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.
Villains Angle Man • Baron Blitzkrieg • Baroness Paula Von Gunther • Badra • Bizarra • Blue Snowman • Captain Wonder • Cheetah • Children of Cronus • Circe • Cyborgirl • Dark Angel • Decay • Devastation • Doctor Cyber • Doctor Poison • Doctor Psycho • Duke of Deception • Eviless • Genocide • Giganta • Hypnota • Jinx • Mask • Medusa • Minister Blizzard • The Morrigan • Osira • Queen Atomia • Queen Clea • Queen of Fables • Shim'Tar • Silver Swan • Superwoman • Tezcatlipoca • Trinity • Veronica Cale • Villainy, Inc. • White Magician • Zara
Until DC's New 52 relaunch, there were a few other aspects of the origin story that remained consistent. Her mother, Hippolyta, created her out of clay, and the Greek gods bestowed her with life. She grew up among the Amazons who taught her the skills of a warrior as well as the lessons of peace and love. When Steve Trevor, an American pilot, crash landed on Paradise Island, the Amazons had a contest to determine who should receive the honor and responsibility to take him back to Man’s World and serve as the champion emissary of all the Amazons represent.
The character has been featured in direct-to-DVD animated films and CGI theatrical releases, such as The Lego Movie (2014). Within the live-action DC Extended Universe films, Wonder Woman debuted in Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice (2016) and was featured as the main character in Wonder Woman (2017). In November 2017, she appeared in the DCEU release Justice League.
Wonder Woman (vol. 1) #179 (Nov. 1969) showed Wonder Woman giving up her powers and returning her costume and title to her mother, in order to continue staying in Man's World. The reason behind this was that all the Amazons were shifting to another dimension, but Diana was unable to accompany them as she needed to stay behind to help Steve, who had been wrongly convicted. Thus, she no longer held the title of Wonder Woman and after meeting and training under a blind martial arts mentor I-Ching, Diana resumed crime fighting as the powerless Diana Prince. She ran a mod-boutique as a business and dressed in a series of jumpsuits while fighting crime. During this period, Samuel R. Delany took over scripting duties with issue #202. Delany was initially supposed to write a six-issue story arc, which would culminate in a battle over an abortion clinic, but Delany was removed reportedly due to criticism from Gloria Steinem, who, not knowing the content of the issues Delany was writing, was upset that Wonder Woman had lost her powers and was no longer wearing her traditional costume.
In the Golden Age, Wonder Woman adhered to an Amazon code of helping any in need, even misogynistic people, and never accepting a reward for saving someone; while conversely, the modern version of the character has been shown to perform lethal and fatal actions when left with no other alternative, exemplified in the killing of Maxwell Lord in order to save Superman's life.
Diana meets Barbara Ann Minerva for the first time. Minerva wants Diana's lasso and tricks Diana into believing that she has Antiope's Girdle of Gaea. Diana discovers the ruse and storms out of the house. Barbara transforms into the Cheetah and attacks Diana. Julia Kapatelis shoots Cheetah and fends her off. Diana returns to Themyscira. Zeus is infatuated with Diana and asks her for a physical communion to which Diana refuses. Angered, Zeus sends her on a mission, a "Challenge
In the Gods' absence, the Amazons began to revert to clay. To justify the Olympians' return to Earth, Zeus summoned Diana and several of her friends to testify before him. It was Hippolyta who tipped the scales, however. She played a secret card which greatly swayed them. In truth, she simply reminded Ares that before her reincarnation, Hippolyta had been Ares' daughter, and thus Zeus' granddaughter. At this time, Zeus also granted strength and flight to Cassie Sandsmark. Soon, Highfather of the New Gods summoned Zeus and Heracles to once gain battle Darkseid. To this end, Zeus, Odin, Ares, Jove and Highfather merged into one being and entered the Source. When cast out, Zeus was gravely injured and remained bonded to Jove. Heracles returned with him to Olympus.
