“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.
Olive Byrne met Marston in 1925, when she was a senior at Tufts; he was her psychology professor. Marston was already married, to a lawyer named Elizabeth Holloway. When Marston and Byrne fell in love, he gave Holloway a choice: either Byrne could live with them, or he would leave her. Byrne moved in. Between 1928 and 1933, each woman bore two children; they lived together as a family. Holloway went to work; Byrne stayed home and raised the children. They told census-takers and anyone else who asked that Byrne was Marston’s widowed sister-in-law. “Tolerant people are the happiest,” Marston wrote in a magazine essay in 1939, so “why not get rid of costly prejudices that hold you back?” He listed the “Six Most Common Types of Prejudice.” Eliminating prejudice number six—“Prejudice against unconventional people and non-conformists”—meant the most to him. Byrne’s sons didn’t find out that Marston was their father until 1963—when Holloway finally admitted it—and only after she extracted a promise that no one would raise the subject ever again.
In one episode, a newspaper editor named Brown, desperate to discover Wonder Woman’s past, assigns a team of reporters to chase her down; she easily escapes them. Brown, gone half mad, is committed to a hospital. Wonder Woman disguises herself as a nurse and brings him a scroll. “This parchment seems to be the history of that girl you call ‘Wonder Woman’!” she tells him. “A strange, veiled woman left it with me.” Brown leaps out of bed and races back to the city desk, where he cries out, parchment in hand, “Stop the presses! I’ve got the history of Wonder Woman!” But Wonder Woman’s secret history isn’t written on parchment. Instead, it lies buried in boxes and cabinets and drawers, in thousands of documents, housed in libraries, archives and collections spread all over the United States, including the private papers of creator Marston—papers that, before I saw them, had never before been seen by anyone outside of Marston’s family.
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.
In 2016, DC Comics once again relaunched all of its publications as part of the "DC Rebirth" continuity reboot, and the new fifth volume of Wonder Woman was released bi-monthly with writer Greg Rucka. This fifth volume of Wonder Woman is part of the "DC Universe", the current continuity established after Rebirth. Initially, the new series does not use a regular storyline that exists between each issue; instead two separate storylines share the book, with an installment of one story published every other issue, and those of the other storyline published in between those. This practice began with the storyline "The Lies" for the odd numbered issues, and "Year One" for the even numbered issues. The new storyline as presented in these issues effectively retcons the events from the previous New 52 series. "The Lies" storyline reveals that a number of events from the previous Wonder Woman series in which Diana was made the Queen of the Amazons and the God of War, was in fact all an illusion created by a mysterious villain, and she had never once been back to Themyscira ever since she left, nor is she capable of returning there. The "Year One" story is presented as an all-new origin story for Diana, which reveals how she received her powers from the Olympian Gods, which was intended to bring her back to her classical DC roots. Wonder Woman appears in DC Rebirth with a revised look, which includes a red cape and light armor fittings. Along with her lasso and bracelets, she now regularly utilizes her sword and shield. Wonder Woman: Rebirth artist Liam Sharp described the new armor as a utilitarian piece which allows her to move more freely. Starting from Issue 26, the series returned to a regular storyline between each issue.
The Lasso of Truth, or Lasso of Hestia, was forged by Hephaestus from the golden girdle of Gaea. The original form of the Lasso in the Golden Age was called the Magic Lasso of Aphrodite. It compels all beings who come into contact with it to tell the absolute truth and is virtually indestructible; in Identity Crisis, Green Arrow mistakenly describes it as "the only lie detector designed by Zeus." The only times it has been broken were when Wonder Woman herself refused to accept the truth revealed by the lasso, such as when she confronted Rama Khan of Jarhanpur, and by Bizarro in Matt Wagner's non-canonical Batman/Superman/Wonder Woman: Trinity. During the Golden Age, the original form of the Lasso had the power to force anyone caught to obey any command given them, even overriding the mind control of others; this was effective enough to defeat strong-willed beings like Captain Marvel. Diana wields the Lasso with great precision and accuracy and can use it as a whip or noose.
Wonder Woman is trained in the a variety of martial arts, making her a master of unarmed and armed combat (even proving adept with pistols). Before Flashpoint Batman considered Diana the best melee fighter on the planet, even putting her ahead of Superman, due to the combination of her power and the depth of her training. Even when depowered, she is on par with some of the best hand-to-hand combatants in the DC Universe.
Paquette detailed the changes he made to Wonder Woman's costume, stating that he removed the iconic American flag theme and instead incorporated a Greek influence: "The animal associated to Aphrodite is a dove so instead of an eagle on [Wonder Woman's] breastplate, it will be more of a dove. It's not the American eagle, it's the Aphrodite dove. Stuff that creates [the letter] W is by accident, so it's not like she already has a letter of the alphabet on her [costume]. In the end I've created a structure so it feels inevitable for Wonder Woman to look the way she does."
In 2011, David E. Kelley attempted to launch a new Wonder Woman series. A pilot episode was filmed, but was not picked up by the network. The pilot was also roundly panned by fans and critics, with Palicki later claiming it was a "blessing" that the series was never picked up. Wonder Woman was portrayed by Adrienne Palicki, who would later portray Mockingbird in the Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. series.
