Superhuman Speed: Wonder Woman, while not as fast as Superman or the Flash, can move at inhuman speeds. She was able to make it from the Metropolis Airport to Gotham Port in minutes after seeing Doomsday on television. She was fast enough to get up from her seat, disarm a man of his gun, and toss him across a room in seconds; to leave Lex Luthor's fundraiser before Bruce managed to reach her; to save Batman from Doomsday's thermal attack; and to instantly use the Sword of Athena to slice apart in mid-air a car that Doomsday hurled at her. Indeed, Wonder Woman appeared as a blur when charging back at Doomsday after being knocked back by him. She was also capable of landing blows on Superman, even though she was outmatched.
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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.
Diana's bulletproof bracelets were formed from the remnants of Athena's legendary shield, the Aegis, to be awarded to her champion. The shield was made from the indestructible hide of the great she-goat, Amalthea, who suckled Zeus as an infant. These forearm guards have thus far proven NIGH-indestructible (the Omega Beams of Grail have proven able to shatter them), and are able to absorb the impact of incoming attacks, allowing Wonder Woman to deflect automatic weapon fire and energy blasts.[203] Diana can slam the bracelets together to create a wave of concussive force capable of making strong beings like Superman's ears bleed.[63] Recently, she gained the ability to channel Zeus's lightning through her bracelets as well. Zeus explained to her that this power had been contained within the bracelets since their creation, because they were once part of the Aegis, and that he had only recently unlocked it for her use.[204] After the 2011 relaunch of the character, it was revealed that Diana was the daughter of Zeus and Hippolyta[136] and that the bracelets are able to keep the powers she had inherited from Zeus in check.[189] In addition, Hephaestus has modified the bracelets to allow Wonder Woman the sorcerous ability to manifest a sword of grayish metal from each bracelet. Each sword, marked with a red star, takes shape from a flash of lightning, and when Wonder Woman is done with them, the swords disappear, supposedly, back into her bracelets. As such, she has produced other weapons from the bracelets in this way such as a bow that fires explosive arrows, spears and energy bolts among others.[205]

