With the focus this week on the “world leaders” meeting in Europe, and the obvious lack of women in leadership roles, I wanted to reiterate the importance of strong women emerging in every corner, in every aspect of life today. Regardless of controversy, she is here to stay. Little girls, big girls, are here to say, we won’t be denied any longer. We know we are better together, when we all are shown respect and compassion. So with this, I give you the history of Wonder Woman. May we all find our own voice and strength and see the positive ripples of our efforts for a better world.
On October 21, 2016, the United Nations sparked controversy by naming Wonder Woman a UN Honorary Ambassador for the Empowerment of Women and Girls in a ceremony attended by Under-Secretary-General for Communications and Public Information Cristina Gallach and by actors Lynda Carter and Gal Gadot. Two months later she was dropped from her role as a UN Ambassador following a petition.
Wonder Woman is a fictional superhero appearing in American comic books published by DC Comics. The character is a founding member of the Justice League, demigoddess, and Ambassador-at-Large of the Amazonian people. In her homeland, her official title is Diana, Princess of Themyscira, Daughter of Hippolyta. When traveling in “Man’s World” incognito, she adopts her civilian identity Diana Prince. The character is also referred to by such epithets as the Amazing Amazon, the Spirit of Truth, Themyscira’s Champion, and The Goddess of Love and War.
Wonder Woman was created by the American psychologist and writer William Moulton Marston (pen name: Charles Moulton),and artist Harry G. Peter. Marston and his wife Elizabeth‘s cohabitant, Olive Byrne, is credited as being his inspiration for the character’s appearance. Marston drew a great deal of inspiration from early feminists, and especially from birth control pioneer Margaret Sanger. The character first appeared in All Star Comics #8 in October 1941 and first cover-dated on Sensation Comics #1, January 1942. The Wonder Woman title has been published by DC Comics almost continuously except for a brief hiatus in 1986.
Wonder Woman’s origin story relates that she was sculpted from clay by her mother Queen Hippolyta and given life by Aphrodite, along with superhuman powers as gifts by the Greek Gods. However, in recent years artists updated her profile: she has been depicted as the daughter of Zeus, and jointly raised by her mother Hippolyta and her aunts Antiope and Menalippe; artist George Perez gave her a muscular look and emphasized her Amazonian heritage; artist Jim Lee redesigned Diana’s costume to include pants; she inherits Ares’s divine abilities, becoming the personified “God of War”; and writer Greg Rucka clarified her sexual orientation as bisexual, giving her a backstory that includes positive relationships with women.
Wonder Woman’s Amazonian training helped to develop a wide range of extraordinary skills in tactics, hunting, and combat. She possesses an arsenal of advanced technology, including the Lasso of Truth, a pair of indestructible bracelets, a tiara which serves as a projectile, and, in older stories, a range of devices based on Amazon technology. Wonder Woman was created during World War II; the character was initially depicted fighting Axis military forces as well as an assortment of colorful supervillains, although over time her stories came to place greater emphasis on characters, deities, and monsters from Greek mythology. Many stories depicted Wonder Woman rescuing herself from bondage, which defeated the “damsels in distress” trope that was common in comics during the 1940s. In the decades since her debut, Wonder Woman has gained a formidable cast of enemies bent on eliminating the Amazon, including classic villains such as Ares, Cheetah, Doctor Poison, Circe, Doctor Psycho, and Giganta, along with more recent adversaries such as Veronica Cale. Wonder Woman has also regularly appeared in comic books featuring the superhero teams Justice Society (from 1941) and Justice League (from 1960).
Notable depictions of the character in other media include Gloria Steinem placing the character on the cover of the premiere edition of Ms. magazine in 1971; the 1975–1979 Wonder Woman TV series starring Lynda Carter; as well as animated series such as the Super Friends and Justice League. Since Carter’s television series, studios struggled to introduce a new live-action Wonder Woman to audiences, although the character continued to feature in a variety of toys and merchandise, as well as animated adaptations of DC properties, including a direct-to-DVD animated feature starring Keri Russell. Attempts to return Wonder Woman to television have included a television pilot for NBC in 2011, closely followed by another stalled production for The CW. Gal Gadot portrays Wonder Woman in the DC Extended Universe, starting with the 2016 film Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, marking the character’s feature film debut after over 70 years of history. Gadot also starred in the character’s first solo live-action film Wonder Woman, which was released on June 2, 2017.
|Wonder Woman in Justice #5 (June 2006)
Art by Doug Braithwaite and Alex Ross
|First appearance||All Star Comics #8
|Created by||· William Moulton Marston
· Harry G. Peter (uncredited)
|Alter ego||Princess Diana of Themyscira|
|Place of origin||Themyscira|
|Team affiliations||· Justice League|
|Partnerships||· Steve Trevor
|Notable aliases||Diana Prince|
|Abilities||· Superhuman strength, speed, durability, reflexes and longevity
· Master hand-to-hand combatant
· Utilizes Lasso of Truth, indestructible bracelets, boomerang tiara, sword, and shield