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Joye Hummel (1924–2021), pioneering writer for Wonder Woman comics

by Linnea Crowther

Joye Hummel was the first women to write for Wonder Woman comics, writing anonymously for several years in the 1940s.

A woman’s perspective on a superhero

Hummel wasn’t looking for a job as a comic book writer. She was 19 years old and a recent graduate of secretarial school. But one of her instructors approached her to ask if she’d help write some stories for his comic. He was William Moulton Marston, Wonder Woman’s creator, and he had noticed while teaching Hummel that she was a good writer. He wanted a young woman who believed in Wonder Woman’s feminist philosophy and could also write using current slang.

Hummel happily took the job and wrote at least 70 scripts for Wonder Woman comics between 1944 and 1947, a time when the DC Comic already had an avid audience. She included fairy tale characters, like mermaids and winged women, in the stories she wrote. Hummel stopped writing for Wonder Woman after Marston’s death, when she became unhappy with the less feminist direction the comic was taking without his influence. She later worked as a stockbroker. Her name hadn’t appeared on her work, so she remained largely unknown until she was profiled in Jill Lepore’s 2014 book, “The Secret History of Wonder Woman.” In 2018, Hummel was honored at San Diego Comic-Con International with the Bill Finger Award, which recognizes unsung writers.


Hummel on her goal when writing Wonder Woman

“It had to be something that women could read and get to feeling that they could go out into the world and be listened to.” —from a 2019 interview for The Ledger

Tributes to Joye Hummel

Full obituary: The Washington Post

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