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Wonder Woman

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"I can't believe I loved you."-Wonder Woman [src]
See Also: Wonder Woman (Diasambiguation)

Wonder Woman
Wonder Woman
is a DC Comics superheroine created by William Moulton Marston. She first appeared in All Star Comics #8 (December 1941). The Wonder Woman title has been published by DC Comics almost continuously except for a brief hiatus in 1986.

Wonder Woman is a warrior Princess of the Amazons (based on the Amazons of Greek mythology) and was created by Marston, an American, as a "distinctly feminist role model whose mission was to bring the Amazon ideals of love, peace, and sexual equality to a world torn by the hatred of men." Known in her homeland as Diana of Themyscira, her powers include superhuman strength, flight (even though the original Wonder Woman did not have this ability), super-speed, super-stamina, and super-agility. She is highly proficient in hand-to-hand combat and in the art of tactical warfare. She also possesses an animal-like cunning and a natural rapport with animals, which has in the past been presented as an actual ability to communicate with the animal kingdom. She uses her Lasso of Truth, which forces those bound by it to tell the truth, a pair of indestructible bracelets, a tiara which serves as a projectile, and, in some stories, an invisible airplane.

Created during World War II, the character was initially depicted fighting the Axis military forces, as well as an assortment of supervillains. In later decades, some writers maintained the World War II setting, with many of its themes and story arcs, while others updated the series to reflect the present day. Wonder Woman has also regularly appeared in comic books featuring the superhero teams Justice Society (from 1941) and Justice League (from 1960). Arguably the most popular and iconic female superhero in comics, Wonder Woman is also considered a feminist icon. She was named the 20th greatest comic book character by Empire magazine.

In addition to the comics, the character has appeared in other media; most notably, the 1975–1979 Wonder Woman TV series starring Lynda Carter, as well as animated series such as the Super Friends and Justice League. Although a number of attempts have been made to adapt the character to live-action film, none have yet emerged from "development hell." An animated film was released in 2009, with Keri Russell voicing the title role. In 2011, Adrianne Palicki starred in a failed pilot for a would-be series about the character.

In May 2011, Wonder Woman placed fifth on IGN's Top 100 Comic Book Heroes of All Time.

History Edit

Origin Edit

Diana was the daughter of Queen Hippolyta, the first child born on Paradise Island in the three thousand year history that the immortal Amazons lived there. The Amazons had been created around 1200 B.C. when the Greek goddesses drew forth the souls of all women who had been murdered by men. One soul was left behind, the one that would be born as Diana. That soul originally belonged to the unborn daughter of the first woman murdered by a man (whom Hippolyta was the reincarnation of). In the late 20th Century, Hippolyta was instructed to mold some clay from the shores of Paradise Island into the form of a baby girl. Six members of the Greek Pantheon then bonded the soul to the clay, giving it life. Each of the six also granted Diana a gift: Demeter, great strength; Athena, wisdom and courage; Artemis, a hunter's heart and a communion with animals; Aphrodite, beauty and a loving heart; Hestia, sisterhood with fire; Hermes, speed and the power of flight. Diana grew up surrounded by a legion of sisters and mothers. When she was a young woman, the gods decreed that the Amazons must send an emissary into Man's World. Queen Hippolyta ordered a contest to be held, but forbade Diana from participating. Diana disobeyed and did so anyway in disguise, easily winning the contest and being named the Amazon's champion. She was given a uniform fashioned from the standard of someone who had visited the island a few decades earlier.[1]

Wonder Woman did not keep her identity a secret, and she was not at first a "super-heroine". Indeed, her character was in many ways that of a babe in the woods, innocent and without guile. Diana spoke only Themyscirian, a combination of classical Greek and Turkish. She had to learn English when she arrived in America, rather than knowing the language intuitively. Nonetheless, Diana was trained as a warrior and had no compunction against using deadly force when called for. Diana often dealt with war, injustice, inequality, death, and conflicts involving the Olympian Gods.

Before embarking on her mission, Diana was given the Lasso of Truth, forged by Hephaestus himself. She was also given the Sandals of Mercury, which allowed her to instantly traverse great distances in seconds. Diana's mission was one of peace, but part of it initially involved defeating a mad plot by Ares to destroy the world. Diana ventured into the world by starting at Boston. There she met a Harvard professor, Dr. Julia Kapatelis, and her daughter, Vanessa Kapatelis, as well as the Air Force Officers Steve Trevor and Etta Candy. Diana stayed with Julia and Vanessa and over the course of a month or two, Diana learned to speak English. She was attacked at their home by Decay, one of Ares' minions, and after a battle that spilled out into the streets of Boston she first came to the public's eye and was given the name Wonder Woman. Upon discovering Ares' plan (one that involved creating a nuclear holocaust), Diana managed to foil it, battling through his sons Phobos and Deimos before finally convincing him the error of his ways with the Lasso. After defeating the God of War, Diana returned home for healing at the hands of Poseidon himself.

