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The Men Behind Wonder Woman

The issue begins with a picture of four men who are all involved in the creation of Wonder Woman comics: William Moulton Marston, writer and creator of Wonder Woman, H.G. Peter, the primary artist, Sheldon Mayer, the editor, and M.C. Gaines, the general manager and president of All-American Comics, Inc., a branch of D.C. that published early Wonder Woman comics. In addition to pictures of these men, the first page also contains a brief note from Associate Editor Alice Marble describing their contributions to the comic.

The God of War

The next page gives a brief summary of who Ares is in the Greek pantheon (and explains that we know him as Mars), and explains how he is in control of the world at war, but that Aphrodite, with Wonder Woman as her champion, will reclaim the world with her messages of love and peace. All of the stories in this issue involve Wonder Woman battling Mars and his three lieutenants: the Count of Conquest, the Earl of Greed, and the Duke of Deception.

Mars, the God of War

Mars is furious to learn that Wonder Woman is foiling Axis spies in the U.S. so he plots to capture Steve Trevor in order to trap her. Steve speeds off on a mission whose orders he can't read until he is on the plane taking him where he needs to go. He gets Wonder Woman to promise not to follow him despite her suspicions that he is in danger. She does, though, give him pills containing her purple ray of healing.

When Steve doesn't return from his mission, Wonder Woman learns from Aphrodite that Mars has captured him and taken him to the planet Mars. She explains that the only way Wonder Woman can follow is to take a potion that will make her seem dead. Mars will then claim her spirit and take her Astral Body to his planet.

She takes the potion and, along with the dead from World War II is taken to Mars. She goes under the name Etta Candy. Mars' men separate the prisoners into the strong and the weak, then force the strong to fight each other in a tournament. Wonder Woman learns from Tiva, that Steve Trevor is being held in Mars' palace, so she makes sure to win the tournament in the hopes that she will be taken there.

During the tournament, Wonder Woman accidentally reveals her identity. Mars, not wanting to give away that he knows her identity, invites her to his palace after she wins the tournament. Mars gives her the Lord of Conquest's ex-wife as a slave, and from her she learns where Steve is being held. Wonder Woman rescues Steve and, along with the slave, makes her way to a space ship to leave Mars. Mars and his men attack them when they reach the ship, but Wonder Woman defeats them and the group escapes.

The slave, however, returns to her ex-husband. Steve, meanwhile, explains to Wonder Woman that a Japanese agent had been in control of his plane, and had shot him and thrown him overboard, which is why Mars was able to capture his spirit. Before he fell from the plane, though, he took one of Wonder Woman's pills containing the healing ray. The pill saved his life, and his spirit is able to return to his body. Wonder Woman, too, revives, and uses her Lasso of Truth to force Steve to take her with him on any future dangerous missions.

The Earl of Greed

Frustrated by his defeat at Wonder Woman's hands, Mars makes it a priority to try to capture her and bring her to the planet Mars as a prisoner. He calls on his generals to help, but only the Earl of Greed is willing. He goes to Hitler and convinces him to enact a plan to steal gold from the U.S. treasury.

Meanwhile, Steve Trevor has heard about the secret meeting where Hitler is going to discuss his plans and, along with Wonder Woman, flies to Germany to spy on the meeting. They succeed in learning of the plan then make a narrow escape while fighting off Nazis.

Back in the U.S., Wonder Woman learns from Etta Candy that Holiday College is going to be shut down for lack of funds. She learns from Prexy Deacon, the Holiday College President that Mr. White, their treasurer has disappeared along with their money.

Hoping to raise the $50,000 that they need to maintain the College, Wonder Woman speaks to Jake Dough, the owner of Pups - a baseball team competing in the World Series. Wonder Woman proposes that she put together a women's team to play the Pups if they win the World Series, and the proceeds will go to Holiday College. The Earl of Greed, though, convinces Mr. Dough to keep most of the money for himself.

Fortunately for Wonder Woman, the Pups fall behind in the World Series and have to call on Wonder Woman to pinch hit and win the game. This act convinces Mr. Dough to set up the charity game to save Holiday College despite the Earl of Greed's protests.

During the charity game, though, Wonder Woman is tricked into hitting an exploding ball, and then is forced to drink a drugged cup of water. Her captors encase her in a block of gold. When Steve Trevor tries to rescue her, he too is captured and is about to also be encased in gold, but seeing that he is in danger is enough to inspire Wonder Woman to break free of her captivity and rescue Steve. They then pursue their assailants and, with the help of Etta Candy capture them.

It turns out that Prexy Deacon, the President of Holiday College, closed the College on purpose so that it could be a staging ground for the Nazis to steal U.S. Treasury gold through an underground passage. He killed Mr. White and framed him to look like the thief.

Wonder Woman defeats the plan and the charity game raises more than enough money to keep Holiday College open.

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The Planets 0

I have recently been watching the BBC series on the planets from the 1990s, and while it is fun to watch, it is also obvious how far we have come with our knowledge of the planets even in 15 years.  So it is not very surprising that the early Wonder Woman books dealt with a Mars where life was sustainable, especially so that Venus and Saturn also were presumably inhabited planets.  In this one Mars is the home of Mars (who would more often be depicted as Ares in the modern era).  The stories are...

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