A Tribute to the of





Welcome to the latest edition of the Silver Age Sage: #399. If you're looking for a previous interview, please scroll down to the bottom of this page to the Special Features header. There you will find a list of links to all the creators who have been interviewed in the past.

As lovely as Aphrodite, as wise as Athena, with the speed of Mercury and the strength of Hercules. Each of these metaphors appeared on the splash page of the story titled, “Introducing Wonder Woman” in the pages of All Star Comics #8 with a publication date of December/January 1941/1942. Sheldon Mayer was the editor with William Marston scripting under the pen name of “Charles Moulton” and art by H.G. (Harry) Peter. It was our very first glimpse of the character, charging forward in a patriotic uniform including a tiara, an eagle-emblazoned torso, a star-spangled skirt and high heeled boots and showing an awful lot of skin for the time period. No wonder she’d very quickly become a lasting “Sensation” when she went on to star in that book beginning with issue #1 in January of 1942.

She’s been in print ever since with the exception of a brief break in 1986 with such luminaries as Jose Luis Garcia Lopez, Ross Andru, Mike Sekowsky, Dick Dillin, George Perez, Dick Giordano and Alex Ross, to name a few depicting the Amazing Amazon over the years from her founding status as a member of the Justice League of America to her solo book to times when it was quite obvious no one quite knew what to do with her as witnessed in her era of being stripped of her powers or the somewhat odd series of her 12 trials to regain her status as a full-fledged member of the JLA. I’m not even going to get into the screwy continuity gaffes when you had Wonder Girl and Wonder Tot and her being wooed by boys who were half fish or half bird. Yes. She’s been on a few very bizarre treks over the years, but Wonder Woman has been an enduring presence now for 75 years and it all began with this 9-pager that I’ll get back to right now.

Since it was war time in America, our fascination with all things military was on full display. The first event in this debut story was an aircraft crash landing on an uncharted island in an unnamed body of water. It is soon revealed that a man in uniform (albeit unconscious) has come to the shores of Paradise Island. A man!

He is discovered by two Amazons, one being the princess. At the hospital facility where the princess and her companion, Mala, have taken him, it is discovered he is Captain Steve Trevor of the U.S. Army Intelligence Service. Queen Hippolyte herself has come to investigate and orders that he be cared for and his plane repaired, but he is to be kept sequestered and not allowed to see anything. The princess, her only daughter, dutifully stays at his bedside until the doctor is suspicious and reports to the queen, who decides her daughter is in love.

The princess approaches her mother and the queen proceeds to explain how their civilization came to be, going back to when the Amazons were part of the rest of the world and were advanced in every conceivable way, but were challenged by Hercules and his army and were victorious thanks to the magic girdle of Aphrodite worn by the queen. Hercules, however, used trickery to gain the girdle and enslaved the Amazons, placing bracelets on them as part of their bondage. With the help of the gods, Aphrodite in particular, Hippolyte was able to regain the girdle and they set sail for their own sanctuary on Paradise Island, a fertile land rich with natural resources where they can live in peace and enjoy immortality so long as no men are around. She further shows her daughter a sphere, gift of Athena, that allows her to keep track of things in the rest of the world, even allowing her to look back into time itself. I gotta say, though, it looks an awful lot like a disc to me…

Much like a mystical crystal, the queen uses the disc, er, sphere to see what brought Captain Steve Trevor to Paradise Island and it is revealed that he had gone in search of a spy ring. In the course of his efforts he was captured and placed into a robot controlled plane so that it appeared he was bombing his own base, even though in actuality it was the Nazis in a larger plane at a higher altitude. When Trevor regains consciousness he gives chase to the enemy aircraft, but it remains just out of his reach until he discovers he is dangerously low on fuel and has to crash land on the island that suddenly appears in the ocean below.

Hippolyte then dismisses her daughter so that she can consult with Aphrodite and Athena as she decides how to handle the pilot. The spirits of the ancient goddesses appear and advise the queen to quickly send Trevor back to the United States so that he can continue his vital work in fighting back against oppression and hate. They further recommend sending her wisest and strongest Amazon along to aid in the worthy cause of the United States of America. Hippolyte quickly agrees, but in the same breath forbids her daughter to be part of the considered as the chosen candidate will not be able to return to Paradise Island.

The call goes out and many Amazons enter the arena to compete for the assignment. One contestant, however, wears a mask. I wonder who that woman could be? As the contests continue, eliminations are made until only the masked maiden and Mala remain. The final challenge will be…bullets and bracelets! The terms of the contest is that each will fire five rounds at point blank range and try to deflect them with her bracelets. Mala fires first and all her shots are deftly deflected. When it is her turn to face the pistol rounds, she is quick, but not quite quick enough and her shoulder is grazed by one of the rounds.

Now it is time for the competitor to reveal herself and once the domino mask is removed, the queen discovers it is her own daughter. Both saddened and proud, the queen presents her daughter with the uniform she has personally designed and gives her the name of Diana, her daughter’s godmother and goddess of the Moon.

