Fans of modern day comic book characters would have some difficulty relating to characters from the early golden age, and Wonder Woman is no exception. In her first appearance in the comics, she has obviously fulfilled the role of an icon for readers, but so too did her secret identity, Diana Prince. The character was created in a time when different cultural and societal norms existed in North America.
In 1972, just months after the groundbreaking US Supreme Court decision Roe v. Wade, science fiction author Samuel R. Delany had planned a story for Ms. that culminated in a plainsclothes Wonder Woman protecting an abortion clinic. However, Steinem disapproved of Wonder Woman being out of costume, and the controversial story line never happened.
Wonder Woman is a fictional superheroine, appearing in American comic books published by DC Comics. The character is a founding member of the Justice League. The character first appeared in All Star Comics #8 in October 1941 with her first feature in Sensation Comics #1, January 1942. The Wonder Woman title has been published by DC Comics almost continuously except for a brief hiatus in 1986. In her homeland, the island nation of Themyscira, her official title is Princess Diana of Themyscira, Daughter of Hippolyta. She has no father; she was created out of clay and brought to life by the gods of Olympus. When blending into the society outside of her homeland, she sometimes adopts her civilian identity Diana Prince.
In an October 25, 1940, interview with the Family Circle magazine, William Moulton Marston discussed the unfulfilled potential of the comic book medium. This article caught the attention of comics publisher Max Gaines, who hired Marston as an educational consultant for National Periodicals and All-American Publications, two of the companies that would merge to form DC Comics. At that time, Marston wanted to create his own new superhero; Marston's wife and fellow psychologist Elizabeth suggested to him that it should be a woman:
Following the events of Infinite Crisis, she disappeared for a year in order to rediscover herself, and took part briefly in the events of 52. In the span of One Year Later, she was re-imagined once again and was forgiven by Batman and Superman while given her third ongoing monthly title. Batman helped her establish a role at the Department of Metahuman Affairs under the name of Diana Prince (paying homage to her golden age alter ego.) She worked alongside Tom Tresser and eventually became romantically involved with him. A move among fans across the different companies occurred with characters reverting to their original numbering of series (this for instance happened to Iron Man at Marvel as well) and the third Wonder Woman series was relaunched with Wonder Woman #600. This was actually accurate at the time as it was the indeed the 600 issue released (not including issues numbered otherwise such as with a zero or a million). Issue 600 was used as a chance to reinvent the character as she discovers herself with no memories and in a new costume. This was a short lived experiment as the entire DC lineup was soon to be re-imagined into the new 52, though certain aspects of her redesigned costume remained.
Another major outfit change for Wonder Woman came about as part of DC Comics' 2011 relaunch of its entire line of publications, The New 52. The character's original one-piece outfit was restored, although the color combination of red and blue was changed to dark red and blue-black. Her chest-plate, belt and tiara were also changed from gold to a platinum or sterling silver color. Along with her sword, she now also utilizes a shield. She wears many accessories such as arm and neck jewelry styled as the "WW" motif. Her outfit is no longer made of fabric, as it now resembles a type of light, flexible body armor. Her boots are now a very dark blue rather than red. The design previously included black trousers, but they were removed and the one-piece look was restored during the time of publication.
The storyline "The Circle" was focused on the revelation of a failed assassination attempt on Diana when she was a baby, by four rogue Amazons. These Amazons – Myrto, Charis, Philomela and Alkyone, collectively referred to as The Circle – were Hippolyta's personal guards and were extremely loyal and devoted to her. However, when Hippolyta decided to raise a daughter, The Circle was horrified and considered the baby ill-fate, one who would ruin their entire race. Thus, after Diana was sculpted out of clay and brought to life, The Circle decided to assassinate the baby. Their attempt was foiled however, and the four Amazons were imprisoned. After years, the Circle escaped their prisons with the help of Captain Nazi, and decided to accomplish their previously failed mission and kill Diana. Diana defeated Myrto, Charis, Philomela and then approached Alkyone, who runs off and succumbs to her death by falling into the ocean. The other three Amazons return to their prisons.
