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A Brief History Of Wonder Woman

Updated on December 16, 2015

Female Icon

Wonder Woman is without a doubt the best known of the female super heroes. A member of the Justice League of America, Wonder Woman stands shoulder to shoulder with and on equal terms with such luminaries as Batman, Superman and Green Lantern, a goddess and an icon to women everywhere. Her goal is to bring love and peace to our patriarchal world. She is strong, she is invincible, she is Wonder Woman!

The Early Years

Wonder Woman makes her debut in All Star Comics # 8 (January 1942). Wonder Woman was the brainchild of one William Moulton Marston who incidentally was the inventor of the polygraph also known as the Lie Detector.

An early Wonder Woman comic.
An early Wonder Woman comic.

Coming To America

In her initial story Wonder Woman who at this time is Princess Diana of the Amazons ( a race of warrior women) is sent to the USA by her mother Hippolyte to help America in their fight against the Nazi menace, she is bestowed with a patriotic red, white and blue costume and the name Wonder Woman. Wonder Woman soon adopts the name and job of a nurse, Diana Prince, which becomes her alter ego.

Wonder Woman made her first cover appearance in Sensation Comics # 1( January 1942 ) and becomes the star of her own title in Wonder Woman # 1 in the summer of 1942.

Wonder Woman in her invisible plane.
Wonder Woman in her invisible plane.

Incredible Gadgets

Wonder Woman has used some amazing gadgets over the years none more so than her invisible plane! Fossil fuel free it uses the power of graviton particles to enable it to fly, she also wields the Lasso of truth and indestructible bracelets which can deflect bullets and a boomerang like tiara which of course can be used as a weapon.

Baroness Paula Von Gunther is captured.
Baroness Paula Von Gunther is captured.

Enemies

Baroness Von Gunther was Wonder Woman's first recurring nemesis, originally blackmailed by the Nazis into serving them as her daughter was being held prisoner, Baroness Von Gunther changed sides once Wonder Woman had rescued her daughter, and became chief scientist and an ally of the Amazons.

Based on the Greek character of the same name Circe is a witch and a sorceress with enormous power especially in illusion and transformation spells, originally only a minor villain but recently has become a much more formidable foe.

Other baddies Wonder Woman has faced include Cheetah, Dark Angel and the Blue Snowman as well as all the villains and earth threatening entities she has confronted as a member of the Justice League of America.



Wonder Woman with Etta Candy
Wonder Woman with Etta Candy

Allies

In the original Wonder Woman stories she was helped by the girls from Holiday College led by her good friend Etta Candy, in the early days of comic books most super heroes were given a teenage sidekick, for example Batman and Robin, Green Arrow and Speedy, Etta Candy served this purpose in the Wonder Woman books.

Wonder Woman's traditional love interest has been Steve Trevor an American airman who crash lands onto Paradise Island the home of the amazons, serving as an almost male Lois Lane type character, Trevor frequently needed to be rescued and pined after the beautiful Wonder Woman without noticing the similarity that existed between her and his meek and mild co worker Diana Prince. Amazingly just the fact that Diana wore glasses was enough to put him off the scent!

Being a member of the Justice League of America, Wonder Woman is an ally of Superman, Batman, The Flash, Green Arrow, Green Lantern and others and has strong ties with other super heroines Donna Troy and Wonder Girl.




A new style Wonder Woman in issue number 178.
A new style Wonder Woman in issue number 178.

Wonder Woman Changes

During 1968 major changes were made to the Wonder Woman comic book, falling sales had initiated a need to bring Diana more into the real world. Circumstances combined that Diana lost all her super powers and the love of her life Steve Trevor was killed off. No longer the super powered amazon Diana learned martial arts from an elderly teacher named I Ching and became a master spy. Due to some pressure from the feminist movement the old style Wonder Woman returned in 1970 complete with Red, White and Blue outfit and super powers intact.

Jeff Jones cover for Wonder Woman # 200
Jeff Jones cover for Wonder Woman # 200

Jeff Jones Covers

The late Jeff Jones was a wonderful artist, renowned fantasy artist Frank Franzetta called him " the worlds greatest living painter ", although known as a male for the majority of his life Jones later changed his name to Jeffrey Catherine Jones and after hormone replacement therapy was officially recognized as a female. Jones only two covers for Wonder Woman numbers 199 and 200, they are both brilliant and are becoming very collectable.

A television series Wonder Woman starring former Miss World Lynda Carter was a major success during the 1970s, today Wonder Woman still appears in comic books and some issues of her old comics are major collectors items.

A beautiful piece of Wonder Woman art by Steve Rude.
A beautiful piece of Wonder Woman art by Steve Rude.

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    • Geekdom profile image

      Geekdom 4 years ago

      Once again, a great quick summary of a very popular comic book character.

      Tip, you might want to edit your e-bay capsules key word. The same comic is coming up 5 times.

    • nuffsaidstan profile image
      Author

      nuffsaidstan 4 years ago

      Cheers mate

    • Kathryn Stratford profile image

      Kathryn 4 years ago from Manchester, Connecticut

      I never knew that they tried changing Wonder Woman at one point. That must not have been popular! I'm glad they changed her back.

    • nuffsaidstan profile image
      Author

      nuffsaidstan 4 years ago

      Yes so am i, some of those covers when she changed though were great, they were painted by a guy called Jeff Jones who later had a sex change, a brilliant artist who unfortunately died recently.

    • limpet profile image

      Ian Stuart Robertson 2 years ago from London England

      Wonder Woman has certainly advanced in genre since her inception more than half a century now. Of course W.W. did need to change with the times. I personally felt more could have been done in promoting the character of her kid sister which made a mention just one adventure. Where do we go from here? Possibly greater challenges for Wonder Woman yet to come!

    • limpet profile image

      Ian Stuart Robertson 21 months ago from London England

      Give me Wonder Woman in the early years but yes, lets do averything possible to keep the W.W. genre alive.

    • nuffsaidstan profile image
      Author

      nuffsaidstan 21 months ago

      Of course she is a great character!

    • limpet profile image

      Ian Stuart Robertson 21 months ago from London England

      I'd be interested to learn that if at any stage Wonder Woman ever became a mother. If likely it would have to have been at the Lynda Carter/ Cathy Lee Cosby time or even before. I'd reckon her age then to be late 20's early 30's and could still concieve, nurture a child and then go back to full time Wonder Woman adventures.

    • limpet profile image

      Ian Stuart Robertson 21 months ago from London England

      Without a shadow of a doubt and the best is yet to come.

    • limpet profile image

      Ian Stuart Robertson 15 months ago from London England

      WONDER WOMAN lives, forever !

    • limpet profile image

      Ian Stuart Robertson 7 weeks ago from London England

      Didn't Wonder Woman have a kid sister? Would be interesting to see more of her.

    • limpet profile image

      Ian Stuart Robertson 6 weeks ago from London England

      Would like to keep as many Wonder Woman hub pages open for as long as possible.

      She certainly 'delivers the goods' when it comes to springing into action.

    • limpet profile image

      Ian Stuart Robertson 2 weeks ago from London England

      Up and coming Wonder Woman movie promises to be quit exiting.

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