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"She's a wonder, Wonder Woman."

- W.J. Flywheel, Webporium Curator



Wonder Woman is a fictional superheroine appearing in American comic books published by DC Comics. The character is a founding member of the Justice League, goddess, and Ambassador-at-Large of the Amazonian people. In her homeland, her official title is Princess Diana of Themyscira, Daughter of Hippolyta. When blending into the society of "Man's World", she adopts her civilian identity Diana Prince. The character is also referred to by such epithets as the "Amazing Amazon", the "Spirit of Truth", "Themyscira's Champion", and the "Goddess of Love and War".

Wonder Woman was created by the American psychologist and writer William Moulton Marston (pen name: Charles Moulton), and artist Harry G. Peter. Olive Byrne, Marston's lover, and his wife, Elizabeth, are credited as being his inspiration for the character's appearance. Marston drew a great deal of inspiration from early feminists, and especially from birth control pioneer Margaret Sanger. The character first appeared in All Star Comics #8 in October 1941 and first cover-dated on Sensation Comics #1, January 1942. The Wonder Woman title has been published by DC Comics almost continuously except for a brief hiatus in 1986.

Marston was born in the Cliftondale section of Saugus, Massachusetts, the son of Annie Dalton and Frederick William Marston. Marston was educated at Harvard University, graduating Phi Beta Kappa and receiving his B.A. in 1915, an LL.B. in 1918, and a PhD in Psychology in 1921. After teaching at American University in Washington, D.C., and Tufts University in Medford, Massachusetts, Marston traveled to Universal Studios in California in 1929, where he spent a year as Director of Public Services.

Marston lived in a polyamorous relationship relationship with his wife Elizabeth Holloway Marston and a former student Olive Byrne, both of whom "embodied the feminism of the day." Marston combined his, Elizabeth's and Olive's feminist ideals to create a superhero character that young girls and boys could look up to.

Marston (left) was the developer of the systolic blood pressure test, which became one component of the modern polygraph invented by John Augustus Larson in Berkeley, California. Marston's wife Elizabeth Holloway Marston suggested a connection between emotion and blood pressure to William, observing that, "when she got mad or excited, her blood pressure seemed to climb". The test would later inspired Wonder Woman’s truth-telling lasso. Although Elizabeth is not listed as Marston's collaborator in his early work, Lamb, Matte (1996), and others refer directly and indirectly to Elizabeth's own work on her husband's research.

Elizabeth Holloway Marston was born in 1893, on the Isle of Man and raised in Boston, Massachusetts. She obtained three degrees, which she paid for herself when her father refused to give her tuition. As noted by Boston University, "In an era when few women earned higher degrees, Elizabeth received three." She received her B.A. in psychology from Mount Holyoke College in 1915 and would have liked to go on to join her then-fiance, (whom she had met in the eighth grade) William Marston, at Harvard Law School. But Harvard, did not admit women at the time so she ended up going to Boston University. Marston received her LL.B from the Boston University School of Law in 1918, (before women even had the right to vote) and was "one of three women to graduate from the School of Law that year. She later stated, "I finished the [Massachusetts Bar] exam in nothing flat and had to go out and sit on the stairs waiting for Bill Marston and another Harvard man... to finish."

Holloway (right) was a career woman, a position that was controversial for the time in which she lived. She indexed the documents of the first fourteen Congresses, lectured on law, ethics, and psychology at American and New York Universities, and served as an editor for Encyclopaedia Britannica and McCall's magazine. In 1933, Holloway became the assistant to the chief executive at Metropolitan Life Insurance, a position she held until she was 65 years old.

In an October 25th, 1940, interview with the Family Circle magazine (conducted by Olive Byrne under the pseudonym "Olive Richard"), Marston discussed the unfulfilled educational potential of the comic book medium. This article caught the attention of comics publisher Max Gaines, who hired Marston as an educational consultant for National Periodicals and All-American Publications, two of the companies that would merge to form DC Comics.

In the early 1940s, the DC Comics line was dominated by superpower-endowed male characters such as the Green Lantern and Superman (its flagship character), as well as Batman, with his high-tech gadgets. Marston wanted to create his own new superhero; a new kind of superhero, one who would triumph not with fists or firepower, but with love. "Fine," said his wife Elizabeth. "But make her a woman."

William Moulton Marston, Harry G. Peter, Sheldon Mayer and DC Publisher Max Gaines discussing a Wonder Woman cover design.

Marston introduced the idea to Gaines. Given the go-ahead, Marston developed Wonder Woman, basing her character on the unconventional, liberated, powerful modern women of his day. Marston's character was a native of an all-female utopia of Amazons who became a crime-fighting U.S. government agent, using her superhuman strength and agility, and her ability to force villains to submit and tell the truth by binding them with her magic lasso. Her appearance was believed by some to be based somewhat on Olive Byrne, but Marston himself only remarked only remarked that only Wonder Womans' heavy bronze bracelets (which she used to deflect bullets) were inspired by the jewelry bracelets worn by Byrne.

Marston drew inspiration for his superheroine on early 20th century feminists, including Margaret Sanger, birth control advocate and founder of Planned Parenthood. (Sanger was also the aunt of his mistress Olive Byrne).

Pictured on the far left Olive Byrne (notice the bracelets), Elizabeth Holloway Marston (test the lie detector) and William Moulton Marston far right (circa 1940)

After her name "Suprema" was replaced with "Wonder Woman", which was a popular term at the time that described women who were exceptionally gifted, the character made her debut in All Star Comics #8 in December 1941. Wonder Woman next appeared in Sensation Comics #1 (January 1942), and six months later, Wonder Woman #1 debuted. Except for four months in 1986, the series has been in print ever since. The stories were initially written by Marston and illustrated by newspaper artist Harry Peter. During his life, Marston had written many articles and books on various psychological topics, but his last six years of writing were devoted to his comics creation.

Harry G. Peter drew Wonder Woman since her very beginnings but rarely gets credit for his crucial contributions to the character. Peter illustrated the very first appearance of Wonder Woman (All-Star Comics No. 8 in 1941) and defined her look for years. Peter (AKA H.G. Peter) didn’t have the same exciting biography as Marston, but he did have some feminist credentials as a contributor to "The Modern Woman," a section of Judge magazine dedicated to pro-suffrage editorials. Peter, a veteran illustrator who was 61 when he co-created Wonder Woman, also drew the Wonder Woman newspaper strip that began in 1944, and he drew every single Wonder Woman cover from 1941 to 1949. Given directions to draw a woman who’s as powerful as Superman, scantily clad as Sheena the jungle queen, and as patriotic as Captain America, Peter tackled this difficult assignment, making some sketches and sending them to Marston. Marston liked everything but the shoes, so Wonder Woman’s iconic look was almost entirely the creation of Peter.

