Marvin and Wendy
Created by E. Nelson Bridwell
+ HistoryMarvin and Wendy were first introduced in the debut season of the Super Friends cartoon. They subsequently appeared in the comic book, until in both mediums, they were replaced by Zan and Jayna, the Wonder Twins.
Wendy Harris is the niece of Harvey Harris, the private detective who taught Bruce Wayne (while he was wearing the Robin costume to disguise his identity) almost everything he knows. Harvey figured out Bruce's identity before he died. When Wendy expressed an interest in super-heroics, Bruce had the Hall of Justice built in Gotham City to accomodate her.
Marvin White is the son of Dan White and the original Diana Prince, who sold her identity to Wonder Woman in her first appearance. Somehow Marvin had learned of his mother's connection to Wonder Woman (either by snooping through his mom's diary or by connecting U.N. trouble shooter Diana Prince's uncanny resemblance to his mother). Wonder Woman made marvin a Junior Super Friend along with Wendy, and he named his pet Wonder Dog after the heroine.
While Wendy and Marvin often needed to be saved from the bad guys, they occasionally managed to save the Earth themselves! They defeated the World Beater, who had ambushed every other super-hero on Earth-One. They realized that x-rays could weaken him like kryptonite weakened Superman and disguised themselves in suits of armor. The World Beater tried to find out what their hidden weapons were by creating x-rays, thus creating his own downfall.
They later met the Wonder Twins, and defeated Grax while the JLA and the future Global Guardians were battling his alien monsters.
Excerpt from Super Friends #1 (Nov. 1976)
Written by E. Nelson Bridwell
Obviously, these kids are being trained for careers in law enforcement by the Super Friends. The Hall of Justice is their training academy. But since it would hardly have been built for only two young people, it stands to reason that the super-doers plan to train others some time in the future. Wendy and Marvin are a kind of pilot program.
But why these two kids particularly? That is a good question, and I have done quite a bit of thinking on the subject.
The first scripts sent to us made Wendy Bruce Wayne's niece — and, absurdly, had her openly referring to the Caped Crime-fighter as "Uncle Bruce," while he introduced her to people who were not supposed to know The Batman's identity as "my niece."
At the time, Bruce was believed to have been an only child, though later it was revealed that he had a brother. However, due to brain damage, this sibling had been institutionalized since infancy and so could not be Wendy's father. He is now dead.
As far as the TV scripts go, Wendy has no last name (nor does Marvin). The kids are not related, but are only referred to as friends. I therefore set out to figure out their full names and origins.
Wendy Harris, I decided, was the young lady's full name. She is a niece, not of the Batman, but of a detective named Harvey Harris. This man gave young Bruce Wayne his first crack at real detecting when Bruce was in his teens. As you probably know, Bruce's parents were killed by a criminal when he was a small boy. He swore to devote his life to tracking down their killer and other hoodlums. Eventually, he was to avenge their deaths. By the time he reached his teen years, he was itching to get a crack at some genuine detective work. He made a fancy costume, similar to that which he later created for Robin, so Harris would not know his identity. Years later, when Harris dies, he left a sealed letter to be delivered to Bruce, revealing that he had indeed known who he was — for Harris was certainly one of the all-time greats in the field.
Readers of DC mags may recall another Wendy Harris on the parallel world of Earth-Two, where the Justice Society members live. She is not married to Rex Tyler (The Hourman). Since many people on Earth-Two are older than their Earth-One doubles (Superman, Batman etc.), perhaps this is the Earth-Two version of our Wendy.
Marvin, I decided, is Marvin White — no relation to Perry White. His father is Daniel White, inventor, and his mother is the former Diana Prince.
Hold it, you say — isn't Diana Prince Wonder Woman?
Well, not quite.
When Wonder Woman first came to America, she had no secret identity. Then she met a young nurse who was her exact double. This was the real Diana Prince — a remarkable coincidence, since Wonder Woman is Princess Diana of Paradise Island. Miss Prince was sad because her fiancee, Dan, was going to South America, but hadn't enough money for her to go along. The Amazing Amazon had recently made some money doing her "bullets-and-bracelets" bit on stage, so she bought the other Diana's credentials. Since she was herself a trained nurse, with even more skill than her double, no harm was done by this imposture. Ever since then, Diana White has known Wonder Woman's secret, though she has told no one.
There can be no doubt Marvin was brought up to consider Wonder Woman the world's number one heroine. He even named his dog Wonder, in her honor. And thus, she would have a special interest in Marvin because of his mother. Just as the Batman would feel he was paying back Harvey Harris by helping his niece.
» FEATURED APPEARANCES:
Super Friends #1-6