Wonder Woman was created by William Moulton Marston and Harry G. Peter, and has a lengthy publication history. This history has sometimes included a sidekick Wonder Girl and many villains. Since her debut she has become one of the most popular and recognizable DC Comics characters, along with Batman and Superman. She first appeared in All-Star Comics #8. (1941)
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.”
Marc DiPaolo introduces us to Wonder Woman's creator and history and he demonstrates how she is a "WWII veteran, a feminist icon, and a sex symbol" all throughout her "career". Wonder Woman stars in multiple films and is most commonly known for her red, white and blue one piece, and her tall, sexy assertiveness. What many people don't know is that she is a big part of history in the comic and superhero world because of how her character influences real life people of all ages, sexes, ethnicities, and races. "Marston created the comic book character Wonder Woman to be both strong and sexy, as a means of encouraging woman to emulate her unapologetic assertiveness." Charlotte Howell notes in her essay titled "'Tricky' Connotations: Wonder Woman as DC's Brand Disruptor" that Wonder Woman is, "inherently disruptive to masculine superhero franchise branding because, according to her creator William Moulton Marston, she was intended to be 'psychological propaganda for the new type of woman who, [he] believe[d], should rule the world.'"
The girl who wondered has seen wonders... has become a woman who has traveled the world, who has traveled worlds! A woman who has touched countless lives, has made them better in ways beyond measure. A woman who has brought hope, and joy, and love. A woman who is the hero of so many. The truth of you has never changed, Diana. Even the gods themselves could not take that from you. Why would we? It's one of the many reasons we love you.
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. Circe would later return by unknown means.
Storylines The 18th Letter • A League of One • A Piece of You • Amazons Attack! • Beauty and the Beasts • Birds of Paradise • Bitter Rivals • Blood • Bones • The Bronze Doors • The Challenge of Artemis • Challenge of the Gods • Champion • The Circle • The Contest • Counting Coup • Depths • Destiny Calling • Devastation • Devastation Returns • Down to Earth • Ends of the Earth • Expatriate • Flesh • The Game of the Gods • God Complex • Gods and Mortals • Gods of Gotham • Godwar • Guts • Iron • Judgment in Infinity • Land of the Lost • Levels • Love and Murder • Lifelines • Marathon • The Men Who Moved the Earth • A Murder of Crows • Odyssey • The Pandora Virus • Paradise Island Lost • Revenge of the Cheetah • Rise of the Olympian • Sacrifice • Second Genesis • Stoned • Three Hearts • Trinity 98 • The Twelve Labors • War • Warkiller • War-Torn • Who is Donna Troy? • Who is Troia? • Who Is Wonder Woman? • The Witch and the Warrior • Wrath of the Silver Serpent
“As to the ‘advanced femininity,’ what are the activities in comic books which women ‘indulge in on an equal footing with men’? They do not work. They are not homemakers. They do not bring up a family. Mother-love is entirely absent. Even when Wonder Woman adopts a girl there are Lesbian overtones,” he said. At the Senate hearings, Bender testified, too. If anything in American popular culture was bad for girls, she said, it wasn’t Wonder Woman; it was Walt Disney. “The mothers are always killed or sent to the insane asylums in Walt Disney movies,” she said. This argument fell on deaf ears.
Duing the Perez run on the character, there were not as many story arcs either, but they did become more defined. Her entrance into Man’s World was to stop a global nuclear war created by Ares. She also had introduced a modern version of the Cheetah, Circe, Doctor Psycho and Silver Swan. One of the defining story arcs at this time was the Challenge of the Gods, where she discovers the truth about her own past as she journeys into the underworld. In this time as well she was a part of numerous company-wide crossovers including Millennium, Invasion and one focused on herself, the War of the Gods. The latter was Perez’s swansong on the character and with Messner Loebs taking over afterwards the direction of the character changed again somewhat. Under his direction, Diana became involved in battle factions of organized crime in Boston, and faced off against Ares Buchanan and the White Magician. This resulted in Wonder Woman being marooned in space, and returning to uncover the plot. During the events of Zero Hour a slightly different version of her origin is told, and Artemis wins the right to be Wonder Woman in another contest. This ends eventually with Diana battling the White Magician after Artemis has been killed. The John Byrne run equally was without as many defined story arcs except specifically with how her death affected others. This was also incorporated into the company wide Genesis event. Once she returned she faced a new villain known as Devastation who she battled occasionally, and she also took responsibility for Cassandra Sandsmark (who would later become Wonder Girl.) As a prominent character within the DC universe she took part in company-wide crossovers like Our Worlds at War and the Joker’s Last Laugh. When Rucka took over, some of the character's most memorable story arcs occurred, and most famously among them Stoned and the Superman story arc Sacrifice which ended in Wonder Woman #219 with her killing Maxwell Lord.
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.
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.
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."
Arriving at Chernobyl, Wonder Woman, Orion, Siracca and Hermes engaged Cassandra's forces to save Milan. Cassandra threatened to kill Milan if Wonder Woman did not reveal the First Born's location. Wonder Woman told her the First Born was in Olympus, but as she left, Cassandra strapped a bomb to Milan's chest. To contain the explosion, Orion took Milan through a boom tube. Returning home, Wonder Woman discovered Zola and Zeke had left, as Zola felt guilty that people were risking their lives to protect them.