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. 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 to his home country.
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 an October 25, 1940, interview with the Family Circle magazine, William Moulton Marston discussed the unfulfilled 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. At that time, Marston wanted to create his own new superhero; Marston's wife and fellow psychologist Elizabeth suggested to him that it should be a woman:
Later, as a healer tended to Diana's battle wounds, she noted with confusion that Diana's wounds had healed completely. Diana then visited Trevor in his cell, asking him about the outside world. Due to his words, Diana decided to sneak him off the island and confront Ares herself. She snuck into the island's tower and stole the god killer, along with an Amazon shield, the Lasso of Hestia, and a special set of battle armor. She broke Trevor out of his cell and took him to the island's dock, where she was intercepted by her mother. To her surprise, Hippolyta allowed Diana to leave, gifting her Antiope's tiara. She then warned Diana to be careful, mournfully telling her that the world of men did not deserve her.
As Themyscira's emissary to Man's World, Diana has made it her duty to lead by example, even if the differences between her birthplace and new home sometimes present hurdles for her to jump. She has come to represent the possibility and potential of life without war, hate or violence, and she is a beacon of hope to all who find themselves in need. She stands as an equal among the most powerful Super Heroes, with a sense of purpose to protect the world from injustice in all forms.
The Golden, Silver, and Bronze Age portrayals of Wonder Woman showed her using a silent and invisible plane that could be controlled by mental command and fly at speeds up to 3,000 mph (4,800 km/h). Its appearance has varied over time; originally it had a propeller, while later it was drawn as a jet aircraft resembling a stealth aircraft.
Centuries ago, an argument between Aphrodite and Ares led to the creation of the Amazons, who have been guided and protected by the goddesses ever since. Ares' recent schemes to destroy the Amazons and his fellow gods led to an Amazon champion being chosen. This champion was the Princess Diana, daughter of Queen Hippolyta, whom Hermes escorted to Man's World. There she was called Wonder Woman. Hephaestus forged Wonder Woman's golden Lasso of Truth from the girdle of the earth-goddess Gaea, and her silver bracelets which he formed from the splintered Aegis of Zeus. While the Olympian gods were her patrons, other gods were her foes. Ares and his progeny, Deimos and Phobos, quickly set about challenging the princess in her quest. Phobos created the creature Decay from the "heart of the Gorgon," which Diana quickly dispatched. Meanwhile, Deimos recruited humans on opposing sides, inciting them to war.
During 1942 to 1947, images of bound and gagged women frequently graced the covers of both Sensation Comics and Wonder Woman. An early example includes a scene in Wonder Woman #3 (Feb.-March 1943), Wonder Woman herself ties up several women, dresses them in deer costumes and chases them through the forest. Later she rebinds them and displays them on a platter.
As Wonder Woman joins the Battle against Doomsday, she arrives just in time to save Batman from Doomsday's lethal thermal blast, deflecting the beams with her indestructible bracelets. She then jointly attacks Doomsday with Superman while Batman tries to expose the creature to Kryptonite, allowing its destruction. She relentlessly battles the monster, and despite Doomsday being stronger, Wonder Woman held her own, parrying a tremendous punch with the Sword of Athena, and then slicing off Doomsday's right arm with it. Eventually, Batman baits the monster into coming closer to her, allowing Wonder Woman to hurl the noose of her unbreakable Lasso of Hestia around his torso.
In 2016, "Issue #48" of Sensation Comics, featured Wonder Woman officiating a same-sex wedding, 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 2015 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." "Diana's mother, the queen, at the very least authorized or in some cases officiated these weddings," Badower says. "It just seems more like a royal duty Diana would take on, that she would do for people that would appreciate it."
The American theme of Diana's costume was explained by Pérez in the Challenge of the Gods storyline in which Diana engaged in a series of trials arranged by Zeus as punishment for refusing his advances. Diana met the spirit of Steve Trevor's mother, Diana Trevor, who was clad in armor identical to her own. Trevor revealed that during World War II she had crashed on Themyscira while on duty as a U.S. Army pilot. She blundered into an Amazon battle against Cottus, a multi-armed demon, at the portal to the underworld. Trevor was drawn into the battle, although she was armed only with her side arm. She wounded the beast before suffering a mortal blow, allowing the Amazons to reseal the portal.
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 published shortly after, it flies at 40 miles (64 km) a second.