Another little-known contributor to the creation and development of Wonder Woman was Joye Kelly, whom Marston hired as his assistant in 1945. Miss Kelly had been a student of Marston's, and he was so impressed with her writing skills, he invited her to work with him. Kelly ended up writing many Wonder Woman stories under an assumed (male) name, and when Marston died, continued to work on the comic but received little recognition for her work.

Marston's experience with polygraphs convinced him that women were more honest in situations different than men and could work more efficiently. He designed Wonder Woman to be an allegory for the ideal love leader; the kind of women who (he believed) should run society.

In a 1943 issue of The American Scholar, Marston wrote: "Not even girls want to be girls so long as our feminine archetype lacks force, strength, and power. Not wanting to be girls, they don't want to be tender, submissive, peace-loving as good women are. Women's strong qualities have become despised because of their weakness. The obvious remedy is to create a feminine character with all the strength of Superman plus all the allure of a good and beautiful woman." Yet, Marston wrote in a weakness for Wonder Woman, which was attached to a fictional stipulation that he dubbed "Aphrodite's Law", that made the chaining of her "Bracelets of Submission" together by a man take away her Amazonian super strength.

"Wonder Woman is psychological propaganda for the new type of woman who should, I believe, rule the world."

- William Moulton Marston

The creators of Wonder Woman were inspired by the suffragettes and the women’s health movement of the early 1920s. In 1911, when Marston was a Harvard freshman, he saw the British suffragist Emmeline Pankhurst address a crowd in Harvard Square, after she was banned from speaking in Harvard Yard, where women were not allowed to speak. In 1912, Elizabeth Holloway was a sophomore at Mount Holyoke when students paraded for suffrage, wearing buttons that read "Votes for Women!" H. G. Peter, the artist Marston hired to draw Wonder Woman, drew pro-suffrage cartoons for magazines. Marston took Wonder Woman’s origin story straight out of Charlotte Perkins Gilman’s 1915 feminist utopia, "Herland." In 1916, Olive Byrne’s mother, Ethel Byrne, and her aunt, Margaret Sanger, opened the first birth-control clinic in the United States; they are the founders of Planned Parenthood. In 1917, Marston was in Washington, D.C., when suffragists held a vigil outside the White House, carrying signs that read, Mr. President, How Long Must We Wait for Liberty?"

Marston went on record by describing bondage and submission as a "respectable and noble practice". Marston's "Wonder Woman" is an early example of bondage themes that were entering popular culture in the 1930s. Physical and mental submission appears again and again throughout Marston's comics work, with Wonder Woman and her criminal opponents frequently being tied up or otherwise restrained, and her Amazonian sisters engaging in frequent wrestling and bondage play. These elements were softened by later writers of the series, who dropped such characters as the Nazi-like blond female slaver Eviless completely, despite her having formed the original Villainy Inc. of Wonder Woman's enemies (in Wonder Woman #28, the last by Marston).

One of the purposes of these bondage depictions was to induce eroticism in readers as a part of what he called "sex love training". Through his Wonder Woman comics, he aimed to condition readers to becoming more readily accepting of loving submission to loving authorities rather than being so assertive with their own destructive egos. About male readers, he wrote: "Give them an alluring woman stronger than themselves to submit to, and they'll be proud to become her willing slaves!"

Marston and Olive Byrne’s son, Byrne Marston, (then 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 writer Jill Lepore in 2014. "He didn’t tie the ladies up to the bedpost. He’d never have gotten away with it."

Marston's philosophy of diametric opposites has bled into his design of his Wonder Woman mythology. This theme of diametrics took the form of his emphasis on certain masculine and feminine configurations, as well as dominance and submission. He combined these themes with others, including restorative and transformative justice, rehabilitation, regret and its role in civilization. These appeared often in his depiction of the near-ideal Amazon civilization of Paradise Island, and especially its Reform Island penal colony, which played a central role in many stories, and was the "loving" alternative to retributive justice of the world run by men. These themes are particularly evident in his last story, in which prisoners freed by Eviless, who have responded to Amazon rehabilitation and now have good dominance/submission, stop her and restore the Amazons to power.

Some of these themes continued on in Silver Age characters who may have been influenced by Marston, notably Saturn Girl and Saturn Queen, who (like Eviless and her female army) are also from Saturn, also clad in tight, dark red bodysuits, also blond or red-haired, and also have telepathic powers. Stories involving the latter have been especially focused on the emotions involved in changing sides from evil to good, as were stories from Green Lantern's "Blackest Night" with its Emotional Spectrum which was likely influenced by Marston's research into emotions. Wonder Woman's golden lasso and Venus Girdle in particular were the focus of many of the early stories, and have the same capability to reform people for good in the short term that Transformation Island and prolonged wearing of Venus Girdles offered in the longer term. The Venus Girdle was an allegory for Marston's theory of "sex love" training, where people can be "trained" to embrace submission through eroticism. However, not everything about his creation was explicitly explained in any one source, which caused confusion among writers and fans for many years.

Wonder Woman plots were full of chains and bondage, imagery that suffragists and feminists such as Margaret Sanger relied on to represent their overcoming of society’s many restrictions on women. She also encouraged young women readers to work and develop their independence.

Marston family portrait 1947. Standing left to right: Byrne Marston, Moulton (Pete) Marston, Olive Byrne. Seated left to right: Marjorie Wilkes [Huntley], Olive Ann Marston. William Moulton Marston, Donn Marston, Elizabeth Holloway Marston

According to Jill Lepore’s Secret History of Wonder Woman, the Marstons practiced free love and advocated the superiority of women. Lepore also writes that a third woman, Marjorie Huntley, was an occasional member of their household and helped out with the inking and lettering of Wonder Woman comics.

Marston, had two children apiece with Holloway and with Byrne. Byrne told everyone a fabrication that the father of her two sons was her late husband, William Richard. The month that Byrne said she’d married him, she started wearing a pair of wide-banded bracelets that she never took off. Marston and Holloway legally adopted Byrne’s children and the public story was that Byrne was a servant, the family’s widowed housekeeper or Elizabeth’s widowed sister.

The unorthodox living arrangement was kept a secret, people at the time wouldn't accept it (some today might not). Reports have Holloway not enthusiastic about the idea of another woman joining her marriage to Marston (Marjorie Huntley had been the first), but Lepore writes that Holloway thought it "might offer a solution to the bind she was in as a woman who wanted to have both a career and children".

