""Battle for Womanhood"": Mars, the God of War, receives a report from one of his slave girls. She tells him how women are taking a more active role in the U.S.’s war efforts. Mars does not want to see women rise to power and escape the domination of man so he sends the Duke of Deception to Eart
- Remember, the better you can fight the less you'll have to!
- -- Wonder Woman
Appearing in "Battle for Womanhood"
Synopsis for "Battle for Womanhood"
Mars, the God of War, receives a report from one of his slave girls. She tells him how women are taking a more active role in the U.S.’s war efforts. Mars does not want to see women rise to power and escape the domination of man so he sends the Duke of Deception to Earth in order to create distrust toward female members of the U.S. military.
The Duke of Deception chooses a man named Doctor Psycho to act as his instrument of evil. Dr. Psycho was once a promising medical student but he was frequently the victim of ridicule from his peers due to his short stature and abnormally large head. He was also engaged to a woman named Marva but discovered that she was having an affair with a more attractive student named Ben Bradley. Marva and Ben conspired to frame Dr. Psycho for the theft of $125,000 worth of radium from the laboratory where he worked. A formal inquest convened and Marva testified against him, citing that she saw him entering and exiting the laboratory after hours on the night that the theft took place. With no suitable defense to prove his innocence, Dr. Psycho was sent to prison.
While serving his sentence, Psycho reads a newspaper announcement in which he learns that Marva is now engaged to marry his rival. His spirit crushed, this incident warps Psycho's mind and he develops a hatred of all women. As time passes, Psycho is released from prison whereupon he sets up his own private laboratory.
Presently, the Duke of Deception visits Dr. Psycho as a spirit and whispers in his ear, inciting him to fulfill his dreams of revenge against women. First however, he must rid himself of his former lover's current husband. Psycho visits Bradley, who confesses that Marva and he had him framed for the radium theft. Psycho forces Ben to swallow a radium lump which subsequently kills him. He then tracks down Marva and uses his skills at hypnosis to bend her will to his own. He forces Marva to marry him and he takes her home where he treats her as his slave. Every day, he hypnotizes Marva anew, forcing her to perform various tasks for him. He also uses her as a conduit to contact the spirit world. Miraculously, Psycho manages to tap into the netherworld and extract samples of ectoplasm. Molding the ectoplasm like putty, he uses it to alter his own physical features.
Later, Dr. Psycho publicly announces that his wife will channel the spirit of George Washington at Lafayette Hall in Washington, D.C. Steve Trevor and Diana Prince attend the function and are shocked when they see a ghostly apparition of George Washington appear before them. Manipulating the ectoplasm from behind a large screen, Psycho has Washington tell the audience that women will cost them the war if they are allowed to manufacture munitions. He further warns them about women tampering with ammunition at the Supreme Shell Works factory. The message reaches the office of Colonel Darnell who has Steve set up a security force to canvas the factory. There is a huge explosion and dozens of workers are killed. It appears as if George Washington's cryptic warning has been proven true.
Later, Psycho sends an invitation to Darnell's office, requesting his presence for a private seance with Washington's spirit. Darnell doesn't believe in ghosts but attends anyway, bringing Steve with him. Wonder Woman arrives and interrupts the seance. She ensnares George Washington in the Lasso of Truth, and discovers that the ceremony is all just a ruse. Although convinced that Psycho is a fraud, Darnell doesn’t suspect him of sabotaging the munitions factory.
Dr. Psycho then uses his powers over ectoplasm to take on the shape of Colonel Darnell himself. As Darnell, he removes top secret documents from the Colonel's safe and gives them out to three female staff members with instructions to hide them in secure locations. When the documents are found to be missing, the three staff members are accused of espionage and questioned. Steve grows suspicious and believes that Psycho is responsible for all of the recent trouble. He takes it upon himself to investigate the doctor’s laboratory but is captured and imprisoned inside an electrified cage.
Using her mental radio, Diana learns of Steve's plight and changes into her Wonder Woman costume. She finds a high fence sealing off Psycho's laboratory, so she uses two trees as a slingshot to launch herself over the fence and onto the laboratory grounds.
