Super of the Week: Wonder Woman

She’s the first female superhero in DC Comics, but Diana Prince’s Wonder Woman is so much more than a female in a leotard. The heroine has the strength of a god and the heart of an Amazon.

Known as the first female member of the Justice League, Wonder Woman is more than just a strong-willed princess who lives on an island. She’s an icon. A female that inspires and fights for mankind and therefore, a hero that isn’t afraid to speak up.

Being a woman in a world full of men, means Diana has to stand out and she does that with her morals and her pure heart. Despite wearing the tiara of royalty, she’s got a lasso which can be used to force one to tell the truth. Let’s not forget the invisible jet. How awesome is that?

FULL NAME:

  • Princess Diana of Themyscira, Daughter of Hippolyta (Amazonian)
  • Diana Prince (Human)

NICKNAME(S): Di

ALIAS(ES):

  • Wonder Woman
  • God Killer
  • Diana Prince
  • Diana of Themyscira
  • Goddess
  • Princess Diana
  • Warrior Princess
  • Young Woman
  • Child

COMIC BOOK FRANCHISE: DC Comics

CREATOR(S): William Moulton Marston (writer), H.G. Peter (artist)

FIRST APPEARANCE(S): All Star Comics #8 (released October 1941)

ALLIES:

  • Amazons
  • Wonder Girl (various versions)
  • Superman
  • Batman
  • Justice League

POWERS/ABILITIES:

  • Superhuman Strength
  • Speed
  • Stamina
  • Durability
  • Endurance
  • Agility
  • Reflexes/Reactions
  • Intelligence
  • Senses
  • Regenerative healing factor
  • Invulnerability
  • Immortality
  • Master hand-to-hand combatant and martial artist
  • Flight
  • Magic
  • Electrokinesis
  • Divine energy manipulation and projection
  • Uses Lasso of Truth, indestructible bracelets, projectile tiara, sword, shield and invisible jet

FAMILY:

  • Hippolyta (mother)
  • Zeus (father – recent incarnations)
  • Donna Troy (sister/clone – various sources)
  • Cassie Sandsmark (niece – various sources)
  • Antiope (aunt – various sources)
  • Menalippe (aunt – various sources)

FRIEND(S):

  • Etta Candy (some sources)
  • Steve Trevor

TEAM(S):

  • Justice League
  • Department of Metahuman Affairs
  • Justice League Dark
  • Justice Society of America

BIOGRAPHY

Wonder Woman
[Credit: Syfy Wire]

Born on Themyscira to Hippolyta, Diana was conceived when the queen sculpts her from clay and asks Zeus to bring her to life. Depending on the source, the future superheroine had a love/hate relationship with her mother and decides to put her own fate on the line by venturing out into the wider world of man.

Over the years, the princess showed the world what it means to be a hero. She’s teamed up with some of DC’s biggest heroes including Batman and Superman. The Amazonian has also romanced the big blue boy scout in various storylines. Watch out Lois Lane!

PAST MEDIA APPEARANCES

[Credit: Tenor]

Over the years, Wonder Woman has appeared in a number of media projects from animation to live-action. Here’s a few of them:

  • Wonder Woman (1974)
  • Super Friends
  • Wonder Woman (1970s)

RECENT MEDIA APPEARANCES

[Credit: Tenor]

This is a list of recent Wonder Woman appearances: 

  • The LEGO Movie (2014)
  • Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice (2016)
  • Wonder Woman (2017)
  • Justice League (2017)
  • Superhero High
  • Young Justice

RECEPTION

Wonder Woman
[Credit: Pinterest]

For the most part, Wonder Woman is portrayed as a strong and positive influence for both sexes. As a female superhero, Diana began dealing with misogyny that women suffered at the time. As a Justice League founder alongside Supes and Bats, the princess dealt with the effects of masculinity as the sole female member.

During the 50s and 60s, Diana’s characterisation as strong and independent  moved to the stereotypical trope of lovesick puppy as she was frequently written to desperately in love with Steve Trevor. Storylines consisted of her wanting to marry Trevor.

Due to her popularity, Wonder Woman ranked as the 20th greatest superhero character by Empire Magazine. Comics Buyer’s Guide placed Diana as the 6th on their 100 sexiest Women in Comics list. Meanwhile, in 2011, IGN had the royal at 5th place on the Top 100 Comic Book Heroes of All Time list.

