The last issue of Wonder Woman saw very little of the Amazon. Instead, we watched her brother, Jason, launch an attack against the Dark Gods. He first tries to take on the Gods, named Karnell, Savage Fire, the Mob God, and the God with No Name. They quickly defeat him, but Jason gets the backup of Supergirl and the Justice League for round 2. The Dark Gods, however, aren’t pushovers and promptly defeat the heroes thanks to their leader, King Best. Before all seems lost, Diana returns just as King Best takes form and begins his path of destruction. Will Wonder Woman and Jason be able to contain this madness?
For millennia, the goddess Athena waited patiently for the chance to prove herself worthy of the crown of Olympus. As Earth society developed, the goddess of knowledge grew in power and cunning, and ultimately challenged her father Zeus for the throne. To win this challenge, Athena sent for her champion, Wonder Woman, to face that of Zeus — Briareos of the Hecatoncheires. Though she was still blind, Diana was aided by the winged Pegasus but seemingly fell to Briareos. Unknown to Zeus, this was a trick played by Athena and Diana to prove to the latter that Zeus had no compassion and was not a worthy ruler. Athena agreed to forfeit if Zeus would spare Diana's life, but he denied her, proving his unworthiness. This prompted the other goddesses to deliver the head of Medusa unto Diana, which she used to turn Briareos to stone. Athena took the throne at last, but Zeus immediately began plotting a coup with his brothers in Tartarus.
The original significance of Wonder Woman had the intentions of influencing many women of all ages, displaying the physical and mental strengths, values, and ethical attributes that not only men acquire. "Wonder Woman symbolizes many of the values of the women's culture that feminists are now trying to introduce into the mainstream: strength and self-reliance for women; sisterhood and mutual support among women; peacefulness and esteem for human life; a diminishment both of 'masculine' aggression and of the belief that violence is the only way of solving conflicts," Steinem wrote at the time.
Despite their displeasure at Diana's capture, Hephaestus was able to bring Lennox and Eros to Hades with him as guests to the wedding, without the aid of Hermes' staff. As the wedding drew nearer, Hades grew annoyed that few of his relatives had agreed to come. Diana's friends were the only attendees, aside from Strife, who merely wanted to cause her namesake emotion. Before the wedding ceremony took place, Hades insisted that Diana should prove her love by wearing his ring. The ring was a noose fashioned with the Lasso of Truth, and if Diana did not truly love him, he would kill her.
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.
That hardly ended the controversy. In February 1943, Josette Frank, an expert on children’s literature, a leader of the Child Study Association and a member of Gaines’ advisory board, sent Gaines a letter, telling him that while she’d never been a fan of Wonder Woman, she felt she now had to speak out about its “sadistic bits showing women chained, tortured, etc.” She had a point. In episode after episode, Wonder Woman is chained, bound, gagged, lassoed, tied, fettered and manacled. “Great girdle of Aphrodite!” she cries at one point. “Am I tired of being tied up!”
Impressed by this unknown woman's self-sacrifice, the Amazons entombed her with honors and clothed her in armor displaying the American flag pattern on her uniform, which they assumed were her heraldic colors. Trevor's legacy was also the primary reason why Ares arranged for Steve Trevor to bomb the island, as he could not resist the irony of the heroine's son unwittingly killing her admirers.
One day, the young Uxas of Apokolips came to Rome. There he spread tales of the great Olympian gods. Their following grew tremendously in Rome and so they created avatars of themselves; they were worshipped under different names. Uxas knew that each half of the pantheon would be less powerful than the original gods. Later as the god Darkseid, Uxas would use this knowledge to crush Zeus himself.
GenresuperheroCharactersWonder Woman [Diana of Themyscira]; Jason; Steve Trevor; The Dark Gods [King Best; Savage Fire; Mob God; Karnell; The God with No Name]; Isabella; Danny; unnamed London residents; Ai; Vitaly; unnamed shooting victims; unnamed Chinese residents; unnamed A.R.G.U.S. staffSynopsisWonder Woman and Jason battle King Best in Washington, while the other Dark Gods attack other parts of the world. Jason then pursues Savage Fire to Paraguay.Reprints
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 »
Pérez and Potter wrote Wonder Woman as a feminist character, and Pérez's research into Greek mythology provided Wonder Woman's world with depth and verisimilitude missing from her previous incarnation. The incorporation of Greek gods and sharply characterized villains added a richness to Wonder Woman's Amazon heritage and set her apart from other DC heroes.
