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.
John is a long-time pop culture fan, comics historian, and blogger. He is currently the Editor-in-Chief at Comics Nexus. Prior to being EIC he has produced several column series including DEMYTHIFY, NEAR MINT MEMORIES and the ONE FAN'S TRIALS at the Nexus plus a stint at Bleeding Cool producing the COMICS REALISM column. As BabosScribe, John is active on his twitter account, his facebook page and welcomes any and all feedback. Bring it on!
Steve Trevor's secretary who befriends Diana. 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". 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". 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".
^ Garcia, Joe. "The Best & Worst of DC Comics' New 52, One Year Later". Front Towards Gamer. Archived from the original on September 10, 2012. Retrieved September 5, 2012. Despite being one part of the Justice League's "Holy Trinity", Wonder Woman never seems to get the recognition that she deserves. While she might not be invincible, her strength is second only to Superman and she's arguably a better fighter. Her solo outings, however, were rarely very interesting. The New 52 put an end to that injustice, with Brian Azzarello and Cliff Chiang spearheading one of the best books DC is putting out. Azzarello currently has Wonder Woman tearing through the ranks of Greek mythology, and Chiang's art manages to be intense despite his use of softer lines. If you're not reading Wonder Woman, go rectify that.
Although they do not appear in Justice League: War, the Olympian Gods are briefly mentioned by Wonder Woman during a conversation with Superman about the other five heroes, referencing Batman as Hades (who is just as dark and mysterious just as Maxie Zeus did in the "Fire From Olympus" episode of Batman: The Animated Series), Green Lantern as Apollo (the God of Light), Flash as Hermes (the Messenger of Olympus and God of Speed), Cyborg as Hephaestus (the Blacksmith of Olympus and God of Metal) and Shazam as Zeus (God of Lightning).
A warning that is first heard from the lips of Cheetah as she attempts to escape captivity, yet is echoed by others around the globe, all putting Wonder Woman on alert. As she attempts to investigate, she is attacked by Supergirl, wanting vengeance for the death of Rao, as the influence has gotten to her as well. An epic battle breaks out, and once again, the trusty Lasso of Truth saves the day, though barely.
In the Silver Age, Wonder Woman's history received several changes. Her earlier origin, which had significant ties to World War II, was changed 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 also introduced during this period.
Arriving at Chernobyl, Wonder Woman, Orion, Siracca and Hermes engaged Cassandra's forces to save Milan. Cassandra threatened to kill Milan if Wonder Woman did not reveal the First Born's location. Wonder Woman told her the First Born was in Olympus, but as she left, Cassandra strapped a bomb to Milan's chest. To contain the explosion, Orion took Milan through a boom tube. Returning home, Wonder Woman discovered Zola and Zeke had left, as Zola felt guilty that people were risking their lives to protect them.
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Diana is depicted as a masterful athlete, acrobat, fighter and strategist, trained and experienced in many ancient and modern forms of armed and unarmed combat, including exclusive Amazonian martial arts. With her godlike abilities of incalculable superhuman strength, nigh-invulnerability, speed, flight, healing factor and semi-immortality, Diana’s fighting prowess is enhanced. In some versions, her mother trained her, as Wonder Girl, for a future career as Wonder Woman. From the beginning, she is portrayed as highly skilled in using her Amazon bracelets to stop bullets and in wielding her golden lasso. Batman once called her the "best melee fighter in the world". The modern version of the character is known to use lethal force when she deems it necessary. In the New 52 continuity, her superior combat skills are the result of her Amazon training, as well as receiving further training from Ares, the God of War, himself, since as early as her childhood. The Golden Age Wonder Woman also had knowledge in psychology, as did her Amazon sisters.
“Noted Psychologist Revealed as Author of Best-Selling ‘Wonder Woman,’” read the astonishing headline. In the summer of 1942, a press release from the New York offices of All-American Comics turned up at newspapers, magazines and radio stations all over the United States. The identity of Wonder Woman’s creator had been “at first kept secret,” it said, but the time had come to make a shocking announcement: “the author of ‘Wonder Woman’ is Dr. William Moulton Marston, internationally famous psychologist.” The truth about Wonder Woman had come out at last.
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.
