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Who Were the First Women to Write and Draw Wonder Woman?

by  in CBR Exclusives, Comics, Comic News Comment
Who Were the First Women to Write and Draw Wonder Woman?

In “When We First Met”, we spotlight the various characters, phrases, objects or events that eventually became notable parts of comic lore, like the first time someone said, “Avengers Assemble!” or the first appearance of Batman’s giant penny or the first appearance of Alfred Pennyworth or the first time Spider-Man’s face was shown half-Spidey/half-Peter. Stuff like that.

A while back, I wrote a When We First Met on the first women to write a Superman comic book, a Batman comic book and a Spider-Man comic book.

Reader Joe O. wrote in to ask:

Hi there, I just happened to read your recent “When We First Met” column about the first times that female writer wrote stories for Batman, Superman, and Spider-Man.

But there’s one very natural (I think) follow-up question you didn’t address: When was the first time a female writer wrote a Wonder Woman story? Charles Moulton, Robert Kanigher, George Perez…surely Gail Simone wasn’t the first woman to ever write for the series? Just, *ahem*, wondering.

Sure thing, Joe!

The first woman to write Wonder Woman is a particularly interesting one because she had mostly been lost to history until the last decade or so. Joye Hummell had been a student of William Marston’s at the Katherine Gibbs School in Manhattan. He hired her as his assistant and she ended up scripting a bunch of Wonder Woman stories in 1945-1947, during which time she got married and thus became known as Joye Murchison (DC Comics occasionally screws up and credits her as Joyce).

Here is what I believe was her first Wonder Woman story (she did one in Sensation Comics #41 that MIGHT be earlier, but I don’t believe so), 1945’s Wonder Woman #12. She used Marston’s pen name and she wrote enough like him that it took many years before people found out that she actually beat Robert Kanigher to being the first writer to succeed Marston…

The first female ARTIST on Wonder Woman wouldn’t be until forty years later, when Trina Robbins drew and co-wrote the Legend of Wonder Woman miniseries in 1986 that was designed to bridge the gap between Wonder Woman’s death in Crisis on Infinite Earths and her reboot by George Perez.

The banner image, by the way, is by Nicola Scott, one of the most recent female artists to be the regular Wonder Woman artists.

Thanks for the question, Joe! If anyone else is curious about notable comic book firsts, drop me a line at brianc@cbr.com!

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