Wonder Woman's sexual and bondage themes in her earliest days were not without purpose, however. Her creator, William Moulton Marston, theorized that human relationships could be broken down into dominance, submission, inducement and compliance roles which were embedded into our psyche. Because males were, more often than not, dominant in societies, Marston believed that "Women as a sex, are many times better equipped to assume emotional leadership than are males." [262] Marston wanted to convey his progressive ideals, through his use of bondage imagery, that women are not only capable of leadership roles, but should be in charge of society. Although Marston had good intentions with these themes, in Wonder Woman's early appearances, the bondage elements were controversial, as they were often seen to overly fetishize women in power rather than promote such women. Noah Berlatsky criticized this imagery in Wonder Woman's earliest days noting that "the comics take sensual pleasure in women’s disempowerment." [263] Despite having the mixed messages of this imagery, Marston fiercely believed that women would soon rule the earth and meant to showcase his predictions through sexual themes in his stories. He was an open feminist while studying at Harvard where he once said "Girls are also human beings, a point often overlooked!" [264]
Wonder Woman's origin story relates that she was sculpted from clay by her mother Queen Hippolyta and was given a life to live as an Amazon, along with superhuman powers as gifts by the Greek gods. In recent years, DC changed her background with the retcon that she is the daughter of Zeus and Hippolyta, jointly raised by her mother and her aunts Antiope and Menalippe. The character has changed in depiction over the decades, including briefly losing her powers entirely in the late 1960s; by the 1980s, artist George Perez gave her an atheltic look and emphasized her Amazonian heritage.[11][12] She possesses an arsenal of advanced technology, including the Lasso of Truth, a pair of indestructible bracelets, a tiara which serves as a projectile, and, in older stories, a range of devices based on Amazon technology.
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:
The Pre-Crisis version of the invisible plane was a necessity because before Crisis on Infinite Earths rewrote Wonder Woman's history – along with the histories of many other heroes – Wonder Woman could not fly. She grew increasingly powerful during and after the Silver Age of Comic Books, acquiring the power to ride wind currents and imitate flight over short distances. This had limitations, however; for example, if there was no wind and the air was completely still she would be trapped on the ground or if dropped from a distance that she would helplessly fall out of control to the ground. Though this meant that she would rely on the invisible plane less frequently, she always had need of it.[citation needed]
I remember when I read in the news that Wonder Woman had been cast and my heart sank ... I'm sure we wouldn't have made the same choice. And then I started paying attention to her, and watching her and looking at her and it was just unbelievable. Frankly, I think they did a better job than I could have because I don't know that I would have scoured the earth as hard to find her ... They were looking for all the same things I would have looked for—all the values that Wonder Woman stands for exuding from someone in an honest way, and boy did they find it ... She shares every quality with Wonder Woman and that's no joke. It's one of those rare things. You need someone who can appear to be Wonder Woman on screen ... Every once in a while, there's superhero casting that transcends, because that person is so authentic to the character that it becomes identified with them, like Lynda Carter or Christopher Reeve.
Seeking answers, Wonder Woman sought out an old friend that she believed could provide the way to Themyscira: Barbara Minerva, the Cheetah.[75] Cheetah agreed to help, under the condition that Diana kill the plant-god Urzkartaga and free Barbara from her curse, which Diana agreed to do.[76] When she located Urzkartaga, however, she discovered Steve Trevor and some of his fellow soldiers had been captured by Colonel Andres Cadulo, who intended to become the embodiment of the god and sacrifice Steve in the process. Wonder Woman freed dozens of Cadulo's captives and, with the help of Cheetah and the women he had captured, succeeded in destroying Urzkartaga and freeing Barbara from the curse of the Cheetah.[77] With Barbara's help, Diana and Steve were able to find "Themyscira", though Diana was surprised to find her mother alive and well despite remembering her as dead at the hands of Hera. After removing her bracelets Diana realized that her past interactions with these representations of the Amazons and her home were in fact an illusion, and that she may have never returned home since she originally left to escort Steve to the United States.[78] Upon this realization, Diana suffered a mental breakdown.[79]
The Golden Age Wonder Woman had strength that was comparable to the Golden Age Superman. Wonder Woman was capable of bench pressing 15,000 pounds even before she had received her bracelets, and later hoisted a 50,000 pound boulder above her head to inspire Amazons facing the test.[169] Even when her super strength was temporarily nullified, she still had enough mortal strength of an Amazon to break down a prison door to save Steve Trevor.[170] In one of her earliest appearances, she is shown running easily at 60 mph (97 km/h), and later jumps from a building[clarification needed] and lands on the balls of her feet.[171]
In order to defeat them, Superman and Wonder Woman collected the magic armor created by Hephaestus and intercepted Zod and Faora while they were building a portal to the Phantom Zone. At first, they defeated Zod and Faora by detonating their armor at point-blank range, but Zod and Faora were revitalized by a beam of sunlight sent by Apollo, which gave the criminals enough strength to beat Superman and Wonder Woman and trap them in an abandoned nuclear reactor. As a last-ditch effort to stop their enemies, Superman and Wonder Woman caused a nuclear explosion, but not before Clark told Diana that he loved her. The explosion trapped Zod and Faora back in the Phantom Zone, and Superman shielded Wonder Woman with his cape.[62] The two heroes barely survived the explosion and Superman took Diana to Hessia, who used a healing crystal to save her.[63]
I remember when I read in the news that Wonder Woman had been cast and my heart sank ... I'm sure we wouldn't have made the same choice. And then I started paying attention to her, and watching her and looking at her and it was just unbelievable. Frankly, I think they did a better job than I could have because I don't know that I would have scoured the earth as hard to find her ... They were looking for all the same things I would have looked for—all the values that Wonder Woman stands for exuding from someone in an honest way, and boy did they find it ... She shares every quality with Wonder Woman and that's no joke. It's one of those rare things. You need someone who can appear to be Wonder Woman on screen ... Every once in a while, there's superhero casting that transcends, because that person is so authentic to the character that it becomes identified with them, like Lynda Carter or Christopher Reeve.
Feminist icon Gloria Steinem, founder of Ms. magazine, was responsible for the return of Wonder Woman's original abilities. Offended that the most famous female superhero had been depowered into a boyfriend-obsessed damsel in distress, Steinem 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.[221] Wonder Woman's powers and traditional costume were restored in issue #204 (January–February 1973).[221]
Preparing to get Zola back from Hades, Wonder Woman and her male companions sought out Eros in Italy. She hoped that he could lead them to Hephaestus, who might have been able to arm them appropriately for battle with the ruler of Hell. He lead them to Mount Etna, where the blacksmith agreed to arm them. As retribution for his aid, though, Hades sent a monster to kill them all, which had to be dispatched by Diana.[20] Afterwards, Hephaestus armed Diana with new weapons, insisting that she take Eros' guns of love with her to Hell.
“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. 
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