Wonder Woman is the most popular female comic-book superhero of all time. Aside from Superman and Batman, no other comic-book character has lasted as long. Generations of girls have carried their sandwiches to school in Wonder Woman lunchboxes. Like every other superhero, Wonder Woman has a secret identity. Unlike every other superhero, she also has a secret history.
As one of the longest continually published comic book characters, Wonder Woman’s history has undergone some changes over the years, though a few elements remain consistent in all of her depictions. She is the princess of the Amazons, a race of women who live free of men on Paradise Island (later dubbed Themyscira). After growing up on this island, Wonder Woman (whom her mother named Diana) journeys to Man’s World on a mission of diplomacy, peace, and love.
Wonder Woman is trained in the a variety of martial arts, making her a master of unarmed and armed combat (even proving adept with pistols). Before Flashpoint Batman considered Diana the best melee fighter on the planet, even putting her ahead of Superman, due to the combination of her power and the depth of her training. Even when depowered, she is on par with some of the best hand-to-hand combatants in the DC Universe.
The "Lies" story arc runs parallel with and explores Diana's search. No longer able to get into Mount Olympus, Diana tracks down Barbara Ann Minerva, the Cheetah, to get help.[161][162] Cheetah agrees to help in exchange for Diana aiding her in killing the god Urzkartaga and ending Minerva's curse. The pair battle their way through Urzkartaga's minions, the Bouda, and defeat Andres Cadulo, a worshiper of Urzkartaga that planned to sacrifice Steve Trevor to the plant god. Once reverted to her human form, Minerva agreed to help Wonder Woman find her way back to Paradise Island. During this time, Wonder Woman reconnects with Steve. Minerva eventually realizes Paradise Island is an embodiment of emotion instead of a physical place, so Wonder Woman and Steve head out to find the island. They succeed and Wonder Woman is greeted by her mother and sisters, though Steve senses something is wrong. Wonder Woman comes to realize nothing is as she remembers and, upon using the Lasso of Truth, discovers everything she thought she knew was a lie: she never really returned to Themyscira after departing with Steve years earlier. The revelation shatters Diana's mind and she is left nearly insane. Veronica Cale, a businesswoman who has been desiring to find Themyscira and the leader of Godwatch, sends a military group called Poison after her, but Diana's state has left her vulnerable and oblivious to the danger she and Steve are in. Steve wards them off long enough for them to be rescued, and reluctantly places Diana in a mental hospital so she can get help. While there she comes to grasp the reality she thought she knew was false, eventually coming out of her stupor and able to rejoin the others in tracking down Veronica Cale, who is trying to find Themyscira.

GenresuperheroCharactersWonder Woman [Diana of Themyscira]; Jason; Steve Trevor; The Dark Gods [King Best; Savage Fire; Mob God; Karnell; The God with No Name]; Isabella; Danny; unnamed London residents; Ai; Vitaly; unnamed shooting victims; unnamed Chinese residents; unnamed A.R.G.U.S. staffSynopsisWonder Woman and Jason battle King Best in Washington, while the other Dark Gods attack other parts of the world. Jason then pursues Savage Fire to Paraguay.Reprints

Unfortunately, not long after Diana left, Hera came for her vengeance, and though she could not bring herself to kill Hippolyta, she could not forgive her either. Feeling regret at giving up the only real family she had, Wonder Woman returned to Themyscira to find the Amazons absent, and her mother turned to stone.[17] Shortly after, Wonder Woman encountered Lennox, a man who claimed to be another of Zeus' bastard children. After learning that Zeus has gone missing, they confronted the Gods of Olympus, Poseidon and Hades, in order to prevent them from taking over Zeus’ throne.[18] To prevent a war between gods, Diana proposed that the two brothers share Heaven with one ruling during the day, and the other at night. Hera angrily interceded, which was what Diana had planned, and using Hermes' staff she transported herself to Mount Olympus to face Hera alone. She warned that she would make Hera regret what she had done to her mother before returning to Earth. Unfortunately, by the time she had returned, Hades had kidnapped Zola with the warning that Diana would need to make good on her bargain or Zola and her child would die.[19]
Wonder Woman's outfit has varied over time, although almost all of her outfit incarnations have retained some form of chestplate, subligaculum, tiara, bracelets, and her signature five-pointed star symbols. When Wonder Woman was first introduced, she wore a heavily patriotic skirt and red top which incorporated an American eagle and elements of the United States flag, reflecting the comic's origins during World War II. Later artists introduced what would become Wonder Woman's classic ensemble, adding an armored plate to her top whose design recalls a letter W and revealing blue short shorts, whose precise length varied from artist to artist. Other artists have experimented with different looks for Wonder Woman over the years, including an all-white mod jumpsuit, a biker outfit, a variation of her mainstream depiction featuring leather pants and a jacket, and a number of armoured battlesuits. Contemporary artists have attempted to emphasise Wonder Woman's traditional outfit as a red armored top with a blue gladiator skirt.

