In 1911, when Marston was a freshman at Harvard, the British suffragist Emmeline Pankhurst, who’d chained herself to the gates outside 10 Downing Street, came to speak on campus. When Sanger faced charges of obscenity for explaining birth control in a magazine she founded called the Woman Rebel, a petition sent to President Woodrow Wilson on her behalf read, “While men stand proudly and face the sun, boasting that they have quenched the wickedness of slavery, what chains of slavery are, have been or ever could be so intimate a horror as the shackles on every limb—on every thought—on the very soul of an unwilling pregnant woman?” American suffragists threatened to chain themselves to the gates outside the White House. In 1916, in Chicago, women representing the states where women had still not gained the right to vote marched in chains.
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]
The inspiration to give Diana bracelets came from the pair of bracelets worn by Olive Byrne, creator William Moulton Marston's research assistant and lover.[5] "Wonder Woman and her sister Amazons have to wear heavy bracelets to remind them of what happens to a girl when she lets a man conquer her," quoted Marston in a 1942 interview. "The Amazons once surrendered to the charm of some handsom Greeks and what a mess they got themselves into. The Greeks put them in chains of the Hitler type, beat them, and made them work like horses in the fields. Aphrodite, goddess of love, finally freed these unhappy girls. But she laid down the rule ("Aphrodite's Law") that they must never surrender to a man for any reason. I know of no better advice to give modern day women than this rule that Aphrodite gave the Amazon girls."[206]
The story then focuses on Wonder Woman's quest to rescue Zola from Hades, who had abducted her and taken her to Hell at the end of the sixth issue of the series.[138][139][140][141] The male children of the Amazons are introduced and Diana learns about the birth of her "brothers" – the Amazons used to infrequently invade ships coming near their island and force themselves on the sailors, before killing them. After nine months, the birth of the resulting female children was highly celebrated and they were inducted into the ranks of the Amazons while the male children were rejected. In order to save the male children from being drowned to death by the Amazons, Hephaestus traded weapons to the Amazons in exchange for them.[138][142][143]

Wonder Woman's powers and traditional costume were restored in issue #204 (January–February 1973).[12] Gloria Steinem, who grew up reading Wonder Woman comics, was a key player in the restoration. Steinem, offended that the most famous female superheroine had been depowered, 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.[13]
The American theme of Diana's costume was explained by Pérez in the Challenge of the Gods storyline in which Diana engaged in a series of trials arranged by Zeus as punishment for refusing his advances. Diana met the spirit of Steve Trevor's mother, Diana Trevor, who was clad in armor identical to her own. Trevor revealed that during World War II she had crashed on Themyscira while on duty as a U.S. Army pilot. She blundered into an Amazon battle against Cottus, a multi-armed demon, at the portal to the underworld. Trevor was drawn into the battle, although she was armed only with her side arm. She wounded the beast before suffering a mortal blow, allowing the Amazons to reseal the portal.[37]
Both the ABC pilot episode - "The New Original Wonder Woman" - and the ABC premiere episode that brought the series forward into the 70's - "The Return of Wonder Woman" - originally aired as 90-minute episodes. For syndication, these episodes are often edited down to run in a standard 60-minute time slot. The full version of "The New Original Wonder Woman" is contained on the DVD boxed set of the first season, and the full version of "The Return of Wonder Woman" was included on the second season box set. See more »

Wonder Woman's outfit has varied over time, although almost all of her outfit incarnations have retained some form of chestplate, subligaculum, tiara, bracelets, and her signature five-pointed star symbols. When Wonder Woman was first introduced, she wore a heavily patriotic skirt and red top which incorporated an American eagle and elements of the United States flag, reflecting the comic's origins during World War II. Later artists introduced what would become Wonder Woman's classic ensemble, adding an armored plate to her top whose design recalls a letter W and revealing blue short shorts, whose precise length varied from artist to artist. Other artists have experimented with different looks for Wonder Woman over the years, including an all-white mod jumpsuit, a biker outfit, a variation of her mainstream depiction featuring leather pants and a jacket, and a number of armoured battlesuits. Contemporary artists have attempted to emphasise Wonder Woman's traditional outfit as a red armored top with a blue gladiator skirt.

