DC Comics History
DC Comics History: Wonder Women of History (Late Golden Age)
By Deejay Dayton
Nov 9, 2015 - 12:33
Publisher(s): DC Comics
Wonder Women of History continued to appear in the pages of Wonder Woman, highlighting notable achievers in various fields, and there were even two additional installments in the pages of Sensation Comics during the Late Golden Age.
The series remained largely centred on women from the United States. Two First Ladies, Abigail Adams and Dolly Madison, received brief biographies in issues 14 and 25, and there were other patriotic entries, such as Julia Ward Howe in issue 11, who wrote the Battle Hymn of the Republic.
The tale in Wonder Woman 10 gave the focus to Juliette Low, who was the creator of the Girl Scouts of America, but the story is distinctly marred by the shamefully racist portrayal of her maid.
That’s kind of surprising, as not only was Harriet Beecher Stowe, the author of Uncle Tom’s Cabin, given a biography in Sensation 40, but the black activist Sojourner Truth received a very respectful biography in Wonder Woman 13, which did not shy away from her battles against racism.
The earlier installments of this series often gave the focus to nurses and religious figures, and indeed, Evangeline Booth, of the Salvation Army, has her story told in issue 15, more tales were given to women who broke the barriers of society, such as Elizabeth Blackwell, the first American woman to practice as a physician, in issue 19.
Two foreign women appeared in this period, Marie Curie, whose tale of the discovery of radium is told in an unusually passive way in issue 16, and the legendary French actress Sarah Bernhardt, in Wonder Woman 22.
The story of Helen Keller and Annie Sullivan gets related in Wonder Woman 12, though the focus is really on Helen Keller. The tale includes an unfortunate panel, neatly illustrating why we no longer use the word “dumb” to mean mute.
Sharpshooter Annie Oakley also receives a short biography, in issue 21. Probably because of the subject material, this is easily the most entertaining installment of the series.
The Amelia Earhart story is given in Wonder Woman 23, only months after she disappeared over the Pacific. There is an almost romantic final panel as she flies away into mystery and history, but the story does make it appear that she was alone on this flight, excising Frank Noonan completely.
Wonder Women of History continues in the next period, 1948 – 1951: End of an Era.
Wonder Women of History: Wonder Woman 10 - 26 (Fall44 – Nov/Dec. 47)
Sensation Comics 40, 72 (Apr 45, Dec 47)
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