Involvement with the Teen Titans/Joining the JLAEdit

Wonder Woman had been becoming a popular female hero figure around the time of the Teen Titan's creation. And also, around this time, Wonder Woman had become part of the Justice League of America. Wonder Girl, then Donna Troy, was Diana's pupil and she had join the Teen Titans. Diana, with Batman, Flash, and Aquaman supported the teens to team-up.

Mortal and Immortal Challenges Edit

After returning to Boston, Wonder Woman agreed to hire Myndi Mayer to be her publicist, getting her image out to the world at large. She spent the next several months touring the world, conducting interview and learning a lot about the world. She also met most of the Justice League, and after meeting their fearless leader Superman, she realized that she was instantly enamored with him.

She also gathered the attention of Barbara Minerva, the Cheetah, who desired to take the Lasso of Truth from Diana. She lied to Wonder Woman about having found the lost Girdle of Antiope to get close to her, but after touching the Lasso her truth was made clear. Diana was frustrated and angry over her naive trust of Minerva. That same night, Barbara decided to take it by force and attacked as the Cheetah. Diana managed to fight her off, and decided it was time to return home again.

The gods were pleased with Diana's work--one was a little too pleased, however. Zeus offered to make Wonder Woman a goddess if she agreed to sleep with him. Diana refused, and Zeus decreed she must be punished. The other gods managed to deflect the full brunt of Zeus's wrath. He decided that Wonder Woman must pass the Challenge of the Gods. He ordered her to go into the pits beneath Paradise Island and retrieve his fondest treasure; Diana accepts the challenge. Hippolyta was not pleased, and though she could do nothing to stop Diana from descending into the depths, she did resolve to follow after her (fighting past Phillipus first). Wonder Woman battled all number of evil monsters in the pits, from the Hydra to the Echidna, but got some help from the spirit of Diana Trevor. Diana Trevor, the mother of Steve Trevor, revealed that she had been an Air Force Pilot who crash landed on the island and then died helping the Amazons in battle. It was for her that Diana was named, and it was her standard that was used to fashion the Wonder Woman costume. Hippoylta catches up with her daughter, and together they fight even more mythological beasts until they discover Zeus's treasure: Heracles himself! The demigod had been changed to stone and made to bear the weight of the island for thousands of years. Diana and Hippolyta freed him, and brought him back to the surface. Faced with his punishment of thousands of years, Heracles was repentant and begged forgiveness for what had happened between he and the Amazons. The Amazons forgave him at last, and after a celebration he returned to Olympus. The gods were well pleased with Diana. Hippolyta was pleased as well, and ordered her daughter to return to Man's World and continue her mission.

Once Wonder Woman was back, Myndi Mayer quickly arranged another publicity stunt, this time at a fair. Things got ugly, however, when the first Silver Swan arrived on the scene. Wonder Woman battled the Swan along the coast but could not capture her. Returning to Boston, Diana stayed with Vanessa while her mother was in Greece. She found herself distracted more and more with thoughts of Superman, eventually asking Myer to arrange a meeting between the two. Diana and Superman had their "date," which included a battle to free Olympus from the grip of Darkseid after he had laid waste to it. Superman and Wonder Woman decided it would be best if they just remained friends, but Superman trusted Diana enough with the secret of his dual identity. Wonder Woman is one of the few people who affectionately refers to him as "Kal."

The gods decided it was time to take a vacation (or "Cosmic Migration" as they called it) even as Diana decided to go with her friends to Greece, to see the ancient home of her people. She met Julia Kapetelis's parents, but felt a strange sensation in regards to one of the smaller islands that was long said to have a bad history. As it turns out, Circe made that island her home, and she sent her minions to capture Diana and drag her back in chains. Circe revealed her whole history--including the history where she murdered Antiope, Hippolyta's sister. Circe also revealed the prophesy she learned from Hecate, who was responsible for her power, and her belief that if either she or Diana kills the other than the spirit of Hecate will consume the other. Circe resolves to use a spell that will degenerate Diana back in the clay from which she was created. Even with the help of her friends, Wonder Woman only carried the day with the timely intervention of Hermes, who had not yet left Olympus.

When Diana returned to Boston, she learned of the death of Myndi Mayer--someone had apparently shot her in the face with a shotgun in her own home. A man named Steve London was framed for the death, but Diana learned that the man responsible for blasting her was a man named Skeeter Boyd. Skeeter died trying to escape from Wonder Woman, grabbing hold of an electrified fence and frying himself. He had not, in fact, actually killed Myndi--an overdose of alcohol and cocaine had killed her before he delivered the blast. Diana was left to question how something like this could happen.

