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.
GenresuperheroCharactersWonder Woman [Diana of Themyscira]; Steve Trevor; Charlie (of the Oddfellows); unidentified military officers; Jason; The Dark Gods [King Best; Mob God; Savage Fire; The God with No Name; Karnell]; unnamed Hong Kong residents; Mera; Green Lantern [Simon Baz]; Hawkman [Carter Hall]; Vixen [Mari McCabe]; Black Canary [Dinah Lance]; Batwing [Lucas Fox]; Blue Beetle [Jaime Reyes]; unnamed rioters; Justice League [The Flash [Barry Allen]; Aquaman [Arthur Curry]; Batman [Bruce Wayne]; Cyborg [Victor Stone]; Hawkgirl [Kendra Saunders]; Martian Manhunter [J'onn J'onzz]]; Supergirl [Kara Zor-El]; Hippolyta; Philippus; unidentified AmazonSynopsisWonder Woman battles the Dark Gods and Jason, who is under their control. Once freed from their control, Jason has a plan to stop the Dark Gods that involves a sacrifice.Reprints
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.
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.
In an October 25, 1940, interview with the Family Circle magazine, William Moulton Marston discussed the unfulfilled potential of the comic book medium. This article caught the attention of comics publisher Max Gaines, who hired Marston as an educational consultant for National Periodicals and All-American Publications, two of the companies that would merge to form DC Comics. At that time, Marston wanted to create his own new superhero; Marston's wife and fellow psychologist Elizabeth suggested to him that it should be a woman:
Up to this point, I had watched all of the DCEU movies and have been entertained, but not particularly impressed. When I walked away from Batman V Superman, Wonder Woman was without a doubt the best part and I had hopes for her solo film. After Suicide Squad, my hopes were lessened, but still present. After seeing the film twice I can confidently say it is one of, if not the greatest super hero movies ever made.
The Crime Syndicate imprisoned the Justice Leagues inside the Firestorm Matrix which psychologically placed them in situations that depicted their greatest failures. Wonder Woman was placed in a situation where she was forced to do battle against both Amazons and humans for the lives of Superman and Steve Trevor. Martian Manhunter and Stargirl attempted to break her out but Wonder Woman ignored them.
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 remember when I read in the news that Wonder Woman had been cast and my heart sank ... I'm sure we wouldn't have made the same choice. And then I started paying attention to her, and watching her and looking at her and it was just unbelievable. Frankly, I think they did a better job than I could have because I don't know that I would have scoured the earth as hard to find her ... They were looking for all the same things I would have looked for—all the values that Wonder Woman stands for exuding from someone in an honest way, and boy did they find it ... She shares every quality with Wonder Woman and that's no joke. It's one of those rare things. You need someone who can appear to be Wonder Woman on screen ... Every once in a while, there's superhero casting that transcends, because that person is so authentic to the character that it becomes identified with them, like Lynda Carter or Christopher Reeve.
Director James Cameron continued this debate, through his critique of the representation of female power in Jenkins's film. In an August 2017 interview with The Guardian, Cameron qualifies Jenkins's vision of Wonder Woman as "an objectified icon" and called the film "a step backwards". In contrast, he states, his character Sarah Connor (from his Terminator films) "was not a beauty icon. She was strong, she was troubled, she was a terrible mother, and she earned the respect of the audience through pure grit." Jenkins stated in response that Cameron's "inability to understand what 'Wonder Woman' is, or stands for, to women all over the world is unsurprising as, though he is a great filmmaker, he is not a woman". She further argued "there is no right and wrong kind of powerful woman" because "if women have to always be hard, tough and troubled to be strong, and we aren't free to be multidimensional or celebrate an icon of women everywhere because she is attractive and loving, then we haven't come very far have we." Reaction to this debate was mixed. Julie Miller sided with Cameron, whom she states refers to himself as "a pretty hardcore feminist" and who told Vulture that "I have no problem writing a script in which the males become subservient to the females, which is what happens in Aliens ... It's up to Ripley to win the day." In contrast, Miller argues that Jenkins and Gadot envisioned Wonder Woman as "a woman who exuded both femininity and strength, along with genuine confusion as to why men would treat women differently than they do other men". Susannah Breslin also agreed with Cameron, describing Jenkins's Wonder Woman as "a Playmate with a lasso" and "female power with no balls". Others were more critical of Cameron's critique. An article in Newsweek suggests that in contrast to his criticism of Jenkins, Cameron's own films include "lot of objectification" and quotes a few Hollywood celebrities who echoed this view. One of the quotes came from Jesse McLaren who states that "James Cameron's just confused there's a female hero whose motivations aren't centered around motherhood." Noah Berlatsky found areas of agreement between both Cameron and Jenkins, stating that while Cameron's objection is "an old point that's been made over and over for decades", Jenkins's film is not "solely focused on objectifying Gal Gadot for a male audience".
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.