Until DC's New 52 relaunch, there were a few other aspects of the origin story that remained consistent. Her mother, Hippolyta, created her out of clay, and the Greek gods bestowed her with life. She grew up among the Amazons who taught her the skills of a warrior as well as the lessons of peace and love. When Steve Trevor, an American pilot, crash landed on Paradise Island, the Amazons had a contest to determine who should receive the honor and responsibility to take him back to Man’s World and serve as the champion emissary of all the Amazons represent.
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.
Wonder Woman (vol. 1) #179 (Nov. 1969) showed Wonder Woman giving up her powers and returning her costume and title to her mother, in order to continue staying in Man's World. The reason behind this was that all the Amazons were shifting to another dimension, but Diana was unable to accompany them as she needed to stay behind to help Steve, who had been wrongly convicted. Thus, she no longer held the title of Wonder Woman and after meeting and training under a blind martial arts mentor I-Ching, Diana resumed crime fighting as the powerless Diana Prince. She ran a mod-boutique as a business and dressed in a series of jumpsuits while fighting crime. During this period, Samuel R. Delany took over scripting duties with issue #202. Delany was initially supposed to write a six-issue story arc, which would culminate in a battle over an abortion clinic, but Delany was removed reportedly due to criticism from Gloria Steinem, who, not knowing the content of the issues Delany was writing, was upset that Wonder Woman had lost her powers and was no longer wearing her traditional costume.
When Marston died in 1947 Robert Kanigher took over and Diana became less of a feminist character but during this time, her abilities expanded as she wore earrings that provided her with the air she needed when she was in outer space and she had an invisible plane. Extra additions included a tiara which could cut through almost anything and acted as a boomerang and her bracelets now had two way radios.
The issue followed a primarily-happy time for Diana, as the barrier between Earth and Themyscira had successfully opened. After catching up with her mother and other Amazons, Diana and Atlantiades attempted to return back to Earth, and succeeded in doing so. They arrived and reunited with Steve Trevor and Aphrodite, and Diana let the three of them at their house while she focused on reuniting Veronica Cale with her daughter.
That hardly ended the controversy. In February 1943, Josette Frank, an expert on children’s literature, a leader of the Child Study Association and a member of Gaines’ advisory board, sent Gaines a letter, telling him that while she’d never been a fan of Wonder Woman, she felt she now had to speak out about its “sadistic bits showing women chained, tortured, etc.” She had a point. In episode after episode, Wonder Woman is chained, bound, gagged, lassoed, tied, fettered and manacled. “Great girdle of Aphrodite!” she cries at one point. “Am I tired of being tied up!”
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Marston was a man of a thousand lives and a thousand lies. “Olive Richard” was the pen name of Olive Byrne, and she hadn’t gone to visit Marston—she lived with him. She was also the niece of Margaret Sanger, one of the most important feminists of the 20th century. In 1916, Sanger and her sister, Ethel Byrne, Olive Byrne’s mother, had opened the first birth-control clinic in the United States. They were both arrested for the illegal distribution of contraception. In jail in 1917, Ethel Byrne went on a hunger strike and nearly died.
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.
As a result of the alterations which followed the Crisis on Infinite Earths crossover of 1986, the Wonder Woman and Steve Trevor of Earth-Two, along with all of their exploits, were erased from history. However, the two were admitted into Olympus. At the end of Crisis on Infinite Earths, the Anti-Monitor appeared to have killed the Wonder Woman of Earth-One, but in reality, she had been hurled backwards through time, devolving into the clay from which she had been formed. Crisis on Infinite Earths erased all previously existing incarnations of Wonder Woman from continuity, setting the stage for a complete relaunch and reboot of the title.
Both the ABC pilot episode - "The New Original Wonder Woman" - and the ABC premiere episode that brought the series forward into the 70's - "The Return of Wonder Woman" - originally aired as 90-minute episodes. For syndication, these episodes are often edited down to run in a standard 60-minute time slot. The full version of "The New Original Wonder Woman" is contained on the DVD boxed set of the first season, and the full version of "The Return of Wonder Woman" was included on the second season box set. See more »
In a 1943 issue of The American Scholar, Marston wrote: "Not even girls want to be girls so long as our feminine archetype lacks force, strength, and power. Not wanting to be girls, they don't want to be tender, submissive, peace-loving as good women are. Women's strong qualities have become despised because of their weakness. The obvious remedy is to create a feminine character with all the strength of Superman plus all the allure of a good and beautiful woman."