Additionally, Mayling Ng, Florence Kasumba, Madeleine Vall Beijner, Hayley Jane Warnes and Ann Wolfe portray Orana, Acantha, Egeria, Aella and Artemis, respectively, all of whom are Amazons.[60][61][62][63] James Cosmo appears as Douglas Haig, Steffan Rhodri appears as Darnell, and Dutch supermodel Doutzen Kroes portrays the Amazon Venelia.[62] Samantha Jo was cast as the Amazonian Euboea, and previously played the Kryptonian, Car-Vex, in Man of Steel.[64] Zack Snyder also makes a brief cameo appearance in the film as an unnamed soldier.[65]
In March 2005, Warner Bros. and Silver Pictures announced that Joss Whedon would write and direct the film.[74] Early drafts of his screenplay included Steve Trevor as the narrator, a fierce battle between Diana and her mother over Trevor's welfare, and after leaving Themyscira, his need to frequently rescue a Diana rendered helpless by the modern world.[75] Whedon was not able to complete a final version of his screenplay, and left the project in 2007.[76][77]
Her outfit did not receive any prominent change until after the 2005–2006 Infinite Crisis storyline. Similar to her chestplate, her glowing belt was also shaped into a "W".[194] 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.[194]

One of the things I love about event comics is that sometimes even a middling to bad event can lead to a great spin-off or post event tie in. Day of Judgement gave us J.M. DeMatteis's run on The Spectre. Infinite Crisis gave us Jeff LeMire's great run on Superboy. While not a new series, Dark Nights Metal allowed James Robinson to have the near perfect ending to Jason's story in Wonder Woman.
Superhuman Strength: As a demigoddess, Wonder Woman possesses incredible superhuman strength, making her the second strongest member of the Justice League, only surpassed by Superman. She can effortlessly bend metal bars, slam through solid walls and reinforced glass, and pry open steel doors. Even before accessing her full divine powers, Wonder Woman was strong enough to dominate several Amazons during her training, knocking down one with a whip and another with a shield, as well as kicking Antiope's sword out of her hand. Wonder Woman's strength extends to her ability to leap great distances. In a bar fight, she was able to throw a man across a room with an effortless shove of her hand. She effortlessly lifted an adult man with one arm and held him in the air, and threw an armored Ehrhardt E-V/4 tank in the air with ease. She was also able to effortlessly knock down many German soldiers with her shield and lasso. Wonder Woman was also able to deflect a missile with her shield, and withstand hundreds of shots at a time on her shield, albeit with considerable effort, as well as deflecting with her bracelets bullets and energy blasts with relative ease. Diana's immense strength allowed her to fight Ares, the powerful God of War, despite the considerable divine power of her older brother, managing to grab him from the waist and throw him against the roof of a warehouse. However, she was still easily dominated by the much stronger Ares. After obtaining and releasing her true divine power, Wonder Woman was able to fight Ares to an even greater degree, managing to knock him down and hit him in the face twice, as well as defeat a small German battalion using only her strength, and raise a very large and heavy German tank without much effort, which weighed 29 tons.[11] One hundred years later, Wonder Woman had become powerful enough to face the powerful Kryptonian deformity known as Doomsday, with her blows being powerful enough for the monster to wobble, stopping a massive blow of the monster with her sword. She was even able to knock him down with one strike of her shield on one of Doomsday's legs, as well as cut a car thrown toward her by Doomsday in half. Wonder Woman was also able to fight several times against the powerful Steppenwolf, managing to take him from the waist, knock him down through a wall, and shove him against a concrete wall. She was able to stab her sword into one of the feet of the New God, cut him at the waist, and, with the help of Aquaman, knock him down before he reached Cyborg. Wonder Woman was also able to break Steppenwolf's Electro Axe with her sword after Superman froze it with his freezing breath. In addition, after his resurrection, Wonder Woman was able to defend herself briefly against Superman during his confusion, the two generating a powerful shockwave with a single headbutt. The only beings that surpass the strength of Wonder Woman are Doomsday, Steppenwolf and Superman.
