Although created to be a positive role-model and a strong female character for girls and boys, Wonder Woman has had to deal with the misogyny that was commonplace in comic book industry for decades. For example, Wonder Woman was a founding member of the Justice Society of America. This roster included the original Flash and Green Lantern. Wonder Woman was an experienced leader and easily the most powerful of them all, yet was rendered a secretary. This would also be accompanied with her losing her powers or getting captured on most Justice League adventures. During the '50s and '60s, comic writers regularly made Wonder Woman lovesick over Steve Trevor, a Major in the United States Army. Stories frequently featured Wonder Woman hoping or imagining what it would be like to marry Steve Trevor.
Preparing to get Zola back from Hades, Wonder Woman and her male companions sought out Eros in Italy. She hoped that he could lead them to Hephaestus, who might have been able to arm them appropriately for battle with the ruler of Hell. He lead them to Mount Etna, where the blacksmith agreed to arm them. As retribution for his aid, though, Hades sent a monster to kill them all, which had to be dispatched by Diana. Afterwards, Hephaestus armed Diana with new weapons, insisting that she take Eros' guns of love with her to Hell.
Due to the format of most golden age comics, the majority of story arcs at the time for all characters were the same, Wonder Woman included. More accurately that is to say that there were not story arcs at all, as issues contained two to three stories, all of which started and concluded within the issue in question. There was therefore not much continuity in Wonder Woman until she reached the silver age. The few exceptions to this were in issues which contained a common theme, such as Wonder Woman meeting some leprechauns and each of the three stories dealing with that. Alternately there were some common themes for the character at the time, one of which was dealing with enemy saboteurs. These were mostly contemporary, and thus started as either the National Socialists in Germany or the Imperial Japanese. Later these became others.
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.
While Diana stood admiring the replica, Bruce Wayne appeared. He proceeds to angrily confront her by grabbing Diana's arm and asking her about the information device that she had stolen. Bruce claims to see right through her "babe in the woods" act, saying that while Diana doesn't know him, he's met "a few women like [her]". Diana, however, calmly smiles and retorts that Bruce has never met any women like her. She then proceeds to tell Bruce that she was unable to obtain anything from Bruce's device, due to Lex Luthor's data having military-grade encryption. Diana explains her intention to re-obtain her photograph from Luthor, stating that she only borrowed Bruce's device, and has already returned it to him shortly beforehand (placing it into the glove compartment of his car), before calmly excusing herself and leaving.
The Amazon Queen of Themyscira and Diana's mother. After meeting the director for the role, Nielsen said, "Patty and I met in London, and we just hit it off from the get-go. We couldn't stop talking. What was supposed to be a one-hour meeting turned into a two-and-a-half-hour lunch and we just really got each other." She described Jenkins's directing style for the film as "She's also the kind of director that I really flourish under. She has very strong and particular and specific ideas about what it is she wants to say. She comes from a place of strength always. And so, when you are dealing with someone like that, you feel absolutely free to be vulnerable, to be creative, and I am a big researcher." On playing the character, Nielsen said, "It was a complete and utter pleasure and I absolutely loved every second of playing her." On her character being Diana's mother and Amazonian queen, Nielsen stated, "I'm queen and I'm preparing my child for a world that entails a lot of responsibility. So it was important to me to bring that into the character." She read The Amazons by Adrienne Mayor to familiarize herself with women warriors and said "I used what I learned in Mayor's book as a rallying cry for how I approached Hippolyta. And then, of course, what is a leader who is elected by her peers every year and has been doing this for a thousand years? That too was interesting to think about". Nielsen went through a workout regimen for the film, saying "I did six hours a day. You know, two hours of weight training, two hours of swords training, and then two hours of horseback riding".
