Aphrodite All-Star Comics #8 (December 1941) Aphrodite is the Goddess of Love and Beauty who is named after the goddess of the same name. In the 1940s, Aphrodite was Wonder Woman's patron goddess. Later, Athena joined her as Diana's main patron. Post-Crisis, Aphrodite was joined by Athena, Artemis, Hestia, Demeter, and Hermes as Wonder Woman's patrons, though she most often abstained from interacting with the amazons. Post-Crisis, Aphrodite's role was severely minimized, appearing as a faceless, beautiful naked woman. Post-Rebirth, Aphrodite appeared as an ally to Wonder Woman in the form of a dove. It is unknown if Aphrodite continues to serve as patron of the amazons.
After the 2011 relaunch, Diana gained new powers. These new abilities, which included superhuman speed, durability, immortality, accelerated healing, and even flight came in addition to her previous attributed Olympian strength. She is now considered to be stronger than Hercules. In addition to her weaponry, Diana's bracelets can now create an thunderous explosion when she clashes them together. These new abilities are attributed to being the daughter of Hippolyta and Zeus. Her powers are now considered nearly unmeasurable if she goes without her Bracelets of Submission, which keep her powers in check. She uses these powers in battle against the goddess Artemis and quickly renders her unconscious with ease with a series of carefully positioned counterattacks. While using her godly strength, her outfit and accoutrements lit up and her eyes glowed like her father's.[better source needed]
Diana succeeded in her trials, defeating numerous monsters including Echidna, the Chimera, the Cyclops, the Hydra, the Harpies, and the Minotaur. Eventually, Pan's bones were discovered on Olympus but it was too late to save Diana from her labors. Joined by her mother, Diana did indeed destroy the demons beneath Themyscira with the help of the amulet of Harmonia (these demons were funneled into Ares). Diana also freed Heracles, who had borne the weight of Themyscira for eons while imprisoned in a stone form and had been scarred by various monsters. Heracles was accepted into Olympus.
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
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.
Later, in London, Diana talked with Hessia about what being Queen really meant. Hessia told her the changes she was trying to impose were hard, and it might take a long time for the Amazons to accept them. Wonder Woman was called by the Justice League to look for the survivors of another missing village. As part of the operation, Superman explored the interior of a volcano until he was attacked by insects and lost contact with the League. Wonder Woman and Batman were next to enter the volcano and found Superman safe and sound. Exploring the volcano further, the heroes found the missing villagers dead and their remains encased in cocoons by one of the volcano’s insectoid denizens. Wonder Woman almost killed one of these creatures, until the League intervened and took the creature to the Watchtower for medical attention. Upon returning to Paradise Island, Diana spoke to the spirit of Hippolyta. Comforting her daughter, Hippolyta motivated Diana into accepting her duty as God of War. Diana also learnt that relations between Amazons and the Sons of Themyscira had gone sour and the Amazons had created Donna Troy from magical clay, an Amazon who sought to replace Diana as Queen.
The Greek messenger god, Hermes, entrusts Wonder Woman with the protection of Zola, a young woman, who is pregnant with Zeus's child, from Hera, seething with jealousy and determined to kill the child. With the appearance of a bizarre, new, chalk-white enemy, the goddess Strife (a reimagined version of Eris, the goddess of discord who had battled Wonder Woman in post-Crisis continuity), Wonder Woman discovers she, herself, is the natural-born daughter of Hippolyta and Zeus, who, after a violent clash, became lovers. Hippolyta revealed Diana's earlier origin story to be a lie, spread amongst the Amazons to protect Diana from the wrath of Hera, who is known for hunting and killing several illegitimate offspring of Zeus.