Before Wonder Woman, Marston taught, practiced law, published a novel, and was a sreenwriter but found himself unemployied from time to time as well. it was Holloway and Byrne who had to keep him afloat. Bryne raised the children while Holloway’s lucrative job at Metropolitan Life Insurance supported the entire household. In 1935, the family moved to a big house in Rye, New York, purchased with the support of Holloway’s parents. Holloway had one bedroom, Byrne another, and Marston slept in both. Huntley had a room in the attic for when she paid occasional visits.

Wonder Woman was introduced in DC Comics’ All Star Comics #8, December 1941–January 1942, right as the country was entering World War II. The credit went to one "Charles Moulton" though Byrne herself wrote the early scripts.

By 1944, Marston was riding high: Wonder Woman had 10 million readers; he was writing a daily newspaper strip; and he was "flush with cash." In August, he, Holloway, and Byrne went on a date in Manhattan, to the Royale Theatre. It would be their last: Marston contracted polio, then cancer (though his family never told him about the latter, for fear of his violent temper, Marston drank heavily and was known for flying into rages). During this time he passed the comic-writing duties to his very young assistant, Joye Kelly.

Marston died on May 2nd, 1947, seven days shy of his 54th birthday. His obituary mentioned Holloway and the four children, but not Olive Byrne. After Marston died DC comics did not allow Holloway to take over Wonder Woman. A new writer took the character in a decidedly un-feminist direction, often to Holloway’s private disapproval, but she nonetheless appreciated the rare times when Wonder Woman returned to topics of cultural salience.

Elizabeth and Olive continued to live together. Elizabeth continued to work until 1958, supporting herself, Olive, and their children, and putting all of their children through college. Olive passed away in the late '90s, and Elizabeth herself lived to be a 100, passing away in 1993.

In 1985, Marston was posthumously named as one of the honorees by DC Comics in the company's 50th anniversary publication Fifty Who Made DC Great. He was inducted into the Comic Book Hall of Fame in 2006. Concidering the contribution Elizabeth Holloway Marston and Olive Byrne made to the creation of Wonder Woman they deserve to be included in the "created by" credit.

The 2017 biographical film directed and written by Angela Robinson, Professor Marston & the Wonder Women (below), is based on the relationship of Marston, Elizabeth and Olive. The film stars Luke Evans, Rebecca Hall, and Bella Heathcote.

In her debut in All Star Comics #8, Diana was a member of a tribe of women called the Amazons, native to Paradise Island – a secluded island set in the middle of a vast ocean. Wonder Woman's origin story relates that she was sculpted from clay by her mother Queen Hippolyta and given life by Aphrodite, along with superhuman powers as gifts by the Greek gods. However, in recent years artists updated her profile: she has been depicted as the daughter of Zeus, and jointly raised by her mother Hippolyta and her aunts Antiope and Menalippe; artist George Perez gave her a muscular look and emphasized her Amazonian heritage; artist Jim Lee redesigned Diana's costume to include pants (although now Wonder Woman uses a skirt and the New 52 pants design was never used officially); she inherits Ares's divine abilities, becoming the personified "God of War".

Wonder Woman's Amazonian training helped to develop a wide range of extraordinary skills in tactics, hunting, and combat. She possesses an arsenal of advanced technology, including the Lasso of Truth, a pair of indestructible bracelets, a tiara which serves as a projectile, and, in older stories, a range of devices based on Amazon technology.

Wonder Woman was created during World War II; the character was initially depicted fighting Axis military forces as well as an assortment of colorful supervillains, although over time her stories came to place greater emphasis on characters, deities, and monsters from Greek mythology. Many stories depicted Wonder Woman rescuing herself from bondage, which defeated the "damsels in distress" trope that was common in comics during the 1940s. In the decades since her debut, Wonder Woman has gained a cast of enemies bent on eliminating the Amazon, including classic villains such as Ares, Cheetah, Doctor Poison, Circe, Doctor Psycho, and Giganta, along with more recent adversaries such as Veronica Cale and the First Born. Wonder Woman has also regularly appeared in comic books featuring the superhero teams Justice Society (from 1941) and Justice League (from 1960).

Golden Age

Captain Steve Trevor's plane crashes on the island and he is found alive but unconscious by Diana and fellow Amazon, and friend, Mala. Diana has him nursed back to health and falls in love with him.

A competition is held amongst all the Amazons by Diana's mother, the Queen of the Amazons Hippolyta, in order to determine who is the most worthy of all the women; Hippolyta charges the winner with the responsibility of delivering Captain Steve Trevor back to Man's World and to fight for justice. Hippolyta forbids Diana from entering the competition, but she takes part nonetheless, wearing a mask to conceal her identity. She wins the competition and reveals herself, surprising Hippolyta, who ultimately accepts, and must give in to, Diana's wish to go to Man's World. She then is awarded a special uniform made by her mother for her new role as Wonder Woman and safely returns Steve Trevor back to his home country, to a "Man's World" where she fights crime and the evil of the Nazis.

Coming to America for the first time, Wonder Woman comes upon a wailing army nurse. Inquiring about her state, she finds that the nurse wanted to leave for South America with her fiancé but was unable due to shortage of money. As both of them looked identical and Wonder Woman needed a job and a valid identity to look after Steve (who was admitted in the same army hospital), she gives her the money she had earned earlier to help her go to her fiancé in exchange for her credentials. The nurse reveals her name as Diana Prince, and thus, Wonder Woman's secret identity was created, and she began working as a nurse in the army.

Wonder Woman would take part in a variety of adventures, mostly side by side with Trevor. Her most common foes during this period would be Nazi forces led by a German baroness named Paula von Gunther, occasionally evil deities/demigods such as Mars and the Duke of Deception, and then colorful villains like Hypnota, Doctor Psycho, and the Cheetah.

In 1942 a reader reader poll was conducted by DC asking if Wonder Woman should join the Justice Society withe Superman and Batman. The poll asked: "Should Wonder Woman be allowed, even though a woman, to join the Justice Society?" The results were decisive, with 1,597 kids answering yes and 203 answering no (197 of the "no" vote were boys). So Wonder Woman joined the Justice Society, as a secretary.

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.

The Golden Age Wonder Woman had strength that was comparable to the Golden Age Superman. She was capable of bench pressing 15,000 pounds even before receiving her bracelets, and later hoisted a 50,000 pound boulder above her head to inspire fellow Amazons.

Her strength would be removed in accordance with "Aphrodite's Law" if she allowed her bracelets to be bound or chained by a male. But, even when her super strength was temporarily nullified, she still had enough mortal strength of an Amazon to break down a prison door to save Steve Trevor. In one of her earliest appearances, she is shown running easily at 60 mph (97 km/h), and later jumps from a building and lands on the balls of her feet.

