RIP: Joye Hummel (97) First Female Scripter of Golden Age Wonder Woman

 

Firstpost has an obituary originally reported by the NY Times announcing the passing of Joye Hummel, who at 19 was the earliest woman who’d written WW stories in the Golden Age, even if, much like co-creator William Marston, she was never directly credited, with pseudonyms and ghostwriting common at the time:

 

Joye Hummel Murchison Kelly was the first woman to write scripts for the Wonder Woman comic-book franchise, but hardly anyone was aware of that for almost 70 years. Then Jill Lepore tracked her down while writing her 2014 book, The Secret History of Wonder Woman, and suddenly Hummel was a cause célèbre in the fan universe.

The late-life acclaim mystified her a bit.

“She was amazed that people made such a big deal over it,” her son Robb Murchison said in a phone interview. “She’d say, ‘It’s just a comic book.’ She kind of played it down.”

She was 19 and known as Joye Hummel in March 1944, when she went to work for William Moulton Marston, a psychologist who had created Wonder Woman three years earlier and found himself with a product that was in such demand that he couldn’t keep up.

“At first, Hummel typed Marston’s scripts,” Lepore, who teaches at Harvard University, wrote in The Secret History. “Soon, she was writing scripts of her own.”

Hummel said she wrote the scripts for more than 70 Wonder Woman adventures (though her name appeared on none of them), helping to form what became the most enduring and widely recognized female figure in the superhero universe. Then, in 1947, shortly after Marston died of polio, she stopped. She had just married David Murchison, a widower with a young daughter; being at home for that child, Hummel thought, was more important than her work on Wonder Woman.

Hummel became largely invisible as far as the comic-book world was concerned. Robb Murchison said that her family and a few others knew of her role, but that she didn’t advertise it. Lepore, though, researching her book, came across Hummel’s name and went looking for her.

 

While I think Hummel had an admirable job back in the day, the irony is that most PC liberals couldn’t care less if she’d remained that way. Not to mention that the alleged biographer who did the research, Lepore, threw Marston’s very creation under the bus when the UN’s most PC members objected to using WW as a project mascot. Worst, Lepore acted as apologist for Woodrow Wilson. I’ve also been skeptical of claims Lepore made that Marston mistress Olivia Byrne was allegedly related to Planned Parenthood’s founder Margaret Sanger, if only because it sounded like an attempt to divide and discourage WW fans from keeping up their support, and nobody else seemed to verify whether this was fact. If Lepore couldn’t defend WW, how can we believe she ever respected Marston and artist Harry G. Peter for bringing the Amazon princess about in the first place? Consider in addition that Hummel obviously never had a problem with WW’s bustier costume, seeing how it remained so in use and became iconic for many years, and as the article notes, the comic was in demand.

 

So I think Hummel Murchison is a lady to be admired for her role in scripting WW adventures. It’s only a shame that a phony like Lepore had to be given citation for this, considering her “fandom” for WW is questionable at best.

 

 

Update: Lepore also made distorted accusations about police that’re becoming commonplace among leftists like her. So much that even Forbes was disturbed. One more reason why, no matter how accurate anything she said about Hummel is, Lepore is sadly not fit to be writing these biographies.

 

Originally published here.

Avi Green

Avi Green was born in Pennsylvania in 1974, and moved to Israel in 1983. He enjoyed reading comics when he was young, the first being Fantastic Four. He maintains a strong belief in the public's right to knowledge and accuracy of facts. He considers himself a conservative-style version of Clark Kent. Follow him on his blog at Four Color Media Monitor or on Twitter at @avigreen1

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