I remember when I read in the news that Wonder Woman had been cast and my heart sank ... I'm sure we wouldn't have made the same choice. And then I started paying attention to her, and watching her and looking at her and it was just unbelievable. Frankly, I think they did a better job than I could have because I don't know that I would have scoured the earth as hard to find her ... They were looking for all the same things I would have looked for—all the values that Wonder Woman stands for exuding from someone in an honest way, and boy did they find it ... She shares every quality with Wonder Woman and that's no joke. It's one of those rare things. You need someone who can appear to be Wonder Woman on screen ... Every once in a while, there's superhero casting that transcends, because that person is so authentic to the character that it becomes identified with them, like Lynda Carter or Christopher Reeve.
^ Lyons, Charles. "Suffering Sappho! A Look at the Creator & Creation of Wonder Woman". Comic Book Resources. Archived from the original on January 19, 2013. Retrieved August 23, 2006. In October 1940, the popular women's magazine "Family Circle" published an interview with Marston entitled "Don't Laugh at the Comics," in which the psychologist discussed the unfulfilled potential of the medium.
The modern age of the character can be tied to the reboot of the character following Crisis on Infinite Earths. In this the character became defined by the vision of George Perez in a way which the entire concept of the character was defined by his direction. As opposed to the past where the character would get retold origins which would try to make her more contemporary, now she got one which tied her much more strongly to the stories of the ancient gods. For the first time Diana enters Man’s World not knowing how to speak English already, and is forced to master the language on her own. In this period she also became much more closely related with modern female issues, and this was usually through her circle of friends – Julia and Vanessa Kapatelis and Mindi Mayer. Such issues as the cultural need for women to be attractive and thin, suicide and the sensationalization of the media as it pertains to women were all addressed. This version of the character also reimagined Steve Trevor as a father figure for Diana as opposed to a romantic counterpart. After Perez’s run on the character, she was taken over for a time by William Messner Loebs, who recast her again in somewhat more traditional superhero stories, though in this case she still explored a different aspect of humanity. After a long space voyage, when she returned home she was forced to work at a fast food restaurant to pay her bills and made friends with a number of people in her “civilian identity.” This built up to the revelation of betrayal of her mother, and of Artemis taking over as Wonder Woman for a short time, but this was soon reversed. The following writer was John Byrne, who when he was writing Superman in the post-Crisis on Infinite Earths DC universe, had hinted at a relationship between Diana and Superman. This was explored occasionally under his run, but it is probably best known for the death of Diana, and the assumption of her duties by Hippolyta. She was soon returned to life (as she had never really died, instead having been deified). This period also introduced Cassandra Sandsmark, who would go on to become Wonder Girl at a later point. The remainder of this second series is best remembered for by the writing of Jimenez and Rucka, both of whom helped define the character. The latter during the lead-in of events to Infinite Crisis had Diana fighting Superman who was being controlled by Maxwell Lord. Battered after their battle, Diana has managed to stop Superman by using her lasso of truth on Lord, and the only option which she is given to stopping him is to kill him, and realizing this is the case, she does so. This created a controversy both within comics and in the real world, as both fans and characters alike debated the morality of this decision. In comics this also led to strained relations between her and Superman and her and Batman and with the addition of the events of Identity Crisis, helped to lead to the breakup of the Justice League of America at a crucial point right before the main events of Infinite Crisis were about to begin.
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. 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, 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. 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. 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.
Due to the format of most golden age comics, the majority of story arcs at the time for all characters were the same, Wonder Woman included. More accurately that is to say that there were not story arcs at all, as issues contained two to three stories, all of which started and concluded within the issue in question. There was therefore not much continuity in Wonder Woman until she reached the silver age. The few exceptions to this were in issues which contained a common theme, such as Wonder Woman meeting some leprechauns and each of the three stories dealing with that. Alternately there were some common themes for the character at the time, one of which was dealing with enemy saboteurs. These were mostly contemporary, and thus started as either the National Socialists in Germany or the Imperial Japanese. Later these became others.