She was able to heal faster than a normal human being due to her birthright consumption of water from Paradise Island's Fountain of Eternal Youth and 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 Silver and Bronze ages of comics, Wonder Woman would be able to further increase her strength. In times of great need, removing her bracelets would temporarily augment her power tenfold, but cause her to go berserk in the process. Between 1966 and 1967, new powers were added, such as super breath. Many of these powers received changes after the events of Crisis on Infinite Earths.

Silver Age

During the Silver Age, under writer Robert Kanigher, Wonder Woman's origin was revamped, along with other characters'. The new origin story increased the character's Hellenic and mythological roots and her powers were shown to be the product of the gods' blessings, corresponding to her epithet, "beautiful as Aphrodite, wise as Athena, stronger than Hercules, and swifter than Hermes". The concepts of Wonder Girl and Wonder Tot were introduced.

At the end of the 1960s, under the guidance of Mike Sekowsky, Wonder Woman surrendered her powers in order to remain in Man's World rather than accompany her fellow Amazons to another dimension. Wonder Woman begins using the alias Diana Prince and opens a mod boutique.

She acquires a Chinese mentor named I Ching, who teaches Diana martial arts and weapons skills. Using her fighting skill instead of her powers, Diana engaged in adventures that encompassed a variety of genres, from espionage to mythology.

This phase of her story was directly influenced by the British spy thriller The Avengers and Diana Rigg's portrayal of Emma Peel and Wonder Woman dressed in a series of jumpsuits while fighting crime.

During this period, Samuel R. Delany took over scripting duties with issue #202. Delany was initially supposed to write a six-issue story arc, which would culminate in a battle over an abortion clinic, but Delany was removed reportedly due to criticism from Gloria Steinem, who, not knowing the content of the issues Delany was writing, was upset that Wonder Woman had lost her powers and was no longer wearing her traditional costume.

Bronze Age

In the early 1970s the character returned to her superhero roots in the Justice League of America and to the World War II era in her own title. This however, was ultimately due to the popularity of the TV series at the time also having Wonder Woman set in WW2 era, and was shifted back to the 1970s era once the TV show did the same.

With a new decade arriving, DC president Jenette Kahn ordered a revamp in Wonder Woman's appearance. Artist Milton Glaser, who also designed the "bullet" logo adopted by DC in 1977, created a stylized "WW" emblem that evoked and replaced the eagle in her bodice, and debuted in 1982. The emblem in turn was incorporated by studio letterer Todd Klein onto the monthly title's logo, which lasted for a year and a half before being replaced by a version from Glaser's studio. With sales of the title continuing to decline in 1985 (despite an unpublished revamp that was solicited), the series was canceled and ended in issue #329 (February 1986) written by Gerry Conway, depicting Steve Trevor's marriage to Wonder Woman.

The Crisis on Infinite Earths cross-over of 1986 was designed and written with the purpose of streamlining most of DC's characters into one more-focused continuity and reinventing them for a new era, thus Wonder Woman and Steve Trevor were declared to come from the Earth-Two dimension, and along with all of their exploits, were erased from history, so that a new Wonder Woman character, story and timeline could take priority.

Modern Age

Following the 1985 Crisis on Infinite Earths series, George Pérez, Len Wein, and Greg Potter rewrote the character's origin story. Wonder Woman was now an emissary and ambassador from Themyscira (the new name for Paradise Island) to Patriarch's World, charged with the mission of bringing peace to the outside world. Various deities and concepts from Greek mythology were blended and incorporated into Wonder Woman's stories and origin. Diana was formed out of clay of the shores of Themyscira by Hippolyta, who wished for a child; the clay figure was then brought to life by the Greek deities. The Gods then blessed and granted her unique powers and abilities – beauty from Aphrodite, strength from Demeter, wisdom from Athena, speed and flight from Hermes, Eyes of the Hunter and unity with beasts from Artemis and sisterhood with fire and the ability to discern the truth from Hestia. This rendition of the character acted as the foundation for the modern Wonder Woman stories. The relaunch was a critical and commercial success.

Due to the reboot, Diana's operating methods were made distinctive from Superman and Batman's with her willingness to use deadly force when she judges it necessary, such as killing a villain named Maxwell Lord who was mind controlling Superman into killing Batman. When Wonder Woman caught him in her lasso, demanding to know how to stop Superman, Maxwell revealed that the only way to stop him was to kill Lord, so as a last resort Diana snapped his neck. To recover from the trauma of killing another person, the Amazon went into a self-imposed exile for one year. On her return to public life, Diana realized that her life as a full-time celebrity superhero and ambassador had kept her removed from humanity. Because of this she assumed the persona of Diana Prince and became an agent at the Department of Metahuman Affairs. During a later battle with the witch Circe, a spell was placed on Diana leaving her powerless when not in the guise of Wonder Woman.

In addition, her previous history and her marriage to Steve Trevor were erased. Trevor was introduced as a man much older than Diana who would later on marry Etta Candy.

War of the Gods

Starting in Wonder Woman Vol 2 #51, The Amazons, who had revealed their presence to the world in Wonder Woman Vol 2 #50, are blamed for a series of murders and for the theft of various artifacts. The Amazons are then taken into custody, Queen Hippolyta is nowhere to be found and Steve Trevor is forced by General Yedziniak to attack Themyscira. These events lead to the "War of the Gods" story line.

When Hippolyta and the other Amazons were trapped in a demonic dimension, she started receiving visions about the death of Wonder Woman. Fearing her daughter's death, Hippolyta created a false claim that Diana was not worthy of continuing her role as Wonder Woman, and arranged for a contest to determine who would be the new Wonder Woman. The participants of the final round were Diana and Artemis, and with the help of some mystic manipulation by Hippolyta, Artemis won the contest. Diana was forced to hand over her title and costume to Artemis, who became the new Wonder Woman and later died in battle against the White Magician – thus, Hippolyta's vision of a dying Wonder Woman did come true. Diana then once again became Wonder Woman, a request made by Artemis in her last words.

Diana is Wonder Woman again, but not for long, as the demon Neron engages her in battle and kills her. After her death, Diana was granted divinity as the Goddess of Truth by her gods for such faithful devotion. During her brief time as a god of Olympus, Diana was replaced in the role of Wonder Woman by her mother, Queen Hippolyta. Unlike Diana receiving the title of Wonder Woman in honor, Hippolyta's role as Wonder Woman was meant to be a punishment for her betrayal in Artemis' death as well as for unintentionally killing her own daughter. However, Hippolyta eventually grew to enjoy the freedom and adventure the title came with. Whereas Diana used the Lasso of Truth as her primary weapon, Hippolyta favored a broad sword.

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. 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.

Others who have donned the Wonder Woman persona include Nubia, Cassandra Sandsmark, and Donna Troy.

