Comic books were more or less invented in 1933 by Maxwell Charles Gaines, a former elementary school principal who went on to found All-American Comics. Superman first bounded over tall buildings in 1938. Batman began lurking in the shadows in 1939. Kids read them by the piles. But at a time when war was ravaging Europe, comic books celebrated violence, even sexual violence. In 1940, the Chicago Daily News called comics a “national disgrace.” “Ten million copies of these sex-horror serials are sold every month,” wrote the newspaper’s literary editor, calling for parents and teachers to ban the comics, “unless we want a coming generation even more ferocious than the present one.”
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."  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."  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!" 
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.
Steve Trevor died at the end of Wonder Woman after sacrificing himself to ensure that a plane full of deadly gas couldn’t harm anyone on the ground. Is this Steve Trevor the same Steve Trevor that we saw in Wonder Woman who was transported to 1984 because of something like time travel, a descendant of Steve Trevor’s who is also named Steve Trevor (and looks exactly like Pine), a clone, or something else entirely? (It’s a comic book movie, so anything is possible.)
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.
“As to the ‘advanced femininity,’ what are the activities in comic books which women ‘indulge in on an equal footing with men’? They do not work. They are not homemakers. They do not bring up a family. Mother-love is entirely absent. Even when Wonder Woman adopts a girl there are Lesbian overtones,” he said. At the Senate hearings, Bender testified, too. If anything in American popular culture was bad for girls, she said, it wasn’t Wonder Woman; it was Walt Disney. “The mothers are always killed or sent to the insane asylums in Walt Disney movies,” she said. This argument fell on deaf ears.
Unfortunately, not long after Diana left, Hera came for her vengeance, and though she could not bring herself to kill Hippolyta, she could not forgive her either. Feeling regret at giving up the only real family she had, Wonder Woman returned to Themyscira to find the Amazons absent, and her mother turned to stone. Shortly after, Wonder Woman encountered Lennox, a man who claimed to be another of Zeus' bastard children. After learning that Zeus has gone missing, they confronted the Gods of Olympus, Poseidon and Hades, in order to prevent them from taking over Zeus’ throne. To prevent a war between gods, Diana proposed that the two brothers share Heaven with one ruling during the day, and the other at night. Hera angrily interceded, which was what Diana had planned, and using Hermes' staff she transported herself to Mount Olympus to face Hera alone. She warned that she would make Hera regret what she had done to her mother before returning to Earth. Unfortunately, by the time she had returned, Hades had kidnapped Zola with the warning that Diana would need to make good on her bargain or Zola and her child would die.
The Crime Syndicate imprisoned the Justice Leagues inside the Firestorm Matrix which psychologically placed them in situations that depicted their greatest failures. Wonder Woman was placed in a situation where she was forced to do battle against both Amazons and humans for the lives of Superman and Steve Trevor. Martian Manhunter and Stargirl attempted to break her out but Wonder Woman ignored them.
Diana then arrives to stop Ares, and brings Steve Trevor to the US.Arriving in Boston, she meets Professor Julia Kapatelis. After fighting a monster named Decay sent by Phobos, a son of Ares, Diana, Julia and Steve discover Ares' plan: to start a nuclear war worldwide. Joined by Steve's friend Michaelis, the group travel to the military bases Ares' minions had taken control of and avert nuclear war. Ares
For unexplained reasons, Heracles struck a deal with a mortal man, Harold Campion, whereby the two would exchange places (Earth for Olympus) Heracles used the mirror of Circe to conceal his identity and adventured under the name Champion. He cast a love spell on Diana and accompanied her for a time, until Diana discovered his true identity.
