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Wonder Woman: In Which Comic Was She Originally Meant to Debut?

In the latest Comic Book Legends Revealed, discover where Wonder Woman was originally supposed to debut.

In the latest Comic Book Legends Revealed, discover whether Wonder Woman was originally supposed to debut in Sensation Comics #1 instead of All-Star Comics #8.

Welcome to Comic Book Legends Revealed! This is the eight hundred and forty-second installment where we examine three comic book legends and determine whether they are true or false. As usual, there will be three posts, one for each of the three legends. This is an all-Wonder Woman installment for, well, no particular reason! Click here for the first part of this installment.

NOTE: If my Twitter page hits 5,000 followers, I’ll do a bonus edition of Comic Book Legends Revealed that week. Great deal, right? So go follow my Twitter page, Brian_Cronin!

Wonder Woman was originally supposed to debut in Sensation Comics #1 instead of All-Star Comics #8.

I’m Going With True

In 1941’s All Star Comics #8, there was a special preview of Wonder Woman ahead of her “official” debut as the lead feature of Sensation Comics. William Moulton Marston and H.G. Peter had American pilot Steve Trevor crash land on Paradise Island and Aphrodite and Athena tell the Amazons that they have to go help out America…

Queen Hippolyta’s daughter competes to be the “Wonder Woman” to help represent the Amazons in America, and she is the ultimate victor and Hippolyta reveals that she has designed a costume to be worn in America for the Wonder Woman…

Cool stuff, and it leads right into Sensation Comics #1 two weeks later…

However, it is likely that that was NOT the original plan when that Wonder Woman story was written!

RELATED: Did the Estate of Wonder Woman’s Creator Ban Her From Guest Starring on Cartoons?

The great comic book historian (and great comic book editor and writer) Roy Thomas wrote a fascinating article on the topic in Alter Ego #2 (I can’t find a listing for the book, or else I’d link to that). Thomas noted that he always felt over the years that Wonder Woman was intended to debut in Sensation Comics #1 and that story was instead published in All-Star Comics #8 as a special preview.

One of the hints was the fact that Wonder Woman isn’t actually even referenced on the cover of All-Star Comics #8…

It’s not like there wasn’t room on the cover for the hype, right? Not only was there no inset image, there was not even a WRITTEN mention of her in the rather large amount of promotional text on the cover. Also, there is no mention of the preview story on the last page of the Justice Society story…

and heck, there’s even an extra page SPECIFICALLY for a promo and it is all just devoted to All-Star Comics #9 and not the new superhero debuting in the issue…

RELATED: Was There Nearly a Wonder Woman and the Zoo Crew Cartoon Series?

So Thomas’ theory is that they were unsure about whether this new female superhero would sell, as she was set to be the headliner in her own magazine, so at the last minute, they took what was originally the lead story in Sensation Comics #1 and edited the 13-page story to the 9-page preview in the company’s popular All-Star Comics title.

Thomas has a lot of convincing notes about where the story could have been edited, but then the kicker, someone sent him the original William Marston script for the Wonder Woman story in Sensation Comics #1, and as Thomas revealed:

It’s moderately interesting that the words “WONDER WOMAN,” typed in all-upper-case at left, are crossed out, with a “#1” and “Sensation” handwritten in. This probably just means that, when he wrote the script, Marston didn’t know the precise name of the new monthly comic in which she’d be appearing. But the real kicker can be seen in the upper right.There, in the phrase “Episode #2” as typed by Marston, the “#2” has been crossed out – and “#1” written above it – in Marston’s handwriting, I have been told. But even if it weren’t….The lead story in Sensation #1, in other words, was originally written for issue #2 – and only later graduated to the head spot in #1. This suggests that the origin story that precedes it was intended for Sensation #1 – and got bounced into All-Star #8 at the eleventh hour.

You’ve convinced me, Roy! What a cool find by a great comic book historian.

In the latest Movie Legends Revealed – See why Bruce Willis was essentially “forced” to star in Armageddon for a fraction of his normal acting fee!

OK, that’s it for this installment!

Thanks to Brandon Hanvey for the Comic Book Legends Revealed logo, which I don’t even actually anymore, but I used it for years and you still see it when you see my old columns, so it’s fair enough to still thank him, I think.

Feel free (heck, I implore you!) to write in with your suggestions for future installments! My e-mail address is cronb01@aol.com. And my Twitter feed is http://twitter.com/brian_cronin, so you can ask me legends there, as well! Also, if you have a correction or a comment, feel free to also e-mail me. CBR sometimes e-mails me with e-mails they get about CBLR and that’s fair enough, but the quickest way to get a correction through is to just e-mail me directly, honest. I don’t mind corrections. Always best to get things accurate!

Here’s my most recent book, 100 Things X-Men Fans Should Know And Do Before They Die, from Triumph Books.

If you want to order a copy, ordering it here gives me a referral fee.

Here’s my second book, Why Does Batman Carry Shark Repellent? The cover is by Kevin Hopgood (the fellow who designed War Machine’s armor).

If you want to order a copy, ordering it here gives me a referral fee.

Here’s my book of Comic Book Legends (130 legends. — half of them are re-worked classic legends I’ve featured on the blog and half of them are legends never published on the blog!).

The cover is by artist Mickey Duzyj. He did a great job on it…

If you’d like to order it, you can use this code if you’d like to send me a bit of a referral fee.

Follow Comics Should Be Good on Twitter, and on Facebook (also, feel free to share Comic Book Legends Revealed suggestions on our Facebook page!). Not only will you get updates when new blog posts show up on both Twitter and Facebook, but you’ll get some original content from me, as well!

See you next time!!

CBR Senior Writer Brian Cronin has been writing professionally about comic books for over fifteen years now at CBR (primarily with his “Comics Should Be Good” series of columns, including Comic Book Legends Revealed).

He has written two books about comics for Penguin-Random House – Was Superman a Spy? And Other Comic Book Legends Revealed and Why Does Batman Carry Shark Repellent? And Other Amazing Comic Book Trivia! and one book, 100 Things X-Men Fans Should Know & Do Before They Die, from Triumph Books. His writing has been featured at ESPN.com, the Los Angeles Times, About.com, the Huffington Post and Gizmodo.

He features legends about entertainment and sports at his website, Legends Revealed and other pop culture features at Pop Culture References.

Follow him on Twitter at @Brian_Cronin and feel free to e-mail him suggestions for stories about comic books that you’d like to see featured at brianc@cbr.com!

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