Tabetha’s a major Wonder Woman fan. Are you ready to learn all about what makes her so great? There are also Wonder Woman facts in here that are fascinating!
Before I word vomit all over this blog and fan girl out about my long time love of Wonder Woman I need to start with a brief history on how and why she was created. I’ll follow this all up by letting you know more about her in the comics and where to start if you would like to read some of the better Wonder Woman stories.
A brief history of Wonder Woman
Wonder Woman – created in 1940 by psychologist William Marston with his wife, Elizabeth. Marston, famous for inventing the polygraph, wanted to create a hero who would not triumph with fists or firepower, but with love, justice and truth. A strong woman, not only physically but in morals and her beliefs of fighting for what is right and just in the world.
Elizabeth was a huge inspiration for this character as she helped collaborate to develop this character into who she has become today. Marston wrote: “Wonder Woman is psychological propaganda for the new type of woman who should, I believe, rule the world.” He went on to say in a 1943 issue of The American Scholar
“Not even girls want to be girls so long as our feminine archetype lacks force, strength, and power. Not wanting to be girls, they don’t want to be tender, submissive, peace-loving as good women are. Women’s strong qualities have become despised because of their weakness. The obvious remedy is to create a feminine character with all the strength of Superman plus all the allure of a good and beautiful woman.”
So, as you see, even from the original idea behind Wonder Woman, she was meant to empower and ignite passion in us to become more than what we are or seen as. A role model for young female readers.
About Wonder Woman Herself
Born on the Paradise Island of Themyscira (pronounced Them-mes-skera) to a race of Amazon Warriors, Princess Diana, daughter of Queen Hippolyta, was (in the more widely accepted origin stories) birthed out of clay. Granted divine powers by the Gods of Olympus, she was given super strength comparable to Superman as well as an array of mental and psychic abilities (depending on which comic incarnation) including ESP, astral projection, telepathy and mental control over the electricity in her body.
Princess Diana comes to America, donning the alias Diana Prince and becomes Wonder Woman. She has been described in past comic issues as being “[as] beautiful as Aphrodite, wise as Athena, as swift as Hermes and as strong as Hercules”. Sounds like a pretty rounded superheroine to me!
From Marston’s invention of the polygraph came the idea of the magic Lasso of Truth. The only weapon wielded by Wonder Woman, Princess Diana of Themyscira, which she uses to extract confessions and compel obedience in whoever is captured in its grasp. Made from the girdle of Aphrodite, it is impossible to lie under the effect of this infinitely long and unbreakable rope.
Some other amazing items in Diana’s arsenal is her magic tiara which functions as a deadly boomerang (what woman wouldn’t want this item, I know I do!), her utility earrings that allow her to breathe in outer space and her unbreakable bracers that not only deflect bullets but if removed will send its owner into a berserker rage of anger.
Wonder Woman’s introduction into the Justice League of America comics started her out as the Leagues awkward “good woman” secretary of the 1940’s, but in the 70 years since, Wonder Woman has become an icon of the liberated woman.
Over all, Wonder Woman is a powerful force of feminism to be reckoned with. A woman who has fought dragons, dinosaurs, aliens, Nazi’s and has even bruised Superman himself. Regardless of how she has been drawn or written, one incarnation has become the basis of comparison for all that is Wondy, the TV series starring Linda Carter. Linda Carter has always been a big influence for me and why I got into reading the WW comics… but that’s a story for another blog.
Start Reading Wonder Woman!
There are SO MANY Wonder Woman comics (70 years’ worth) it would be impossible to just jump right in. So here are my top 5 places to start depending on when in her history you’re looking to start. Some of these may be out of print but there are digital copies to buy out there.
Wonder Woman Chronicles Book 1 – Back to the beginning. If you are looking to start back at Wondy’s very beginning from the 1940’s and on, this is the book to read. Plus she kicks a lot of Nazi ass!
Wonder Woman – Spirit of Truth – Here is a simple yet powerful modern story of Wonder Woman. It serves as a quick recap of Wonder Woman’s origin from Hippolyta’s perspective then gets right into the heart of who Diana/WW is and her relevance in the modern world. This story is particularly strong in how Diana struggles with whether or not she can truly affect how women are still treated in parts of our world.
JLA – A League of One – This one-shot is a standalone story and I pick it solely for character portrayal reasons. If you ever thought Wonder Woman was not comparable to the likes of Superman or Batman, this comic shows you how wrong you are. The story highlights Diana’s keen intellect and battle prowess and shows us what she is willing to face to save the people she loves. Plus, DRAGONS! Seriously, she fights an ancient dragon in this one.
Wonder Woman – The Hiketeia – This graphic novel is set in Gotham City and features the Dark Knight himself. This is a darker story but one of my favourites. Batman is in pursuit of a woman suspected of murdering her sister’s killers and she pleads for Wonder Woman’s oath of protection with the ritual called Hiketeia. This pins Bats and Wondy against each other climaxing at an epic roof top fight between the two heroes. It has some pretty compelling scenes between WW and Bats and is worth the read if you can find it.
Superman/Wonder Woman (The New 52) – If you’re looking to catch up before the movie then this is where to start. Gal Gadot is playing Wondy in the new Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice movie and I’m praying to the comic book gods that she does the part justice. We need a good WW movie and I hope this is the start of a beautiful big screen adaptation.
My one regret is not adding any of Gail Simone’s Wonder Woman comics to the list but I will end this saying that if you enjoy any of these stories above than check out The Circle by Gail Simone as it also serves as a re-telling of her story. And if reading isn’t your thing check out Wonder Woman: The Animated Movie as it stays true to the original story while still making the characters fresh and interesting.