Wonder Woman is a superhero appearing in comic books published by DC Comics. The character is a founding member of the Justice League. The character first appeared in All Star Comics #8 in October 1941 with her first feature in Sensation Comics #1 in January 1942.
The Wonder Woman title has been published by DC Comics almost continuously except for a brief hiatus in 1986. In her homeland, the island nation of Themyscira, her official title is Princess Diana of Themyscira. When blending into the society outside of her homeland, she sometimes adopts her civilian identity Diana Prince.
Wonder Woman was created by the American psychologist and writer William Moulton Marston, and artist Harry G. Peter. Marston’s wife, Elizabeth, and their life partner, Olive Byrne, are credited as being his inspiration for the character’s appearance.
In the Golden Age of Comic Books, Wonder Woman was an Amazon champion who wins the right to return Steve Trevor – a United States intelligence officer whose plane had crashed on the Amazons’ isolated island homeland – to “Man’s World” and to fight crime and the evil of the Nazis. During this period, Diana joined the Justice Society of America as the team’s secretary.
During the Silver Age, under writer Robert Kanigher, Wonder Woman’s origin was revamped, along with other characters’. The new origin story increased the character’s Hellenic and mythological roots: receiving the blessing of each deity in her crib, Diana is destined to become as “beautiful as Aphrodite, wise as Athena, strong as Hercules, and swift as Hermes.”
In the early 1970s the character returned to her superhero roots in the Justice League of America and to the World War II era in her own title. This, however, was ultimately due to the popularity of the TV series at the time also having Wonder Woman set in the WWII era, and was shifted back to the 1970s era once the TV show did the same.
The Crisis on Infinite Earths crossover of 1986 was designed and written with the purpose of streamlining most of DC’s characters into one more-focused continuity and reinventing them for a new era, thus Diana and Steve Trevor were declared to come from the Earth-Two dimension, and along with all of their exploits, were erased from history, so that a new Wonder Woman character, story and timeline could take priority.
Following the 1985 Crisis on Infinite Earths series, George Pérez, Len Wein, and Greg Potter rewrote the character’s origin story, depicting Wonder Woman as an emissary and ambassador from Themyscira to Patriarch’s World, charged with the mission of bringing peace to the outside world. Pérez incorporated a variety of deities and concepts from Greek mythology in Wonder Woman’s stories and origin. His rendition of the character acted as the foundation for the modern Wonder Woman stories, as he expanded upon the widely accepted origin of Diana being birthed out of clay. The relaunch was a critical and commercial success.
In August 2010 (issue #600), J. Michael Straczynski took over the series’ writing duties and introduced Wonder Woman to an alternate timeline created by the Gods in which Paradise Island had been destroyed and the Amazons scattered around the world. In 2011’s The New 52, DC Comics relaunched its entire line of publications to attract a new generation of readers, and thus released volume 4 of the Wonder Woman comic book title. Brian Azzarello and Cliff Chiang were assigned writing and art duties respectively and revamped the character’s history considerably.
In 2016, DC Comics once again relaunched all of its publications as part of the “DC Rebirth” continuity reboot, and the new fifth volume of Wonder Woman was released bi-monthly with writer Greg Rucka. This fifth volume of Wonder Woman is part of the “DC Universe”, the current continuity established after Rebirth. In 2018, DC Comics announced that Ms. Marvel creator G. Willow Wilson will be the new writer on the Wonder Woman ongoing series.
Film & Reception
Wonder Woman has been featured in various media from radio to television and film, and appears in merchandise sold around the world, such as apparel, toys, dolls, jewelry, and video games. Shannon Farnon, Susan Eisenberg, Maggie Q, Lucy Lawless, Keri Russell, Michelle Monaghan, Rosario Dawson, Cobie Smulders, and Halsey among others, have provided the character’s voice for animated adaptations.
Diana has been depicted in both film and television by Cathy Lee Crosby, Lynda Carter, and in the DC Extended Universe films by Gal Gadot.
Although created to be a positive role-model and a strong female character for girls and boys, Wonder Woman has had to deal with the misogyny that was commonplace in comic book industry for decades. For example, Diana was a founding member of the Justice Society of America (JSA).
This roster included the original Flash and Green Lantern. Wonder Woman was an experienced leader and easily the most powerful of them all, yet was rendered a secretary. This would also be accompanied with her losing her powers or getting captured on most Justice League adventures.
During the ’50s and ’60s, comic writers regularly made Wonder Woman lovesick over Steve Trevor, a Major in the United States Army. Stories frequently featured Wonder Woman hoping or imagining what it would be like to marry Steve Trevor.
Wonder Woman was named the 20th greatest comic book character by Empire magazine. She was ranked sixth in Comics Buyer’s Guide’s “100 Sexiest Women in Comics” list. In May 2011, Wonder Woman placed fifth on IGN’s Top 100 Comic Book Heroes of All Time.
30 Wonder Woman Facts
For Fanboys and Fangirls who want to know all they can about Diana Prince. We’ve put together a list of 30 facts fans probably don’t know about Wonder Woman.