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  1. #31
    Astonishing Member kjn's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Fuzzy Mittens View Post
    Personally my favorite thing from the newspaper strips was the redo of the Cheetah story, and the story where the Amazonette Kara joins Wonder Woman to find her mother (who it is specifically mentioned made her from clay) for the mom went swimming and wound up in the states by accident WITH AMNESIA
    Hey, no spoilers!

    Quote Originally Posted by Largo161 View Post
    All this talk about the newspaper strips reminded me how much I want to read them. Gonna pick up that collection this weekend.
    No comment on the text, but your icon posing Wonder Woman as El Che is just wonderful.

    Quote Originally Posted by Jim Kelly View Post
    I got the newspaper strip collection awhile back (I've known about the strip since the 1970s when some of the strips were reprinted in THE AMAZING WORLD OF DC COMICS), but I haven't found the time to read it. What I'll do is read that book in tandem with the Golden Age reread, so I can compare and contrast the stories in the comics and the strips. And it'll give me an incentive to read both.
    Cool! I don't have any plans to get it, but feel free to comment on any notable differences as they come up—I'm especially interested in changes or additions to the story in the magazines, like that Hippolyta allows Diana to join the tournament.

  2. #32
    Incredible Member Largo161's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by kjn View Post
    Hey, no spoilers!



    No comment on the text, but your icon posing Wonder Woman as El Che is just wonderful.
    That wasn’t my intention...but, um, okay! Thanks��

  3. #33
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    I happen to like the way the story in ALL-STAR is told, with the much fuller narration (contrasted with today’s comics). To kids at the time, they would have related it to other story books in their libraries, often about myth and legend and fairy queens and princesses. Being able to write long passages also allows Marston to expand on his philosophy regarding women.

    I remember when I first read this story as a kid, I was confused by Hippolyte having a girdle. My mother had a girdle, but it was nothing like the Amazon queen’s.

    Note that Queen Hippolyte never addresses the Princess as anything but daughter or princess until the very end of the first story. Only then does Hippolyte name her after the moon goddess, Diana. Does this mean that the Princess never had a name? Or perhaps her name was βασιλοπούλισσα or κόρη and now she has a new name.

    As well, there is no mention of the Princess being born from a clay statue. And while the opening caption says that she has the beauty of Aphrodite, the wisdom of Athena, the strength of Hercules and the speed of Mercury, yet in the contest she is almost evenly matched with the other “wonder women” of the island.

    Besides Hippolyte the only other Amazon named is Mala and she is nearly the equal of the queen’s daughter. It’s also not clear that the mask ever deceived anyone. Hippolyte seems to have known all along that it was her daughter in the contest.

    Paradise Island looks like a big place, the queen lives in the city, but Amazons from all over the island show up for the contest. And Hippolyte, if not anyone else, uses the Magic Sphere to keep up with all the latest gossip in the outer world.

    It’s interesting that Steve Trevor crashes on the island in a robot plane. “Robot Plane” is what Wonder Woman’s plane is called in the 1960s. And given where he starts out from and that he heads out over the sea, Paradise Island must be somewhere in the North Atlantic Ocean.

    ALL-STAR COMICS No. 8 went on sale October 25th--and SENSATION COMICS No. 1 hits the newsstands on November 7th. This was before the Japanese air force attacked Pearl Harbor, when the Germans were still viewed as the greatest threat, but America was not yet at war with any Axis powers. However, it was fortuitous for Wonder Woman to arrive on the scene so close to the USA entering the Second World War, dressed in her patriotic outfit and working within the US military. That no doubt helped the Amazing Amazon rise in popularity.

  4. #34
    Astonishing Member kjn's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Largo161 View Post
    That wasn’t my intention...but, um, okay! Thanks��
    Inadvertent or not, I still like it!

    Quote Originally Posted by Jim Kelly View Post
    I happen to like the way the story in ALL-STAR is told, with the much fuller narration (contrasted with today’s comics). To kids at the time, they would have related it to other story books in their libraries, often about myth and legend and fairy queens and princesses. Being able to write long passages also allows Marston to expand on his philosophy regarding women.
    Yeah, the style then is not necessarily better or worse than the style now: it depend on the story told or the reader. Personally, I appreciate it when the visuals and the text complement each other, each telling different parts of the story instead of the visuals simply illustrating the story, but it's a tricky thing to pull off, and the narrative techniques and styles of comics were probably still rapidly evolving at the time.

