Wonder Woman’s appearance in the early golden age of comics made her the first prominent female superheroine. The psychologist William Moulton Marston created Wonder Woman somewhat as a counter reaction to the presence of prominent male superheroes (at this time Superman, Batman and Captain America), as well as a counterbalance to the "blood curdling masculinity" that was dominant at the time, with the hopes that the character could serve as an inspiration for young children (though in certain ways it was geared more towards female readers.) Marston had been partially motivated to create this character because of the accomplishments of his own wife, who was also an accomplished academic at a time when it was difficult for women to fulfill this role. As a result, the first Wonder Woman series contained many complementary articles and features which sought to highlight the inner power of women. There were articles for instance on the different career paths that women could pursue (according to the standards of the 1940s) as well as a series of stories on famous and accomplished women, called the Wonder Women of History. Marston introduced the character in All-Star Comics #8 in 1941. She became the lead character in Sensation Comics in 1941, and got her first solo book in 1942.
Before she was Wonder Woman, she was Diana, princess of the Amazons, trained to be an unconquerable warrior. Raised on a sheltered island paradise, when an American pilot crashes on their shores and tells of a massive conflict raging in the outside world, Diana leaves her home, convinced she can stop the threat. Fighting alongside man in a war to end all wars, Diana will discover her full powers…and her true destiny.
The Amazon Queen of Themyscira and Diana's mother. After meeting the director for the role, Nielsen said, "Patty and I met in London, and we just hit it off from the get-go. We couldn't stop talking. What was supposed to be a one-hour meeting turned into a two-and-a-half-hour lunch and we just really got each other." She described Jenkins's directing style for the film as "She's also the kind of director that I really flourish under. She has very strong and particular and specific ideas about what it is she wants to say. She comes from a place of strength always. And so, when you are dealing with someone like that, you feel absolutely free to be vulnerable, to be creative, and I am a big researcher." On playing the character, Nielsen said, "It was a complete and utter pleasure and I absolutely loved every second of playing her." On her character being Diana's mother and Amazonian queen, Nielsen stated, "I'm queen and I'm preparing my child for a world that entails a lot of responsibility. So it was important to me to bring that into the character." She read The Amazons by Adrienne Mayor to familiarize herself with women warriors and said "I used what I learned in Mayor's book as a rallying cry for how I approached Hippolyta. And then, of course, what is a leader who is elected by her peers every year and has been doing this for a thousand years? That too was interesting to think about". Nielsen went through a workout regimen for the film, saying "I did six hours a day. You know, two hours of weight training, two hours of swords training, and then two hours of horseback riding".
After saving Zola from Hades, Wonder Woman tries to protect her further from Apollo, as it is prophesied that one of Zeus' children will be his downfall whom Apollo considers to be Zola's child. Wonder Woman receives the power of flight by one of Hermes' feathers piercing her thigh and Zola's baby is stolen by Hermes at the end and given to Demeter. The issue's last page shows a dark and mysterious man rising from the snow, taking a helmet and disappearing. This man is later revealed to be Zeus' first son, known only as First Born, who seeks to rule over Olympus and the rest of the world, and take Diana as his bride.[volume & issue needed]
An American pilot and the love interest of Diana. On his role for the film, Pine said, "I am an American pilot who's a spy. It's like a boy's dream: You're either a spy or a fighter pilot. The first thing I wanted to be was a fighter pilot a long time ago. I wanted to be Goose [from Top Gun]". As to how his mortal character would interact with an Amazon, Pine stated, "When I first read the script, it had elements of Romancing the Stone, kind of a very classic fish out of water. Two people that don't really bond well at first and they're butting heads and just fun, witty banter". When speaking about meeting the director and being cast, Pine said, "Patty is a pretty incredible human being. When we first met about the part of Steve, she sat across from me and essentially acted out the entire film over the course of a two-hour lunch. She was so specific, so articulate, and so ardent. I would've said yes just for Patty alone." Pine went through a workout regimen for the film, commenting, "I got in incredible shape for this film" but also joking "I was also wearing about 75 pounds of clothing. What I realized is that I made a major mistake, I got in great shape and they just put clothes over all my hard work."
