Why part of it? Because the comiXology version only has Wonder Woman’s continued story from last week’s All-Star Comics #8. Maybe there’s a full-version out there, I don’t know. That means that missing are the origins of Mr. Terrific and Wildcat, who are lesser known outside of comics but well-known in them. There were also stories for the Gay Ghost (not that kind of gay; it was the 1940s after all), Black Pirate, and Little Blue Boy, all characters who have fallen so far into obscurity I’ve never heard of them, as well as a prose story set in World War 1. Since I don’t have access to those stories, we will only be reviewing the second half of Wonder Woman’s origin.
Sensation Comics #1
DC Comics (January, 1942)
Wonder Woman: “Wonder Woman Arrives In Man’s World”
WRITER: Charles Moulson (aka William Moulton Marston)
ARTIST: H. G. Peter
MANAGING EDITOR: M. C. Gaines
EDITOR: Sheldon Mayer
Wonder Woman arrives in Washington, DC thanks to her invisible plane and with the still injured Steve Trevor, whom she rushes to the hospital. Killing time while Steve recovers, Wonder Woman foils a robbery and attracts the attention of a theater owner, who puts her “bullets and bracelets” routine in a show. When Steve recovers she decides to leave, and the angry owner tries (and fails) to steal her money. At the hospital Diana finds a lookalike nurse, also named Diana, who wants to run off with her fiance to South America. Diana gives her the money and takes Diana Prince’s identity as the hospital nurse. (Even with her skills I’m not sure that’s legal but it’s the 40s.) As Wonder Woman, Diana also helps Steve foil the bombing plot, which puts him back in the hospital and secretly under the care of his “beautiful angel”.
What they got right: I always thought Diana Prince was Steve’s secretary but I guess she started as a nurse, which does fit her skills back on Paradise Island. This is also the debut of her invisible plane, which is pretty much what you’d expect, only with a propeller. And it’s always fun to see Nazis get beat up.
What they got wrong: How can you have a silent plane with a propeller? I know, they didn’t have jets back then, but it’s science fiction, you couldn’t have figured something out?
Recommendation: I fought to have any kind of complaint. The story holds up surprisingly well for its time, and if you can find a reprint or have comiXology, then you really should check it out. A shame the other stories weren’t in the comiXology version as well.