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Franchise: Wonder Woman
That's right, look at the sparklies...
*Punch!*

"Not even girls want to be girls so long as our feminine archetype lacks force, strength, and power. Not wanting to be girls, they don't want to be tender, submissive, peace-loving as good women are. Women's strong qualities have become despised because of their weakness. The obvious remedy is to create a feminine character with all the strength of Superman plus all the allure of a good and beautiful woman."
William Moulton Marston, 1943

The Princess of Truth. The Princess of the Amazons. The Heart of The DCU. The Female Superhero.

The first prominent female superhero in The DCU the history of comic books, and generally considered the greatest of the superheroines, was created in the 1940s. Wonder Woman is distinguished by her indestructible bracelets, which deflect bullets, and her enchanted lasso, which compels men to tell the truth and puts animals to sleep.

She was created in 1941 by psychologist William Moulton Marston (then an educational consultant to DC Comics) along with his wife Elizabeth Holloway Marston, as a deliberate counterpoint to the all-male stable of "Übermenschen" published by DC at the time. Marston was remarkably free of the era's usual prejudices about and disdain for women, and intentionally designed the character to embody his image of an idealized strong, unconventional and independent female. The character first appeared in All-Star Comics #8 (December, 1941).

Marston was also vital in the development of the polygraph ("lie detector") — which may be why Wonder Woman's lasso forces criminals to speak the truth. Marston also had unconventional views on psychology and sexuality. He and his wife had a third partner, Olive Byrne — unconventional by today's standards, grounds for potential arrest in 1941. A central part of his (and Wonder Woman's) worldview was the idea "submission to loving authority," which shares some elements with BDSM and/or bondage, which many modern commentators have noticed - e.g., the "Suffering Sappho!" section of Superdickery.com. But while there was certainly a sexual element here, it's a gross oversimplification to reduce all this to one hand on the canvas, one hand elsewhere. Mars Getsoian notes in this excellent overview of the role of "bondage" in Wonder Woman stories "Marston wasn't writing a guide for your love life, he was writing a guide for your entire life."

He also had very unconventional views on how the world should be run for the time he lived in, believing a Matriarchy would be superior to the male-dominated world of the 1940s. This was the basis for Paradise Island.

Due to the deal Marston struck with DC, for a long time (at least through 1986), DC had to publish at least four issues of Wonder Woman each year or lose the rights to the character. This may have been one of the reasons that she was one of the few superheroes who continued publishing during The Interregnum, along with Superman, Batman and a handful of others. Her longevity is certainly one reason that contributed to her being one of DC's "Big Three" — as Frank Miller described it — Wonder Woman, Superman and Batman, are all the "gods" of the DC Universe, and the rest are all "just" heroes (something that is taken to its logical extreme in the Kurt Busiek/Mark Bagley year-long series Trinity). Also playing a big role: her 1970s TV series with Lynda Carter and her visibility in the Super Friends cartoon, as noted below.

Originally, Wonder Woman's powers were relatively limited, compared to her contemporaries. She was strong, but not as strong as Superman. She was fast, but not as fast as The Flash. She couldn't fly, but she could "glide on air currents". Most of her powers were gadget-based; the bullet-deflecting bracelets, the Lasso of Truth, the invisible jet. The Silver Age version of the character was stated as having the Strength of Hercules and the Speed of Hermes, deities who were shown to be a match for Superman and Flash, respectively, in other series. Wonder Woman herself battled Superman to a standstill in the tabloid-sized special comic "Superman versus Wonder Woman".

The bosomy note , raven-haired Amazon heroine was never as well-known by the general public as the other "big heroes" until the 1970s, thanks to Shannon Farnon, her voice actress on Super Friends, and Lynda Carter, who portrayed her in prime time. In addition, feminists loved her, as evidenced by her being on the cover of the premiere issue of the movement's flagship magazine, Ms.

At the same time, however, Wonder Woman was undergoing a Re Tool; with the popularity of shows like The Avengers, and its visions of strong Action Girls, she lost her powers, took up martial arts under inscrutable old Oriental guy I Ching, and became Undercover Agent Diana Prince. Ironically, this period was mostly ended by the above feminists, such as Gloria Steinem, who protested the depowering of a strong female character (the aforementioned Ms. cover was the vanguard of this). Plus, the stories themselves were generally considered below-par and no longer relevant with The Avengers having ended. As a result, Diana was repowered and rejoined the Justice League, and the whole episode is considered a Dork Age, though it is referenced from time to time.

Later, she was revamped for Crisis on Infinite Earths by the comics legend George Perez. She was powered-up, giving her flight, and tying her much more to Greek mythology and a mission as a messenger of peace to "Patriarch's World". Furthermore, she considered a Secret Identity obviously counterproductive in that role, so she stayed with her new friends, Julia Kapatelis, a classical Greek scholar, and her daughter Vanessa. Furthermore, Steve Trevor was revised to be old enough to be Diana's father, thus precluding the cliche romance; instead, he romanced Etta Candy. However, it turns out that he is indirectly linked to Diana's home since his mother, Diana Trevor, crash landed there and died helping the Amazons defeat a monster, making her a deeply honored hero to them.

In addition, she was simultaneously made much more naïve and tougher. The naïveté is such that Wonder Woman could not conceive of a woman being an enemy, which made the time when the Cheetah tried to con her out of her lasso an extremely upsetting moment. The toughness comes from being a classically trained warrior who is ready to kill as necessary and with no regrets, such as when she decapitated the villainous god Deimos. At the same time, her supervillain enemies became much more credible threats as in how the Cheetah was changed from a normal woman in a silly cheetah suit to a villain who became a powerful and deadly were-cheetah who is a real challenge to Diana in battle.

