A few decades later, second-wave feminist Gloria Steinem's[228] Ms. Magazine debuted in 1972 with an image of Wonder Woman on the cover. Historian Tim Hanley suggests that this move shifted "the focus away from female superiority to sisterhood and equality, essentially making her a mascot of the women's movement".[225][229][230] This perception shifted over the years, as demonstrated in December 2016 when the United Nations decided to drop the title of "honorary ambassador for the empowerment of women and girls" which it had given to the comic book character Wonder Woman a few months prior, in a ceremony attended by the actors who had portrayed her (Lynda Carter and Gal Gadot).[231] The title was eliminated in response to a petition signed by 44,000 people which argued that Wonder Woman undermines female empowerment due to her costume, described as a "shimmery, thigh-baring bodysuit with an American flag motif and knee-high boots". The petition stated that "it is alarming that the United Nations would consider using a character with an overtly sexualised image at a time when the headline news in United States and the world is the objectification of women and girls".[232][233][229] Wonder Woman director Patty Jenkins responded to both the petition and to the U.N.'s decision by stating that she thinks "that that's sexist. I think it's sexist to say you can't have both. I have to ask myself what I would apply to any other superhero".[234]
Gaines was hugely relieved, at least until September 1943, when a letter arrived from John D. Jacobs, a U.S. Army staff sergeant in the 291st Infantry, stationed at Fort Leonard Wood, Missouri. “I am one of those odd, perhaps unfortunate men who derive an extreme erotic pleasure from the mere thought of a beautiful girl, chained or bound, or masked, or wearing extreme high-heels or high-laced boots,—in fact, any sort of constriction or strain whatsoever,” Jacobs wrote. He wanted to know whether the author of Wonder Woman himself had in his possession any of the items depicted in the stories, “the leather mask, or the wide iron collar from Tibet, or the Greek ankle manacle? Or do you just ‘dream up’ these things?”
Later, in London, Diana talked with Hessia about what being Queen really meant. Hessia told her the changes she was trying to impose were hard, and it might take a long time for the Amazons to accept them. Wonder Woman was called by the Justice League to look for the survivors of another missing village. As part of the operation, Superman explored the interior of a volcano until he was attacked by insects and lost contact with the League.[52] Wonder Woman and Batman were next to enter the volcano and found Superman safe and sound. Exploring the volcano further, the heroes found the missing villagers dead and their remains encased in cocoons by one of the volcano’s insectoid denizens. Wonder Woman almost killed one of these creatures, until the League intervened and took the creature to the Watchtower for medical attention. Upon returning to Paradise Island, Diana spoke to the spirit of Hippolyta. Comforting her daughter, Hippolyta motivated Diana into accepting her duty as God of War. Diana also learnt that relations between Amazons and the Sons of Themyscira had gone sour and the Amazons had created Donna Troy from magical clay, an Amazon who sought to replace Diana as Queen.[53]
The Diana Prince alias also played an important role after the events of Infinite Crisis. Wonder Woman was broadcast worldwide killing a villain named Maxwell Lord, as he was mind controlling Superman into killing Batman. When Wonder Woman caught him in her lasso, demanding to know how to stop Superman, Maxwell revealed that the only way to stop him was to kill Lord, so as a last resort Diana snapped his neck.[63][64] To recover from the trauma of killing another person, the Amazon went into a self-imposed exile for one year.[65] On her return to public life, Diana realized that her life as a full-time celebrity superhero and ambassador had kept her removed from humanity. Because of this she assumed the persona of Diana Prince and became an agent at the Department of Metahuman Affairs. During a later battle with the witch Circe, a spell was placed on Diana leaving her powerless when not in the guise of Wonder Woman.[66]
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!
