Diana is depicted as a masterful athlete, acrobat, fighter and strategist, trained and experienced in many ancient and modern forms of armed and unarmed combat, including exclusive Amazonian martial arts. With her godlike abilities of incalculable superhuman strength, nigh-invulnerability, speed, flight, healing factor and semi-immortality, Diana’s fighting prowess is enhanced. In some versions, her mother trained her, as Wonder Girl, for a future career as Wonder Woman. From the beginning, she is portrayed as highly skilled in using her Amazon bracelets to stop bullets and in wielding her golden lasso. Batman once called her the "best melee fighter in the world". The modern version of the character is known to use lethal force when she deems it necessary. In the New 52 continuity, her superior combat skills are the result of her Amazon training, as well as receiving further training from Ares, the God of War, himself, since as early as her childhood. The Golden Age Wonder Woman also had knowledge in psychology, as did her Amazon sisters.
Following Pérez, William Messner-Loebs took over as writer and Mike Deodato became the artist for the title. Messner-Loebs introduced Diana's Daxamite friend Julia in Wonder Woman vol. 2 #68 during the six-issue space arc. Messner-Loebs's most memorable contribution to the title was the introduction of the red-headed Amazon Artemis, who took over the mantle of Wonder Woman for a short time. He also included a subplot during his run in an attempt to further humanize Diana by having her work for a fictional fast food chain called "Taco Whiz".
In her debut in All Star Comics #8, Diana was a member of a tribe of women called the Amazons, native to Paradise Island – a secluded island set in the middle of a vast ocean. Captain Steve Trevor's plane crashes on the island and he is found alive but unconscious by Diana and fellow Amazon, and friend, Mala. Diana has him nursed back to health and falls in love with him. A competition is held amongst all the Amazons by Diana's mother, the Queen of the Amazons Hippolyta, in order to determine who is the most worthy of all the women; Hippolyta charges the winner with the responsibility of delivering Captain Steve Trevor back to Man's World and to fight for justice. Hippolyta forbids Diana from entering the competition, but she takes part nonetheless, wearing a mask to conceal her identity. She wins the competition and reveals herself, surprising Hippolyta, who ultimately accepts, and must give in to, Diana's wish to go to Man's World. She then is awarded a special uniform made by her mother for her new role as Wonder Woman and safely returns Steve Trevor to his home country.
The next day, Diana awoke to find that they'd hitched a ride on a larger ship and arrived in London. She was less than pleased at the sight of the city, stating that it was hideous. As they walked through the streets of London, Diana insisted that Trevor take her to the war. She was dismayed to hear that he intended to deliver Doctor Poison's notebook to his superiors in the British War Council. Trevor promised that if he went with her to deliver the notebook, he would take her to the war. Though annoyed by the detour, Diana agreed. Trevor then realized that she was only wearing her battle armor, and took her to a store to buy her some clothes. As they walked to the store, Diana was delighted to see a baby and ran toward it, with Trevor having to pull her away.
The British War Council quickly gathered to discuss the notebook. Their codebreakers were unable to decipher the two different languages that it was written in, but Diana quickly identified them as Ottoman and Sumerian. She read the book out loud, informing the council that Doctor Poison had created a new form of mustard gas based on hydrogen instead of sulfur, which gas masks would be useless against.
Superhuman Reflexes: Wonder Woman's speed also extends to her reflexes, even if she is not moving at super speed, because when a German soldier fired her weapon past her, she could perceive the bullet as if it were moving in slow motion. She repeatedly used this skill to deflect bullets with her Bracelets of Submission and block the blows of her opponents with ease. One hundred years later, Wonder Woman's reflexes improve further, to the point that she was able to block all of the rapid machine-gun shots of a British terrorist with her bracelets, leaving the people standing behind her unscathed. When she dropped her sword mid-battle with Parademons, Wonder Woman was able to perceive Flash super speeding towards her fallen weapon, and hence outstretched her hand while he returned the sword to her grasp. Her reflexes were not powerful enough to contend with those of Flash or resurrected Superman, however, as Superman managed to grasp Wonder Woman's Bracelets of Submission before she could clash them.
Later, as a healer tended to Diana's battle wounds, she noted with confusion that Diana's wounds had healed completely. Diana then visited Trevor in his cell, asking him about the outside world. Due to his words, Diana decided to sneak him off the island and confront Ares herself. She snuck into the island's tower and stole the god killer, along with an Amazon shield, the Lasso of Hestia, and a special set of battle armor. She broke Trevor out of his cell and took him to the island's dock, where she was intercepted by her mother. To her surprise, Hippolyta allowed Diana to leave, gifting her Antiope's tiara. She then warned Diana to be careful, mournfully telling her that the world of men did not deserve her.
