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.
Suddenly, Zola and the others were attacked by Artemis, who was sent by Apollo to kill Zeke, Zola's son. While Zola and the others escaped with Zeke, Wonder Woman took on Artemis by herself. Diana defeated Artemis and went to protect Zola and the others, while Ares took the defeated Artemis back to Apollo. However, the First Born and Cassandra, two of Zeus' illegitimate children, attacked Zola. Wonder Woman, Lennox and Orion worked together to fight the First Born, but he proved to be stronger than they had anticipated. Orion's Astro Harness incapacitated Cassandra, and Orion opened a Boom Tube so that Wonder Woman and her allies could escape. The First Born attempted to pry the Boom Tube open, but Lennox sacrificed himself so that the others could escape safely. Wonder Woman and her allies arrived at the other side of the Boom Tube and were greeted by Highfather, who explained that they were on New Genesis.
As the soldiers landed on the shore and began to open fire, several archers leaped from the cliffs. Diana watched, horrified, as a bullet fired from one of the German soldiers hit an archer, killing her almost instantly. Amazonian cavalry stormed the beach, engaging the soldiers and quickly overwhelming them. Though Trevor told her to stay back as he fought one of the German soldiers, Diana picked up a sword from a fallen Amazon and easily dispatched a soldier.
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.
Bracelets of Submission: Like all Amazons, Wonder Woman wears two nigh-indestructible gauntlets as part of her armor. They are incredibly durable, capable of deflecting even Ares' massive bolts of lightning and Doomsday's tremendously powerful and destructive thermal attack. Due to her powers as a demigoddess, she also has the ability to create a massive wave of energy outwards when she clashes them together.
Meanwhile, the New God Orion had learned that a great danger was to be found on Earth in the form of the child of a god. He sought out his old friend Milan for help. Nearby, Diana and Lennox decided to seek Milan by themselves, leaving Zola and Hera to bicker with one another in the meantime. They found him in the old subway system with Orion. Though their encounter began violently, Lennox managed to explain that they had accounted for six of the seven children of Zeus. Orion believed that one of those seven was the child that he had been sent to kill. Lennox and Diana concluded that he was referring to Zola's kidnapped son, and so they convinced Milan to search through the ether until he located the boy in the arms of Demeter. When they all returned to Manhattan to find Zola and Hera in a bar with War, Diana managed to convince her uncle to lead her to Demeter's domain.
By the end of the war, Diana began to lose faith in both humanity and herself after Ares opened her eyes to humanity's potential for evil. While she still believed in the power of love and compassion to change humanity for the better, Diana was left sobered and emotionally broken over certain events from the war, such as the use of Dr. Poison's gas to massacre the entire village of Veld, and Steve Trevor's self-sacrificing death. After witnessing a "century of horrors", Diana largely stepped away from heroics until she witnessed the seemingly unstoppable Doomsday wreck havoc; ultimately joining in to battle him alongside Batman and Superman. After witnessing Superman's own sacrifice to stop the monster, however, Diana turned once again towards heroics; demonstrating not only her underlying belief in her own core values, but also in the positive effect true heroes can have on the world.
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.
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.
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.
Wonder Woman's character was created during World War II; the character in the story was initially depicted fighting Axis military forces as well as an assortment of colorful supervillains, although over time her stories came to place greater emphasis on characters, deities, and monsters from Greek mythology. Many stories depicted Wonder Woman rescuing herself from bondage, which defeated the "damsels in distress" trope that was common in comics during the 1940s. In the decades since her debut, Wonder Woman has gained a cast of enemies bent on eliminating the Amazon, including classic villains such as Ares, Cheetah, Doctor Poison, Circe, Doctor Psycho, and Giganta, along with more recent adversaries such as Veronica Cale and the First Born. Wonder Woman has also regularly appeared in comic books featuring the superhero teams Justice Society (from 1941) and Justice League (from 1960).