Wonder Woman was created by the American psychologist and writer William Moulton Marston (pen name: Charles Moulton),[2] and artist Harry G. Peter. Marston's wife, Elizabeth, and their life partner, Olive Byrne,[5] are credited as being his inspiration for the character's appearance.[2][6][7][8][9] Marston's comics featured his ideas on DISC theory,[10] and the character drew a great deal of inspiration from early feminists, and especially from birth control pioneer Margaret Sanger; in particular, her piece "Woman and the New Race".


In 1944, Gaines and Marston signed an agreement for Wonder Woman to become a newspaper strip, syndicated by King Features. Busy with the newspaper strip, Marston hired an 18-year-old student, Joye Hummel, to help him write comic-book scripts. Joye Hummel, now Joye Kelly, turned 90 this April; in June, she donated her collection of never-before-seen scripts and comic books to the Smithsonian Libraries. Hiring her helped with Marston’s editorial problem, too. Her stories were more innocent than his. She’d type them and bring them to Sheldon Mayer, Marston’s editor at DC, she told me, and “He always OK’d mine faster because I didn’t make mine as sexy.” To celebrate syndication, Gaines had his artists draw a panel in which Superman and Batman, rising out of the front page of a daily newspaper, call out to Wonder Woman, who’s leaping onto the page, “Welcome, Wonder Woman!”
In the first story arc, Wonder Woman meets and protects a young woman named Zola, from Hera's wrath. Zola is pregnant with Zeus's child and Hera, seething with jealousy intends to kill the child.[62] [63][64][65] [66][67] The major event in this story is the revelation of Diana's true parentage. Long ago, Hippolyta and Zeus battled each other. Their battle ended with the couple making love and thus Diana was conceived.[62] The first six issues of the New 52 series are collected in a hardcover titled Wonder Woman Vol. 1: Blood.[68]
Development of a live action Wonder Woman film began in 1996, with Ivan Reitman slated to produce and possibly direct. The project floundered in development hell for many years; Jon Cohen, Todd Alcott, and Joss Whedon, among others, were also attached to the project at various points. Warner Bros. announced the film in 2010 and Jenkins signed on to direct in 2015. Inspiration for Wonder Woman was drawn from Wonder Woman creator William Moulton Marston's 1940s stories and George Pérez's 1980s stories about Wonder Woman, as well as the New 52 incarnation of the character. Principal photography began on November 21, 2015, with filming taking place in the United Kingdom, France, and Italy before finishing on May 6, 2016, the 123rd anniversary of Marston's birth. Additional filming took place in November 2016.
When Diana returns she takes on the persona of Diana Prince, now a secret agent and member of the Department of Metahuman Affairs. She is partnered with Nemesis and the two report to Sarge Steel. Her first assignment is to retrieve her sister Donna Troy, who has been kidnapped by several of her most persistent enemies; their powers have been augmented by Circe. After this is accomplished, Diana takes back the title of Wonder Woman.[9]
Wonder Woman received a largely positive response from film critics, with some calling it the DC Extended Universe's best film, with additional praise highlighting Jenkins's direction, acting, chemistry of Gadot and Pine, musical score, and action sequences.[8][203] On the review aggregator Rotten Tomatoes, the film holds an approval rating of 93% based on 425 reviews, with an average rating of 7.66/10. The website's critical consensus reads, "Thrilling, earnest, and buoyed by Gal Gadot's charismatic performance, Wonder Woman succeeds in spectacular fashion."[204] It is the second highest-rated superhero film on the site.[10][note 1] On Metacritic, the film has a weighted average score of 76 out of 100, based on 50 critics, indicating "generally favorable reviews".[205] Audiences polled by CinemaScore gave the film an average grade of "A" on an A+ to F scale, while PostTrak reported filmgoers gave it an 85% overall positive score and a 73% "definite recommend".[206]
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.[103][104][105][106] Circe would later return by unknown means.