As Wonder Woman, Queen Hippolyta immediately got involved in a time travel mission back to the 1940s with Jay Garrick. After this mission, she elected to join the Justice Society of America and remained in that era for eight years, where her teammates nicknamed her "Polly". During that time she had a relationship with Ted Grant. Hippolyta also made visits into the past to see her godchild Lyta, daughter of Hippolyta's protege Helena, the Golden Age Fury.[volume & issue needed] These visits happened yearly from young Lyta's perspective and also accounted for Hippolyta's participation in the JSA/JLA team ups. When she returned from the past, Hippolyta took Diana's place in the JLA as well.
She also had an array of mental and psychic abilities, as corresponding to Marston's interest in parapsychology and metaphysics. Such an array included ESP, astral projection, telepathy (with or without the Mental Radio), mental control over the electricity in her body, the Amazonian ability to turn brain energy into muscle power, etc. Wonder Woman first became immune to electric shocks after having her spirit stripped from her atoms by Dr. Psycho's Electro Atomizer; it was also discovered that she was unable to send a mental radio message without her body.
In the New 52, the night when she turned 8, Ares appeared before Diana and offered to train her above and beyond the abilities of the Amazons, having seen her potential to eventually become his replacement as the God of War. Though the training was one for one night each month, the year was noticed with Diana improving tremendously compared to the other Amazons.
This volume of James Robinson's run on Wonder Woman shows signs that all the good faith DC comics gain from fans is slowly becoming disappointing. This is very troubling seeing how I have enjoyed James Robinson's writing in many other comic book series. I do agree with many of the other reviewers this volume has some really great art but the story is at times flawed or mediocre. My biggest gripe is with the character of Jason. To me it just felt like throughout this arc of the story they mad Jas ...more
In one episode, a newspaper editor named Brown, desperate to discover Wonder Woman’s past, assigns a team of reporters to chase her down; she easily escapes them. Brown, gone half mad, is committed to a hospital. Wonder Woman disguises herself as a nurse and brings him a scroll. “This parchment seems to be the history of that girl you call ‘Wonder Woman’!” she tells him. “A strange, veiled woman left it with me.” Brown leaps out of bed and races back to the city desk, where he cries out, parchment in hand, “Stop the presses! I’ve got the history of Wonder Woman!” But Wonder Woman’s secret history isn’t written on parchment. Instead, it lies buried in boxes and cabinets and drawers, in thousands of documents, housed in libraries, archives and collections spread all over the United States, including the private papers of creator Marston—papers that, before I saw them, had never before been seen by anyone outside of Marston’s family.
Due to the reboot of the character following Crisis on Infinite Earths, numerous things no longer made sense in terms of continuity as it related to the remainder of the DC Universe. As her first overall appearance was now in continuity around the Legends miniseries, it no longer made sense that she was a founding member of the Justice League of America. This founding position was instead given retroactively to Black Canary. Later it was decided that she should be given this position back and thus both she and Black Canary were considered founding members of the Justice League. In reference to the Justice League though, although she has more than 400 combined appearances therein, she has had most of her character development in her own series.
The team learns that a gala will be held at the nearby German High Command. Steve and Diana separately infiltrate the party, with Steve intending to locate the gas and destroy it, and Diana hoping to kill Ludendorff, believing that he is Ares and thus killing him will end the war. Steve stops her to avoid jeopardizing his mission, but this allows Ludendorff to unleash the gas on Veld, killing its inhabitants. Blaming Steve for intervening, Diana pursues Ludendorff to a base where the gas is being loaded into a bomber aircraft bound for London. Diana fights and kills him, but is confused and disillusioned when his death does not stop the war.
In the first story arc, Wonder Woman meets and protects a young woman named Zola, from Hera's wrath. Zola is pregnant with Zeus's child and Hera, seething with jealousy intends to kill the child.   The major event in this story is the revelation of Diana's true parentage. Long ago, Hippolyta and Zeus battled each other. Their battle ended with the couple making love and thus Diana was conceived. The first six issues of the New 52 series are collected in a hardcover titled Wonder Woman Vol. 1: Blood.