    Quote Originally Posted by Jim Kelly View Post
    Note that Queen Hippolyte never addresses the Princess as anything but daughter or princess until the very end of the first story. Only then does Hippolyte name her after the moon goddess, Diana. Does this mean that the Princess never had a name? Or perhaps her name was βασιλοπούλισσα or κόρη and now she has a new name.
    Yeah, I mentioned that too in my first writeup, and had a thought that maybe the Amazons have some form of name taboo.

    Quote Originally Posted by Jim Kelly View Post
    Besides Hippolyte the only other Amazon named is Mala and she is nearly the equal of the queen’s daughter. It’s also not clear that the mask ever deceived anyone. Hippolyte seems to have known all along that it was her daughter in the contest.
    And Hippolyte is only named in the narrative. The Amazons only call her queen or (in the case of Diana) mother.

  5. #35
    Astonishing Member kjn's Avatar
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    Onwards to our next story: "Wonder Woman Comes to America" from Sensation Comics #1! Feel free to post your own thoughts and theories on this story! Next Saturday, 2 February, we will go on to "Dr. Poison" from Sensation Comics #2.

    It's interesting to see the story elements from this story that have been carried forward into the movie. Diana examining clothes and fashion. The scene with the German spies in the alley calls back not only to the Superman movie, but the bank robbers here as well. The poison gas that can penetrate gas masks. The giant bomber that Steve takes a suicidal risk to stop. Steve shooting the gas bombs. The big explosion.

    It also gives a rather good comparison on the storytelling practices used in comics than and now. Over thirteen pages the script manages to give Diana a temporary secret base, get Steve to hospital, explore Washington, foil a robbery, start and quit a career in show business, acquire a secret identity, stop an attack on an army base, save Steve, find and destroy the secret German base, and set up the basis for Diana's and Steve's further relation.

    At the same time, the story is rather meandering with several wasted beats and some inconsistencies. The bank robbers aren't seen again, and are really only a vehicle to make her meet Al Kale. We spend a lot of panels on a car chase just to show how fast she can run. Diana signs up with Al Kale to do bullets and bracelets in a show, but it never leads anywhere. The Magic Sphere was used as a deus ex machina to locate the secret German base. The poison gas is mentioned as capable of defeating all known gas masks, but still Steve and Diana are protected by their gas masks a few pages later. "Wonder Woman" is all over the newspapers, but Colonel Darnell fails to connect her with Steve's "Wonder Woman". Part of this is the different style of storytelling used in comics at the time, with a lot of just in time plotting, part I get the feeling that Marston isn't really a natural storyteller.

    The characterisation of Diana feels like it is split in two. On one hand she is held up as capable and mature, here to save the world from the ills of men. On the other, she is described as "the Amazon maid", is touched when Steve Trevor calls her beautiful, and thinks it's the first time a man calls her beautiful. Her "slim form" hurls through an open window. The story also waves between calling Diana a woman, a girl, and a maiden. The opening says one thing, the later comic another. Or put another way, what is told does not fit with what is shown.

    "Always the woman, Diana goes window shopping". I like that Diana has a vain side and an interest in clothes and fashion, but this is a rather prejudiced take on it.

    Diana tells the cops that she will only answer questions when she's on the "Quiz Kids" program, a popular radio show of the 40s. The comment fits rather poorly with her not being informed better on fashion and customs in Man's World. It also contrasts with the current-day pattern where Diana knows little about modern pop culture.

    It's cute how the comic uses time critical intelligence gathering via newspaper articles.

    There are some infantilising thoughts from Diana about Trevor: "clever Steve Trevor… the impetuous darling!" And the answer from Steve when Diana points out his broken leg late in the issue: "My leg does seem bent a bit—but I'm glad of it. At least it shows you care!"

    Holy shit! Steve Trevor performs a ramming attack with his aircraft! These attacks are often suicidal—the casualty rate for Soviet ramming attacks in the Second World War was 36% (though in many cases they were made with already damaged aircraft and possibly wounded pilots), and only Wonder Woman's timely intervention saves him. And Steve begins and ends the comic in sick bed…

    Cute how Peters included a Hitler lookalike in the secret German base. And for that matter how Marston sets up the Diana Prince–Steve Trevor–Wonder Woman love triangle. Forced but cute.

    Concepts introduced: the invisible plane (also self-flying/mentally-controlled), Diana Prince name & identity, Diana's interest in fashion, and Steve calling Diana "angel".

  6. #36
    Incredible Member Largo161's Avatar
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    I first read this story (Sensation#1) in the late 70s after watching Lynda Carter’s television pilot film The New Original Wonder Woman. All these years later I’m reminded of how well that movie in 1975 adapted scenes from this story –– Diana dropping Steve off at Walter Reed Army Hospital, looking at the women’s fashions in the store, stopping the bank robbers, going on stage to perform bullets and bracelets. My childhood realization that the comic had provided such direct inspiration was a thrill. When you're seven or eight years old it’s pretty fascinating!

