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Continuity-Related Comic Book Character
Wonder Woman
Wonder Woman Earth2 (All-Star Squadron 20)
Information
Real name: Diana of Paradise Island
AKA: Diana Prince
Princess Diana
Diana Prince
Diana Trevor
Species: Amazon
Homeworld: Earth
Universe: Earth-2A
Relatives: Hippolyta (mother)
Steve Trevor (husband)
Lyta Trevor (daughter)
Occupation: Army Nurse
JSA Secretary
Intelligence Agent
Base: Amazonia (formerly)
Paradise Island
Washington, DC
Affiliations: Justice Society of America
All-Star Squadron

Honorary Justice Society Team Member

Diana (All-Star Comics 8 (Dec.1941 – Jan. 1942))

Diana of Paradise Island. Image from All-Star Comics, #8 (Dec.1941 – Jan. 1942).

Diana Prince 2 (Sensation Comics 1 (January 1942)

Nurse Diana Prince. Image from Sensation Comics, #1 (January 1942).

Diana was named after her godmother who was the goddess of the moon. Wonder Woman was an Amazon champion who wins the right to return Steve Trevor, a United States intelligence officer whose plane had crashed on the Amazons' isolated island homeland to "Man's World" and to fight crime and the evil of the Nazis.[1] Shortly after this, Wonder Woman joined the Justice Society of America as part-time heroine and team secretary.[2]


At last, in a world torn by the hatreds and wars of men, appears a woman to whom the problems and feats of men are mere child’s play. A woman whose identity is known to none, but whose sensational feats are outstanding in a fast-moving world! With a hundred times the agility and strength of our best male athletes and strongest wrestlers, she appears as though from nowhere to avenge an injustice or right a wrong! As lovely as Aphrodite – as wise as Athena – with the speed of Mercury and the strength of Hercules – she is known only as Wonder Woman, but who she is or where she came, nobody knows!.

Quote from All-Star Comics #8/3 (Dec.1941 – Jan. 1942)


Background Information

Major Diana Prince (ASC, Issue 69)

Major Diana Prince.
Image from All-Star Comics, #69 (Nov. - Dec. 1977).

In the parallel universe of Earth-Two (Earth-2A in the SuperFriends Universe), Aphrodite teaches Queen Hippolyta the secret art of molding a human form. After molding several small statues of clay, she begins to adore one in particular. She prays to Aphrodite, asking for life to be given to the statue. Aphrodite grants the queen's wish and names the little one Diana, after the moon goddess. By the age of five, Diana has the strength of Hercules and the speed of Mercury. At the age of fifteen, as a sign of betrothal and service, young Diana receives her bracelets of submission at the altar of Aphrodite.[3]

In 1941, U.S. Army Intelligence pilot, Lt. Steve Trevor flies his fighter across the Atlantic in search of a Nazi spy. His jet runs out of fuel and he crash lands on Paradise Island. Diana carried the injured Trevor to their hospital where she nursed him with the aid of Dr. Althea. Diana spends several days nursing his wounds. She slowly begins to fall in love with him. Her mother, Queen Hippolyta reminds the young Amazon that men are forbidden to set foot on Paradise Island, much less remain there. She declares that as soon as Trevor is fit for travel, he is to be returned to the United States. During Steve's period of recovery, Hippolyta and Diana use the Magic Sphere to divine the nature of Steve's arrival on the island. They look into the past and learn of Trevor's secret mission. As Hippolyta considers what the best course of action would be, Aphrodite and Athena (not wanting Mars, the god of war to win)[4] come to her in a mist and tell her that danger threatens their shores again. The American officer is fighting an army that pursues hate and oppression, while the American’s support democracy and equal rights for women. This means a representative should be sent to the United States, from Paradise Island to aid the American in their fight against evil and aggression. In response, Hippolyta holds a great tournament to determine which of her warriors should act as their good will ambassador. Diana wants to participate in the tournament, but her mother the queen forbids it. This doesn’t stop the young princess. She disguises herself with a simple mask and enters the tournament anyway. She masters every competition and becomes one of two finalists to compete in the Bullets and Bracelets competition. Diana defeats all her opponent and reveals her true identity to the crowd. Hippolyta agrees to allow Diana to travel to the United States. In so doing, Diana is giving up her heritage of peace and happiness. The Queen provides her with a patriotic costume, a magic lasso[5] and tells her to let herself be known as Diana, the Wonder Woman.[6]

