Steve Trevor's secretary who befriends Diana.[44] Describing her character, Davis said, "She's a woman in a man's world and so being heard and seen aren't the easiest things, but it kind of doesn't deter her", adding, "Etta is unapologetically herself and I think that that's the thing that has drawn me to her the most".[45] When asked if she was previously familiar with the character, Davis responded, "No. I wasn't. It took me a while to know that I was auditioning for Etta because even when I found out it was Wonder Woman, I still had no idea what the role was. It took a little while then I Googled the character".[46] On Etta Candy's relationship with Steve Trevor, Davis said, "One of the great things that Etta gets to work with Steve Trevor is because Steve is not your typical man, in that he does entrust her with things that in 1918 probably wouldn't have been entrusted to a secretary of somebody who is quite important", further explaining, "So I think that [Trevor] needs her just as much as she needs that because now she's been given responsibility that she wouldn't have normally be given before, and equally he has somebody who could probably fly under the radar a bit. So he can trust the person who no one's really looking at".[47]
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.[26] 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.[27] Indeed, Zeus soon appeared to Superman with several allies under the banner of I.D.C.A.P. (Interfaith Deity Council of Active Polytheistics).[28]
Superhuman Senses: Wonder Woman, due to her demigoddess physiology, has all of her senses superhumanly enhanced, much like those of Superman. This allowed her to clearly see Steve Trevor from miles away when his plane crash-landed near Themyscira. While talking to Bruce Wayne outside his lake house, Wonder Woman was able to spot Cyborg behind a tree spying on them.
After defeating Giganta in battle, Wonder Woman was approached by a lawyer who informed her that she had inherited the estate of Hercules, who had been killed.[89] Shortly thereafter, she was told by A.R.G.U.S. that Hercules' body came from an area containing traces of energy unique to Apokolips. Diana visited Hercules' home and found a letter addressed to her, informing her of the location of her twin brother, Jason. She found him in Greece,[90] and the two seemingly began to bond, only for Jason to turn against Diana after the arrival of Grail, who he had secretly allied himself with.[91] Grail had begun killing children of the earthly gods in order to use their divine power to restore her father Darkseid to adulthood, as he had been turned into a baby at the end of the Darkseid War. Jason allied himself with her in order to exact revenge on Wonder Woman, as he resented her for not seeking him out after she learned of his existence some time ago and was envious of her. However, as Darkseid was about to drain Diana's life force, Jason regretted his actions and joined Wonder Woman in battle against Grail and Darkseid. Then, Hercules' lawyer revealed his true identity as the King of the Gods himself, Zeus.[92] Zeus fought Darkseid while Wonder Woman took on his daughter, Grail. Ultimately, Zeus was defeated and his life force was drained by Darkseid, restoring the Apokoliptian to his full adult form. The Justice League arrived, forcing Darkseid and Grail to retreat through a Boom Tube. In the aftermath of the battle, Diana forgave her brother for his deceit.[93]

When faced with a larger threat, Diana will wear her Amazon battle armour for added protection as well as use martial weapons such as swords. Technically speaking as well, as reimagined under the George Perez 1980s reboot, the iconic costume is in fact simply the breastplate of this armour. She will also additionally use a shield for added defense when she deems it necessary.
Although seemingly only a purely decorative aspect of her costume, in the golden and silver ages, her earrings were sometimes depicted as giving her the ability to breathe in outer space. Gelignite Grenade Earrings and Grappling Hook Bracelet - In her depowered mod girl phase, Diana on rare occasion employed these devices, which were concealed to look like regular parts of her costume. She acquired them from a demolitions expert and villain which she had helped reform. The grenades were strong enough to blast through a thick steel door and the grappling hook could support easily her body weight to aid in climbing.