    I’ve got several other thoughts, but for now i just want to note my biggest pet peeve. It’s something KJN touched on also. How does Diana know all these American English colloquialisms?! I love that Marston wanted Diana to have an irreverent, snarky even, sense of humor, but I wish he could have illustrated it in a way that didn’t beg the question of why she sounded so American.

  7. #37
    Extraordinary Member AmiMizuno's Avatar
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    The magic sphere. The amazons were able to keep up due to this tech wises and language wise. I believe we see her understanding other languages so the same can be said about the
    . How can the amazons have all their tech? The magic sphere. It’s shown in Earth one has well. Hippoltya knows English.
    Last edited by AmiMizuno; 01-26-2019 at 07:32 AM.
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  8. #38
    Astonishing Member kjn's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Largo161 View Post
    I’ve got several other thoughts, but for now i just want to note my biggest pet peeve. It’s something KJN touched on also. How does Diana know all these American English colloquialisms?! I love that Marston wanted Diana to have an irreverent, snarky even, sense of humor, but I wish he could have illustrated it in a way that didn’t beg the question of why she sounded so American.
    That's a tricky subject. I'm not sure the readers of the 40s, especially not kids, would react the same way as we rather middle-aged people do 80 years later. As someone with English as a second language, I'm probably far from the right person to really study the differences over time in Diana's speech patterns.

    Quote Originally Posted by AmiMizuno View Post
    The magic sphere. The amazons were able to keep up due to this tech wises and language wise. I believe we see her understanding other languages so the same can be said about the
    . How can the amazons have all their tech? The magic sphere. It’s shown in Earth one has well. Hippoltya knows English.
    The thing is that a person who speaks a language as a second language will speak it differently than somebody who has it as their first language, and also that immersion does a lot with how you speak it as well. And why would Diana know about pop culture things like "Quiz Kids" but be totally unfamiliar with the clothing styles of Man's World?

    I think it's partly due to Marston not really caring about those specific things in his world building. I'm not sure kids of the 40s twigs on them, but people in their 40s a lot of time later can and do.

  9. #39
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    Quote Originally Posted by Largo161 View Post
    I first read this story (Sensation#1) in the late 70s after watching Lynda Carter’s television pilot film The New Original Wonder Woman. All these years later I’m reminded of how well that movie in 1975 adapted scenes from this story –– Diana dropping Steve off at Walter Reed Army Hospital, looking at the women’s fashions in the store, stopping the bank robbers, going on stage to perform bullets and bracelets. My childhood realization that the comic had provided such direct inspiration was a thrill. When you're seven or eight years old it’s pretty fascinating!
    It was the other way around for me. I had the Ms WONDER WOMAN TPB (1972) that reprints the first two stories (among others)--which I got at Coles, probably in 1973. And then I got the FAMOUS FIRST EDITION (C-30) of SENSATION COMICS No. 1 in the mail--which went on sale May 7th, 1974, so my copy probably arrived that month. While the TV movie with Lynda Carter was broadcast the next year, on November 7th, 1975. And I was stunned at how faithful the TV movie was to the comic. It's still the movie that I consider most faithful to a comic book. And when I read the scenes with Al Kale, I always think of Red Buttons as that character.

    I love love love the story from SENSATION COMICS No. 1, especially the way I read it in the FAMOUS FIRST EDITION. As far as modern comics go, they aren't in the forefront of my mind when I'm reading these stories. It's not like I'm so immersed in the current comics that it's difficult to get into these ones. And I prefer comics that tell me what's going on in the story instead of forcing me to decode what might be happening from clues in the visuals. There isn't a redundancy between the panels and the narration--they are giving you different parts of the story. There are a few classic comics that were ham-handed in this respect, where the captions and the panels seem out of sync--I'm thinking of some early Captain Marvel stories--but that's not the case with Marston and Peter's Wonder Woman.

    They have fun showing the contrast between Wonder Woman and 1940s society. At the time, a woman showing so much skin was controversial. However, the psychologist Marston must have believed women can be sexually liberated and shouldn't be repressed by old fashioned morality. This story also shows how money hungry men, such as Al Kale, will use women and not reward them for their work.

    Princess Diana is new to Man's World, but she clearly has been coached by her mother and isn't a total fish out of water. For example, she refers to THE QUIZ KIDS, which was a popular radio show at the time. So she was hep to the scene.

