"The Million-Dollar Penny": The Amazons were a fierce band of warrior women who centuries ago battled the forces of evil. In modern times things became more peaceful and the Amazons retreated to Paradise Island where they lived in peace under the rule of their leader Queen Hippolyta. The Amazons
Wonder Woman #98 is an issue of the series Wonder Woman (Volume 1) with a cover date of May, 1958.
Synopsis for "The Million-Dollar Penny"
The Amazons were a fierce band of warrior women who centuries ago battled the forces of evil. In modern times things became more peaceful and the Amazons retreated to Paradise Island where they lived in peace under the rule of their leader Queen Hippolyta. The Amazons spent their days in physical and martial training, and among them would be Princess Diana, the Queen's daughter. One day the goddess Pallas-Athena appeared to Hippolyta in a dream and announced that it was time to have her loyal worshipers select their greatest champion, so that she could travel out into the man's world and fight evil.
Fearing that she might not be impartial in selecting the chosen Amazon, Queen Hippolyta was stymied about how to proceed. Diana however had a solution, and asked all her fellow Amazons to dress up exactly like her, and wear masks, so that the Queen could not tell the difference among them. As the competitions went on, Amazons were rooted out of the competition and the Queen was pleased to note that Diana was not among them. When only two contestants were left, they had a one-on-one battle, along a long tight rope. Diana won, and was crowned Wonder Woman. With her title won, the Queen offered her the first challenge, to see if she was truly worthy of the title: Giving her a single penny, the queen told Wonder Woman that she needed to turn it into a million dollars within twenty four hours, so that it could be donated to a children's charity.
Just then a plane flying over Paradise Island exploded, and its pilot ejected. When they all saw that it was a man, and feared that if he stepped food on Paradise Island, then they would lose their powers. Wonder Woman swept into action and rode the air currants to save the man, and prevent him from setting foot on the island. The man considered her an angel, and when she tried to put him in the ocean, they noticed some sharks. So Wonder Woman used her breath to blow air into his parachute, and float them to safety on the mainland.
On the mainland, the pilot introduced himself as Colonel Steve Trevor, part of Military Intelligence. Wonder Woman explained to him her challenge of the million-dollar penny, and he found such a feat impossible. Spying an advertisement for the Twin Cities Golden Jubilee, Wonder Woman saw that they were having a penny tossing contest, and that the person who could toss a penny across the Twin Cities river would win $1000.00. Seeing this as a good start, Wonder Woman rushed off to compete in this contest, however along the way she dropped her penny. It was recovered by a young boy, who was jumping rope, and he attempted to use it on a nearby slot machine. When the boy won nothing but the penny back, Wonder Woman asked for it back. Not willing to hand it over until she could prove that she was an Amazon, he challenged Wonder Woman to jump rope one hundred times before her feet touched the ground. Much to the boy's surprise, she pulled off the feat, and he gave her back her penny.
Going to the Twin Cities Penny Toss competition, Wonder Woman entered and attempted to toss the penny across the river. But a passing eagle plucked the shiny copper out of the air, prompting Wonder Woman to chase after it, rounding it up with her golden lasso. The eagle dropped the penny into the river below. Wonder Woman dove after it and spotted it, landing on a enemy sub. The sub fired a torpedo at her, and she hopped onto it and directed it into the air, then used her lasso to redirect it to land harmlessly on a beach. She was about to disarm it when suddenly Steve Trevor happened to arrive with some children, for a picnic on the beach. These were the very children who would benefit from the million dollars she is hoping to win for charity.
When they failed to hear her warnings, Wonder Woman used her lasso to spin the torpedo around at super speed, causing it to melt into molten slag. Explaining everything to Steve, Wonder Woman went back after the sub to get her penny back. She found the sub and it fired another torpedo at her, which she redirected back at her attacker, causing the sub to explode. After a fruitless search of the wreckage, Wonder Woman returned to the shore without out her penny. She was saddened that she had failed at her competition, however one of the children found that the penny had washed to shore and Wonder Woman recovered it. Scouring the city, Wonder Woman found no means to convert the penny into a million dollars. With her time running out, Wonder Woman ran across an advertisement, asking for bidders to get a contract to build a new bridge for the Twin Cities. the maximum available offer was a million dollars. Wonder Woman convinced city officials to let her build a bridge for the million dollars. Finding her offer seemingly impossible to accomplish in less than a few hours, they took her up on her offer. Wonder Woman then used her tremendous strength to reshape the penny into a giant bridge for the city, much to the surprise of everyone watching.
With her mission accomplished, Wonder Woman was given a check for a million dollars by the mayor of the Twin Cities. Later Steve Trevor found the story amazing, but Wonder Woman shrugged it off, telling him that any Amazon could have been capable of performing the same feat.
Appearing in "The Million-Dollar Penny"
- Wonder Woman (First appearance)
- Steve Trevor (First appearance)
- mysterious submarine (Destroyed)
- Mayor of Twin Cities
- This issue is divided into three chapters:
- Part I: The Secret Amazon Trials
- Part II: The Undersea Menace
- Part III: The Impossible Bridge
- Due to changes in Wonder Woman's background and Hippolyta's physical appearance, this issue is regarded by many as the first canonical appearance of the Earth-One Wonder Woman (and her supporting cast). For our indexing purposes, here at the DC Database we have adopted that view.
- Wonder Woman's origin is partially revealed in this issue. An earlier chronological appearance takes place in Wonder Woman #128 as well as flashbacks provided in DC Comics Presents #76. Wonder Woman's next chronological appearance takes place in the first story in Wonder Woman #162. Her next actual appearance is in Wonder Woman #99.
- Wonder Woman's origin is concurrent with events chronicled in DC Special Series #19.
- "The Million Dollar Penny" is reprinted in Wonder Woman in the Fifties.
- Wonder Woman's ability to glide on air currents is revealed for the first time in this issue. The Earth-Two Wonder Woman never possessed this ability in stories published during the 1940's. However, stories in the 1960's and 1970's such as Wonder Woman #228 and Justice League of America #56 and Justice League of America #73 do show her with this ability to glide on air currents. This was missed in the Earth-Two Wonder Woman's Who's Who entry.
- Wonder Woman destroys an enemy submarine, with explosives, killing the crew.
- Wonder Woman Recommended Reading
- All-Star Comics (Volume 1)
- Comic Cavalcade (Volume 1)
- JLA (Volume 1)
- Sensation Comics (Volume 1)
- Sensation Comics Featuring Wonder Woman (Volume 1)
- Superman/Wonder Woman (Volume 1)
- The Legend of Wonder Woman (Volume 1)
- The Legend of Wonder Woman (Volume 2)
- Wonder Woman (Volume 1)
- Wonder Woman (Volume 2)
- Wonder Woman (Volume 3)
- Wonder Woman (Volume 4)
- Wonder Woman (Volume 5)