REAL NAME: Diana
AFFILIATION: The Justice League
FIRST APPEARANCE: All-Star Comics #8 (1941)
Twelve thousand years before the birth of Christ, during the time of the Olympians, the Greek Goddesses collected the souls of all women who had died at the hands of men, and reincarnated them as a fierce race of warriors.
Many millennia later, on the hidden island of Themyscira, Queen Hippolyta, leader of the Amazons began to long for a daughter. Sculpting a young girl out of clay, she prayed to the Gods to be able to mother a child, and the Gods answered her wishes by turning the sculpture into a young Amazonian girl, whom Hippolyta named Diana.
In addition to the blessing of life, Diana was also granted various gifts. Together, the Gods Demeter, Hermes, Aphrodite, Artemis and Hestia gave her enhanced strength, speed (alongside the ability to fly), beauty, senses and a magical ‘lasso of truth’, which would compel anyone bound by its rope to tell the truth.
On this ‘Paradise Island’, Diana grew to be strong and respected warrior, but longed to know what existed outside of the Amazons’ small island world. She would get her chance to find out when pilot Steve Trevor crashed onto the island and was saved from drowning by Diana. The Amazons decided that Steve would be allowed to return to the world of man, and with him, they would send an ambassador for their people. A competition was held to determine who would depart with Steve, and though she was forbade from entering, Diana, concealing her appearance, won – and thus, by the law of her Queen, was allowed to leave Themyscira. Wielding her lasso and twin bracelets that contained her secret, Godlike powers, Diana set out on a mission of peace to the world of man, meeting lifelong friend Etta Candy and establishing herself as a protector of the innocent after learning of a plot by the mad God Ares to destroy the world.
In the original DC Universe, Wonder Woman’s departure from Themyscira coincided with the events of the Second World War, and as such, many of her enemies were Axis supervillains; the power-armoured Baron Blitzkrieg; gestapo agent Baroness Paula von Gunther; scientific genius Doctor Poison, who engineered poisons, pathogens and plagues for the Nazi armies; the demigod illusionist Duke of Deception and Ares’ son and lieutenant, the Earl of Greed.
In subsequent revisions of the Wonder Woman mythos, some of these villains became less prominent, due to the fact that Wonder Woman’s new origins saw her leave from Themyscira after the war had ended. However, more prominent villains took their place. The most persistent of these were the various iterations of the villainess Cheetah, the most relentless of which was an archaeologist known as Barbara Minerva, who was cursed by dark God to possess enhanced physical attributes, as well as a half-cheetah form. Alongside this God-empowered villain, Wonder Woman also continued to face Ares and his various family members, including the bewitching Circe and Hades, ruler of the underworld.
Other primary Wonder Woman foes include the size-changing giantess Giganta and more Lex Luthor-esque foes Veronica Cale and Egg Fu (formerly a rather racist caricature with the body of an egg – now known as Chang Tzu, less racist-looking, but equally egg-shaped).
Despite this colourful collection of villains that have faced Diana over her long history, for the most part, Wonder Woman’s rogues gallery is lacking compared to the likes of Superman‘s and the Flash, due to her being just as much of a warrior as a super-hero:
Like all DC characters, Wonder Woman’s history has been revised multiple times due to the fact that the Justice League and their allies have fought numerous foes in battles that had reality altering consequences. The more recent changes to Wonder Woman’s history became evident when, in an attempt to protect a young woman named Zola from the wrath of the Olympian queen Hera, who learned that Zola had been tricked into bed by her husband Zeus and had fallen pregnant. It was during this conflict that Diana learned that she too, was a product of one of Zeus’ affairs, making her a demigod.
In this new series of events, Diana’s life had always been more entwined with that of the Gods than previously thought, and rather than frequently facing off against Ares as an antagonist, she had instead been trained for battle by him from a young age. It was due to her standing as a pupil of Ares that, upon his death during one of Diana’s newly inherited family squabbles with her Godly kin, Diana would step up to become the new Goddess of War.
Despite being the God of War, Diana still strove to protect the innocent as a member of the Justice League. As a member of the League, Diana had a romance with Superman after breaking up with Steve Trevor, causing much controversy among both the costumed and civilian populations. This Superman would eventually fall ill and die (it’s a whole thing, refer to the Superman bio for more info!) leaving Diana depressed. In light of this depression, she began remembering her origins differently, and her search for truth reunited her with the likes of Steve, Etta, Cheetah, Veronica Cale and even Doctor Poison.
The biggest revelation in her search for truth was that she was not the only child of Hippolyta, and has a secret, twin brother, named Jason. Now, while juggling her ongoing search for answers with her time as one of the core trinity of the Justice League, Diana continues to strive to be an inspiration and hero to all.
CURRENTLY APPEARS IN: Justice League, Justice League Dark (Soon), Trinity, Wonder Woman