Diana takes the wounded Steve Trevor back to America in her invisible plane. She drops him off at the Walter Reed Army Hospital. She wanders aimlessly through the streets of Washington D.C., familiarizing herself with this strange new world of men. In the process she foils a bank robbery and meets an unscrupulous promoter named Al Kane. She ends up working for him and doing the bullets and bracelets routine on stage for money. After she acquires the money she needs, she quits and goes back to the hospital to try and find some way to remain close to Steve. As she walks up the steps to the entrance, she comes across a bespectacled nurse crying. The nurse tells Wonder Woman that her fiancé has is working in South America but he cannot afford to send for her yet to join him. The Amazon Princess removes the nurse's glasses and remarks how similar in appearance the two are. She offers to give the nurse the money she earned, so the nurse can fly to meet her fiancé in exchange for her identity. That way they can both be with the man they love! The nurse agrees and reveals her name to coincidentally be Diana too – "Diana Prince". This new identify was a secret to even Trevor.[7]

When Trevor returned to active duty in the Army, Diana Prince accepted a job as a secretary in the office of Colonel Darnell, one of Trevor's associates. In this position she joined the U.S. Army with the rank of Yeoman. In a subsequent adventure, Diana and Trevor prevented the poisoning of the local water supply by Dr. Poison, a criminal chemist. In the course of this adventure, they were assisted by an appendectomy patient named Etta Candy. Candy, who was enrolled at Holliday college and a member of the Beta Lambda Sorority, become a fast friend of Wonder Woman, even joining the Army for a time to be associated with her.[8]

Wonder Woman's success in the United States infuriated Mars, (god of war and frequent opponent to Aphrodite and her plans), who dispatched one of his most trusted lieutenants to defeat her. The Duke of Deception, an immortal of unknown origin, captured Wonder Woman and Trevor early in the War but was easily defeated.[9] In addition to thwarting Ares and his minions' attempts to prolong the War, Wonder Woman routinely encountered agents of the Axis, particularly Nazi Germany. Prominent among these were the Red Panzer[10] the Iron Claw[11] and Baroness Paula von Gunther.[12] Ultimately, von Gunther was reformed by Amazonian psychotherapy at Transformation Island.

Wonder Woman also encountered members of the criminal element. One of the more dogged of these was Doctor Psycho, a criminal psychotherapist.[13] Another significant adversary was the schizophrenic Priscilla Rich. Rich was a wealthy socialite suffering from considerable mental instability when she hosted a charity function with Wonder Woman as the guest of honor. When the heroine received more attention that herself, Rich slipped into an alternative evil identity, the Cheetah. Creating a costume of animal skin, the Cheetah attempted to poison the Amazon but failed. She later confronted Wonder Woman directly but was defeated in personal combat. Rather than sending her to prison, Wonder Woman transported the Cheetah to Transformation Island in an attempt to cure her schizophrenia.[14] Rich repeatedly escaped, however, and served as a constant source of antagonism for Wonder Woman.[15] Whether she was ultimately cured is unknown.

JSA Membership (All-Star Comics 13)

Joining the JSA.
Image from All-Star Comics, #13 (Oct. – Nov. 1942).

In 1942, Wonder Woman encountered the Justice Society of America. A male-dominated organization, the JSA declined Wonder Woman full membership; opting for an ‘honorary’ position on the team[16] (this is despite the fact that she possessed more raw ability than any of the current membership except the Spectre. This is probably due to the innate sense men had at that time to protect her femininity and honor).[17] In addition to part-time membership, she was offered a position as JSA 'secretary', which she happily accepted. Around this time, she also accepted full-membership in the more loosely organized All-Star Squadron.[18]

By the end of World War II, her relationship with Trevor had deepened and she had achieved the rank of Lieutenant and was a fully certified intelligence agent. Also during this time, she took on a more active role in the Justice Society as some of the more war-weary members retired.

