Wonder Woman (Holt)

    (Holt, 1972)
ô and © Holt

By 1972, a former editorial assistant on Harvey Kurtzmanís Help Magazine named Gloria Steinem had gone on to bigger and better things as one of Americaís 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 doesnít appeal, Steinemís choice of stories is still first rate. Starting with Wonder Womanís origin story from All-Star Comics #8 and Sensation Comics #1, she shows 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.

ó Rob Salkowitz

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#1

 
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Collects from All-Star Comics #8, Sensation Comics #1, 20, 46, 50, 51, 62, 81, Wonder Woman (first series) #5, 13, 17, 38,; Introduction by Gloria Steinem; ca. 1972William Moulton MarstonHarry Peters

#1 Hardcover

 
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Hardcover; ca. 1972William Moulton MarstonHarry Peters