Wonder Woman did not keep her identity a secret, and initially did not consider herself a superheroine. Indeed, her character was wide-eyed and naive, innocent and without guile. Diana spoke only Themyscirian, a variation of ancient Greek, and had to learn English when she arrived in the United States. Fortunately, Diana soon met Julia Kapatelis, a scholar in Greek culture, and her daughter Vanessa Kapatelis who helped the Amazon princess adjust to the world of men. However, for all her apparent naiveté, Diana was a trained warrior, and had no compunction against using deadly force when called for. For example, she felled the god Deimos in battle and felt completely justified under the circumstances. Through Pérez's tenure on the book, Diana confronted war, injustice, inequality, death and conflicts involving the Olympian Gods.
John Byrne's run included a period in which Diana's mother Hippolyta served as Wonder Woman, having traveled back to the 1940s, while Diana ascended to Mount Olympus as the Goddess of Truth after being killed in issue #124. In addition, Wonder Woman's Amazon ally Nubia was re-introduced as Nu'Bia, scripted by a different author. Byrne posited that Hippolyta had been the Golden Age Wonder Woman. Byrne restored the series' status quo in his last issue.
Wonder Woman managed to stabilize the plane when it was hit by the shockwave. Hermes and Artemis also arrived at Olympus, where Artemis discovered that Apollo had died in the attack. Among the ruins of the tower, the First Born claimed the throne of Olympus. Wonder Woman confronted the First Born, but he gained the upper hand. However, Hera arrived at Olympus, having regained her Olympian powers, revealing that Apollo had restored them before dying. Hera teleported Wonder Woman and her allies to Paradise Island. There, Wonder Woman found Zola, safe. Hera had also restored the Amazons back to life. Wonder Woman chose to lead them to battle as the new God of War.
Artemis of Bana-Mighdall briefly served as Wonder Woman during Hippolyta's trials for a new Wonder Woman. Orana, a character similar to Artemis, defeated Diana in a new contest and became Wonder Woman in pre-Crisis on Infinite Earths continuity. Orana was killed during her first mission. Others who have donned the Wonder Woman persona include Nubia, Cassandra Sandsmark, and Donna Troy.
By the time that Robert Kanigher took over the character, a change away from traditional comics as a whole was accomplished. He eventually veered completely away from superheroism and essentially only told stories involving the Wonder Family, which consisted of Wonder Woman, her teenage version Wonder Girl, her baby version Wonder Tot and her mother. This eventually proved not very popular and Kanigher was forced to rethink the character and cast her in a more traditional superhero context (he actually explained this decision in comics to the reader with his various creations vying to remain in continuity against his wishes). It was at this time for instance that Wonder Woman saw the return of some characters that had been missing for some time such as the Cheetah or Doctor Psycho. It was also at this time that she became a founding member of the original Justice League of America.
Princess Diana of Themyscira is an Amazonian warrior princess and one of the world's first superheroes, known as Wonder Woman. She is the daughter of Queen Hippolyta and Zeus, king of the Olympians. Born on Themyscira, Diana was raised in paradise, hearing tales of her the Amazons' great task of defeating the God of War, Ares, and bringing peace to the world, ushering in a new era of peace to the world. Upon coming of age, Diana began pursuing the life of a warrior, despite her mother's rejections. Determined to serve, she ultimately enticed her aunt Antiope to train her in secret, but was soon discovered by her mother, Queen Hippolyta. Begrudgingly, the queen accepted Diana as a warrior, and ordered Antiope to train her better than any other Amazon.
Immortality: Wonder Woman, due to being an Amazon, has lived for millennia without visibly aging, with her being roughly 5000 years old (having been born right after the War of the Gods), and having been present in the "Man's World" since World War I. She is thus the oldest member of the Justice League by far (though still roughly a millenia younger than Enchantress, and even more so than Ares and Steppenwolf), making her an ageless immortal, much like Superman.
After Jimenez, Walt Simonson wrote a six-issue homage to the I Ching era, in which Diana temporarily loses her powers and adopts an all-white costume (Wonder Woman vol. 2, #189–194). Greg Rucka became writer with issue #195. His initial story arc centered upon Diana's authorship of a controversial book and included a political subtext. Rucka introduced a new recurring villain, ruthless businesswoman Veronica Cale, who uses media manipulation to try to discredit Diana. Rucka modernized the Greek and Egyptian gods, updating the toga-wearing deities to provide them with briefcases, laptop computers, designer clothing, and modern hairstyles. Rucka dethroned Zeus and Hades, who were unable to move with the times as the other gods had, replacing them with Athena and Ares as new rulers of the gods and the underworld. Athena selected Diana to be her personal champion.