In August 2010 (issue #600), J. Michael Straczynski took over the series' writing duties and introduced Wonder Woman to an alternate timeline created by the Gods in which Paradise Island had been destroyed and the Amazons scattered around the world. He also introduced several "Easter eggs" within his run. In this timeline, Diana is an orphan raised in New York. The entire world has forgotten Wonder Woman's existence and the main story of this run was of Diana trying to restore reality even though she does not properly remember it herself. In this run, Wonder Woman wore a new costume designed by Jim Lee.

The New 52

In September 2011, DC Comics relaunched its entire publication line, dubbing the event the New 52. Brian Azzarello and Cliff Chiang were assigned on writing and art duties respectively and revamped the character's history considerably. Among the major changes, Wonder Woman now appears wearing a new costume similar to her older one, and has a completely new origin. In this new timeline, Wonder Woman is no longer a clay figure brought to life by the magic of the gods. Rather, she is the demigoddess daughter of Queen Hippolyta and Zeus: King of the Greek Gods. Her original origin is revealed as a cover story to explain Diana's birth as a means to protect her from Hera's wrath. Currently, Diana has taken on the role and title as the new "God of War". Azzarello and Chiang's revamp of the character was critically acclaimed, but highly divisive among long time fans of the character.

Wonder Woman appears as one of the lead characters in the Justice League title written by Geoff Johns and drawn by Jim Lee that was launched in 2011 as part of the New 52. In August 2012, she and Superman shared a kiss in Justice League Vol 2 #12, which has since developed into a romantic relationship. DC launched a Superman/Wonder Woman series that debuted in late 2013, which focuses both the threats they face together, and on their romance as a "Power Couple". In the New 52 universe, Diana does not have a secret identity. However, when she and Superman began dating, for her civilian identity she uses the Diana Prince alias whenever she is around Clark Kent; such as when she introduced herself to Lois Lane at Lois's housewarming party under that name.

After the events of Convergence, Wonder Woman would don a new costume. She would also face Donna Troy, who is now reimagined as a villanous doppellganger created by a vengeful Amazon elder, not only to physically defeat Wonder Woman but also to outmaneuver her in Themyscirian politics.

The New 52 version of Wonder Woman has been portrayed to be a younger, more headstrong, loving, fierce and willful person. Brian Azzarello stated in a video interview with DC Comics that they're building a very "confident", "impulsive" and "good-hearted" character in her. He referred to her trait of feeling compassion as both her strength and weakness.

The New 52 version of Earth 2 was introduced in Earth 2 #1 (2012). In that issue, the Earth 2 Wonder Woman is introduced via flashback. She, along with Superman and Batman, are depicted dying in battle with forces from Apokolips five years in the past. This Wonder Woman worshiped the deities of Roman mythology as opposed to the Greek; the Roman gods perish as a result of the conflict. An earlier version of the Earth-2 Wonder Woman, prior to the Apokoliptian invasion, is seen in the comic book Batman/Superman, where she is seen riding a pegasus. In Earth 2 #8 (2013), Wonder Woman's adult daughter, Fury, is introduced. She is loyal to the Apokoliptian Steppenwolf.


In 2016, DC Comics once again relaunched all of its publications as part of the DC Rebirth continuity reboot, which has a new bi-monthly Wonder Woman series from writer Greg Rucka. The new series does not use a regular storyline that exists between each issue; instead the story is alternated between each issue for two separate storylines which first started with the storyline The Lies for the odd numbered issues and Year One for the even numbered issues.

The new storyline as presented in these issues effectively retcons the events from the previous New 52 series. The Lies storyline reveals that a number of events from the previous Wonder Woman series in which Diana was made the Queen of the Amazons and the God of War, was in fact all an illusion created by a mysterious villain, and she had never once been back to Themyscira ever since she left, nor is she capable of returning there.

The Year One story is presented as an all-new origin story for Diana, which reveals how she received her powers from the Olympian Gods, which was intended to bring her back to her classical DC roots. Wonder Woman appears in DC Rebirth with a revised look, which includes a red cape and light armor fittings. Along with her lasso and bracelets, she now regularly utilizes her sword and shield. Wonder Woman: Rebirth artist Liam Sharp described the new armor as a utilitarian piece which allows her to move more freely.


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Wonder Woman hasn't gotten as much screen time as Superman and Batman. Her first appearance on television was as a guest in an episode of The Brady Kids cartoon series in 1972, entitled "It's All Greek to Me" (voiced by Jane Webb). The Brady kids meet Diana Prince/Wonder Woman and together they find themselves accidentally transported back to the time of the Ancient Olympic Games (below left). Yet there was an ealier attempt at a live action series from Batman producer William Dozier and was (surpise surpise) played for laughs. The show was to be called, Wonder Woman: Who's Afraid of Diana Prince? and featured Ellie Wood Walker as the lead and Maudie Prickett as the heroine's mother. It never got picked up but there is a five minute clip floating around the internet that is so bad and such an insult to the character we refuse to post it here.

A failed TV pilot in 1974 called Wonder Woman, directed by Vincent McEveety and starring Cathy Lee Crosby (above right, not dressed in a traditional Wonder Woman costume but in something out of Battle of the Network Stars) led to the 1975–1979 Wonder Woman TV series starring Lynda Carter (below left); as well as animated series such as the Super Friends and Justice League. Since Carter's television series, studios have struggled to introduce a new live-action Wonder Woman to audiences, although the character continued to be feature in a variety of toys and merchandise, as well as animated adaptations of DC properties, including a direct-to-DVD animated feature starring Keri Russell. Attempts to return Wonder Woman to television have included a television pilot by writer/producer David E. Kelly for NBC in 2011 with Adrianne Palicki as Wonder Woman (below right), closely followed by another stalled production for The CW titled Amazon.

Wonder Woman hit the big screen in 2014 in The Lego Movie (below left) and would make her live-action screen debut with the 2016 film Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice being protraied by Gal Gadot (below right). Gadot also starred in the character's first solo live-action film Wonder Woman, which was released on June 2nd, 2017 to rave reviews and set numerous box office records.

Where Does She Get Those Wonderful Toys?

Wonder Woman has an arsenal of powerful god-forged gear at her disposal, but her signature equipment are her indestructible bracelets and the Lasso of Truth.

The Pre-Crisis version of the invisible plane was a necessity because before the Crisis on Infinite Earths rewrote Wonder Woman's history – along with the histories of many other heroes – Wonder Woman simply could not fly. She grew increasingly powerful through the Silver Age of comic books and beyond, acquiring the power to ride wind currents thus allowing her to imitate flight over short distance. This had limitations, however; for example, if there was no wind and the air was completely still she would be trapped on the ground or if dropped from a distance that she would helplessly fall out of control to the ground. Though this meant that she would rely on the invisible plane less frequently, she always had need of it.

