In the wake of the 1954 hearings, DC Comics removed Bender from its editorial advisory board, and the Comics Magazine Association of America adopted a new code. Under its terms, comic books could contain nothing cruel: “All scenes of horror, excessive bloodshed, gory or gruesome crimes, depravity, lust, sadism, masochism shall not be permitted.” There could be nothing kinky: “Illicit sex relations are neither to be hinted at nor portrayed. Violent love scenes as well as sexual abnormalities are unacceptable.” And there could be nothing unconventional: “The treatment of love-romance stories shall emphasize the value of the home and the sanctity of marriage.”
Wonder Woman's advocacy for women rights and gay rights was taken a step further in September 2016, when comic book writer Greg Rucka announced that she is canonically bisexual, according to her rebooted Rebirth origin. Rucka stated, "... nobody at DC Comics has ever said, [Wonder Woman] gotta be straight. Nobody. Ever. They've never blinked at this." Rucka stated that in his opinion, she "has to be" queer and has "obviously" had same-sex relationships on an island surrounded by beautiful women. This follows the way Wonder Woman was written in the alternate continuity or non-canon Earth One by Grant Morrison, and fellow Wonder Woman writer Gail Simone staunchly supported Rucka's statement. Surprised at the amount of backlash from her fanbase, Rucka responded to "haters" that consensual sex with women is just as important to Wonder Woman as the Truth is to Superman.
Although created to be a positive role-model and a strong female character for girls and boys, Wonder Woman has had to deal with the misogyny that was commonplace in comic book industry for decades. For example, Wonder Woman was a founding member of the Justice Society of America. This roster included the original Flash and Green Lantern. Wonder Woman was an experienced leader and easily the most powerful of them all, yet was rendered a secretary. This would also be accompanied with her losing her powers or getting captured on most Justice League adventures. During the '50s and '60s, comic writers regularly made Wonder Woman lovesick over Steve Trevor, a Major in the United States Army. Stories frequently featured Wonder Woman hoping or imagining what it would be like to marry Steve Trevor.
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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.
Unfortunately, not long after Diana left, Hera came for her vengeance, and though she could not bring herself to kill Hippolyta, she could not forgive her either. Feeling regret at giving up the only real family she had, Wonder Woman returned to Themyscira to find the Amazons absent, and her mother turned to stone. Shortly after, Wonder Woman encountered Lennox, a man who claimed to be another of Zeus' bastard children. After learning that Zeus has gone missing, they confronted the Gods of Olympus, Poseidon and Hades, in order to prevent them from taking over Zeus’ throne. To prevent a war between gods, Diana proposed that the two brothers share Heaven with one ruling during the day, and the other at night. Hera angrily interceded, which was what Diana had planned, and using Hermes' staff she transported herself to Mount Olympus to face Hera alone. She warned that she would make Hera regret what she had done to her mother before returning to Earth. Unfortunately, by the time she had returned, Hades had kidnapped Zola with the warning that Diana would need to make good on her bargain or Zola and her child would die.
The "Diana Prince" identity has been part of Wonder Woman's history since her comics debut in 1941. In the early Golden Age stories, Wonder Woman served as a military secretary during World War II, using Prince as her cover. Later occupations Wonder Woman performed as Prince included translator at the United Nations, Air Force captain and ambassador, and in the '70s TV series, Lynda Carter's Wonder Woman used Prince to serve as an agent of the Inter-Agency Defense Command. In the DC Extended Universe, Prince works as curator for the Department of Antiquities at the extremely prestigious Louvre Museum and is held in very high esteem by the curator of the Gotham City Museum of Antiquities. Her tremendously long life span, accumulation of immense amount of knowledge and exceptional perceptiveness makes Diana Prince the wisest and most emotionally-intelligent member of the Justice League.