When Hippolyta and the other Amazons were trapped in a demonic dimension, she started receiving visions about the death of Wonder Woman.[107] 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, thus protecting Diana from her supposed fate.[108] The participants of the final round were Diana and Artemis, and with the help of some mystic manipulation by Hippolyta, Artemis won the contest.[109] Thus, Diana was forced to hand over her title and costume to Artemis, who became the new Wonder Woman and Diana started fighting crime in an alternate costume.[110] Artemis later died in battle with the White Magician – thus, Hippolyta's vision of a dying Wonder Woman did come true, albeit not of Diana as Wonder Woman.[111] Diana once again became Wonder Woman, a request made by Artemis in her last seconds. Artemis would later return as Requiem. Prior to Artemis' death, Hippolyta would admit to her daughter about her own part in Artemis' death, which strained their relationship as Diana was unable to forgive her mother for sending another Amazon to her death knowingly for the sake of saving her own daughter.
In an October 25, 1940, interview with the Family Circle magazine, William Moulton Marston discussed the unfulfilled potential of the comic book medium.[19] 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.[20] 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:[21]
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Hermes Action Comics #267 (August 1960) Hermes is the Messenger of the Gods, and the God of Thievery, Speed, Travel, and Commerce who is based on the god of the same name. Post-Crisis, Hermes was one of Wonder Woman's earliest allies. He was eventually killed by Circe during the War of the Gods, but Wonder Woman freed him much later from Tartarus. In the New 52, the bird-like Hermes was a close ally to Wonder Woman and aided in protecting Zeke, the reincarnation of Zeus. Post-Rebirth, Hermes took the form of a tortoise and aided Wonder Woman alongside several other gods.

Although the Amazons were back to normal, Hippolyta was still a statue, and Hera could not restore her back to life. Zola wanted to leave the island, but Diana told her she and her child were safer with the Amazons. Diana addressed the Amazons and declared her intentions to end the Amazons' isolation and that every Amazon must protect Zeke, a male child.[43]
A ho-hum end to James Robinson's ho-hum run on Wonder Woman. Most things to come out of Dark Nights: Metal have been crap and that trend continues with these Dark Gods. They are so damn generic, with titles like Mob God, and God with No Name. James Robinson used to be one of my favorite comic book writers in the 90's but he's really shit the bed the last several years. The only good thing to come of this run is that Jason's story line is finally over. That tool is pretty much useless. I'm also g ...more
When last we left Wonder Woman #49, the battle brewing ever since DC's METAL cracked open the Multiverse seemed to be reaching its climax. With the Dark Gods playing similar roles to the Greek pantheon, but with all-powerful demands, enslaving humanity, Diana and her twin brother Jason were splitting up to oppose them around the globe. Just as they seemed to knock back their leader, King Best, the Dark Gods launch an assault on Jason.
When Hippolyta and the other Amazons were trapped in a demonic dimension, she started receiving visions about the death of Wonder Woman.[107] 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, thus protecting Diana from her supposed fate.[108] The participants of the final round were Diana and Artemis, and with the help of some mystic manipulation by Hippolyta, Artemis won the contest.[109] Thus, Diana was forced to hand over her title and costume to Artemis, who became the new Wonder Woman and Diana started fighting crime in an alternate costume.[110] Artemis later died in battle with the White Magician – thus, Hippolyta's vision of a dying Wonder Woman did come true, albeit not of Diana as Wonder Woman.[111] Diana once again became Wonder Woman, a request made by Artemis in her last seconds. Artemis would later return as Requiem. Prior to Artemis' death, Hippolyta would admit to her daughter about her own part in Artemis' death, which strained their relationship as Diana was unable to forgive her mother for sending another Amazon to her death knowingly for the sake of saving her own daughter.
