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A Brief History Of Wonder Woman
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.
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 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 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.
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.
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 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.
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