In the Silver Age, Wonder Woman's history received several changes. Her earlier origin, which had significant ties to World War II, was changed and her powers were shown to be the product of the gods' blessings, corresponding to her epithet, "beautiful as Aphrodite, wise as Athena, stronger than Hercules, and swifter than Hermes". The concepts of Wonder Girl and Wonder Tot were also introduced during this period.
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.
During a training session observed by Hippolyta, Diana sparred against her fellow warriors, demonstrating her weapons expertise and defeating each of them swiftly. Her final opponent was Antiope herself. The two fought with all their might. Diana managed to disarm Antiope and looked toward her mother for approval. Antiope seized the opportunity to push Diana to the ground and pick up her sword, admonishing her for letting her her guard down. As Antiope slashed at her and forced her backwards, Diana instinctively brought her arms together to block the attack. She clashed her arm gauntlets together, resulting in her unleashing a powerful shock-wave that sent Antiope flying back and left all spectating Amazons there, including Diana herself, in complete shock.
Despite helping win the war, defeating Ares and still loving humanity, Diana is still left sobered, emotionally broken, psychologically scarred, and devastated over not having been able to save the Belgian village from Dr. Poison, as well as over her beloved Steve Trevor's self-sacrificing death. Indeed, Diana would later claim that she "would never be the same" ever again after World War I. Moreover, in the years that followed, Diana bore witness to a "century of horrors" (Wars, Fascism, Communism, nuclear weapons' deployment, geopolitical brinkmanship, racism, homophobia, genocides, war crimes, propaganda, and etc.), and due to all of this occurring without Ares being there to spread corruption, Diana almost completely lost faith in humanity, coming to believe that humans "made a world where standing together is impossible". As such, Diana resolved to mostly abandon superheroism for 100 years.
Marston introduced the idea to Gaines. Given the go-ahead, Marston developed Wonder Woman, whom he believed to be a model of that era's unconventional, liberated woman. Marston also drew inspiration from the bracelets worn by Olive Byrne, who lived with the couple in a polyamorous relationship. Wonder Woman debuted in All Star Comics #8 (cover date Dec/Jan 1941/1942, released in October 1941), scripted by Marston.
Magic (Formerly): When she was a child, Diana was marked by the goddess Hecate and bestowed with a fraction of her magical ability. This power lay dormant until it was activated by the Upside-Down Man. Zatanna remarked that Wonder Woman's magical power was unlike anything she had ever seen or felt, and Diana possessed at least enough power to cast out the Upside-Down Man, an immensely powerful demon, from the world. After the Justice League Dark defeated Hecate, the Witchmarked's power was taken from them and absorbed by Circe.
During the Silver Age, under writer Robert Kanigher, Wonder Woman's origin was revamped, along with other characters'. The new origin story increased the character's Hellenic and mythological roots: receiving the blessing of each deity in her crib, Diana is destined to become as "beautiful as Aphrodite, wise as Athena, strong as Hercules, and swift as Hermes."
“Anniversary, which we forgot entirely,” Olive Byrne wrote in her secret diary in 1936. (The diary remains in family hands.) During the years when she lived with Marston and Holloway, she wore, instead of a wedding ring, a pair of bracelets. Wonder Woman wears those same cuffs. Byrne died in 1990, at the age of 86. She and Holloway had been living together in an apartment in Tampa. While Byrne was in the hospital, dying, Holloway fell and broke her hip; she was admitted to the same hospital. They were in separate rooms. They’d lived together for 64 years. When Holloway, in her hospital bed, was told that Byrne had died, she sang a poem by Tennyson: “Sunset and the evening star, / And one clear call for me! / And may there be no moaning of the bar, / When I put out to sea.” No newspaper ran an obituary.
Marston was a man of a thousand lives and a thousand lies. “Olive Richard” was the pen name of Olive Byrne, and she hadn’t gone to visit Marston—she lived with him. She was also the niece of Margaret Sanger, one of the most important feminists of the 20th century. In 1916, Sanger and her sister, Ethel Byrne, Olive Byrne’s mother, had opened the first birth-control clinic in the United States. They were both arrested for the illegal distribution of contraception. In jail in 1917, Ethel Byrne went on a hunger strike and nearly died.
John is a long-time pop culture fan, comics historian, and blogger. He is currently the Editor-in-Chief at Comics Nexus. Prior to being EIC he has produced several column series including DEMYTHIFY, NEAR MINT MEMORIES and the ONE FAN'S TRIALS at the Nexus plus a stint at Bleeding Cool producing the COMICS REALISM column. As BabosScribe, John is active on his twitter account, his facebook page and welcomes any and all feedback. Bring it on!
Steve Rose in The Guardian criticized the film for failing to explore the material's potential for "patriarchy-upending subversion". Peter Travers of Rolling Stone criticized the film's over-reliance on exposition: "Wonder Woman is hobbled by a slogging origin story and action that only comes in fits and starts. Just when Gadot and director Patty Jenkins...are ready to kick ass, we get backstory."
Upon becoming a super-heroine, Wonder Woman became a founding member of the Justice League. Her ambassadorial duties required her to visit Washington D.C., with army officer Steve Trevor as her liaison. When Parademons stormed Metropolis, Wonder Woman resolved to defend the city, meeting the heroes Superman, Batman, Flash, Green Lantern and Aquaman. They also met the young hero Cyborg, who attempted to warn them against the evil alien conqueror Darkseid. Unfortunately, Cyborg's warnings were meaningless, as Darkseid had already arrived. Although Darkseid had initially beat them without effort, Green Lantern rallied them in order to confront Darkseid as a team. Wonder Woman proved crucial in Darkseid's defeat, stabbing him in one of his eyes to prevent him from using his Omega Beams. This gave Superman and Cyborg enough time to throw Darkseid back into his home-world.
Preparing to get Zola back from Hades, Wonder Woman and her male companions sought out Eros in Italy. She hoped that he could lead them to Hephaestus, who might have been able to arm them appropriately for battle with the ruler of Hell. He lead them to Mount Etna, where the blacksmith agreed to arm them. As retribution for his aid, though, Hades sent a monster to kill them all, which had to be dispatched by Diana. Afterwards, Hephaestus armed Diana with new weapons, insisting that she take Eros' guns of love with her to Hell.
In one episode, a newspaper editor named Brown, desperate to discover Wonder Woman’s past, assigns a team of reporters to chase her down; she easily escapes them. Brown, gone half mad, is committed to a hospital. Wonder Woman disguises herself as a nurse and brings him a scroll. “This parchment seems to be the history of that girl you call ‘Wonder Woman’!” she tells him. “A strange, veiled woman left it with me.” Brown leaps out of bed and races back to the city desk, where he cries out, parchment in hand, “Stop the presses! I’ve got the history of Wonder Woman!” But Wonder Woman’s secret history isn’t written on parchment. Instead, it lies buried in boxes and cabinets and drawers, in thousands of documents, housed in libraries, archives and collections spread all over the United States, including the private papers of creator Marston—papers that, before I saw them, had never before been seen by anyone outside of Marston’s family.