The character of Etta Candy, Diana's best friend and hero partner, was part of the original Wonder Woman comics created by William Moulton Marston and H. G. Peter. She remained unused by DC Comics for decades before being reintroduced by Gail Simone as an important "Wonder Woman" character in 2006. In this film, she resembles her earliest, original version in appearance, while the character is currently depicted as an African-American woman in the comics. See more »
Fans of modern day comic book characters would have some difficulty relating to characters from the early golden age, and Wonder Woman is no exception. In her first appearance in the comics, she has obviously fulfilled the role of an icon for readers, but so too did her secret identity, Diana Prince. The character was created in a time when different cultural and societal norms existed in North America.
Wonder Woman is one of the students nominated to be Hero of the year, with everybody believing she will actually win the prize. When Big Barda accidently breaks Wonder Woman Shield, she (With Supergirl, Batgirl and Bumble Bee) travels to Themyscira to repair it. Her friends meets her mother, Queen Hippolyta, who is overly proud of her, having rooms devoted to her daughter trophies. After rescuing a captive Hyppolita, Wonder Woman goes back to Super Hero High to fight Eclipso. When Eclipso retrieves to the moon, Supergirl and Wonder Woman travels there and together managed to defeats the enemy. After Bumble Bee win the Hero of the Year award, Wonder Woman asks Hippolyta if she is not dissapointed by her, but her mother replies that she cannot be more proud. She is voiced by Grey DeLisle.
With Wonder Woman arriving in pursuit, Strife warned of the prophecy Apollo and Artemis feared: a child of Zeus would kill a god to take the throne. That child could be either Diana or Zola's child. Sending Zola back with Hermes to have her baby in peace, Diana warned that if they were not left alone, she would fulfil the prophecy herself. Unfortunately, upon her return to Michigan, Diana found that Hermes had betrayed them, and once Zola gave birth to her son, he whisked the child away, and gave it to Demeter. Diana swore to get the boy back and bring Hermes to justice.
(For the record, Marston and Olive Byrne’s son, Byrne Marston, who is an 83-year-old retired obstetrician, thinks that when Marston talked about the importance of submission, he meant it only metaphorically. “I never saw anything like that in our house,” he told me. “He didn’t tie the ladies up to the bedpost. He’d never have gotten away with it.”)
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.”
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."
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!
Suddenly, Zola and the others were attacked by Artemis, who was sent by Apollo to kill Zeke, Zola's son. While Zola and the others escaped with Zeke, Wonder Woman took on Artemis by herself. Diana defeated Artemis and went to protect Zola and the others, while Ares took the defeated Artemis back to Apollo. However, the First Born and Cassandra, two of Zeus' illegitimate children, attacked Zola. Wonder Woman, Lennox and Orion worked together to fight the First Born, but he proved to be stronger than they had anticipated. Orion's Astro Harness incapacitated Cassandra, and Orion opened a Boom Tube so that Wonder Woman and her allies could escape. The First Born attempted to pry the Boom Tube open, but Lennox sacrificed himself so that the others could escape safely. Wonder Woman and her allies arrived at the other side of the Boom Tube and were greeted by Highfather, who explained that they were on New Genesis.
Despite their displeasure at Diana's capture, Hephaestus was able to bring Lennox and Eros to Hades with him as guests to the wedding, without the aid of Hermes' staff. As the wedding drew nearer, Hades grew annoyed that few of his relatives had agreed to come. Diana's friends were the only attendees, aside from Strife, who merely wanted to cause her namesake emotion. Before the wedding ceremony took place, Hades insisted that Diana should prove her love by wearing his ring. The ring was a noose fashioned with the Lasso of Truth, and if Diana did not truly love him, he would kill her.
Alfred informs Bruce that people are in danger, which Batman tells Flash that he needs to save the civilians. Diana and Arthur try to keep Steppenwolf away from Cyborg by using the Lasso of Hestia to pull him down, then Steppenwolf attacked them both before he knocks Arthur into a wall breaking the ceiling before Diana saves him. Cyborg tries to keep Steppenwolf away from him, but fails which leads with Steppenwolf pulling off one of his legs.
Wonder Woman's signature weapon was her Lasso of Truth; consequently, much of her crime-fighting powers came from bondage, and her only exploitable weakness was, essentially, bondage. Grant Morrison and Yanick Paquette had teamed up to work on Wonder Woman: Earth One. Paquette confirmed that he and Morrison would be bringing back the bondage theme that was popular in Wonder Woman comics during the 1940s. However, he stated that Morrison was looking for a way to not only modernize it, but to use the bondage theme as a form of female empowerment. Paquette acknowledged that Wonder Woman has become more than just a beloved character, she is a symbol for feminism. "By bringing in sex and, yes, bondage, it reasserts [William Moulton Marston's core] idea that it is okay for women to have a healthy sexual appetite." Paquette elaborated more on this by pointing out the blatant double standards in comics when it comes to sex: "Could Wonder Woman really ever have a healthy and active sex life without it becoming political fodder for Fox News? And what of women and girls who want to be like her? Do we truly think they wouldn't be labeled sluts? I have my doubts."