No lasso of truth as yet and no invisible robot plane, but this debut of Wonder Woman would prove to be important and enduring. As mentioned before, she has continued to thrill and delight for all these decades and has enjoyed a successful television series starring Lynda Carter and in the not too distant future will, at long last, headline in her own major motion picture, following her appearance recently in the Batman vs. Superman movie, which was so-so in my opinion. To my pleasant surprise, Ben Affleck did a decent job in his role of Batman, and while they tried to stay true to various story elements, leaning pretty heavily on Frank Miller’s work, overall it wasn’t my favorite depiction of the characters. As I’ve mentioned in this space before, I prefer an allied Superman and Batman and have never cared for this antagonistic relationship. Beyond that, however, one of the real thrills to me was seeing Gal Gadot on the big screen as our Amazon warrior and further watching her in action against powerful forces and being more than up to the challenge. It was the greatest thing I’d seen since the Waid/Ross characterization of Wonder Woman in full battle armor in the immortal Kingdom Come, which is a very high water mark for this reader.

Wonder Woman is a significant and historic character and we at the Silver Lantern are proud to mark her 75th anniversary here. May she continue onward into the future and continue to make her mark in the world.

Do not miss the next installment of this ongoing feature when we mark edition #400! Coincidentally it will also be the final installment for 2016.

Communicating is easy and we always encourage it, so feel free to express yourself via e-mail at: professor_the@hotmail.com.

Until we meet again…

Long live the Silver Age!



© 2000-2016 by Bryan D. Stroud


This feature was created on 05/01/00 and is maintained by

Bryan D. Stroud

 

Special Features

Gaspar Saladino Interview

Arnold Drake Tribute

Joe Kubert Interview

Joe Giella Interview

Carmine Infantino Interview

Sheldon Moldoff Interview

Neal Adams Interview (Pt. 1)

Neal Adams Interview (Pt. 2)

Ramona Fradon Interview

Bob Rozakis Interview

Dick Giordano Interview

Denny O'Neil Interview (Pt. 1)

Denny O'Neil Interview (Pt. 2)

Irwin Hasen Interview

Lew Sayre Schwartz Interview

Al Plastino Interview (Pt. 1)

Al Plastino Interview (Pt. 2)

Jim Mooney Interview

Russ Heath Interview (Pt. 1)

Russ Heath Interview (Pt. 2)

Frank Springer Interview (Pt. 1)

Frank Springer Interview (Pt. 2)

Jerry Robinson Interview (Pt. 1)

Jerry Robinson Interview (Pt. 2)

Jerry Robinson Interview (Pt. 3)

Joe Simon & Creig Flessel Interviews

Jim Shooter Interview (Pt. 1)

Jim Shooter Interview (Pt. 2)

Len Wein Interview

Tony DeZuniga Interview

Jerry Grandenetti Interview

Murphy Anderson Interview

Mike Esposito Interview (Pt. 1)

Mike Esposito Interview (Pt. 2)

Stan Goldberg Interview

Marv Wolfman Interview

Bernie Wrightson Interview

Clem Robins Interview (Pt. 1)

Clem Robins Interview (Pt. 2)

Joe Rubinstein Interview (Pt. 1)

Joe Rubinstein Interview (Pt. 2)

Jack Adler Interview (Pt. 1)

Jack Adler Interview (Pt. 2)

Elliot S! Maggin Interview

Mike Grell Interview

Joe Kubert School Interviews

Anthony Tollin Interview

Sam Glanzman Interview

Ernie Chan Interview

Steve Skeates Interview (Pt. 1)

Steve Skeates Interview (Pt. 2)

Mike Friedrich Interview

Tom Orzechowski Interview (Pt. 1)

Tom Orzechowski Interview (Pt. 2)

Walt Simonson Interview

Gene Colan Interview

Gerry Conway Interview

Guy H. Lillian III Interview

Frank McLaughlin Interview

Al Milgrom Interview (Pt. 1)

Al Milgrom Interview (Pt. 2)

Irene Vartanoff Interview


Don Perlin Interview


John Workman Interview (Pt. 1)


John Workman Interview (Pt. 2)


Tom Palmer Interview

Paul Levitz Interview

Jay Scott Pike Interview

Jack C. Harris Interview (Pt. 1)

Jack C. Harris Interview (Pt. 2)

Carl Potts Interview

Larry Hama Interview

Joe Kubert School Interviews 2

Greg Theakston Interview (Pt. 1)

Greg Theakston Interview (Pt. 2)

Michael Netzer Interview (Pt. 1)

Michael Netzer Interview (Pt. 2)

Alan Kupperberg Interview

Joe D'esposito Interview

Steve Mitchell Interview (Pt. 1)

Steve Mitchell Interview (Pt. 2)

Ralph Reese Interview

Bob McLeod Interview

Bob Smith Interview

Jose Delbo Interview

Joe Staton Interview (Pt. 1)

Joe Staton Interview (Pt. 2)

Frank Thorne Interview

Bob Wiacek Interview

Nick Cardy Interview (Pt. 1)

Nick Cardy Interview (Pt. 2)

John Calnan Interview

Sy Barry Interview

Cary Bates Interview

John Severin Interview

Liz Berube Interview

Thom Zahler Interview

Paul Kirchner Interview

Sheldon Moldoff Interview #2

Mike Royer Interview (Pt. 1)

Mike Royer Interview (Pt. 2)

Joe Barney Interview (Pt. 1)

Joe Barney Interview (Pt. 2)

Ken Bald Interview

Sal Buscema Interview

Angelo Torres Interview

Alex Ross Interview

Howard Chaykin Interview


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