Comic Legends: Was Wonder Woman's Costume Based on Marston's Lover?

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William Marston based Wonder Woman's costume on an outfit once worn by his lover.


Appears to be False

The co-creator of Wonder Woman, Willaim Moulton Marston, had an interesting living arrangement at the time that Wonder Woman was born. Marston lived with his wife, Elizabeth Marston, as well as his former student, Olive Byrne. The three people were in a polyamorous relationship. Marston had two children with Elizabeth and two with Olive. William and Elizabeth officially adopted William's children with Olive and the seven all lived together. In fact, when Marston died in 1947, Elizabeth and Olive continued to live together until Olive's death forty years later (although it does not appeara as though Elizabeth and Oliver were lovers themselves). Elizabeth went back to work and Olive stayed at home raising the children. Marston's oldest son Pete recalled it as, "It was a wonderful situation, a win-win deal for everyone."

The whole situation was fodder for a film in 2017 called Professor Marston and the Wonder Women...

Now, as you may or may not know, Olive Byrne was the inspiration for the silver bracelets that Wonder Woman wore right from her first appearance...

Here, you can see Byrne wearing the bracelets in a number of old photos...

Reader Larry G., though, wrote in to ask if it is true that Wonder Woman's costume itself was also based on a burlesque costume that Olive wore back in the day, as shown in the film...

That does not appear to be the case. There is no record of Byrne ever wearing such an outfit and, most importantly, the main designer of Wonder Woman's costume was H.G. Peter, not Marston...

Marston and editor Max Gaines obviously had input into Peter's design (hence the bracelets being part of the costume), but the Wonder Woman design looked more like Peter's earlier work than anything else. So it appears as though the film just decided to invent that aspect of Wonder Woman's history (the film took a number of liberties with the truth - but that's typical for films based on true stories). Heck, they didn't even MENTION the co-creator of Wonder Woman, H.G. Peter, in the movie!

Thanks for the suggestion, Larry!

Check out my latest TV Legends Revealed - Was Captain Jack Harkness contractually banned from appearing on Doctor Who after Russell T. Davies left the series?

Check back later for the final part of this week's Comic Book Legends Revealed!

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