Cheetah sought revenge upon Veronica Cale for abandoning her, and attempted to murder her, but was stopped by Wonder Woman. Cale refused to transform Cheetah back to her human form, and Cheetah herself decided that she no longer desired to be human. Having left her Lasso of Truth binding Phobos and Deimos, Diana was given it back by the Olympian Gods and reunited with Steve.
After the disappointing downward trend of quality for this series, this volume was a somewhat refreshing addition. Though the plot was rather basic and a bit nonsensical at times, overall it was a decent enough addition to the series. The artwork is solid and makes the story more engaging. This volume also includes Wonder Woman Annual #2, which as a fan of the Star Sapphires I enjoyed. However, the ending to this arc was incredibly rushed and told in a way that completely removed any sense of su ...more
In 1954, Dr. Fredric Wertham alleged that there were lesbian subtexts to Wonder Woman and claimed comics contributed to juvenile delinquency in his book Seduction of the Innocent where despite a very obvious heterosexual relationship with Steve Trevor, Wertham asserted that Wonder Woman’s association with the Holliday Girls could be interpreted as a lesbian relationship. The Comics Code Authority was then introduced in reaction to Wertham 's claims against the entire industry.
Wonder Woman figures were released for Justice League and Justice League Unlimited. Prior to that, there were plans for a show called Wonder Woman and the Star Riders, which similar to Sailor Moon, would have featured Wonder Woman leading a team of teen magical girls. Prototype dolls for the series were made. There was also a statue from the animated Wonder Woman movie and a Wonder Woman action figure for the Justice League War movie. Wonder Woman dolls and figures were also released for the DC Super Hero Girls line.
(For the record, Marston and Olive Byrne’s son, Byrne Marston, who is an 83-year-old retired obstetrician, thinks that when Marston talked about the importance of submission, he meant it only metaphorically. “I never saw anything like that in our house,” he told me. “He didn’t tie the ladies up to the bedpost. He’d never have gotten away with it.”)
Ares' daughter, Harmonia, chose to help Diana, however. She gave her a powerful amulet with the power to transport across dimensions. Diana slew Deimos with her razor sharp tiara, and from him acquired the other half of Harmonia's amulet. Finally, Ares stepped in to claim the talisman, but Diana bound him with her lasso of truth. He realized that to allow humans to war would leave no kingdom for him to rule. In failure, Ares declared that he would no longer trifle with the affairs of man, and also forbade his offspring from appearing on Earth. He also took the amulet and all the power which had been collected therein.
After taking Despero to the authorities, Wonder Woman and Superman came across the mysterious Pandora, someone Wonder Woman was familiar with. She believed Superman could use her box to trap the evil she unleashed in ancient times; but when Superman touched it, he was overwhelmed by its power. While Pandora took the box and left, the two heroes received news that a new superhuman, Shazam, was entering the borders of Kahndaq. Their confrontation with Shazam turned violent until the rest of the Justice League and the Justice League of America intervened to defuse the situation. Suddenly, Dr. Light lost control of his powers and began absorbing Superman's solar energy, unleashing an energy beam at Wonder Woman. In a fit of anger, Superman killed Dr. Light with his heat vision, an action that caused a fight between the two Leagues.