An American pilot and the love interest of Diana.[21][22] On his role for the film, Pine said, "I am an American pilot who's a spy. It's like a boy's dream: You're either a spy or a fighter pilot. The first thing I wanted to be was a fighter pilot a long time ago. I wanted to be Goose [from Top Gun]".[15] As to how his mortal character would interact with an Amazon, Pine stated, "When I first read the script, it had elements of Romancing the Stone, kind of a very classic fish out of water. Two people that don't really bond well at first and they're butting heads and just fun, witty banter".[15] When speaking about meeting the director and being cast, Pine said, "Patty is a pretty incredible human being. When we first met about the part of Steve, she sat across from me and essentially acted out the entire film over the course of a two-hour lunch. She was so specific, so articulate, and so ardent. I would've said yes just for Patty alone."[23] Pine went through a workout regimen for the film, commenting, "I got in incredible shape for this film" but also joking "I was also wearing about 75 pounds of clothing. What I realized is that I made a major mistake, I got in great shape and they just put clothes over all my hard work."[24]
DC Comics Executive Editor Dan DiDio asked fans for 600 postcards to restore the Wonder Woman comic book to the original numbering, starting at #600. The publisher's office had received 712 postcards by the October 31, 2009 deadline. As a result, the numbering switched to #600 after Wonder Woman #44, in an anniversary issue. Issue #600 featured several stories featuring work from guest creators such as Geoff Johns, George Pérez, Phil Jimenez, and Amanda Conner. The issue featured guest appearances from other female superheroes such as Batwoman, Power Girl, Batgirl, Stargirl and the Question.[9]
Diana, after her death, was granted divinity as the Goddess of Truth by her gods for such faithful devotion.[78] During her brief time as a god of Olympus, Diana was replaced in the role of Wonder Woman by her mother, Queen Hippolyta.[79] 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.[80] 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.
Although the Amazons were back to normal, Hippolyta was still a statue, and Hera could not restore her back to life. Zola wanted to leave the island, but Diana told her she and her child were safer with the Amazons. Diana addressed the Amazons and declared her intentions to end the Amazons' isolation and that every Amazon must protect Zeke, a male child.[43]

Fans of modern day comic book characters would have some difficulty relating to characters from the early golden age, and Wonder Woman is no exception. In her first appearance in the comics, she has obviously fulfilled the role of an icon for readers, but so too did her secret identity, Diana Prince. The character was created in a time when different cultural and societal norms existed in North America.
The second storyline focuses on Wonder Woman's quest to rescue Zola from Hades, who had abducted her and taken her to Hell at the end of the sixth issue of the series.[69][70][71][72] The male Amazons are introduced and their origin story is revealed- the Amazons used to infrequently invade the ships coming near the island and force themselves on the sailors, and then kill them. After nine months, the birth of the female children are highly celebrated and inducted into the proper ranks of the Amazons while the male children are rejected. In order to save the children from being killed by the Amazons, Hephaestus trades them with the Amazons in exchange for weapons.[69]
Wonder Woman received a largely positive response from film critics, with some calling it the DC Extended Universe's best film, with additional praise highlighting Jenkins's direction, acting, chemistry of Gadot and Pine, musical score, and action sequences.[8][203] On the review aggregator Rotten Tomatoes, the film holds an approval rating of 93% based on 425 reviews, with an average rating of 7.66/10. The website's critical consensus reads, "Thrilling, earnest, and buoyed by Gal Gadot's charismatic performance, Wonder Woman succeeds in spectacular fashion."[204] It is the second highest-rated superhero film on the site.[10][note 1] On Metacritic, the film has a weighted average score of 76 out of 100, based on 50 critics, indicating "generally favorable reviews".[205] Audiences polled by CinemaScore gave the film an average grade of "A" on an A+ to F scale, while PostTrak reported filmgoers gave it an 85% overall positive score and a 73% "definite recommend".[206]
When she is preparing for the final game (Teaming up with Supergirl, Starfire, Bumblebee and Batgirl against Lobo, Maxima, Bleez, Mongal and Blackfire), the competition is interrupted by Lena Luthor. Wonder Woman starts putting civilians safe, including the Embassador, who, out of fear, orders her to star with him to protect him. She refuses and returns to the batlle, angering the Embassador. She fight Lena and then Brainiac. Upon their defeat, Wonder Woman rejoins with her mother, thinking she dissapointed her by no following the Embassador orders, but Hippolyta is proud instead, stating that Wonder Woman will be an amazing Queen.
