Wonder Woman is the most popular female comic-book superhero of all time. Aside from Superman and Batman, no other comic-book character has lasted as long. Generations of girls have carried their sandwiches to school in Wonder Woman lunchboxes. Like every other superhero, Wonder Woman has a secret identity. Unlike every other superhero, she also has a secret history.
We've already been warned that this outcome will lead to devastating consequences, first of which is the arrival of the Omega Titans, ancient cosmic forces that can hold entire planets in the palm of their hands. The coming of these giant new enemies has been greatly hyped by DC, and the Justice League's new fight to save the world begins in this week's Justice League: No Justice.
Master Combatant: Wonder Woman, having been trained in combat tactics by Menalippe and Antiope, is a tremendously skilled, fierce, and formidable hand-to-hand combatant (being at least on par with Batman), a master of a vast array of unique Amazonian martial arts, as well as an expert in most types of melee weapons (though she most frequently uses her bracelets, lasso, sword, and even shield). She has centuries of combat experience, with her claiming to have fought and defeated several beings from "other worlds" (which includes even the fearsome God of War Ares himself). Wonder Woman swiftly became the greatest warrior of Themyscira, her tremendous combat skills eventually becoming enough to rival even those of her mentor Antiope and ultimately surpassing her upon acquiring full potential, due to the latter (upon Hippolyta's insistence) training her much harder than any Amazon ever before her. Hence, Wonder Woman defeated the notorious Slipknot with effortless ease, as well as many World War I soldiers (she defeated and killed even the enhanced General Ludendorff relatively quickly), and numerous Parademons single-handedly, seamlessly incorporating hand-to-hand combat, sword-fighting with the God Killer (and later with the Sword of Athena), and the Lasso of Hestia in her own personalized, formidable style. Indeed, Wonder Woman's tremendous skill and exceptionally versatile style make her capable of effectively holding her own against either more experienced or more powerful opponents, even the mighty God of War Ares (albeit only with considerable effort and initial failure, given his superior combat experience, and her need to use a non-violent mindset), the New God Steppenwolf, an enraged resurrected Superman, and the gigantic Doomsday, with her managing to temporarily knock the latter fearsome monster down (by smashing his feet from under him with her shield), and even temporarily restrain him with her Lasso of Hestia, as well as cut off his right arm with the Sword of Athena. Indeed, had Doomsday not had his incredibly adaptable healing factor, it is safe to assume that Wonder Woman's tremendous combat skills would have allowed her to ultimately defeat him. Moreover, even when Wonder Woman's sword was destroyed by Ares, she still held her own against the more powerful Old God. However, although she put up a considerable fight, Wonder Woman was ultimately fairly quickly defeated by the resurrected Superman, and was only saved by Lois Lane's timely intervention.
^ Esposito, Joey; Norris, Erik (December 14, 2011). "The Best of DC Comics in 2011. What are the best books coming out of the DC relaunch?". IGN. Archived from the original on September 16, 2012. Retrieved September 16, 2012. Sometimes it takes a completely fresh set of eyes to reignite the flame of creativity...By deeply rooting their new Wonder Woman series in Greek mythology, Brian Azzarello and Cliff Chiang have tapped into a creative well that appears bottomless.
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.
Wonder Woman (vol. 1) #179 (Nov. 1969) showed Wonder Woman giving up her powers and returning her costume and title to her mother, in order to continue staying in Man's World. The reason behind this was that all the Amazons were shifting to another dimension, but Diana was unable to accompany them as she needed to stay behind to help Steve, who had been wrongly convicted. Thus, she no longer held the title of Wonder Woman and after meeting and training under a blind martial arts mentor I-Ching, Diana resumed crime fighting as the powerless Diana Prince. She ran a mod-boutique as a business and dressed in a series of jumpsuits while fighting crime. During this period, Samuel R. Delany took over scripting duties with issue #202. Delany was initially supposed to write a six-issue story arc, which would culminate in a battle over an abortion clinic, but Delany was removed reportedly due to criticism from Gloria Steinem, who, not knowing the content of the issues Delany was writing, was upset that Wonder Woman had lost her powers and was no longer wearing her traditional costume.
The Lasso of Truth, or Lasso of Hestia, was forged by Hephaestus from the golden girdle of Gaea. The original form of the Lasso in the Golden Age was called the Magic Lasso of Aphrodite. It compels all beings who come into contact with it to tell the absolute truth and is virtually indestructible; in Identity Crisis, Green Arrow mistakenly describes it as "the only lie detector designed by Zeus." The only times it has been broken were when Wonder Woman herself refused to accept the truth revealed by the lasso, such as when she confronted Rama Khan of Jarhanpur, and by Bizarro in Matt Wagner's non-canonical Batman/Superman/Wonder Woman: Trinity. During the Golden Age, the original form of the Lasso had the power to force anyone caught to obey any command given them, even overriding the mind control of others; this was effective enough to defeat strong-willed beings like Captain Marvel. Diana wields the Lasso with great precision and accuracy and can use it as a whip or noose.
In August 2010 (issue #600), J. Michael Straczynski took over the series' writing duties and introduced Wonder Woman to an alternate timeline created by the Gods in which Paradise Island had been destroyed and the Amazons scattered around the world. In this timeline, Diana is an orphan raised in New York. The entire world has forgotten Wonder Woman's existence and the main story of this run was of Diana trying to restore reality even though she does not properly remember it herself. A trio of Death Goddesses called The Morrigan acted as the main enemy of Wonder Woman. In this run, Wonder Woman wears a new costume designed by Jim Lee. Straczynski determined the plot and continued writing duties until Wonder Woman #605; writer Phil Hester then continued his run, which ultimately concluded in Wonder Woman #614.
This new era of the comic book was influenced by the British television series The Avengers, with Wonder Woman in the role of Emma Peel. With Diana Prince running a boutique, fighting crime, and acting in concert with private detective allies Tim Trench and Jonny Double, the character resembled the Golden Age Black Canary. Soon after the launch of the "new" Wonder Woman, the editors severed all connections to her old life, most notably by killing Steve Trevor.
Perhaps due to her Amazonian background, Diana greatly respects other noble selfless warriors, as evidenced when she attended Superman's funeral in Smallville and spoke of how he had been much more than a soldier (adding to what Batman said about Metropolis burying an empty casket). As a result of her great posthumous respect, she was, therefore, more than willing to aid Batman in honoring the heroic death of Superman, by helping round up the metahumans from Lex Luthor's files to form a team of superheroes (later known as the Justice League) to protect the world from the imminent mysterious alien invader Steppenwolf and his Parademon minions after Superman's death left the world vulnerable.