DC History Club: Golden Age Wonder Woman & Her Creator w/ Polls & Quiz

A combination of ancient Greek mythology and 20th Century feminism, Wonder Woman burst onto the American scene in 1941 as war threatened on two fronts. Literally draped in the American flag, Wonder Woman was seen as a revolutionary character by her legions of fans as well as her dedicated critics. Like women across the country, Wonder Woman stepped into a traditionally male role to protect Americans from threats from outside and from within. With a rogues gallery that rivaled Batman’s and a political point of view more pronounced than Superman’s, the Golden Age Wonder Woman completed a trinity that would command the imagination of readers nearly uninterrupted for nearly 80 years.

William Moulton Marston, writing under the pen name Charles Moulton, created Wonder Woman based on his long-standing support of feminism, ideas developed during his career in psychology, and an education stepped in the classics. His story would be interesting enough if it stopped there, but there is so much more to the man. Proclaimed a prominent psychologist, successful lawyer and inventor of the lie detector in the pages of the Family Circle magazine, Marston would appear to the highly traditional prominent man of the 1940s. In fact, those article were written by his secret second wife, he failed on numerous attempts to make a living as a lawyer, a profession he turned to after falling steadily down the academic ranks as he lost one job after another as a psychology teacher and researcher. As for inventing the lie detector, that’s as much mythology as Paradis Island. Both of which we’ll talk about her. Join the History Club as we celebrate Wonder Woman 1984 by reaching back to explore Golden Age Wonder Woman, her stories, enemies, and creator.

Wonder Woman 1984 ENCORE Watch-Along! BYOM - 1228 @ 6pm PST/9pm EST with World of Wonder and Harley’s Crew.

Recommended Viewing:
Jill Lepone author of The Secret History of Wonder Woman Harvard lecture

Video link

Jill Lepore | How Wonder Woman Got Into Harvard || Radcliffe Institute - YouTube

Essential Reading:
Wonder Woman (1942) #6: The introduction of the original Cheetah in three stories.


January, 2021

Week 1: William Moulton Marston

Week 2: Wonder Woman Created

Week 3: Rogues Gallery

Week 4: Polls & Quiz

History Challenges:

Research wiki: Got a great resource for information on Golden Age Wonder Woman or her creator William Moulton Marston. Add it to the Research Wiki below.

Wonder Facts: Got a history fact for Wonder Woman, Golden Age or not, post it in the thread below.

Discussion Topic Suggestions: Let’s keep these topic discussions broad. Really just looking for any thoughts you have on Golden Age Wonder Woman, her stories, supporting characters or creator.

World of Wonder Golden Age Readings: World of Wonder does a wonderful job (sorry couldn’t help myself) covering the many ages and iterations of Wonder Woman. See the below links for previous Golden Age readings. Check out this issues and join in on those conversations, and tell @Nu52 that the history club sent you.

Note: While we’ve gathered information from multiple sources, The Secret History of Wonder Woman by Jill Lepone was the essential source for my understanding of the creation of Golden Age Wonder Woman. For those interested in American history in general and the history of American politics, feminism, comic books or psychology in particular I cannot recommend this book enough. @msgtvhohoho


World of Wonder links


For Golden Age Wonder and Her Creator we’ve got an expanded set of polls for your historic judgement or just opinion on what’s cool. After you’ve voted, let us know what you think below if you want.

  1. Which of these teams of creators are most historically significant? (Vote for 2)
  • Siegel and Schuster
  • Kane and Finger
  • Marston and Peters

0 voters

  1. Based on their Golden Age depictions and stories, which of these characters is most historically significant? (Vote for 2)
  • Superman
  • Batman
  • Wonder Woman

0 voters

  1. Marston created some classic villains who have lasted for generations and others that may not be prominent today, but were important in their time. Which of these villains are the best Golden Age creations? (Vote for 3)
  • Blakfu
  • Duke of Deception
  • Queen Clea of Atlantis
  • Dr. Psycho
  • Cheetah
  • Giganta
  • Ares
  • Baroness Paula von Gunther

