After defeating Giganta in battle, Wonder Woman was approached by a lawyer who informed her that she had inherited the estate of Hercules, who had been killed. Shortly thereafter, she was told by A.R.G.U.S. that Hercules' body came from an area containing traces of energy unique to Apokolips. Diana visited Hercules' home and found a letter addressed to her, informing her of the location of her twin brother, Jason. She found him in Greece, and the two seemingly began to bond, only for Jason to turn against Diana after the arrival of Grail, who he had secretly allied himself with. Grail had begun killing children of the earthly gods in order to use their divine power to restore her father Darkseid to adulthood, as he had been turned into a baby at the end of the Darkseid War. Jason allied himself with her in order to exact revenge on Wonder Woman, as he resented her for not seeking him out after she learned of his existence some time ago and was envious of her. However, as Darkseid was about to drain Diana's life force, Jason regretted his actions and joined Wonder Woman in battle against Grail and Darkseid. Then, Hercules' lawyer revealed his true identity as the King of the Gods himself, Zeus. Zeus fought Darkseid while Wonder Woman took on his daughter, Grail. Ultimately, Zeus was defeated and his life force was drained by Darkseid, restoring the Apokoliptian to his full adult form. The Justice League arrived, forcing Darkseid and Grail to retreat through a Boom Tube. In the aftermath of the battle, Diana forgave her brother for his deceit.
Gaines decided he needed another expert. He turned to Lauretta Bender, an associate professor of psychiatry at New York University’s medical school and a senior psychiatrist at Bellevue Hospital, where she was director of the children’s ward, an expert on aggression. She’d long been interested in comics but her interest had grown in 1940, after her husband, Paul Schilder, was killed by a car while walking home from visiting Bender and their 8-day-old daughter in the hospital. Bender, left with three children under the age of 3, soon became painfully interested in studying how children cope with trauma. In 1940, she conducted a study with Reginald Lourie, a medical resident under her supervision, investigating the effect of comics on four children brought to Bellevue Hospital for behavioral problems. Tessie, 12, had witnessed her father, a convicted murderer, kill himself. She insisted on calling herself Shiera, after a comic-book girl who is always rescued at the last minute by the Flash. Kenneth, 11, had been raped. He was frantic unless medicated or “wearing a Superman cape.” He felt safe in it—he could fly away if he wanted to—and “he felt that the cape protected him from an assault.” Bender and Lourie concluded the comic books were “the folklore of this age,” and worked, culturally, the same way fables and fairy tales did.
Originally signed for three feature films, with Wonder Woman and Justice League being her second and third films, Gadot signed an extension to her contract for additional films. Jenkins initially signed for only one film, but in an interview with Variety, Geoff Johns revealed that he and Jenkins were writing the treatment for a Wonder Woman sequel and that he has a "cool idea for the second one". At the 2017 San Diego Comic Con, Warner Bros. officially announced a sequel would be released on December 13, 2019, and would be titled Wonder Woman 2; the date was later moved up to November 1, 2019, to avoid competition with Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker. Later, Jenkins was officially signed to return as director, with confirmation that Gadot will be returning as the titular role. Days later, the studio hired Dave Callaham to co-write the film's script with Jenkins and Johns. On March 9, 2018, Kristen Wiig was confirmed to play Cheetah, the villain of the film. Later that month, it was announced that Pedro Pascal would have a key role in the film. In May 2018, long-time DCEU producer Zack Snyder confirmed on social media platform Vero that he, along with wife Deborah Snyder, will serve as producers on the Wonder Woman sequel. In June 2018, the title of the film was announced to be Wonder Woman 1984. A third film was announced in January 2019 to be taking place in the present.
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.
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Wonder Woman did not keep her identity a secret, and initially did not consider herself a superheroine. Indeed, her character was wide-eyed and naive, innocent and without guile. Diana spoke only Themyscirian, a variation of ancient Greek, and had to learn English when she arrived in the United States. Fortunately, Diana soon met Julia Kapatelis, a scholar in Greek culture, and her daughter Vanessa Kapatelis who helped the Amazon princess adjust to the world of men. However, for all her apparent naiveté, Diana was a trained warrior, and had no compunction against using deadly force when called for. For example, she felled the god Deimos in battle and felt completely justified under the circumstances. Through Pérez's tenure on the book, Diana confronted war, injustice, inequality, death and conflicts involving the Olympian Gods.
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The Golden Age Wonder Woman had strength that was comparable to the Golden Age Superman. Wonder Woman was capable of bench pressing 15,000 pounds even before she had received her bracelets, and later hoisted a 50,000 pound boulder above her head to inspire Amazons facing the test. Even when her super strength was temporarily nullified, she still had enough mortal strength of an Amazon to break down a prison door to save Steve Trevor. In one of her earliest appearances, she is shown running easily at 60 mph (97 km/h), and later jumps from a building[clarification needed] and lands on the balls of her feet.
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.
In February 1941, Marston submitted a draft of his first script, explaining the “under-meaning” of Wonder Woman’s Amazonian origins in ancient Greece, where men had kept women in chains, until they broke free and escaped. “The NEW WOMEN thus freed and strengthened by supporting themselves (on Paradise Island) developed enormous physical and mental power.” His comic, he said, was meant to chronicle “a great movement now under way—the growth in the power of women.”
After preventing a terrorist attack at a refugee camp in Greece, Wonder Woman returned to a government facility in the United States and was examined by a sickly doctor, Dr. Shannon Crawford. That evening, Diana attended the wedding of Etta Candy's brother, where she discovered a bomb seconds away from detonation hidden underneath one of the tables. She was able to contain the blast, but Etta was injured by a piece of shrapnel. She returned Etta to Dr. Crawford who removed the shrapnel, before touching Wonder Woman with an Amazon-strength sedative she had developed, leaving Diana too weak to fight back. Dr. Crawford told Diana that she had a rare genetic illness, and that she intended to use Diana's Amazon blood to develop a cure, saving her life as well as providing life-saving treatment for others afflicted with the same disease. Diana awoke to discover Crawford had developed Amazonian strength as a result of the blood transfusion. She was able to bind Dr. Crawford in the Lasso of Truth, which rejected the lie and restored Crawford to her previous state. Having lost hope for a cure, Crawford injected herself with the sedative, killing her. Wonder Woman was too late to stop her, but she understood Crawford's decision to end her pain and held her as she died.
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".
In May 2017, early tracking had Wonder Woman opening with $65–75 million, and possibly as high as $105 million. The film opened Friday, June 2, 2017, across 4,165 theaters and made $38.7 million on its opening day, including $3.7 million in IMAX. It was the biggest single-day gross for a woman-directed film, ahead of the $35.9 million opening Friday of Catherine Hardwicke's Twilight in 2008 and the biggest opening day for a woman-led comic book superhero film, ahead of Ghost in the Shell ($7 million). This included $11 million it made from Thursday previews, also the best start for a film directed by a woman, surpassing Fifty Shades of Grey's $8.6 million which was directed by Sam Taylor-Johnson, and the third-biggest of the year, behind Beauty and the Beast and Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2. Of that, $1.5 million came from IMAX screenings.