Straczynski's run focused on an alternate timeline created by the Gods where Paradise Island was destroyed leading to many Amazons being raised in the outside world. It revolves around Wonder Woman's attempts to restore the normal timeline despite the fact that she does not remember it properly. Wonder Woman in this alternative timeline has been raised in New York City as an orphan and is coming into her powers. She is aware of the presence of Amazons, but does not remember her childhood on Paradise Island. Wonder Woman wore a new costume designed by DC Comics co-publisher Jim Lee. Writer Phil Hester continued the storyline.
Seeking answers, Wonder Woman sought out an old friend that she believed could provide the way to Themyscira: Barbara Minerva, the Cheetah. Cheetah agreed to help, under the condition that Diana kill the plant-god Urzkartaga and free Barbara from her curse, which Diana agreed to do. When she located Urzkartaga, however, she discovered Steve Trevor and some of his fellow soldiers had been captured by Colonel Andres Cadulo, who intended to become the embodiment of the god and sacrifice Steve in the process. Wonder Woman freed dozens of Cadulo's captives and, with the help of Cheetah and the women he had captured, succeeded in destroying Urzkartaga and freeing Barbara from the curse of the Cheetah. With Barbara's help, Diana and Steve were able to find "Themyscira", though Diana was surprised to find her mother alive and well despite remembering her as dead at the hands of Hera. After removing her bracelets Diana realized that her past interactions with these representations of the Amazons and her home were in fact an illusion, and that she may have never returned home since she originally left to escort Steve to the United States. Upon this realization, Diana suffered a mental breakdown.
Wonder Woman breathed new life into Warner Bros.’ DC franchise, delivering an epic and entertaining origin story that showed the power of having strong women on the big screen—and behind the scenes. On June 1, Patty Jenkins and longtime DC Comics writer Geoff Johns both posted a black image that read “WW84” as their header images. The cryptic image may suggest that the film takes place in 1984 (after Jenkins previously said it would take place during the ’80s) or that it has the year 1984 in the film title.
Following the events of the Darkseid War, Wonder Woman is told by the dying Myrina Black that on the night of Diana's birth, Hippolyta gave birth to a twin child. This child was revealed to be male, known as Jason, and is said to be incredibly powerful. Wonder Woman makes it her mission to find him. At the same time, she finds the truth behind her origin and history is now cluttered, as she remembers two versions: the pre-Flashpoint one, and the New 52 rendition. She cannot locate Themiscyra or her fellow Amazons and the Lasso of Truth does not work for her anymore.
Although the exact amount that Jenkins will receive for Wonder Woman 2 is unknown, her contract will include writing, directing, and producing credits along with a “substantial backend of box office grosses,” making her the highest-paid female director in Hollywood. Jenkins presumably had a lot more leverage at the negotiating table following Wonder Woman‘s massive success.
Diana attends Clark's funeral in Smallville along with Bruce, with the latter paying for it as an anonymous donor. The two share a conversation about honoring Superman by bringing together the three other metahumans, in case a worse threat to the world should ever arise. Diana inquires why Bruce is proposing it. He replies that it is simply due to a feeling he has that things will imminently get worse (in reality, he was following the instructions given to him by the scarlet time-traveler that appeared in one of his "dreams", as well as heeding Lex Luthor's enigmatic warning). Diana walks away from the graveyard, pondering his words.
The team learns that a gala will be held at the nearby German High Command. Steve and Diana separately infiltrate the party, with Steve intending to locate the gas and destroy it, and Diana hoping to kill Ludendorff, believing that he is Ares and thus killing him will end the war. Steve stops her to avoid jeopardizing his mission, but this allows Ludendorff to unleash the gas on Veld, killing its inhabitants. Blaming Steve for intervening, Diana pursues Ludendorff to a base where the gas is being loaded into a bomber aircraft bound for London. Diana fights and kills him, but is confused and disillusioned when his death does not stop the war.
For a time she was given enhanced vision by Athena, which gave her the ability to see in darkness and through illusions. This also makes her resistant/immune to telepathy. Due to her wisdom she can learn languages faster than a regular person, she can talk to animals. She has also been shown to project herself astrally in order to commune with the gods and ask for special favors from them. She has also been shown to take on the abilities of certain of her patron goddesses as when she became a form of divine midwife to save the life of an unborn child.
