Wonder Woman has been the subject of a discussion regarding the appearance and representation of female power in general, and of female action heroes in particular since her initial 1941 appearance in Sensation Comics, as she was created to document "the growth in the power of women", while wearing "a golden tiara, a red bustier, blue underpants and knee-high, red leather boots." She was blacklisted a year later in 1942 in the "Publications Disapproved for Youth" because, the group behind the list argued, she was "not sufficiently dressed".
After the 2011 relaunch, Diana gained new powers. These new abilities, which included superhuman speed, durability, immortality, accelerated healing, and even flight came in addition to her previous attributed Olympian strength. She is now considered to be stronger than Hercules. In addition to her weaponry, Diana's bracelets can now create an thunderous explosion when she clashes them together. These new abilities are attributed to being the daughter of Hippolyta and Zeus. Her powers are now considered nearly unmeasurable if she goes without her Bracelets of Submission, which keep her powers in check. She uses these powers in battle against the goddess Artemis and quickly renders her unconscious with ease with a series of carefully positioned counterattacks. While using her godly strength, her outfit and accoutrements lit up and her eyes glowed like her father's.[better source needed]
After, she encounters Apollo and Artemis. A fight ensues while lead to the capture of Zola. Using Hermes caduceus, they teleport to Olympus and the following events occur: Hermes gives Diana the ability of flight after poking her with a mystical feather, and two, Diana shows off her "God Mode" off to the goddess Artemis, revealing that taking off her bracelets augments her strength.
The chief chemist associated with General Ludendorff who specializes in chemistry and poisons. On her role, Anaya said, "Well, it was a small role in this big ensemble, but it is an important character in the story. I'm going to be a big nightmare" for Wonder Woman and Steve Trevor. Describing her character, Anaya said, "Dr. Maru loves rage and enjoys people's pain. She's creating terrible weapons, and her purpose in life is to kill as many people as possible, and provoke as much pain as possible". She researched World War I and Fritz Haber, the scientist who created mustard gas, to prepare for the role. On the character's facial scars, Anaya stated, "I went to Patty Jenkins and asked, 'What happened to her?' And she said, 'She did it on purpose.' I was like, 'What? Patty, you're going further than I ever imagined.' She said, 'She wants to provoke painful suffering, so she tested her own gas on her own face. She wanted to know how deep this form of her gas would go, so she put it on her own face.' You can see half of her face is completely gone. This is the sadistic side of Dr. Maru". She also stated her character "is quite the opposite to the lead role of this movie, one of the strongest characters ever of DC comics, Wonder Woman. I can tell you that Doctor Poison is someone with a capacity to provoke so much pain." On Dr. Maru's relationship with General Ludendorff, Anaya said, "I think that they have a relationship based on loyalty. Ludendorff is a very tormented General that lacks self-confidence. That's why, in part, he takes these drugs that Dr. Poison gives him. They are from different worlds, but they complement each other".
Her various durability levels originally stemmed from her Amazonian training. In post-Golden Age and Pre-52, Demeter (Goddess of the Earth) granted her immunity to radiation and the coldness of space; she also possesses a high level of resistance against fire and high temperatures, she has been shown taking fire, lava, thermonuclear explosions, hell fire and even superman's heat vision, however, her invulnerability has a vulnerable point against piercing weapons. Wonder Woman can fight with and withstood considerable damage in the form of hand to hand combat with opponents such as Superman and Gods. Wonder Woman possesses a high resistance to damage and magical attacks. Also she was self-sufficient in the fact that Wonder Woman did not have to eat or sleep and could hold her breath under water for hours and hours. This may still hold true in the new 52, Wonder Woman has still shown the ability to fight on with little to no rest or food to replenish her strength.
Chris Pine was cast as Steve Trevor, a character he described as a "rogue-ish, cynical realist who's seen the awful brutish nature of modern civilization" and added that he is a "worldly guy, a charming guy". He signed a multi-picture deal. Lucy Davis' performance as Etta Candy is the first live-action cinematic portrayal of the character. As well, Elena Anaya's performance as Doctor Poison is the cinematic debut of that character. Nicole Kidman was in negotiations for the role of Queen Hippolyta, but was forced to drop out due to scheduling conflicts with Big Little Lies.
Later, as a healer tended to Diana's battle wounds, she noted with confusion that Diana's wounds had healed completely. Diana then visited Trevor in his cell, asking him about the outside world. Due to his words, Diana decided to sneak him off the island and confront Ares herself. She snuck into the island's tower and stole the god killer, along with an Amazon shield, the Lasso of Hestia, and a special set of battle armor. She broke Trevor out of his cell and took him to the island's dock, where she was intercepted by her mother. To her surprise, Hippolyta allowed Diana to leave, gifting her Antiope's tiara. She then warned Diana to be careful, mournfully telling her that the world of men did not deserve her.
