Wonder Woman made her debut in All-Star Comics at the end of 1941 and on the cover of a new comic book, Sensation Comics, at the beginning of 1942, drawn by an artist named Harry G. Peter. She wore a golden tiara, a red bustier, blue underpants and knee-high, red leather boots. She was a little slinky; she was very kinky. She’d left Paradise to fight fascism with feminism, in “America, the last citadel of democracy, and of equal rights for women!”
As Diana, Victor and Arthur all try to simultaneously flank Superman (albeit unsuccessfully), Barry attempts to help using his speed, but Superman is able to see him and keeps up with the speedster. Despite Barry's best efforts, Superman is able to land a glancing blow, knocking him out before Batman arrives and gets Superman to stop. Wonder Woman tries to fight Superman again, yet she's knocked down. He then swats Batman and asks him the same question that Bruce asked him "Tell me, do you bleed?". Before Superman could kill Bruce, Lois and Alfred to stop him.
Earning a total of $103.3 million on its opening weekend, the film recorded a number of records: the biggest domestic opening of all time for a female director (surpassing previous record holder Fifty Shades of Grey), the biggest DC Comics release without Batman or Superman (ahead of Constantine), the sixth-biggest non-sequel comic book superhero debut ever, as well as the sixth-biggest June debut weekend. Its three-day opening alone made it the highest-grossing woman-led comic book superhero film ever (surpassing Ghost in the Shell). It was also the 16th superhero film to cross $100 million in its domestic box office launch. About 9% ($9 million) of the opening weekend came from IMAX screenings from 343 theaters. In its second week the film grossed $58.5 million, again topping the box office. It marked a 43.3% drop for its second weekend at the box office, better than the average 50–60% decline superhero films tend to see, and was a better second weekend than Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice ($51.3 million) and Suicide Squad ($43.5 million). In its third weekend it grossed $40.8 million, finishing second behind newcomer Cars 3 ($53.5 million). It was the second-best third weekend ever for Warner Bros. and was nearly double what Batman v Superman ($23.3 million), Suicide Squad ($20.9 million) and Man of Steel ($20.7 million) made in their third weekends. It earned $24.9 million and $15.7 million in its fourth and fifth weekends, respectively, dropping just 39% and 36% despite facing rough competition from opening films Transformers: The Last Knight and Despicable Me 3. It eventually became the highest-grossing film directed by a woman, surpassing the previous records of Jennifer Yuh Nelson's Kung Fu Panda 2 and Phyllida Lloyd's Mamma Mia!. By August 8, the film had garnered $400 million in ticket sales, becoming the second female-fueled film (after Disney's Beauty and the Beast), Warner Bros.' third-biggest movie (after Christopher Nolan's The Dark Knight and The Dark Knight Rises), holding the record of the highest-earning superhero origin film, replacing the previous record held by Spider-Man (2002). It also becoming the highest-earning film with a female director in terms of domestic earnings—surpassing Frozen (2013).
The story then focuses on Wonder Woman's quest to rescue Zola from Hades, who had abducted her and taken her to Hell at the end of the sixth issue of the series. The male children of the Amazons are introduced and Diana learns about the birth of her "brothers" – the Amazons used to infrequently invade ships coming near their island and force themselves on the sailors, before killing them. After nine months, the birth of the resulting female children was highly celebrated and they were inducted into the ranks of the Amazons while the male children were rejected. In order to save the male children from being drowned to death by the Amazons, Hephaestus traded weapons to the Amazons in exchange for them.
As they walked, Trevor noticed that they were being followed. He tried to lose them by taking a turn down a back alley, but instead walked straight into a German spy's gun. The man ordered Trevor to give the notebook back; he refused, instead headbutting the man. He told Diana to stay back at the man took aim and shot at them. Diana reached out her arm, blocking the bullet off her gauntlet and saving Trevor's life. Diana then fought the German spies single-handedly; her spectacles were crushed in the fight.
As the soldiers landed on the shore and began to open fire, several archers leaped from the cliffs. Diana watched, horrified, as a bullet fired from one of the German soldiers hit an archer, killing her almost instantly. Amazonian cavalry stormed the beach, engaging the soldiers and quickly overwhelming them. Though Trevor told her to stay back as he fought one of the German soldiers, Diana picked up a sword from a fallen Amazon and easily dispatched a soldier.
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.
The character has been featured in direct-to-DVD animated films and CGI theatrical releases, such as The Lego Movie (2014). Within the live-action DC Extended Universe films, Wonder Woman debuted in Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice (2016) and was featured as the main character in Wonder Woman (2017). In November 2017, she appeared in the DCEU release Justice League.
In February 1941, Marston submitted a draft of his first script, explaining the “under-meaning” of Wonder Woman’s Amazonian origins in ancient Greece, where men had kept women in chains, until they broke free and escaped. “The NEW WOMEN thus freed and strengthened by supporting themselves (on Paradise Island) developed enormous physical and mental power.” His comic, he said, was meant to chronicle “a great movement now under way—the growth in the power of women.”
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".
In addition, Diana appears to hold members of her close family in high esteem. In addition to the respect she has for her mother, Hippolyta, and aunt Antiope, she indicated that she held her father Zeus in the same very high esteem, when she was visibly angered when Lex Luthor referred to him distastefully while discussing the story of the Titan Prometheus.
In the wake of the 1954 hearings, DC Comics removed Bender from its editorial advisory board, and the Comics Magazine Association of America adopted a new code. Under its terms, comic books could contain nothing cruel: “All scenes of horror, excessive bloodshed, gory or gruesome crimes, depravity, lust, sadism, masochism shall not be permitted.” There could be nothing kinky: “Illicit sex relations are neither to be hinted at nor portrayed. Violent love scenes as well as sexual abnormalities are unacceptable.” And there could be nothing unconventional: “The treatment of love-romance stories shall emphasize the value of the home and the sanctity of marriage.”
As the daughter of Zeus, Wonder Woman has incredible control over the supernatural divine energy of the Olympian Gods, which she usually emits through her Bracelets of Submission. When she clashes her bracelets together, she releases a large spherical blast of orange (or sometimes white-hot) energy, with it being powerful enough to accidentally injure Antiope, send the mighty gods Ares and Steppenwolf flying back, and even push back the gigantic monster Doomsday. At full power, Wonder Woman could generate these shock waves from her body, notably to destroy the restrains Ares put her in and knock down a small German battalion with a very powerful omni-directional shock wave. She was also capable of using the energy to shield herself, as the debris Ares sent flying at her disintegrated against the invisible field as she built up her attack. She could also freeze the momentum of targets in front of her, causing Ares to be forcibly suspending in the air when he tried flying into her before she blasted him away. Wonder Woman can also transmit this energy through her shield. By striking one of her bracelets with her shield, she generated an energy wave that knocked down a bridge, and Cyborg and Steppenwolf with it.
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!
Pérez and Potter wrote Wonder Woman as a feminist character, and Pérez's research into Greek mythology provided Wonder Woman's world with depth and verisimilitude missing from her previous incarnation. The incorporation of Greek gods and sharply characterized villains added a richness to Wonder Woman's Amazon heritage and set her apart from other DC heroes.