Wonder Woman's Sort-of Sisters from Another Planet, Up for Auction
It's fairly well-known that Wonder Woman's creation was heavily influenced by Olive Byrne, the polyamorous life partner of William Moulton Marston and Elizabeth Holloway. It's somewhat less known that Olive Byrne's mother and aunt, Ethel Byrne and Margaret Sanger, were historically important Progressive Era feminists who opened the first birth-control clinic in the United States. And it's relatively unknown that this legacy almost certainly influenced the genesis of far more comic books than those featuring Wonder Woman. There's a number of these books, several issues of Planet Comics, available in today's 2021 June 13-14 Sunday & Monday Comics, Animation & Art Select Auction #122124 session at Heritage Auctions.
What's the connection between Wonder Woman and the warrior women who frequently graced the covers and stories of now-legendary science fiction comic Planet Comics? It comes by way of its publisher Fiction House, where Olive Byrne's brother Jack Byrne was an editor, as Jill Lepore explained in The Secret History of Wonder Woman:
At Fiction House, Olive Burne's brother Jack started printing comics too, beginning with Jumbo Comics in September 1938. Its inaugural issue included a character created the year before in London by Will Eisner and S.M. Iger: Sheena, Queen of the Jungle, a female Tarzan. Jack Byrne's Fiction House became known for its powerful, invincible female heroes. At a time when many publishers had no women artists, Fiction House employed more than twenty.
In March 1940, Jack Byrne's Fiction House published "Amazona, the Mighty Woman", in Planet Comics. It tells the story of a "woman of surpassing strength and beauty" named Amazona.
Already considered a legendary series by collectors, Planet Comics has an even more important historical legacy than most people realize. There's a number of these books, several issues of Planet Comics, available in today's 2021 June 13-14 Sunday & Monday Comics, Animation & Art Select Auction #122124 session at Heritage Auctions.