In 1951, Wonder Woman and her fellow JSA members were summoned before the House un-American Affairs Committee (HUAC). Based on a recent case, the HUAC concluded that the JSA had ties that ran contrary to American interests and demanded they reveal their identities and submit to Congressional interrogation. The JSA declined and formally disbanded.[19] Unlike most of her fellow JSA members and other mystery-men, Wonder Woman remained active after the HUAC meetings, due to her special relationship with the U.S. military.

In the early-1960’s, Wonder Woman and a few of her fellow semi-retired, mystery-men were captured by Vandal Savage in an attempt to exact justice. They were rescued by the team-up of the Flash of Earth-One and the Flash of her earth. After this, the JSA resumed active duty with Wonder Woman as a regular member.[20]

During the mid-1960s, Wonder Woman married Steve Trevor, now a General in the armed forces. Together they had a daughter, Hippolyta (Lyta for short).[21] Wonder Woman remained a semi-active member of the Justice Society throughout her career and in the military until the late 1970s, when she retired from the military and revealed her identity to the world.[22] By the mid-1980s, Lyta was college-aged and enrolled at the University of California in Los Angeles. Shortly after classes started, she met Hector Hall, son of Hawkman Carter Hall. The two conspired to become super-heroes, with Lyta adopting the code-name Fury.

During the 1980s, Wonder Woman was primarily an active member of the Justice Society, taking part in a number of cases.


Powers and Abilities

Powers

Abilities


Weakness

  • Can Be Physically Injured: Diana is more resistant to blunt injury than normal mortals, but is not invulnerable.
  • Is Mortal: She can be wounded or potentially slain by any mortal projectile that she is unable to deflect.
  • Bondage: This weakness is twofold: [1] Wonder Woman could be rendered powerless if her wrists were to be tied up by a man and [2] Being tied-up with her magic lasso also renders her powerless.
  • Removal of Bracelets: If her bracelets are removed, she runs amok in a kind of "berserker rage."


Paraphernalia

Equipment

Transportation

Weapons


Justice Society Team Members

Members of the Justice Society of America

Superman (Kal-L)Wonder Woman (Diana Prince) • Power Girl (Kara Zor-L) • Hawkman (Carter Hall) • Flash (Jay Garrick)
Green Lantern (Alan Scott) • Doctor Fate (Kent Nelson) • Wildcat (Theodore 'Ted' Grant) • Star-Spangled Kid (Sylvester Pemberton)
Robin (Richard Grayson) • Hourman (Rex Tyler) • Batman (Bruce Wayne) • Huntress (Helena Wayne)
Starman (Astronomer Ted Knight) • Johnny Thunder and his ThunderboltAtom (Al Pratt)
Doctor Mid-Nite (Dr. Charles McNider) • Spectre (Jim Corrigan) • Sandman (Wesley Dodds)



Appearances

Earth-Two Appearance:

  • All-Star Comics #8 (December, 1941) -- First appearance


SuperFriends Comic Book:


Notes

  • Wonder Woman first appeared in All-Star Comics #8/3 (December 1941-January 1942)
  • She was created by William Moulton Marston and Harry G. Peter.
  • Wonder Woman became the lead character in Sensation Comics in 1941 and a solo book (aka Wonder Woman) in 1942.


