Wonder Woman breathed new life into Warner Bros.’ DC franchise, delivering an epic and entertaining origin story that showed the power of having strong women on the big screen—and behind the scenes. On June 1, Patty Jenkins and longtime DC Comics writer Geoff Johns both posted a black image that read “WW84” as their header images. The cryptic image may suggest that the film takes place in 1984 (after Jenkins previously said it would take place during the ’80s) or that it has the year 1984 in the film title.
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. 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.
In present-day Paris, Diana receives a photographic plate from Wayne Enterprises of herself and four men taken during World War I, prompting her to recall her past. The daughter of Queen Hippolyta, Diana is raised on the hidden island of Themyscira, home to the Amazonian women warriors created by Zeus to protect mankind. Hippolyta explains the Amazonian history to Diana, including how Ares became jealous of humanity and orchestrated its destruction. When the other gods attempted to stop him, Ares killed all but Zeus, who used the last of his power to wound Ares and force his retreat. Before dying, Zeus left the Amazons the island and a weapon, the "Godkiller", to prepare them for Ares's return.
William Marston's earliest works were notorious for containing subversive "bondage and sapphic-undertones" subtext. Among Wonder Women's infamous catchphrases, "Suffering Sappho", was a direct reference to lesbianism. Fredric Wertham's Seduction of the Innocent referred to her as the "lesbian counterpart to Batman" (whom he also identified as a homosexual). After Marston's death in 1947, DC Comics downplayed her sexuality and feminist origin. Wonder Women, without Marston's creative direction, become more "traditional" superhero fair; the lesbian relationships and sexual imagery disappeared from the "Wonder Woman" comic, along with Wonder Woman's super powers. During the Comics Code Authority-decades since, Wonder Woman's subversiveness had been gradually stripped away; subsequent comic book writers and artists either didn't know know what do with her or barely hinted at Wonder Woman's erotic legacy. Similar to whitewashing, Wonder Woman's queerness and feminist identity throughout the latter half of the 20th century was never discussed and rendered "invisible" in adaptations in favor of the dominant sexism portrayal of women in comic books.
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.
In the 1910s, Peter was a staff artist at the magazine Judge, where he contributed to its suffrage page called “The Modern Woman,” which ran from 1912 to 1917. More regularly, the art on that page was drawn by another staff artist, a woman named Lou Rogers. Rogers’ suffrage and feminist cartoons very often featured an allegorical woman chained or roped, breaking her bonds. Sanger hired Rogers as art director for the Birth Control Review, a magazine she started in 1917. In 1920, in a book called Woman and the New Race, Sanger argued that woman “had chained herself to her place in society and the family through the maternal functions of her nature, and only chains thus strong could have bound her to her lot as a brood animal.” In 1923, an illustration commissioned by Rogers for the cover of Birth Control Review pictured a weakened and desperate woman, fallen to her knees and chained at the ankle to a ball that reads, “UNWANTED BABIES.” A chained woman inspired the title of Sanger’s 1928 book, Motherhood in Bondage, a compilation of some of the thousands of letters she had received from women begging her for information about birth control; she described the letters as “the confessions of enslaved mothers.”
The character has appeared occasionally on live television. In 1966 a short film was made to pitch the character to television studios, but was ultimately unsuccessful. There was also an attempt at a TV movie starring Cathy Lee Crosby, but it failed to launch a TV show. The most famous television show was the 1975 Wonder Woman show starring Lynda Carter. The series was a hit and ran until 1979, becoming a pop culture sensation in the process. Today, the show is largely responsible for the public perception of the character.
Veronica Cale employed the toxicologist Colonel Poison, who led Team Poison, a team that attempted to capture Diana and Steve. In order to protect Diana in her vulnerable state, Steve had her admitted to a mental hospital in London. Team Poison continued to pursue Steve, Barbara and Commander Etta Candy, however. Barbara, who had been a member of Godwatch when she was Cheetah, decided to speak to Veronica herself. Cale and Doctor Cyber showed Barbara footage of Team Poison, who were about to kill her friends, and Barbara agreed to become Cheetah again in exchange for Veronica calling off the team and sparing their lives.
In her false memories, the Amazons traditionally procreated by raping and then murdering sailors who happened too close to their island. Hippolyta was barren, and legend told that Diana was born of her mother's strong desire for a child, a lump of clay brought to life in the form of a girl; the perfect Amazon, as she was born of no man. The truth, though, was that Hippolyta had had an affair with Zeus, and Diana's real parentage was hidden in order to protect the Queen and her daughter from the wrath of Zeus' notoriously jealous wife Hera. Unbeknownst to Diana, her mother also gave birth to her twin, a brother named Jason.
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.