While searching for Steve, Wonder Woman is caught by Dr. Psycho. He uses a device known as an Electo-Atomizer to separate her spirit from her body. With no conscious mind to guide it, Wonder Woman's body falls into a state of torpor. Her mind is still active however, and she sends a mental summons to her friend Etta Candy. Etta and her sorority sisters, the Holiday Girls, come to Wonder Woman's aid. Their confrontation with Psycho reinvigorates Wonder Woman’s spirit, granting her the strength to burst out of her chains and merge her spirit back into her body.
Wonder Woman rescues Steve just as Psycho is about to shoot him. Steve then disarms the villain. While Steve arrests Psycho, Wonder Woman frees Psycho's wife Marva from her sealed room. Marva wonders what to do with herself now. Wonder Woman encourages her to join the WACs (Woman Army Corps) and aid the war effort.
Appearing in Etta Candy and Her Holliday Girls: "The Toothache"
- Gyp (Single appearance)
- Mola Chissler (Single appearance)
- Mugger (Single appearance)
- Bill Bollens (Single appearance)
- Detective Casey (Single appearance)
- Harry G. Peter (Cameo)
- William Moulton Marston (Cameo)
Synopsis for Etta Candy and Her Holliday Girls: "The Toothache"
Etta Candy's friends give her a 16-course birthday celebration! Etta, however, is suffering from a toothache and Wonder Woman warns her against eating any sweets until she can get it filled. She gives her the room number of a dentist who happens to be staying at the same hotel where the party is being held. Etta gets nervous though and forgets the room number. She knocks on the wrong door; instead of finding a dentist, she instead finds three criminals. The criminals try pushing her around but Etta fights back and knocks them all down. In the fight, her sore tooth gets knocked out. Detective Casey arrives to arrest the crooks and Etta returns to her party where she is applauded for her acts of heroism.
Appearing in "Mars Invades the Moon"
- Diana, Goddess of the Moon
- Professor I.B. Wise (Single appearance)
- Moon Nymphs (Single appearance)
- Martian Slave-Girls' Electric Ray Guns
- Lasso of Truth
- Magic Sphere
- Mental Radio
- Lasso Arrows
- Lasso Spears
- Greed's Spaceship
- Wonder Woman's Invisible Plane
Synopsis for "Mars Invades the Moon"
On the planet Mars, the god of war voices his displeasure over the Duke of Deception's failure with Dr. Psycho. As punishment, he has him enslaved in the women's prison. The Duke uses his charisma to earn the affection of both the prison guards as well as the slaves. He tells them that he deliberately had himself imprisoned so that he could inspire the slave women to revolt. The Duke actually takes a liking to his own idea and plots against the guards. He trips up one of the guards and succeeds in swiping her keys without her even noticing.
That night, the Duke unlocks the slave cages, releasing the prisoners within. The slave women revolt against their jailers and the Duke sends a message to his master. Mars and the Count of Conquest both arrive at the prison and are surprised by two slave girls who overcome them with ray guns. After placing their former masters in prison, they make the Duke of Deception their new king.
The Earl of Greed conspires to free Mars and the Count, however, and uses Mars's own gold bullion to pay off two guards to free them both. Once they are all aboard the Earl's spaceship, they plan their revenge. Mars decides he will personally go to Earth to capture Wonder Woman. It is his belief that with her as his slave, he will be able to take back the women's prison.
On Earth, Diana Prince and Steve Trevor visit Holliday College. They are in the observatory along with Etta Candy and the Holliday Girls. Through a telescope, Diana spies the Earl of Greed's attack ship approaching Earth. The ship hovers above them and large claws descend, uprooting the entire building. Steve scoops up Diana and tosses her out the window for her own safety. As she watches the ship pull the building up into the air, Diana quickly changes into Wonder Woman.
Flying to Paradise Island in the invisible plane, Wonder Woman uses the Magic Sphere to chart the Earl's course. She deduces that it is heading towards the moon. Enlisting Paula von Gunther’s aid, Wonder Woman mounts a Sky Kanga which leaps off into outer space. Wonder Woman and Paula’s first stop is the moon, where they investigate why it has suddenly gone dark. Moon nymphs of the Goddess Diana attack Wonder Woman and Paula, using lasso arrows and lasso spears. Diana quickly sorts this out and the moon nymphs apologize, telling them that they are under orders by Mars himself. Mars and the Count soon arrive and clasp Wonder Woman in iron chains.
Later that evening, Wonder Woman finds the imprisoned Etta. She instructs Etta to initiate a fight to distract Mars while she rescues her patron goddess. Upon being freed, the goddess Diana returns the favor by unleashing Wonder Woman from her iron chains.
