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New York Times

Joye Hummel, the first woman to write Wonder Woman, dies at age 97

Joye Hummel Murchison Kelly was the first woman to write a script for the Wonder Woman comic book franchise, but for nearly 70 years almost no one knew it. Jill Le Paul then followed her while writing her 2014 book, The Secret History of Wonder Woman, and suddenly Hummel became a cause celebrity in the fan universe. The praise of her later years made her a little strange. “I was surprised that people did a lot about it,” his son Rob Murchison said in a telephone interview. “She would say,’It’s just a comic book.’ She played it for a moment.” Registered for the New York Times Morning Newsletter She was 19 years old and Joey Hammel in March 1944. Was known as. She worked for William Moulton Marston, a psychologist who created Wonder Woman three years ago, and was in demand that he couldn’t keep up with. “At first, Hummel typed Marston’s script,” wrote Repoa, who teaches at Harvard University, in “Secret History.” “Soon she was writing her own script.” Hummel wrote a script for over 70 Wonder Woman adventures (although her name didn’t appear in any of them) and was a superhero. He said it helped to form the most permanent and widely recognized image of women in the world. Then, in 1947, shortly after Marston died of polio, she stopped. She had just married her young daughter and widow David Murchison. Hummel thought that staying home for the child was more important than her work on Wonder Woman. As far as the comic world is concerned, Hummel is almost invisible. Rob Murchison said her family and some others knew her role, but she didn’t advertise it. However, while examining his book, Repoa came across Hummel’s name and went looking for her. “I found her in my usual detective job,” she said in an email. “, online directory. I wrote to her and then I called her. She told me she never agreed to talk to anyone about Wonder Woman. The Lepore book brought Hummel’s expired recognition. Well-known cartoonist and historian Mark Evania took her to the San Diego Comic-Con in 2018 and helped arrange for her to win the Comic Book Convention Excellence Award. (Finger was also late in recognizing his achievements. He helped create Batman, but hadn’t been credited for years.) This was Hummel’s first appearance at the Comic Convention. did. “In all my years of comic conning,” Evania said in an email. “The audience is so enthusiastic about giving someone a long and loving applause, and I can’t remember another moment when the recipient was so happy and surprised to attend the event. That’s how they receive it. Hummel-Kelly since his 2000 marriage to Jack Kelly-died at his home in Winterhaven, Florida, on April 5, the day after his 97th birthday. Her son confirmed his death. When Hummel was writing the script for Wonder Woman, he said, “I couldn’t show the corpse. Someone couldn’t put a knife in someone, shoot someone, or oppose any race. ” “There were 10 of these limits,” she said in a panel discussion at the 2018 Comic-Con. “I didn’t have much of a problem,” she added, but Marston sometimes did. Lepore visited her in Florida after a telephone interview with Hummel in 2014. “She told me about her rules for writing Wonder Woman,” she said. “Conspiracy:” There was a bad guy, and this good lady is trying to stop him. You don’t admire the bad guy. “You admire her,” Hummel thought some of the later Wonder Woman writers had lost sight of that guiding principle, Repoa said. “She said she thought the characters and cartoons had deteriorated because of bad faith after Marston died,” she added. “Everyone was malicious. It upset her. Her most important rule for writing Wonder Woman:” You can be excited without beautifying evil and violence. She wanted people to know it, as a general rule. Joye Evelyn Hummel was born on April 4, 1924 in Long Island. Her father, Quenten, managed the grocery chain with the help of his mother, Mavis Hummel. Hummel attended Middlebury College in Vermont for a year before transferring to Katharine Gibbs School, a New York secretarial school where Marston taught psychology. (“Of course it’s closed now,” she told Repoa, “because no one needs to be accurate right now.”) Her performance on the exam in his class was that he was Wonder Woman. I gave the impression that I provided the work to the staff of. “She liked his intelligence and they just clicked,” her son said. “It was like this fusion of minds.” In her book, Repoa wrote that Marston thought Hummel could help the slang of the day in particular. But she also understood his vision. “He wasn’t just writing an adventure book,” Hummel told The San Diego Union-Tribune in 2018. I am confident that the world and they can get things done. I think he felt that the touch of women would make the world a better place. Hummel was paid $ 50 for each script. In August 1944, just a few months after she started working for him, Marston was found to have polio. She then shuttled from his office in New York City to her home in Rye, NY, where he was increasingly imprisoned. They looked at the scripts they were working on, made suggestions to each other, and tried to make sure there was nothing against the panel of 10 people who reviewed each script. (Hummel said that among the members of the panel was the writer Pearl S. Bach.) The church also began to notice this fascinating female character and began to express concern to her. “There was always a fight for shorts,” Hummel said in a Comic-Con panel discussion. “One of the churches:’Shorts are too short. I want to make my shorts longer.” And Marston said, “I don’t want to look like men’s underwear.” The early comics were drawn by Harry G. Peter. Hummel’s son, Rob Murchison, said she was once again a pioneer when she passed the stock broker exam in the 1960s when there were few women in the field. Her first husband died in 2000. In addition to Kelly and her son, she survived by her stepdaughter, Sally Boyd, from her first marriage. Two stepchildren from their second marriage, Kimberly Hallberg and Jeffrey Kelly. 5 grandchildren. And six great-grandchildren. David Jr., the second son of her first marriage. Died in 2015. When Evanier first called Hummel about coming to Comic-Con, he said: She for her credit card number. The welcome she received at the event was inspiring, he said. “It was exciting to see what she meant to the women in the audience, or waiting in line to meet her,” he said. “She was really a heroine and as great as Wonder Woman for those who understood what career women were against at the time.” Hummel with Evania near the end of the panel discussion. Trina Robins, a cartoonist interviewed by, had all of the crowded audience in Wonder Woman costume versions stand to see how influential Hummels were. Applause continued, and Evania asked the guest how the reception made her feel. “You don’t want to see Wonder Woman writers cry, right?” She said. This article was originally published in The New York Times. © 2021 The New York Times Company