Villains Abra Kadabra · Aftermath · Afterthought · Airstryke · Alien Alliance · Amazo · Amos Fortune · Anti-Justice League · Anti-Monitor · Appellaxians · Aquarius · Aryan Brigade · Asmodel · Atlas · Atomic Skull · Axis America · Barbatos · Black Adam · Black Bison · Black Hand · Black Lantern Corps · Black Manta · Black Spider · Blaze · Blight · Blockbuster · Blood Brothers · Bolt · Brainiac · Brimstone · Brotherhood of Evil · Brutale · Bug-Eyed Bandit · Burners · Burning Martians · Cadre · Calculator · Calendar Man · Captain Nazi · Catalyst · Catman · Cavalier · Cheetah · Chemo · Cheshire · Chiller · Chimaera · Chronos · Circe · Civet · Clayface · Clock King · Clockwatchers · Cluemaster · Construct · Copperhead · Cosmic King · Crazy Quilt · Crime Champions · Crime Syndicate of America · Cyborgirl · Darkseid · Dark Knights · Dark Supergirl · Deadline · Deadshot · Deathstroke · Demolition Team · Demons Three · Department of Extranormal Operations · Despero · Doctor Alchemy · Doctor Cyber · Doctor Destiny · Doctor Double X · Doctor Impossible · Doctor Light · Doctor Phosphorus · Doctor Poison · Doctor Polaris · Doctor Psycho · Doctor Regulus · Doctor Sivana · Dominators · Doomsday · Dragon King · Dumas · Dummy · Earthworm · Eclipso · Electrocutioner · Elite · Enforcer · Epoch the Lord of Time · Eve · Evil Star · Extremists · Faceless Hunter · Fatal Five · Fearsome Five · Felix Faust · Fiddler · Floronic Man · Freedom Fighters of China · Funky Flashman · Gambler · Gamemnae · General Eiling · Gentleman Ghost · Ghost · Golden Glider · Gorilla Grodd · Grand Druid · Graves · Gunhawk · Harlequin · Hector Hammond · Hellgrammite · H.I.V.E. · Human Flame · Hyena · Hyperclan · Ibac · Icicle · Imperiex · Injustice Gang · Injustice League · Intergang · I.Q. · Jack O'Lantern · Java · Johnny Sorrow · Joker · Judgment · Kanjar Ro · Key · Kilg%re · Killer Elite · Killer Frost · Killer Moth · Killer Wasp · Kite-Man · Kobra Cult · Know Man · Krona · League Busters · League of Ancients · League of Assassins · Le Fantome · Legion of Doom · Lex Luthor · Libra · Lightning Lord · Lion-Mane · Lobo · Mad Maestro · Mageddon · Magog · Magpie · Mahayogi · Manchester Black · Manga Khan · Manhunters · Masters of Disaster · Matter Master · Maxwell Lord · Merlyn · Mister Mind · Mister Nebula · Moish · Monarch · Mongul · Mordru · Morgaine le Fey · Nazi Party · Neron · Neutron · Nightshade · Ocean Master · O.M.A.C.s · Osiris II · Parasite · Penguin · Per Degaton · Pied Piper · Plastique · Poison Ivy · Predator · Professor Ivo · Prometheus · Psycho-Pirate · Puanteur · Quakemaster · Queen Bee · Queen of Fables · Qwardians · Ra's al Ghul · Rainbow Raider · Rama Khan · Red King · Red Volcano · Riddler · Roulette · Royal Flush Gang · Satanus · Scarabus · Scarecrow · Scorch · Secret Society of Super Villains · Shadow Cabinet · Shadow Thief · Shaggy Man · Shark · Shrapnel · Simon Stagg · Sinestro · Silver Ghost · Silver Swan · SKULL · Sledge · Solomon Grundy · Starbreaker · Star Sapphire · Starro · Steppenwolf · Suicide Squad · Tattooed Man · Tenth Circle · Terra-Man · Three Devils · Thunderers of Qward · T. O. Morrow · Trickster · Triumvirate of Sea Gods . Ultra-Humanite · Ultraviolet Corps · Vandal Savage · Weapons Master · Weather Wizard · Whisper Gang · White Dragon · White Martians · Wizard
I thought George's one "mistake" in rebooting Wonder Woman was making her only 25 years old when she left Paradise Island. I preferred the idea of a Diana who was thousands of years old (as, if I recall correctly, she was in the TV series). From that angle, I would have liked to have seen Diana having been Wonder Woman in WW2, and be returning to our world in the reboot. Not having that option, I took the next best course, and had Hippolyta fill that role.