James Robinson is a British writer, best known for his work in comic books and screenplays. He is well-known for his encyclopedic knowledge of comic book continuity, especially regarding the Golden Age of comic books. His earliest comic book work came in the late 1980s, but he became best known for his revitalization of the character Starman for DC comics in the 1990s. In addition, he has written ...more
The I Ching era had an influence on the 1974 Wonder Woman TV movie featuring Cathy Lee Crosby, in which Wonder Woman was portrayed as a non-superpowered globe-trotting super-spy who wore an amalgam of the Wonder Woman and Diana Prince costumes. The first two issues of Allan Heinberg's run (Wonder Woman vol. 3, #1–2) include direct references to I Ching, and feature Diana wearing an outfit similar to that which she wore during the I Ching era.
Despite helping win the war, defeating Ares and still loving humanity, Diana is still left sobered, emotionally broken, psychologically scarred, and devastated over not having been able to save the Belgian village from Dr. Poison, as well as over her beloved Steve Trevor's self-sacrificing death. Indeed, Diana would later claim that she "would never be the same" ever again after World War I. Moreover, in the years that followed, Diana bore witness to a "century of horrors" (Wars, Fascism, Communism, nuclear weapons' deployment, geopolitical brinkmanship, racism, homophobia, genocides, war crimes, propaganda, and etc.), and due to all of this occurring without Ares being there to spread corruption, Diana almost completely lost faith in humanity, coming to believe that humans "made a world where standing together is impossible". As such, Diana resolved to mostly abandon superheroism for 100 years.
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).
Even alongside all of her kindness, compassion, and empathy, Diana is still also a warrior at heart, and when someone she cares about is hurt, becomes far more relentless and ruthless. When seemingly beaten by Ares (who was only growing more powerful from her violence, rage, and hatred), and after having to watch her beloved Steve Trevor die, she flew into an agonizing rage, and she assaulted and brutalized several armed German soldiers with immense speed and ferocity. She even came close to murdering Dr. Poison as vengeance for Steve's death; but after recalling Steve's great love for an undying belief in her and her beliefs, restrained herself and refocused her energies on Ares, harnessing her love for Trevor to overcome her violent emotions and swiftly overpower an angered Ares. Additionally, she resolved to fight even harder after Steppenwolf revealed that he had killed several other Amazons. Outside of battle, however, Diana can also react indigently and negatively towards people who disrespect her, her relatives, or those she cares about. Two such notable instances were when she shot an angry look at Lex Luthor (after he insulted her father Zeus's memory), and when she shoved back Batman (after he had insulted her beloved Steve Trevor's memory). Diana also remains ruthless when facing enemies in battle as Wonder Woman, and she even shows signs of enjoying a good battle when they put up a good fight. This was seen when she briefly smiled and laughed when she was beaten to the ground by Doomsday, and smirked as she stopped the first bullet fired at a group of hostages in London.
Marston introduced the idea to Gaines. Given the go-ahead, Marston developed Wonder Woman, whom he believed to be a model of that era's unconventional, liberated woman. Marston also drew inspiration from the bracelets worn by Olive Byrne, who lived with the couple in a polyamorous relationship. Wonder Woman debuted in All Star Comics #8 (cover date Dec/Jan 1941/1942, released in October 1941), scripted by Marston.
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.
After recruiting a newly mortal, but still very bitter Hera into her group of companions, Wonder Woman retreated to London. Lennox revealed that there had been seven bastard children of Zeus. He and Diana were two, two others had been killed, and three remained. He suggested that for information on where the baby had been taken, Diana should contact their sister Siracca in Libya. Her encounter with Siracca did not begin well, but after Wonder Woman appealed to her sense of family, she suggested that Diana seek out their brother Milan in New York City.
This superhero era led by Kanigher didn’t last long though. The character was mired in the story lines from the golden age and especially her attachment to Steve Trevor. At the same time across the DC lineup characters were being revitalized with a new focus on science fiction. The silver age at DC is often attributed to having been started by the appearance of the re-imagined Flash in Showcase #4 in 1956. This led to a number of DC characters being reinvented such as Green Lantern and Hawkman. The difference with Wonder Woman though is that the character had managed to stay continually published since the golden age and did not get a science fiction retelling in the 1950s and 1960s. This left the character somewhat stilled mired in the past and eventually it was decided that something would be done to break her free of it. When the decision was made though it was decided that she would not have a science fiction background as it would break too much from her background as an Amazon, but that she would be slightly re-imagined as a martial arts based character, more along the lines of Batman. This would allow her to keep her somewhat unique background story, while also being more contemporary and popular. A much stronger emphasis was also placed on her appearance, as her somewhat drab civilian clothes and costume from the golden era were replaced with contemporary fashions of the time. In addition she opened a fashion boutique in trendy Greenwhich Village. This has led some to describe this era of the character as the “Mod Girl Wonder Woman.” While this version of the character did not prove to be consistently popular over the course of her brief run, it did leave some lasting impact on the character once she returned to her usual appearance. Following this she sought out more ambitious careers, for instance as a translator for the United Nations, or as a NASA astronaut and eventually moved back to Army Intelligence where she eventually got promoted to major. Also this period provided the opportunity to sever her from a dependence on Steve Trevor for her stories and her stories for the first time in her publication history became much more in line with what is considered typical of the super hero medium. The introduction of the multiverse made it such that there became two Wonder Womans, the modern version on Earth 1, and the golden age version on Earth 2. For a short time her appearances in her own comic were those of Earth 2 until the contemporary Angle Man accidentally visited her and subsequently the series was returned to modern day. The stories continued much like this for the remainder of the silver age until the end of the first Wonder Woman series with the events of Crisis on Infinite Earths. To provide closure to the character which was destined for a reboot, Steve Trevor returned and following the defense of Paradise Island from Shadow Demons, the two were finally married, though in continuity this lasted less than an issue.