Marston was an outspoken feminist, swinger, and firm believer in the superiority of women. He described bondage and submission as a "respectable and noble practice". Marston wrote in a weakness for Wonder Woman, which was attached to a fictional stipulation that he dubbed "Aphrodite's Law", that made the chaining of her "Bracelets of Submission" together by a man take away her Amazonian super strength.
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.
After the departure of Thomas in 1983, Dan Mishkin took over the writing. Mishkin and Colan reintroduced the character Circe to the rogues gallery of Wonder Woman's adversaries. Don Heck replaced Colan as artist as of issue #306 (Aug. 1983) but sales of the title continued to decline. Shortly after Mishkin's departure in 1985 – including a three-issue run by Mindy Newell and a never-published revamp by Steve Gerber – the series ended with issue #329 (February 1986). Written by Gerry Conway, the final issue depicted Wonder Woman's marriage to Steve Trevor.
As Wonder Woman, Queen Hippolyta immediately got involved in a time travel mission back to the 1940s with Jay Garrick. After this mission, she elected to join the Justice Society of America and remained in that era for eight years, where her teammates nicknamed her "Polly". During that time she had a relationship with Ted Grant. Hippolyta also made visits into the past to see her godchild Lyta, daughter of Hippolyta's protege Helena, the Golden Age Fury.[volume & issue needed] These visits happened yearly from young Lyta's perspective and also accounted for Hippolyta's participation in the JSA/JLA team ups. When she returned from the past, Hippolyta took Diana's place in the JLA as well.
A few decades later, second-wave feminist Gloria Steinem's Ms. Magazine debuted in 1972 with an image of Wonder Woman on the cover. Historian Tim Hanley suggests that this move shifted "the focus away from female superiority to sisterhood and equality, essentially making her a mascot of the women's movement". This perception shifted over the years, as demonstrated in December 2016 when the United Nations decided to drop the title of "honorary ambassador for the empowerment of women and girls" which it had given to the comic book character Wonder Woman a few months prior, in a ceremony attended by the actors who had portrayed her (Lynda Carter and Gal Gadot). The title was eliminated in response to a petition signed by 44,000 people which argued that Wonder Woman undermines female empowerment due to her costume, described as a "shimmery, thigh-baring bodysuit with an American flag motif and knee-high boots". The petition stated that "it is alarming that the United Nations would consider using a character with an overtly sexualised image at a time when the headline news in United States and the world is the objectification of women and girls". Wonder Woman director Patty Jenkins responded to both the petition and to the U.N.'s decision by stating that she thinks "that that's sexist. I think it's sexist to say you can't have both. I have to ask myself what I would apply to any other superhero".
John Byrne's run included a period in which Diana's mother Hippolyta served as Wonder Woman, having traveled back to the 1940s, while Diana ascended to Mount Olympus as the Goddess of Truth after being killed in issue #124. In addition, Wonder Woman's Amazon ally Nubia was re-introduced as Nu'Bia, scripted by a different author. Byrne posited that Hippolyta had been the Golden Age Wonder Woman. Byrne restored the series' status quo in his last issue.
“Noted Psychologist Revealed as Author of Best-Selling ‘Wonder Woman,’” read the astonishing headline. In the summer of 1942, a press release from the New York offices of All-American Comics turned up at newspapers, magazines and radio stations all over the United States. The identity of Wonder Woman’s creator had been “at first kept secret,” it said, but the time had come to make a shocking announcement: “the author of ‘Wonder Woman’ is Dr. William Moulton Marston, internationally famous psychologist.” The truth about Wonder Woman had come out at last.
In all three films Diana has been in, she is never referred to as "Wonder Woman". Likewise, the alias isn't seen anywhere in print either. The closest it has come is the logo used in Lex Luthor's data, being two "W"s. Likewise, Bruce Wayne is only called "Batman" three times in the run of the DCEU. Once by Perry White, once by Barry Allen, and once by Aquaman.
The debate continued with the release of Jenkins's 2017 film, Wonder Woman, which according to the BBC had "some thinking it's too feminist and others thinking it's not feminist enough". Kyle Killian found an inherent contradiction in the construction of Wonder Woman as "a warrior" who, she states, is also highly sexualized. Killian thus suggests that these elements "should not be the focus of a kickass heroine—her beauty, bone structure, and sexiness—if she is to be a feminist icon". Theresa Harold concurred, comparing Wonder Woman to Katniss Everdeen (of The Hunger Games), who "didn't have to wear a teenager's wet dream of a costume to fight in". Christina Cauterucci also felt that Wonder Woman's ability to be considered a "feminist antidote" was undermined by her "sex appeal". Other critics refer to the construction of Wonder Woman in the film as "an implausible post-feminist hero".