The I Ching era had an influence on the 1974 Wonder Woman TV movie featuring Cathy Lee Crosby, in which Wonder Woman was portrayed as a non-superpowered globe-trotting super-spy who wore an amalgam of the Wonder Woman and Diana Prince costumes. The first two issues of Allan Heinberg's run (Wonder Woman vol. 3, #1–2) include direct references to I Ching, and feature Diana wearing an outfit similar to that which she wore during the I Ching era.[9]
Wonder Woman had its world premiere in Shanghai on May 15, 2017, and was released in the United States on June 2, 2017, in 2D, Real D 3D, and IMAX 3D by Warner Bros. Pictures. The film received largely positive reviews, with praise for its direction, acting, visuals, action sequences, and musical score, although the portrayal of its villains and the ending received some criticism.[8] The film set several box office records,[9] and became the fifth highest-grossing superhero film domestically and 20th highest-grossing film in the United States overall. It grossed over $821 million worldwide, making it the tenth highest-grossing film of 2017. As of August 2019, Rotten Tomatoes has listed the film fourth on its list of the "Best Superhero Movies of All Time",[10][note 1] and the American Film Institute selected it as one of the top 10 films of 2017.[11] A sequel, Wonder Woman 1984, is scheduled to be released on June 5, 2020, with Jenkins returning as director and Gadot reprising her role.
Wonder Woman is the most popular female comic-book superhero of all time. Aside from Superman and Batman, no other comic-book character has lasted as long. Generations of girls have carried their sandwiches to school in Wonder Woman lunchboxes. Like every other superhero, Wonder Woman has a secret identity. Unlike every other superhero, she also has a secret history.
Wonder Woman received a largely positive response from film critics, with some calling it the DC Extended Universe's best film, with additional praise highlighting Jenkins's direction, acting, chemistry of Gadot and Pine, musical score, and action sequences.[8][203] On the review aggregator Rotten Tomatoes, the film holds an approval rating of 93% based on 425 reviews, with an average rating of 7.66/10. The website's critical consensus reads, "Thrilling, earnest, and buoyed by Gal Gadot's charismatic performance, Wonder Woman succeeds in spectacular fashion."[204] It is the second highest-rated superhero film on the site.[10][note 1] On Metacritic, the film has a weighted average score of 76 out of 100, based on 50 critics, indicating "generally favorable reviews".[205] Audiences polled by CinemaScore gave the film an average grade of "A" on an A+ to F scale, while PostTrak reported filmgoers gave it an 85% overall positive score and a 73% "definite recommend".[206]
Following Pérez, William Messner-Loebs took over as writer and Mike Deodato became the artist for the title. Messner-Loebs introduced Diana's Daxamite friend Julia in Wonder Woman vol. 2 #68 during the six-issue space arc.[38][39] Messner-Loebs's most memorable contribution to the title was the introduction of the red-headed Amazon Artemis, who took over the mantle of Wonder Woman for a short time. He also included a subplot during his run in an attempt to further humanize Diana by having her work for a fictional fast food chain called "Taco Whiz".[9]
Jenkins disagrees with this line of critique. She has stated that she was raised by a second-wave "feminist mother",[240][241] who taught her to be "both super aware that there had been sexism but also: 'Congratulations—thank you, now I get to do whatever I want, Mom!'"[240] Jenkins thus notes that it is this upbringing which has led her to question a feminist critique of Wonder Woman's costume.[242] When she was working on her own version of Wonder Woman's "Gladiator" re-design of the outfit (in the 2016 film Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice)[243] Jenkins decided that Wonder Woman (as well as the other Amazons) "shouldn't be dressed in armor like men ... It should be different ... I, as a woman, want Wonder Woman to be hot as hell, fight badass, and look great at the same time—the same way men want Superman to have huge pecs and an impractically big body."[17] Jenkins also notes that she is "frustrated" by the critique of Wonder Woman's appearance, stating "when people get super critical about her outfit, who's the one getting crazy about what a woman wears? That's who she is; that's Wonder Woman."[241] Gal Gadot concurred with Jenkins, arguing that the character "is a feminist"[244] as "feminism is about equality and choice and freedom. And the writers, Patty and myself all figured that the best way to show that is to show Diana as having no awareness of social roles. She has no gender boundaries. To her, everyone is equal."[245]
As one of the longest continually published comic book characters, Wonder Woman’s history has undergone some changes over the years, though a few elements remain consistent in all of her depictions. She is the princess of the Amazons, a race of women who live free of men on Paradise Island (later dubbed Themyscira). After growing up on this island, Wonder Woman (whom her mother named Diana) journeys to Man’s World on a mission of diplomacy, peace, and love.
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