In recent years, the superheroes from the DC stable are finishing their second 18th birthday. This year it is time for 80 years of a great woman. Wonder Woman is a one-of-a-kind comic book heroin that will do more than one thing.
Wonder Woman made her debut in All Star Comics # 8 in 1941. This character was created by William Moulton Marston, who envisioned her as the ideal leader full of love and the type of woman who should rule the world thanks to Superman’s strength, attractiveness and the embodiment of the good and beauty of women. Comics with a gorgeous woman was released by DC Comics throughout the series, except for a brief hiatus in 1986.
By creating it in response to the popularity of the male superheroes of the time (Superman, Batman, Captain America), Marston hoped that his heroine would inspire little children – both girls and boys, although she was a bit more focused on the former group – to become leaders and to change the world that faced the tragedy of World War II.
Wonder Woman is seen as a feminist icon, although her looks are equally noteworthy. Her red, white and blue star-embellished suit is one of the most striking features of her appearance – though her beauty does not detract from her strength. It is also one of the most famous costumes in comics of all time, and is also a symbol of Diana’s devotion to America. The famous outfit includes the Atlas gloves, which increase the strength of the wearer tenfold – sometimes they make Diana difficult to control the sudden increase in strength. Another element of her costume is the weapon, the Lasso of Truth, which makes people tell the truth; can bring back memories; to get rid of or create illusions on those whom he holds; heal from madness and protect loved ones from magical attacks.
A short publishing history
After her debut in All Star Comics # 8, Wonder Woman appeared on the cover of Sensation Comics # 1 in 1942. Its original story shows us how Diana leaves her home on a paradise island after the crash of the American pilot Steve Trevor who lands on Temiskir. Wonder Woman, as the chosen one among her sisters, is tasked with escorting Trevor home and then becoming an ambassador of the Amazon values in a world inhabited by men.
While in America, Wonder Woman meets a military nurse who wants to go to South America but is unable to do so due to financial problems. Since the nurse and Wonder Woman look identical, they decide to change identities, and Wonder Woman takes a nurse position at the hospital where Steve Trevor has been admitted. The nurse reveals her name is Diana Princess, and thus Wonder Woman’s secret identity as a military nurse is formed. He quickly attains the rank of lieutenant in military intelligence – a position rarely held by women at the time. In this so-called golden age of comics, Diana was certainly interested in fighting crime, but she was also pursuing more stereotypical women’s desires by seeking marriage with Steve Trevor.
In the next stage, the Silver Era of Comics, Wonder Woman gives her powers and her title to her mother to stay in the “male world”. Although he no longer holds the Wonder Woman title, he trains under a blind martial arts mentor and returns to fighting crime. During the Bronze Age, Diana’s powers and costume returned. At the same time, Diana’s desire is realized and she and Steve become married.
As Wonder Woman entered modernity, her story changed more profoundly. Wonder Woman played the role of emissary and ambassador Temiskira, whose mission was to bring peace to the world. Unlike the methods used by her male counterparts Batman and Superman, Diana was ready to use lethal force when she felt it necessary. Another notable change in this era was that Diana’s marriage to Steve Trevor was removed from her story, and he was introduced as a much older man than he was originally.
In September 2011, DC Comics rebooted the entire publishing line. Brian Azzarello’s stories about a wonderful woman completely changed her story. You can read about it below, although one detail is worth mentioning – Diana becomes Superman’s sweetheart, and Trevor is relegated to the background. Fortunately, everything returns to normal in 2016.
From glamor to perdition
Superheroes – especially longtime characters like Wonder Woman – are inherently changeable. They change and adapt with the time they are at and with each artist tasked with bringing them to life. What sets Wonder Woman apart from her contemporaries in the DC trinity is the fact that her background has changed so frequently, especially over the past two decades, that neither version has had a chance to hold on. However, there are actually a few key aspects that have remained since Marston created it in 1941. Diana is a princess from a secluded, feminine paradise on a Greek island now known as Temiskira. She is the daughter of Queen Hippolytus and was made of clay or, as the latest comics claim, she was born out of the romance between Zeus and Hippolytus. Amazons are a matriarchal society that was supposed to send a message of peace to the world, but they isolated themselves from its brutality, creating a society rich in culture, far more advanced than ours, steeped in magic and sisterhood. When Captain Steve Trevor crashes onto a paradise island, a tournament is held to decide who will return him to the men’s world. Diana wins and sets out to carry a message of peace from her world, becoming the hero we know as Wonder Woman. This who we know as Wonder Woman. This who we know as Wonder Woman. ThisThe origin story differs significantly from its DC peers due to the lack of tragedy (which in the case of women usually amounts to sexual violence, unless it is considered a tragedy to leave the family home). Thus, Wonder Woman’s origins are usually ridiculed for being too weird, too boring, and lacking some depth like Superman or Batman.
