Tim Hanley (he of Gender Crunching) has a great guest post up at DC Women Kicking Ass looking at The Women Behind Wonder Woman. Of course we all know about the men like William Marston and HG Peter, but there were several women involved in the early years as well, including Marston’s two wives Elizabeth and Olive (above—yes, the three of them lived together and it was a little odd), but also women who worked directly on the series, including the great editor Dorothy Roubicek Woolfolk and even a scripter:
Some sources suggest that Roubicek wrote a few Wonder Woman stories in the 1940s, but that doesn’t seem to be the case. However, there’s another woman who definitely did. Marston’s secretary, Joye Murchison, helped Marston write most of his issues when he became ill with polio and later cancer in the mid-1940s, and she actually scripted several herself. Starting with Wonder Woman #12, Murchison regularly had her own stories in the series until Kanigher took over the book with Wonder Woman #29. She wasn’t credited at the time; in fact, until the mid-1960s every issue of Wonder Woman was credited to “Charles Moulton”, Marston’s pen name, even though he died in 1947. Murchison gets full credit in DC’s Archive editions, though, and is officially the first woman to ever write Wonder Woman!
It’s a reminder that even thought the Golden Age is usually thought of as a total boys club, that really isn’t the case at all, and Forgotten Women pop up in all kinds of places in comics history.
Also a reminder that the Women in Comics wiki is still going strong. The list is much longer than you’d expect.
Heidi MacDonald is the founder and editor in chief of The Beat. In the past, she worked for Disney, DC Comics, Fox and Publishers Weekly. She can be heard regularly on the More To Come Podcast. She likes coffee, cats and noble struggle.