Bowling for Fascists

Norman G. Robinson III Mar 7, 2018
Sensation Comics #13

The rise in prices for Wonder Woman comics from the Golden Age is startling. They have become very expensive to collect. The cover depicted here is from Sensation Comics #13 printed during WWII, January 10, 1943. This beautiful cover shows her bowling with the pinheads of Hitler, Tojo, and Mussolini. Right on! The U.S. needed this morale boost during a world at war.

To put the brutal cover in context, you have to understand events during WWII. The future we are now enjoying was far from certain. During this time the Japanese had landed more troops at Lae, New Guinea. The month Sensation Comics #13 was published saw the beginning of the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising, and the Japanese continue their fight in Western Guadalcanal against U.S. forces. While newsstands stocked their shelves with Sensation Comics, the Japanese beat the Americans at the battle of Rennell Island during January 1943. This was an uncertain time, and our heroes like Wonder Woman joined the fray to support the war effort, with brazen covers.

These classic WWII era covers are an example of how fascists were portrayed back in my grandfathers time; not as heroes, or victims, but as absolute villains. Not as misguided, but as pure evil with the intent to dominate the planet. Sensation Comics #13 is a beautiful WWII cover with Wonder Woman going bowling for fascists. Strike! Wonder Woman first appeared in All-Star Comics #8 and has been a mainstay DC character ever since.

Great Hera! Don't judge this book based on identity politics. You have to realize at the time we faced death and destruction at the hands of these monsters. Brutal men who were killing millions the world over. Only one country really could stand against them. That's right the Arsenal of Democracy, America. Without us, without our resources and the strength of our ability to mass produce; all other endeavors during this time would have failed. The world would have been carved up by evil. Wonder Woman's WWII covers make us laugh, and praise her patriotism as we are all thankful for that generation's sacrifice.

The modern Wonder Woman represents an explosion of interest in women superheroes. The most recent Wonder Woman movie increased the price on all her titles. Sensation Comics #13 has gained 23% over the last five years and is a rare find in any grade. The top recorded sale was a (6.5) for over $3250 about two years ago (GoCollect). The script is by the team of William Moulton Marston, Ted Udall, A. W. Nugent, Evelyn Gaines. The art is done by the team of Harry G. Peter, Irwin Hasen, Jon L. Blummer, Hal Sharp, Sheldon Moldoff, Howard Purcell, A. W. Nugent. The rarity of this comic is remarkable as I could find nothing online for sale. This beauty from the Golden Age seems only occasionally available for purchase.

Why are the WWII Golden Age comics so rare? Very few comic book print runs survived from that period. The war forced America to strain every last resource. This included comic books which were recycled for the war effort. The vast reduction in supply during that time makes comics from WWII costly. Additionally, comic book covers depicting WWII or villains like Tojo, Mussolini, and Hitler are highly sought after by Golden Age collectors. These WWII covers are more expensive than most covers from that time frame not depicting the war.

Current prices for Sensation Comics #13 are in the thousands of dollars any grade. Except of course the poor to fair grades (.5 to 1.0) one sold over a year ago for $266 a rare find (GoCollect). It would bowl me over to come across this comic in any condition for under $500. If you find a Sensation Comic from that period under $500; just purchase it. They are not making any more, and the history on the cover alone should be worth the money. Of course, you speculators out there want a quick buck, don't worry, buy and sell on the next Wonder Woman movie, pure profit.