Categories: 1942 comics debuts1987 comics debuts2006 comics debuts2011 comics debutsComics by Brian AzzarelloComics by Dennis O'NeilComics by Gail SimoneComics by Gerry ConwayComics by Greg RuckaComics by J. M. DeMatteisComics by J. Michael StraczynskiComics by John ByrneComics by Kurt BusiekComics by Len WeinComics by Paul KupperbergComics by Paul LevitzComics by Robert KanigherComics by Roy ThomasWonder Woman titles
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’s costume has come under heavy criticism throughout the years. Many find that as an example of a character that is supposed to represent female empowerment that by wearing a costume which reveals a gratuitous amount of skin that the character is being contradictory. Numerous attempts have been made to make her costume more realistic, however in terms of the character’s history there are few problems with it. Despite that it offers little protection, Wonder Woman does not require very much protection, either from harm or from the elements. The costume is also sometimes criticized for its symbolism closely related to American themes, that despite the fact that she is meant to be an emissary of peace to the whole planet, that her costume looks very American This is explained as one of the motivations for her role in Man’s World world. The costume is a breastplate inspired by the colors and symbols of a downed World War II airplane being flown by Steve Trevor’s mother . As an American pilot, it is therefore not surprising that stars (on the lower part of her breastplate) and stripes (one her boots) are evident parts of the design. In the summer of 2011 it was announced that DC Comics would reboot its entire lineup and create the new 52. Debate immediately surfaced as the head creative force behind the reboot (Jim Lee) decided that all female characters should be drawn with "pants" or full leg covering as part of their costume. This was in line with the redrawn Wonder Woman after issue #600 in volume 3. However, as the summer progressed images began to appear with Diana in a costume which appeared to be a synthesis of her traditional one and the reimagined one. With the actual reboot this is the costume that was decided on, essentially with the breastplate in the general shape of the traditional costume, and the theme being more in line with the redesign of the previous year. She additionally has added aspects of her uniform which didn't exist before such as a braided armband.
Now a mod boutique owner, the powerless Diana Prince acquired a Chinese mentor named I Ching. Under I Ching's guidance, Diana learned martial arts and weapons skills, and engaged in adventures that encompassed a variety of genres, from espionage to mythology. During this time she fought villains such as Catwoman, Doctor Cyber, the hippie gang Them!, and the campy witch Morgana.
In 1911, when Marston was a freshman at Harvard, the British suffragist Emmeline Pankhurst, who’d chained herself to the gates outside 10 Downing Street, came to speak on campus. When Sanger faced charges of obscenity for explaining birth control in a magazine she founded called the Woman Rebel, a petition sent to President Woodrow Wilson on her behalf read, “While men stand proudly and face the sun, boasting that they have quenched the wickedness of slavery, what chains of slavery are, have been or ever could be so intimate a horror as the shackles on every limb—on every thought—on the very soul of an unwilling pregnant woman?” American suffragists threatened to chain themselves to the gates outside the White House. In 1916, in Chicago, women representing the states where women had still not gained the right to vote marched in chains.
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 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 "Year One" storyline retells Diana's origin growing up on Themyscira. She lives an idyllic life and harbors interest for the outside world, and the first connection to it comes in the form of Steve Trevor, who crashes on the island and is the sole survivor. A contest is held to determine which Amazon is the best candidate to take Steve home, with Diana volunteering despite knowing the cost to leave the island is to never return. Diana wins the contest and departs with Steve. Once arriving in America, Diana is taken into custody by the government to discern her origins. She meets Etta Candy and Barbara Ann Minerva along the way. While incarcerated Diana is visited by the gods in animal form and bestow upon her powers of strength, speed, agility, durability, and flight. She discovers Ares, the god of war, is working to destroy humanity. Accepting her new role in Man's World, Diana, with the help of the gods in animal form, subdues Ares with the lasso. Now called Wonder Woman, Diana becomes one of the world's greatest heroes.
Storylines The 18th Letter • A League of One • A Piece of You • Amazons Attack! • Beauty and the Beasts • Birds of Paradise • Bitter Rivals • Blood • Bones • The Bronze Doors • The Challenge of Artemis • Challenge of the Gods • Champion • The Circle • The Contest • Counting Coup • Depths • Destiny Calling • Devastation • Devastation Returns • Down to Earth • Ends of the Earth • Expatriate • Flesh • The Game of the Gods • God Complex • Gods and Mortals • Gods of Gotham • Godwar • Guts • Iron • Judgment in Infinity • Land of the Lost • Levels • Love and Murder • Lifelines • Marathon • The Men Who Moved the Earth • A Murder of Crows • Odyssey • The Pandora Virus • Paradise Island Lost • Revenge of the Cheetah • Rise of the Olympian • Sacrifice • Second Genesis • Stoned • Three Hearts • Trinity 98 • The Twelve Labors • War • Warkiller • War-Torn • Who is Donna Troy? • Who is Troia? • Who Is Wonder Woman? • The Witch and the Warrior • Wrath of the Silver Serpent
Born to Hippolyta, Queen of the Amazons, Diana lived a serene and joyful life until the intervention of Steve Trevor upon the island of Themyscira. A tournament was held among the Amazons to determine the representative that would return to Man's World along with Trevor. Diana defeated the other Amazons but was tasked with the final challenge, deflecting a bullet fired from a gun by her mother. After winning the contest Diana was awarded a suit of armor and the Lasso of Truth and left for the United States, though upon her arrival she was arrested and detained in a cell. Falling into despair, Diana was visited by the Gods of Olympus in their animal forms: a peacock, deer, owl, mouse, eagle, dove and tortoise, who granted her the gifts of strength, speed, endurance, empathy and flight.
Diana succeeded in her trials, defeating numerous monsters including Echidna, the Chimera, the Cyclops, the Hydra, the Harpies, and the Minotaur. Eventually, Pan's bones were discovered on Olympus but it was too late to save Diana from her labors. Joined by her mother, Diana did indeed destroy the demons beneath Themyscira with the help of the amulet of Harmonia (these demons were funneled into Ares). Diana also freed Heracles, who had borne the weight of Themyscira for eons while imprisoned in a stone form and had been scarred by various monsters. Heracles was accepted into Olympus.
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.
Wonder Woman has been the subject of a discussion regarding the appearance and representation of female power in general, and of female action heroes in particular since her initial 1941 appearance in Sensation Comics, as she was created to document "the growth in the power of women", while wearing "a golden tiara, a red bustier, blue underpants and knee-high, red leather boots." She was blacklisted a year later in 1942 in the "Publications Disapproved for Youth" because, the group behind the list argued, she was "not sufficiently dressed".
In February 1941, Marston submitted a draft of his first script, explaining the “under-meaning” of Wonder Woman’s Amazonian origins in ancient Greece, where men had kept women in chains, until they broke free and escaped. “The NEW WOMEN thus freed and strengthened by supporting themselves (on Paradise Island) developed enormous physical and mental power.” His comic, he said, was meant to chronicle “a great movement now under way—the growth in the power of women.”
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.
^ 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."