When last we left Wonder Woman #49, the battle brewing ever since DC's METAL cracked open the Multiverse seemed to be reaching its climax. With the Dark Gods playing similar roles to the Greek pantheon, but with all-powerful demands, enslaving humanity, Diana and her twin brother Jason were splitting up to oppose them around the globe. Just as they seemed to knock back their leader, King Best, the Dark Gods launch an assault on Jason.
Supporting Amazons • Antiope • Artemis • Belyllioth • Cassandra Sandsmark • Department of Metahuman Affairs • Donna Troy • Ed Indelicato • Etta Candy • Ferdinand • Fury • General Blankenship • Helena Sandsmark • Hellenders • Hercules • Hippolyta • Holliday Girls • I-Ching • Julia Kapatelis • Jumpa • Lauren Haley • Lyta Milton • Mala • Micah Rains • Mike Schorr • Natasha Teranova • Nemesis • Nubia • Olympian • Orana • Phil Darnell • Philippus • Rama Chandra • Sarge Steel • Sofia Constantinas • Steve Trevor • Titans of Myth • Trevor Barnes • Vanessa Kapatelis • Warkiller • Wonder Girl • Wonder Man
In an October 25, 1940, interview with the Family Circle magazine, William Moulton Marston discussed the unfulfilled potential of the comic book medium. This article caught the attention of comics publisher Max Gaines, who hired Marston as an educational consultant for National Periodicals and All-American Publications, two of the companies that would merge to form DC Comics. At that time, Marston wanted to create his own new superhero; Marston's wife and fellow psychologist Elizabeth suggested to him that it should be a woman:
^ Cronin, Brian. "Diana Prince – Forgotten Classic". Snark Free Waters. Archived from the original on August 10, 2014. Retrieved April 23, 2005. Sadly, though, in the last issue of the run, I-Ching was murdered and Wonder Woman was given amnesia. When the Amazons returned her memories (and her powers), they left out her memories of her experiences as just plain "Diana Prince."
Superhuman Durability: Diana possesses a high resistance to damage and magical attacks. Her resistance to injury is not quite as great as Superman or Supergirl. However, due to her vast threshold for pain and her Amazonian ability to heal at a superhuman rate, this easily makes up for the difference. She has withstood considerable bludgeoning damage in the form of hand to hand combat with metahuman opponents such as Superman and Shazam. She has considerable resistance to human weaponry, though this is not absolute; bullets, and edged weapons can cause minor to moderate injury, but never life threatening. She once survived an Eighth Metal bullet to the head and was back on her feet and fighting again a few moments later.
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.
^ Garcia, Joe. "The Best & Worst of DC Comics' New 52, One Year Later". Front Towards Gamer. Archived from the original on September 10, 2012. Retrieved September 5, 2012. Despite being one part of the Justice League's "Holy Trinity", Wonder Woman never seems to get the recognition that she deserves. While she might not be invincible, her strength is second only to Superman and she's arguably a better fighter. Her solo outings, however, were rarely very interesting. The New 52 put an end to that injustice, with Brian Azzarello and Cliff Chiang spearheading one of the best books DC is putting out. Azzarello currently has Wonder Woman tearing through the ranks of Greek mythology, and Chiang's art manages to be intense despite his use of softer lines. If you're not reading Wonder Woman, go rectify that.
With a new decade arriving, DC president Jenette Kahn ordered a revamp in Wonder Woman's appearance. Artist Milton Glaser, who also designed the "bullet" logo adopted by DC in 1977, created a stylized "WW" emblem that evoked and replaced the eagle in her bodice and debuted in 1982. The emblem in turn was incorporated by studio letterer Todd Klein onto the monthly title's logo, which lasted for a year and a half before being replaced by a version from Glaser's studio. With sales of the title continuing to decline in 1985 (despite an unpublished revamp that was solicited), the series was canceled and ended in issue #329 (February 1986) written by Gerry Conway, depicting Steve Trevor's marriage to Wonder Woman.
Wonder Woman's social reforms were not initially accepted by the Amazons, even if they were morally necessary. Later, she had a training session with Artemis, who urged her to accept the Amazons' worship as a goddess, but Diana refused. Unfortunately, Dessa, a fellow Amazon, kidnapped Zeke and threatened to throw him off a cliff, for she disagreed with Diana's new perspective. Diana convinced her to return the boy to Zola. Shortly afterwards, the men of Paradise Island returned to their original home, with Diana welcoming them with open arms.