Thus although by the modern depiction her accomplishments at the time seem ordinary, in that era they were more so. Diana Prince was originally an army nurse, but quickly attained the rank of lieutenant in Army Intelligence. This was partially a creative convenience so that she could be close to both Steve Trevor and received information which she needed to pursue her superheroics. In the real world though, this role in Army intelligence, even as the secretary to General Darnell, was still a rare position for a woman to hold in society. At this time as well, the character had her only real sidekicks in her history in the form of Etta Candy and the Holliday Girls. These characters gave the Wonder Woman a degree more of levity while also allowing the writers to focus on some issues which were more related to women. When Marston left the character, the strong driving force of the character to act as a strong moral guide and role model for female readers left as well and the character became more sensitive to the forces driving the industry as whole. Thus Wonder Woman changed somewhat to a more stereotypical woman. Her main interest was not always fighting crime, but for a time it became all in the interest of keeping Steve Trevor happy and interested in her for marriage. Also the backup stories featuring the Wonder Women of History were slowly phased out and replaced with features on marriage customs from around the world and trivial facts on random household objects.
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.)
In one episode, a newspaper editor named Brown, desperate to discover Wonder Woman’s past, assigns a team of reporters to chase her down; she easily escapes them. Brown, gone half mad, is committed to a hospital. Wonder Woman disguises herself as a nurse and brings him a scroll. “This parchment seems to be the history of that girl you call ‘Wonder Woman’!” she tells him. “A strange, veiled woman left it with me.” Brown leaps out of bed and races back to the city desk, where he cries out, parchment in hand, “Stop the presses! I’ve got the history of Wonder Woman!” But Wonder Woman’s secret history isn’t written on parchment. Instead, it lies buried in boxes and cabinets and drawers, in thousands of documents, housed in libraries, archives and collections spread all over the United States, including the private papers of creator Marston—papers that, before I saw them, had never before been seen by anyone outside of Marston’s family.
Aphrodite All-Star Comics #8 (December 1941) Aphrodite is the Goddess of Love and Beauty who is named after the goddess of the same name. In the 1940s, Aphrodite was Wonder Woman's patron goddess. Later, Athena joined her as Diana's main patron. Post-Crisis, Aphrodite was joined by Athena, Artemis, Hestia, Demeter, and Hermes as Wonder Woman's patrons, though she most often abstained from interacting with the amazons. Post-Crisis, Aphrodite's role was severely minimized, appearing as a faceless, beautiful naked woman. Post-Rebirth, Aphrodite appeared as an ally to Wonder Woman in the form of a dove. It is unknown if Aphrodite continues to serve as patron of the amazons.
The story behind the writing and editing of Wonder Woman can be pieced together from Bender’s papers, at Brooklyn College; Frank’s papers, at the University of Minnesota; and Marston’s editorial correspondence, along with a set of original scripts, housed at the Dibner Library at the Smithsonian Institution Libraries. In his original scripts, Marston described scenes of bondage in careful, intimate detail with utmost precision. For a story about Mars, the God of War, Marston gave Peter elaborate instructions for the panel in which Wonder Woman is taken prisoner:
While not completely invulnerable, she is highly resistant to great amounts of concussive force and extreme temperatures and matches Superman in this regard. She is completely immune to his heat vision, virtually any damage, or even the core of the sun. However, edged weapons or projectiles applied with sufficient force are able to pierce her skin. Due to her divine origins, Diana can resist many forms of magical manipulation.