0 voters

  1. Marston armed Wonder Woman with a number of helpful resources. Which of these are the most important to Wonder Woman’s stories? (Vote for 3)
  • Jumpa the Kanga
  • Magic Lasso
  • Mental Radio
  • Tiara
  • Bracelets
  • Invisible Plane
  • Purple Ray
  • Magic Sphere

0 voters

  1. Wonder Woman had plenty of allies in her own stories to help her fight evil. Which were the best? (Vote for 2)
  • Diana Prince alias
  • Steve Trevor
  • Etta Candy
  • Holiday Girls
  • Mala
  • Paula (when reformed)
  • Col. Darnell

0 voters

  1. Simple choice, skirt or shorts.

Welcome to the Golden Age Wonder Woman and Her Creator Quiz. Think you know Diana and Marston, check your knowledge below.

  1. Wonder Woman debuted in what comic book?
  • Sensation Comics #1
  • Wonder Woman #1
  • All-Star Comics #8

0 voters

  1. W.M. Marston was a developer of what psychological theory?
  • Marston’s Hierarchy of Needs
  • DISC Theory
  • Psychological Progressive Realism

0 voters

  1. Which planet did Wonder Woman NOT visit in a Marston story?
  • Mars
  • Pluto
  • Venus
  • Saturn

0 voters

  1. Elizabeth Holloway-Marston had the idea to measure what for Marston’s lie detector?
  • Heart Rate
  • Perspiration
  • Blood Pressure
  • All Three

0 voters

  1. Marston integrated psychological theories into Wonder Woman. The Cheetah was based on what psychological issue?
  • Dominance & Submission
  • Split Personalities
  • Avoidance
  • Projection

0 voters

  1. Which job did Diana Prince not hold during a Marston story?
  • Secretary
  • Sales Clerk
  • Dairy Maid
  • Nurse

0 voters

  1. How did Olive Byrne meet Marston and Elizabeth before joining their family?
  • Marston’s Student
  • Marston’s Secretary
  • Elizabeth’s Sorority Sister

0 voters

  1. What does Giganta start out as in her debut story in Wonder Woman #9?
  • An Amazon Prisoner
  • A Gorilla
  • A Small Meek Secretary

0 voters

  1. What device does Hippolyta use to show Wonder Woman 1,000 years into the future when Diana becomes president?
  • Future Scope
  • Mental Radio
  • Magic Sphere

0 voters

  1. W.M. Marston wrote under what nom de plume?
  • Chuck Majors
  • William Milton
  • Charles Moulton

0 voters

Bonus Questions From Professor Marston and the Wonder Women
11. Elizabeth Holloway-Marston tells Olive she was born on what British Island?

  • Isle of Wright
  • Shetland Island
  • Isle of Man

0 voters

  1. In an historical anachronism, Marston claims to have been a member of what organization which did not exist at the time?
  • National Organization for Women (NOW)
  • Central Intelligence Agency (CIA)
  • Students for a Democratic Society (SDS)
  • Office of Strategic Services (OSS)

0 voters

Answer Key:

  1. All-Star Comics #8
  2. DISC Theory
  3. Pluto
  4. Blood Pressure
  5. Split Personalities
  6. Dairy Maid
  7. Marston’s Student
  8. Gorilla
  9. Magic Sphere
  10. Charles Moulton
  11. Isle of Man (Irony)
  12. OSS

1-3 You need a hug from a Kanga
4-6 You’re a Teaching Assistant in Wonder Pysch 101
7-9 You’ve got a Masters of Wonder degree
10+ You’ve been awarded a PhD from the University of Paradise Island


Research Wiki

Jill Lepone author of The Secret History of Wonder Woman


Article by Jill Lepone

A History of the Cheetah in ‘Wonder Woman’ A History of the Cheetah in ‘Wonder Woman’ - The New York Times

Road to the Trinity


Looks like I will be reading my copy of Wonder Women: The War Years very soon!


Cool. One of the things I like about the Wonder Woman titles from the Golden Age is that each issue is three stories that are connected, but each stand alone as a separate story. So, in a single issue you get three stories about Cheetah that show a larger character arc. The Batman or Superman books didn’t do that.