Orion tells Diana that he was sent to earth to fight a threat, and surprised that the possible threat he faces is a mere child. They find out that Zola's baby is being kept with Hermes, who in turn is hiding in Demeter's realm. Going back to the hotel to regroup, they find Zola and Hera missing. Finally finding them in a bar, Diana comes face to face with War, her old master.
The girl who wondered has seen wonders... has become a woman who has traveled the world, who has traveled worlds! A woman who has touched countless lives, has made them better in ways beyond measure. A woman who has brought hope, and joy, and love. A woman who is the hero of so many. The truth of you has never changed, Diana. Even the gods themselves could not take that from you. Why would we? It's one of the many reasons we love you.
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 Greek messenger god, Hermes, entrusts Wonder Woman with the protection of Zola, a young woman, who is pregnant with Zeus's child, from Hera, seething with jealousy and determined to kill the child. With the appearance of a bizarre, new, chalk-white enemy, the goddess Strife (a reimagined version of Eris, the goddess of discord who had battled Wonder Woman in post-Crisis continuity), Wonder Woman discovers she, herself, is the natural-born daughter of Hippolyta and Zeus, who, after a violent clash, became lovers. Hippolyta revealed Diana's earlier origin story to be a lie, spread amongst the Amazons to protect Diana from the wrath of Hera, who is known for hunting and killing several illegitimate offspring of Zeus.
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 "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.
In this new continuity, Wonder Woman's origin is significantly changed and she is no longer a clay figure brought to life by the magic of the gods. Instead, she is the natural-born daughter of Hippolyta and Zeus. The earlier origin story was revealed by Hippolyta to be a ruse thought up by the Amazons, to protect Diana from the wrath of Hera, who is known for hunting and killing several illegitimate offspring of Zeus.
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.
Demeter, the goddess of agriculture and fertility, blessed Diana with strength drawn from the Earth spirit Gaea, making her one of the physically strongest heroes in the DC Universe and the strongest female hero in the DC Universe. This strength has allowed her to easily overwhelm Superman and Supergirl. She has also held her own against Darkseid. Her strength has no measurable limits and she can break the Chronus Scepter, which is universal in its destructive power. However, now Diana is the daughter of Zeus, king of the Greek Gods, so it is unclear as to how much of her power and strength is a direct result of her divine heritage. Her connection to the earth allows her to heal at an accelerated rate so long as she is in contact with the planet. However, as mentioned earlier, now that she is a demigoddess, it has been suggested that she heals extremely quickly also due to her divine heritage. In rare cases where she has been gravely injured, Diana showed the ability to physically merge with the earth, causing whatever injuries or poisons to be expelled from her body; such an act is considered sacred, and can only be used in extreme cases.
Gaines was hugely relieved, at least until September 1943, when a letter arrived from John D. Jacobs, a U.S. Army staff sergeant in the 291st Infantry, stationed at Fort Leonard Wood, Missouri. “I am one of those odd, perhaps unfortunate men who derive an extreme erotic pleasure from the mere thought of a beautiful girl, chained or bound, or masked, or wearing extreme high-heels or high-laced boots,—in fact, any sort of constriction or strain whatsoever,” Jacobs wrote. He wanted to know whether the author of Wonder Woman himself had in his possession any of the items depicted in the stories, “the leather mask, or the wide iron collar from Tibet, or the Greek ankle manacle? Or do you just ‘dream up’ these things?”
She also had an array of mental and psychic abilities, as corresponding to Marston's interest in parapsychology and metaphysics. Such an array included ESP, astral projection, telepathy (with or without the Mental Radio), mental control over the electricity in her body, the Amazonian ability to turn brain energy into muscle power, etc. Wonder Woman first became immune to electric shocks after having her spirit stripped from her atoms by Dr. Psycho's Electro Atomizer; it was also discovered that she was unable to send a mental radio message without her body.
Wonder Woman’s powers are a result of the blessings she received from the gods (or presumably in the modern version by her divine ancestry), but originally came from her "brain energy" training. Her abilities in large part come from her upbringing in the martial society of the Amazons. She is one of the most powerful superheroes in the DC universe.
Diana is depicted as a masterful athlete, acrobat, fighter and strategist, trained and experienced in many ancient and modern forms of armed and unarmed combat, including exclusive Amazonian martial arts. With her godlike abilities of incalculable superhuman strength, nigh-invulnerability, speed, flight, healing factor and semi-immortality, Diana’s fighting prowess is enhanced. In some versions, her mother trained her, as Wonder Girl, for a future career as Wonder Woman. From the beginning, she is portrayed as highly skilled in using her Amazon bracelets to stop bullets and in wielding her golden lasso. Batman once called her the "best melee fighter in the world". The modern version of the character is known to use lethal force when she deems it necessary. In the New 52 continuity, her superior combat skills are the result of her Amazon training, as well as receiving further training from Ares, the God of War, himself, since as early as her childhood. The Golden Age Wonder Woman also had knowledge in psychology, as did her Amazon sisters.
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.