Diana's bulletproof bracelets were formed from the remnants of Athena's legendary shield, the Aegis, to be awarded to her champion. The shield was made from the indestructible hide of the great she-goat, Amalthea, who suckled Zeus as an infant. These forearm guards have thus far proven NIGH-indestructible (the Omega Beams of Grail have proven able to shatter them), and are able to absorb the impact of incoming attacks, allowing Wonder Woman to deflect automatic weapon fire and energy blasts. Diana can slam the bracelets together to create a wave of concussive force capable of making strong beings like Superman's ears bleed. Recently, she gained the ability to channel Zeus's lightning through her bracelets as well. Zeus explained to her that this power had been contained within the bracelets since their creation, because they were once part of the Aegis, and that he had only recently unlocked it for her use. After the 2011 relaunch of the character, it was revealed that Diana was the daughter of Zeus and Hippolyta and that the bracelets are able to keep the powers she had inherited from Zeus in check. In addition, Hephaestus has modified the bracelets to allow Wonder Woman the sorcerous ability to manifest a sword of grayish metal from each bracelet. Each sword, marked with a red star, takes shape from a flash of lightning, and when Wonder Woman is done with them, the swords disappear, supposedly, back into her bracelets. As such, she has produced other weapons from the bracelets in this way such as a bow that fires explosive arrows, spears and energy bolts among others.
Unfortunately, not long after Diana left, Hera came for her vengeance, and though she could not bring herself to kill Hippolyta, she could not forgive her either. Feeling regret at giving up the only real family she had, Wonder Woman returned to Themyscira to find the Amazons absent, and her mother turned to stone. Shortly after, Wonder Woman encountered Lennox, a man who claimed to be another of Zeus' bastard children. After learning that Zeus has gone missing, they confronted the Gods of Olympus, Poseidon and Hades, in order to prevent them from taking over Zeus’ throne. To prevent a war between gods, Diana proposed that the two brothers share Heaven with one ruling during the day, and the other at night. Hera angrily interceded, which was what Diana had planned, and using Hermes' staff she transported herself to Mount Olympus to face Hera alone. She warned that she would make Hera regret what she had done to her mother before returning to Earth. Unfortunately, by the time she had returned, Hades had kidnapped Zola with the warning that Diana would need to make good on her bargain or Zola and her child would die.
The last issue of Wonder Woman saw very little of the Amazon. Instead, we watched her brother, Jason, launch an attack against the Dark Gods. He first tries to take on the Gods, named Karnell, Savage Fire, the Mob God, and the God with No Name. They quickly defeat him, but Jason gets the backup of Supergirl and the Justice League for round 2. The Dark Gods, however, aren’t pushovers and promptly defeat the heroes thanks to their leader, King Best. Before all seems lost, Diana returns just as King Best takes form and begins his path of destruction. Will Wonder Woman and Jason be able to contain this madness?
If there is any part of the story that stands out, it’s the “oh $%” cliffhanger. I’ve read plenty of stories with such cliffhangers, but this one is a real gut-punch. Not because it’s shocking for this arc, but when you realize next issue is the finale for Robinson’s run for the time being. From the moment Diana sought out Jason, it built to this moment. It got me excited for next time, despite its failures this issue.
This superhero era led by Kanigher didn’t last long though. The character was mired in the story lines from the golden age and especially her attachment to Steve Trevor. At the same time across the DC lineup characters were being revitalized with a new focus on science fiction. The silver age at DC is often attributed to having been started by the appearance of the re-imagined Flash in Showcase #4 in 1956. This led to a number of DC characters being reinvented such as Green Lantern and Hawkman. The difference with Wonder Woman though is that the character had managed to stay continually published since the golden age and did not get a science fiction retelling in the 1950s and 1960s. This left the character somewhat stilled mired in the past and eventually it was decided that something would be done to break her free of it. When the decision was made though it was decided that she would not have a science fiction background as it would break too much from her background as an Amazon, but that she would be slightly re-imagined as a martial arts based character, more along the lines of Batman. This would allow her to keep her somewhat unique background story, while also being more contemporary and popular. A much stronger emphasis was also placed on her appearance, as her somewhat drab civilian clothes and costume from the golden era were replaced with contemporary fashions of the time. In addition she opened a fashion boutique in trendy Greenwhich Village. This has led some to describe this era of the character as the “Mod Girl Wonder Woman.” While this version of the character did not prove to be consistently popular over the course of her brief run, it did leave some lasting impact on the character once she returned to her usual appearance. Following this she sought out more ambitious careers, for instance as a translator for the United Nations, or as a NASA astronaut and eventually moved back to Army Intelligence where she eventually got promoted to major. Also this period provided the opportunity to sever her from a dependence on Steve Trevor for her stories and her stories for the first time in her publication history became much more in line with what is considered typical of the super hero medium. The introduction of the multiverse made it such that there became two Wonder Womans, the modern version on Earth 1, and the golden age version on Earth 2. For a short time her appearances in her own comic were those of Earth 2 until the contemporary Angle Man accidentally visited her and subsequently the series was returned to modern day. The stories continued much like this for the remainder of the silver age until the end of the first Wonder Woman series with the events of Crisis on Infinite Earths. To provide closure to the character which was destined for a reboot, Steve Trevor returned and following the defense of Paradise Island from Shadow Demons, the two were finally married, though in continuity this lasted less than an issue.
