“I have the good Sergeant’s letter in which he expresses his enthusiasm over chains for women—so what?” As a practicing clinical psychologist, he said, he was unimpressed. “Some day I’ll make you a list of all the items about women that different people have been known to get passionate over—women’s hair, boots, belts, silk worn by women, gloves, stockings, garters, panties, bare backs,” he promised. “You can’t have a real woman character in any form of fiction without touching off a great many readers’ erotic fancies. Which is swell, I say.”
Gods and Mortals (1987) Challenge of the Gods (1987–88) War of the Gods (1991) The Contest (1994) The Challenge of Artemis (1995) Paradise Island Lost (2001) Our Worlds at War (2001) The Hiketeia (2002) Down to Earth (2003–04) Who Is Wonder Woman? (2006–07) Amazons Attack! (2007) The Circle (2008) Ends of the Earth (2008) Rise of the Olympian (2009) Flashpoint (2011) The Lies (2016) Year One (2016) The Truth (2017) Godwatch (2017)
Until DC's New 52 relaunch, there were a few other aspects of the origin story that remained consistent. Her mother, Hippolyta, created her out of clay, and the Greek gods bestowed her with life. She grew up among the Amazons who taught her the skills of a warrior as well as the lessons of peace and love. When Steve Trevor, an American pilot, crash landed on Paradise Island, the Amazons had a contest to determine who should receive the honor and responsibility to take him back to Man’s World and serve as the champion emissary of all the Amazons represent.
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.
During the fight, Steve approaches Diana who can't hear him speak due to an explosion temporarily rupturing her eardrums. Steve, after much talking, departs and leaves Diana with his watch before boarding the plane which is taking off with the mustard gas. Ares eventually restrains Diana, imploring her to surrender and realize the futility of their fight. Diana notices the plane in the sky as she's pinned to the ground and watches in horror as it explodes with Steve sacrificing himself to save billions of lives.
Artemis of Bana-Mighdall briefly served as Wonder Woman during Hippolyta's trials for a new Wonder Woman. Orana, a character similar to Artemis, defeated Diana in a new contest and became Wonder Woman in pre-Crisis on Infinite Earths continuity. Orana was killed during her first mission. Others who have donned the Wonder Woman persona include Nubia, Cassandra Sandsmark, and Donna Troy.
In Wonder Woman Vol. 1 #204, Diana's powers and costume were returned to her and she is once again reinstated as Wonder Woman. I-Ching is killed by a crazy sniper in the same issue. Later, Diana meets her sister Nubia, who is Hippolyta's daughter fashioned out of dark clay (hence Nubia's dark complexion). Nubia claimed to be the "Wonder Woman of The Floating Island", and she challenges Diana to a duel which ends in a draw. Returning to her home, Nubia would have further adventures involving Diana.
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.
Expert Social Intuit: Wonder Woman, as Diana Prince, has a high degree of social confidence (having had a century of experience living in "Man's World" after World War I), allowing her to intuitively determine how to interact with others, gain their respect and get her point across with calmness, eloquence, and charisma. Hence, Diana swiftly befriended the Wonder Men, she diplomatically greeted Bruce Wayne, matter-of-factly showing him that she can intellectually keep up with him (calmly responding to Bruce's anger at having been stolen from by her), she tactfully accepted a wine glass from the Gotham City Museum of Antiquities curator (despite seemingly disliking alcoholic beverages), she tactfully avoided correcting the curator on his claim that the fake replica of Alexander the Great's sword was the actual relic, and only when Lex Luthor insulted her father Zeus' memory did Diana have a look of visible dismay on her face (but even then she avoided making a scene), and only when Batman insulted her beloved Steve Trevor's memory did she finally lose her temper and shove Batman back. As a result, Diana remains extremely well-respected at the Louvre Museum, by fellow antique museum curators, by the Justice League, and even the extremely experienced Batman is almost instantly intrigued by her.
The events of Crisis on Infinite Earths greatly changed and altered the history of the DC Universe. Wonder Woman's history and origin were considerably revamped by the event. Wonder Woman was now an emissary and ambassador from Themyscira (the new name for Paradise Island) to Patriarch's World, charged with the mission of bringing peace to the outside world. Various deities and concepts from Greek mythology were blended and incorporated into Wonder Woman's stories and origin. Diana was formed out of clay of the shores of Themyscira by Hippolyta, who wished for a child; the clay figure was then brought to life by the Greek deities. The Gods then blessed and granted her unique powers and abilities – beauty from Aphrodite, strength from Demeter, wisdom from Athena, speed and flight from Hermes, Eyes of the Hunter and unity with beasts from Artemis and sisterhood with fire and the ability to discern the truth from Hestia. Due to the reboot, Diana's operating methods were made distinctive from Superman and Batman's with her willingness to use deadly force when she judges it necessary. In addition, her previous history and her marriage to Steve Trevor were erased. Trevor was introduced as a man much older than Diana who would later on marry Etta Candy. Instead, Perez created Julia and Vanessa Kapatelis, a Greek-American scholar and her teenage daughter whom Diana would live with when she was in Man's world and would be major supporting characters in the series for years.
On October 21, 2016, the United Nations controversially named Wonder Woman a UN Honorary Ambassador for the Empowerment of Women and Girls in a ceremony attended by Under-Secretary-General for Communications and Public Information Cristina Gallach and by actors Lynda Carter and Gal Gadot. The character was dropped from the role two months later after a petition against the appointment stated Wonder Woman was "not culturally...sensitive" and it was "alarming that the United Nations would consider using a character with an overtly sexualized image".