Trivia

  • Wonder Woman’s appearance in the early golden age of comics made her the first prominent female superheroine. The psychologist William Moulton Marston created Wonder Woman somewhat as a counter reaction to the presence of prominent male superheroes (at this time Superman, Batman and Captain America) with the hopes that the character could serve as an inspiration for young children (though in certain ways it was geared more towards female readers).
  • Marston had been partially motivated to create this character because of the accomplishments of his own wife, who was also an accomplished academic at a time when it was difficult for women to fulfill this role. As a result, the first Wonder Woman series contained many complimentary articles and features which sought to provide guidance to a presumed female readership. There were articles for instance on the different career paths that women could pursue (according to the standards of the 1940s) as well as a series of stories on famous and accomplished women, called the Wonder Women of History.
  • * Wonder Woman has been published more or less continuously since 1941. After the death of creator William Moulton Marston in 1948, her character did go through some changes by Robert Kanigher, namely the removal of Marston's quasi-feminist, BDSM-heavy fantasy in favor of more conventional superhero action and soap opera. He focused on the ‘Wonder Family’, which consisted of stories about Wonder Woman as a teenager (aka Wonder Girl) and as a baby (aka Wonder Tot). Yet, the character's costume, powers, origin, and basic iconography were unchanged. This didn’t last long though as the character was still mired with story lines from the Golden Age. Starting with Wonder Woman, #98 (May 1958), Kanigher was joined by Ross Andru and Mike Esposito, who became the new artistic team, running for quite a few years in this book. They altered the appearance of the series, sometimes subtly, sometimes dramatically. At the same time across the DC lineup characters were being revitalized with a new focus on science fiction. Along with these others, this is considered her first Silver Age appearance.[27] As a result, the version of Wonder Woman who appeared throughout the Silver Age and Bronze Age — later assigned to Earth-One — was no longer quite the same as the original Golden Age character.


External Links


References

  1. As revealed in All Star Comics #8 (October 1941)
  2. See: Tim Hanley, "Wonder Woman: Secretary Of The Justice Society Of America". See also: All Star Comics, #12 (August/September 1942).
  3. As revealed in Wonder Woman, #1 (July 1942).
  4. In Wonder Woman, #1 (July 1942), we see a glimpse behind the curtain. In Olympus, Ares, the god of war (also known as Mars) is taunting Aphrodite, telling her that he has already won, because most of Earth's nations were at war with one another. Aphrodite reasoned that an Amazon in America would help inspire that nation once it entered the war and ordered Hippolyte to select an Amazon to escort Trevor back to America.
  5. Wonder Woman, #1 (July 1942) retcons her origin in a few different ways, most notably by giving her the Lasso of Truth before she leaves Paradise Island for the first time. In the previous continuity she only received the lasso after returning to Paradise Island in Sensation Comics, #6 (June 1942),
  6. As revealed in All-Star Comics #8/3 (Dec.1941 – Jan. 1942).
  7. As revealed in Sensation Comics, #1 (January 1942).
  8. As revealed in Sensation Comics, #2 (February 1942).
  9. As revealed in Wonder Woman, #2 (fall 1942).
  10. As revealed in Wonder Woman, #228 (February 1977).
  11. As revealed in World's Finest, #248 (January, 1978),
  12. As revealed in Wonder Woman, #1 (July 1942).
  13. As revealed in Wonder Woman, #5 (June-July 1943) and #160 (February, 1966).
  14. As revealed in Wonder Woman, #6 (fall 1943).
  15. As revealed in Wonder Woman, #28 (March-April 1948) and #230 (April 1977).
  16. As revealed in All-Star Comics #11 (June-July 1942).
  17. The real reason that Wonder Woman did not have a full-time status in the JLA is that Marston wanted creative control. He was fairly irate over her treatment in one of her early JSA appearances. He demanded to rewrite the story and wanted complete control of the character after that, which he was given of course. Also, since Wonder Woman stories for Wonder Woman, Sensation Comics, AND Comic Cavalcade took most of their creative time, the All-Star Comics (the JSA comics) fell by the wayside.
  18. As revealed in All-Star Squadron, #17 (January 1983).
  19. As revealed in Adventure Comics, #466/3 (November/December 1979).
  20. As revealed in Flash, #137 (June 1963).
  21. Lyta went on to became an member of the Earth-Two super-hero team, Infinity, Inc.
  22. As revealed in Wonder Woman, #300 (February 1983).
  23. As revealed in Wonder Woman, #1 (July 1942).
  24. As revealed in Sensation Comics, #3 (March 1942).
  25. As revealed in Wonder Woman, #6 (fall 1943).
  26. As revealed in Wonder Woman, #12 (spring 1945).
  27. The silver age at DC is often attributed to having been started by the appearance of the re-imagined Flash in Showcase, #4 in 1956. This led to a number of DC characters being reinvented such as Green Lantern and Hawkman.
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