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.”
Development for a live action Wonder Woman feature film began in 1996, with Ivan Reitman attached as producer and possible director. In 1999 the project became attached to Jon Cohen, who adapted Wonder Woman for producer Joel Silver, with the hope that Sandra Bullock would star. By 2001, Todd Alcott was hired to write the screenplay, with Silver Pictures backing the project. At that time, performers such as Mariah Carey and Catherine Zeta-Jones were also rumored to be possible candidates for the role of Wonder Woman. Leonard Goldberg focused on Bullock who said that she was approached for the role. Lucy Lawless, the star of Xena: Warrior Princess, was also under consideration, though she stated that she would have been more interested if Wonder Woman was portrayed as a "flawed hero". The screenplay went through various drafts written by Alcott, Cohen, Becky Johnston, and Philip Levens, and by August 2003, Levens had been replaced by screenwriter Laeta Kalogridis.
Diana confronts Steppenwolf, before Cyborg attacks him, which leads to Wonder Woman fighting Steppenwolf. As Flash helped Cyborg get to the Mother Boxes, he takes care of the Parademons. While Cyborg tries to separate the Mother Boxes, Batman saves Flash by grappling his legs from stopping him from falling: Batman takes one of the Parademons' guns and fires at them. Steppenwolf finds out that Cyborg is trying to separate the Mother Boxes, which he grabs him before Wonder Woman saves him.
In the following days, Diana soon uncovered Ares, who exposed her to be the God Killer, having been originally conceived to be the ultimate weapon against her brother. Following this revelation, a fierce battle ensued, where Diana fulfilled her purpose in freeing mankind from Ares' influence. The loss of Steve in World War I had left Diana sobered, but she vowed to protect humanity whenever she was needed, albeit in a cautious and distant way.
Ares told Diana that he had been imprisoned by the other Gods of Olympus and bound in chains that were secured by Aphrodite through the power of her love. He also told her that years ago, Phobos and Deimos had implanted false memories of Themyscira into her mind, and these had caused her to imagine aspects of her past that had never happened in reality. Meanwhile, Phobos and Deimos entered Themyscira and battled with the Amazons. Diana knew what she had to do, and called Ares to unite her with Phobos and Deimos. He teleported them to her, and using her Lasso of Truth, Wonder Woman bound them through the power of her unconditional love for them, as Aphrodite had done to Ares. With the twin gods defeated, Diana attempted to leave Ares' prison along with Veronica and Izzy, however Izzy's essence had been attached to the realm and could not return to Earth. Izzy was forced to either live out the rest of her days in the prison or live in Themyscira as an Amazon for eternity. She chose the latter and Veronica said goodbye to her daughter. Diana was briefly reunited with her mother, for the first time since she left the island.
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:
Diana, after her death, was granted divinity as the Goddess of Truth by her gods for such faithful devotion. During her brief time as a god of Olympus, Diana was replaced in the role of Wonder Woman by her mother, Queen Hippolyta. Unlike Diana receiving the title of Wonder Woman in honor, Hippolyta's role as Wonder Woman was meant to be a punishment for her betrayal in Artemis' death as well as for unintentionally killing her own daughter. However, Hippolyta eventually grew to enjoy the freedom and adventure the title came with. Whereas Diana used the Lasso of Truth as her primary weapon, Hippolyta favored a broad sword.
“Closeup, full length figure of WW. Do some careful chaining here—Mars’s men are experts! Put a metal collar on WW with a chain running off from the panel, as though she were chained in the line of prisoners. Have her hands clasped together at her breast with double bands on her wrists, her Amazon bracelets and another set. Between these runs a short chain, about the length of a handcuff chain—this is what compels her to clasp her hands together. Then put another, heavier, larger chain between her wrist bands which hangs in a long loop to just above her knees. At her ankles show a pair of arms and hands, coming from out of the panel, clasping about her ankles. This whole panel will lose its point and spoil the story unless these chains are drawn exactly as described here.”
Many writers have depicted Diana in different personalities and tone; between both of her diametric extremes; that of a worldly warrior, a highly compassionate and calm ambassador, and sometimes also as a naive and innocent person, depending on the writer. What has remained constant, and is a mainstay of the character, is her nurturing humanity: her overwhelming belief in love, empathy, compassion, and having a strong conscience. This trait had been the reason for her induction into the Star Sapphires.
Wonder Woman was minorly associated with the series 52, and in the One Year Later universe following Infinite Crisis she becomes a member of the Department of Metahuman Affairs. The most memorable story arc from this era was the much maligned Amazons Attack story arc, which many fans felt was not engaging nor did it do enough service to the well-established characters. After Gail Simone took over the series, a number of memorable story arcs took place, foremost among them Rise of the Olympian and Warkiller. Following the departure of Gail Simone the character was relaunched into the storyline Odyssey, where she must discover who she is and what has happened to her life. During this period she also took part in the events of Blackest Night where she was first a Black Lantern and later a Star Sapphire.
