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.
“I have the good Sergeant’s letter in which he expresses his enthusiasm over chains for women—so what?” As a practicing clinical psychologist, he said, he was unimpressed. “Some day I’ll make you a list of all the items about women that different people have been known to get passionate over—women’s hair, boots, belts, silk worn by women, gloves, stockings, garters, panties, bare backs,” he promised. “You can’t have a real woman character in any form of fiction without touching off a great many readers’ erotic fancies. Which is swell, I say.”
Storylines "American Dreams" · "Breakdown" · "Breakdowns" · "Crisis of Conscience" · "Crisis Times Five" · "Cry for Justice" · "The Dark Things" · "Divided We Fall" · Earth-2 · "Earth-Mars War" · "Extinction" · "Golden Perfect" · Justice · Identity Crisis · "In the Dark" · "Injustice League Unlimited" · JLA/Avengers · "Justice For All" · "The Lightning Saga" · "A Midsummer's Nightmare" · "A New Beginning" · "New World Order" · "The Obsidian Age" · "Omega" · "Origin" · "Pain of the Gods" · "The Queen of Fables" · "The Rise of Eclipso" · "Rock of Ages" · "Royal Pain" · "Rules of Engagement" · "Sanctuary" · "The Second Coming" · "The Signal Masters" · "Strength in Numbers" · "Syndicate Rules" · "Team History" · "The Tenth Circle" · "Terror Incognita" · "Throne of Atlantis" · "The Tornado's Path" · "Tower of Babel" · "Trial by Fire" · "The Villain's Journey" · "When Worlds Collide" · "World War III" · "World Without a Justice League" · Year One
After Sekowsky's run ended in the early 1970s, Diana's roots were reverted to her old mythological ones and she wore a more modernized version of her original outfit, a predecessor to her "bathing suit" outfit. Later, in 1976, her glowing white belt was turned into a yellow one. For Series 3, artist Terry Dodson redrew her outfit as a strapless swimsuit.
Following the Rebirth retcon, the "Year One" storyline explains that while put in a cell after coming to Man's World, Diana was visited by the Greek gods in animal form. Each gave her powers that would reveal themselves when she needed them to. She first displays strength when she accidentally rips the bars off her cell door when visited by Steve Trevor, Etta Candy, and Barbara Ann Minerva. Later on a trip to the mall, she discovers super speed, great durability, and the power of flight while fighting off a terrorist attack.
Wonder Woman appears as one of the lead characters in the Justice League title written by Geoff Johns and drawn by Jim Lee that was launched in 2011 as part of The New 52. In August 2012, she and Superman shared a kiss in Justice League Vol 2 #12, which has since developed into a romantic relationship. DC launched a Superman/Wonder Woman series that debuted in late 2013, which focuses both the threats they face together, and on their romance as a "Power Couple".
The story behind the writing and editing of Wonder Woman can be pieced together from Bender’s papers, at Brooklyn College; Frank’s papers, at the University of Minnesota; and Marston’s editorial correspondence, along with a set of original scripts, housed at the Dibner Library at the Smithsonian Institution Libraries. In his original scripts, Marston described scenes of bondage in careful, intimate detail with utmost precision. For a story about Mars, the God of War, Marston gave Peter elaborate instructions for the panel in which Wonder Woman is taken prisoner:
In order to prove her devotion to her people, the Amazons issued a challenge to Diana, one she would have to meet in two days. In the meantime, the Justice League had tracked the insectoid queen down to a remote mountain. The League journeyed deep into the mountain and encountered the queen. Diana condemned her for the lives she has taken, but the insectoid queen replied that it was Diana’s actions, namely her throwing of the First Born into the depths of the Earth, that awoke the insectoids from their slumber.
Later in the story, Wonder Woman is locked in a cell. Straining to overhear a conversation in the next room, through the amplification of “bone conduction,” she takes her chain in her teeth: “Closeup of WW’s head shoulders. She holds her neck chain between her teeth. The chain runs taut between her teeth and the wall, where it is locked to a steel ring bolt.”
At the time of her debut, Wonder Woman sported a red top with a golden eagle emblem, a white belt, blue star-spangled culottes, and red and golden go-go boots. She originally wore a skirt; however according to Elizabeth Martson, "It was too hard to draw and would have been over her head most of the time." This outfit was entirely based on the American flag, because Wonder Woman was purely an American icon as she debuted during World War II. Later in 1942, Wonder Woman's outfit received a slight change – the culottes were converted entirely into skin-tight shorts and she wore sandals. While earlier most of her back was exposed, during the imposition of the Comics Code Authority in the mid-1950s, Wonder Woman's outfit was rectified to make her back substantially covered, in order to comply with the Authority's rule of minimum exposure. During Mike Sekowsky's run in the late 1960s, Diana surrendered her powers and started using her own skills to fight crime. She wore a series of jumpsuits as her attire; the most popular of these was a white one.
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.
Following the events of Infinite Crisis, she disappeared for a year in order to rediscover herself, and took part briefly in the events of 52. In the span of One Year Later, she was re-imagined once again and was forgiven by Batman and Superman while given her third ongoing monthly title. Batman helped her establish a role at the Department of Metahuman Affairs under the name of Diana Prince (paying homage to her golden age alter ego.) She worked alongside Tom Tresser and eventually became romantically involved with him. A move among fans across the different companies occurred with characters reverting to their original numbering of series (this for instance happened to Iron Man at Marvel as well) and the third Wonder Woman series was relaunched with Wonder Woman #600. This was actually accurate at the time as it was the indeed the 600 issue released (not including issues numbered otherwise such as with a zero or a million). Issue 600 was used as a chance to reinvent the character as she discovers herself with no memories and in a new costume. This was a short lived experiment as the entire DC lineup was soon to be re-imagined into the new 52, though certain aspects of her redesigned costume remained.
With a new decade arriving, DC president Jenette Kahn ordered a revamp in Wonder Woman's appearance. Artist Milton Glaser, who also designed the "bullet" logo adopted by DC in 1977, created a stylized "WW" emblem that evoked and replaced the eagle in her bodice and debuted in 1982. The emblem in turn was incorporated by studio letterer Todd Klein onto the monthly title's logo, which lasted for a year and a half before being replaced by a version from Glaser's studio. With sales of the title continuing to decline in 1985 (despite an unpublished revamp that was solicited), the series was canceled and ended in issue #329 (February 1986) written by Gerry Conway, depicting Steve Trevor's marriage to Wonder Woman.
Although she has traditionally paired with either Steve Trevor or no one as a main romantic lead, and Superman with either Lois Lane or Lana Lang, there has often been the hint of a romance between the two characters. This began in the 1960 in the series Superman's Girlfriend, Lois Lane which was equal parts romance and action themed. In order to drive along the romance, the theme often came up of Lois Lane believing that Superman really loved Wonder Woman (though this was mostly for the purposes of a case.) In later years the same ideas perpetuated though most in imaginary stories or alternate tellings of the future. Following Crisis on Infinite Earths the characters were briefly linked romantically in Action Comics #600 which was written by John Byrne. Subsequently the characters' interest in one another was generally portrayed as a strong friendship (this occurred under different writers, primarily Messner-Loebs and Rucka.) Following the reboot of the DC universe into the new 52 the characters once again showed a romantic interest in one another. They found common ground in the isolation which their power give them and shared a kiss in Justice League #12 in 2012. It was later on revealed by Geoff Johns that their relationship wouldn't last for long and will end badly.