The "Year One" storyline retells Diana's origin growing up on Themyscira. She lives an idyllic life and harbors interest for the outside world, and the first connection to it comes in the form of Steve Trevor, who crashes on the island and is the sole survivor. A contest is held to determine which Amazon is the best candidate to take Steve home, with Diana volunteering despite knowing the cost to leave the island is to never return. Diana wins the contest and departs with Steve. Once arriving in America, Diana is taken into custody by the government to discern her origins. She meets Etta Candy and Barbara Ann Minerva along the way. While incarcerated Diana is visited by the gods in animal form and bestow upon her powers of strength, speed, agility, durability, and flight. She discovers Ares, the god of war, is working to destroy humanity. Accepting her new role in Man's World, Diana, with the help of the gods in animal form, subdues Ares with the lasso. Now called Wonder Woman, Diana becomes one of the world's greatest heroes.
Wonder Woman has been featured in various media from radio to television and film, and appears in merchandise sold around the world, such as apparel, toys, dolls, jewelry, and video games. Shannon Farnon, Susan Eisenberg, Maggie Q, Lucy Lawless, Keri Russell, Michelle Monaghan, Rosario Dawson, Cobie Smulders, and Halsey among others, have provided the character's voice for animated adaptations. Wonder Woman has been depicted in both film and television by Cathy Lee Crosby, Lynda Carter, and in the DC Extended Universe films by Gal Gadot.
Starting in Wonder Woman vol. 2 #51, the Amazons, who had revealed their presence to the world in Wonder Woman vol. 2 #50, are blamed for a series of murders and for the theft of various artifacts. The Amazons are then taken into custody, Queen Hippolyta is nowhere to be found and Steve Trevor is forced by General Yedziniak to attack Themyscira. These events lead to the "War of the Gods" occurring. The culprit of the murders, thefts and the framing of the Amazons is revealed to be the witch Circe, who "kills" Diana by reverting her form back into the clay she was born from. Later, Wonder Woman is brought back to life and together with Donna Troy, battles Circe and ultimately defeats her. Circe would later return by unknown means.
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.
The inspiration to give Diana bracelets came from the pair of bracelets worn by Olive Byrne, creator William Moulton Marston's research assistant and lover. "Wonder Woman and her sister Amazons have to wear heavy bracelets to remind them of what happens to a girl when she lets a man conquer her," quoted Marston in a 1942 interview. "The Amazons once surrendered to the charm of some handsom Greeks and what a mess they got themselves into. The Greeks put them in chains of the Hitler type, beat them, and made them work like horses in the fields. Aphrodite, goddess of love, finally freed these unhappy girls. But she laid down the rule ("Aphrodite's Law") that they must never surrender to a man for any reason. I know of no better advice to give modern day women than this rule that Aphrodite gave the Amazon girls."
The second storyline focuses on Wonder Woman's quest to rescue Zola from Hades, who had abducted her and taken her to Hell at the end of the sixth issue of the series. The male Amazons are introduced and their origin story is revealed- the Amazons used to infrequently invade the ships coming near the island and force themselves on the sailors, and then kill them. After nine months, the birth of the female children are highly celebrated and inducted into the proper ranks of the Amazons while the male children are rejected. In order to save the children from being killed by the Amazons, Hephaestus trades them with the Amazons in exchange for weapons.
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.
After the death of Superman, Wonder Woman became depressed and began to remember her origins differently, questioning aspects of her past such as whether she truly was mocked as a child and her relationship with Ares. In a fit of rage Diana crushed the helmet of War. Realizing that she shouldn't have been able to do that, she used the Lasso of Truth on herself and discovered that she had been deceived. Diana traveled to Olympus for answers, but found it abandoned. She also found herself unable to return to her home of Themyscira.
In 2016, DC Comics once again relaunched all of its publications as part of the "DC Rebirth" continuity reboot, and the new fifth volume of Wonder Woman was released bi-monthly with writer Greg Rucka. This fifth volume of Wonder Woman is part of the "DC Universe", the current continuity established after Rebirth. Initially, the new series does not use a regular storyline that exists between each issue; instead two separate storylines share the book, with an installment of one story published every other issue, and those of the other storyline published in between those. This practice began with the storyline "The Lies" for the odd numbered issues, and "Year One" for the even numbered issues. The new storyline as presented in these issues effectively retcons the events from the previous New 52 series. "The Lies" storyline reveals that a number of events from the previous Wonder Woman series in which Diana was made the Queen of the Amazons and the God of War, was in fact all an illusion created by a mysterious villain, and she had never once been back to Themyscira ever since she left, nor is she capable of returning there. The "Year One" story is presented as an all-new origin story for Diana, which reveals how she received her powers from the Olympian Gods, which was intended to bring her back to her classical DC roots. Wonder Woman appears in DC Rebirth with a revised look, which includes a red cape and light armor fittings. Along with her lasso and bracelets, she now regularly utilizes her sword and shield. Wonder Woman: Rebirth artist Liam Sharp described the new armor as a utilitarian piece which allows her to move more freely. Starting from Issue 26, the series returned to a regular storyline between each issue.
(For the record, Marston and Olive Byrne’s son, Byrne Marston, who is an 83-year-old retired obstetrician, thinks that when Marston talked about the importance of submission, he meant it only metaphorically. “I never saw anything like that in our house,” he told me. “He didn’t tie the ladies up to the bedpost. He’d never have gotten away with it.”)
Jenkins disagrees with this line of critique. She has stated that she was raised by a second-wave "feminist mother", who taught her to be "both super aware that there had been sexism but also: 'Congratulations—thank you, now I get to do whatever I want, Mom!'" Jenkins thus notes that it is this upbringing which has led her to question a feminist critique of Wonder Woman's costume. When she was working on her own version of Wonder Woman's "Gladiator" re-design of the outfit (in the 2016 film Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice) Jenkins decided that Wonder Woman (as well as the other Amazons) "shouldn't be dressed in armor like men ... It should be different ... I, as a woman, want Wonder Woman to be hot as hell, fight badass, and look great at the same time—the same way men want Superman to have huge pecs and an impractically big body." Jenkins also notes that she is "frustrated" by the critique of Wonder Woman's appearance, stating "when people get super critical about her outfit, who's the one getting crazy about what a woman wears? That's who she is; that's Wonder Woman." Gal Gadot concurred with Jenkins, arguing that the character "is a feminist" as "feminism is about equality and choice and freedom. And the writers, Patty and myself all figured that the best way to show that is to show Diana as having no awareness of social roles. She has no gender boundaries. To her, everyone is equal."
Born to Hippolyta, Queen of the Amazons, Diana lived a serene and joyful life until the intervention of Steve Trevor upon the island of Themyscira. A tournament was held among the Amazons to determine the representative that would return to Man's World along with Trevor. Diana defeated the other Amazons but was tasked with the final challenge, deflecting a bullet fired from a gun by her mother. After winning the contest Diana was awarded a suit of armor and the Lasso of Truth and left for the United States, though upon her arrival she was arrested and detained in a cell. Falling into despair, Diana was visited by the Gods of Olympus in their animal forms: a peacock, deer, owl, mouse, eagle, dove and tortoise, who granted her the gifts of strength, speed, endurance, empathy and flight.
When faced with a larger threat, Diana will wear her Amazon battle armour for added protection as well as use martial weapons such as swords. Technically speaking as well, as reimagined under the George Perez 1980s reboot, the iconic costume is in fact simply the breastplate of this armour. She will also additionally use a shield for added defense when she deems it necessary.