I wonder why that is. Spitballing thoughts, I wonder if it is because Wonder Woman was, well a woman, and they wanted to get more stories of her to help the idea of a powerful woman be sold to the population at large. Even more unique is to have a villain roster with women and traditionally, that was left to the femme fatale type of character in 1940s noir films/pulps. I would go as far as saying Catwoman would fall under that category.

Another interesting thing about Wonder Woman was that she was based on a real person, Olive Byrne, not a celebrity like Black Canary, Veronica Lake. While I am not sure if it was ever confirmed that is who is Black Canary was based on the resemblances are definitely there. Of course, this wasn’t the first time that a woman was based on a significant other in comic books. There is always the myth that Lois Lane was inspired by a teenaged girlfriend of Jerry Siegel. This was in fact, not the case!


Sorry to get a little off subject!

Quick edit: I think @slatour0694.79644 might be interested in this month’s topic!


Re Lois Lane

I can confirm
Who Lois was based on

In my Road to Trinity Topic


Which also covers
The origins of Wonder Woman
Along with Superman and Batman


Nothing is off topic here. And Veronica Lake is never ever off topic. Watched I Married A Witch recently, that girl was a gem, but had a very short career. Ends up tending bar before getting some tv and minor film work again.
As for the three stories connecting, that’s the author. Batam and Superman would have three stories in their eponymous books, but there was no connection. Marston wrote or at least plotted all the WW stories until he contracted polio in ‘45. He really like to put both his political and his psychological theories into the stories and you can definitely see him playing those out more in the longer form Wonder Woman book than he did in Sensation or Comic Cavalcade


Golden Age Wonder Woman
Cast of characters

A model sheet for a fictional "Golden Age Wonder Woman: The Animated Series," featuring Cheetah, Doctor Psycho, Duke of Deception, and Giganta. I would watch this in a heartbeat!
Art by James Tucker...


@D4RK5TARZ Thanks for the tip on this topic! You are right- I am interested. :laughing:

I am currently reading my new Christmas present: Wonder Woman: The Ultimate Guide to the Amazon Warrior, and when that is done the Jill Lepone book (another Christmas gift) is next on the list, so that will tie in nicely with this thread.

Fun Wonder Woman fact: Issue 7 looks to the future and predicts a female US President. The only thing is it apparently took 1,000 years for that to happen.


You’ve been diving so deep into Golden Age Wondy, I know you’re going to have some good insights. I will say my appreciation for her early stories has only gone up over time.


This link is in the wiki
But it illustrates
That Wonder Woman
Early on
Had two origin stories

The Contest has
Always been puzzling to me

If Princess Diana has
Super strength
Super.speed etc
Shouldn’t she be
Way superior
In the Contest?

She seems to be on par
With.the other Amazons
Maybe with.a little edge
Because she really wants to win

In Rebirth
Greg Rucka gives her
Her powers
In Man’s World
Not before.

So in the second origin
She is made from clay
With abilities
Far beyond that of
The other Amazons

Some personality quirks
Are also discussed
Like her willingness
to be bound

Only if a man does it
Does she lose her powers
Though she usually
Breaks free anyway

Article also gives her RPG Stats
Plus those of the various equipment she or the Amazons use.


Wonder Woman creator Marston was a psychologist who wrote about the DISC theory of personality traits

See link for shortest version


DISC changed as the years went by

See link for current version


Kindle has

Marston’s book


Price 7.49
645 pages of mind numbing prose

From the book

Emotion is a complex unit of motor consciousness, composed of psychonic impulses representing the motor self, and of psychonic impulses representing a motor stimulus; these two psychonic energies being related to one another, (1) by alliance or antagonism; and, (2) by reciprocal superiority and inferiority of strength.

A primary emotion may be designated as an emotion which contains the maximal amount of alliance, antagonism, superiority of strength of the motor self in respect to the motor stimulus, or inferiority of strength of the motor self in respect to the motor stimulus.