Gaines decided he needed another expert. He turned to Lauretta Bender, an associate professor of psychiatry at New York University’s medical school and a senior psychiatrist at Bellevue Hospital, where she was director of the children’s ward, an expert on aggression. She’d long been interested in comics but her interest had grown in 1940, after her husband, Paul Schilder, was killed by a car while walking home from visiting Bender and their 8-day-old daughter in the hospital. Bender, left with three children under the age of 3, soon became painfully interested in studying how children cope with trauma. In 1940, she conducted a study with Reginald Lourie, a medical resident under her supervision, investigating the effect of comics on four children brought to Bellevue Hospital for behavioral problems. Tessie, 12, had witnessed her father, a convicted murderer, kill himself. She insisted on calling herself Shiera, after a comic-book girl who is always rescued at the last minute by the Flash. Kenneth, 11, had been raped. He was frantic unless medicated or “wearing a Superman cape.” He felt safe in it—he could fly away if he wanted to—and “he felt that the cape protected him from an assault.” Bender and Lourie concluded the comic books were “the folklore of this age,” and worked, culturally, the same way fables and fairy tales did.
While not completely invulnerable, she is highly resistant to great amounts of concussive force and extreme temperatures and matches Superman in this regard. She is completely immune to his heat vision, virtually any damage, or even the core of the sun. However, edged weapons or projectiles applied with sufficient force are able to pierce her skin. Due to her divine origins, Diana can resist many forms of magical manipulation.
Shortly after the team assembled, Wonder Woman assisted in helping a newly resurrected Superman regain his memories. With the team now fully assembled, Wonder Woman contributed to the successful offensive against Steppenwolf, forcing the alien invasion into retreat. Afterwards, she began to plan for the Justice League's future alongside Bruce Wayne.
The modern age of the character can be tied to the reboot of the character following Crisis on Infinite Earths. In this the character became defined by the vision of George Perez in a way which the entire concept of the character was defined by his direction. As opposed to the past where the character would get retold origins which would try to make her more contemporary, now she got one which tied her much more strongly to the stories of the ancient gods. For the first time Diana enters Man’s World not knowing how to speak English already, and is forced to master the language on her own. In this period she also became much more closely related with modern female issues, and this was usually through her circle of friends – Julia and Vanessa Kapatelis and Mindi Mayer. Such issues as the cultural need for women to be attractive and thin, suicide and the sensationalization of the media as it pertains to women were all addressed. This version of the character also reimagined Steve Trevor as a father figure for Diana as opposed to a romantic counterpart. After Perez’s run on the character, she was taken over for a time by William Messner Loebs, who recast her again in somewhat more traditional superhero stories, though in this case she still explored a different aspect of humanity. After a long space voyage, when she returned home she was forced to work at a fast food restaurant to pay her bills and made friends with a number of people in her “civilian identity.” This built up to the revelation of betrayal of her mother, and of Artemis taking over as Wonder Woman for a short time, but this was soon reversed. The following writer was John Byrne, who when he was writing Superman in the post-Crisis on Infinite Earths DC universe, had hinted at a relationship between Diana and Superman. This was explored occasionally under his run, but it is probably best known for the death of Diana, and the assumption of her duties by Hippolyta. She was soon returned to life (as she had never really died, instead having been deified). This period also introduced Cassandra Sandsmark, who would go on to become Wonder Girl at a later point. The remainder of this second series is best remembered for by the writing of Jimenez and Rucka, both of whom helped define the character. The latter during the lead-in of events to Infinite Crisis had Diana fighting Superman who was being controlled by Maxwell Lord. Battered after their battle, Diana has managed to stop Superman by using her lasso of truth on Lord, and the only option which she is given to stopping him is to kill him, and realizing this is the case, she does so. This created a controversy both within comics and in the real world, as both fans and characters alike debated the morality of this decision. In comics this also led to strained relations between her and Superman and her and Batman and with the addition of the events of Identity Crisis, helped to lead to the breakup of the Justice League of America at a crucial point right before the main events of Infinite Crisis were about to begin.
Wonder Woman and Hermes briefly returned to Themyscira so that Diana could pay her respects to her petrified mother. When they got back to her apartment, they found Hera crying and mourning the days when she used to be a goddess. As Diana comforted her, she realized she would need help in finding Zola and Zeke. Wonder Woman went to the Taiga, Siberia, where she asked Artemis for her help. Artemis agreed, on the condition that she and Diana have a rematch. Knowing they are in Artemis' realm, Diana threw the fight in Artemis' favor.
A stand-alone #0 issue was released in September which explored Diana's childhood and her tutelage under Ares, the God of War, now known most often as simply 'War'. The issue was narrated in the style of a typical Silver Age comic book and saw Diana in her childhood years. The main plot of the issue was Diana training under War as he thought of her being an extraordinary girl with immense potential. The issue ultimately concluded with Diana learning and experiencing the importance of mercy, which she first learned when War showed it to her during their sparring. This later translated into her refusal to kill the Minotaur – a task given to her by War; however, this show of mercy makes her a failure in War's eyes, which was actually his fault since he inadvertently "taught" her mercy and affection as his protege. Later in the series, Wonder Woman is forced to kill War during a conflict with her evil half-brother, Zeus' son First Born, and herself becomes the God of War. After the Amazons are restored, she rules over them both as a warrior queen and God of War, as the ongoing conflict with First Born escalates. At the end of Azzarello's run, as part of a final conflict, Wonder Woman kills First Born, while Zeke is revealed to have been Zeus' plan for resurrection, with Zola revealed to have been a mortal shell for the goddess Athena, who gave birth to Zeus just as he once did to her. Wonder Woman pleads with Athena not to allow the Zola personality, whom she has grown to love as a friend, die with Athena's awakening. Athena leaves the site in animal form, leaving a stunned and confused Zola behind with Wonder Woman.