With Zola's pregnancy reaching full term, she insisted on seeing her own doctor in Michigan. While there, they were all attacked by Artemis and Apollo. Unprepared, Diana and her companions were defeated, and Zola was taken to Mount Olympus to be delivered to Hera in exchange for the throne. Apparently, Hera was willing to give up her throne for the sake of revenge.[24] However, she had expected Zeus to return as soon as his rule was threatened, which he did not. When Apollo sat on the throne, he was crowned ruler, and when he learned of Hera's deceit, he exiled her from Olympus.
^ Colluccio, Ali. "Top 5: Wonder Woman Reboots". iFanboy. Archived from the original on April 12, 2012. Retrieved April 10, 2012. After she was "erased" from existence in the final pages of Crisis on Infinite Earths, George Perez, Len Wein and Greg Potter brought the Amazon Princess back to the DC Universe. While the basics of the story remained the same, Wonder Woman;s powers were adjusted to include Beauty from Aphrodite, Strength from Demeter, Wisdom from Athena, Speed and Flight from Hermes, Eyes of the Hunter from Artemis, and Truth from Hestia. This run established Paradise Island as the mythical Amazon capital, Themyscira. Perez's Diana is not only strong and smart, but graceful and kind – the iconic Wonder Woman.
Hephaestus Action Comics #267 (August 1960) Hephaestus is the God of Fire, Blacksmithing, Forgery, Artisan, Craftsmenship, Sculptors, Metals and Volcano who is based on the god of the same name. Many of Wonder Woman's weapons and armor have been forged by Hephaestus. In the New 52, the hideous Hephaestus had taken in the male Amazons abandoned by the Themysciran Amazons. Post-Rebirth, Hephaestus took the form of a mouse and aided Wonder Woman with several other gods.
In the following days, Diana soon uncovered Ares, who exposed her to be the God Killer, having been originally conceived to be the ultimate weapon against her brother. Following this revelation, a fierce battle ensued, where Diana fulfilled her purpose in freeing mankind from Ares' influence. The loss of Steve in World War I had left Diana sobered, but she vowed to protect humanity whenever she was needed, albeit in a cautious and distant way.
Superhuman Reflexes: Wonder Woman's speed also extends to her reflexes, even if she is not moving at super speed, because when a German soldier fired her weapon past her, she could perceive the bullet as if it were moving in slow motion. She repeatedly used this skill to deflect bullets with her Bracelets of Submission and block the blows of her opponents with ease. One hundred years later, Wonder Woman's reflexes improve further, to the point that she was able to block all of the rapid machine-gun shots of a British terrorist with her bracelets, leaving the people standing behind her unscathed. When she dropped her sword mid-battle with Parademons, Wonder Woman was able to perceive Flash super speeding towards her fallen weapon, and hence outstretched her hand while he returned the sword to her grasp. Her reflexes were not powerful enough to contend with those of Flash or resurrected Superman, however, as Superman managed to grasp Wonder Woman's Bracelets of Submission before she could clash them.

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.[173] 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.[174]


After, she encounters Apollo and Artemis. A fight ensues while lead to the capture of Zola. Using Hermes caduceus, they teleport to Olympus and the following events occur: Hermes gives Diana the ability of flight after poking her with a mystical feather, and two, Diana shows off her "God Mode" off to the goddess Artemis, revealing that taking off her bracelets augments her strength.

As early as the 1950s,[210] Wonder Woman's tiara has also been used as a razor-edged throwing weapon, returning to her like a boomerang.[183] 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.[63]


^ Sanderson, Peter (September–October 1981). "Thomas/Colan Premiere Wonder Woman's New Look". Comics Feature. New Media Publishing (12/13): 23. The hotly-debated new Wonder Woman uniform will be bestowed on the Amazon Princess in her first adventure written and drawn by her new creative team: Roy Thomas and Gene Colan...This story will appear as an insert in DC Comics Presents #41.

