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Wonder Woman (first series) 21, January-February 1947, page 8A

© DC Comics

 Editor: Sheldon Mayer

 "The Mystery of the Atom World"

Script:  William Moulton Marston (as Charles Moulton)
Penciler:  Harry G. Peter
Inker: Harry G. Peter
Colorist: Unknown
Letterer: Harry G. Peter?

Wonder Woman 21 provides a good example of the bizarre, fanciful stories written by Marston and illustrated by long-time associate Harry G. Peter in the 1940s.  The atomic bomb blasts that ended World War II were clearly still on the minds of the American public in 1947. 

As Part 1, "The Mystery of the Atom World," of a three-part, 36-page story opens, Wonder Woman is investigating the Pacific island site of an atomic bomb test in her radiation-resistant suit of Amazon Metal. At the bottom of the blast crater, she finds an object that looks like a whirling sun feeding on neutrons from the bomb fragments.  Wonder Woman chases the "hurtling ball of atomic radioactivity" to the laboratory of Baroness Paula von Gunther, who was originally Wonder Woman's Nazi arch-nemesis but had been reformed by Amazonian psychotherapy on Transformation Island.  Paula scoops up the renegade sphere of uranium atoms with the Magnetic Amazon Sky Trap.  She captures the Atomic Universe, as it is now called, in the Amazon's subterranean laboratory.  Wonder Woman orders Paula to "isolate a uranium atom in the Amazon Mass Spectrometor [sic]," and flies off to pick up the Holliday Girls so that they can watch the experiments that "will prove invaluable to them in their study of atomic energy." As they return to the lab and inspect the isolated uranium-235 atom through the Amazon Microscope, it becomes apparent that the atom is actually a miniature world!  Protons appear as red spots that are really beautiful women, and neutrons appear as blue spots that are really robot slaves.  Queen Atomia rules the planet, and Wonder Woman and her friends tune in just as she is planning revenge on "the miserable mortals" of the outside world for "defying Queen Atomia [by] capturing the universe I was building!"  Detecting a beaker of water nearby, Atomia orders her neutron slaves to "turn on more electronic force" and whirl from beneath the microscope to the water. Pink, radioactive hydroxo gas streams from the beaker, overcoming Wonder Woman and the Holliday Girls and shrinking them to the size of protons. The Queen's neutron slaves apparently produce hydroxo gas by "spearing hydrogen-oxygen atoms," as shown here. Wonder Woman and the Holliday Girls are taken captive and bound (of course) with radioactive cords. Atomia's plan to transform Wonder Woman and the Holliday Girls into mindless neutron slaves is foiled by Wonder Woman's Super-Amazon telepathic waves.  They escape to the full-sized world by crashing through the heart of the atom and breathing its special radioactive fire.  Steve Trevor is surprised by their sudden reappearance in Paula's lab. 

The story continues in Part 2 "Tide of Atomic Fire." For more Wonder Woman background information, follow this link.

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