    When the Wonder Woman brings Trevor back to America, there’s no explanation given for how she has a transparent airplane. But since we never see what happened to the downed robot plane, perhaps this is the same airplane (it also has robot controls) now modified by the Amazons. While the two Dianas resemble each other, they don’t seem to be identical twins. Perhaps Wonder Woman changes her look enough, so as Diana Prince she doesn’t look the same. Steve Trevor's love for WW as his “Angel” is sweet, but he’s not perfect and he reveals his weakness as a male when he puts down nurse Prince and unfavourably compares her to his Angel.

    I can imagine the excitement of readers for this first story in 1941, who likely had missed the ALL-STAR COMICS story. One gets to see enough of Wonder Woman in different situations to anticipate what other adventures she might get into. And the novelty of a woman doing such things would be amazing for everyone who read the comic--whether a man, a woman, a boy or a girl--although each would find different things to love about that.

    A few words on the daily newspaper strip: this didn’t appear until 1944, when a lot of the lore for Wonder Woman had already been worked out. While the comics gave the Amazon origins first and then showed Wonder Woman's debut in Man's World, the newpaper strips flip it. The dailies spend a week showing the mysterious Wonder Woman in action, which causes a nervous collapse for the editor of the WASHINGTON CLARION, intent on getting the story of the mystery woman. It isn’t until the second week of the strip, where the harried editor and the reader gets the full scoop on WW’s origins.

  10. #40
    Incredible Member Largo161's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by kjn View Post

    I think it's partly due to Marston not really caring about those specific things in his world building. I'm not sure kids of the 40s twigs on them, but people in their 40s a lot of time later can and do.
    Yes, I think this sums it up. The language business is one of my pet peeves in retrospect, but not a real failing on Marston’s part.

  11. #41
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    When I watch THE ORVILLE, there are odd times when the crew refers to pop culture from the 20th and 21st century, but I understand that the show is doing this because it's entertaining for us today to have them talking about such things. I expect it was the same for people in 1941. It was just funny to have a woman in her star-spangled bloomers making these odd references to things they knew from their daily life.

  12. #42
    Extraordinary Member AmiMizuno's Avatar
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    It’s the 40s. Also Athena and Aphrodite did bring them to life. So why wouldn’t it make sense for Diana and the other amazons already know the languages. Diana isn’t the only hero to suffer from this. Also due to the time period I don’t think having her have a accent was a good idea.
    Last edited by AmiMizuno; 01-26-2019 at 02:37 PM.
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  13. #43
    Astonishing Member kjn's Avatar
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    Another thing that I missed in my first post is the characterisation of Steve.

    He is set up as the classic square-jawed hero: tall, blonde, strong, physically active, brave to the point of recklessness, and valued by his superiors. At the same time the story subverts that image: he doesn't appear to be that bright, his first attempt against the German spy ring is so poorly thought out he is captured, and he spends a lot of time in sick bed.

  14. #44
    Incredible Member Fuzzy Mittens's Avatar
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    Ah, the first issue of Sensation Comics. How much I enjoy this ^^
    The entire issue essentially serves to introduce all of Dianas abilities, set up an origin for her secret identity, and create a set of circumstances which make it so that there will be people in future issues who think Wonder Woman is fake because she first got her start and made a name for herself in entertainment, leading some people to assume shes no more real than Flash Gordon.

    Stops a group of criminals by deflecting their bullets while laughing, commenting on how fun it is to play bullets and bracelets again.
    Goes jogging off at seventy miles per hour without any effort with Al Kale racing after her and pushing his car as far as he could to keep up with her long enough to get her attention.
    Leaps down from a four story window to grab a car as Al Kales trying to get away with the money and lifts up the car to keep him from escaping.

    Gets a nurses identification and is able to take on her role because she was trained as a doctor on Paradise Island (and invented the purple ray to boot!)

    Expresses shock upon finding out that people in the outside world can't do the things she does, and winds up having to rescue Steve who could't even leap twenty feet into the air to escape a crumbling building like herself.

    It was a wonderful introduction issue for Wonder Woman which really serves to give a good idea of what shes capable of. ^^

  15. #45
    Astonishing Member marhawkman's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Largo161 View Post
    I’ve got several other thoughts, but for now i just want to note my biggest pet peeve. It’s something KJN touched on also. How does Diana know all these American English colloquialisms?! I love that Marston wanted Diana to have an irreverent, snarky even, sense of humor, but I wish he could have illustrated it in a way that didn’t beg the question of why she sounded so American.
    I like the idea that it's an aspect of the "Wisdom of Athena". She just knows what people mean by what they say. And in turn she knows how to convey to them what she wants to say.

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