Bracelets of Submission: Like all Amazons, Wonder Woman wears two nigh-indestructible gauntlets as part of her armor. They are incredibly durable, capable of deflecting even Ares' massive bolts of lightning and Doomsday's tremendously powerful and destructive thermal attack. Due to her powers as a demigoddess, she also has the ability to create a massive wave of energy outwards when she clashes them together.
As Diana, Victor and Arthur all try to simultaneously flank Superman (albeit unsuccessfully), Barry attempts to help using his speed, but Superman is able to see him and keeps up with the speedster. Despite Barry's best efforts, Superman is able to land a glancing blow, knocking him out before Batman arrives and gets Superman to stop. Wonder Woman tries to fight Superman again, yet she's knocked down. He then swats Batman and asks him the same question that Bruce asked him "Tell me, do you bleed?". Before Superman could kill Bruce, Lois and Alfred to stop him.
Hera Sea Devils #14 (November–December 1963) Hera is the Queen of the Gods, Goddess of Marriage, Home, Women, Childbirth, and Family who is based on the goddess of the same name. Post-Crisis, she destroyed Themyscira after finding Zeus leering at Artemis of the Bana-Mighdall. In the New 52, Hera initially appears antagonistic, though after her immortality and powers are stripped from her by Apollo, she joins Wonder Woman in her quest to protect the reincarnated Zeus. Post-Rebirth, she appeared as a peacock and aided Wonder Woman alongside several other gods.
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. Initially, it was portrayed as being transparent.[citation needed]
Genius-Level Intellect: Wonder Woman is extremely intelligent, wise, well-read, perceptive, and sophisticated, primarily due to her tremendously long immortal lifespan, natural fluency in all human languages (even dead ones, like Latin, Ancient Greek, Sumerian, and Ottoman Turkish), her having read many books even while still on Themyscira, and her century of living in "Man's World" after World War I, all of which makes Wonder Woman the wisest and most emotionally intelligent member of the Justice League, despite her having initially been naive, headstrong, and idealistic at the time of leaving Themyscira with Steve Trevor. As such, Wonder Woman has no issues blending in with the high-class society of "Man's World." She held her own while verbally sparring with Batman (with the extremely experienced vigilante having trouble discerning her identity), was the first to realize that Doomsday's adaptive healing factor was energy-based, and was the only one on supergenius Lex Luthor's metahuman list to figure out that Lex was keeping tabs on her and had obtained a compromising photo of her with Steve Trevor (possibly due to her having been once been fooled by another deceitful supervillain, Ares). She also displays a keen understanding of technology and biomechatronics, shown when Wonder Woman uses the Batcomputer, remarks on Cyborg's Mother Box enhancements,[12] and when she deduced that resurrecting Superman with a Mother Box might produce a monster like Doomsday. Wonder Woman's intellectual genius extends itself to her combat, perceptiveness, stealth, arcane lore, and antiquities dealing skills.
Hidden behind this controversy is one reason for all those chains and ropes, which has to do with the history of the fight for women’s rights. Because Marston kept his true relationship with Olive Byrne a secret, he kept his family’s ties to Margaret Sanger a secret, too. Marston, Byrne and Holloway, and even Harry G. Peter, the artist who drew Wonder Woman, had all been powerfully influenced by the suffrage, feminism and birth control movements. And each of those movements had used chains as a centerpiece of its iconography.