Wonder Woman lends Diana her Sky Kanga so she can escape Mars's citadel. The Amazon soon finds Mars herself and the two engage in their second knockdown, drag-out brawl. In the end, Wonder Woman is victorious and knocks Mars to the ground. Paula, meanwhile, finds a supply of chemicals and uses them to make an acid that she applies to the door of Steve's cell. Once Mars and the Count are safely loaded onto a prison barge, Wonder Woman meets back up with the goddess Diana and everyone mounts the Sky Kanga for their trip home.
Appearing in Wonder Women of History: "The Liberator of Womankind"
- Appearances not yet listed
Synopsis for Wonder Women of History: "The Liberator of Womankind"
- Synopsis not yet written.
Appearing in "The Return of Dr. Psycho"
- Joan White, Psycho's secretary (Single appearance)
- Lila Brown, Trevor's secretary (Single appearance) (Dies)
- Lasso of Truth
- Trevor's Military Plane
Synopsis for "The Return of Dr. Psycho"
In prison, Dr. Psycho tells the Warden that he wishes to confess to his crimes. But in order to do so, he must confer with the Warden’s secretary, Joan White, who is also an inmate. The Warden agrees and brings Joan to Psycho's cell. In privacy, Psycho places Joan in a trance and uses her as a medium through which to produce a supply of ectoplasm. He shapes the ectoplasm into his own form, then hides and waits for the guards to return. When the guards arrive, they find the Psycho duplicate lying across the table, seemingly dead. Believing that Psycho died of a heart attack while writing his confession, the Warden sends for a physician to examine him. News of Dr. Psycho's apparent demise reaches the office of Colonel Darnell. When Diana Prince hears the news, she decides to personally oversee Psycho's burial as Wonder Woman.
Dr. Psycho disguises himself as a magician named Buenas Noches. He goes to the office of Steve Trevor and attempts to kill him through an elaborate magic act. Diana tries to intercede but Psycho detonates a bomb which kills Steve's secretary Lila. Steve and Darnell open fire on Buenas Noches, but the magician disappears in a wisp of smoke.
Steve suspects that there may be a connection between Buenas Noches and the late Dr. Psycho. He takes his own plane to the prison and inspects Psycho's grave himself. Wonder Woman and Etta Candy agree to accompany him. En route, Steve's landing gear malfunctions and Wonder Woman must use her own body to guide the plane to safety. As guards rush out to the prison landing strip to help them, Wonder Woman goes to the graveyard. She digs up Doctor Psycho's coffin only to discover it empty. Suddenly, Psycho (disguised as a prison guard) sneaks up behind Wonder Woman and clobbers her across the back of the head, knocking her out. He then buries her alive in the upturned grave.
Etta meanwhile finds Joan and awakens her from her trance. When Joan revives, Psycho's control over her extracted ectoplasm dissipates. Wonder Woman manages to dig herself free and re-captures Dr. Psycho, ensnaring him with her magic lasso and bringing him back to his cell.
- The story "Battle for Womanhood" features some extremely dubious gender politics. Dr. Psycho is the ostensible villain and one of his chief crimes is the mental enslavement and manipulation of his wife. But Psycho himself is entirely manipulated by outside forces throughout the whole story into taking the actions he does. Meanwhile, in a huge double standard, Marva is let entirely off the hook for a slew of crimes she willingly committed prior to her mental enslavement, including grand theft, fraud and perjury.
- Published bimonthly by Wonder Woman Publishing Company, Inc.
- This issue is reprinted in 'Wonder Woman Archives Vol. 3'.
- Doctor Psycho appears next in Wonder Woman #18.
- Also appearing in this issue of Wonder Woman was:
- Mars and Wonder Woman fought one on one in Wonder Woman #2, and she won then too. This issue's third story presents their second clash with the same outcome as the first.
- Wonder Woman gets head-konked unconscious, by Dr. Psycho.
- Series creators William Moulton Marston and Harry G. Peter make cameo appearances as waiters on the splash page of "Etta Candy and Her Holiday Girls".
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- Images from Wonder Woman Vol 1 5
Links and References
- Wonder Woman (Volume 1) series index at the Grand Comics Database
- Wonder Woman (Volume 1) series index at Comicbookdb.com
- Wonder Woman (Volume 1) series index at Mike's Amazing World of DC Comics