Comic books were more or less invented in 1933 by Maxwell Charles Gaines, a former elementary school principal who went on to found All-American Comics. Superman first bounded over tall buildings in 1938. Batman began lurking in the shadows in 1939. Kids read them by the piles. But at a time when war was ravaging Europe, comic books celebrated violence, even sexual violence. In 1940, the Chicago Daily News called comics a “national disgrace.” “Ten million copies of these sex-horror serials are sold every month,” wrote the newspaper’s literary editor, calling for parents and teachers to ban the comics, “unless we want a coming generation even more ferocious than the present one.”
William Marston's earliest works were notorious for containing subversive "bondage and sapphic-undertones" subtext. Among Wonder Women's infamous catchphrases, "Suffering Sappho", was a direct reference to lesbianism. Fredric Wertham's Seduction of the Innocent referred to her as the "lesbian counterpart to Batman" (whom he also identified as a homosexual). After Marston's death in 1947, DC Comics downplayed her sexuality and feminist origin. Wonder Women, without Marston's creative direction, become more "traditional" superhero fair; the lesbian relationships and sexual imagery disappeared from the "Wonder Woman" comic, along with Wonder Woman's super powers. During the Comics Code Authority-decades since, Wonder Woman's subversiveness had been gradually stripped away; subsequent comic book writers and artists either didn't know know what do with her or barely hinted at Wonder Woman's erotic legacy. Similar to whitewashing, Wonder Woman's queerness and feminist identity throughout the latter half of the 20th century was never discussed and rendered "invisible" in adaptations in favor of the dominant sexism portrayal of women in comic books.
Gloria Steinem, editor for Ms. magazine and a major supporter of Wonder Woman, stated "... [Marston] had invented Wonder Woman as a heroine for little girls, and also as a conscious alternative to the violence of comic books for boys." Badower described a near-international incident (involving an unnamed Russian general rolling dozens of tanks and munitions through a shady mountain pass) as an outstanding example for standing up to bullies. "She ends up deflecting a bullet back and disarming the general," he says, adding that "she doesn't actually do anything violent in the story. I just think that Wonder Woman is smarter than that."
Now a mod boutique owner, the powerless Diana Prince acquired a Chinese mentor named I Ching. Under I Ching's guidance, Diana learned martial arts and weapons skills, and engaged in adventures that encompassed a variety of genres, from espionage to mythology. During this time she fought villains such as Catwoman, Doctor Cyber, the hippie gang Them!, and the campy witch Morgana.
The Pre-Crisis version of the invisible plane was a necessity because before Crisis on Infinite Earths rewrote Wonder Woman's history – along with the histories of many other heroes – Wonder Woman could not fly. She grew increasingly powerful during and after the Silver Age of Comic Books, acquiring the power to ride wind currents and imitate flight over short distances. This had limitations, however; for example, if there was no wind and the air was completely still she would be trapped on the ground or if dropped from a distance that she would helplessly fall out of control to the ground. Though this meant that she would rely on the invisible plane less frequently, she always had need of it.
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.
In her debut in All Star Comics #8, Diana was a member of a tribe of women called the Amazons, native to Paradise Island – a secluded island set in the middle of a vast ocean. Captain Steve Trevor's plane crashes on the island and he is found alive but unconscious by Diana and fellow Amazon, and friend, Mala. Diana has him nursed back to health and falls in love with him. A competition is held amongst all the Amazons by Diana's mother, the Queen of the Amazons Hippolyta, in order to determine who is the most worthy of all the women; Hippolyta charges the winner with the responsibility of delivering Captain Steve Trevor back to Man's World and to fight for justice. Hippolyta forbids Diana from entering the competition, but she takes part nonetheless, wearing a mask to conceal her identity. She wins the competition and reveals herself, surprising Hippolyta, who ultimately accepts, and must give in to, Diana's wish to go to Man's World. She then is awarded a special uniform made by her mother for her new role as Wonder Woman and safely returns Steve Trevor to his home country.