Magic (Formerly): When she was a child, Diana was marked by the goddess Hecate and bestowed with a fraction of her magical ability. This power lay dormant until it was activated by the Upside-Down Man. Zatanna remarked that Wonder Woman's magical power was unlike anything she had ever seen or felt, and Diana possessed at least enough power to cast out the Upside-Down Man, an immensely powerful demon, from the world. After the Justice League Dark defeated Hecate, the Witchmarked's power was taken from them and absorbed by Circe.
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When last we left Wonder Woman #49, the battle brewing ever since DC's METAL cracked open the Multiverse seemed to be reaching its climax. With the Dark Gods playing similar roles to the Greek pantheon, but with all-powerful demands, enslaving humanity, Diana and her twin brother Jason were splitting up to oppose them around the globe. Just as they seemed to knock back their leader, King Best, the Dark Gods launch an assault on Jason.
Even alongside all of her kindness, compassion, and empathy, Diana is still also a warrior at heart, and when someone she cares about is hurt, becomes far more relentless and ruthless. When seemingly beaten by Ares (who was only growing more powerful from her violence, rage, and hatred), and after having to watch her beloved Steve Trevor die, she flew into an agonizing rage, and she assaulted and brutalized several armed German soldiers with immense speed and ferocity. She even came close to murdering Dr. Poison as vengeance for Steve's death; but after recalling Steve's great love for an undying belief in her and her beliefs, restrained herself and refocused her energies on Ares, harnessing her love for Trevor to overcome her violent emotions and swiftly overpower an angered Ares. Additionally, she resolved to fight even harder after Steppenwolf revealed that he had killed several other Amazons. Outside of battle, however, Diana can also react indigently and negatively towards people who disrespect her, her relatives, or those she cares about. Two such notable instances were when she shot an angry look at Lex Luthor (after he insulted her father Zeus's memory), and when she shoved back Batman (after he had insulted her beloved Steve Trevor's memory). Diana also remains ruthless when facing enemies in battle as Wonder Woman, and she even shows signs of enjoying a good battle when they put up a good fight. This was seen when she briefly smiled and laughed when she was beaten to the ground by Doomsday, and smirked as she stopped the first bullet fired at a group of hostages in London.
The JLA's first trip to the universe is where Owlman is found hacking computer systems to get the info he needs. There, the JLA fights recruits the Crime Syndicate of America has recruited. Their second trip was when Batman followed Superwoman, and defeats her. After taking out Superwoman, he calls the JLA, and alongside the JLA travels to the moon, to get to the Crime Syndicate's headquarters. From there on, every JLA'er fights against their counterparts, and Wonder Woman manages to even win against her counterpart, Superwoman.
She asked him who he was, but before he could answer, the two noticed several boats coming through the island's forcefield. Steve noted that he was one of the good guys and the people on the boats—Germans—were bad guys. Having noticed the invading ships, the Amazons quickly gathered on the cliffs above the beach. Hippolyta ordered Trevor to move away from Diana, but forgot about him as the German soldiers began to come closer to shore. She took command of her army, ordering the archers to fire on the boats. Diana and Trevor took cover behind boulders on the beach.
Never prone to stewing in solitude, and taking more notes from Richard Donner than from Christopher Nolan, Patty Jenkins' Wonder Woman provides a welcome respite from DC's house style of grim darkness—boisterous, earnest, sometimes sloppy, yet consistently entertaining—with star Gal Gadot proving an inspired choice for this avatar of truth, justice, and the Amazonian way.
Wertham’s papers, housed at the Library of Congress, were only opened to researchers in 2010. They suggest that Wertham’s antipathy toward Bender had less to do with the content of the comics than with professional rivalry. (Paul Schilder, Bender’s late husband, had been Wertham’s boss for many years.) Wertham’s papers contain a scrap on which he compiled a list he titled “Paid Experts of the Comic Book Industry Posing as Independent Scholars.” First on the list as the comic book industry’s number one lackey was Bender, about whom Wertham wrote: “Boasted privately of bringing up her 3 children on money from crime comic books.”