Diana is depicted as a masterful athlete, acrobat, fighter and strategist, trained and experienced in many ancient and modern forms of armed and unarmed combat, including exclusive Amazonian martial arts. With her godlike abilities of incalculable superhuman strength, nigh-invulnerability, speed, flight, healing factor and semi-immortality, Diana’s fighting prowess is enhanced. In some versions, her mother trained her, as Wonder Girl, for a future career as Wonder Woman. From the beginning, she is portrayed as highly skilled in using her Amazon bracelets to stop bullets and in wielding her golden lasso. Batman once called her the "best melee fighter in the world". The modern version of the character is known to use lethal force when she deems it necessary. In the New 52 continuity, her superior combat skills are the result of her Amazon training, as well as receiving further training from Ares, the God of War, himself, since as early as her childhood. The Golden Age Wonder Woman also had knowledge in psychology, as did her Amazon sisters.
In order to defeat them, Superman and Wonder Woman collected the magic armor created by Hephaestus and intercepted Zod and Faora while they were building a portal to the Phantom Zone. At first, they defeated Zod and Faora by detonating their armor at point-blank range, but Zod and Faora were revitalized by a beam of sunlight sent by Apollo, which gave the criminals enough strength to beat Superman and Wonder Woman and trap them in an abandoned nuclear reactor. As a last-ditch effort to stop their enemies, Superman and Wonder Woman caused a nuclear explosion, but not before Clark told Diana that he loved her. The explosion trapped Zod and Faora back in the Phantom Zone, and Superman shielded Wonder Woman with his cape. The two heroes barely survived the explosion and Superman took Diana to Hessia, who used a healing crystal to save her.
Born among the legendary Amazons of Greek myth Princess Diana has a fierce warrior's heart while being an emissary of peace. On a hidden island paradise she was trained in the arts of combat as well as justice and equality. Diana ventured into the 'world of men' armed with magical gifts from the Gods and a message for all men and women - that all the world can be united through compassion strength and understanding.
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.
One of the things I love about event comics is that sometimes even a middling to bad event can lead to a great spin-off or post event tie in. Day of Judgement gave us J.M. DeMatteis's run on The Spectre. Infinite Crisis gave us Jeff LeMire's great run on Superboy. While not a new series, Dark Nights Metal allowed James Robinson to have the near perfect ending to Jason's story in Wonder Woman.
In this new continuity, Wonder Woman's origin is significantly changed and she is no longer a clay figure brought to life by the magic of the gods. Instead, she is the natural-born daughter of Hippolyta and Zeus. The earlier origin story was revealed by Hippolyta to be a ruse thought up by the Amazons, to protect Diana from the wrath of Hera, who is known for hunting and killing several illegitimate offspring of Zeus.
Athena immediately set Diana on a quest into Hades' realm to free the god Hermes. She descended beneath Doom's Doorway with Wonder Girl (Cassandra Sandsmark) and Ferdinand the Minotaur and was confronted by Zeus' alliance. Ironically, she might not have succeeded but for the machinations of her constant nemesis, Ares. Ares acted as a double agent and gained Zeus' trust, but when the opportunity arose, he killed his uncle Hades and assumed control of the Underworld. Diana then used Hermes' caduceus to revive him. Back on Olympus, Zeus asked for Athena's forgiveness, which she granted. Athena then also restored Diana's sight, but bound it to her own.
“I have the good Sergeant’s letter in which he expresses his enthusiasm over chains for women—so what?” As a practicing clinical psychologist, he said, he was unimpressed. “Some day I’ll make you a list of all the items about women that different people have been known to get passionate over—women’s hair, boots, belts, silk worn by women, gloves, stockings, garters, panties, bare backs,” he promised. “You can’t have a real woman character in any form of fiction without touching off a great many readers’ erotic fancies. Which is swell, I say.”