Various Wonder Woman enemies would debut in the comic series. Issue #1 introduced Wonder Woman's nemesis, Ares, as the embodiment of all abnormal emotions, evil, and essentially all that Wonder Woman was against. Issue #5, the character of Doctor Psycho, a murderous psychopath with an intense hatred of women, was debuted,[5] Issue #6 introduced Cheetah while issue #9 introduced Giganta. Also Issue #9 debuted Queen Clea, which would later help form the female supervillain team, Villainy Inc.. Later on Issue #49 debuted another recurring enemy, Circe.[1]
A. O. Scott of The New York Times wrote that it "briskly shakes off blockbuster branding imperatives and allows itself to be something relatively rare in the modern superhero cosmos. It feels less like yet another installment in an endless sequence of apocalyptic merchandising opportunities than like ... what's the word I'm looking for? A movie. A pretty good one, too."[213] Michael Phillips of Chicago Tribune compared the film to Captain America: The First Avenger, noting that as with "the first Captain America movie over in the Marvel Comics universe, DC's Wonder Woman offers the pleasures of period re-creation for a popular audience. Jenkins and her design team make 1918-era London; war-torn Belgium; the Ottoman Empire; and other locales look freshly realized, with a strong point of view. There are scenes here of dispossessed war refugees, witnessed by an astonished and heartbroken Diana, that carry unusual gravity for a comic book adaptation."[214] Katie Erbland of IndieWire commended its thematic depth, explaining that "Wonder Woman is a war movie. Patty Jenkins' first—and we hope not last—entry into the DC Expanded Universe is primarily set during World War I, but while the feature doesn't balk at war-time violence, it's the internal battles of its compelling heroine that are most vital."[215] Alonso Duralde of TheWrap similarly felt that, "Diana's scenes of action are thrilling precisely because they're meant to stop war, not to foment it; the idea of a demi-god using love to fight war might sound goofy in the abstract, but Jenkins makes the concept work."[216] Ann Hornaday of The Washington Post praised Gadot and Pine's performances as well the film's detailed plot and narrative while comparing of some slow-motion action sequences to The Matrix.[217] Stephanie Zacharek of Time magazine hailed the film as a "cut above nearly all the superhero movies that have been trotted out over the past few summers" while praising Gadot's performance as "charming" and "marvelous" and commending Jenkins's direction of the film as a step forward for women directors in directing big-budget blockbuster films in Hollywood.[218]
Shortly thereafter, Wonder Woman is shown being able to summon it with her tiara, have it hover by the War Department, and extend from it a rope ladder with which she could board it. She uses the plane to fly into outer space, and frequently transports Etta Candy and the Holliday Girls, Steve Trevor, and others. During the 1950s, the plane becomes a jet, and is often shown swooping over Lt. Prince's office; she strips out of her uniform at super speed and bounds 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.[199]
Diana meets Barbara Ann Minerva for the first time. Minerva wants Diana's lasso and tricks Diana into believing that she has Antiope's Girdle of Gaea. Diana discovers the ruse and storms out of the house. Barbara transforms into the Cheetah and attacks Diana. Julia Kapatelis shoots Cheetah and fends her off. Diana returns to Themyscira. Zeus is infatuated with Diana and asks her for a physical communion to which Diana refuses. Angered, Zeus sends her on a mission, a "Challenge
The Lasso of Truth forces people to tell the truth. It was forged by Hephaestus from the Golden Girdle of Gaea that Antiope had once worn. It is able to restore people's lost memories get rid of illusions or cause illusions to those it holds and heal the holder's body cure insanity and protect people who are in close proximity to it from magical attacks. In the golden age version the lasso could also take on a rigid form and hold people aloft from a great distance away. During these eras, the lasso also forced those who were bound by it to act as the holder demanded. This trait also affected Wonder Woman. A non-combat application of the lasso is that it can be used to change Diana's clothes as long as those clothes are "in the right frequency" as the lasso. Although this was a plot device used more often in the golden and silver age in has been used on occasion in modern comics as for instance one time Diana transformed into a Miss America costume. The lasso is essentially indestructible, and can be offensively used in combat to incapacitate, and even attacking their souls.

