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.
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.
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.
The story then centers on Apollo trying to take over as King of Olympus due to his father Zeus' absence and Wonder Woman's efforts to protect Zola from him, as it is prophesied that one of Zeus' children will be his downfall which Apollo considers to be Zola's child.[73][74] Wonder Woman receives the power of flight by one of Hermes' feathers piercing her thigh and Zola's baby is stolen by Hermes at the end and given to Demeter. The issue's last page shows a dark and mysterious man rising from the snow, taking a helmet and disappearing.[74] Issues 7–12 are collected in a hardcover titled Wonder Woman Vol. 2: Guts, scheduled for release in January 2013.[75]
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.[81]
In the preview in DC Comics Presents #41 (January 1982), writer Roy Thomas and penciler Gene Colan provided Wonder Woman with a stylized "WW" emblem on her bodice, replacing the traditional eagle.[17] The "WW" emblem, unlike the eagle, could be protected as a trademark and therefore had greater merchandising potential. Wonder Woman #288 (February 1982) premiered the new costume and an altered cover banner incorporating the "WW" emblem.[18] The new emblem was the creation of Milton Glaser, who also designed the "bullet" logo adopted by DC in 1977, and the cover banner was originally made by studio letterer Todd Klein, which lasted for a year and a half before being replaced by a version from Glaser's studio.[19][20] Dann Thomas co-wrote Wonder Woman #300 (Feb. 1983)[21][22] and, as Roy Thomas noted in 1999 "became the first woman ever to receive scripting credit on the world's foremost super-heroine."[23]
During the Silver Age, under writer Robert Kanigher, Wonder Woman's origin was revamped,[33] along with other characters'. The new origin story increased the character's Hellenic and mythological roots: receiving the blessing of each deity in her crib, Diana is destined to become as "beautiful as Aphrodite, wise as Athena, strong as Hercules, and swift as Hermes."[34]
Chris Pine was cast as Steve Trevor,[21][114] a character he described as a "rogue-ish, cynical realist who's seen the awful brutish nature of modern civilization" and added that he is a "worldly guy, a charming guy".[115] He signed a multi-picture deal.[21] Lucy Davis' performance as Etta Candy is the first live-action cinematic portrayal of the character.[116] As well, Elena Anaya's performance as Doctor Poison is the cinematic debut of that character. Nicole Kidman was in negotiations for the role of Queen Hippolyta, but was forced to drop out due to scheduling conflicts with Big Little Lies.[117][118]
John Byrne's run included a period in which Diana's mother Hippolyta served as Wonder Woman, having traveled back to the 1940s, while Diana ascended to Mount Olympus as the Goddess of Truth after being killed in issue #124. In addition, Wonder Woman's Amazon ally Nubia was re-introduced as Nu'Bia, scripted by a different author.[40] Byrne posited that Hippolyta had been the Golden Age Wonder Woman. Byrne restored the series' status quo in his last issue.[41]
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.[89] 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,[90] 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.[91] 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.[92] 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.[93]
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.[37] 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.[37]
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