Called back to Paradise Island, Diana was summoned by the gods to come to Olympus with Hippolyta and Menalippe. It was still in ruins from Darkseid's rampage. The gods announced their decision to depart from the Earth, possibly forever, possibly not. They needed Diana's help to shatter what was left of Olympus so they could move on and allow the healing to begin. Their destiny now in their own hands, Diana called for a vote among the people whether or not they should open the gates of the island and allow men to come there. The Amazons voted yes, and Wonder Woman returned to Boston to invite Julia and Vanessa to be the first guests.

Shadows of the PastEdit

Diana is shocked when Hermes shows up in Boston. He explains that he feels the journey of the rest of the gods is foley and seeks to assert himself, as a god, in Boston. He wins a few converts through bribes and healing, despite Diana's protestations. Hermes is tricked, however, by Phobos and the immortal gorgon, Eurayle into unleashing Ixion the Assassin from his prison beneath the Earth. Ixion went on a rampage across Boston, killing hundreds and damaging the old U.S.S. Constitution. Hermes sent Diana a supernatural call for help and she arrived just in time to confront Phobos, whom she bound with her Lasso. After attacking Ixion and flying him out of the city to prevent further death and destruction, Hermes managed to free himself and regain the Caudecus, the source of most of his godly power, and decapitated Eurayle. Meanwhile Ixion continued his battle with Diana, but even he proved to be no match for her superior strength. He told Diana about his thousands of years of torture and pleaded with her to kill him in order to end his suffering. Hermes then arrived on the scene with Phobos in tow, using his Caudecus to bind the monster, intending to imprison him once again. However Phobos gloated to Diana that the only place Ixion could be properly imprisoned was beneath Theymscira. Diana was horrified, but before the matter could be resolved further, a squadron of jet fighter appeared on the scene. Seeing a chance to finally be freed of his suffering, Ixion broke free and charged the approaching planes, who then opened fire and killed him in response. Diana blamed herself for what happened, as she had not taken a stronger position against Hermes when he first arrived.[11]

Wonder Woman stood along with the rest of the world's heroes to battle against the alien alliance that tried to conquer Earth during the Invasion! crossover.

Cheetah next decides to resurface. She uses a pair of Khunds, still on Earth after the invasion, to create a diversion so she can steal Wonder Woman's magic lasso. Suspecting that Dr. Barbara Minerva stole the lariat (but not knowing yet that she and Cheetah are one and the same) Wonder Woman travels to Minvera's home in England (this coincides with a trip to the first meeting of Justice League Europe, but Diana decides not to remain part of the team at this time). Minerva's manservant, Mr. Chuma, poisons Diana and proceeds to tell her the whole story of how Minerva became Cheetah. The poison has no effect on Diana, however, and she tracks Cheetah to Egypt where out in the hidden city of Bana-Mighdall she finds the lost colony of Amazons. Their leader, Queen Anahid incapacitated Diana with a poisonous dart and locked her up. The high priestess tries to kill Diana but dies when Diana tosses her across the room and she ends up swallowing the same poison dart Queen Anahid used on Diana earlier. Diana breaks free and realizes that Cheetah will be on the prowl that very night--but she is still groggy from the poison. The mercenary Amazons had been hired to pacify a nearby village. Armed for war, Wonder Woman fights them back and is attacked by Cheetah. After a vicious battle, Wonder Woman defeats her adversary and locks her up (Chuma is slain by gunfire during the fight). Queen Anahid, mortally injured by Cheetah, dies after commanding that Diana be spared. The Amazons call off the raid and tell her their history. They are indeed the descendants of Antiope, Hippolyta's sister, though they are not immortal (see Antiope, Pythia). They have in their possession the other Golden Girdle of Gaea. They are a nation of mercenaries and have been since Antiope's death. Pythia, blaming Theseus and all men for her mother's death, was their first leader (see also Circe). The city is attacked by Hermes, who has learned of the rogue Amazons and is extremely angry. He has come for the Golden Girdle. Diana manages to convince him to cease his attack. One of the Amazons, Faruka, decides to use all the chaos to try and seize power, using a (cyborg?) Amazon called Shim'tar. With Hermes weakened by Gaea's status, Diana fights Shim'tar alone, battling to a standstill. The Egyptian government, outraged over the massacre at one of their villages, orders an air strike on the hidden city. Not even Hermes is able to intervene. The entire city is destroyed, leaving Wonder Woman, Minerva, and Hermes alone in the desert. Wonder Woman has recovered both her lasso and the Golden Girdle. After a brief stop back in Boston, Diana returns the Girdle to her mother on Themyscira.[13]