As Wonder Woman joins the Battle against Doomsday, she arrives just in time to save Batman from Doomsday's lethal thermal blast, deflecting the beams with her indestructible bracelets. She then jointly attacks Doomsday with Superman while Batman tries to expose the creature to Kryptonite, allowing its destruction. She relentlessly battles the monster, and despite Doomsday being stronger, Wonder Woman held her own, parrying a tremendous punch with the Sword of Athena, and then slicing off Doomsday's right arm with it. Eventually, Batman baits the monster into coming closer to her, allowing Wonder Woman to hurl the noose of her unbreakable Lasso of Hestia around his torso.
Storylines The 18th Letter • A League of One • A Piece of You • Amazons Attack! • Beauty and the Beasts • Birds of Paradise • Bitter Rivals • Blood • Bones • The Bronze Doors • The Challenge of Artemis • Challenge of the Gods • Champion • The Circle • The Contest • Counting Coup • Depths • Destiny Calling • Devastation • Devastation Returns • Down to Earth • Ends of the Earth • Expatriate • Flesh • The Game of the Gods • God Complex • Gods and Mortals • Gods of Gotham • Godwar • Guts • Iron • Judgment in Infinity • Land of the Lost • Levels • Love and Murder • Lifelines • Marathon • The Men Who Moved the Earth • A Murder of Crows • Odyssey • The Pandora Virus • Paradise Island Lost • Revenge of the Cheetah • Rise of the Olympian • Sacrifice • Second Genesis • Stoned • Three Hearts • Trinity 98 • The Twelve Labors • War • Warkiller • War-Torn • Who is Donna Troy? • Who is Troia? • Who Is Wonder Woman? • The Witch and the Warrior • Wrath of the Silver Serpent
Additional music featured in the film are: "Another Little Drink Wouldn't Do Us Any Harm" by Clifford Grey and Nat Ayer and performed by Edgar Trevor and Cecil Cooper; "Molly O'Morgan" written by Fred Godfrey and Will Letters and performed by Ella Retford; "It's a Long Way to Tipperary" written by Jack Judge and Harry Williams; "Sous les ponts de Paris" written by Jean Rodor and Vincent Scotto and performed by Lucienne Delyle; "I'll Walk Beside You" written by Edward Lockton and Alan Murray and performed by Ewen Bremner; "Green Grow the Rushes, O" written by Robert Burns and performed by Ewen Bremner; and "Schatzwalzer Op. 4" written by Johann Strauss II and performed by the Berlin String Quartet.
Her outfit did not receive any prominent change until after the 2005–2006 Infinite Crisis storyline. Similar to her chestplate, her glowing belt was also shaped into a "W". This outfit continued until issue #600 – J. Michael Straczynski's run of Wonder Woman's altered timeline changed her outfit drastically. Her outfit was redesigned by Jim Lee and included a redesigned emblem, a golden and red top, black pants, and a later discontinued blue-black jacket.
Wonder Woman’s powers are a result of the blessings she received from the gods (or presumably in the modern version by her divine ancestry), but originally came from her "brain energy" training. Her abilities in large part come from her upbringing in the martial society of the Amazons. She is one of the most powerful superheroes in the DC universe.