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.[222]

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]
This section of the history takes place during the New 52, between the events of Flashpoint and DC Rebirth. It was later revealed that much of Wonder Woman's history from this time was an elaborate illusion created by the Gods of Olympus to keep her away from Paradise Island. All or part of this section may have been part of that illusion and no longer valid in Rebirth.
After a training session, Diana happened to come across Captain Steve Trevor during his escape from the Imperial German Army. A battle soon followed, as the Germans tracked Trevor to Themyscira, where they invaded in pursuit of Doctor Poison's notes. The loss of her aunt and realization of Mankind's downfall during the absence of the amazons convinced Diana to join the war effort, recognizing Ares as the instigator of the conflict.
Siracca tells Diana how she and her mother were killed by the hands of the jealous goddess Hera. Although she was torn to shreds by Hera's fury, Zeus took pity on her and turned her into wind. The very same wind that spills secrets to Lennox. Wonder Woman share her encounter with Hera and how she so desperately needs to find Zola's child, stolen due to Hermes. Siracca attempts to help Diana in finding Hermes and the baby. She suggests meeting Milan, once again, another child of Zeus for advice. Diana treks off to New York to find him.

Following the events of Infinite Crisis, she disappeared for a year in order to rediscover herself, and took part briefly in the events of 52. In the span of One Year Later, she was re-imagined once again and was forgiven by Batman and Superman while given her third ongoing monthly title. Batman helped her establish a role at the Department of Metahuman Affairs under the name of Diana Prince (paying homage to her golden age alter ego.) She worked alongside Tom Tresser and eventually became romantically involved with him. A move among fans across the different companies occurred with characters reverting to their original numbering of series (this for instance happened to Iron Man at Marvel as well) and the third Wonder Woman series was relaunched with Wonder Woman #600. This was actually accurate at the time as it was the indeed the 600 issue released (not including issues numbered otherwise such as with a zero or a million). Issue 600 was used as a chance to reinvent the character as she discovers herself with no memories and in a new costume. This was a short lived experiment as the entire DC lineup was soon to be re-imagined into the new 52, though certain aspects of her redesigned costume remained.