In addition, Diana appears to hold members of her close family in high esteem. In addition to the respect she has for her mother, Hippolyta, and aunt Antiope, she indicated that she held her father Zeus in the same very high esteem, when she was visibly angered when Lex Luthor referred to him distastefully while discussing the story of the Titan Prometheus.
Storylines The 18th Letter • A League of One • A Piece of You • Amazons Attack! • Beauty and the Beasts • Birds of Paradise • Bitter Rivals • Blood • Bones • The Bronze Doors • The Challenge of Artemis • Challenge of the Gods • Champion • The Circle • The Contest • Counting Coup • Depths • Destiny Calling • Devastation • Devastation Returns • Down to Earth • Ends of the Earth • Expatriate • Flesh • The Game of the Gods • God Complex • Gods and Mortals • Gods of Gotham • Godwar • Guts • Iron • Judgment in Infinity • Land of the Lost • Levels • Love and Murder • Lifelines • Marathon • The Men Who Moved the Earth • A Murder of Crows • Odyssey • The Pandora Virus • Paradise Island Lost • Revenge of the Cheetah • Rise of the Olympian • Sacrifice • Second Genesis • Stoned • Three Hearts • Trinity 98 • The Twelve Labors • War • Warkiller • War-Torn • Who is Donna Troy? • Who is Troia? • Who Is Wonder Woman? • The Witch and the Warrior • Wrath of the Silver Serpent
Jenkins disagrees with this line of critique. She has stated that she was raised by a second-wave "feminist mother",[240][241] who taught her to be "both super aware that there had been sexism but also: 'Congratulations—thank you, now I get to do whatever I want, Mom!'"[240] Jenkins thus notes that it is this upbringing which has led her to question a feminist critique of Wonder Woman's costume.[242] When she was working on her own version of Wonder Woman's "Gladiator" re-design of the outfit (in the 2016 film Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice)[243] Jenkins decided that Wonder Woman (as well as the other Amazons) "shouldn't be dressed in armor like men ... It should be different ... I, as a woman, want Wonder Woman to be hot as hell, fight badass, and look great at the same time—the same way men want Superman to have huge pecs and an impractically big body."[17] Jenkins also notes that she is "frustrated" by the critique of Wonder Woman's appearance, stating "when people get super critical about her outfit, who's the one getting crazy about what a woman wears? That's who she is; that's Wonder Woman."[241] Gal Gadot concurred with Jenkins, arguing that the character "is a feminist"[244] as "feminism is about equality and choice and freedom. And the writers, Patty and myself all figured that the best way to show that is to show Diana as having no awareness of social roles. She has no gender boundaries. To her, everyone is equal."[245]
As Wonder Woman joins the Battle against Doomsday, she arrives just in time to save Batman from Doomsday's lethal thermal blast, deflecting the beams with her indestructible bracelets. She then jointly attacks Doomsday with Superman while Batman tries to expose the creature to Kryptonite, allowing its destruction. She relentlessly battles the monster, and despite Doomsday being stronger, Wonder Woman held her own, parrying a tremendous punch with the Sword of Athena, and then slicing off Doomsday's right arm with it. Eventually, Batman baits the monster into coming closer to her, allowing Wonder Woman to hurl the noose of her unbreakable Lasso of Hestia around his torso.
At the end of Infinite Crisis, Wonder Woman temporarily retires from her costumed identity. Diana, once again using the alias Diana Prince, joins the Department of Metahuman Affairs. Donna Troy becomes the new Wonder Woman and is captured by Diana's enemies. Diana then goes on a mission to rescue her sister, battling Circe and Hercules. Diana defeats the villains, freeing Donna and takes up the role of Wonder Woman again. Circe places a spell on Diana, which renders Diana into a normal, powerless human being when in the role of Diana Prince; her powers come to her only when she is in the role of Wonder Woman.[116][117][118][119][120]
Gaines was troubled. Roubicek, who worked on Superman, too, had invented kryptonite. She believed superheroes ought to have vulnerabilities. She told Gaines she thought Wonder Woman ought to be more like Superman and, just as Superman couldn’t go back to the planet Krypton, Wonder Woman ought not to be able to go back to Paradise Island, where the kinkiest stuff tended to happen. Gaines then sent Roubicek to Bellevue Hospital to interview Bender. In a memo to Gaines, Roubicek reported that Bender “does not believe that Wonder Woman tends to masochism or sadism.” She also liked the way Marston was playing with feminism, Roubicek reported: “She believes that Dr. Marston is handling very cleverly this whole ‘experiment’ as she calls it. She feels that perhaps he is bringing to the public the real issue at stake in the world (and one which she feels may possibly be a direct cause of the present conflict) and that is that the difference between the sexes is not a sex problem, nor a struggle for superiority, but rather a problem of the relation of one sex to the other.” Roubicek summed up: “Dr. Bender believes that this strip should be left alone.”
That hardly ended the controversy. In February 1943, Josette Frank, an expert on children’s literature, a leader of the Child Study Association and a member of Gaines’ advisory board, sent Gaines a letter, telling him that while she’d never been a fan of Wonder Woman, she felt she now had to speak out about its “sadistic bits showing women chained, tortured, etc.” She had a point. In episode after episode, Wonder Woman is chained, bound, gagged, lassoed, tied, fettered and manacled. “Great girdle of Aphrodite!” she cries at one point. “Am I tired of being tied up!”

Storylines The 18th Letter • A League of One • A Piece of You • Amazons Attack! • Beauty and the Beasts • Birds of Paradise • Bitter Rivals • Blood • Bones • The Bronze Doors • The Challenge of Artemis • Challenge of the Gods • Champion • The Circle • The Contest • Counting Coup • Depths • Destiny Calling • Devastation • Devastation Returns • Down to Earth • Ends of the Earth • Expatriate • Flesh • The Game of the Gods • God Complex • Gods and Mortals • Gods of Gotham • Godwar • Guts • Iron • Judgment in Infinity • Land of the Lost • Levels • Love and Murder • Lifelines • Marathon • The Men Who Moved the Earth • A Murder of Crows • Odyssey • The Pandora Virus • Paradise Island Lost • Revenge of the Cheetah • Rise of the Olympian • Sacrifice • Second Genesis • Stoned • Three Hearts • Trinity 98 • The Twelve Labors • War • Warkiller • War-Torn • Who is Donna Troy? • Who is Troia? • Who Is Wonder Woman? • The Witch and the Warrior • Wrath of the Silver Serpent


