Sally Ride, Joanne Edgar and Ms. Magazine’s Depiction of Wonder Woman

Pacific Standard lassos some fun memories about Ms. Magazine's 1972 official launch

In real-life terms, Sally Ride was inarguably a Wonder Woman. When she took off on her first space flight in 1983, the Ms. Magazine issue she brought with her was a flare coordinated with NASA by Joanne Edgar (pictured), a founding editor of the magazine.

Edgar worked for Ms. from 1971 through 1989. Today, she helps non-profits and foundations.

As we read this week’s piece in Pacific Standard about how Ms. magazine chose an illustration of Wonder Woman for its July 1972 issue cover, we were struck by the following reminiscence from Edgar. At the time, she had previously done a bit of writing for news magazine Facts on File, but it was of a much shorter length and in no way feature-ish. From the article:

Edgar wrote the Ms. cover story in longhand, on the dining-room table in her apartment in New York, the weekend before the magazine copy’s deadline. She began it with a scene from her childhood—trading comics on the sidewalk growing up in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, where the boys in her neighborhood deemed that one Superman comic was worth three Wonder Women comics.

Another interesting aspect of the Pacific Standard piece by culture writer Katie Kilkenny is the revisiting of a short-lived 1972 DC Comics series anchored to the women’s liberation movement. The enterprise was withdrawn before an issue involving Wonder Woman and an abortion clinic could be published.