Wonder Woman’s appearance in the early golden age of comics made her the first prominent female superheroine. The psychologist William Moulton Marston created Wonder Woman somewhat as a counter reaction to the presence of prominent male superheroes (at this time Superman, Batman and Captain America), as well as a counterbalance to the "blood curdling masculinity" that was dominant at the time, with the hopes that the character could serve as an inspiration for young children (though in certain ways it was geared more towards female readers.) Marston had been partially motivated to create this character because of the accomplishments of his own wife, who was also an accomplished academic at a time when it was difficult for women to fulfill this role. As a result, the first Wonder Woman series contained many complementary articles and features which sought to highlight the inner power of women. There were articles for instance on the different career paths that women could pursue (according to the standards of the 1940s) as well as a series of stories on famous and accomplished women, called the Wonder Women of History. Marston introduced the character in All-Star Comics #8 in 1941. She became the lead character in Sensation Comics in 1941, and got her first solo book in 1942.
“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.
Marston was sure he knew what line not to cross. Harmless erotic fantasies are terrific, he said. “It’s the lousy ones you have to look out for—the harmful, destructive, morbid erotic fixations—real sadism, killing, blood-letting, torturing where the pleasure is in the victim’s actual pain, etc. Those are 100 per cent bad and I won’t have any part of them.” He added, in closing, “Please thank Miss Roubicek for the list of menaces.”
Diana sees Sir Patrick Morgan in the base, who reveals himself to be the true Ares, and tells her of his plan for a world without humanity by having them destroy each other. Ares proposes that Diana help him accomplish his vision of paradise, but Diana promptly refuses, not wanting to kill billions of innocents. Ares then reluctantly engages her in an epic battle while Steve and his comrades attempt to dismantle the plane harboring the mustard gas.
(For the record, Marston and Olive Byrne’s son, Byrne Marston, who is an 83-year-old retired obstetrician, thinks that when Marston talked about the importance of submission, he meant it only metaphorically. “I never saw anything like that in our house,” he told me. “He didn’t tie the ladies up to the bedpost. He’d never have gotten away with it.”)
Superhuman Durability: Diana possesses a high resistance to damage and magical attacks. Her resistance to injury is not quite as great as Superman or Supergirl. However, due to her vast threshold for pain and her Amazonian ability to heal at a superhuman rate, this easily makes up for the difference. She has withstood considerable bludgeoning damage in the form of hand to hand combat with metahuman opponents such as Superman and Shazam. She has considerable resistance to human weaponry, though this is not absolute; bullets, and edged weapons can cause minor to moderate injury, but never life threatening. She once survived an Eighth Metal bullet to the head and was back on her feet and fighting again a few moments later.