Gloria Steinem also liked the film, stating that she felt it made the "Amazon origin story clear; [Wonder Woman] was stopping war, not perpetuating it." Steinem also noted that she knew "some women were disappointed by all the makeup, but I may be desperate—I was just happy that the Amazons had wild hair!" Her only complaint lay in the choice to eliminate the World War II setting as the Wonder Woman comic book developed in response to existing comics that were "so sadistic and racist that there was a congressional hearing on the subject".[249] Steinem also gave Hillary Clinton the first Wonder Woman Award in October 2017 during the Women's Media Center's "Speaking Truth to Power Awards" (an organization created by Steinem, Jane Fonda, and Robin Morgan). Upon receiving the award, Clinton noted that she had seen Jenkins's Wonder Woman film and that she "loved the outfit". She also said that as her granddaughter was "really keen" on Wonder Woman, Clinton "thought maybe I could borrow something from her for the night. It didn't quite work for me, but I will say that this award means a lot to me because as a little girl, and then as a young woman, and then as a slightly older woman, I always wondered when Wonder Woman would have her time, and now that has happened."[250] Clinton had previously praised Jenkins's film, in a public August 2017 message, stating that "it was just as inspirational as I'd suspected a movie about a strong, powerful woman in a fight to save the world from international disaster would be."[251][252][253]
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'.[148] The issue was narrated in the style of a typical Silver Age comic book and saw Diana in her childhood years.[149] 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.[148][149][150] 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.[151]
Director James Cameron continued this debate, through his critique of the representation of female power in Jenkins's film. In an August 2017 interview with The Guardian, Cameron qualifies Jenkins's vision of Wonder Woman as "an objectified icon" and called the film "a step backwards". In contrast, he states, his character Sarah Connor (from his Terminator films) "was not a beauty icon. She was strong, she was troubled, she was a terrible mother, and she earned the respect of the audience through pure grit."[254] Jenkins stated in response that Cameron's "inability to understand what 'Wonder Woman' is, or stands for, to women all over the world is unsurprising as, though he is a great filmmaker, he is not a woman". She further argued "there is no right and wrong kind of powerful woman" because "if women have to always be hard, tough and troubled to be strong, and we aren't free to be multidimensional or celebrate an icon of women everywhere because she is attractive and loving, then we haven't come very far have we."[255] Reaction to this debate was mixed. Julie Miller sided with Cameron, whom she states refers to himself as "a pretty hardcore feminist" and who told Vulture that "I have no problem writing a script in which the males become subservient to the females, which is what happens in Aliens ... It's up to Ripley to win the day." In contrast, Miller argues that Jenkins and Gadot envisioned Wonder Woman as "a woman who exuded both femininity and strength, along with genuine confusion as to why men would treat women differently than they do other men".[256] Susannah Breslin also agreed with Cameron, describing Jenkins's Wonder Woman as "a Playmate with a lasso" and "female power with no balls".[257] Others were more critical of Cameron's critique.[258] An article in Newsweek suggests that in contrast to his criticism of Jenkins, Cameron's own films include "lot of objectification" and quotes a few Hollywood celebrities who echoed this view. One of the quotes came from Jesse McLaren who states that "James Cameron's just confused there's a female hero whose motivations aren't centered around motherhood."[259] Noah Berlatsky found areas of agreement between both Cameron and Jenkins, stating that while Cameron's objection is "an old point that's been made over and over for decades", Jenkins's film is not "solely focused on objectifying Gal Gadot for a male audience".[260]
During the 25 bi-monthly issues of the "new" Wonder Woman, the writing team changed four times. Consequently, the stories display abrupt shifts in setting, theme, and tone. The revised series attracted writers not normally associated with comic books, most notably science fiction author Samuel R. Delany, who wrote Wonder Woman #202–203 (October and December 1972).[9]
In the "Watchmen" sequel "Doomsday Clock," Doctor Poison attended the meeting established by the Riddler and mentioned a rumor that Wonder Woman was forcefully dragged back to Themyscira by her fellow Amazons.[163] Wonder Woman comes out of hiding to address the United Nations, hoping to defuse the metahuman arms race. However, the summit is interrupted by Black Adam, the Creeper, and Giganta, who take advantage of the absence of most of Earth's superheroes to attack the UN at the time when the superheroes were confronting Doctor Manhattan on Mars.[164]
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.
On occasions Wonder Woman has employed a magical sword of unknown (though presumably Amazon) origin. This sword has been used most specifically against those with the power of invulnerability as invulnerability generally does not work against magical items. It is generally represented as a short sword. In Wonder Woman (vol. 4) #15, Hephaestus modifies Diana's bracelets so that she can manifest two short swords from them during battle.
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.[22] Wonder Woman debuted in All Star Comics #8 (cover date Dec/Jan 1941/1942, released in October 1941),[23] scripted by Marston.
The Diana Prince alias also played an important role after the events of Infinite Crisis. Wonder Woman was broadcast worldwide killing a villain named Maxwell Lord, as he was mind controlling Superman into killing Batman. When Wonder Woman caught him in her lasso, demanding to know how to stop Superman, Maxwell revealed that the only way to stop him was to kill Lord, so as a last resort Diana snapped his neck.[63][64] To recover from the trauma of killing another person, the Amazon went into a self-imposed exile for one year.[65] On her return to public life, Diana realized that her life as a full-time celebrity superhero and ambassador had kept her removed from humanity. Because of this she assumed the persona of Diana Prince and became an agent at the Department of Metahuman Affairs. During a later battle with the witch Circe, a spell was placed on Diana leaving her powerless when not in the guise of Wonder Woman.[66]
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