Upon her creation, the Amazonian became an icon for the Feminist, Pacifist and LGBT movements. She was also considered to be a sex icon due to the themes of bondage and sexual themes throughout the earliest incarnations of the character. 

PORTRAYALS – LIVE ACTION

[Credit: TENOR]

Wonder Woman has appeared in a load of live-action projects since the ‘70s. Here’s a list of actresses who have played her:

  • Cathy Lee Crosby (1974 television film)
  • Lynda Carter (1975-1979 television series)
  • Adrianne Palicki (2011 unsold television pilot)
  • Megan Gale (2008 unproduced Justice League: Mortal)
  • Gal Gadot (2016 – present – Worlds of DC films)

PORTRAYALS – ANIMATION

Wonder Woman
[Credit: Screen Rant]

Diana has appeared in more animated properties then she has live-action. Here’s a list of animated projects Wonder Woman has appeared in:

  • Cobie Smulders (LEGO Movie)
  • Lucy Lawless (Justice League: The New Frontier)
  • Keri Russell (Wonder Woman 2009)
  • Vanessa Marshall (Justice League: Crisis on Two Earths and Justice League: The Flashpoint Paradox)
  • Susan Eisenberg (DCAU and Superman/Batman: Apocalypse)
  • Laura Bailey (LEGO Batman: The Movie – DC Superheroes Unite)
  • Grey DeLisle (JLA Adventures: Trapped in Time)
  • Michelle Monaghan (Justice League: War)
  • Rosario Dawson (various projects)
  • Tamara Taylor (Justice League: Gods and Monsters)
  • Kari Wahlgren (LEGO DC Comics Super Heroes: Justice League vs. Bizarro League)
  • Maggie Q (Young Justice)

Icons Who Looked Up To Her

Unquestioningly, as a creation of William Moulton Marston meant Wonder Woman would inherit quite the following with both genders.

Gloria Steinem was the editor of Ms. Magazine. She was such a fan of the character, that the fictional creation appeared on the first cover of the publication. She said the following:

“…[Marston] had invented Wonder Woman as a heroine for little girls, and also as a conscious alternative to the violence of comic books for boys.”

Steinem was also responsible for bringing Diana’s original abilities back. She was offended that the character had been written as a damsel-in-distress. In summary, it was here that the Warner Communications, the owner of DC Comics and an an investor wrote an appreciative essay about Wonder Woman.

In short, Carolyn Cocca said that Wonder Woman contained a “duality of character” because she possessed qualities of femininity and masculinity. This didn’t just stem to her attitude, but to her physical attributes too.

In brief, the first female editor of the WW comics, Karen Berger said this:

“Wonder Woman [is] a great role model to young women, but also contains many elements that appeal to to males as well. Wonder Woman crosses the gender line.”

As a matter of fact, Berger started working with George Pérez on pristine issues of Wonder Woman beginning in the year 1987. They wrote about Diana “working with her friends and allies to teach lessons of peace and equality.”

Themes Wonder Woman Explores

[Credit: Tenor]

All things considered, Wonder Woman dealt with themes that were taboo. Marston had an unusual take on women given his polygamous relationship with his wife and their partner. However, it was them that gave him the idea to create Hippolyta’s daughter.

In fact, each version of the character is different. However, it is still the same template used for every version. In the early days for example, the main themes circled around sexuality and bondage, though this was not done without reason. Marston’s theory that relationships between humans could be broken down in the following:

  • Dominance
  • Submission
  • Inducement
  • Compliance

As stated before, in the early days Wonder Woman faced misogyny because she was female.

Also, it’s been depicted a couple of times that Diana is bisexual as one storyline showed she had feelings for an Amazon named Io who shared the same feelings towards her.

Finally, actress Gal Gadot who is the most recent Wonder Woman applauded the move of making her version bisexual given that she grew up in a female-only society.

We could not be more excited for Wonder Woman 1984. Be sure to check it out and it hits cinemas in June.

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cjhawkings

C.J. Hawkings has written for the now-defunct Entertainment website, Movie Pilot and the still functioning WhatCulture and ScreenRant. She now writes for FanSided and is loving it!

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