To defend himself against critics, Gaines, in 1940, hired Marston as a consultant. “‘Doc’ Marston has long been an advocate of the right type of comic magazines,” he explained. Marston held three degrees from Harvard, including a PhD in psychology. He led what he called “an experimental life.” He’d been a lawyer, a scientist and a professor. He is generally credited with inventing the lie detector test: He was obsessed with uncovering other people’s secrets. He’d been a consulting psychologist for Universal Pictures. He’d written screenplays, a novel and dozens of magazine articles. Gaines had read about Marston in an article in Family Circle magazine. In the summer of 1940, Olive Richard, a staff writer for the magazine, visited Marston at his house in Rye, New York, to ask him for his expert opinion about comics.
This superhero era led by Kanigher didn’t last long though. The character was mired in the story lines from the golden age and especially her attachment to Steve Trevor. At the same time across the DC lineup characters were being revitalized with a new focus on science fiction. The silver age at DC is often attributed to having been started by the appearance of the re-imagined Flash in Showcase #4 in 1956. This led to a number of DC characters being reinvented such as Green Lantern and Hawkman. The difference with Wonder Woman though is that the character had managed to stay continually published since the golden age and did not get a science fiction retelling in the 1950s and 1960s. This left the character somewhat stilled mired in the past and eventually it was decided that something would be done to break her free of it. When the decision was made though it was decided that she would not have a science fiction background as it would break too much from her background as an Amazon, but that she would be slightly re-imagined as a martial arts based character, more along the lines of Batman. This would allow her to keep her somewhat unique background story, while also being more contemporary and popular. A much stronger emphasis was also placed on her appearance, as her somewhat drab civilian clothes and costume from the golden era were replaced with contemporary fashions of the time. In addition she opened a fashion boutique in trendy Greenwhich Village. This has led some to describe this era of the character as the “Mod Girl Wonder Woman.” While this version of the character did not prove to be consistently popular over the course of her brief run, it did leave some lasting impact on the character once she returned to her usual appearance. Following this she sought out more ambitious careers, for instance as a translator for the United Nations, or as a NASA astronaut and eventually moved back to Army Intelligence where she eventually got promoted to major. Also this period provided the opportunity to sever her from a dependence on Steve Trevor for her stories and her stories for the first time in her publication history became much more in line with what is considered typical of the super hero medium. The introduction of the multiverse made it such that there became two Wonder Womans, the modern version on Earth 1, and the golden age version on Earth 2. For a short time her appearances in her own comic were those of Earth 2 until the contemporary Angle Man accidentally visited her and subsequently the series was returned to modern day. The stories continued much like this for the remainder of the silver age until the end of the first Wonder Woman series with the events of Crisis on Infinite Earths. To provide closure to the character which was destined for a reboot, Steve Trevor returned and following the defense of Paradise Island from Shadow Demons, the two were finally married, though in continuity this lasted less than an issue.
The New 52 version of Earth 2 was introduced in Earth 2 #1 (2012). In that issue, the Earth 2 Wonder Woman is introduced via flashback. She, along with Superman and Batman, are depicted dying in battle with forces from Apokolips five years in the past. This Wonder Woman worshiped the deities of Roman mythology as opposed to the Greek; the Roman gods perish as a result of the conflict. An earlier version of the Earth-2 Wonder Woman, prior to the Apokoliptian invasion, is seen in the comic book Batman/Superman, where she is seen riding a pegasus.
A stand-alone #0 Issue was released in September which explored Diana's childhood and her tutelage under Ares, the God of War. The issue was narrated in the style of a typical Golden Age comic book and saw Diana in her childhood years. The main plot of the issue was Diana training under Ares as he thought of her being an extraordinary girl with immense potential. The issue ultimately concluded with Diana learning and experiencing the importance of mercy, as she hesitates and refuses to kill the Minotaur- a task given to her by Ares; however, this show of mercy makes her a failure in Ares' eyes.
Before she was Wonder Woman, she was Diana, princess of the Amazons, trained to be an unconquerable warrior. Raised on a sheltered island paradise, when an American pilot crashes on their shores and tells of a massive conflict raging in the outside world, Diana leaves her home, convinced she can stop the threat. Fighting alongside man in a war to end all wars, Diana will discover her full powers…and her true destiny.
Ares told Diana that he had been imprisoned by the other Gods of Olympus and bound in chains that were secured by Aphrodite through the power of her love. He also told her that years ago, Phobos and Deimos had implanted false memories of Themyscira into her mind, and these had caused her to imagine aspects of her past that had never happened in reality. Meanwhile, Phobos and Deimos entered Themyscira and battled with the Amazons. Diana knew what she had to do, and called Ares to unite her with Phobos and Deimos. He teleported them to her, and using her Lasso of Truth, Wonder Woman bound them through the power of her unconditional love for them, as Aphrodite had done to Ares. With the twin gods defeated, Diana attempted to leave Ares' prison along with Veronica and Izzy, however Izzy's essence had been attached to the realm and could not return to Earth. Izzy was forced to either live out the rest of her days in the prison or live in Themyscira as an Amazon for eternity. She chose the latter and Veronica said goodbye to her daughter. Diana was briefly reunited with her mother, for the first time since she left the island.