Categories: DC Comics superheroesWonder Woman1941 comics debutsAll-American Publications charactersBatman charactersCharacters created by William Moulton MarstonComics about womenComics adapted into television seriesComics characters introduced in 1941Comics characters introduced in 1942DC Comics adapted into filmsDC Comics AmazonsDC Comics characters who can move at superhuman speedsDC Comics characters who use magicDC Comics characters with accelerated healingDC Comics characters with superhuman strengthDC Comics deitiesDC Comics LGBT superheroesDC Comics female superheroesDC Comics martial artistsDC Comics television charactersDC Comics titlesFemale characters in comicsFemale characters in filmFemale characters in televisionFeminist comicsFeminist science fictionFictional bisexual femalesFictional antiquarians and curatorsFictional characters with slowed agingFictional deicidesFictional demigodsFictional diplomatsFictional female military personnelFictional feminists and women's rights activistsFictional flexible weapons practitionersFictional fratricidesFictional goddessesFictional Greek peopleFictional immigrants to the United StatesFictional nursesFictional pankration practitionersFictional people with acquired American citizenshipFictional princessesFictional secret agents and spiesFictional secretariesFictional swordsmenFictional United States Air Force personnelFictional United Nations personnelFictional vigilantesFictional women soldiers and warriorsFictional World War II veteransGolden Age superheroesGreco-Roman mythology in DC ComicsSuperhero film charactersSuperman charactersUnited States-themed superheroesWonder Woman charactersScience fictionDemigods
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]

In her false memories, the Amazons traditionally procreated by raping and then murdering sailors who happened too close to their island. Hippolyta was barren, and legend told that Diana was born of her mother's strong desire for a child, a lump of clay brought to life in the form of a girl; the perfect Amazon, as she was born of no man.[9] The truth, though, was that Hippolyta had had an affair with Zeus, and Diana's real parentage was hidden in order to protect the Queen and her daughter from the wrath of Zeus' notoriously jealous wife Hera.[10] Unbeknownst to Diana, her mother also gave birth to her twin, a brother named Jason.[11]
"Honestly... I think we're gonna be dead way before that. And you know what? I don't mind. It's an honorable end. But we've gotta shut Steppenwolf down. Superman's a no-show. You've got no powers, no offense. This guy might be working for the enemy. We don't now. You're tripping over your feet, and mine... whuf, you're gorgeous, and fierce... and strong. I know we went to war with the Amazons, but that was before my time. You know what? I don't wanna die. I'm young. There's shit that I wanna do. I just feel like... I didn't really embrace the sea or the land. I've been a loner my whole life. But being part of something bigger, like this... maybe I'm scared because... I'm meant to..."

With Wonder Woman arriving in pursuit, Strife warned of the prophecy Apollo and Artemis feared: a child of Zeus would kill a god to take the throne. That child could be either Diana or Zola's child. Sending Zola back with Hermes to have her baby in peace, Diana warned that if they were not left alone, she would fulfil the prophecy herself. Unfortunately, upon her return to Michigan, Diana found that Hermes had betrayed them, and once Zola gave birth to her son, he whisked the child away, and gave it to Demeter. Diana swore to get the boy back and bring Hermes to justice.[25]
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.
Wonder Woman figures were released for Justice League and Justice League Unlimited. Prior to that, there were plans for a show called Wonder Woman and the Star Riders, which similar to Sailor Moon, would have featured Wonder Woman leading a team of teen magical girls. Prototype dolls for the series were made. There was also a statue from the animated Wonder Woman movie and a Wonder Woman action figure for the Justice League War movie. Wonder Woman dolls and figures were also released for the DC Super Hero Girls line.
Before she was Wonder Woman, she was Diana, princess of the Amazons, trained to be an unconquerable warrior. Raised on a sheltered island paradise, when an American pilot crashes on their shores and tells of a massive conflict raging in the outside world, Diana leaves her home, convinced she can stop the threat. Fighting alongside man in a war to end all wars, Diana will discover her full powers…and her true destiny.

Wonder Woman is an Amazon warrior princess and one of the most powerful superheroes in the DC Universe. The daughter of Hippolyta, she was given power by the Gods to fight against evil in all its forms. Although she was raised entirely by women on the island of Themyscira, she was sent as an ambassador to the Man's World, spreading their idealistic message of strength and love. Wonder Woman fights crime and acts as a positive role model for women everywhere. Her equipment includes the Lasso of Truth, magic gauntlets, and an invisible jet. In the secret identity she has adopted to become closer to humanity, she is Diana Prince, a government agent for the Department of Metahuman Affairs. Wonder Woman is also a founding member of the Justice League of America. She has also been a member of the Star Sapphire Corps, the Sinestro Corps, and the Justice League Dark.


