"The Origin of Wonder Woman"
Series Wonder Woman
Issue # 1
Cover Date June 1942
Next Issue Wonder Woman #2


"The Origin of Wonder Woman"

Ares is again on the warpath. To counter him, Aphrodite brings forth an army of women, called Amazons. To their leader, Hippolyte, she gives a magic girdle of invincibility. The girdle proves effective against even Hercules, Ares' agent. Though he attempts to steal the girdle through guile, Hippolyte outwits the strongman, defeats Ares, and takes her Amazons to settle in peace at a place called "Paradise Island". Time passes.

Hippolyte, now styled, "Queen of the Amazons" desires a family. Having been burned badly by Ares and his world of men, she chooses to procreate through non traditional means. Sculpting a figure from clay, she animates it with life and calls her creation, "Diana, Princess of the Amazons".

For an indeterminate, but presumably long, period of time, Hippolyte and her daughter live in the peace Aphrodite intended for them. Then, one day, a man crashes his plane into the island. The man is discovered to be Steve Trevor, a member of the United States Army.

Needing to rid her island of the threat of man, Hippolyte holds a competition to decide which of her Amazon warriors will once again don the magic girdle and return Trevor to the world of men. Diana, knowing nothing of the war with Ares, has fallen in love with Trevor and is therefore eager to be the one to explore Steve's world.

Her mother, though, expressly forbids it. Diana disguises herself, enters the competition, and, with seeming ease, wins the right to accompany Steve home. Knowing that departure from the island means sacrificing the immortality of paradise, Hippolyta tearfully hands over the girdle, a magic lasso that can compel those in its circle to tell the truth, and the rest of the traditional Wonder Woman outfit, to her daughter.

Diana departs in an invisible plane for Washington.

"Wonder Woman Goes to the Circus"

Diana Prince and Steve Trevor visit the King Circus. They find that the circus elephants are being poisoned. Steve suspects some racketeers who have been threatening the show. While Steve follows them, Wonder Woman discovers some Burmese men, that are acting as the animal keepers are responsible. She exposes the leader as a Japanese spy and helps the circus raise money for the war effort.

"Wonder Woman Versus the Prison Spy Ring"

Colonel Darnell informs Steve Trevor that an army transport ship was sunk by a German U-Boat. Believing the Nazis must have had inside information, Darnell orders Steve to interrogate the former head of the Gestapo system in America – Baroness Paula Von Gunther – now serving time in a federal penitentiary thanks to Wonder Woman.

Steve decides to bring along Diana Prince because, "She's a swell stenographer and a good detective, too." But when he barges in on her he finds her packing for a trip – almost catching her stuffing the Wonder Woman costume and Magic Lasso into a travel bag. He promises to drive her to the train after they question the Baroness. When they arrive, Diana must leave her bag in a holding room.

Elsewhere, the prison warden's young son Freddy plays "cowboy" as he practices lassoing his older sister (who is trying to read Sensation Comics). She chases him out of the warden's quarters and he happens upon the holding room where Diana's bag sits. Freddy practices lassoing the bag and knocks it over, clothes – and lasso – spilling out. He stuffs the clothes back in and sets the bag right again – but takes the lasso.

After a fruitless interrogation, Steve and Diana retrieve the bag and leave. Alone in her cell, von Gunther opens a secret trap door and descends into an old tier of torture cells long forgotten. There she is queen over Nazis and slaves. They have captured American Captain Loyal who knows secret orders for American troops. He is brought into the underground via a secret passage. Von Gunther tries to extract the the orders through hypnotism but is unsuccessful.

Later, while walking the prison grounds near the warden's quarters, von Gunther spots Freddy with the lasso and recognizes it. She instructs her guard (whom she is secretly bribing) to take it from the boy. The next day, U-Boats attack more transport ships. But Steve orders a squadron of patrol planes to intervene. When the enemy is destroyed, Captain Loyal's body is found floating amidst the U-Boat wreckage; he is presumed to be a traitor.

Refusing to believe this news, Diana starts out to investigate. She retrieves her costume from the bag but finds the lasso missing. She goes back to the prison and spots Freddy playing with his old rope. Thinking he might know something, she offers to play with him and teach him how to properly throw a lasso. Afterward, he reveals that he played with a golden rope yesterday before von Gunther's guard Swiped it. Wonder Woman sets out to find the him.

As the prison alarm sounds, she finds the guard dead, and is soon surrounded by other guards accusing her of murder. She fights them off and escapes to call Steve and tell him what happened. Later an autopsy reveals that the guard was poisoned. Wonder Woman goes to the warden to tell him this and asks to be put in a cell next to von Gunther. When he refuses, she causes a ruckus, leaving the warden no choice but to put her in Solitary.

Alone in the cell, Wonder Woman hears voices beneath the floor. But before she can act, von Gunther snares her with Golden Lasso, compelling her to descend into the dungeon where she finds Freddy. "They're going to kill us both!" he pleads. Von Gunther cages Freddy and ties Wonder Woman to a post with the lasso. She then leaves to make preparations.

Wonder Woman quickly uproots the post from the ground and slams it into the cage, breaking Freddy free. He quickly unties her hands but before he can do the same for her feet, von Gunther returns, grabs the lasso and puts a gun to Wonder Woman's back. Unnoticed by von Gunther, Freddy uses the skill Wonder Woman taught him and throws his own lasso around her. Wonder Woman exclaims, "Great work, Freddy! You saved our lives!"

Von Gunther frees herself from Freddy's lasso and escapes. Wonder Woman follows, hoping she'll lead herto the secret Nazi headquarters. Meanwhile, Steve Trevor learns of a fortified U-Boat base on a hidden inlet near the prison and orders a nearby cavalry to attack. But the cavalry takes heavy fire, killing its leader. Wonder Woman arrives on horseback chasing von Gunther who has slipped into the Nazi ranks.

Wonder Woman takes control of the cavalry and leads them into victory while von Gunther takes a stray bullet and topples into the ocean. Afterward, the cavalry regiment declares Wonder Woman an honorary colonel. Her first order: "I command all of you to be true to your wives and sweethearts!" Later, she gifts Freddy with a new lasso – and a kiss, "You are my hero, Fredy!"

"The Greatest Feat of Daring in Human History"

Etta Candy visits her brother Mint in Texas who was recently attacked by spies. While on their ranch with Diana Prince, Etta and Mint discover Pepita Valdez trapped in a mine. Mint rescues her, but she is a spy and coerces information from him.

Wonder Woman and Etta pursue Pepita and her partner Pancho, while Steve Trevor learns of a Japanese base in Mexico. Wonder Woman finds Pepita and learns that she is aiding the Japanese to save her father. The Amazon helps her, then she forces the Japanese base commander to surrender.