The Invisible Plane was a creation of Diana's during her younger years on Paradise Island. She created it to be an improvement on her mother's planes which would be shot down in Man's World. The result of her innovation was an invisible plane that could fly at terrific speeds silently and not be detected by hostile forces, thus avoiding unpleasant conflict. Initially, it was portrayed as being transparent.

The Invisible Plane appeared in the very first comic stories, including All-Star Comics #8, where it is shown as being able to fly at over 2,000 mph (3,200 km/h) and to send out rainbow rays that penetrate the mist around Paradise Island, as well as landing stealthily and having a built-in radio. Wonder Woman is seen storing the plane at an abandoned farm near Washington, D.C., in the barn; she goes there as Lt. Prince and changes clothes in some of the earliest tales. Though never explicitly stated, the Plane is presumably stored there when not in use for the rest of the Pre-Crisis era. In a story made shortly after, it flies at 40 miles (64 km) a second.

The telepathic capacities of Wonder Woman's tiara allow her to summon the plane, often to hover or swoop by the War Department, and she would exit on a rope ladder. She uses the plane to fly into outer space, and frequently transports Etta Candy and the Holliday Girls, Steve Trevor, or others. During the 1950s, the plane became a jet, and was often shown swooping over Lt. Prince's office; she changed out of her uniform at super speed and would bound to the plane. Though the Plane was depicted as semi-transparent for the reader's convenience, in-story dialogue indicated that it actually was completely invisible, or at least able to become so as the need arose.

Wonder Woman continued to use the plane for super-speed, outer space, and multi-dimensional transport up until the un-powered era of Diana Prince. When Wonder Woman resumed super-powered, costumed operations in 1973, she continued to use the jet as before, but did glide on air currents for short distances. At one point, Aphrodite granted the plane the power to fly faster than the speed of light for any interstellar voyages her champion might undertake. Thanks to tinkering by gremlins, the Plane even developed intelligence and the power to talk. The Plane proved a good friend, eager to help his "mistress" and her loved ones in any way possible. It got along especially well with Steve Trevor.

Diana's bulletproof bracelets were formed from the remnants of Athena's legendary shield, the Aegis, to be awarded to her champion. The shield was made from the indestructible hide of the great she-goat, Amalthea, who suckled Zeus as an infant. These forearm guards have thus far proven indestructible and able to absorb the impact of incoming attacks, allowing Wonder Woman to deflect automatic weapon fire and energy blasts. Diana can slam the bracelets together to create a wave of concussive force capable of making strong beings like Superman's ears bleed. Recently, she gained the ability to channel Zeus's lightning through her bracelets as well. Zeus explained to her that this power had been contained within the bracelets since their creation, because they were once part of the Aegis, and that he had only recently unlocked it for her use. After the 2011 relaunch of the character, it was revealed that Diana was the daughter of Zeus and Hippolyta and that the bracelets are able to keep the powers she had inherited from Zeus in check. In addition, Hephaestus has modified the bracelets to allow Wonder Woman the sorcerous ability to manifest a sword of grayish metal from each bracelet. Each sword, marked with a red star, takes shape from a flash of lightning, and when Wonder Woman is done with them, the swords disappear, supposedly, back into her bracelets. As such, she has produced other weapons from the bracelets in this way such as a bow that fires explosive arrows, spears and energy bolts among others.

The Lasso of Truth, or Lasso of Hestia, was forged by Hephaestus from the golden girdle of Gaea. The original form of the Lasso in the Golden Age was called the Magic Lasso Of Aphrodite. It compels all beings who come into contact with it to tell the absolute truth and is virtually indestructible. in Identity Crisis, Green Arrow mistakenly describes it as "the only lie detector designed by Zeus." The only times it has been broken were when Wonder Woman herself refused to accept the truth revealed by the lasso, such as when she confronted Rama Khan of Jarhanpur, and by Bizarro in Matt Wagner's non-canonical Batman/Superman/Wonder Woman: Trinity. During the Golden Age, the original form of the Lasso had the power to force anyone caught to obey any command given them, even overriding the mind control of others; this was effective enough to defeat strong-willed beings like Captain Marvel. Diana wields the Lasso with great precision and accuracy and can use it as a whip or noose.

Diana occasionally uses additional weaponry in formal battle, such as ceremonial golden armour with golden wings, pteruges, chestplate, and golden helmet in the shape of an eagle's head. She possesses a magical sword forged by Hephaestus that is sharp enough to cut the electrons off an atom.

As early as the 1950s, Wonder Woman's tiara has also been used as a razor-edged throwing weapon, returning to her like a boomerang. The tiara allows Wonder Woman to be invulnerable from telepathic attacks, as well as allowing her to telepathically contact people such as the Amazons back on Themyscira using the power of the red star ruby in its center.

During the golden age Wonder Woman possessed a Purple Ray capable of healing even a fatal gunshot wound to the brain. She also possessed a Mental Radio that could let her receive messages from those in need.

As a recent temporary inductee into the Star Sapphires, Wonder Woman gained access to the violet power ring of love. This ring allowed her to alter her costume at will, create solid-light energy constructs, and reveal a person's true love to them. She was able to combine the energy with her lasso to enhance its ability.


Who Wore It Best?

Wonder Woman's outfit has varied over time, although almost all of her outfit incarnations have retained some form of breastplate, tiara, bracelets, and her signature five-pointed star symbols.

In the Golden Age Wonder Woman's outfit design was originally rooted in American symbolism and iconography, which included her signature star symbols, a golden eagle on her chest, crimson red bustier, white belt, and a dark blue star spangled skirt/culotte. She also had a pair of red glowing magnetic earrings which allowed her to receive messages from Queen Desira of the planet Venus.




At the time of her debut, Wonder Woman sported a red top with a golden eagle emblem, a white belt, blue star-spangled culottes, and red and golden go-go boots designed by artist H.G. Peter with input from Marston and DC publisher M.C. Gaines. She originally wore a skirt; however according to Elizabeth Martson, "It was too hard to draw and would have been over her head most of the time." This outfit was entirely based on the American flag, because Wonder Woman was purely an American icon as she debuted during World War II.

What earlier appeared to be a skirt were actually culottes, wide legged shorts worn by female athletes of the day and in 1942, Wonder Woman's outfit received a slight change as the culottes were gradually converted into skin-tight shorts and the comic ended up on some groups banned booked list due to her being, "not sufficiently dressed."

Peter's original costume sketch had Wonder Woman in Greek style sandals with leg straps and heels, but Marston preferred boots. Two years after Marston's death the sandals began to appear in the comics (minus heels) and with seperate leg straps. Her shorts also got a little shorter.




