Centuries ago, an argument between Aphrodite and Ares led to the creation of the Amazons, who have been guided and protected by the goddesses ever since. Ares' recent schemes to destroy the Amazons and his fellow gods led to an Amazon champion being chosen. This champion was the Princess Diana, daughter of Queen Hippolyta, whom Hermes escorted to Man's World. There she was called Wonder Woman. Hephaestus forged Wonder Woman's golden Lasso of Truth from the girdle of the earth-goddess Gaea, and her silver bracelets which he formed from the splintered Aegis of Zeus. While the Olympian gods were her patrons, other gods were her foes. Ares and his progeny, Deimos and Phobos, quickly set about challenging the princess in her quest. Phobos created the creature Decay from the "heart of the Gorgon," which Diana quickly dispatched. Meanwhile, Deimos recruited humans on opposing sides, inciting them to war.
Although they do not appear in Justice League: War, the Olympian Gods are briefly mentioned by Wonder Woman during a conversation with Superman about the other five heroes, referencing Batman as Hades (who is just as dark and mysterious just as Maxie Zeus did in the "Fire From Olympus" episode of Batman: The Animated Series), Green Lantern as Apollo (the God of Light), Flash as Hermes (the Messenger of Olympus and God of Speed), Cyborg as Hephaestus (the Blacksmith of Olympus and God of Metal) and Shazam as Zeus (God of Lightning).
Storylines "American Dreams" · "Breakdown" · "Breakdowns" · "Crisis of Conscience" · "Crisis Times Five" · "Cry for Justice" · "The Dark Things" · "Divided We Fall" · Earth-2 · "Earth-Mars War" · "Extinction" · "Golden Perfect" · Justice · Identity Crisis · "In the Dark" · "Injustice League Unlimited" · JLA/Avengers · "Justice For All" · "The Lightning Saga" · "A Midsummer's Nightmare" · "A New Beginning" · "New World Order" · "The Obsidian Age" · "Omega" · "Origin" · "Pain of the Gods" · "The Queen of Fables" · "The Rise of Eclipso" · "Rock of Ages" · "Royal Pain" · "Rules of Engagement" · "Sanctuary" · "The Second Coming" · "The Signal Masters" · "Strength in Numbers" · "Syndicate Rules" · "Team History" · "The Tenth Circle" · "Terror Incognita" · "Throne of Atlantis" · "The Tornado's Path" · "Tower of Babel" · "Trial by Fire" · "The Villain's Journey" · "When Worlds Collide" · "World War III" · "World Without a Justice League" · Year One
When a Godwave spilled forth from the creation of the Fourth World, the Earth was seeded with great power. It first manifested in the form of old gods, then of metahumans. Some of the oldest of these gods were hidden from the universe until the time of ancient Greece by the sorceress, Hecate. Hecate reasoned that the Olympian Gods (as they would eventually be called) were greatly weakened after usurping power from their father Cronus and the Titans of Myth. She feared that other powerful gods in the universe (notably Darkseid of Apokolips) would seize Earth for himself. Because of Hecate's enchantment, Darkseid wrongly believed that he and the other New Gods pre-dated the Olympians.
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."
The Silver Age format for comic books also did not generally favour a lot of story arcs, or at least, not memorable ones. In this period though the character did undergo some consistent changes as she battled a variety of common foes including Kobra, but the changed format gave her the ability to develop more as a character. The silver age stories of Wonder Woman can be broken into a few general arcs – the depowered stories (in the mod girl phase), undergoing tests to re-enter the Justice League of America, a golden age story about her work during the Second World War, her adventures as an astronaut for NASA, the hunt for Kobra, and eventually the return of Steve Trevor and the internal politics of working at the Pentagon. The most famous story which she was involved with at this time was “For the Man Who Has Everything”, a story focused on Superman, but also involving herself and Batman. The first major story arc which she was part of was Crisis on Infinite Earths, which also ended her silver age appearances.
Gloria Steinem also liked the film, stating that she felt it made the "Amazon origin story clear; [Wonder Woman] was stopping war, not perpetuating it." Steinem also noted that she knew "some women were disappointed by all the makeup, but I may be desperate—I was just happy that the Amazons had wild hair!" Her only complaint lay in the choice to eliminate the World War II setting as the Wonder Woman comic book developed in response to existing comics that were "so sadistic and racist that there was a congressional hearing on the subject". Steinem also gave Hillary Clinton the first Wonder Woman Award in October 2017 during the Women's Media Center's "Speaking Truth to Power Awards" (an organization created by Steinem, Jane Fonda, and Robin Morgan). Upon receiving the award, Clinton noted that she had seen Jenkins's Wonder Woman film and that she "loved the outfit". She also said that as her granddaughter was "really keen" on Wonder Woman, Clinton "thought maybe I could borrow something from her for the night. It didn't quite work for me, but I will say that this award means a lot to me because as a little girl, and then as a young woman, and then as a slightly older woman, I always wondered when Wonder Woman would have her time, and now that has happened." Clinton had previously praised Jenkins's film, in a public August 2017 message, stating that "it was just as inspirational as I'd suspected a movie about a strong, powerful woman in a fight to save the world from international disaster would be."
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.
Steve Trevor died at the end of Wonder Woman after sacrificing himself to ensure that a plane full of deadly gas couldn’t harm anyone on the ground. Is this Steve Trevor the same Steve Trevor that we saw in Wonder Woman who was transported to 1984 because of something like time travel, a descendant of Steve Trevor’s who is also named Steve Trevor (and looks exactly like Pine), a clone, or something else entirely? (It’s a comic book movie, so anything is possible.)
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.