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!
Villains Angle Man • Baron Blitzkrieg • Baroness Paula Von Gunther • Badra • Bizarra • Blue Snowman • Captain Wonder • Cheetah • Children of Cronus • Circe • Cyborgirl • Dark Angel • Decay • Devastation • Doctor Cyber • Doctor Poison • Doctor Psycho • Duke of Deception • Eviless • Genocide • Giganta • Hypnota • Jinx • Mask • Medusa • Minister Blizzard • The Morrigan • Osira • Queen Atomia • Queen Clea • Queen of Fables • Shim'Tar • Silver Swan • Superwoman • Tezcatlipoca • Trinity • Veronica Cale • Villainy, Inc. • White Magician • Zara
At a scant 64-pages, Spirit of Truth isn't a long read, but it's certainly a memorable one. This character-driven story focuses not on Diana's battles with supervillains, but more real-world threats that aren't so easily punched away. The story is basically a meditation on her humanity and place in the world, one greatly elevated by Ross' gorgeous artwork. The oversized prestige format really allows that art to shine.
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.
Cheetah isn't the only one experiencing unexplained bouts of rage; this type of behavior is happening globally. Across the globe, thousands of people are lashing out in anger, rioting and swearing off the gods they once worshiped, all of them praising that these next gods, the Dark Gods, will be coming soon. According to Trevor, those that are affected by this rage are people whose confidence and belief in their respective gods is shaken, no matter who they are, and no matter what planet they come from.
Following the events of the Darkseid War, Wonder Woman is told by the dying Myrina Black that on the night of Diana's birth, Hippolyta gave birth to a twin child. This child was revealed to be male, known as Jason, and is said to be incredibly powerful. Wonder Woman makes it her mission to find him. At the same time, she finds the truth behind her origin and history is now cluttered, as she remembers two versions: the pre-Flashpoint one, and the New 52 rendition. She cannot locate Themiscyra or her fellow Amazons and the Lasso of Truth does not work for her anymore.
Trudging on, Hades expects their presence and tries sending spirits in order to stall and attack Diana and Hermes. Successfully defeating them, they wonder through a forest and find a cabin resembling Zola's farm house. Zola pops out and happily hugs Wonder Woman. Hades at that moment makes his grand entrance and frees them. Though, just before they escape, Hades beckons Wonder Woman to look behind, and shoots her with Eros pistols. She urges Hermes and Zola to leave while she is left at the mercy of Hades who wants her to be his bride. Here, she is preparing to wed Hades when she gives Diana her lasso, saying that if he truly loves him, she will confess it due to the properties of the lasso. She says yes, but will not go on with the wedding as it is more or less forced and not real love. She escapes his clutches and shoots him as a means of payback for shooting her.
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.
Superhuman Strength: Diana possesses far greater strength than the finest human athletes. She kept an A.R.G.U.S aircraft from crashing by holding it up. She dispatched numerous Parademons during Darkseid's invasion and broke the Fortress of Solitude's doors down when H'el locked Superman out and took control of it. She has also managed to briefly overpower both Green Lantern and Aquaman, as well as Supergirl. She managed to defeat the goddess Artemis, as well as draw blood from The First Born.