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.
In 2011's The New 52, DC Comics relaunched its entire line of publications to attract a new generation of readers, and thus released volume 4 of the Wonder Woman comic book title. Brian Azzarello and Cliff Chiang were assigned writing and art duties respectively and revamped the character's history considerably. In this new continuity, Wonder Woman wears a costume similar to her original Marston costume, utilizes a sword and shield, and has a completely new origin. No longer a clay figure brought to life by the magic of the gods, she is, instead, a demi-goddess and the natural-born daughter of Hippolyta and Zeus. Azzarello and Chiang's revamp of the character was critically acclaimed, but highly divisive among longtime fans of the character.[47][48][49][50]
Following the 1985 Crisis on Infinite Earths series, George Pérez, Len Wein, and Greg Potter rewrote the character's origin story, depicting Wonder Woman as an emissary and ambassador from Themyscira to Patriarch's World, charged with the mission of bringing peace to the outside world. Pérez incorporated a variety of deities and concepts from Greek mythology in Wonder Woman's stories and origin. His rendition of the character acted as the foundation for the modern Wonder Woman stories, as he expanded upon the widely accepted origin of Diana being birthed out of clay. The relaunch was a critical and commercial success.[41]
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.[31]
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.
The success of the superhero television series Supergirl informed the marketing and promotion strategy used for Wonder Woman.[155] According to Time Warner chief marketing officer Kristen O'Hara, they wanted to approach the Wonder Woman marketing campaign in a light manner, similar to how they did with Supergirl. O'Hara elaborated that the modest campaign route they took for Supergirl aided in establishing a large central fanbase among women well in advance of the series, which reportedly generated 5 million female superhero fans in one week.[155] They were then able to model over time, and grow that audience leading up to the 15-months-later release of Wonder Woman.[155] Though neither the film nor the series are aimed exclusively at women, the latter's campaign gave them their first opportunity to begin collecting data about female superhero fans.[155] In May 2017, a promo for Wonder Woman was released during the season finale of Supergirl, featuring a remix of the song "These Boots Are Made for Walkin'" and Supergirl (Melissa Benoist) wearing Wonder Woman's boots.[156] The promo included an appearance by Lynda Carter, star of the 1970s Wonder Woman, who plays the American president on Supergirl.[156]
Wonder Woman also met the Lamia of myth, who laid with Zeus and bore his children. Hera changed her into a snake-like creature and killed her children. She now lurks in the American sewers, acting as a benevolent caregiver to troubled children. She attempted to commit suicide using Diana's lasso (which she had her young friend Sneaker steal), but Diana stopped her and Lamia disappeared along with Sneaker, with whom she had developed a mother-daughter relationship.[41]
^ Daniels, Les (1995). "The Amazon Redeemed Wonder Woman Returns to Her Roots". DC Comics: Sixty Years of the World's Favorite Comic Book Heroes. New York, New York: Bulfinch Press. p. 194. ISBN 0821220764. Creator William Moulton Marston had mixed Roman gods in with the Greek, but Pérez kept things straight even when it involved using a less familiar name like 'Ares' instead of 'Mars'. The new version also jettisoned the weird technology anachronistically present on the original Paradise Island.
Following the popularity of the Wonder Woman TV series (initially set during World War II), the comic book was also transposed to this era.[15] The change was made possible by the multiverse concept, which maintained that the 1970s Wonder Woman and the original 1940s version existed in two separate yet parallel worlds. A few months after the TV series changed its setting to the 1970s, the comic book returned to the contemporary timeline. Soon after, when the series was written by Jack C. Harris, Steve (Howard) Trevor was killed off yet again.[9]
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.[4] 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.[5]
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