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Joye Hummel, American author, and the first woman to anonymously ghostwrite for “Wonder Woman” comics died at the age of 97. She died in her Winter Haven, Florida home on April 5, 2021.
Hummel was born on April 4, 1924, in New York to Mavis and Nathan Meyer. At the age of six, her parents were divorced. Later on, her mother married Quentin Hummel. He adopted the author giving her his last name.
She went to the Katherine Gibbs School in Manhattan, New York in 1944. Her instructor, William Moulton Marston, requested to meet with her after reading the essay she wrote on a take-home test. He informed her that he was impressed by her skills and asked her to assist him in scripting “Wonder Woman” comics. From 1944 to 1947, Hummel worked with Marston writing under the pseudonym Charles Moulton.
Hummel wrote at least 70 scripts for DC Comics. Her stories included fairy tale characters like winged women and mermaids. After Marston died she stopped writing “Wonder Woman” stories. She did not appreciate the less feminine twist the comic was taking after Marston’s death.
She donated papers relating to the work she did on “Wonder Woman” to the Dibner Library of the Smithsonian Institution in May 2014. Her name never appeared on any of her scripts for the Amazonian superhero. No one really knew about her work until Jill Lepore did a profile on her in the book “The Secret History of Wonder Woman.”
According to Lepore’s book, Hummel recalled Marston saying “You understand that I want women to feel they have the right to go out, to study, to find something they love to do and get out in the world and do it,” when he asked her to work with him. She was delighted and astonished by the offer.
Hummel passed away a day after she turned 97. Her death was confirmed by her son Rob Murchison, however, he was unsure about her precise cause of death. May she rest in peace.
Written by Sheena Robertson
The Washington Post: Joye Hummel, first woman hired to write Wonder Woman comics, dies at 97; by Harrison Smith
Legacy: Joye Hummel (1924–2021), pioneering writer for Wonder Woman comics; by Linnea Crowther
Women in Comics: Joye Hummel
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