Demeter, the goddess of agriculture and fertility, blessed Diana with strength drawn from the Earth spirit Gaea, making her one of the physically strongest heroes in the DC Universe and the strongest female hero in the DC Universe. This strength has allowed her to easily overwhelm Superman and Supergirl. She has also held her own against Darkseid. Her strength has no measurable limits and she can break the Chronus Scepter, which is universal in its destructive power. However, now Diana is the daughter of Zeus, king of the Greek Gods, so it is unclear as to how much of her power and strength is a direct result of her divine heritage. Her connection to the earth allows her to heal at an accelerated rate so long as she is in contact with the planet. However, as mentioned earlier, now that she is a demigoddess, it has been suggested that she heals extremely quickly also due to her divine heritage. In rare cases where she has been gravely injured, Diana showed the ability to physically merge with the earth, causing whatever injuries or poisons to be expelled from her body; such an act is considered sacred, and can only be used in extreme cases.
William Marston's earliest works were notorious for containing subversive "bondage and sapphic-undertones" subtext. Among Wonder Women's infamous catchphrases, "Suffering Sappho", was a direct reference to lesbianism. Fredric Wertham's Seduction of the Innocent referred to her as the "lesbian counterpart to Batman" (whom he also identified as a homosexual). After Marston's death in 1947, DC Comics downplayed her sexuality and feminist origin. Wonder Women, without Marston's creative direction, become more "traditional" superhero fair; the lesbian relationships and sexual imagery disappeared from the "Wonder Woman" comic, along with Wonder Woman's super powers. During the Comics Code Authority-decades since, Wonder Woman's subversiveness had been gradually stripped away; subsequent comic book writers and artists either didn't know know what do with her or barely hinted at Wonder Woman's erotic legacy. Similar to whitewashing, Wonder Woman's queerness and feminist identity throughout the latter half of the 20th century was never discussed and rendered "invisible" in adaptations in favor of the dominant sexism portrayal of women in comic books.
During a training session observed by Hippolyta, Diana sparred against her fellow warriors, demonstrating her weapons expertise and defeating each of them swiftly. Her final opponent was Antiope herself. The two fought with all their might. Diana managed to disarm Antiope and looked toward her mother for approval. Antiope seized the opportunity to push Diana to the ground and pick up her sword, admonishing her for letting her her guard down. As Antiope slashed at her and forced her backwards, Diana instinctively brought her arms together to block the attack. She clashed her arm gauntlets together, resulting in her unleashing a powerful shock-wave that sent Antiope flying back and left all spectating Amazons there, including Diana herself, in complete shock.
Later, Etta was released from hospital and Diana accompanied her to her home. She was shot by a sniper, but deflected the bullet and interrogated the attacker, who called herself Mayfly. She revealed that she had attempted to assassinate Wonder Woman in return for a bounty that had been placed on her. Shortly afterwards, Diana was attacked by five more assassins: Cat Eye, Cheshire, Abolith, Baundo and Plastique, the latter of whom revealed that she had planted the bomb at the wedding. Wonder Woman was able to defeat them all with the help of Etta, and they returned to an A.R.G.U.S. facility. There, Sasha Bordeaux informed her that another scientist, Hamilton Revere, had heard of Dr. Crawford's attempts to harvest Diana's DNA, and had apparently hypothesized that it could be used for the treatment of numerous diseases. Wonder Woman was intrigued and decided to seek out Revere of her own accord and hear out his plans. When she arrived, Revere informed her that in truth, he sought to use her DNA to create an army of super-soldiers. He had also used samples of Diana's blood to grant some of his goons super strength, who attacked her. Etta and Steve Trevor arrived to assist Wonder Woman, and together they bound the attackers in the Lasso of Truth, which once again removed the lie within their bodies. Revere was arrested, and Diana returned home with Steve and Etta.