When Marston died in 1947, in 1947 DC Comics seemed to have no idea what to do with Wonder Woman. While her background remained unchanged, no one had any ideas for her further adventures. Attempts were made to present Diana and the Amazons as signposts in the Cold War world, as signs of hope. On another occasion, a brave tribe of women fell victim to disturbing feminist stereotypes. Over the years, Wonder Woman has been stripped of her powers, turned into a super spy, and abandoned heroism to marry Steve Trevor. The most disturbing thing is that the writers forced her to become a fighter because it is an easier selling point, however, her origins and her true mission have been forgotten. By far the most regrettable and dramatic change in its history is rooted in its 2011 reboot, in which he eventually becomes a character who is the opposite of everything Wonder Woman represents. He succeeds Ares, the God of War, and it was Aphrodite’s lover who had been her mortal enemy for years. Why did the creators not allow Diana to replace Athena – the goddess of just war? Did they not know the mythology or wanted to force Diana to masculinize? Fortunately, not all of them have departed from George Pérez and Greg Rucka, they have updated it a bit, still relying on the character’s feminist ethos. These are the ones who have fundamentally changed who her character is over the years. Why did the creators not allow Diana to replace Athena – the goddess of just war? Did they not know the mythology or wanted to force Diana to masculinize? Fortunately, not all of them have departed from George Pérez and Greg Rucka, they have updated it a bit, still relying on the character’s feminist ethos. These are the ones who have fundamentally changed who her character is over the years. Why did the creators not allow Diana to replace Athena – the goddess of just war? Did they not know the mythology or wanted to force Diana to masculinize? Fortunately, not all of them have departed from George Pérez and Greg Rucka, they have updated it a bit, still relying on the character’s feminist ethos. These are the ones who have fundamentally changed who her character is over the years.
Due to being so inherently connected with the feminist movement, Wonder Woman is often burdened with having to represent all aspects of femininity in a way that other superheroes such as Black Widow, Storm and Captain Marvel have not done. Early in its history, Wonder Woman echoed the suffragette movement and First Wave feminism. The way her myths reflected the ongoing debates on femininity made the US public reflect.
When Ms.debuted in 1972, it was Wonder Woman that appeared on its cover. She did it again for the 40th anniversary, recalling how much the feminist movement and the character itself have evolved. One of the most fascinating aspects of Wonder Woman’s release is the criticism, both positive and negative, that shows the unique strain the character faces in relation to feminist expectations. Her politics is so sealed in her origins that she is expected to be the epitome of all feminist ideas for all women. Throughout its history, Wonder Woman has been either too feminist or not feminist enough. No character or myth has ever lived up to such strict expectations of readers. Wonder Woman offers what no other superhero can do: essentially female fantasy and thinking. Close your eyes and imagine an island with stunning views where a diverse group of intelligent, strong women have created a much more advanced society. No men. No sexism. No capitalist burden leaves defenseless women to their fate.
While Azzarello’s runes are praised in some circles, it seems that only people who want her to be someone she is not seem to do – the typical heroine that more than anything else defines brutality. Azzarello is not interested in the character and shows a lack of empathy towards the female world, which can be seen in the pages of the comic itself. In the seventh issue of her series, Diana learns that she was not really made of clay, but that she receives her power from a man: she is the demigod daughter of Zeus. Amazons are not powerful immortals, but they actually have sex with sailors to maintain their ranks and sell Hephaestus male children for weapons. This erases the feminist nature of Wonder Woman’s origin and flattens the character’s fascinating extraordinary nature, turning her into a kind of warrior goddess but also a sexist symbol with pretty well-defined breasts and buttocks. Azzarello’s treatment, however, only lasted three years, and the character regained the respect it deserves thanks to Greg Rucce and Nicolas Scott and Liam Sharp, who ended their adventure with the character this month. In DC’s latest line, Rebirth, Wonder Woman has happily returned to her earthen heritage, and the Amazons are now a complex, peace-loving community that has captivated audiences for generations.
Where is Wonder Woman going?
There is a large frame that shows Wonder Woman’s confrontations with her own origins in the first issue of the Lies story by Greg Rucki. In it, Wonder Woman is wearing a version of her outfit that appears in Azzarello’s stories. After turning to the lasso of truth in the hope of giving her life meaning, she learns that she has been deceived as to the origin of her previous reboot. This selection is a meta-commentary on the changes Diana faced, especially during Azzarello’s work. The enraged woman smashes the mirror in front of her. Glass shards sparkle with images from her entire story – beheading Medusa’s head, fighting Cheetah, kissing Superman.
Despite various adventures and various changes, sometimes less radical or more, Wonder Woman is still both a heroine, an icon of feminism and a woman that men dream about at night, who does not mind that someone can equal them. So what if a great woman was once embarrassed, when neither poses nor appearance testify to our self, but to our actions. And although the 2017 film tried to show that Diana, being the daughter of Zeus, is an independent person, unrelated and undefined in the world of men by her origin, it is probably good if the creators return to their roots. Or maybe some author will finally start creating the series? Who knows, time will tell in the next 80 years.