After Crisis on Infinite Earths, the character’s origin was slightly retold by Greg Potter and George Perez. In this version, the Amazons were reincarnations of the souls of abused and murdered women from ancient days. In 1200 B.C. a debate occurred on Mount Olympus on how mankind should be made to relate to the gods. Ares, the god of war and destruction, wanted to descend upon the world with his army and crush mankind submission. This was opposed by the others gods present including Artemis, who wanted peace and suggested creating a new race that would lead humans on the right path. Zeus rejected their arguments, and they decided to proceed without his blessing. With the aid of Charon the ferryman, the gods reached the Womb of Gaea, where the souls of women who were abused and murdered at the hands of men were preserved by Gaea herself. Artemis then sent the souls to Greece where they reincarnated into adult women. Aphrodite observed that one soul still remains in the Womb, to which Athena replied that the time had not yet come for that one. The new race in Greece were approached by the goddesses, who bestowed upon them several blessings, charging them with the purpose of leading humanity in the ways of Gaea. They then appointed Hippolyte and Antiope as co-rulers. The civilization is named the Amazons. Stories of this civilization spread throughout Greece and reached the ears of Heracles, who was being manipulated by Ares into attacking the Amazons. Heracles approached the Amazons but was defeated by Hippolyte, upon which he pretended friendship and declared the Amazons allies. When their guard was down, the Greeks drugged the Amazons, taking Hippolyte, Antiope and the other survivors captive. In her cell, Hippolyte is freed by Athena ,who reminds her of her purpose and asked her to avoid revenge and pursue peaceful means. Hippolyte escaped and freed the rest of the Amazons. She shared Athena's message to the Amazons, but blinded by their thirst for revenge, they ruthlessly slaughter the remaining men. Antiope gave Hippolyta her girdle and left to pursue revenge The goddesses appeared and told them they had failed in their purpose and banished them to an island to guard the terrible evil within, as penance. They were granted immortality as long as they did not stray from their new purpose, which would eventually purify their souls. The Amazons built a nation and lived there for 4,000 years. It is during this time that Hippolyte, sole leader of the Amazons, felt an unexplained yearning. Menalippe, the Oracle, told her she was the only Amazon pregnant at the time of her previous incarnation's death, and thus the yearning she felt was the call of her unborn child. As per her advise, Hippolyte went to the shore at sunrise and made a clay figure of a baby. She then cried out to Artemis. The gods, recognizing it was time for the remaining soul in Gaea's womb to depart, infused it into the clay form, which then incarnated as a real child. Blessed with Gaea's greatest gift, life, the gods present bestowed their gifts upon the newborn: Demeter granted the baby great strength, Aphrodite granted her great beauty and a loving heart, Athena granted her great wisdom, Artemis granted her the eye of the hunter and unity with beasts, Hestia granted her sisterhood with fire, and Hermes gave her great speed and the power of flight. Hippolyte named her after a holy warrior, Diana, and she grew up knowing the love of a thousand mothers. Thus Diana of Themyscira was born.
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.
Diana quickly regained her sanity and was taken out of the mental hospital's care. She immediately noted the absence of Barbara and set out to locate her. However, when she arrived at Empire Enterprises, she was greeted only by Doctor Cyber. Cale set Team Poison onto Wonder Woman once again, and Colonel Poison managed to shoot Diana through the chest. Diana and Steve quickly overcame their forces and followed Veronica Cale and Cheetah to a gateway that led to Themyscira. Wonder Woman and Cheetah fought, and a drop of Diana's blood fell onto the gateway which opened the portal to Ares' prison beneath Themyscira. Phobos and Deimos, whom Cale had turned into dogs with the help of Circe, entered the portal, along with Diana and Veronica Cale. Veronica found her daughter beside Ares.
A fight broke out among the heroes for possession of the box and was only ended when John Constantine took the box, being the only one capable of doing so without being corrupted. Zatanna and Constantine took the box to the temple of Hephaestus, where the three Justice Leagues had converged again. After yet another battle between heroes, the box went dormant and the Justice Leagues discovered a Kryptonite sliver in Superman’s nervous system, placed there by the Atomica, a traitor working for the Outsider, leader of the Secret Society. Then, the Outsider used the box to open a path across universes, allowing the Crime Syndicate to enter the Justice Leagues' world.