Gaines forwarded Jacobs’ letter to Marston, with a note: “This is one of the things I’ve been afraid of.” Something had to be done. He therefore enclosed, for Marston’s use, a memo written by Roubicek containing a “list of methods which can be used to keep women confined or enclosed without the use of chains. Each one of these can be varied in many ways—enabling us, as I told you in our conference last week, to cut down the use of chains by at least 50 to 75% without at all interfering with the excitement of the story or the sales of the books.”
A few decades later, second-wave feminist Gloria Steinem's 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". 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). 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". 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".
Centuries ago, an argument between Aphrodite and Ares led to the creation of the Amazons, who have been guided and protected by the goddesses ever since. Ares' recent schemes to destroy the Amazons and his fellow gods led to an Amazon champion being chosen. This champion was the Princess Diana, daughter of Queen Hippolyta, whom Hermes escorted to Man's World. There she was called Wonder Woman. Hephaestus forged Wonder Woman's golden Lasso of Truth from the girdle of the earth-goddess Gaea, and her silver bracelets which he formed from the splintered Aegis of Zeus. While the Olympian gods were her patrons, other gods were her foes. Ares and his progeny, Deimos and Phobos, quickly set about challenging the princess in her quest. Phobos created the creature Decay from the "heart of the Gorgon," which Diana quickly dispatched. Meanwhile, Deimos recruited humans on opposing sides, inciting them to war.
When Diana returns she takes on the persona of Diana Prince, now a secret agent and member of the Department of Metahuman Affairs. She is partnered with Nemesis and the two report to Sarge Steel. Her first assignment is to retrieve her sister Donna Troy, who has been kidnapped by several of her most persistent enemies; their powers have been augmented by Circe. After this is accomplished, Diana takes back the title of Wonder Woman.
“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.
Gods and Mortals (1987) Challenge of the Gods (1987–88) War of the Gods (1991) The Contest (1994) The Challenge of Artemis (1995) Paradise Island Lost (2001) Our Worlds at War (2001) The Hiketeia (2002) Down to Earth (2003–04) Who Is Wonder Woman? (2006–07) Amazons Attack! (2007) The Circle (2008) Ends of the Earth (2008) Rise of the Olympian (2009) Flashpoint (2011) The Lies (2016) Year One (2016) The Truth (2017) Godwatch (2017)
At the time of her debut, Wonder Woman sported a red top with a golden eagle emblem, a white belt, blue star-spangled culottes, and red and golden go-go boots. She originally wore a skirt; however according to Elizabeth Martson, "It was too hard to draw and would have been over her head most of the time." This outfit was entirely based on the American flag, because Wonder Woman was purely an American icon as she debuted during World War II. Later in 1942, Wonder Woman's outfit received a slight change – the culottes were converted entirely into skin-tight shorts and she wore sandals. While earlier most of her back was exposed, during the imposition of the Comics Code Authority in the mid-1950s, Wonder Woman's outfit was rectified to make her back substantially covered, in order to comply with the Authority's rule of minimum exposure. During Mike Sekowsky's run in the late 1960s, Diana surrendered her powers and started using her own skills to fight crime. She wore a series of jumpsuits as her attire; the most popular of these was a white one.
^ Greenberger p. 175: "Journalist and feminist Gloria Steinem...was tapped in 1970 to write the introduction to Wonder Woman, a hardcover collection of older stories. Steinem later went on to edit Ms. Magazine, with the first issue published in 1972, featuring the Amazon Princess on its cover. In both publications, the heroine's powerless condition during the 1970s was pilloried. A feminist backlash began to grow, demanding that Wonder Woman regain the powers and costume that put her on a par with the Man of Steel."
While Superman watched out for Zod, Diana visited the deserted Themyscira to speak to her mother, still a clay statue. In her absence, a demon from Tartarus had escaped from its prison and roamed free on the island. Wonder Woman destroyed the creature and sealed the gates to Tartarus with her lasso. Leaving the island, she received word from Batman that Superman was engaging Zod and Faora in battle. Reaching Superman’s side, Wonder Woman steadily overwhelmed Faora until Zod threatened Superman’s life. Wonder Woman was forced to let the criminals go.
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.
Hermes attacked Wonder Woman there, refusing to simply give up the child, but during their battle, War ripped the baby from Demeter's womb and disappeared. Unable to let a grave wound such as that go unattended, Diana saw to Demeter first, and the goddess warned that War could not be trusted. Worriedly, Diana and Orion returned to Manhattan to find that War had returned the baby to Zola. At last, the baby and his mother were reunited - and Orion would not have to look any further for the child he needed to kill.
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. To recover from the trauma of killing another person, the Amazon went into a self-imposed exile for one year. 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.
As Hippolyta was still a clay statue, Diana was forced to take the Amazon throne, at least until she could find a way to turn her mother back to normal. At the same time, the Justice League had discovered strange environmental events that had destroyed small villages around the world, leaving only vegetation behind. Furious, Wonder Woman attacked Swamp Thing, accusing him of causing such devastation, while Swamp Thing claimed innocence. Aquaman defused the situation before it could escalate any further. Later, Wonder Woman returned to Themyscira, only to discover Hippolyta's statue had crumbled. On a training session, Clark asked Diana if she wanted to talk about her recent experiences, but Diana replied that, as queen, grief is not a luxury she could afford. Later, Diana was called for a meeting by the Amazon council, which forced a choice on her: become permanent Queen or abdicate the throne. Before the discussion could continue, the island was attacked by Stymphalian Birds, Ares’ pets who were now drawn to Diana as the God of War. Accepting her new responsibilities, Diana successfully defended Themyscira.
After Crisis on Infinite Earths, George Pérez rebooted the character in 1987. She wore an outfit similar to her 1970s one, but now with a larger glowing golden belt. This outfit continued until William Messner-Loebs' run, which had Diana pass on the role of Wonder Woman to Artemis. No longer Wonder Woman, Diana sported a new black biker-girl outfit designed by artist Mike Deodato Jr. After John Byrne took over writing and art duties, he redesigned the Wonder Woman outfit (Diana was reinstated as Wonder Woman at the end of Loebs' run) and joined the emblem and belt together.
Another major outfit change for Wonder Woman came about as part of DC Comics' 2011 relaunch of its entire line of publications, The New 52. The character's original one-piece outfit was restored, although the color combination of red and blue was changed to dark red and blue-black. Her chest-plate, belt and tiara were also changed from gold to a platinum or sterling silver color. Along with her sword, she now also utilizes a shield. She wears many accessories such as arm and neck jewelry styled as the "WW" motif. Her outfit is no longer made of fabric, as it now resembles a type of light, flexible body armor. Her boots are now a very dark blue rather than red. The design previously included black trousers, but they were removed and the one-piece look was restored during the time of publication.
The Lasso of Truth forces people to tell the truth. It was forged by Hephaestus from the Golden Girdle of Gaea that Antiope had once worn. It is able to restore people's lost memories get rid of illusions or cause illusions to those it holds and heal the holder's body cure insanity and protect people who are in close proximity to it from magical attacks. In the golden age version the lasso could also take on a rigid form and hold people aloft from a great distance away. During these eras, the lasso also forced those who were bound by it to act as the holder demanded. This trait also affected Wonder Woman. A non-combat application of the lasso is that it can be used to change Diana's clothes as long as those clothes are "in the right frequency" as the lasso. Although this was a plot device used more often in the golden and silver age in has been used on occasion in modern comics as for instance one time Diana transformed into a Miss America costume. The lasso is essentially indestructible, and can be offensively used in combat to incapacitate, and even attacking their souls.
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.
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