Wonder Woman appears in the first three issues of the Ame-Comi comic run. She is depicted as a young warrior eager to prove herself in battle, but when she goes against her mothers words it results in a punishment of sorts. Diana is made into an ambassador of peace to the world outside of Themyscira, which she is reluctant to perform. At a U.N. Assembly where she announces Themyscira's intention for peace she is attack by Cheetah, who is quickly defeated. This depiction of Diana is that of a younger amazon who is depicted in a more arrogant and aggressive manner.
Another major outfit change for Wonder Woman came about as part of DC Comics' 2011 relaunch of its entire line of publications, The New 52. The character's original one-piece outfit was restored, although the color combination of red and blue was changed to dark red and blue-black. Her chest-plate, belt and tiara were also changed from gold to a platinum or sterling silver color. Along with her sword, she now also utilizes a shield. She wears many accessories such as arm and neck jewelry styled as the "WW" motif. Her outfit is no longer made of fabric, as it now resembles a type of light, flexible body armor. Her boots are now a very dark blue rather than red. The design previously included black trousers, but they were removed and the one-piece look was restored during the time of publication.
Elise Jost of Moviepilot observed that "Gadot's take on Wonder Woman is one of those unique cases of an actor merging with their story, similar to Robert Downey Jr.'s Tony Stark. Gal Gadot is Wonder Woman, and Wonder Woman is Gal Gadot." Jost praised Gadot's interpretation of Wonder Woman as the one in which Gadot "absolutely nails the character's unwaveringly positive outlook on life. She's a force of nature who believes in the greater good; her conviction that she's meant to save the world is stronger than her bullet-deflecting shield. She's genuine, she's fun, she's the warm source of energy at the heart of the movie." The Federalist suggests that Wonder Woman is "a story of Jesus". "The movie is wrapped up in faux Greek mythology, true, but there's no mistaking the Christology here." "Perhaps Christ in the form of a beautiful and kick-ass Amazon is all that our contemporary society can handle right now", stated M. Hudson, a Christian feminist. On HuffPost cultural critic, G. Roger Denson, who regards the superhero genre as a source of contemporary "Mainstream Mythopoetics" ("the making of new yet vitally meaningful, if not symbolic, stories filled with imagery reflecting, yet also shaping and advancing, the political, legal, moral and social practices of today"), wrote that the "No Man's Land" scene "that people are crying over in theaters and raving about afterward happens to be among the most powerfully mythopoetic scenes ever filmed at the same time it is one of the oldest myths to have been utilized by artists and writers after it had been invented by early military strategists and leaders." Specifically "used by director Patty Jenkins", the scene raises "the esteem for powerful yet compassionate women as heroes and leaders to a level equal with that of men for having won over a huge and adoring popular audience around the world".
A warning that is first heard from the lips of Cheetah as she attempts to escape captivity, yet is echoed by others around the globe, all putting Wonder Woman on alert. As she attempts to investigate, she is attacked by Supergirl, wanting vengeance for the death of Rao, as the influence has gotten to her as well. An epic battle breaks out, and once again, the trusty Lasso of Truth saves the day, though barely.
Cheetah sought revenge upon Veronica Cale for abandoning her, and attempted to murder her, but was stopped by Wonder Woman. Cale refused to transform Cheetah back to her human form, and Cheetah herself decided that she no longer desired to be human. Having left her Lasso of Truth binding Phobos and Deimos, Diana was given it back by the Olympian Gods and reunited with Steve.
When last we left Wonder Woman #49, the battle brewing ever since DC's METAL cracked open the Multiverse seemed to be reaching its climax. With the Dark Gods playing similar roles to the Greek pantheon, but with all-powerful demands, enslaving humanity, Diana and her twin brother Jason were splitting up to oppose them around the globe. Just as they seemed to knock back their leader, King Best, the Dark Gods launch an assault on Jason.