Saturday, October 16, 2021

The Golden Bookshelf:

Wonder Woman

Rob Salkowitz dishes out another Golden Age goodie this week for the true comic connoisseur. Politics and comics complement each other in this 70s deluxe edition reprint of Wonder Woman edited by a little-known-character named Gloria Steinem.

By 1972, a former editorial assistant on Harvey Kurtzman’s Help Magazine named Gloria Steinem had gone on to bigger and better things as one of America’s most visible feminists and editor of Ms. She also edited and introduced this deluxe edition reprinting Wonder Woman stories from the 1940s, by the original team of William Moulton Marston and Harry Peters. In it, she makes the case that Marston, a renowned psychologist, wove strong proto-feminist messages into those early stories in an effort to make Wonder Woman a role model for stronger, more assertive girls and young women.

If the political message doesn’t appeal, Steinem’s choice of stories is still first rate. Starting with Wonder Woman’s origin story from All-Star Comics #8 and Sensation Comics #1, the Amazon Warrior squaring off against classic enemies like Mars and Dr. Psycho, teaming up with comic-relief sidekick Etta Candy, and rescuing her hapless paramour, Steve Trevor. All feature the odd but compulsively-readable artwork of Harry Peters, and benefit from excellent reproduction and printing quality.

A unique 70s artifact, the Wonder Woman book is fairly hard to come by and commands a premium from collectors. Bibliophiles should note that the trade paperback from Holt, Reinhardt and Winston is the true first edition, and the hardcover from Bonanza/Crown Books is a reissue.

Wonder Woman

Holt, Reinhardt and Winston (TPB)
Bonanza/Crown (HC)
© DC Comics

Publication Year: 1972
Writer: William Marston
Artist: Harry Peters

Hardcover and trade paperback collections.
Approx. 200 pp., full color

Rob Salkowitz is a Seattle-based writer and authority on all manner of aging newsprint. You can e-mail your comments and queries to Rob at Use "ComicBase" as the subject line.

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