Comic Book Questions Answered: Was Earth-1 Wonder Woman Active in World War II?

Comic Book Questions Answered - where I answer whatever questions you folks might have about comic books (feel free to e-mail questions to me at bcronin@comicbookresources.com). Here is a link to an archive of all the past questions that have been answered so far.

This question is courtesy of my pal, Hisham Zubi.


Hisham asks:

Was the Silver Age Wonder Woman active in World War II?

This is based on two observations:

1) The original Cheetah, Priscilla Rich, died at an advanced age and was replaced by her niece before everything was rebooted by Crisis. Was there a big age disparity between Wonder Woman and her former foe or was she older than she appeared?

2) Originally, Donna Troy was found as a baby by Wonder Woman and brought to Paradise Island to be raised by the Amazons. This suggests that Wonder Woman had been active for at least a couple of decades at the time of the Teen Titan adventures.

To answer Hisham, I figured I'd need a Wonder Woman expert, and who better to go to than Carol A. Strickland, Wonder Woman history buff extraordinaire!!

Here is Carol's reply:

1. Usually, any female character who was replaced with a younger relative must have been entirely too old (ie, over 30) for the writers to wrap their heads around. However, I know that she retired of her own volition, but she was having medical problems that made her an invalid (she died the same issue we found this out). These problems may or may not have had to do with age (I would have to look it up, but I'd bet it was glossed over). While she looked old in this story, it could have been a result of her disease.

As to whether she was older than WW, that's difficult to say. We don't know how old the SA/BA WW was. She could have been a thousand years old or in her fifties. Add to that the concept of comics time being different from real time, and take a few aspirin.

2. Absolutely, this origin had Wondie being Wondie in public longer than Superman or Batman had been in their adult careers. Many fans seemed to have a problem with this for some reason. Many fans didn't. It doesn't bother me a bit. In fact, I liked it very much as it gave Wondie an edge (and I was hoping it would lead to a "Superboy meets WW" story).

The first Teen Titans story, where Donna first appeared in the mainstream DCU, was published in 1964. If Donna was 15 then, that means that SA/BA Wonder Woman could have started her career latest in, oh, 1950 or 1951, which means she would have skipped WWII, leaving that to her Earth-2 counterpart. Of course that starting date would move with her through time as comics were published. After all, Donna was only 20-ish in 1984, which would have WW starting her career at latest point circa 1965-66.

Hope this adds fuel to the conversation.

That it did, Carol!

So, any more Wonder Woman experts out there who would like to shed some light on Hisham's question?

Thanks to Hisham for the question and Carol for her help. And feel free to send in any more questions you have wanted an answer to!

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