Superhuman Stamina: Wonder Woman's advanced musculature is considerably more efficient than that of a human and most of the other Amazons. As a result, her muscles virtually do not produce fatigue toxins during physical activity compared to humans and most other members of her race. Her virtually inexhaustible endurance allows her to exercise her maximum capacity for an indefinite period of time without tiring at all, as she never needs to slow down or catch her breath during her fierce battles with Ares, Doomsday, Steppenwolf and the resurrected Superman, despite being pressured considerably by all of them.
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."[250] "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."[238]
Various Wonder Woman enemies would debut in the comic series. Issue #1 introduced Wonder Woman's nemesis, Ares, as the embodiment of all abnormal emotions, evil, and essentially all that Wonder Woman was against. Issue #5, the character of Doctor Psycho, a murderous psychopath with an intense hatred of women, was debuted,[5] Issue #6 introduced Cheetah while issue #9 introduced Giganta. Also Issue #9 debuted Queen Clea, which would later help form the female supervillain team, Villainy Inc.. Later on Issue #49 debuted another recurring enemy, Circe.[1]
Morgan appears and reveals himself as Ares. He tells Diana that although he has subtly given humans ideas and inspirations, using Ludendorff and Maru as pawns in the process, it is ultimately their decision to resort to violence as they are inherently corrupt. When Diana attempts to kill Ares with the "Godkiller" sword, he destroys it, then reveals to Diana that she herself is the "Godkiller", as the daughter of Zeus and Hippolyta. He fails to persuade Diana to help him destroy mankind in order to restore paradise on Earth. While the two battle, Steve's team destroys Maru's laboratory. Steve hijacks and pilots the bomber carrying the poison to a safe altitude and detonates it, sacrificing himself. Ares attempts to direct Diana's rage and grief at Steve's death by convincing her to kill Maru, but the memories of her experiences with Steve cause her to realize that humans have good within them. She spares Maru and redirects Ares's lightning into him, killing him for good. Later, the team celebrates the end of the war. In the present day, Diana sends an email to Bruce Wayne thanking him for the photographic plate of her and Steve and continues to fight and give on the world's behalf, understanding that only love can truly save the world.
Since her attack on Veronica Cale, Cheetah had been captured by Cale and held in the basement of Empire Industries, where she was being experimented on by Doctor Poison. Cheetah suddenly dropped into a coma, before waking and massacring Empire Industries' staff, while screaming about the return of the so-called 'Dark Gods'. She attempted to kill Cale once again, but was restrained due to the timely intervention of Wonder Woman. Steve Trevor informed Diana that all over the world, people had begun acting strangely and warning of the Dark Gods. As she flew through the skies of Washington, she was suddenly attacked by a deranged Supergirl.[100] After a lengthy battle, Wonder Woman was able to defeat Kara and restrained her in the Lasso of Truth, which knocked her unconscious. Jason returned after learning from the Fates that the armor that had been gifted to him by the gods was originally created for Diana, but had been mistakenly given to Jason after Zeus' death. It also allowed Jason to channel the power of any member of the Greek Pantheon, though he could only use one god's powers at a time. Jason began to explain his discoveries to Diana, but they were interrupted by a group of giant monoliths appearing in the sky, which began to activate. As soon as the siblings began to investigate, Wonder Woman was taken by a pair of Star Sapphires who needed her assistance due to an emergency on Zamaron. As Diana was forcefully teleported, Jason was left alone before the activating monoliths.[101]
Diana lifts a tank ready to crush Doctor Poison with it, but hesitates when she thinks about the love and compassion that Steve brought to her life when she realizes that he professed his love for her before leaving to sacrifice himself. Dropping the tank, Diana spares Doctor Poison, telling Ares that he is wrong about humanity. She tells him that while humans are everything Ares says and can be capable of the worst crimes, she's learned that they are equally capable of so much more: unbridled love and compassion. Ares engages Diana in a final fight, but is defeated after she fully embraces her powers as the God Killer and blasts Ares with powerful divine lightning. The soldiers, free from Ares' corruption, stop their fighting, thereby finally ending the war.[3]
Elise Jost of Moviepilot observed that "Gadot's take on Wonder Woman is one of those unique cases of an actor merging with their story, similar to Robert Downey Jr.'s Tony Stark. Gal Gadot is Wonder Woman, and Wonder Woman is Gal Gadot."[202] Jost praised Gadot's interpretation of Wonder Woman as the one in which Gadot "absolutely nails the character's unwaveringly positive outlook on life. She's a force of nature who believes in the greater good; her conviction that she's meant to save the world is stronger than her bullet-deflecting shield. She's genuine, she's fun, she's the warm source of energy at the heart of the movie."[202] The Federalist suggests that Wonder Woman is "a story of Jesus". "The movie is wrapped up in faux Greek mythology, true, but there's no mistaking the Christology here."[219] "Perhaps Christ in the form of a beautiful and kick-ass Amazon is all that our contemporary society can handle right now", stated M. Hudson, a Christian feminist.[219] On HuffPost cultural critic, G. Roger Denson, who regards the superhero genre as a source of contemporary "Mainstream Mythopoetics" ("the making of new yet vitally meaningful, if not symbolic, stories filled with imagery reflecting, yet also shaping and advancing, the political, legal, moral and social practices of today"), wrote that the "No Man's Land" scene "that people are crying over in theaters and raving about afterward happens to be among the most powerfully mythopoetic scenes ever filmed at the same time it is one of the oldest myths to have been utilized by artists and writers after it had been invented by early military strategists and leaders." Specifically "used by director Patty Jenkins", the scene raises "the esteem for powerful yet compassionate women as heroes and leaders to a level equal with that of men for having won over a huge and adoring popular audience around the world".[220]

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.

On occasions Wonder Woman has employed a magical sword of unknown (though presumably Amazon) origin. This sword has been used most specifically against those with the power of invulnerability as invulnerability generally does not work against magical items. It is generally represented as a short sword. In Wonder Woman (vol. 4) #15, Hephaestus modifies Diana's bracelets so that she can manifest two short swords from them during battle.
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 Agility: Wonder Woman naturally possesses superhuman agility, dexterity, balance and body coordination, allowing her to jump up immense distances and come down in elaborate somersaults, to swiftly and easily take down many World War I soldiers, while dodging and weaving around their attacks, and to even dodge quite a few attacks from the equally fast Ares and Doomsday.

As they walked, Trevor noticed that they were being followed. He tried to lose them by taking a turn down a back alley, but instead walked straight into a German spy's gun. The man ordered Trevor to give the notebook back; he refused, instead headbutting the man. He told Diana to stay back at the man took aim and shot at them. Diana reached out her arm, blocking the bullet off her gauntlet and saving Trevor's life. Diana then fought the German spies single-handedly; her spectacles were crushed in the fight.

Flash and Cyborg save all the hostage, which Silas Stone tells Victor that Steppenwolf can not get the final Mother Box. Batman then jumps down into the Knightcrawler and saves Wonder Woman after a Parademon manages to briefly knock her out. The Knightcrawler gets attacked by Steppenwolf, and Barry helps Wonder Woman get her sword so she can help Batman.

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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