The "Lies" story arc runs parallel with and explores Diana's search. No longer able to get into Mount Olympus, Diana tracks down Barbara Ann Minerva, the Cheetah, to get help. Cheetah agrees to help in exchange for Diana aiding her in killing the god Urzkartaga and ending Minerva's curse. The pair battle their way through Urzkartaga's minions, the Bouda, and defeat Andres Cadulo, a worshiper of Urzkartaga that planned to sacrifice Steve Trevor to the plant god. Once reverted to her human form, Minerva agreed to help Wonder Woman find her way back to Paradise Island. During this time, Wonder Woman reconnects with Steve. Minerva eventually realizes Paradise Island is an embodiment of emotion instead of a physical place, so Wonder Woman and Steve head out to find the island. They succeed and Wonder Woman is greeted by her mother and sisters, though Steve senses something is wrong. Wonder Woman comes to realize nothing is as she remembers and, upon using the Lasso of Truth, discovers everything she thought she knew was a lie: she never really returned to Themyscira after departing with Steve years earlier. The revelation shatters Diana's mind and she is left nearly insane. Veronica Cale, a businesswoman who has been desiring to find Themyscira and the leader of Godwatch, sends a military group called Poison after her, but Diana's state has left her vulnerable and oblivious to the danger she and Steve are in. Steve wards them off long enough for them to be rescued, and reluctantly places Diana in a mental hospital so she can get help. While there she comes to grasp the reality she thought she knew was false, eventually coming out of her stupor and able to rejoin the others in tracking down Veronica Cale, who is trying to find Themyscira.
Not long after this, Athena sensed a dark destiny for the gods amidst the cosmic mechanations of Alexander Luthor Jr.. In the crisis created by his chaos, Diana was forced to kill Maxwell Lord, and incurred the ire of the world's public. The U.S. government responded by mobilizing against Themyscira, and Diana realized that as long as she was a target, the Amazons would never be safe. Diana prayed to the gods to take the Amazons to safety, but got more than she bargained for. On Olympus, she pleaded against Athena's decision to remove the gods from Earth's affairs. Regardless, the gods departed, leaving Diana bereft of family and faith.
GenresuperheroCharactersWonder Woman [Diana of Themyscira]; Steve Trevor; Charlie (of the Oddfellows); unidentified military officers; Jason; The Dark Gods [King Best; Mob God; Savage Fire; The God with No Name; Karnell]; unnamed Hong Kong residents; Mera; Green Lantern [Simon Baz]; Hawkman [Carter Hall]; Vixen [Mari McCabe]; Black Canary [Dinah Lance]; Batwing [Lucas Fox]; Blue Beetle [Jaime Reyes]; unnamed rioters; Justice League [The Flash [Barry Allen]; Aquaman [Arthur Curry]; Batman [Bruce Wayne]; Cyborg [Victor Stone]; Hawkgirl [Kendra Saunders]; Martian Manhunter [J'onn J'onzz]]; Supergirl [Kara Zor-El]; Hippolyta; Philippus; unidentified AmazonSynopsisWonder Woman battles the Dark Gods and Jason, who is under their control. Once freed from their control, Jason has a plan to stop the Dark Gods that involves a sacrifice.Reprints
Phobos returned alongside his sister Eris in alliance with Circe. Circe had amassed great power by bringing gods of various pantheons together. Among them were the Roman gods, who challenged the Olympians for their domain. It took much strength for Zeus to summon Hermes and Diana to New Olympus, where the gods had been trapped. Earth's heroes were able to turn the tide against Circe, but three gods died: Circe killed Hermes; Harmonia was killed by her sister Eris; and Eris herself was slain by Son of Vulcan. Zeus and the Olympians decided then to follow the call of Cronus and the Titans to help guide other worlds in the universe. New Olympus was left to the Roman gods.
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.
For a time she was given enhanced vision by Athena, which gave her the ability to see in darkness and through illusions. This also makes her resistant/immune to telepathy. Due to her wisdom she can learn languages faster than a regular person, she can talk to animals. She has also been shown to project herself astrally in order to commune with the gods and ask for special favors from them. She has also been shown to take on the abilities of certain of her patron goddesses as when she became a form of divine midwife to save the life of an unborn child.
Wonder Woman's signature weapon was her Lasso of Truth; consequently, much of her crime-fighting powers came from bondage, and her only exploitable weakness was, essentially, bondage. Grant Morrison and Yanick Paquette had teamed up to work on Wonder Woman: Earth One. Paquette confirmed that he and Morrison would be bringing back the bondage theme that was popular in Wonder Woman comics during the 1940s. However, he stated that Morrison was looking for a way to not only modernize it, but to use the bondage theme as a form of female empowerment. Paquette acknowledged that Wonder Woman has become more than just a beloved character, she is a symbol for feminism. "By bringing in sex and, yes, bondage, it reasserts [William Moulton Marston's core] idea that it is okay for women to have a healthy sexual appetite." Paquette elaborated more on this by pointing out the blatant double standards in comics when it comes to sex: "Could Wonder Woman really ever have a healthy and active sex life without it becoming political fodder for Fox News? And what of women and girls who want to be like her? Do we truly think they wouldn't be labeled sluts? I have my doubts."