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.
During the 25 bi-monthly issues of the "new" Wonder Woman, the writing team changed four times. Consequently, the stories display abrupt shifts in setting, theme, and tone. The revised series attracted writers not normally associated with comic books, most notably science fiction author Samuel R. Delany, who wrote Wonder Woman #202–203 (October and December 1972).
In an October 25, 1940, interview with the Family Circle magazine, William Moulton Marston discussed the unfulfilled potential of the comic book medium. 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. 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:
With the appearance of the Bana-Mighdallian Amazons, the Olympians faced a new prospect. Though devout Amazons, these newest citizens of Themyscira do not worship the Greek gods. Renouncing them millennia ago, the tribe instead worship a combination of Egyptian and middle eastern deities. The central gods worshipped by the desert Amazons are: Isis (wisdom and magic), Mammitu (judgement bringer), Bast (nature and feminine), and Neith (mother figure and protection). These gods followed the Bana-Mighdallian Amazons to Themyscira where they continued to be worshipped. Facing the situation with hands tied, both pantheons agreed to integrate themselves with each other for the benefit of their people. Though these new gods do not reside on Olympus, they are treated with diplomacy when called to aid the Amazons in a united godly role. Despite the gods mentioned being part of the inner-circle of deities in the Bana's belief system, less significant gods have been shown to be part of their godly pantheon as well such as Sekhmet (war god), Thoth (their only known male god) and possibly Ishtar (love goddess). The gods of Bana-Mighdall proved their loyalty to the Olympians by aiding the Greek gods in battle when the war gods Sekhmet and Ares previously devised a coup on Olympus.
Wonder Woman gets a little jealous with Supergirl's arrival, believing she is trying to catch everyone's attention. When she realized that Supergirl is actually a better superhero because she looks up to Wonder Woman, they became friends and Wonder Woman helps to train Supergirl. She is among the heroes to battle against Granny Goodness and the Female Furies. She is voiced by Grey Griffin.
Poseidon Flash Comics #9 (September 1940) Poseidon is the God of the Sea, Earthquakes, and Horses who is based on the god of the same name. Post-Crisis, Poseidon was most often seen as an ally to Wonder Woman, though he eventually sided with Zeus and Hades after Athena took over Mount Olympus. In New 52, Poseidon's Appearance is blue-skinned half Toad, half Octopus.
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.”
Soon thereafter, the gods secreted themselves away for a conference. At this time, Darkseid attacked Olympus. The dark god ceased hostilities, though, as soon as he realized the place was deserted. When the gods returned, they had decided upon destroying Mount Olympus and undertaking a "cosmic migration" to the stars. Over Hermes' objections, they took several steps. First, the three elder brothers made a new pact to replace the original pact which divided Earth among them. Then, they combined the will of all the gods (minus Ares) and the strength of Amazon prayer, and used Diana's bracelets to amplify that power (the bracelets are all that remained of Zeus' Aegis; this Aegis was made from the hide of Amalthea, the goat which reared him. Thus, the old home was demolished and New Olympus was created. In order to properly establish this new home, it was necessary for the Gods to sequester themselves indefinitely.
“As to the ‘advanced femininity,’ what are the activities in comic books which women ‘indulge in on an equal footing with men’? They do not work. They are not homemakers. They do not bring up a family. Mother-love is entirely absent. Even when Wonder Woman adopts a girl there are Lesbian overtones,” he said. At the Senate hearings, Bender testified, too. If anything in American popular culture was bad for girls, she said, it wasn’t Wonder Woman; it was Walt Disney. “The mothers are always killed or sent to the insane asylums in Walt Disney movies,” she said. This argument fell on deaf ears.
Wonder Woman was legally barred from appearing in the first few seasons of the Batman: The Brave and the Bold, but made a cameo from behind in the episode "Sidekicks Assemble!" She later made a full appearance in the final season during the episode "Scorn of the Star Sapphire!," and played a main role in the episode "Triumvirate of Terror!" In the show, she was voiced by Vicki Lewis.