Emotions are complex motations, formed by conjunctions of various types between the motor self and transient motor stimuli. It is suggested that the possible types of conjunction constitute a continuous series, wherein each unit represents a quality of emotional consciousness just noticeably different from the emotions most closely resembling it, which lie adjacent to it, on either side, in the total series. At certain nodal points, in this emotion series, there seem to appear definite emotions which represent clear cut types of unit characters of conjunction, between the motor self and the motor stimulus. These nodal emotions are not modified by the admixture of modifying emotional qualities from other adjacent emotions in the series.

There seem to be four such nodal points in the entire emotion circle, and the four emotions occurring at these points may conveniently be termed primary emotions.

The names which I have ventured to select for the four primary emotions in the above integrative analysis were chosen to meet two requirements. First, the commonly understood meaning of the word employed must describe, with as great accuracy and completeness as possible, the objective relationship between motor self and motor stimulus which was to be conceived of as the integrative basis for the primary emotion in question. Secondly, the name chosen for each primary emotion must suggest the experience in question, as it is observed introspectively in everyday life. Another minor consideration which entered into the choice of names for primary emotions was the advantage of new terms not already weighted with dissimilar affective meaning of literary origin.

No matter how clearly one may define in objective terms words such as “fear”, “rage”, etc., the previous connotation which an individual reader may have attached to these words, as a result of life-long learning, will continue reflexly to come to mind each time the term is used.

(I) Compliance is the name suggested for the primary emotion located at “C” in Figure 3. The dictionary definition[18] of the verb “comply” is: “1. To act in conformity with. 2. To be complacent, courteous.” Both these meanings of compliance (“the act of complying”) seem rather aptly to characterize the integrative relationship indicated at “C” on the diagram. The motor stimulus, which is antagonistic and of greater intensity than the motor self, evokes a response of diminution of the motor self, designed to readjust the self to the stimulus. The motor stimulus is permitted by this response, to control the organism, in part and for the time being, antagonistically to the motor self. In the course of such a response, the motor self certainly acts “in conformity with” the motor stimulus. In its final adjustment, the self may be said to be “complacent” with respect to control of the organism by its antagonist. Introspectively, the word “compliance” seems to suggest, to a great majority of the several hundred persons whom I have asked, that the subject is moving himself at the dictates of a superior force. There is no difficulty arising from the use of this word to designate emotion in literature, since “compliance”, in its literary usage customarily signifies a type of action rather than the emotion accompanying the action.

(II) Dominance is the name suggested for the primary emotion indicated at “D” on the diagram of integrative relationship. “To dominate”, according to the dictionary means: “1. To exercise control over. 2. To prevail; predominate.” The integrative situation described by dominance (“the act of dominating”) is chiefly characterized by victory of the motor self over an antagonist of inferior intensity. The motor self obviously “prevails.” and “predominates” over its phasic antagonist throughout this integrative situation. The motor self “exercises control over” the final common path and hence it “exercises control over” the behaviour of the organism, removing environmental obstacles to the pattern of behaviour dictated by means of its own superior reinforced power. Thus the total objective situation, provided our integrative analysis is correct, is fairly described by the term “dominance”. Introspectively, dominance suggests to all persons of whom I have inquired, a superiority of self over some sort of antagonist. The word “dominant” has been used most frequently in literature to describe an “aggressive”, “strong-willed” type of personality or character. This seems rather in accord with the proposed use of the word than otherwise.

(III) Inducement is the name suggested for the primary emotion indicated at “I” on Figure 3 “To induce”, according to the dictionary is: “1 To influence to act; prevail upon. 2. To lead to.” The integrative situation for which the term “inducement” is proposed consists primarily of a strengthening of the motor self in order more effectively to facilitate the passage of a weaker motor stimulus across the common psychon. The motor self, in such a relationship to its weaker ally, certainly “influences” the motor stimulus by facilitation to “the act” of traversing the final common path. If, as we shall see later, it frequently happens that the motor stimulus is too weak to win its way alone to efferent discharge, then the motor self truly “leads” its weaker ally across the synapse, “prevailing upon” it, meantime, to facilitate the passage of the stronger motor self impulses. Introspectively, inducement (“the act of inducing”) indicates to a majority of the subjects asked, a process of persuading someone, in a friendly way, to perform an act suggested by the subject. This meaning, if expressed in bodily behaviour would be very close to the expected behaviour result of the integrative relationship already described. The subjects’ emphasis upon the “friendliness” of the persuasion is very significant in making clear the nature of inducement as a primary emotion. The nature of the integrative relationship would necessitate perfect alliance between the interests of inducer and induced throughout the entire response. The power of inducement in evoking alliance from the induced person lies entirely in the extent to which the inducer is able to serve the other’s interest, while initial weakness in the person “induced” is the element which calls forth increase of strength from the inducer. The word “induce” in literary usage, like the word “compliance”, has been employed, for the most part, to describe a certain type of behaviour, in which one individual persuades another person to do something which the first individual desires him to do Little use, if any, has been made of the term “inducement” in designating emotional states of consciousness.