She is able to astrally project herself into various lands of myth. Her physical body reacts to whatever happens to her on the mythical astral plane, leaving her body cut, bruised, or sometimes strengthened once her mind and body are reunited. She can apparently leave the planet through meditation and did this once to rescue Artemis while she was in Hell.
A few decades later, second-wave feminist Gloria Steinem's Ms. Magazine debuted in 1972 with an image of Wonder Woman on the cover. Historian Tim Hanley suggests that this move shifted "the focus away from female superiority to sisterhood and equality, essentially making her a mascot of the women's movement". This perception shifted over the years, as demonstrated in December 2016 when the United Nations decided to drop the title of "honorary ambassador for the empowerment of women and girls" which it had given to the comic book character Wonder Woman a few months prior, in a ceremony attended by the actors who had portrayed her (Lynda Carter and Gal Gadot). The title was eliminated in response to a petition signed by 44,000 people which argued that Wonder Woman undermines female empowerment due to her costume, described as a "shimmery, thigh-baring bodysuit with an American flag motif and knee-high boots". The petition stated that "it is alarming that the United Nations would consider using a character with an overtly sexualised image at a time when the headline news in United States and the world is the objectification of women and girls". Wonder Woman director Patty Jenkins responded to both the petition and to the U.N.'s decision by stating that she thinks "that that's sexist. I think it's sexist to say you can't have both. I have to ask myself what I would apply to any other superhero".
Magic (Formerly): When she was a child, Diana was marked by the goddess Hecate and bestowed with a fraction of her magical ability. This power lay dormant until it was activated by the Upside-Down Man. Zatanna remarked that Wonder Woman's magical power was unlike anything she had ever seen or felt, and Diana possessed at least enough power to cast out the Upside-Down Man, an immensely powerful demon, from the world. After the Justice League Dark defeated Hecate, the Witchmarked's power was taken from them and absorbed by Circe.
After saving Zola from Hades, Wonder Woman tries to protect her further from Apollo, as it is prophesied that one of Zeus' children will be his downfall whom Apollo considers to be Zola's child. 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. This man is later revealed to be Zeus' first son, known only as First Born, who seeks to rule over Olympus and the rest of the world, and take Diana as his bride.[volume & issue needed]
As her injuries healed, Wonder Woman and her friends spent some time on New Genesis. She spoke to Highfather, who agreed to let her return to Earth. As soon as Diana and her friends returned to Earth, Orion decided to go with them. Arriving to London, they realized the First Born had wrecked the entire city and killed Lennox. The First Born summoned an army of hyena men to kill the intruders but Ares arrived to help Wonder Woman in the fight.
Arcane Lore Expert: Wonder Woman, as both an Amazon demigoddess and an antiquities expert, possesses immense knowledge of and skill in wielding mystical artifacts and arcane lore, notably her Sword of Athena and Lasso of Hestia. Her encyclopedic knowledge was demonstrated when Wonder Woman reacted in dismay to Lex Luthor's speech (knowing how he had twisted the Olympians' history concerning Zeus and Prometheus), when she instantly identified a Parademon in Commissioner Gordon's sketch, and when she explained the history behind Steppenwolf and the 3 Mother Boxes to the remainder of the Justice League.
Wonder Woman has been featured in various media from radio to television and film, and appears in merchandise sold around the world, such as apparel, toys, dolls, jewelry, and video games. Shannon Farnon, Susan Eisenberg, Maggie Q, Lucy Lawless, Keri Russell, Michelle Monaghan, Rosario Dawson, Cobie Smulders, and Halsey among others, have provided the character's voice for animated adaptations. Wonder Woman has been depicted in both film and television by Cathy Lee Crosby, Lynda Carter, and in the DC Extended Universe films by Gal Gadot.
Wonder Woman and the other heroes were finally released from the Firestorm Matrix when Batman used the Lasso of Truth on Firestorm. Superman was still infected with the Kryptonite shard inside his nervous system, but Lex Luthor was able to extract it, saving Superman's life. Luthor also assembled a group of villains that defeated the Crime Syndicate. Later, at the Batcave, Wonder Woman and the Justice League talked about the enemy that destroyed the Crime Syndicate's world and came to the conclusion that Darkseid would return.
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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.
As Wonder Woman returned to her apartment, Hermes brought her to Olympus, where the gods declared her the new Goddess of War. Diana asked Apollo to restore Hera's godhood, but Apollo refused. Diana returned to London, and Apollo told her that she would not be able to ignore her responsibilities as Goddess of War for long. Diana was still angry at Hermes for his betrayal and asked him to leave, with Hermes stating that, just like she forgave Hera, perhaps in the future, she would forgive him.
The next day, they decided to infiltrate Ludendorff's gala to learn more about the weapon he and Doctor Poison are creating and how to stop it. To enter the gala, Diana stole a dress from a guest where she dances with. She is prepared to kill Ludendorff, but her attempt is intervened by Steve. She hears Ludendorff release some of the gas where it kills citizens from that town.
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:
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