Writer Gerry Conway brought Steve Trevor back to life again in issue #271 (September 1980). Following Diana's renunciation of her role as Wonder Woman, a version of Steve Trevor from an undisclosed portion of the Multiverse accidentally made the transition to Earth-One. With Diana's memory erased by the Mists of Nepenthe, the new Steve again crash-landed and arrived at Paradise Island. After reclaiming the title of Wonder Woman, Diana returned to Military Intelligence, working with Trevor and re-joined by supporting characters Etta Candy and General Darnell.
The story behind the writing and editing of Wonder Woman can be pieced together from Bender’s papers, at Brooklyn College; Frank’s papers, at the University of Minnesota; and Marston’s editorial correspondence, along with a set of original scripts, housed at the Dibner Library at the Smithsonian Institution Libraries. In his original scripts, Marston described scenes of bondage in careful, intimate detail with utmost precision. For a story about Mars, the God of War, Marston gave Peter elaborate instructions for the panel in which Wonder Woman is taken prisoner:
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.
Mostly I found myself confused with this volume. It’s now becoming painfully obvious to me that I have to read Dark Nights: Metal before I can read any further, so I can understand not only everything that has done on here, but in previous volumes as well. As I was laying on the beach reading this though, it really didn’t bother me as I went through =P The writing otherwise was still pretty solid, and it was an interesting ride for sure. The entire world embracing darker values over light, and the ensuing consequences, certainly gave me a lot to mull over. It was also fun to see Wonder Woman make a return to the Star Sapphires; she hasn’t done so since Blackest Night!
After Darkseid and Grail's retreat, they returned to a base in the Amazon Rainforest, where Darkseid was setting his mysterious plans into motion. He tasked his loyal Female Furies with tracking down a godly relic he needed, but they were unable to do so thanks to the intervention of Steve Trevor and his A.R.G.U.S. forces. Meanwhile, Wonder Woman fought a number of villains that had been recruited by Veronica Cale: Zara of the Crimson Flame, Blue Snowman and Anglette. As Diana caught up with Steve at A.R.G.U.S. HQ, Jason returned wearing a suit of armor gifted to him by the gods, but with no knowledge of its purpose. As news came in of an attack by Grail, Wonder Woman and Jason immediately responded just in time to prevent Grail from killing another demigod. Wonder Woman bound Grail in the Lasso of Truth and forced her to reveal Darkseid's plans. Grail explained that Darkseid was looking to build himself an army of Amazons. Due to her half-Amazon blood, Grail was able to break free from the Lasso's grip and retreated.
Later, Etta was released from hospital and Diana accompanied her to her home. She was shot by a sniper, but deflected the bullet and interrogated the attacker, who called herself Mayfly. She revealed that she had attempted to assassinate Wonder Woman in return for a bounty that had been placed on her. Shortly afterwards, Diana was attacked by five more assassins: Cat Eye, Cheshire, Abolith, Baundo and Plastique, the latter of whom revealed that she had planted the bomb at the wedding. Wonder Woman was able to defeat them all with the help of Etta, and they returned to an A.R.G.U.S. facility. There, Sasha Bordeaux informed her that another scientist, Hamilton Revere, had heard of Dr. Crawford's attempts to harvest Diana's DNA, and had apparently hypothesized that it could be used for the treatment of numerous diseases. Wonder Woman was intrigued and decided to seek out Revere of her own accord and hear out his plans. When she arrived, Revere informed her that in truth, he sought to use her DNA to create an army of super-soldiers. He had also used samples of Diana's blood to grant some of his goons super strength, who attacked her. Etta and Steve Trevor arrived to assist Wonder Woman, and together they bound the attackers in the Lasso of Truth, which once again removed the lie within their bodies. Revere was arrested, and Diana returned home with Steve and Etta.
Hermes attacked Wonder Woman there, refusing to simply give up the child, but during their battle, War ripped the baby from Demeter's womb and disappeared. Unable to let a grave wound such as that go unattended, Diana saw to Demeter first, and the goddess warned that War could not be trusted. Worriedly, Diana and Orion returned to Manhattan to find that War had returned the baby to Zola. At last, the baby and his mother were reunited - and Orion would not have to look any further for the child he needed to kill.