So many of comics most iconic heroes are so old at this point, items from their genesis are hard to come by. So when H.G. Peter's first sketch for William Marston's new female superheroine Wonder Woman goes to auction, it's a rare glimpse into the history of one of the most iconic female superheroes ever.
UPDATE 4/16: It has since come to light the auction for this piece is old news — very old news, in fact. Comic Link auctioned the sketch 9 years ago for $75,000. Bleeding Cool, where this news was sourced from, has since edited their original article (without comment) to clarify that the piece is not currently up for auction. We'll be leaving our post as it was originally below, but with this update to reflect the error. We apologise for the mistake, and would like to thank Women You Should Know for letting us know what was up.
The piece was recently recovered from Peter's estate, the original artist for the character when she made her début in December 1942's All Star Comics #8. Peter's initial sketch idea isn't far off from Wonder Woman's final costume — she would swap her sandals out for boots (the basis of which you can already see added into the sketch), receive a slightly more plain belt, and have her top cover her midriff rather than leave it exposed.
But what makes the sketch so interesting is that it also includes comments from both Peter and Marston about the design — Peter sent the sketch as a letter to the writer in 1941. Here's Peter's original letter:
Dear Dr. Marston, I slapped these two out in a hurry. The eagle is tough to handle – when in perspective or in profile, he doesn’t show up clearly — the shoes look like a stenographer’s. I think the idea might be incorporated as a sort of Roman contraption. -Peter
And here's Marston's feedback:
Dear Pete – I think the gal with hand up is very cute. I like her skirt, legs, hair. Bracelets okay + boots. These probably will work out. See other suggestions enclosed. No on these + stripes – red + white. With eagle’s wings above or below breasts as per enclosed? Leave it to you. Don’t we have to put a red stripe around her waist as belt? I thought Gaines wanted it – don’t remember. Circlet will have to go higher – more like crown – see suggestions enclosed. See you Wednesday morning – WMM.
It's hard not to think about giving the 70+ years of changes Wonder Woman's gone through, but it's kind of amazing how right Peter got it on his initial sketch, creating a design that would become an icon of comic books for years.
The letter is being auctioned on Comic Link for an as yet undisclosed price. You can find more information about it on their website.
[Via Bleeding Cool]