niece before everything was rebooted by Crisis. Was there a big age disparity between Wonder Woman and her former foe or was she older than she appeared?

2) Originally, Donna Troy was found as a baby by Wonder Woman and brought to Paradise Island to be raised by the Amazons. This suggests that Wonder Woman had been active for at least a couple of decades at the time of the Teen Titan adventures.

To answer Hisham, I figured I’d need a Wonder Woman expert, and who better to go to than Carol A. Strickland, Wonder Woman history buff extraordinaire!!

Here is Carol’s reply:

1. Usually, any female character who was replaced with a younger relative must have been entirely too old (ie, over 30) for the writers to wrap their heads around. However, I know that she retired of her own volition, but she was having medical problems that made her an invalid (she died the same issue we found this out). These problems may or may not have had to do with age (I would have to look it up, but I’d bet it was glossed over). While she looked old in this story, it could have been a result of her disease.

As to whether she was older than WW, that’s difficult to say. We don’t know how old the SA/BA WW was. She could have been a thousand years old or in her fifties. Add to that the concept of comics time being different from real time, and take a few aspirin.

2. Absolutely, this origin had Wondie being Wondie in public longer than Superman or Batman had been in their adult careers. Many fans seemed to have a problem with this for some reason. Many fans didn’t. It doesn’t bother me a bit. In fact, I liked it very much as it gave Wondie an edge (and I was hoping it would lead to a “Superboy meets WW” story).

The first Teen Titans story, where Donna first appeared in the mainstream DCU, was published in 1964. If Donna was 15 then, that means that SA/BA Wonder Woman could have started her career latest in, oh, 1950 or 1951, which means she would have skipped WWII, leaving that to her Earth-2 counterpart. Of course that starting date would move with her through time as comics were published. After all, Donna was only 20-ish in 1984, which would have WW starting her career at latest point circa 1965-66.

Hope this adds fuel to the conversation.

That it did, Carol!

So, any more Wonder Woman experts out there who would like to shed some light on Hisham’s question?

Thanks to Hisham for the question and Carol for her help. And feel free to send in any more questions you have wanted an answer to!

24 Comments

What happened to the thought balloon? Is it just me or are they extinct in new comics?

Bendis just brought them back in the pages of Mighty Avengers, Jeff!

Another question answered already! :)

Yeah, but Mark Waid did as well in Brave & the Bold (and much more skillfully, if you ask me).

Flush it all away

June 12, 2007 at 4:47 pm

Great idea for a series! Looking forward to reading it.

From my reading, it seems that Robert Kanigher (Writer/Editor of WONDER WOMAN for much of the 50s and 60s) would have said that his Wonder Woman in the 60s was the same character as the one in the 40s, as he was never big on the multiple Earths idea. I don’t have anything to back that up, it’s just my impression.

What was the original story for The Twelve storyline in the X-Men comics?

John Trumbull

June 12, 2007 at 8:23 pm

I first read Donna Troy’s origin 20+ years ago, in the classic “Who Is Donna Troy?” issue of The New Teen Titans, and I swear that this is the FIRST time I even realized the time discrepancy inherent in Wonder Woman finding Donna Troy as a baby. As a timeliner, I’m rather ashamed.

My question: Will comics ever acheive massive mainstream popularity again? Or will we stay in the weird place we are now, where millions of people see comic book movies but only a few thousand read comic books?

What was the deal with Roy Thomas’s subplot in All-Star Squadron and Infinity, Inc. retconning the Vigilante’s enemy the Dummy into (apparently) an actual, magically animated wooden dummy? Has Thomas ever said where he was going with this, and has anyone since ever followed up on it?

Brian, sent you a question in the mail. Hope you can find an answer, because it’s a hard one.

Tomer.

I still want to know how Wonder Woman could be a vegetarian and still get part of her powers from Artemis without pissing her off.

But I assume hat is the result of a writing decision and couldn’t be properly answered.

Whatever happened to Glynn Dillon?

According to the first Silver Age version of Wonder Woman’s origin, in WW #105 (April 1959), Diana is hundreds of years old but didn’t come to America until after World War II. This story, however, also claims that she is literally Hippolyta’s daughter, not a clay statue come to life, so take it with a grain of salt. The truth is that the series was so internally contradictory between Marston’s death in the late ’40s and Mike Sekowsky’s overhaul in the late ’60s that it is virtually impossible to come up with a definitive bio or timeline.

When the Earth-1 Angle Man accidentally teleported to Earth-2 in the 1940′s, he was surprised to see a Wonder Woman active then. This seems to indicate that the Earth-1 Wonder Woman did not come to Man’s World till after WW2.

My sister-in-law has a bunch of old DC comics called the Question? She would like to know how she can find out how much they are worth. I know the one is a 1989 issue

Tell your sister to put ‘em on ebay. Soon. Because DC is going to start collecting the Question in graphic-novel format, which lots of folks find easier to manage than the individual issues. Tell her to start out with a conservative asking price, and the market will soon show her how much people are willing to spend on her issues. (It will matter if she has a consecutive run, if they’re in good condition, etc.)

Did batman ever transform into a bat in the comicbooks? I say he didnt but my friend will not stop saying he was able to transform!

The only Wonder Woman comic book I ever owned was back when I was a kid in the ’70s. This was when her TV show was on ABC and took place during the war. The comic I had also took place during the war (I assume they did that for several issues while it matched what was on TV), and the villain was the Cheetah. So I assume this means the pre-Crisis Wonder Woman was in the US during the war and the Cheetah was in her 20s or so at that same time.