During the story-arc written by Jodi Picoult in issues #6–10, and which ties into Amazons Attack!, Diana is captured and imprisoned by the Department of Metahuman Affairs, led by an imposter Sarge Steel. She is tortured and interrogated to garner information that will allow the United States government to build a Purple Death Ray previously used during Infinite Crisis.
The character has appeared occasionally on live television. In 1966 a short film was made to pitch the character to television studios, but was ultimately unsuccessful. There was also an attempt at a TV movie starring Cathy Lee Crosby, but it failed to launch a TV show. The most famous television show was the 1975 Wonder Woman show starring Lynda Carter. The series was a hit and ran until 1979, becoming a pop culture sensation in the process. Today, the show is largely responsible for the public perception of the character.
The New 52 relaunch of DC’s main titles was controversial, to be sure. However, most fans agree that at least a few gems came out of that line. One of them was certainly the New 52 Wonder Woman. With the art by Cliff Chiang and storyline by Brian Azzarello, the Blood storyline that started Wonder Woman’s New 52 tenure was not just a brilliant iteration of a familiar character for comic book fans, but a great jumping-on point for anyone not entirely familiar with Diana’s characters.
Prior to the 12-issue DC Comics series Crisis on Infinite Earths in 1985 (which is regarded as the starting point for DC's continuity prior to the 2011 New 52 reboot), there were two women who donned spotted cat costumes to fight Wonder Woman as the Cheetah: socialite Priscilla Rich and her niece Deborah Domaine. While modern incarnations of the Cheetah possess superhuman powers, Rich and Domaine do not.
Wonder Woman's character was created during World War II; the character in the story was initially depicted fighting Axis military forces as well as an assortment of colorful supervillains, although over time her stories came to place greater emphasis on characters, deities, and monsters from Greek mythology. Many stories depicted Wonder Woman rescuing herself from bondage, which defeated the "damsels in distress" trope that was common in comics during the 1940s. In the decades since her debut, Wonder Woman has gained a cast of enemies bent on eliminating the Amazon, including classic villains such as Ares, Cheetah, Doctor Poison, Circe, Doctor Psycho, and Giganta, along with more recent adversaries such as Veronica Cale and the First Born. Wonder Woman has also regularly appeared in comic books featuring the superhero teams Justice Society (from 1941) and Justice League (from 1960).
Marston's "Wonder Woman" is an early example of bondage themes that were entering popular culture in the 1930s. Physical and mental submission appears again and again throughout Marston's comics work, with Wonder Woman and her criminal opponents frequently being tied up (or otherwise restrained), and her Amazonian sisters engaging in frequent wrestling and bondage play. These elements were softened by later writers of the series, who dropped such characters as the Nazi-like blond female slaver Eviless completely, despite her having formed the original Villainy Inc. of Wonder Woman's enemies (in Wonder Woman #28, the last by Marston.)
In the midst of her battle with Superman, Diana realizes that even if she defeats him, he would still remain under Max Lord's absolute mental control. She creates a diversion lasting long enough for her to race back to Max Lord's location and demand that he tell her how to free Superman from his control. Bound by her lasso of truth, Max replies, "Kill me." Wonder Woman then snaps his neck.
Marston set out to commercialize Larson's invention of the polygraph, when he subsequently embarked on a career in entertainment and comic book writing and appeared as a salesman in ads for Gillette Razors, using a polygraph motif. From his psychological work, Marston became convinced that women were more honest than men in certain situations and could work faster and more accurately. During his lifetime, Marston championed the latent abilities and causes of the women of his day.
Upon his recovery, Batman rejects Diana's attempt to explain her actions; Superman is no better able to understand her motivations. At a crucial time, a profound rift opens up between the three central heroes of the DC universe. In the final pages of The OMAC Project, the Brother Eye satellite – the deranged artificial intelligence controlling the OMACs (Omni Mind And Community) – broadcasts the footage of Wonder Woman dispatching Maxwell Lord to media outlets all over the world, accompanied by the text "Murder."
^ Lyons, Charles. "Suffering Sappho! A Look at the Creator & Creation of Wonder Woman". Comic Book Resources. Archived from the original on January 19, 2013. Retrieved August 23, 2006. Maxwell Charles Gaines, then publisher of All-American Comics, saw the interview and offered Marston a job as an educational consultant to All-American and sister company DC Comics.