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).
Athena immediately set Diana on a quest into Hades' realm to free the god Hermes. She descended beneath Doom's Doorway with Wonder Girl (Cassandra Sandsmark) and Ferdinand the Minotaur and was confronted by Zeus' alliance. Ironically, she might not have succeeded but for the machinations of her constant nemesis, Ares. Ares acted as a double agent and gained Zeus' trust, but when the opportunity arose, he killed his uncle Hades and assumed control of the Underworld. Diana then used Hermes' caduceus to revive him. Back on Olympus, Zeus asked for Athena's forgiveness, which she granted. Athena then also restored Diana's sight, but bound it to her own.
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.
Various Wonder Woman enemies would debut in the comic series. Issue #1 introduced Wonder Woman's nemesis, Ares, as the embodiment of all abnormal emotions, evil, and essentially all that Wonder Woman was against. Issue #5, the character of Doctor Psycho, a murderous psychopath with an intense hatred of women, was debuted, Issue #6 introduced Cheetah while issue #9 introduced Giganta. Also Issue #9 debuted Queen Clea, which would later help form the female supervillain team, Villainy Inc.. Later on Issue #49 debuted another recurring enemy, Circe.
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!”
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.
The success of the superhero television series Supergirl informed the marketing and promotion strategy used for Wonder Woman. According to Time Warner chief marketing officer Kristen O'Hara, they wanted to approach the Wonder Woman marketing campaign in a light manner, similar to how they did with Supergirl. O'Hara elaborated that the modest campaign route they took for Supergirl aided in establishing a large central fanbase among women well in advance of the series, which reportedly generated 5 million female superhero fans in one week. They were then able to model over time, and grow that audience leading up to the 15-months-later release of Wonder Woman. Though neither the film nor the series are aimed exclusively at women, the latter's campaign gave them their first opportunity to begin collecting data about female superhero fans. In May 2017, a promo for Wonder Woman was released during the season finale of Supergirl, featuring a remix of the song "These Boots Are Made for Walkin'" and Supergirl (Melissa Benoist) wearing Wonder Woman's boots. The promo included an appearance by Lynda Carter, star of the 1970s Wonder Woman, who plays the American president on Supergirl.
Wonder Woman's powers and traditional costume were restored in issue #204 (January–February 1973). Gloria Steinem, who grew up reading Wonder Woman comics, was a key player in the restoration. Steinem, offended that the most famous female superheroine had been depowered, placed Wonder Woman (in costume) on the cover of the first issue of Ms. (1972) – Warner Communications, DC Comics' owner, was an investor – which also contained an appreciative essay about the character.
During World War II, a plane piloted by Major Steve Trevor crashes near Paradise Island, the secret hidden island home of the mighty and eternally young Amazons. He is rescued by Princess Diana, who learns of the war against the Nazis. The Amazons decide to send one of their own to help fight in this crisis. Although forbidden to participate in the selection process, Diana joins secretly and wins the right and responsibility to go. Taking the still unconscious Major to safety, she joins him as Yeoman Diana Prince. Furthermore, when the forces of evil threaten the nation, Diana would spin to transform into Wonder Wonder, armed with a magic belt giving her tremendous strength, bracelets that can stop any bullet, a tiara that can be thrown as a returning weapon and a unbreakable magic lasso that can force anyone to tell the truth. After WW II, she returned to the Island, only to encounter Steve Trevor Jr., agent for IADC, thirty years later. Seeing the amazing coincidence as a sign, she ... Written by Kenneth Chisholm
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