As early as the 1950s, Wonder Woman's tiara has also been used as a razor-edged throwing weapon, returning to her like a boomerang. The tiara allows Wonder Woman to be invulnerable from telepathic attacks, as well as allowing her to telepathically contact people such as the Amazons back on Themyscira using the power of the red star ruby in its center.
Their first adventure together as a serious couple involved a battle with Doomsday, a monster of Kryptonian legend. Superman, already familiar to the monster, explained that Doomsday was sealed into a pocket dimension called the Phantom Zone. Seeking preparation against enemies that could match them in power, Wonder Woman asked Hephaestus to forge weapons for them. Later, the Justice League intercepted the arrival of General Zod, another Kryptonian survivor. Superman gave him shelter in the Fortress of Solitude, but the couple discovered their relationship was now public knowledge.
Invisible Plane: Wonder Woman possesses an airplane capable of rendering itself completely invisible to the human eye. Like her bracelets, Diana's invisible plane is forged with Eighth Metal, making it almost indestructible. The Invisible Plane was originally the aircraft Steve Trevor crashed onto Themyscira; it was repaired by the Amazons and upgraded with their technology.
Gaines was troubled. Roubicek, who worked on Superman, too, had invented kryptonite. She believed superheroes ought to have vulnerabilities. She told Gaines she thought Wonder Woman ought to be more like Superman and, just as Superman couldn’t go back to the planet Krypton, Wonder Woman ought not to be able to go back to Paradise Island, where the kinkiest stuff tended to happen. Gaines then sent Roubicek to Bellevue Hospital to interview Bender. In a memo to Gaines, Roubicek reported that Bender “does not believe that Wonder Woman tends to masochism or sadism.” She also liked the way Marston was playing with feminism, Roubicek reported: “She believes that Dr. Marston is handling very cleverly this whole ‘experiment’ as she calls it. She feels that perhaps he is bringing to the public the real issue at stake in the world (and one which she feels may possibly be a direct cause of the present conflict) and that is that the difference between the sexes is not a sex problem, nor a struggle for superiority, but rather a problem of the relation of one sex to the other.” Roubicek summed up: “Dr. Bender believes that this strip should be left alone.”
Orion brings them to New Genesis where Diana has learned she has been in a coma for three days.Angered by this, she goes to talk to Highfather but realizes that in doing so, he saved her life. He informs her Orion is meditating in order to control his anger. After a heart to heart talk among each other, Diana finds out that Highfather will allow them to escape, on the condition that they surrender the baby. Diana, disappointed tries to remind Orion what she's done for him. Orion apologizes to Highfather and follows them through the boomtube with Zeke in tow, although Highfather says that their is no need.
Shortly after coming to the outside world, Diana interrupted a terrorist attack and was named "Wonder Woman" by the press. She continued to use her gifts to fight for peace and justice in Man's World. She later fought who she thought to be Ares, though in truth it was Phobos and Deimos who were disguised as their father. Fearing that she would eventually discover the truth and free Ares from his prison beneath Themyscira, the Gods of Olympus sent Phobos and Deimos to erase all memory of Themyscira from Diana's mind. The twin gods were unable to erase the memory, so instead they later implanted false memories regarding her home to deceive Diana, leading to a completely separate origin story and causing her to hallucinate new adventures. Diana was unaware that her memories had been tampered with, and believed the falsifications until her search for the truth led her to Ares himself years later.
The Diana Prince alias also played an important role after the events of Infinite Crisis. Wonder Woman was broadcast worldwide killing a villain named Maxwell Lord, as he was mind controlling Superman into killing Batman. When Wonder Woman caught him in her lasso, demanding to know how to stop Superman, Maxwell revealed that the only way to stop him was to kill Lord, so as a last resort Diana snapped his neck. To recover from the trauma of killing another person, the Amazon went into a self-imposed exile for one year. On her return to public life, Diana realized that her life as a full-time celebrity superhero and ambassador had kept her removed from humanity. Because of this she assumed the persona of Diana Prince and became an agent at the Department of Metahuman Affairs. During a later battle with the witch Circe, a spell was placed on Diana leaving her powerless when not in the guise of Wonder Woman.