While earlier most of her back had been exposed, during the imposition of the Comics Code Authority in the mid-1950s, Wonder Woman's outfit was rectified to make her back substantially covered, in order to comply with the Authority's rule of minimum exposure. After a 16 year run as an artist on the book Peter died and Ross Andru would became lead artist for the next nine years. The sandals were replaced with pumps and the previously detailed eagle on her belt was simplified. Under Andru her shorts slowly turned into briefs and the red boots returned minus the white stripe.

During Mike Sekowsky's run in the late 1960s, Diana surrendered her powers and started using her own skill to fight crime. She wore a series of jumpsuits as her attire, most popular of these was a white one. After Sekowsky's run ended in the early 1970s, Diana's roots were reverted to her old mythological and she wore a more modernized version of her original outfit, a predecessor to her "bathing suit" outfit.




The Wonder Woman made-for-TV movie featured a blonde Wonder Woman and and a costume unlike anything that was apearing in the comic book. ABCs next attempt was a more traditional Wonder Woman, set in the 1940s with Lynda Carter wearing a costume actually inspired by the comic book with a perched eagle design, stars on the briefs and, for the first time, silver bracelets. When the show moved to CBS for it's second season the character moved to the present. The eagle was updated to resemble the eagle in the comics and the briefs were cut shorter. The white striped boots remained and were also carried over into the comics where here glowing white belt was turned into a yellow one. Also in the comics artist Terry Dodson redrew her outfit as a strapless swimsuit.




New DC Comics President, Jeanette Kahn commissioned a new Wonder Woman chest emblem by graphic designer Milton Glaser, who also designed the DC Comics logo that was used from 1977 to 2005. Variations of the stacked "WW" logo have been in the costume ever since.

After Crisis On Infinite Earths, George Pérez rebooted the character in 1987. She wore an outfit similar to her 1970s one, but now with a larger glowing golden belt with a second point. Her hair dramatically lengthened, the blue bracelets became silver bracers and the heels on her boots disappeared.

In the 90s Wonder Woman became one of DCs lowest selling books. As a result, Mike Deodato Jr. was given plenty of creative freedom and he cut her top lower and briefs higher to a point point she was wearing a thong. Deodato commented, "Every time the bikini was smaller, the sales get higher."




When William Messner-Loebs' took over the book, he had Diana pass on the role of Wonder Woman to Artemis. No longer Wonder Woman, Diana sported a new black biker-girl outfit designed by artist Mike Deodato Jr. After John Byrne took over writing and art duties, he redesigned the Wonder Woman outfit (Diana was reinstated as Wonder Woman at the end of Loebs' run) and joined the emblem and belt together. He also increased the size of the bracers and tiara and removed the stars from the briefs leaving only two.

After Byrne's run, the costume reverted further back to a Post Crisis look. Artist Adam Hughes made her chest emblem a single solid shape without etched details and made her boots look loose.




In a throwback to the original chest emblem Terry Dodson transformed the stacked "WW" in a eagle. Similar to her chest-plate, her glowing belt was also shaped into a "W". This outfit continued until issue #600. J. Michael Straczynski's run of Wonder Woman's altered timeline changed her outfit drastically. Her outfit was redesigned by Jim Lee and included a redesigned emblem, a golden and red top, black pants, and a later discontinued blue-black jacket.

It was later retconned by Gail Simone that Wonder Woman's outfit design had Amazonian roots. During a flashback in Vol. 3, Hippolyta is shown issuing orders to have a garment created for Diana, taking inspiration from the skies on the night Diana was born; a red hunter's moon and a field of stars against deep blue, and the eagle breastplate being a symbol of Athena's avian representations.

Another major outfit change came after DC Comics relaunched its entire line of publications, dubbing the event the New 52. Her original one-piece outfit was restored, although the color combination of red and blue was changed to dark red and blue-black. Her chest-plate, belt and tiara were also changed from gold to a platinum or sterling silver color. Along with her sword, she now also utilizes a shield. She wears many accessories such as arm and neck jewelery styled as the "WW" motif. Her outfit is no longer made of fabric, as it now resembles a type of light, flexible body armor. Her boots are now a very dark blue rather than red. The design previously included black trousers, but they were removed and the one-piece look was restored during the time of publication.




After the events of Convergence, Diana gets a new armored suit with the classic armor and tiara returning. Designed by David Finch with input from his wife, writer Meredith Finch. This didn't last long. Another costume variation apeared in a line of action figures and dolls that was supported by a web series and graphic novels targeted at a young female demographic. The suit was designed by Jenn Rahardjanoto.

In 2016 Wonder Woman's outfit is redesigned to resemble the one worn in Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice: it is a red bustier with a gold eagle, a blue growing leather skirt with gold edges with two stars, and knee-high red boots with gold knee guards and accents. Her tiara once again becomes gold with a red star. She occasionally wears a red cape with a gold clasp and edges.

In the 2017 Wonder Woman film, her tiara's signature star symbol is now an eight pointed starburst. According to designer Lindy Hemming and director Patty Jenkins, every design decision made for Themyscira came down to the same question: "How would I want to live that's badass?" "To me, they shouldn't be dressed in armor like men. It should be different. It should be authentic and real [&ldots;] and appealing to women." When asked about the decision to give the Amazons heeled sandals, Jenkins explained that they also have flats for fighting, adding "It's total wish-fulfillment [&ldots;] I, as a woman, want Wonder Woman to be sexy, hot as hell, fight badass, and look great at the same time [&ldots;] the same way men want Superman to have ridiculously huge pecs and an impractically big body. That makes them feel like the hero they want to be. And my hero, in my head, has really long legs." This corresponds to the original intent by William Moulton Marston, who wanted his character to be alluringly feminine.

As a compassionate warrior with-god-like strength, Wonder Woman preferred peace and love to war and violence, a contradiction that has long made her a symbol of female empowerment, and the center of controversy. The early Wonder Woman stories featured an abundant amount of bondage portrayals, which had critics worried.

Although created to be a positive role model and a strong female character for girls and boys, Wonder Woman has had to deal with the misogyny that was commonplace in comic book industry for decades. For example, Wonder Woman was a founding member of the Justice Society of America. This roster included the original Flash and Green Lantern. Wonder Woman was an experienced leader and easily the most powerful of them all; yet was rendered a secretary. This would also be accompanied with her losing her powers or getting captured on most Justice League adventures. During the ’50s and ’60s, comic writers regularly made Wonder Woman love sick over Steve Trevor, a Major in the United States Army. Stories frequently featured Wonder Woman hoping or imagining what it would be like to marry Steve Trevor.

Wonder Woman was named the 20th greatest comic book character by Empire magazine and placed fifth on IGN's Top 100 Comic Book Heroes of All Time.

