Joye Hummel, the first woman to write Wonder Woman, dies at 97

Joye Murchison Kelly, who wrote uncredited Wonder Woman comics from 1944 to 1947 as Joye Hummel, has passed away at the age of 97.

Joye Hummel (who was married twice over the years and thus used the name Joye Murchison Kelly at the time of her passing), the first woman to write the Wonder Woman comics adventures, has passed away. at the age of 97.

Hummel wrote all the Wonder Woman stories that appeared in Wonder Woman, Sensation comics and Comics parade from early 1945 until he retired from writing in 1947, but all comics were credited to Charles Moulton (a pseudonym for William Moulton Marston, based on his name and Charles “Max” Gaines, the co-owner of All-American Comics, the National Comics subsidiary that originally published Wonder Woman). Hummel was little known during the decades before Jill Lepore highlighted her in Lepore’s 2015 book, The secret history of Wonder Woman.

Hummel attended Katharine Gibbs School, a highly respected secretarial college of the day (when there weren’t many career options for young women), where she met Marston, who was one of her instructors. He hired her in early 1944 to be his assistant and help him work on the movie Wonder Woman, which was appearing in three different comics at the time (the monthly Sensation comics anthology, where it was the main feature, the quarterly Wonder Woman solo series, which featured multiple Wonder Woman stories in each issue and the quarterly Comics parade series, which had characteristics of all the main characters of All-American Comics, such as Wonder Woman, Green Lantern and Flash).

Five months after Hummel went to work for Marston, the Wonder Woman creator contracted polio, at which point he stopped writing the series and Hummel took over as lead writer. His first solo number was from 1945. Wonder Woman # 12.

Marston was also diagnosed with cancer and passed away in May 1947. Hummel married David Murchison in August 1947. With Marston’s death, Robert Kanigher, who had been working as an assistant editor on the series with Sheldon Mayer, became I charge the feature (at the time, All-American Comics was officially a part of National Comics and Gaines had left to form EC Comics). Hummel would probably leave the show anyway due to his impending marriage and new stepdaughter, but then he recalled, “Even if I hadn’t gone for my new daughter, I would have quit if they had told me what to do. [Wonder Woman] a masculine superwoman who thinks and acts “.

Since Hummel was uncredited at the time, she became virtually unknown until Lepore highlighted her in his book on Wonder Woman in 2015. Fortunately, Hummel received a lot of attention in her later years, including receiving the Bill Finger Award at the Comic -With San Diego International. in 2018. Hummel remembered Mark Evanier (who did a panel with Hummel and Trina Robbins that year) that their first comic book convention was “the best weekend of my life.”


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