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Joye Hummel – RIP

1940s Wonder Woman writer Joye Hummel has passed away.

 
Joye Evelyn Murchison Kelly (neé Hummel)
April 4, 1924 – April 5, 2021

 

Anina Bennett was among those breaking the sad news:

RIP Joye Hummel Murchison Kelly, the first woman to write [Wonder Woman] comics in the 1940s.

After Joye it would be nearly 40 years before another woman scripted the Amazon’s adventures.

 


Wonder Woman © DC Comics

In 1944, straight out of college, Joye Hummel took the job as William Moulton Marston’s writing assistant. Marston had been Joye’s psychology professor. He had also created the comic book heroine Wonder Woman, which is where the plotting and scripting assist were directed.

In a San Diego Union-Tribune story from 2018:

“He was not writing just an adventure book,” she said. “He wanted those who read ‘Wonder Woman’ to be inspired, that the young women who read the stories would be inspired to study and enter the world and have confidence they could accomplish things.

“I think he felt that a woman’s touch would make the world better.”

Soon, Marston and his protege settled into a routine. Both devised stories and worked on separate scripts. Then they would confer, trading ideas, suggesting changes.

From Lambiek’s Comiclopedia profile of Joye:

Apart from a comic book series she also appeared in a newspaper comic. Facing two deadlines at once Marston asked the 19-year old Joye to help him with the scripts. The only condition was that she would have to ghost-write them under his name. She accepted and their first stories appeared in ‘Wonder Woman’ issue #12 (Spring 1945). Apart from the comic books she also penned narratives for the newspaper spin-off.

Those Marston-scripted comics were the Amazon’s own Wonder Woman comic book and comic strip. plus regular appearances in Sensation Comics and Comics Cavalcade. (Wonder Woman’s adventures in All-Star Comics, as part of The Justice Society of America, were written by others.)

Joye assisted on all those stories and when Marston could no longer continue, due to illness, she took them on solo.

In 1971 Joye responded to Jerry Bails’ request and provided information on the routine she and Marston worked out. The letter was published in a 1972 issue of The Rocket’s Blast Comicollector:

Alex Jay, in his Tenth Letter of the Alphabet blog, carries the entire letter as well as many more records of the first half of Joye’s life.

Not long after Marston’s death Joye would marry and retire from her three year comic book career.

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