It's a WONDER-OUS day fellow Questers!!
Tomorrow, June 2, 2017 will be even more WONDER-OUS...It is the day that DC's newest offering, Wonder Woman, starring the lovely Gal Gadot as our favorite Amazon warrior, will open in theaters all across the good ol' US of A!! So, to celebrate, I thought I'd break out some Silver Age goodness and dole out some comic book knowledge that you can't get in any college!
Written by the great Robert Kanigher, and penciled by Ross Andru with inks by Mike Esposito, this issue comes from something akin to a Silver Age comics Dream Team. In this story, which starts in ancient times, Aphrodite and Mars are at odds on whom should rule humanity and how. Mars, god of war, wants to rule with strength and the sword, while Aphrodite wants to rule with the power of love. Aphrodite creates a race of women gifted with the power of love, and a might that makes them stronger than any man. Aphrodite gives their queen, Hippolyte, her magic girdle which makes her, and her Amazon sisters, invincible...As long as she never takes it off. When Mars learns of the magic girdle, he sends Hercules against Hippolyte...who defeats the him in combat. But Herc, the sly dog, gets all lovey-dovey with Hippolyte, tricks her into taking off the girdle, and then he and his men conquer her and her Amazons. Hippolyte prays to Aphrodite for help, which she receives, leading to Hercules' defeat. Afterward, Aphrodite leads the Amazons to a magical island which they name Paradise Island and tells them that if a man ever touches the island, their strength and immortality would be lost forever. Innumerable years later (during WWII), moved by Hippolyte's sadness, the goddess, Athena, causes Hippolyte to create a beautiful clay sculpture of a child, and them the goddess brings it to life giving the queen what she cannot have without a man...A child, which she names...DIANA!
As a youth, it is obvious that Diana is a gift from the gods - she has speed to rival that of the fleet-footed Mercury, and strength to rival that of the mighty Hercules! Diana grows mighty until the age of nineteen when, on one fateful day, Diana and her friend Mala, find downed pilot, Steve Trevor. Diana heals him (never letting him touch the island's ground). Hippolyte wants Trevor gone, but Diana, feeling her first pangs of love, desires to leave with him which her mother forbids in fear of Diana losing her Amazon powers and immortality. Soon after, Aphrodite comes to Hippolyte and tells her that she must send her greatest Amazon back to the world of men to fight evil and injustice. Hippolyte holds a grand contest, which Diana enters covertly and wins. With her victory, she gains the freedom to follow Steve back to the world of men, a costume designed by Aphrodite herself, and a magic lasso (Lasso of Truth), made of links of Aphrodite's magic girdle, which compels anyone ensnared in it to speak the truth. And thus the birth of WONDER WOMAN!! On to the Fun Facts!!!
FUN FACT 1 - Wonder Woman was created by psychologist and author William Moulton Marsten and artist H.G. Peter. She first appeared in "All Star Comics" #8 in 1941.
FUN FACT 2 - Hippolyte's name was changed to Hippolyta in the 1960s.
FUN FACT 3 - Mars first appeared in "Wonder Woman" #2 in 1942 (Golden Age AKA Earth Two). It is eventually revealed that he was just a manifestation of the Diana's more well known antagonist, Ares.
FUN FACT 4 - The Silver Age brought the advent of comics collecting as a hobby. Kanigher tried to cash in on that burgeoning trend with "Wonder Woman" #159 by creating, as it says on the cover, "Another GREAT COLLECTOR'S ITEM." He took Wonder Woman back to her Golden Age roots by doing his take on William Moulton Marsten's stories, and he even asked Ross Andru to imitate H.G. Peter's art style. Kanigher ditched his own additions to the Wonder Woman mythos, in favor of bringing back villains from the Golden Age. He threw away Wonder Tot, the husbands and sons he'd given to the Amazons, and he even brought back more use of the Lasso of Truth, which had been largely ditched in attempts to stay well within the Comics Code and off the radar of the deranged Fredric Wertham. No bondage allowed.
FUN FACT 5 - It's no surprise that William Moulton Marsten would conceive of something like a Lasso of Truth. He was also the father of the polygraph, also known as the "Lie Detector Test" (which he also published a book about).
FUN FACT 6 - It's also no surprise that Marsten would conceive of a super-powered heroine, made without any man's help. Marsten was a hardcore feminist, and believed that, due to women's less developed thirst for violence and more charitable nature, women were superior to men. In 1937, he also predicted that the world would convert to a matriarchy within the next 100 years. We have twenty years to see how that turns out. Maybe.
FUN FACT 7 - While Batman and Superman were dramatized several times in film, TV and radio in the 1940s, 50s and into the 60s, Wonder Woman was dramatized for the first time in 1966, on a story recorded on a 45rpm record.
FUN FACT 8 - Wonder Woman's alter-ego, Diana Prince is actually another person. The real Diana Prince was an Army Nurse during WWII, whom Wonder Woman helped out financially. The nurse left America to be with her fiance in South America, and Wonder Woman took her identity because their appearances were so similar.
FUN FACT 9 - "Wonder Woman" #159 caused a bigger stir than Kanigher could have ever imagined. Collectors have argued for years about whether or not it is the first CHRONOLOGICAL appearance of Wonder Woman of Earth One (Silver Age). This would make "Wonder Woman" #159 fall into the same category as the other Silver Age reboots (Earth One stories) of heroes like The Flash (Showcase #4, 1956) and Green Lantern (Showcase #22, 1959).
FUN FACT 10 - Concerning live-action appearances, Wonder Woman has been portrayed by six actresses: Ellie Wood Walker in a failed "Batman '66 - style" 1967 TV pilot, Cathy Lee Crosby in the 1974 TV pilot film, the ever-gorgeous Lynda Carter in the famous TV show (1975-1979), Dawn Zuleta in the Filipino production, "Alias Batman & Robin," by Adrianne Palicki in the 2011 failed TV pilot, and finally by Israeli bombshell, Gal Gadot, in the DCEU.
Here is Ellie Wood Walker as Wonder Woman (warning - this is REALLY stupid):
Here is a clip of Cathy Lee Crosby as Wonder Woman:
Here is a clip of Lynda Carter as Wonder Woman:
Here is a Adrianne Palicki as Wonder Woman:
Here is a clip of Gal Gadot as Wonder Woman:
Well, that's it for today folks! Be like me...AND GO SEE GAL GADOT LIGHT UP THE SCREEN AS WONDER WOMAN!!
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