(IV) Submission is the name suggested for the primary emotion represented at “S” in Figure 3. The dictionary defines the verb “to submit” as meaning: “1. To give up to another. 2. To yield authority or power; to surrender. 3. To be submissive.” Submissive is defined as “docile”, “yielding”, “obedient”, “humble”. The integrative situation to which the term “submission” is applied consists, in essence, of a decrease in the strength of the motor self to balance a corresponding superiority of strength in the motor stimulus. In assuming this relationship, the motor self might certainly be described as being “humble” and “yielding”. The motor self, in essence, is “giving up to” its stronger ally a portion of itself. After the motor self has completed its response as far as decreasing its own volume goes, it continues, as a weaker ally, to be “docile” and “obedient” in rendering facilitation to its stronger ally in their common path. This continued rendering of alliance to the motor stimulus might well be described as “yielding” to the authority or power of its stronger ally, while the continuance of a motor self to render such facilitation as weaker ally throughout the persistence of the relationship seems aptly characterized as being “submission”. The bodily behaviour to be expected from this type of integration would be characterized as that of an obedient child toward a loving mother. Introspective records on the question of what suggestion is conveyed by the word “submit” reveal that the essence of “submission” to nearly all subjects, is voluntary obedience to the commands of the person in authority. With women subjects, the additional meaning of mutual warmth of feeling between the subject and the person submitted to is introspectively present when the submission is thought of as rendered to a loved mother, or to lover of the same or opposite sex. The element of mutual friendliness (represented by alliance in the integrative picture), does not appear in the majority of male reports concerning the introspective suggestion evoked by the word “submission”. This is unfortunate, but I have not been able to find any other word adequately covering the objective description of this emotion which, at the same time, would also include the introspective meaning of mutual warmth of feeling between the person submitting and the person submitted to. The word “submit”, as a name for the primary emotion designated, is intended to convey emphatically this meaning of pleasantness experienced in the act of “submission” by the person submitting. Literary use of the word “submission” has followed rather closely the integrative meaning as reported by my subjects. “Submission”, in literary parlance, customarily indicates a passive yielding, one to the other, yet not necessarily with any great amount of pleasantness in the submission exacted. Perhaps, this limitation found in both introspective and literary connotations of the word “submission” indicates that the connection between submitting to a lover and submission to a person of superior power (which is submission closely akin to compliance) is not found properly developed in our present civilization and its literary records.


The main video for the topic
Is given in.the link.below

Jill starts talking around 11 minutes 45 seconds in


Another interview with Jill

In this link
Jill talks how the idea of
Paradise Island
Was stolen from a standard plot of Feminist Utopian Lierature
Of that time.

The standard plot was of
Only women live on a island
In Peace
Then men enter this Paradise
“They will ruin everything”
Part of which involves having children
The Suffragette moment
Was tied to Birth Control
As a means of freedom for women
And Olive Byrne, the mistress of Marston, who lived with
Him and his wife
Was the niece of Margaret Sanger, who with Olive’s mom founded the first birth control center in New York City

Olive spent most of her early life in foster care
(Catholic Orphanages)
Because to her mom
The Movement was more important. She was told her mother was dead.


If you want a shorter feel for Jill Lepone’s book on creating Wonder Woman she wrote this article for the New Yorker in 2014.