Wonder Woman’s appearance in the early golden age of comics made her the first prominent female superheroine. The psychologist William Moulton Marston created Wonder Woman somewhat as a counter reaction to the presence of prominent male superheroes (at this time Superman, Batman and Captain America), as well as a counterbalance to the "blood curdling masculinity" that was dominant at the time, with the hopes that the character could serve as an inspiration for young children (though in certain ways it was geared more towards female readers.) Marston had been partially motivated to create this character because of the accomplishments of his own wife, who was also an accomplished academic at a time when it was difficult for women to fulfill this role. As a result, the first Wonder Woman series contained many complementary articles and features which sought to highlight the inner power of women. There were articles for instance on the different career paths that women could pursue (according to the standards of the 1940s) as well as a series of stories on famous and accomplished women, called the Wonder Women of History. Marston introduced the character in All-Star Comics #8 in 1941. She became the lead character in Sensation Comics in 1941, and got her first solo book in 1942.
In present-day Paris, Diana receives a photographic plate from Wayne Enterprises of herself and four men taken during World War I, prompting her to recall her past. The daughter of Queen Hippolyta, Diana is raised on the hidden island of Themyscira, home to the Amazonian women warriors created by Zeus to protect mankind. Hippolyta explains the Amazonian history to Diana, including how Ares became jealous of humanity and orchestrated its destruction. When the other gods attempted to stop him, Ares killed all but Zeus, who used the last of his power to wound Ares and force his retreat. Before dying, Zeus left the Amazons the island and a weapon, the "Godkiller", to prepare them for Ares's return.
In order to prove her devotion to her people, the Amazons issued a challenge to Diana, one she would have to meet in two days. In the meantime, the Justice League had tracked the insectoid queen down to a remote mountain. The League journeyed deep into the mountain and encountered the queen. Diana condemned her for the lives she has taken, but the insectoid queen replied that it was Diana’s actions, namely her throwing of the First Born into the depths of the Earth, that awoke the insectoids from their slumber.
Zeus' father Cronus returned with an army of new Titans: Arch, Disdain, Harrier, Oblivion, Slaughter, and Titan. Their power had grown from the faith of a cult on Earth. The Titans heralded the coming Cronus. Cronus sought to capture all power of the godwave. He began by defeating the Olympians and casting Zeus down to Earth. He then conquered the Hindu pantheon and headed for Heaven. But Wonder Woman freed the Olympians and united with the Hindus and the Pax Dei (heavenly host). Diana trounced Cronus but the god still managed to touch the power of the Source. In doing so, he gained perfect clarity. Humbled, he returned to mother Gaea. Afterwards, Zeus formed an alliance with the other pantheons. Indeed, Zeus soon appeared to Superman with several allies under the banner of I.D.C.A.P. (Interfaith Deity Council of Active Polytheistics).
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.
Wonder Woman experienced significant changes from the late 1950s through the 1960s during the Silver Age of Comic Books. Harry G. Peter was replaced by Ross Andru and Mike Esposito in issue #98 (May 1958), and the character was revamped as were other characters in the Silver Age. In Diana's new origin story (issue #105), it is revealed that her powers are gifts from the gods. Receiving the blessing of each deity in her crib, Diana is destined to become as "beautiful as Aphrodite, wise as Athena, stronger than Hercules, and swifter than Mercury". Further changes included the removal of all World War II references from Wonder Woman's origin, the changing of Hippolyta's hair color to blonde, Wonder Woman's new ability to glide on air currents, and the introduction of the rule that Paradise Island would be destroyed if a man ever set foot on it.
^ Sanderson, Peter (September–October 1981). "Thomas/Colan Premiere Wonder Woman's New Look". Comics Feature. New Media Publishing (12/13): 23. The hotly-debated new Wonder Woman uniform will be bestowed on the Amazon Princess in her first adventure written and drawn by her new creative team: Roy Thomas and Gene Colan...This story will appear as an insert in DC Comics Presents #41.
Hermes, the messenger god of speed, granted Diana superhuman speed and the ability to fly. She is capable of flying at speeds approaching half the speed of light. She can react quickly enough to deflect bullets, lasers, and other projectiles with her virtually impenetrable bracelets. After the 2011 relaunch of the character, Wonder Woman does not naturally possess the power of flight. She gains it once she is hit by a feather thrown by Hermes.[better source needed]
“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.