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The Wednesday Club’s Comic Picks: Wonder Woman Year One
The Wednesday ClubThe Wednesday Club

The Wednesday Club’s Comic Picks: Wonder Woman Year One

The Wednesday Club is Geek & Sundry’s weekly talk show chatting about all things comics. On this week’s episode, hosts Matt Key, Taliesin Jaffe, and Amy Dallen talked about the first year of comics starring Wonder Woman, starting with her debut in 1941.

Like the Superman and Batman episodes before it, this episode of The Wednesday Club focused on the first year of Wonder Woman comics (not to be confused with Wonder Woman: Year One, the Rebirth retelling by Greg Rucka). Wonder Woman’s real-life origin story is just as fascinating as the other Big Two, and begins with a psychologist named William Moulton Marston, writing as Charles Moulton.

Marston was often credited for his work in developing lie detection and polygraphs through blood pressure changes. He was also a fan of the theory that if women were in leadership roles, love would reign supreme, an idea that came to life in the form of Wonder Woman. He’s also said to have based Wonder Woman on both his wife Elizabeth and their mutual life partner, Olive Byrne.

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“A lot of old comics don’t really hold up,” said Amy, “and there are things about these that really don’t, but there are other things that shock me every time I re-visit this. The second that Wonder Woman gets to our world, her world is populated with interesting side characters, female villains, female rivals, and crucially, almost immediately, female backup.”

Diana’s early adventures co-star a wonderful sidekick named Etta Candy, and she made quite the impression on The Wednesday Club hosts.

There’s only one book you need to discover Wonder Woman’s earliest adventures: Wonder Woman: The Golden Age Vol. 1.

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This collection gathers Diana’s first appearances in All Star Comics #8 (her debut), Comics Cavalcade #1, Sensation Comics, and finally, her own starring series.

“I’m always struck by how legitimately progressive a lot of this stuff is,” Amy said.

“I’m fascinated by the art in these books,” she said later, “because Wonder Woman is drawn as a glamour girl, but storytelling-wise, she’s an action hero. She does not walk through these books like a pin-up girl… [The creators] really were doing the job of saying, ‘We are going to tell a story where a woman gets s**t done, because we need more of that out there in the world.’ And it was 1941. They did.”

THE DAILY WEDNESDAY

Did you know The Wednesday Club has their own letters column with questions and comments from viewers? Send in your thoughts, comic recommendations, questions, and more to Matt, Amy, and Taliesin at [email protected] and you might just see yourself on the next episode.

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Please mark your message “OK to read on air” so the hosts know what you’re comfortable with sharing.

MORE COMIC AWESOMENESS!

Hang out on the Geek & Sundry Twitch channel and on Alpha every Wednesday night to catch the next spectacular episode of The Wednesday Club.

All Images: DC Comics

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