The time has come for Themyscira to welcome the world more openly. Twelve delegates are chosen: Asmund Lindel, the Norway delegate to the U.N.; Maritza Nitumbe, a South African botanist; Phyllis Haller, an American feminist bestselling author and sociologist; Vladimir Morakov, a Russian neurosurgeon; Robert Cantwell, Scottish history teacher and war veteran; Rabbi Benjamin Hecht and Unitarian minister Reverand Alan Withersppon, the only two religious leaders to respond to Diana's invitation (the Vatican was silent); Lin Koo Teng, a survivor of Tienamen Square; Rovo Quashi, a blind man from Ethiopia; Henri Tibet, a paraplegic architect from Canada; Felix Zumac, a Haithian zoologist and anthropologist; and Lois Lane, everybody's favorite reporter from the Daily Planet. Hermes, shedding his immortality, grants Diana the ability to use her winged sandals to take the delegates to Themyscira. The delegates all arrive to a magnificent greeting by the Amazons. No one suspects that Eris, daughter of Ares, is plotting discord. She nearly succeeds in turning everyone against one another when her plans are discovered and thwarted. The delegates all deliver their favorable report to the U.N. while the Amazons commence the cleanup. Julia is on a dig overseas and Vanessa is at summer camp. Hermes, shorn of some of his divinity, has been staying with Steve Trevor.

Wonder Woman had her second run in with the Silver Swan, now more powerful than ever, when Valerie was attempting to escape from her "benefactors." Wonder Woman and Etta Candy were captured by Hank Armbruster's thugs, but working together they were able to break free. Using her Lasso on Armbruster, Diana was able to unveil the depth of his lies to Valerie. The Swan walked away, no longer the villain.[15]

With Themyscira known to the world and the gods departed from Earth, Queen Hippolyta decided it was indeed time to take a more active role. The Amazons removed their bracelets and decided to come to Man's World and see all that it had to offer.[16]

Hippolyta, Menalippe, Phillipus, and other came to stay at a hotel in Gotham City. Diana encountered Hermes again, who had rebuilt a temple unto himself and proceeded to hit on Diana again--or did he? This Hermes turned out to be Mercury, and Wonder Woman had to help the true Hermes battle his "evil twin" at their temple. Mercury was able to win the battle, taunting the humbled Hermes as he departed the field. Hippolyta and the others decided they needed to present themselves as more than just an extension of Wonder Woman, and Steve Trevor told her that he needed some space as well, as Etta was growing jealous of the two of them. When Vanessa also got angry at Diana for being late to her birthday party and even Julia wanted some space, Diana decided to return home to recharge. While at home, Diana was contacted in her sleep by Hermonia as well as Pariah, both of whom offered warnings about an impending crisis. Waking from this nightmare Diana seemed to drift into another one, this one involving a badly beaten and injured Hermes. Diana suspected that Circe was behind her ill fortune lately. [17]

Back in Boston, Wonder Woman encountered Hermes--who announced his intention to destroy Boston. Diana told him she would never let it be so--but from Hermes' point of view, it was the Amazon who was threatening the city, and so they began to battle one another, all because of the illusions of Dr. Psycho, who had been posing as a therapist for Vanessa. Diana and Hermes stopped short of killing one another when one of Vanessa's teachers interrupted the insane villain. Diana and Hermes, relieved of their delusions, join together to track down their tormentor. Realizing that he had been twisting the mind of Vanessa as well, Diana was able to share her thoughts with Vanessa and track him down in his lair. There she found Vanessa's teacher, whose unborn baby had been tortured by Dr. Psycho as well. Meanwhile, the Amazons are attacked in their hotel by masked assassins, who also murder the police officers at the building and frame it on the Amazons themselves. The word quickly spreads, and by the time she takes the injured teacher to the hospital, the police try to arrest her for murder. Diana protests their innocence while alerting the police to the location of Dr. Psycho, whom she left tied up with her Lasso. However, when the police arrive, he is no where to be found; the Lasso is tied to a chair but no one is there. Before the Boston P.D. take her in, she convinces them to allow her to help deliver the child, which she successfully does. A news report indicated that armed Amazons broke into the hotel in Gotham and slaughtered police and civilians alike.

Added by Darkseid01Wonder Woman allowed herself to be taken into custody where she learned the horrible tally: Hippolyta was missing, Philippus was gravely injured, Menalippe and Epione had been arrested (the former with injuries), Mnemosyne and Timandra had been arrested in other cities, Pythia and Euboea were unaccounted for, and Hellene had been killed. There was also an unidentified Amazon who was killed at the hotel, prompting a scare that there could be dozens of murderous Amazons running about. Vanessa comes to the police station with news her mother is missing. Diana manages to convince the police to let her see the unidentified Amazon. The dead woman is unknown to her, but the tell-tale claw marks raking her body lead her to believe she was killed by the Cheetah. Commissioner Gordon reluctantly order Diana arrested, but Diana, fearful for the safety of her friends, breaks out of the jail. Recovering her Lasso, she frees Menalippe from her hospital before catching up with Pythia and Euboea and taking them all back to Paradise Island.

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