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In December 1941 comic book readers were introduced to a new superhero, one who preferred to conquer opponents with kindness rather than brute force. But, when required, this hero could exert levels of strength to rival Superman’s, and came equipped with bullet-deflecting bracelets and golden lasso that forced people to tell the truth.

Wonder Woman, originally named “Suprema, The Wonder Woman,” was created by William Moulton Marston, psychologist and inventor of the lie detector test. In 1940 Marston was interviewed for an article that appeared in Family Circle magazine titled “Don’t Laugh at the Comics,” in which he detailed the educational value children could receive from reading comic books. Max Gaines, co-publisher of National Periodicals and All American Publications (now DC Comics) hired Marston as an educational consultant.

Male heroes, in particular Batman and Superman, dominated comic books during World War II. At the suggestion of his wife, Elizabeth, Marston pitched the idea of a female superhero to Gaines. He is quoted as saying “Not even girls want to be girls so long as our feminine archetype lacks force, strength, and power... The obvious remedy is to create a feminine character with all the strength of Superman plus all the allure of a good and beautiful woman.”

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