I am looking for a comic book that had a single page story about the life and death of General Maurice Rose commanding General of the 3rd Armored Division killed while leading his troops. I have seen a one page reprint of this in the 3rd Armored Division Newsletter. Know what comic it was is in pleas let me know.

I am looking for a comic with a one page story about General Maurice Rose. He was the commander of the 3rd Armored Division and was killed in combat in March of 1944. I have a copy of the page but really want the comic. I have been told it might be in either Real Life or It Really Happened comics. It would be after 1944.

Ok I have a question. I am seeking a list of suicide squad volume one issues in which members are hit with pies. I know that the subplot is resolved in issue 37, but i cannot find the issue it starts on. or when each member gets hit.

If that is too much info, I specificaly want to know what exact issues deadshot, vixen, captain boomarang, rick flag, Jewlee, and lois lane are hit.

….stupidist question ever……sorry, but help me out.

As a preteen, I had two comic books stolen by my babysitter. I didn’t find out about his until years later, and when I did, it was way hard for a 13 year old in the 70s to track down anything without a computer, cell phone and every fun gadget kids have at their disposal today. I found one of the two in a comic book store, Monsters Unleashed Issue 11, which was printed in February 1975. I know the other comic was printed either near or at the same time, since I bought them together. (This was when you bought comics from a Lazy Susan rack). I know the comic is then from the Bronze Age area, b&w, possibly oversize or “magazine” as it was called. I’ve checked Eerie, Creepy, Warren, EC, Marvel Horror, and Skywald. (The one I’m looking for might be an indie comic.) I do distinctly remember TWO stories from this comic: one featured either Satana, the Devils’ Daughter, or Tigra. I know there’s a panel where there’s a desiccated man with his open mouth holding a butterfly. The other story had a man who makes a pact with the Devil, and tries to trick him. The clever Devil makes the man sign a lengthy contract in his own blood until the man bleeds to death. There was a caption that went, “It took all night, and lots of blood.” Not too bad of a memory after 35 years, eh? BTW, all you young ‘uns, the Bronze Age comics were spectacular, probably not as well-illustrated as today’s comics, but the stories were wonderful. Any way you can help is most appreciated.

When the original Cheetah, Priscilla Rich, died and was replaced by her niece, she didn’t seem
too old . I figured the folks at DC Comics wanted to replace her for fun, and not for any specific reason . The new Cheetah had bracelets that fired cheetah claws, and she somehow seemed “hipper” and “cooler” than the original model .

I noticed that Wonder Girl’s origin story had her being rescued from a burning building by Wonder Woman . Wonder Girl was a teenager, Superman and Batman were twenty — nine, and Wonder Woman was … HOW old ? The folks at DC Comics never noticed this discrepancy . I figured the Earth — Two Wonder Woman was visiting Earth — One, rescued Donna, took her to the nearest Paradise Island, and met the teenage Princess Diana . During the 1960s, Superboy was the teenage Superman, and the Wonder Woman comic book used to feature the occasional story about the teenage Princess Diana . I wish the folks at DC Comics had done a Superboy — Princess Diana team — up .

Supergirl — Your friend might be thinking about Man — Bat, who experimented on himself, and turned himself into a giant bat — creature . He lived in Gotham City, appeared in Batman and Detective Comics, and met Batman several times . Batman was able to turn him back into a human being . In World’s Finest Comics # 258 ( August — September 1979 ), Batman himself turned into a bat creature . Those are the only ideas I have, because Batman doesn’t usually have that ability .

Mary Warner — In the 1970s, Wonder Woman traveled to Earth — Two and met her Justice Society counterpart . The two Wonder Women fought the Angle Man, and the younger Wonder Woman went back to the 1970s at the end of the issue, and the Justice Society Wonder Woman took over the book . About two years later, the younger Wonder Woman visited Earth — Two a second time, and mett her Justice Society counterpart again . The two Wonder Women shared another adventure, and, and the younger Wonder Woman went back to the 1970s at the end of the issue . The younger Wonder Woman took over the book, and the Justice Society Wonder Woman lived happily ever
after .

ExUno — The comic book you mentioned sounds like it features Satana . Satana was the Devil’s daughter . She was something of a wild card , Sometimes she’d fight evil, and sometimes she was the enemy of the goody goody Son of Satan . On her bad days, Satana used to kiss men, and they’d wear out, and their souls floated out of their bodies in butterfly form .

Ex Uno–
just in case you will see this at this late date and have not gotten an answer, I just discovered via an email list discussion that the story in question “Signed in Blood” is in Horror Tales volume 7 number 1, Eerie Publications, cover-dated February 1975.

Shar,

Thanks for the answer! I actually got a response to my query about a week after you posted your answer, though I found your answer afterwards still looking for the comic either online or to buy (in print). Apparently, Eerie Publications rehashed stories from other comic books, including artwork (that particular cover is actually a composite from three other covers). Figures I’d lust after a comic book that’s not only not very original but hard to acquire. There are none for sale anywhere in the world at the moment (literally) unless someone decides to sell his collection. There was a CD floating around the Canadian eBay where someone scanned his collection of old horror comics and was selling copies of the CD as “digital comics.” (Hmmm, I wonder if that’s legal.) I’ve called or emailed a dozen comic book stores here in the east coast to contact me should the issue appear for sale. I still want it!

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