Not all reaction to Wonder Woman has been positive. In the controversial Seduction of the Innocent, psychiatrist Fredric Wertham claimed Wonder Woman's strength and independence made her a lesbian in a condemning way.

Feminist icon Gloria Steinem, founder of Ms. magazine, was responsible for the return of Wonder Woman's original abilities. Offended that the most famous female superhero had been depowered into a boyfriend-obsessed damsel in distress, Steinem placed Wonder Woman (in costume) on the cover of the first issue of Ms. (1972) (Warner Communications, DC Comics' owner, was an investor) which also contained an appreciative essay about the character. Wonder Woman's powers and traditional costume were restored in issue #204 (January–February 1973).

In 1972, just months after the groundbreaking US Supreme Court decision Roe v. Wade, science fiction author Samuel R. Delany had planned a story for Ms. that culminated in a plainsclothes Wonder Woman protecting an abortion clinic. However, Steinem disapproved of Wonder Woman being out of costume, and the controversial story line never happened.

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. "... [Marston] had invented Wonder Woman as a heroine for little girls, and also as a conscious alternative to the violence of comic books for boys."

The origin of Wonder Woman and the psychological reasoning behind why William Morton Marston created her in the way he did illustrated Marston's educational, ethical, and moral values. Gladys L. Knight explains the impact and influences that superheroes have on us in society ranging from the 1870s until the present day. "William Marston intended her to be a feminist character, showing young boys the illimitable possibilities of a woman who could be considered just as strong as the famed Superman."

Marc DiPaolo, assistant professor of English and Film at Oklahoma City University, writes about Wonder Woman's creator and history and he demonstrates how she is a "WWII veteran, a feminist icon, and a sex symbol" all throughout her "career". Wonder Woman stars in multiple films and is most commonly known for her red, white and blue one piece, and her tall, sexy assertiveness. What many people don't know is that she is a big part of history in the comic and superhero world because of how her character influences real life people of all ages, sexes, ethnicities, and races. "Marston created the comic book character Wonder Woman to be both strong and sexy, as a means of encouraging woman to emulate her unapologetic assertiveness."

Wonder Woman: Earth One writer Grant Morrison stated, "I sat down and I thought, 'I don't want to do this warrior woman thing.' I can understand why they're doing it, I get all that, but that's not what [Wonder Woman creator] William Marston wanted, that's not what he wanted at all! His original concept for Wonder Woman was an answer to comics that he thought were filled with images of blood-curdling masculinity, and you see the latest shots of Gal Gadot in the costume, and it's all sword and shield and her snarling at the camera. Marston's Diana was a doctor, a healer, a scientist."

William Marston's earliest works were notorious for containing "sapphic-undertones" subtext. Fredric Wertham's Seduction of the Innocent referred to her as the "lesbian counterpart to Batman" (whom he also identified as a homosexual). In the decades since, DC Comics attempted to downplay her sexuality, and comic book writers and artists didn't do much more than hint at Wonder Woman's erotic legacy.

Grant Morrison's 2016 comic Wonder Woman: Earth One, which exists parallel to the current DC comics Rebirth canon, Diana is depicted being kissed on her right cheek by a blonde woman who has put her left arm around Diana.

Wonder Woman feels she need not be "labelled sexually", that she "loves people for who they are" and is "just herself". Coming from a society that was only populated by women, "lesbian" in [the world's] eyes may have been "straight" for them. "Her culture is completely free from the shackles of heteronormativity in the first place so she wouldn't even have any 'concept' of gender roles in sex."

In 2016, Sensation Comics featured Wonder Woman officiating a same-sex wedding (Issue #48) drawn by Australian illustrator Jason Badower. "My country is all women. To us, it's not 'gay' marriage. It's just marriage", she states to Superman. Inspired by the June Supreme Court ruling that established marriage equality in all 50 United States, Badower says DC Comics was "fantastic" about his idea for the issue. In an interview with The Sydney Morning Herald, he said his editor "Was like 'great, I love it! Let's do it.' It was almost anticlimactic." Badower continues, "Diana's mother, the queen, at the very least authorized or in some cases officiated these weddings. It just seems more like a royal duty Diana would take on, that she would do for people that would appreciate it."

Wonder Woman's advocacy for gay rights was taken a step further in September 2016, when comic book writer Greg Rucka announced that she is canonically bisexual, according to her rebooted Rebirth origin. This follows the way Wonder Woman was written in the alternate continuity or non-canon Earth One by Grant Morrison, and is staunchly supported by fellow Wonder Woman writer Gail Simone dispite the backlash from some of the fanbase.

Though the superhero was sexuality fluid, Rucka stated that our society’s conceptions of gay and straight don’t exist on Themyscira (formally known as Paradise Island), the fictional home of Wonder Woman. "It’s supposed to be paradise,' Rucka said of Themyscira. "You’re supposed to be able to live happily. You’re supposed to be able - in a context where one can live happily, and part of what an individual needs for that happiness is to have a partner - to have a fulfilling, romantic and sexual relationship. And the only options are women. But an Amazon doesn’t look at another Amazon and say, 'You’re gay.' They don’t. The concept doesn’t exist. Now, are we saying Diana has been in love and had relationships with other women... the answer is obviously yes."

Wonder Woman actress Gal Gadot reacted positively to Diana's rebooted orientation, and agreed her sexuality was impacted by growing up in the women-only Themyscira.

On October 21st, 2016, the United Nations named Wonder Woman a UN Honorary Ambassador for the Empowerment of Women and Girls in an official ceremony attended by Under Secretary General for Communications & Public Information Cristina Gallach and by actors Lynda Carter and Gal Gadot. Fans were upset when the character was dropped from the role two months later after a petition generated by concerned United Nations staff members stated Wonder Woman was "not culturally... sensitive" and it was "alarming that the United Nations would consider using a character with an overtly sexualized image".

Other fictional characters to have been given honorary roles include Winnie the Pooh as honorary ambassador for friendship in 1997, and Tinkerbell as honorary ambassador for “green” to promote environmental awareness in 2009. Still the collaboration had lasted longer than previous UN roles given to fictional characters, Brez added, pointing out that a character from the video game Angry Birds served as climate change ambassador for a single day in March.

Warner Bros and DC Entertainment have been "extremely pleased" with the partnership’s role in raising awareness of the empowerment of women and girls, a spokeswoman said, "Wonder Woman stands for peace, justice and equality, and for 75 years she has been a motivating force for many and will continue to be long after the conclusion of her UN honorary ambassadorship."

Who created Wonder Woman?

William Moulton Marston
Milton Robert Kane
Charles Morton Kirby
Olive Byrne


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