Annie Jump Cannon, Featured On Last Week’s Cosmos, As Profiled In “Wonder Women of History”


If you’re not watching Cosmos: A Spacetime Odyssey every Sunday on Fox, you are seriously missing out. Neil DeGrasse Tyson is everybody’s favourite scientist, and the show is both gorgeously shot and does a fantastic job explaining big scientific concepts. It’s a lot of fun to watch.

Last weekend, Cosmos profiled Annie Jump Cannon, famous for counting and classifying thousands of stars. It was great to see Cosmos spotlight female scientists, and it reminded me that Annie Jump Cannon was profiled decades ago in Wonder Woman as part of the regular “Wonder Women of History” feature.

In the Golden Age, each issue of Wonder Woman profiled a notable historical woman in a 3-4 page strip. There were several astronomers spotlighted, including Cannon, Caroline Herschel, and Maria Mitchell; the latter two are famous for their work in comets. In Wonder Woman #33, dated January 1949, Annie Jump Cannon was the focus of “Wonder Women of History” in a strip written by Julius Schwartz, pencilled by Paul Reinman, and inked by Bernard Sachs. Let’s take a look:




Imagine how cool it must have been to get a comic with several Wonder Woman stories and a strip like this in each issue, and all for a dime. Imagine as well, with so many male superheroes dominating the newsstands and men dominating every level of society generally, how inspirational it must have been for young girls in the 1940s to not just have Wonder Woman as a hero, but also scores of real life women to look up to.

“Wonder Women of History” was a fantastic feature; it profiled a wide array of women, and was drawn by some of the Golden Age’s best artists. I’d love to see DC collect the strips in one volume. They’re a great piece of comic book history that’s gone forgotten for far too long, and I think that people would really enjoy them and learn a lot.

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20 Responses to “Annie Jump Cannon, Featured On Last Week’s Cosmos, As Profiled In “Wonder Women of History””

  1. Leila Says:

    I linked to this blog post from my women in science tumblr Thanks for providing the full comic!

  2. Jonathan McDowell, Smithsonian Astrophysical Observatory Says:

    Greetings from the Harvard Observatory! This is wonderful and I will see if I can post a copy of it next to the actual telescope depicted in the first panel – for what it looks like today

  3. Fad23 Says:

    Not directly about the post, but two other great comics collections highlighting scientist women are Dignifying Science and Primates, both by Jim Ottaviani.

  4. photonicpat Says:

    Reblogged this on Patricia Daukantas, Science Writer/Editor.

  5. Lauren N. Woolsey Says:

    Reblogged this on The CGS Unit.

  6. Trina Robbins Says:

    I would love to see those Wonder Women of History collected into a book! I loved them when I was a kid. They told me that you didn;t have to be an amazon or have super powers to do something great!

    • Tim Hanley Says:

      They would make a fantastic book. The art is lovely, the stories are great, the message is all sorts of empowering, and it’s such a great piece of comic book history. Do you have any pull at DC, Trina?

  7. Trina Robbins Says:

    Are you kidding, Tim? They probably hate me at DC! I make no secret of the fact that I detest what Brian Azzarello has been doing to Wonder Woman. So, no pull.

    • Tim Hanley Says:

      Oh, dang. There goes utilizing your star power! I’ve been pretty hard on the current run, too. I don’t know if “Hey, we’re not super into what you’re doing now, so can you reprint some of the old stuff we like?” is going to really sway the powers that be at DC.

  8. Annie Jump Cannon | Mysterious Times Says:

    […] read more: Annie Jump Cannon, Featured On Last Week’s Cosmos, As Profiled In “Wonder Women of History” | …. […]

  9. Exploring “Genius Day” with Annie Jump Cannon | True Anomalies Says:

    […] the title of the piece suggests an “invasion” of women into the field of astronomy. A “Wonder Women of History” comic from 1949 (part of the original Wonder Woman series) portrays her as a determined and […]

  10. Links for December 15 (updated) | AmericanScience Says:

    […] a four-page centerfold in every issue, entitled “The Wonder Women of History;” take a peek at a 1949 edition that featured Annie Jump Cannon, an astronomer and human computer who cataloged around 500,000 […]

  11. Whewell’s Gazette: Vol. #26 | Whewell's Ghost Says:

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  12. Annie Jump Cannon – Your Gal Friday – Gal's Guide To The Galaxy Says:

    […] Annie was also in a Wonder Woman comic. In issue Wonder Woman #33 published in 1949 they had a 3-4 page section called “Wonder Woman of History” and Annie life and accomplishments were laid out in comic book fashion. Read more here. […]

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