When last we left Wonder Woman #49, the battle brewing ever since DC's METAL cracked open the Multiverse seemed to be reaching its climax. With the Dark Gods playing similar roles to the Greek pantheon, but with all-powerful demands, enslaving humanity, Diana and her twin brother Jason were splitting up to oppose them around the globe. Just as they seemed to knock back their leader, King Best, the Dark Gods launch an assault on Jason.
A fight broke out among the heroes for possession of the box and was only ended when John Constantine took the box, being the only one capable of doing so without being corrupted. Zatanna and Constantine took the box to the temple of Hephaestus, where the three Justice Leagues had converged again. After yet another battle between heroes, the box went dormant and the Justice Leagues discovered a Kryptonite sliver in Superman’s nervous system, placed there by the Atomica, a traitor working for the Outsider, leader of the Secret Society. Then, the Outsider used the box to open a path across universes, allowing the Crime Syndicate to enter the Justice Leagues' world.
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.”
Gaines didn’t know any of this when he met Marston in 1940 or else he would never have hired him: He was looking to avoid controversy, not to court it. Marston and Wonder Woman were pivotal to the creation of what became DC Comics. (DC was short for Detective Comics, the comic book in which Batman debuted.) In 1940, Gaines decided to counter his critics by forming an editorial advisory board and appointing Marston to serve on it, and DC decided to stamp comic books in which Superman and Batman appeared with a logo, an assurance of quality, reading, “A DC Publication.” And, since “the comics’ worst offense was their blood-curdling masculinity,” Marston said, the best way to fend off critics would be to create a female superhero.
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Although she initially forbids Diana to be trained as a warrior, Hippolyta reluctantly agrees to let General Antiope, Hippolyta's sister and Diana's aunt, train her, only more rigorously than any other warrior. In 1918, Diana, now a young woman, rescues US pilot Captain Steve Trevor when his plane crashes off the Themysciran coast. The island is soon invaded by German soldiers that had been pursuing Trevor. The Amazons kill the crew, but Antiope sacrifices herself to save Diana. Steve is interrogated with the Lasso of Hestia and reveals that a great war is consuming the outside world and that he is an Allied spy. He has stolen a notebook of the chief chemist Dr. Isabel Maru, who is attempting to engineer a deadlier form of mustard gas under the orders of General Erich Ludendorff from a weapon facility in the Ottoman Empire. Believing Ares to be responsible for the war, Diana arms herself with the "Godkiller" sword, the lasso, and armor before leaving Themyscira with Steve to locate and stop Ares for good.
The sister of Hippolyta, general of the Amazonian army, Diana's aunt and mentor. On being cast for the film, Wright said, "It's two-fold because when Patty Jenkins called me, the director, it was a three-minute long conversation. She said, 'I'm doing a movie about Wonder Woman. Do you want to be her trainer?' And I was like, 'Yes. Of course.' And the general of the Amazonian army. That was pretty cool." Describing her character mentoring and training Diana to be a warrior, Wright said, "It's a sixth sense that it is coming and I think that's also in the mythological story behind Antiope and Queen Hippolyta. They know it's coming and it's her duty as the aunt to her young niece to make sure she is the fiercest warrior of all time." On the Amazons fighting style, Wright said, "It's hand combat. Yes, swords and knives and arrows, but the precision that they have, right, as these warrior women; it's so nice to see that disparity between what we had in the day of just raw fighting materials and the guns and how easy that is in comparison." The message of the film, Wright stated, "is not just female empowerment. It's about love and justice. That's what the film's about. And what a great message to spread to our little ones." Commenting about training for the film, Wright said, "The most empowering was to get into that physical shape. So we were doing horseback riding training, weight training, martial arts, and 2,000 to 3,000 calories a day".
Diana is depicted as a masterful athlete, acrobat, fighter and strategist, trained and experienced in many ancient and modern forms of armed and unarmed combat, including exclusive Amazonian martial arts. With her godlike abilities of incalculable superhuman strength, nigh-invulnerability, speed, flight, healing factor and semi-immortality, Diana’s fighting prowess is enhanced. In some versions, her mother trained her, as Wonder Girl, for a future career as Wonder Woman. From the beginning, she is portrayed as highly skilled in using her Amazon bracelets to stop bullets and in wielding her golden lasso. Batman once called her the "best melee fighter in the world". The modern version of the character is known to use lethal force when she deems it necessary. In the New 52 continuity, her superior combat skills are the result of her Amazon training, as well as receiving further training from Ares, the God of War, himself, since as early as her childhood. The Golden Age Wonder Woman also had knowledge in psychology, as did her Amazon sisters.
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".
