The Elusive Debut of Cheetah in Wonder Woman #6 Up for Auction

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“The Green-Eyed goddess is a dangerous mistress,” wrote Wonder Woman co-creator William Moulton Marston in a 1937 syndicated newspaper piece about jealousy. “The Green-Eyed Goddess whispers that the other fellow won on a foul. If you listen, she will weave a convincing tale of malice and intrigue — for jealousy is an alluring jade. But if you remember in time that the Green-Eyed one is a vampire, feeding only on her followers, you will brush the emotional mists from your eyes…” Marston created a personification of the power and allure of jealousy again in Wonder Woman #6 with the debut of Cheetah.  There’s a Wonder Woman #6 CGC GD- 1.8 Off-white to white pages featuring the debut of Cheetah available in this week’s 2021 May 16-17 Sunday & Monday Comics, Animation & Art Weekly Online Auction #122120 from Heritage Auctions.

House Ad for Wonder Woman #6 featuring Cheetah from Sensation Comics #22, DC Comics 1943.
House Ad for Wonder Woman #6 featuring Cheetah from Sensation Comics #22, DC Comics 1943.

A narrative caption on the title splash of Wonder Woman #6 makes the reasoning behind the power and intent of Cheetah very plain:

There is nothing so dangerous in the world as the vicious hatred of a personal enemy, and there is no enemy so eager to inflict pain as a man or woman who feels himself your inferior.

Wonder Woman unknowingly rouses the insatiable hatred of such a foe — the Cheetah! Relentlessly this svelte siren, changing like Jekyll and Hyde from aristocratic beauty to modern Medusa, pursues the lovely Amazon maiden.

As we discussed recently with the appearance of Boba Fett in Star Wars #42, the concept of “first appearance” among collectors is sometimes not as clear-cut as one might think.  While Wonder Woman #6 is universally considered the first appearance of Cheetah, the circumstances surrounding its release month are worth mentioning. According to Library of Congress copyright registration records, Wonder Woman #6 hit the newsstands around August 14, 1943. Meanwhile, Sensation Comics #22 — also a Cheetah appearance — has a copyright date of August 3, 1943. It should be noted that release dates on newsstands around the country would have varied significantly. Both Sensation Comics #22 and Wonder Woman #6 advertise the other publication in house ads, so they were intended for essentially simultaneous release.  However, Wonder Woman #6 is clearly an introduction and origin story, and Sensation Comics #22 mentions events from Wonder Woman #6 in a flashback sequence. This makes the case for “first appearance” in the eyes of most collectors, given the circumstances.

There are 82 listings for this issue on the CGC Census as of this writing. One of the great villain keys of the DC Comics Golden Age, there’s a Wonder Woman #6 CGC GD- 1.8 Off-white to white pages featuring the debut of Cheetah available in this week’s 2021 May 16-17 Sunday & Monday Comics, Animation & Art Weekly Online Auction #122120 from Heritage Auctions.

Wonder Woman #6 featuring Cheetah interior page, story by William Marson, art by H.G. Peter, DC Comics 1943.
Wonder Woman #6 featuring Cheetah interior page, story by William Marson, art by H.G. Peter, DC Comics 1943.

Wonder Woman #6 (DC, 1943) CGC GD- 1.8 Off-white to white pages. First appearance of the Cheetah (Priscilla Rich), villainous star of the Wonder Woman ’84 feature film. The issue also contains a four page Madame Chiang Kai-Shek feature. H. G. Peter cover and art. Sheldon Moldoff art. CGC notes, “Cover re-attached with tape. Tape on interior cover.” Overstreet 2020 GD 2.0 value = $811. CGC census 4/21: 3 in 1.8, 66 higher.

View the certification for CGC Certification ID 3727487006 and purchase grader’s notes if available.

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