In August 2011, the third volume of Wonder Woman was cancelled along with every other DC title as part of a line-wide relaunch following Flashpoint. The series was relaunched in September with a #1 issue written by Brian Azzarello and drawn by Cliff Chiang. Wonder Woman now sports another new costume, once again designed by Jim Lee.[60] Azzarello describes the new Wonder Woman book as being darker than the past series, even going so far as to call it a "horror" book.[61]


As the soldiers landed on the shore and began to open fire, several archers leaped from the cliffs. Diana watched, horrified, as a bullet fired from one of the German soldiers hit an archer, killing her almost instantly. Amazonian cavalry stormed the beach, engaging the soldiers and quickly overwhelming them. Though Trevor told her to stay back as he fought one of the German soldiers, Diana picked up a sword from a fallen Amazon and easily dispatched a soldier.
Wonder Woman appears in the first three issues of the Ame-Comi comic run. She is depicted as a young warrior eager to prove herself in battle, but when she goes against her mothers words it results in a punishment of sorts. Diana is made into an ambassador of peace to the world outside of Themyscira, which she is reluctant to perform. At a U.N. Assembly where she announces Themyscira's intention for peace she is attack by Cheetah, who is quickly defeated. This depiction of Diana is that of a younger amazon who is depicted in a more arrogant and aggressive manner.
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 American theme of Diana's costume was explained by Pérez in the Challenge of the Gods storyline in which Diana engaged in a series of trials arranged by Zeus as punishment for refusing his advances. Diana met the spirit of Steve Trevor's mother, Diana Trevor, who was clad in armor identical to her own. Trevor revealed that during World War II she had crashed on Themyscira while on duty as a U.S. Army pilot. She blundered into an Amazon battle against Cottus, a multi-armed demon, at the portal to the underworld. Trevor was drawn into the battle, although she was armed only with her side arm. She wounded the beast before suffering a mortal blow, allowing the Amazons to reseal the portal.[37]
She has also become romantically involved with Superman, which has stirred some controversy in the fan community. One criticism is that her comic mythology is/will be supplanted by Superman's, and she will be relegated to the role of supporting character in his mythos. However, Wonder Woman's popularity and the sales of her solo book run contrary to this theory. Currently she is under the creative team of Meredith and David Finch. Their story arc has mainly focused on Diana's humanity and how she deals with multiple relationships and responsibilities. She is shown as a character with great hardships in juggling her many "hats" as queen of the Amazons, Justice League Member, and God of War. There has been some dissension on Paradise Island and there is a plan to over throw Diana as queen. Donna Troy has been introduced into the New 52 universe as a being made from Hippolyta's clay remains and from an unknown Amazon. She is magically made to be Diana's counter. In upcoming solicitations it is said Donna was specifically made to have her strengths be Diana's weaknesses, whatever that might mean is still unknown. Her relationship with Superman has been focused more on the Superman/Wonder Woman title and most recently it has shown the trust they have for one another and the compassion and leadership skills Diana wields. She is shown to pick saving helpless humans over helping Superman who is under a magic spell. It is later revealed however, that before she went to save the humans, she placed her lasso of truth on Superman, which broke the spell he was under.
If you're looking for a certified God of War on a personal vendetta against a pantheon of gods, Wonder Woman has you covered. The current version of Diana hacking and slashing her way through the DC Universe, anyway. After unintentionally bringing a new collection of "Dark Gods" into the comic book universe, it falls to the daughter of Zeus to save Earth from their malice.

