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Brought to you in part by old white women – Wonder Woman #21

March 10, 2011


I picked up this oldie a couple of weeks back, and it now takes an honored spot as the best conditioned Golden Age comic that I own. If you look closely you can see a small tear on the botton of the front cover, and that’s pretty much the extent of the wear and tear that this thing’s accumulated over the years. Because it’s in such nice shape, I’m a bit hesitant to plop it onto my scanner to mine it for some material, but there are a couple of things I think it’s incumbent upon me to share. Not really story stuff, but some of the more incidental material. Duty beckons, and the call of something this old timey cannot — CANNOT — be resisted.

The inside of the front cover was the first thing that caught my eye:

The Alan Scott Green Lantern promo on the right fills me with joy (and when you see Doiby Dickles, chances are you’re back in comics prehistory, my friend), but the “Editorial Advisory Board” on the left is what really grabs your attention. Perhaps I’m being unfair, and I’m sure I’m undercutting their likely sterling credentials, but I can’t help but picture the women safeguarding the minds and morals of 1940s youth as being exceedingly prim.

Here are a couple of ads that can be found within, two that I thought were entertainingly indicative of the times. First there’s jowly Alabama football coach Frank Thomas shilling for Wheaties:

I realize that he was endorsing this venerable breakfast food based on his coaching credientials and not his personal athletic prowess, but I find it hard to take anyone with that much underchin baggage seriously when promoting a “healthy” food. He looks like he subsists on a diet of egg yolks. Who’s next? A pro bowler with his finely chiseled, beer-powered physique?

Second, there’s this grammatically questionable ad for radio hobbyists:

I’m reminded of the dusty junk I used to find in my grandfather’s basement.

Now that I think about it, I suppose I can throw in a couple of interior scans from “Wonder Woman and the Adventure of the Atom Universe.” Why not? Scripted by William Moulton Marston with art from Harry G. Peter, it has Wonder Woman and an assortment of companions travelling to the titular realm and battling the evil Queen Atomia and her robot minions.

Oh, and it contains enough requisite lassoings to staisfy latent bondage fetishes. Can’t forget that.

This was my first Golden Age encounter with the Holliday Girls, Wonder Woman’s young college assistants. The most famous of this trio was/is Etta Candy, who’ll be showing up in that David E. Kelley WW show — if you’re not familiar, I’ll give you one guess which one she is:

“Plump” just doesn’t seem to cut it here, does it? And the “WOO WOO” gets old. Fast.

I did enjoy seeing Steve Trevor kicking a little ass side by side with his Amazon love. All too often it seems he’s crammed into a “dude in distress” paradigm flip, but not here:

I realize the immediate context is innocuous, but the “strap on” utterance makes me titter. Maybe its all the bindings that preceded it.

All in all, this is a proud addition to the Blog into Mystery archives. It’s rare to see a reasonably priced issue this old, and even rarer when I can actualy scrape together the money to buy it. For the moment, I am content.

And I think Wonder Woman’s Golden Age boots are the best.

4 Comments leave one →
  1. March 14, 2011 5:46 am

    Those J.E. Smith radio ads were everywhere in the 30s and 40s. I have a pulp SF issue around somewhere from early in those years and the guy actually looks young. I love the Golden Age Wonder Woman for its goofiness and radical feminism.

  2. Thelonious_Nick permalink
    March 18, 2011 2:13 pm

    I love the cover–very abstract and iconic for a 40s comic.

  3. April 24, 2011 1:23 pm

    Thomas was a former quarterback at Notre Dame and upon taking over the Crimson Tide he became one of the most successful coaches in college football. He never coached a losing season and twice his teams had undefeated, 10-win campaigns.

    His .812 mark as head coach at Alabama is surpassed only by Bear Bryant, who was a player for him in 1934 when the team won the Rose Bowl and claimed the National Championship.

    He was a somewhat rotund man but by no means fat. Additionally, by the late 1940s he suffered greatly from a number of physical ailments unrelated to his weight. He died in 1954 at the age of 55.

    • April 24, 2011 2:16 pm

      One of the definitions/synonyms for “rotund” is “fat.” Therefore you said “He was a somewhat fat man but by no means fat.” I stand by my assertion that anyone depicted as having jowls is an odd choice to endorse a healthy breakfast food.

      I’m sure he was a great coach. Thanks for stopping by.

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