In order to defeat them, Superman and Wonder Woman collected the magic armor created by Hephaestus and intercepted Zod and Faora while they were building a portal to the Phantom Zone. At first, they defeated Zod and Faora by detonating their armor at point-blank range, but Zod and Faora were revitalized by a beam of sunlight sent by Apollo, which gave the criminals enough strength to beat Superman and Wonder Woman and trap them in an abandoned nuclear reactor. As a last-ditch effort to stop their enemies, Superman and Wonder Woman caused a nuclear explosion, but not before Clark told Diana that he loved her. The explosion trapped Zod and Faora back in the Phantom Zone, and Superman shielded Wonder Woman with his cape.[62] The two heroes barely survived the explosion and Superman took Diana to Hessia, who used a healing crystal to save her.[63]
The New 52 universe does not have a "Diana Prince" identity as stated in an interview by series writer Brian Azzarello.[67] However, when she and Superman began dating, for her civilian identity she used the Diana Prince alias whenever she was around Clark Kent; such as when she introduced herself to Lois Lane at Lois's housewarming party under that name.[68]
Throughout Diana's childhood, she was training and sparring with her Amazonian sisters. One day when pilots were test flying, one of the pilots called Steve Trevor, has an accident with his plane, and Hippolyta opens Themyscira's shields and disguise, and Steve Trevor lands his plane on Paradise Island. Steve then proceeds to explore the island, and that's where he finds beautiful women bathing, but while staring at the women, Diana surprises him from behind and takes him out by kicking him in his testicles. Steve is then strapped up because of Hippolyta keeping him safe until someone proves worthy enough to escort him back to the USA. Wonder Woman while covered in a helmet, wins the challenges and gets to escort Steve back home, but while the challenges were going on, a traitor in the Amazons freed Ares because she loved him. Ares is free, and he goes to Hades so he could remove the bracelets blocking his powers.Throughout being in USA, Diana also tries to stop Ares' plans as Wonder Woman, but she fails the first time, and Ares gets ahold of the power he was searching for. After calling in his army, the US finds an island that appeared out of nowhere on the map, that being Paradise Island. They set off a nuke towards Paradise Island, and Steve manages to stop it, and at the same time, Wonder Woman defeats Ares with help from her Amazonian sisters. She realizes her feelings for Steve, and she kisses him, but when being back in Paradise Island, she looked sad. Hippolyta allowed her to operate in the outside world where she shared her feelings and her life with Steve.
Wonder Woman's advocacy for women rights and 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.[255][256] Rucka stated, "... nobody at DC Comics has ever said, [Wonder Woman] gotta be straight. Nobody. Ever. They've never blinked at this."[253] Rucka stated that in his opinion, she "has to be" queer and has "obviously" had same-sex relationships on an island surrounded by beautiful women.[257][258] This follows the way Wonder Woman was written in the alternate continuity or non-canon Earth One by Grant Morrison,[259] and fellow Wonder Woman writer Gail Simone staunchly supported Rucka's statement.[260] Surprised at the amount of backlash from her fanbase, Rucka responded to "haters" that consensual sex with women is just as important to Wonder Woman as the Truth is to Superman.[261]
Carolyn Cocca has stated that Wonder Woman possesses a "duality of character" due to the character possessing both feminine and masculine qualities in her physical abilities and attitude, which Cocca felt made her more appealing to a wide audience.[224] Wonder Woman's first female editor, Karen Berger, claimed that, "Wonder Woman [is] a great role model to young women, but also contains many elements that appeal to males as well. Wonder Woman crosses the gender line.".[224] Berger worked with George Pérez on the new issues of Wonder Woman starting in 1987, and the new Diana "works with friends and allies to teach lessons of peace and equality."[225]
Gaines decided he needed another expert. He turned to Lauretta Bender, an associate professor of psychiatry at New York University’s medical school and a senior psychiatrist at Bellevue Hospital, where she was director of the children’s ward, an expert on aggression. She’d long been interested in comics but her interest had grown in 1940, after her husband, Paul Schilder, was killed by a car while walking home from visiting Bender and their 8-day-old daughter in the hospital. Bender, left with three children under the age of 3, soon became painfully interested in studying how children cope with trauma. In 1940, she conducted a study with Reginald Lourie, a medical resident under her supervision, investigating the effect of comics on four children brought to Bellevue Hospital for behavioral problems. Tessie, 12, had witnessed her father, a convicted murderer, kill himself. She insisted on calling herself Shiera, after a comic-book girl who is always rescued at the last minute by the Flash. Kenneth, 11, had been raped. He was frantic unless medicated or “wearing a Superman cape.” He felt safe in it—he could fly away if he wanted to—and “he felt that the cape protected him from an assault.” Bender and Lourie concluded the comic books were “the folklore of this age,” and worked, culturally, the same way fables and fairy tales did.
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