John is a long-time pop culture fan, comics historian, and blogger. He is currently the Editor-in-Chief at Comics Nexus. Prior to being EIC he has produced several column series including DEMYTHIFY, NEAR MINT MEMORIES and the ONE FAN'S TRIALS at the Nexus plus a stint at Bleeding Cool producing the COMICS REALISM column. As BabosScribe, John is active on his twitter account, his facebook page and welcomes any and all feedback. Bring it on!
The story then focuses on Wonder Woman's quest to rescue Zola from Hades, who had abducted her and taken her to Hell at the end of the sixth issue of the series. The male children of the Amazons are introduced and Diana learns about the birth of her "brothers" – the Amazons used to infrequently invade ships coming near their island and force themselves on the sailors, before killing them. After nine months, the birth of the resulting female children was highly celebrated and they were inducted into the ranks of the Amazons while the male children were rejected. In order to save the male children from being drowned to death by the Amazons, Hephaestus traded weapons to the Amazons in exchange for them.
The modern age of the character can be tied to the reboot of the character following Crisis on Infinite Earths. In this the character became defined by the vision of George Perez in a way which the entire concept of the character was defined by his direction. As opposed to the past where the character would get retold origins which would try to make her more contemporary, now she got one which tied her much more strongly to the stories of the ancient gods. For the first time Diana enters Man’s World not knowing how to speak English already, and is forced to master the language on her own. In this period she also became much more closely related with modern female issues, and this was usually through her circle of friends – Julia and Vanessa Kapatelis and Mindi Mayer. Such issues as the cultural need for women to be attractive and thin, suicide and the sensationalization of the media as it pertains to women were all addressed. This version of the character also reimagined Steve Trevor as a father figure for Diana as opposed to a romantic counterpart. After Perez’s run on the character, she was taken over for a time by William Messner Loebs, who recast her again in somewhat more traditional superhero stories, though in this case she still explored a different aspect of humanity. After a long space voyage, when she returned home she was forced to work at a fast food restaurant to pay her bills and made friends with a number of people in her “civilian identity.” This built up to the revelation of betrayal of her mother, and of Artemis taking over as Wonder Woman for a short time, but this was soon reversed. The following writer was John Byrne, who when he was writing Superman in the post-Crisis on Infinite Earths DC universe, had hinted at a relationship between Diana and Superman. This was explored occasionally under his run, but it is probably best known for the death of Diana, and the assumption of her duties by Hippolyta. She was soon returned to life (as she had never really died, instead having been deified). This period also introduced Cassandra Sandsmark, who would go on to become Wonder Girl at a later point. The remainder of this second series is best remembered for by the writing of Jimenez and Rucka, both of whom helped define the character. The latter during the lead-in of events to Infinite Crisis had Diana fighting Superman who was being controlled by Maxwell Lord. Battered after their battle, Diana has managed to stop Superman by using her lasso of truth on Lord, and the only option which she is given to stopping him is to kill him, and realizing this is the case, she does so. This created a controversy both within comics and in the real world, as both fans and characters alike debated the morality of this decision. In comics this also led to strained relations between her and Superman and her and Batman and with the addition of the events of Identity Crisis, helped to lead to the breakup of the Justice League of America at a crucial point right before the main events of Infinite Crisis were about to begin.
“Noted Psychologist Revealed as Author of Best-Selling ‘Wonder Woman,’” read the astonishing headline. In the summer of 1942, a press release from the New York offices of All-American Comics turned up at newspapers, magazines and radio stations all over the United States. The identity of Wonder Woman’s creator had been “at first kept secret,” it said, but the time had come to make a shocking announcement: “the author of ‘Wonder Woman’ is Dr. William Moulton Marston, internationally famous psychologist.” The truth about Wonder Woman had come out at last.
A new pantheon of gods has been born! But who are they? Where did they come from? What do they want? All questions for Wonder Woman, because she played more of a role in their arrival than you’d think! Will it fall to Diana to end their existence as well? Meanwhile, Wonder Woman’s brother Jason learns his true purpose. It’s all here in this extra-sized anniversary issue!
This section of the history takes place during the New 52, between the events of Flashpoint and DC Rebirth. It was later revealed that much of Wonder Woman's history from this time was an elaborate illusion created by the Gods of Olympus to keep her away from Paradise Island. All or part of this section may have been part of that illusion and no longer valid in Rebirth.
Elena Anaya, who played the supervillain Dr. Poison, is contracted for multiple movies, so we may see her return. Jenkins didn’t completely rule out a comeback for Chris Pine’s character Steve Trevor, but that seems unlikely because Trevor is dead. And not the Winter Soldier kind of dead. Connie Nielsen and Robin Wright will reprise their roles as Queen Hippolyta and General Antiope in Justice League, but they haven’t been confirmed for Wonder Woman 2 yet. Oh, and Jenkins wants to recruit 1970s Wonder Woman star Lynda Carter for a cameo role! Here’s hoping.
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.
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.
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".
While the story is very flawed, the art of this arc has been fantastic, and this issue is no exception. Jesús Merino continues to show off his mastery as an illustrator with the battle against King Best. The design of the leader of the Dark Gods is terrific, and the Amazon twins have never looked better. Jason, in particular, looks great as the details in his powers make him appear more powerful than ever. Even if next issue falls apart, I do not doubt that the art will still go above and beyond.
In 1954, Dr. Fredric Wertham alleged that there were lesbian subtexts to Wonder Woman and claimed comics contributed to juvenile delinquency in his book Seduction of the Innocent where despite a very obvious heterosexual relationship with Steve Trevor, Wertham asserted that Wonder Woman’s association with the Holliday Girls could be interpreted as a lesbian relationship. The Comics Code Authority was then introduced in reaction to Wertham 's claims against the entire industry.
“As to the ‘advanced femininity,’ what are the activities in comic books which women ‘indulge in on an equal footing with men’? They do not work. They are not homemakers. They do not bring up a family. Mother-love is entirely absent. Even when Wonder Woman adopts a girl there are Lesbian overtones,” he said. At the Senate hearings, Bender testified, too. If anything in American popular culture was bad for girls, she said, it wasn’t Wonder Woman; it was Walt Disney. “The mothers are always killed or sent to the insane asylums in Walt Disney movies,” she said. This argument fell on deaf ears.