After Crisis on Infinite Earths, the character’s origin was slightly retold by Greg Potter and George Perez. In this version, the Amazons were reincarnations of the souls of abused and murdered women from ancient days. In 1200 B.C. a debate occurred on Mount Olympus on how mankind should be made to relate to the gods. Ares, the god of war and destruction, wanted to descend upon the world with his army and crush mankind submission. This was opposed by the others gods present including Artemis, who wanted peace and suggested creating a new race that would lead humans on the right path. Zeus rejected their arguments, and they decided to proceed without his blessing. With the aid of Charon the ferryman, the gods reached the Womb of Gaea, where the souls of women who were abused and murdered at the hands of men were preserved by Gaea herself. Artemis then sent the souls to Greece where they reincarnated into adult women. Aphrodite observed that one soul still remains in the Womb, to which Athena replied that the time had not yet come for that one. The new race in Greece were approached by the goddesses, who bestowed upon them several blessings, charging them with the purpose of leading humanity in the ways of Gaea. They then appointed Hippolyte and Antiope as co-rulers. The civilization is named the Amazons. Stories of this civilization spread throughout Greece and reached the ears of Heracles, who was being manipulated by Ares into attacking the Amazons. Heracles approached the Amazons but was defeated by Hippolyte, upon which he pretended friendship and declared the Amazons allies. When their guard was down, the Greeks drugged the Amazons, taking Hippolyte, Antiope and the other survivors captive. In her cell, Hippolyte is freed by Athena ,who reminds her of her purpose and asked her to avoid revenge and pursue peaceful means. Hippolyte escaped and freed the rest of the Amazons. She shared Athena's message to the Amazons, but blinded by their thirst for revenge, they ruthlessly slaughter the remaining men. Antiope gave Hippolyta her girdle and left to pursue revenge The goddesses appeared and told them they had failed in their purpose and banished them to an island to guard the terrible evil within, as penance. They were granted immortality as long as they did not stray from their new purpose, which would eventually purify their souls. The Amazons built a nation and lived there for 4,000 years. It is during this time that Hippolyte, sole leader of the Amazons, felt an unexplained yearning. Menalippe, the Oracle, told her she was the only Amazon pregnant at the time of her previous incarnation's death, and thus the yearning she felt was the call of her unborn child. As per her advise, Hippolyte went to the shore at sunrise and made a clay figure of a baby. She then cried out to Artemis. The gods, recognizing it was time for the remaining soul in Gaea's womb to depart, infused it into the clay form, which then incarnated as a real child. Blessed with Gaea's greatest gift, life, the gods present bestowed their gifts upon the newborn: Demeter granted the baby great strength, Aphrodite granted her great beauty and a loving heart, Athena granted her great wisdom, Artemis granted her the eye of the hunter and unity with beasts, Hestia granted her sisterhood with fire, and Hermes gave her great speed and the power of flight. Hippolyte named her after a holy warrior, Diana, and she grew up knowing the love of a thousand mothers. Thus Diana of Themyscira was born.
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:
After preventing a terrorist attack at a refugee camp in Greece, Wonder Woman returned to a government facility in the United States and was examined by a sickly doctor, Dr. Shannon Crawford. That evening, Diana attended the wedding of Etta Candy's brother, where she discovered a bomb seconds away from detonation hidden underneath one of the tables. She was able to contain the blast, but Etta was injured by a piece of shrapnel. She returned Etta to Dr. Crawford who removed the shrapnel, before touching Wonder Woman with an Amazon-strength sedative she had developed, leaving Diana too weak to fight back. Dr. Crawford told Diana that she had a rare genetic illness, and that she intended to use Diana's Amazon blood to develop a cure, saving her life as well as providing life-saving treatment for others afflicted with the same disease. Diana awoke to discover Crawford had developed Amazonian strength as a result of the blood transfusion. She was able to bind Dr. Crawford in the Lasso of Truth, which rejected the lie and restored Crawford to her previous state. Having lost hope for a cure, Crawford injected herself with the sedative, killing her. Wonder Woman was too late to stop her, but she understood Crawford's decision to end her pain and held her as she died.
Wonder Woman experienced significant changes from the late 1950s through the 1960s during the Silver Age of Comic Books. Harry G. Peter was replaced by Ross Andru and Mike Esposito in issue #98 (May 1958), and the character was revamped as were other characters in the Silver Age. In Diana's new origin story (issue #105), it is revealed that her powers are gifts from the gods. Receiving the blessing of each deity in her crib, Diana is destined to become as "beautiful as Aphrodite, wise as Athena, stronger than Hercules, and swifter than Mercury". Further changes included the removal of all World War II references from Wonder Woman's origin, the changing of Hippolyta's hair color to blonde, Wonder Woman's new ability to glide on air currents, and the introduction of the rule that Paradise Island would be destroyed if a man ever set foot on it.