Aphrodite All-Star Comics #8 (December 1941) Aphrodite is the Goddess of Love and Beauty who is named after the goddess of the same name. In the 1940s, Aphrodite was Wonder Woman's patron goddess. Later, Athena joined her as Diana's main patron. Post-Crisis, Aphrodite was joined by Athena, Artemis, Hestia, Demeter, and Hermes as Wonder Woman's patrons, though she most often abstained from interacting with the amazons. Post-Crisis, Aphrodite's role was severely minimized, appearing as a faceless, beautiful naked woman. Post-Rebirth, Aphrodite appeared as an ally to Wonder Woman in the form of a dove. It is unknown if Aphrodite continues to serve as patron of the amazons.
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.
Critics such as Valerie Estelle Frankel support Jenkins's vision. Frankel argues that the film subverts the male gaze, stating that the construction of Wonder Woman tends to shift every few decades as it reflects the state of feminism during different time periods, including third-wave feminism (which reflects Jenkins's approach). Zoe Williams offers a similar argument, stating that while Wonder Woman "is sort of naked a lot of the time," that is not, at the same time, "objectification so much as a cultural reset: having thighs, actual thighs you can kick things with, not thighs that look like arms, is a feminist act". Williams then juxtaposes Wonder Woman to past female action heroes such as Sarah Connor, Ellen Ripley, and Lara Croft, whom she suggests were all constructed for the male gaze, in which a "female warrior becomes a sex object", (a point which she argues that Jenkins directly references in the film).
By the time that Robert Kanigher took over the character, a change away from traditional comics as a whole was accomplished. He eventually veered completely away from superheroism and essentially only told stories involving the Wonder Family, which consisted of Wonder Woman, her teenage version Wonder Girl, her baby version Wonder Tot and her mother. This eventually proved not very popular and Kanigher was forced to rethink the character and cast her in a more traditional superhero context (he actually explained this decision in comics to the reader with his various creations vying to remain in continuity against his wishes). It was at this time for instance that Wonder Woman saw the return of some characters that had been missing for some time such as the Cheetah or Doctor Psycho. It was also at this time that she became a founding member of the original Justice League of America.
Gaines didn’t know any of this when he met Marston in 1940 or else he would never have hired him: He was looking to avoid controversy, not to court it. Marston and Wonder Woman were pivotal to the creation of what became DC Comics. (DC was short for Detective Comics, the comic book in which Batman debuted.) In 1940, Gaines decided to counter his critics by forming an editorial advisory board and appointing Marston to serve on it, and DC decided to stamp comic books in which Superman and Batman appeared with a logo, an assurance of quality, reading, “A DC Publication.” And, since “the comics’ worst offense was their blood-curdling masculinity,” Marston said, the best way to fend off critics would be to create a female superhero.
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
Hermes Action Comics #267 (August 1960) Hermes is the Messenger of the Gods, and the God of Thievery, Speed, Travel, and Commerce who is based on the god of the same name. Post-Crisis, Hermes was one of Wonder Woman's earliest allies. He was eventually killed by Circe during the War of the Gods, but Wonder Woman freed him much later from Tartarus. In the New 52, the bird-like Hermes was a close ally to Wonder Woman and aided in protecting Zeke, the reincarnation of Zeus. Post-Rebirth, Hermes took the form of a tortoise and aided Wonder Woman alongside several other gods.