The events of Crisis on Infinite Earths greatly changed and altered the history of the DC Universe. Wonder Woman's history and origin were considerably revamped by the event. Wonder Woman was now an emissary and ambassador from Themyscira (the new name for Paradise Island) to Patriarch's World, charged with the mission of bringing peace to the outside world. Various deities and concepts from Greek mythology were blended and incorporated into Wonder Woman's stories and origin. Diana was formed out of clay of the shores of Themyscira by Hippolyta, who wished for a child; the clay figure was then brought to life by the Greek deities. The Gods then blessed and granted her unique powers and abilities – beauty from Aphrodite, strength from Demeter, wisdom from Athena, speed and flight from Hermes, Eyes of the Hunter and unity with beasts from Artemis and sisterhood with fire and the ability to discern the truth from Hestia. Due to the reboot, Diana's operating methods were made distinctive from Superman and Batman's with her willingness to use deadly force when she judges it necessary. In addition, her previous history and her marriage to Steve Trevor were erased. Trevor was introduced as a man much older than Diana who would later on marry Etta Candy. Instead, Perez created Julia and Vanessa Kapatelis, a Greek-American scholar and her teenage daughter whom Diana would live with when she was in Man's world and would be major supporting characters in the series for years.
In the preview in DC Comics Presents #41 (January 1982), writer Roy Thomas and penciler Gene Colan provided Wonder Woman with a stylized "WW" emblem on her bodice, replacing the traditional eagle. The "WW" emblem, unlike the eagle, could be protected as a trademark and therefore had greater merchandising potential. Wonder Woman #288 (February 1982) premiered the new costume and an altered cover banner incorporating the "WW" emblem. The new emblem was the creation of Milton Glaser, who also designed the "bullet" logo adopted by DC in 1977, and the cover banner was originally made by studio letterer Todd Klein, which lasted for a year and a half before being replaced by a version from Glaser's studio. Dann Thomas co-wrote Wonder Woman #300 (Feb. 1983) and, as Roy Thomas noted in 1999 "became the first woman ever to receive scripting credit on the world's foremost super-heroine."
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.
Zeus has made a woman called Zola pregnant. Hera, due to this, is furious. She sets out to kill Zola, but Hermes finds her first, only to find out that Zola does not want to come with Hermes. Zola opens the door, and an arrow is shot at her direction; Hermes pushes her away in time, and gives her a key, as assassins sent by Hera and it teleports to Wonder Woman’s apartment, because Hermes enlisted Wonder Woman to protect Zola. Zola gives Wonder Woman the key, and it teleports both Wonder Woman and Zola back to Zola’s house. After Zola finds out that she is pregnant with Zeus, it gets revealed that one of Zeus’ children is going to take his place, by Zeus’ own will. Wonder Woman takes Zola, along with Hermes, to Themiscyra where Diana explains to her Mother, Queen Hippolyta, why she took with herself Zola and Hermes to Themiscyra. Alongside all of this, Hippolyta tells Diana about her true origins; that her real father is Zeus. Diana’s reaction to this isn’t very well, so she decides to abandon Themiscyra. Hera is aware of the fact that Wonder Woman is Zeus’ daughter, and she arrives to Themiscyra, furiously. Wonder Woman realized she did a mistake by leaving her home, so she went back to Themiscyra where she sees that everyone has been turned into snakes by Hera, except for Hippolyta, she was turned into stone. Apollo arrives in a bar searching for War (Ares), and explains to him that Zeus doesn’t even exist from what he’s sources says. Apollo takes this as his chance to become the king of Olympus and the Gods.
Suddenly, Zola and the others were attacked by Artemis, who was sent by Apollo to kill Zeke, Zola's son. While Zola and the others escaped with Zeke, Wonder Woman took on Artemis by herself. Diana defeated Artemis and went to protect Zola and the others, while Ares took the defeated Artemis back to Apollo. However, the First Born and Cassandra, two of Zeus' illegitimate children, attacked Zola. Wonder Woman, Lennox and Orion worked together to fight the First Born, but he proved to be stronger than they had anticipated. Orion's Astro Harness incapacitated Cassandra, and Orion opened a Boom Tube so that Wonder Woman and her allies could escape. The First Born attempted to pry the Boom Tube open, but Lennox sacrificed himself so that the others could escape safely. Wonder Woman and her allies arrived at the other side of the Boom Tube and were greeted by Highfather, who explained that they were on New Genesis.