The story then focuses on Wonder Woman's quest to rescue Zola from Hades, who had abducted her and taken her to Hell at the end of the sixth issue of the series. The male children of the Amazons are introduced and Diana learns about the birth of her "brothers" – the Amazons used to infrequently invade ships coming near their island and force themselves on the sailors, before killing them. After nine months, the birth of the resulting female children was highly celebrated and they were inducted into the ranks of the Amazons while the male children were rejected. In order to save the male children from being drowned to death by the Amazons, Hephaestus traded weapons to the Amazons in exchange for them.
Her tiara's signature star symbol is now an eight pointed starburst. According to designer Lindy Hemming and director Patty Jenkins, every design decision made for Themyscira came down to the same question: "How would I want to live that's badass?" "To me, they shouldn't be dressed in armor like men. It should be different. It should be authentic and real ... and appealing to women." When asked about the decision to give the Amazons heeled sandals, Jenkins explained that they also have flats for fighting, adding "It's total wish-fulfillment ... I, as a woman, want Wonder Woman to be sexy, hot as hell, fight badass, and look great at the same time ... the same way men want Superman to have ridiculously huge pecs and an impractically big body. That makes them feel like the hero they want to be. And my hero, in my head, has really long legs." This corresponds to the original intent by William Moulton Marston, who wanted his character to be alluringly feminine.
Wonder Woman was minorly associated with the series 52, and in the One Year Later universe following Infinite Crisis she becomes a member of the Department of Metahuman Affairs. The most memorable story arc from this era was the much maligned Amazons Attack story arc, which many fans felt was not engaging nor did it do enough service to the well-established characters. After Gail Simone took over the series, a number of memorable story arcs took place, foremost among them Rise of the Olympian and Warkiller. Following the departure of Gail Simone the character was relaunched into the storyline Odyssey, where she must discover who she is and what has happened to her life. During this period she also took part in the events of Blackest Night where she was first a Black Lantern and later a Star Sapphire.
In order to defeat them, Superman and Wonder Woman collected the magic armor created by Hephaestus and intercepted Zod and Faora while they were building a portal to the Phantom Zone. At first, they defeated Zod and Faora by detonating their armor at point-blank range, but Zod and Faora were revitalized by a beam of sunlight sent by Apollo, which gave the criminals enough strength to beat Superman and Wonder Woman and trap them in an abandoned nuclear reactor. As a last-ditch effort to stop their enemies, Superman and Wonder Woman caused a nuclear explosion, but not before Clark told Diana that he loved her. The explosion trapped Zod and Faora back in the Phantom Zone, and Superman shielded Wonder Woman with his cape. The two heroes barely survived the explosion and Superman took Diana to Hessia, who used a healing crystal to save her.
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.
Wonder Woman's origin story relates that she was sculpted from clay by her mother Queen Hippolyta and was given a life to live as an Amazon, along with superhuman powers as gifts by the Greek gods. In recent years, DC changed her background with the retcon that she is the daughter of Zeus and Hippolyta, jointly raised by her mother and her aunts Antiope and Menalippe. The character has changed in depiction over the decades, including briefly losing her powers entirely in the late 1960s; by the 1980s, artist George Perez gave her an atheltic look and emphasized her Amazonian heritage. She possesses an arsenal of advanced technology, including the Lasso of Truth, a pair of indestructible bracelets, a tiara which serves as a projectile, and, in older stories, a range of devices based on Amazon technology.
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."
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.
Having learnt of Wonder Woman's inability to return to Themyscira, Doctor Veronica Cale, a wealthy and powerful woman, set into motion a plan to use Wonder Woman to find Themyscira. Years earlier, Cale's daughter Izzy had her soul stolen by the gods Phobos and Deimos. They told Veronica that they would only return her daughter to her if she helped them find Wonder Woman, and got the location of Themyscira from her. Seeing no other option, Cale had formed a team called Godwatch, dedicated to locating Diana and Themyscira.
Chris Pine was cast as Steve Trevor, a character he described as a "rogue-ish, cynical realist who's seen the awful brutish nature of modern civilization" and added that he is a "worldly guy, a charming guy". He signed a multi-picture deal. Lucy Davis' performance as Etta Candy is the first live-action cinematic portrayal of the character. As well, Elena Anaya's performance as Doctor Poison is the cinematic debut of that character. Nicole Kidman was in negotiations for the role of Queen Hippolyta, but was forced to drop out due to scheduling conflicts with Big Little Lies.
Orion tells Diana that he was sent to earth to fight a threat, and surprised that the possible threat he faces is a mere child. They find out that Zola's baby is being kept with Hermes, who in turn is hiding in Demeter's realm. Going back to the hotel to regroup, they find Zola and Hera missing. Finally finding them in a bar, Diana comes face to face with War, her old master.