The fabulously femme fighter for justice, Wonder Woman, is nearing her 70th birthday, but her gorgeous image is still going strong. Ask almost any American and they'll say they know Wonder Woman as the first female superhero, a muscular yet deliciously curvy Amazon in a red white and blue bikini with gold accents, a lasso of truth, and bracelets that stop bullets. But not too many people know her origins in a polyamorous triad, revealed recently in the book, Eureka! The Surprising Stories Behind the Ideas That Shaped the Worldby Marlene Wagman-Geller.
William Moulton Marston was a Renaissance man: He earned a law degree and a doctorate in psychology, and published "Emotions of Normal People." He also made a significant scientific contribution when his wife, Elizabeth, remarked to him that when she "became angry or excited her blood pressure seemed to climb." This sparked an idea in her husband, resulting in his developing of the polygraph (otherwise known as the lie detector).
In 1940, Olive Byrne (his former student from Tufts) interviewed Dr. Marston for the magazine Family Circle. The piece was titled "Don't Laugh at the Comics," and in it he promoted the concept that comics possessed educational potential as they at least got kids reading. The article caught the attention of Maxwell Charles Gaines, who hired Marston as a consultant for his company, DC Comics.
William wanted to create a superheroine who would serve as a role model for girls. For his inspiration he needed to look no farther than his wife, Elizabeth (Sadie) Holloway Marston.