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Hermes, the messenger god of speed, granted Diana superhuman speed and the ability to fly. She is capable of flying at speeds approaching half the speed of light. She can react quickly enough to deflect bullets, lasers, and other projectiles with her virtually impenetrable bracelets. After the 2011 relaunch of the character, Wonder Woman does not naturally possess the power of flight. She gains it once she is hit by a feather thrown by Hermes.[better source needed]
Both the ABC pilot episode - "The New Original Wonder Woman" - and the ABC premiere episode that brought the series forward into the 70's - "The Return of Wonder Woman" - originally aired as 90-minute episodes. For syndication, these episodes are often edited down to run in a standard 60-minute time slot. The full version of "The New Original Wonder Woman" is contained on the DVD boxed set of the first season, and the full version of "The Return of Wonder Woman" was included on the second season box set. See more »
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
Duing the Perez run on the character, there were not as many story arcs either, but they did become more defined. Her entrance into Man’s World was to stop a global nuclear war created by Ares. She also had introduced a modern version of the Cheetah, Circe, Doctor Psycho and Silver Swan. One of the defining story arcs at this time was the Challenge of the Gods, where she discovers the truth about her own past as she journeys into the underworld. In this time as well she was a part of numerous company-wide crossovers including Millennium, Invasion and one focused on herself, the War of the Gods. The latter was Perez’s swansong on the character and with Messner Loebs taking over afterwards the direction of the character changed again somewhat. Under his direction, Diana became involved in battle factions of organized crime in Boston, and faced off against Ares Buchanan and the White Magician. This resulted in Wonder Woman being marooned in space, and returning to uncover the plot. During the events of Zero Hour a slightly different version of her origin is told, and Artemis wins the right to be Wonder Woman in another contest. This ends eventually with Diana battling the White Magician after Artemis has been killed. The John Byrne run equally was without as many defined story arcs except specifically with how her death affected others. This was also incorporated into the company wide Genesis event. Once she returned she faced a new villain known as Devastation who she battled occasionally, and she also took responsibility for Cassandra Sandsmark (who would later become Wonder Girl.) As a prominent character within the DC universe she took part in company-wide crossovers like Our Worlds at War and the Joker’s Last Laugh. When Rucka took over, some of the character's most memorable story arcs occurred, and most famously among them Stoned and the Superman story arc Sacrifice which ended in Wonder Woman #219 with her killing Maxwell Lord.
Wonder Woman also met the Lamia of myth, who laid with Zeus and bore his children. Hera changed her into a snake-like creature and killed her children. She now lurks in the American sewers, acting as a benevolent caregiver to troubled children. She attempted to commit suicide using Diana's lasso (which she had her young friend Sneaker steal), but Diana stopped her and Lamia disappeared along with Sneaker, with whom she had developed a mother-daughter relationship.
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Although seemingly only a purely decorative aspect of her costume, in the golden and silver ages, her earrings were sometimes depicted as giving her the ability to breathe in outer space. Gelignite Grenade Earrings and Grappling Hook Bracelet - In her depowered mod girl phase, Diana on rare occasion employed these devices, which were concealed to look like regular parts of her costume. She acquired them from a demolitions expert and villain which she had helped reform. The grenades were strong enough to blast through a thick steel door and the grappling hook could support easily her body weight to aid in climbing.
Fans of modern day comic book characters would have some difficulty relating to characters from the early golden age, and Wonder Woman is no exception. In her first appearance in the comics, she has obviously fulfilled the role of an icon for readers, but so too did her secret identity, Diana Prince. The character was created in a time when different cultural and societal norms existed in North America.
Due to the format of most golden age comics, the majority of story arcs at the time for all characters were the same, Wonder Woman included. More accurately that is to say that there were not story arcs at all, as issues contained two to three stories, all of which started and concluded within the issue in question. There was therefore not much continuity in Wonder Woman until she reached the silver age. The few exceptions to this were in issues which contained a common theme, such as Wonder Woman meeting some leprechauns and each of the three stories dealing with that. Alternately there were some common themes for the character at the time, one of which was dealing with enemy saboteurs. These were mostly contemporary, and thus started as either the National Socialists in Germany or the Imperial Japanese. Later these became others.
^ Greenberger p. 175: "Journalist and feminist Gloria Steinem...was tapped in 1970 to write the introduction to Wonder Woman, a hardcover collection of older stories. Steinem later went on to edit Ms. Magazine, with the first issue published in 1972, featuring the Amazon Princess on its cover. In both publications, the heroine's powerless condition during the 1970s was pilloried. A feminist backlash began to grow, demanding that Wonder Woman regain the powers and costume that put her on a par with the Man of Steel."