The story then 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 children of the Amazons are introduced and Diana learns about the birth of her "brothers" – the Amazons used to infrequently invade ships coming near their island and force themselves on the sailors, before killing them. After nine months, the birth of the resulting female children was highly celebrated and they were inducted into the ranks of the Amazons while the male children were rejected. In order to save the male children from being drowned to death by the Amazons, Hephaestus traded weapons to the Amazons in exchange for them.
While living in "Man's World" for a century following World War I tempered some of Diana's more blindly held beliefs, she still held true to her core values of kindness and compassion, and further grew into an exceptionally considerate, diplomatic, and empathetic woman. This can be seen when she silently emphasizes with Lois Lane after the death of Superman had been killed (recalling her own pain after Steve Trevor's sacrifice), smiling knowingly when Aquaman accidentally sat on the Lasso of Hestia and confessed his fears about their upcoming mission and how attractive he found her. With all of her experiences, Diana is also the most diplomatic member of the Justice League, as evidenced by her treatment of the Flash with compassion and patience, despite his tendency to somewhat annoy her and the other Justice Leaguers with his humorous attitude, and the kindness and support she showed to Cyborg while he continued to grapple with his powers. Indeed, through her compassion and unbreakable spirit, Diana has given renewed hope to many of her teammates throughout the years. For example, she motivated and inspired the Wonder Men into looking past purely monetary interests, with Chief resolving to no longer be neutral in the war, Sameer finally admitting his passion for acting, and even the depressed Charlie struggling with PTSD finally beginning to sing again for the first time in years. Likewise, during the Justice League's battle against Steppenwolf's forces, Wonder Woman was able to inspire confidence in the inexperienced Flash and Cyborg, assuring them that they wouldn't need to fight the Apokoliptan invasion alone. Furthermore, she was the most understanding of Superman's confusion upon his ressurrection and remained ambivalent about fighting the newly-resurrected Superman and even implored him not to force her to, showing him compassion and persistence while attempting to get him to remember who he is (even calling him by his birth name). In addition to her general willingness for empathy, however, Diana is also extremely friendly and can step back enjoy the smaller moments in life, as seen in her utter delight in experiencing ice cream and agreement with Superman (who, up until this point she had not spoken to much) about him not missing out on the positive results of their victory over Steppenwolf.
Supporting Amazons • Antiope • Artemis • Belyllioth • Cassandra Sandsmark • Department of Metahuman Affairs • Donna Troy • Ed Indelicato • Etta Candy • Ferdinand • Fury • General Blankenship • Helena Sandsmark • Hellenders • Hercules • Hippolyta • Holliday Girls • I-Ching • Julia Kapatelis • Jumpa • Lauren Haley • Lyta Milton • Mala • Micah Rains • Mike Schorr • Natasha Teranova • Nemesis • Nubia • Olympian • Orana • Phil Darnell • Philippus • Rama Chandra • Sarge Steel • Sofia Constantinas • Steve Trevor • Titans of Myth • Trevor Barnes • Vanessa Kapatelis • Warkiller • Wonder Girl • Wonder Man
Lasso Mastery: Wonder Woman is extremely skilled at wielding her unbreakable Lasso of Hestia both offensively and defensively, notably using it to stop an escaping German spy, to take down numerous German soldiers in World War I battles, to retrain a British terrorist leader, to restrain and defeat General Ludendorff, to hold her own against Ares after getting her sword destroyed, to restrain a resurrected Superman (albeit unsuccessfully), and to even restrain Doomsday himself.
This superhero era led by Kanigher didn’t last long though. The character was mired in the story lines from the golden age and especially her attachment to Steve Trevor. At the same time across the DC lineup characters were being revitalized with a new focus on science fiction. The silver age at DC is often attributed to having been started by the appearance of the re-imagined Flash in Showcase #4 in 1956. This led to a number of DC characters being reinvented such as Green Lantern and Hawkman. The difference with Wonder Woman though is that the character had managed to stay continually published since the golden age and did not get a science fiction retelling in the 1950s and 1960s. This left the character somewhat stilled mired in the past and eventually it was decided that something would be done to break her free of it. When the decision was made though it was decided that she would not have a science fiction background as it would break too much from her background as an Amazon, but that she would be slightly re-imagined as a martial arts based character, more along the lines of Batman. This would allow her to keep her somewhat unique background story, while also being more contemporary and popular. A much stronger emphasis was also placed on her appearance, as her somewhat drab civilian clothes and costume from the golden era were replaced with contemporary fashions of the time. In addition she opened a fashion boutique in trendy Greenwhich Village. This has led some to describe this era of the character as the “Mod Girl Wonder Woman.” While this version of the character did not prove to be consistently popular over the course of her brief run, it did leave some lasting impact on the character once she returned to her usual appearance. Following this she sought out more ambitious careers, for instance as a translator for the United Nations, or as a NASA astronaut and eventually moved back to Army Intelligence where she eventually got promoted to major. Also this period provided the opportunity to sever her from a dependence on Steve Trevor for her stories and her stories for the first time in her publication history became much more in line with what is considered typical of the super hero medium. The introduction of the multiverse made it such that there became two Wonder Womans, the modern version on Earth 1, and the golden age version on Earth 2. For a short time her appearances in her own comic were those of Earth 2 until the contemporary Angle Man accidentally visited her and subsequently the series was returned to modern day. The stories continued much like this for the remainder of the silver age until the end of the first Wonder Woman series with the events of Crisis on Infinite Earths. To provide closure to the character which was destined for a reboot, Steve Trevor returned and following the defense of Paradise Island from Shadow Demons, the two were finally married, though in continuity this lasted less than an issue.
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.