Later in the story, Wonder Woman is locked in a cell. Straining to overhear a conversation in the next room, through the amplification of “bone conduction,” she takes her chain in her teeth: “Closeup of WW’s head shoulders. She holds her neck chain between her teeth. The chain runs taut between her teeth and the wall, where it is locked to a steel ring bolt.”
Princess Diana commands respect both as Wonder Woman and Diana Prince; her epithetical title – The Amazon Princess – illustrates the dichotomy of her character. She is a powerful, strong-willed character who does not back down from a fight or a challenge. Yet, she is a diplomat who strongly "favors the pen", and a lover of peace who would never seek to fight or escalate a conflict. She's simultaneously both the most fierce and most nurturing member of the Justice League; and her political connections as a United Nations Honorary Ambassador and the ambassador of a warrior nation makes her an invaluable addition to the team. With her powerful abilities, centuries of training and experience at handling threats that range from petty crime to threats that are of a magical or supernatural nature, Diana is capable of competing with nearly any hero or villain.
Stealth Expert: Wonder Woman is exceptionally stealthy, as she was able to quickly sneak away from Chief and Charlie to General Ludendorff's gala, and later to steal the hacking device that Bruce Wayne had plugged into the LexCorp Industries servers and leave it in his car, without getting caught on either occasion. Later, Wonder Woman noticed Cyborg spying on her and Batman from a distance. Shortly thereafter, along with Batman and Cyborg, she was able to swiftly slip away when Commissioner Gordon turned away for a moment, and even Flash was left incredulous at how he didn't notice his teammates leave, despite having superhuman reflexes and standing right beside them. Wonder Woman even managed to enter the highly-secure Batcave itself on her own, impressing Batman.
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]
As Zola defeated Poseidon, the First Born returned to Olympus and ordered the Minotaur to attack Wonder Woman. The Minotaur, however, refused to kill her and the First Born killed him instead. Upon seeing the unmasked Minotaur, Diana discovered her foe was the creature she had spared in the labyrinth.[48] Wonder Woman furiously threw the First Born into the abyss he was originally trapped in while Zola placed Zeke on the throne. Zola revealed herself to be Athena and Zeke to be another iteration of Zeus himself. Both had planned for Wonder Woman to fight the First Born and accept her destiny as a goddess. With the conflict ended, Athena planned to put an end to her human identity and become a goddess once more, but Wonder Woman convinced her to allow Zola and Zeke to live without godly interference.[49]
Olive Byrne met Marston in 1925, when she was a senior at Tufts; he was her psychology professor. Marston was already married, to a lawyer named Elizabeth Holloway. When Marston and Byrne fell in love, he gave Holloway a choice: either Byrne could live with them, or he would leave her. Byrne moved in. Between 1928 and 1933, each woman bore two children; they lived together as a family. Holloway went to work; Byrne stayed home and raised the children. They told census-takers and anyone else who asked that Byrne was Marston’s widowed sister-in-law. “Tolerant people are the happiest,” Marston wrote in a magazine essay in 1939, so “why not get rid of costly prejudices that hold you back?” He listed the “Six Most Common Types of Prejudice.” Eliminating prejudice number six—“Prejudice against unconventional people and non-conformists”—meant the most to him. Byrne’s sons didn’t find out that Marston was their father until 1963—when Holloway finally admitted it—and only after she extracted a promise that no one would raise the subject ever again.
Later in the story, Wonder Woman is locked in a cell. Straining to overhear a conversation in the next room, through the amplification of “bone conduction,” she takes her chain in her teeth: “Closeup of WW’s head shoulders. She holds her neck chain between her teeth. The chain runs taut between her teeth and the wall, where it is locked to a steel ring bolt.”

While Superman watched out for Zod, Diana visited the deserted Themyscira to speak to her mother, still a clay statue. In her absence, a demon from Tartarus had escaped from its prison and roamed free on the island. Wonder Woman destroyed the creature and sealed the gates to Tartarus with her lasso. Leaving the island, she received word from Batman that Superman was engaging Zod and Faora in battle. Reaching Superman’s side, Wonder Woman steadily overwhelmed Faora until Zod threatened Superman’s life. Wonder Woman was forced to let the criminals go.[61]
"Gas was intended to win the war. On that much Wonder Woman is absolutely right." said David Hambling in Popular Mechanics.[223] Rachel Becker of The Verge stated that despite the scientific liberties of using a "hydrogen-based" chemical weapon as a plot device, the film succeeds in evoking real and horrifying history. "First off, mustard gas is such a horrible, terrifying weapon, it doesn't need to be made more potent. But if you were a chemist bent on raining destruction on the Allied forces, you wouldn't do it by replacing the sulfur atom in mustard gas with a hydrogen atom. You'd know that sulfur is the linchpin holding together this poisonous molecule."[224]
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.
Gaines was hugely relieved, at least until September 1943, when a letter arrived from John D. Jacobs, a U.S. Army staff sergeant in the 291st Infantry, stationed at Fort Leonard Wood, Missouri. “I am one of those odd, perhaps unfortunate men who derive an extreme erotic pleasure from the mere thought of a beautiful girl, chained or bound, or masked, or wearing extreme high-heels or high-laced boots,—in fact, any sort of constriction or strain whatsoever,” Jacobs wrote. He wanted to know whether the author of Wonder Woman himself had in his possession any of the items depicted in the stories, “the leather mask, or the wide iron collar from Tibet, or the Greek ankle manacle? Or do you just ‘dream up’ these things?”
Chris Pine was cast as Steve Trevor,[21][114] a character he described as a "rogue-ish, cynical realist who's seen the awful brutish nature of modern civilization" and added that he is a "worldly guy, a charming guy".[115] He signed a multi-picture deal.[21] Lucy Davis' performance as Etta Candy is the first live-action cinematic portrayal of the character.[116] As well, Elena Anaya's performance as Doctor Poison is the cinematic debut of that character. Nicole Kidman was in negotiations for the role of Queen Hippolyta, but was forced to drop out due to scheduling conflicts with Big Little Lies.[117][118]
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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