GenresuperheroCharactersWonder Woman [Diana of Themyscira]; The Cheetah [Barbara Ann Minerva]; Steve Trevor; Veronica Cale; Doctor Cyber [Adrianna Anderson]; Colonel Marina Maru [Colonel Poison]; unnamed agents of Poison; unnamed doctors; unnamed civilians (deaths); unnamed assistant of Veronica Cale (death); Jason; unnamed Kobra agents; Glaucus; unnamed A.R.G.U.S. staff; unnamed horse rider; Supergirl [Kara Zor-El]SynopsisThe Cheetah has a vision of the coming of the Dark Gods, and escapes and threatens Veronica Cale. Wonder Woman intervenes, but Cheetah gets away. Meanwhile, Jason frees Glaucus, who has been held captive by Kobra.Reprints
A sharpshooter and ally of Steve Trevor. On his role, Bremner said, "I play a character who's enlisted by Wonder Woman to help save the world as part of a small, unlikely band". Describing his character, Bremner stated "He's a shellshocked soldier who's been discharged from the war and is brought back to help on a secret mission". On working with Jenkins, Bremner commented, "Patty Jenkins is a force of nature. She has fantastic vision, strength and enthusiasm, which is completely infectious and motivates a cast and crew of thousands to really go beyond themselves."
Steve Trevor's secretary who befriends Diana. Describing her character, Davis said, "She's a woman in a man's world and so being heard and seen aren't the easiest things, but it kind of doesn't deter her", adding, "Etta is unapologetically herself and I think that that's the thing that has drawn me to her the most". When asked if she was previously familiar with the character, Davis responded, "No. I wasn't. It took me a while to know that I was auditioning for Etta because even when I found out it was Wonder Woman, I still had no idea what the role was. It took a little while then I Googled the character". On Etta Candy's relationship with Steve Trevor, Davis said, "One of the great things that Etta gets to work with Steve Trevor is because Steve is not your typical man, in that he does entrust her with things that in 1918 probably wouldn't have been entrusted to a secretary of somebody who is quite important", further explaining, "So I think that [Trevor] needs her just as much as she needs that because now she's been given responsibility that she wouldn't have normally be given before, and equally he has somebody who could probably fly under the radar a bit. So he can trust the person who no one's really looking at".
Veronica Cale employed the toxicologist Colonel Poison, who led Team Poison, a team that attempted to capture Diana and Steve. In order to protect Diana in her vulnerable state, Steve had her admitted to a mental hospital in London. Team Poison continued to pursue Steve, Barbara and Commander Etta Candy, however. Barbara, who had been a member of Godwatch when she was Cheetah, decided to speak to Veronica herself. Cale and Doctor Cyber showed Barbara footage of Team Poison, who were about to kill her friends, and Barbara agreed to become Cheetah again in exchange for Veronica calling off the team and sparing their lives.
It was later retconned by Gail Simone that Wonder Woman's outfit design had Amazonian roots. During a flashback in Vol. 3, Hippolyta is shown issuing orders to have a garment created for Diana, taking inspiration from the skies on the night Diana was born; a red hunter's moon and a field of stars against deep blue, and the eagle breastplate being a symbol of Athena's avian representations.[volume & issue needed]
Hermes attacked Wonder Woman there, refusing to simply give up the child, but during their battle, War ripped the baby from Demeter's womb and disappeared. Unable to let a grave wound such as that go unattended, Diana saw to Demeter first, and the goddess warned that War could not be trusted. Worriedly, Diana and Orion returned to Manhattan to find that War had returned the baby to Zola. At last, the baby and his mother were reunited - and Orion would not have to look any further for the child he needed to kill.
Jenkins disagrees with this line of critique. She has stated that she was raised by a second-wave "feminist mother", who taught her to be "both super aware that there had been sexism but also: 'Congratulations—thank you, now I get to do whatever I want, Mom!'" Jenkins thus notes that it is this upbringing which has led her to question a feminist critique of Wonder Woman's costume. When she was working on her own version of Wonder Woman's "Gladiator" re-design of the outfit (in the 2016 film Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice) Jenkins decided that Wonder Woman (as well as the other Amazons) "shouldn't be dressed in armor like men ... It should be different ... I, as a woman, want Wonder Woman to be hot as hell, fight badass, and look great at the same time—the same way men want Superman to have huge pecs and an impractically big body." Jenkins also notes that she is "frustrated" by the critique of Wonder Woman's appearance, stating "when people get super critical about her outfit, who's the one getting crazy about what a woman wears? That's who she is; that's Wonder Woman." Gal Gadot concurred with Jenkins, arguing that the character "is a feminist" as "feminism is about equality and choice and freedom. And the writers, Patty and myself all figured that the best way to show that is to show Diana as having no awareness of social roles. She has no gender boundaries. To her, everyone is equal."