Critics such as Valerie Estelle Frankel support Jenkins's vision. Frankel argues that the film subverts the male gaze, stating that the construction of Wonder Woman tends to shift every few decades as it reflects the state of feminism during different time periods, including third-wave feminism (which reflects Jenkins's approach). Zoe Williams offers a similar argument, stating that while Wonder Woman "is sort of naked a lot of the time," that is not, at the same time, "objectification so much as a cultural reset: having thighs, actual thighs you can kick things with, not thighs that look like arms, is a feminist act". Williams then juxtaposes Wonder Woman to past female action heroes such as Sarah Connor, Ellen Ripley, and Lara Croft, whom she suggests were all constructed for the male gaze, in which a "female warrior becomes a sex object", (a point which she argues that Jenkins directly references in the film).
In September 2011, DC Comics relaunched its entire publication line, dubbing the event The New 52. Among the major changes to the character, Wonder Woman now appears wearing a new costume similar to her older one, and has a completely new origin. In this new timeline, Wonder Woman is no longer a clay figure brought to life by the magic of the gods. Rather, she is the demigoddess daughter of Queen Hippolyta and Zeus: King of the Greek Gods. Her original origin is revealed as a cover story to explain Diana's birth as a means to protect her from Hera's wrath. Currently, Diana has taken on the role and title as the new "God of War".
Although the Amazons were back to normal, Hippolyta was still a statue, and Hera could not restore her back to life. Zola wanted to leave the island, but Diana told her she and her child were safer with the Amazons. Diana addressed the Amazons and declared her intentions to end the Amazons' isolation and that every Amazon must protect Zeke, a male child.
Having learnt of Wonder Woman's inability to return to Themyscira, Doctor Veronica Cale, a wealthy and powerful woman, set into motion a plan to use Wonder Woman to find Themyscira. Years earlier, Cale's daughter Izzy had her soul stolen by the gods Phobos and Deimos. They told Veronica that they would only return her daughter to her if she helped them find Wonder Woman, and got the location of Themyscira from her. Seeing no other option, Cale had formed a team called Godwatch, dedicated to locating Diana and Themyscira.
^ Colluccio, Ali. "Top 5: Wonder Woman Reboots". iFanboy. Archived from the original on April 12, 2012. Retrieved April 10, 2012. After she was "erased" from existence in the final pages of Crisis on Infinite Earths, George Perez, Len Wein and Greg Potter brought the Amazon Princess back to the DC Universe. While the basics of the story remained the same, Wonder Woman;s powers were adjusted to include Beauty from Aphrodite, Strength from Demeter, Wisdom from Athena, Speed and Flight from Hermes, Eyes of the Hunter from Artemis, and Truth from Hestia. This run established Paradise Island as the mythical Amazon capital, Themyscira. Perez's Diana is not only strong and smart, but graceful and kind – the iconic Wonder Woman.
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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.
The chief chemist associated with General Ludendorff who specializes in chemistry and poisons. On her role, Anaya said, "Well, it was a small role in this big ensemble, but it is an important character in the story. I'm going to be a big nightmare" for Wonder Woman and Steve Trevor. Describing her character, Anaya said, "Dr. Maru loves rage and enjoys people's pain. She's creating terrible weapons, and her purpose in life is to kill as many people as possible, and provoke as much pain as possible". She researched World War I and Fritz Haber, the scientist who created mustard gas, to prepare for the role. On the character's facial scars, Anaya stated, "I went to Patty Jenkins and asked, 'What happened to her?' And she said, 'She did it on purpose.' I was like, 'What? Patty, you're going further than I ever imagined.' She said, 'She wants to provoke painful suffering, so she tested her own gas on her own face. She wanted to know how deep this form of her gas would go, so she put it on her own face.' You can see half of her face is completely gone. This is the sadistic side of Dr. Maru". She also stated her character "is quite the opposite to the lead role of this movie, one of the strongest characters ever of DC comics, Wonder Woman. I can tell you that Doctor Poison is someone with a capacity to provoke so much pain." On Dr. Maru's relationship with General Ludendorff, Anaya said, "I think that they have a relationship based on loyalty. Ludendorff is a very tormented General that lacks self-confidence. That's why, in part, he takes these drugs that Dr. Poison gives him. They are from different worlds, but they complement each other".