Obscure Comics: The Secret Origin of Wonder Woman #1

There are comic book series almost every comic fan knows, there are comic book characters that most everyone knows, there are specific comic books most every comic reader knows, and then there are the more obscure issues that slip through the cracks.  What makes obscure comics so interesting and vital is discovering those books that most don't know were ever printed, or that top tier creators worked on "that book" or on "that character." Obscure Comics are fun to find, interesting to know about, but that border between being great reads and terrible comics.

Who Wants DC Comics With Their Candy?

Candy comes in many shapes, sizes, and flavors, and sometimes we can say the same about comic books, particularly comics that are packaged with other items. Packaging comics with gum is something talked about before, but that was Marvel and their characters. However, DC beat Marvel to the punch by partnering up with Leaf Candy in 1980 and publishing a line of comic books with candy included.  Factory sealed with candy, and unlike the Marvel Comics to follow these 8 comics, measuring 4 and 1/4 inch by 2 and 7/8's inch, the candy was sealed separate, meaning it wouldn't ruin the comic.  All eight comics featured DC owned characters and centered on a popular theme for DC, Secret Origins

Obscure Comics: The Secret Origin of Wonder Woman #1

Obscure Comics: The Secret Origin of Wonder Woman #1
The Secret Origin of Wonder Woman #1 Front Cover

Published in 1980 and made available at the beginning of the year, the comic has no credits inside.  Over the years, though, several sources have cobbled together credits, particularly comics.org, who found the cover was by former DC Executive Editor Dick Giordano, written by DC "Answer Man" Bob Rozakis, and drawn by Jose Delbo with inks by Vince Colletta. The 14-page comic is an updated version of the original origin from All-Star Comics #8, though missing the Nazi villains, created and released before George Perez rein-visioned the origin after Crisis on Infinite Earths.

The tale follows Diana's origin from a creation from clay by her mother, leader of the Amazons, who, given by life by the Greek gods, meets pilot Steve Trevor. She then enters the contest secretly with her fellow Amazons to become the emissary to the outside world.

The mini-comic is a quick and well-done introduction to Wonder Woman, and when compared to other Wonder Woman comics, it is a clear part of the Bronze/Pre Crisis era of Wonder Woman. The comic is not impossible to find but has never been reprinted and ranges in price on secondary markets from $15 to almost $40 for sealed copies with the candy still included.  Part of a series, the comic was designed to fit in the DC Super Heroes Collector Album, also from Leaf Candy.

The DC Super Heroes Collector Album

The Secret Origin of Wonder Woman #1 Back Cover
The Secret Origin of Wonder Woman #1 Back Cover

The culmination of candy and DC comics was this unique home for these small comics, Leaf's DC Super Heroes Collector Album, a mail-order keepsake that would "save and protect your Secret Origin Series" for only $1.50, by check or money order.

If one can't guess, in 2020, 30 years later, this item is worth far more. The four-page folder was designed to hold all eight promotional mini-comics featuring and measured 8 inches by 10 and 1/2 inches, was full color, and made from heavy card stock. Only available through mail order and not sold in stores, the folder is much rarer and sells for around $100 to $300 on the secondary market.


This post is part of a multi-part series: Obscure Comics.

About Ian Melton

Japanese Teacher, Comic Book, Manga, & Anime collector, LCBS worker, father of 2, fan of far too many things for far too long...