Both of those tales are worth reading, but the real highlight of this book is Wonder Woman #170, a story titled "She's a Wonder!" This standalone issue features an interview between Diana and Lois Lane as the two spend a day together and Lois learns a little about what it means to truly be Wonder Woman. This issue is widely regarded as one of the one of the best in Wonder Woman's long history, and it's well worth tracking it down even if you forego the rest of the book.
The demon Neron engaged Diana in battle and managed to kill her. The Olympian Gods granted Diana divinity and the role of the Goddess of Truth who started to reside in Olympus; her mother Hippolyta then assumed the role of Wonder Woman and wore her own different incarnation of the costume. In Wonder Woman Vol. 2 #136, Diana was banished from Olympus due to interfering in earthly matters (as Diana was unable to simply watch over people's misery on Earth). She immediately returned to her duties as Wonder Woman, but ran into conflicts with her mother over her true place and role as Hippolyta seemed accustomed to her life in America. Their fight remained unsolved, as Hippolyta died during an intergalactic war. Themyscira was destroyed during the war, but was restored and reformed as a collection of floating islands. Circe later resurrected Hippolyta in Wonder Woman Vol 3 #8.
Phobos returned alongside his sister Eris in alliance with Circe. Circe had amassed great power by bringing gods of various pantheons together. Among them were the Roman gods, who challenged the Olympians for their domain. It took much strength for Zeus to summon Hermes and Diana to New Olympus, where the gods had been trapped. Earth's heroes were able to turn the tide against Circe, but three gods died: Circe killed Hermes; Harmonia was killed by her sister Eris; and Eris herself was slain by Son of Vulcan. Zeus and the Olympians decided then to follow the call of Cronus and the Titans to help guide other worlds in the universe. New Olympus was left to the Roman gods.
After Crisis on Infinite Earths, the character’s origin was slightly retold by Greg Potter and George Perez. In this version, the Amazons were reincarnations of the souls of abused and murdered women from ancient days. In 1200 B.C. a debate occurred on Mount Olympus on how mankind should be made to relate to the gods. Ares, the god of war and destruction, wanted to descend upon the world with his army and crush mankind submission. This was opposed by the others gods present including Artemis, who wanted peace and suggested creating a new race that would lead humans on the right path. Zeus rejected their arguments, and they decided to proceed without his blessing. With the aid of Charon the ferryman, the gods reached the Womb of Gaea, where the souls of women who were abused and murdered at the hands of men were preserved by Gaea herself. Artemis then sent the souls to Greece where they reincarnated into adult women. Aphrodite observed that one soul still remains in the Womb, to which Athena replied that the time had not yet come for that one. The new race in Greece were approached by the goddesses, who bestowed upon them several blessings, charging them with the purpose of leading humanity in the ways of Gaea. They then appointed Hippolyte and Antiope as co-rulers. The civilization is named the Amazons. Stories of this civilization spread throughout Greece and reached the ears of Heracles, who was being manipulated by Ares into attacking the Amazons. Heracles approached the Amazons but was defeated by Hippolyte, upon which he pretended friendship and declared the Amazons allies. When their guard was down, the Greeks drugged the Amazons, taking Hippolyte, Antiope and the other survivors captive. In her cell, Hippolyte is freed by Athena ,who reminds her of her purpose and asked her to avoid revenge and pursue peaceful means. Hippolyte escaped and freed the rest of the Amazons. She shared Athena's message to the Amazons, but blinded by their thirst for revenge, they ruthlessly slaughter the remaining men. Antiope gave Hippolyta her girdle and left to pursue revenge The goddesses appeared and told them they had failed in their purpose and banished them to an island to guard the terrible evil within, as penance. They were granted immortality as long as they did not stray from their new purpose, which would eventually purify their souls. The Amazons built a nation and lived there for 4,000 years. It is during this time that Hippolyte, sole leader of the Amazons, felt an unexplained yearning. Menalippe, the Oracle, told her she was the only Amazon pregnant at the time of her previous incarnation's death, and thus the yearning she felt was the call of her unborn child. As per her advise, Hippolyte went to the shore at sunrise and made a clay figure of a baby. She then cried out to Artemis. The gods, recognizing it was time for the remaining soul in Gaea's womb to depart, infused it into the clay form, which then incarnated as a real child. Blessed with Gaea's greatest gift, life, the gods present bestowed their gifts upon the newborn: Demeter granted the baby great strength, Aphrodite granted her great beauty and a loving heart, Athena granted her great wisdom, Artemis granted her the eye of the hunter and unity with beasts, Hestia granted her sisterhood with fire, and Hermes gave her great speed and the power of flight. Hippolyte named her after a holy warrior, Diana, and she grew up knowing the love of a thousand mothers. Thus Diana of Themyscira was born.
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."
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.
Coming to America for the first time, Wonder Woman comes upon a wailing army nurse. Inquiring about her state, she finds that the nurse wanted to leave for South America with her fiancé but was unable due to shortage of money. As both of them looked identical and Wonder Woman needed a job and a valid identity to look after Steve (who was admitted in the same army hospital), she gives her the money she had earned earlier to help her go to her fiancé in exchange for her credentials. The nurse reveals her name as Diana Prince, and thus, Wonder Woman's secret identity was created, and she began working as a nurse in the army.
Wonder Woman is a very focused and purposeful superhero movie. There isn't a single scene that feels like filler and you can tell Patty Jenkins knows exactly what kind of story she wants to tell. The film balances action and adventure with social commentary very well and is almost flawlessly executed. The setting in 1918 puts us in a time when women were on the verge of revolution, and the presence of Diana clashing with patriarchal ideals is not only historically logical, but elevates the film to a modern allegory. It's one of those movies that follows superhero tropes and Joseph Campbell's heroes journey, but keep things fresh so it never once feels derivative.