A popular (and therefore cheapened) way to escalate the drama in Wonder Woman stories (or Crisis Crossovers) recently has been to threaten Paradise Island... and then make good on the threat. The Amazons have been all-but-destroyed by Darkseid, themselves (in two civil wars), Imperiex, Hera, OMACs, Granny Goodness in the wake of Amazons Attack, and in Alternate Universe by the removal of the gods' protection.

In the mid-2000s run written by Greg Rucka, she suffered from a negative reaction in-universe, between escalating her role as emissary, leading to accusations of forcing her beliefs on people, and snapping the neck of a villain who had telepathic control of Superman because she felt it was the only way to stop him. In the middle of all this, she fought shadowy corporate schemers, resurrected Gorgons, participated in the hostile takeover of Olympus by her patron, Pallas Athena, and faced the destruction of her home by OMACs (the whole OMAC's storyline, as well as much of the universe-changing crises that ultimately led to the "New 52" continuity reboot, can be seen as indirectly resulting from the killing).

After Rucka's run and the OMAC crossover event, Wonder Woman was again rebooted. This time, she reluctantly got involved in a war between the Amazons (along with her newly resurrected mother) and Patriarch's World. In the wake of all this, she regained (or rather gained for the first time in this continuity) her Diana Prince: Secret Agent identity in order to connect with people. Many fans were not pleased, although others noted that it was very much a shout out to the Lynda Carter series which cast Diana as a spy. However, there was some delight at Wondy's appearance in Manhunter, when she enlisted Kate Spencer's services as a lawyer during her trial for the killing which occurred during Rucka's run.

In the late 2000s, Wonder Woman's series was in the hands of Gail Simone. Her supporting cast was revisited and she went up against a series of monsters including the ultrapowerful Genocide, her mother's former bodyguards, a grief-stricken Green Lantern, her own pantheon, and some long-lost family members who were abducted by a vicious alien race. The tales were epic, twisty and generally well received. Gail is the first woman to have ever written Wonder Woman's comic for a long period of time and deeply loves the character. However, Gail was not the first woman to write the comic, as Jodi Picoult wrote it almost immediately before her (but was not received very well), and Mindy Newell wrote it in the 80s and 90s.

Sales on the book continued to drop, so when Wondy's 600th overall issue (and a renumbering of the current series to reflect that) came around, J. Michael Straczynski shook things up. In his year-long storyline "The Odyssey" (completed by Phil Hester), the gods went back in time to remove their protection from the Amazons. As a result, Paradise Island fell when Diana was a little girl, and a handful of Amazons smuggled her out and raised her on the streets of Man's World. During the story, Diana struggles to regain her powers and understand why the world seems disastrously wrong around her.

After "The Odyssey" ended, Brian Azzarello and Cliff Chiang took over the title and relaunched as part of DC's New 52 reboot. Their run on the book shoots for a much darker and more horror-influenced tone than previous runs. Wonder Woman once again sports a new costume, though it is much closer to the original than the suit from the JMS run. Azzarello and Chiang's ongoing work has met with both critical acclaim and controversy for their handling of the mythical and gender themes of Wonder Woman's world. Like Greg Rucka's run, Azzarello and Chiang approach Wonder Woman's world through the myths of the Greek gods, though the difference between the two approaches is quite clear. In the current continuity, Superman is dating Wonder Woman, who was involved with Steve Trevor in the past.

Grant Morrison is writing a book centered around Wonder Woman set in the Earth One continuity, titled "The Trial of Diana Prince."

She has appeared in these other media:
  • A four-and-a-half-minute pilot reel was produced by Greenway Productions in 1967 — planned as an ultra-campy Sitcom, with Wonder Woman (Ellie Wood Walker) as a delusional Hollywood Homely single girl who imagines herself a beautiful superhero. It was never aired, but can now be seen here.
  • The Brady Kids (1972): The character's first appearance in animation. The Brady kids meet Wonder Woman and together they are accidentally transported back to the time of the ancient Olympic Games. The kids plan to compete in the marathon and beat the Greek athletes to qualify for the race. Wonder Woman persuades the kids to disqualify themselves, explaining that if they win the race they will change the course of history. It's all kind of surreal.
  • Wonder Woman (1974): The TV movie starring Cathy Lee Crosby as a non-powered Wonder Woman who earned the nickname "Blonder Woman". Unrelated to the next item.
  • Wonder Woman: A 1975-79 show starring Lynda Carter. It is dated, particularly its early episodes set in World War II, but fondly remembered.
    • And Lynda Carter managed an eerie resemblance to the original character as drawn by Gibson Girl artist Harry G. Peter.
  • Super Friends: Alongside the male heroes of DC Comics.
  • A Poorly Disguised Pilot in Ruby-Spears Superman, titled Superman and Wonder Woman vs. the Sorceress of Time.
  • Promotional materials for a show (and accompanying toy line) titled Wonder Woman and the Star Riders, aimed at young girls, which never came to be.
  • Justice League: Voiced by Susan Eisenberg as a princess fresh from Paradise Island, and a little bit naive. She had a budding relationship with Batman. Her origin story was retooled to fit with the series narrative, which left out much of the comic origin, though it was revisited in later episodes.
  • Justice League: The New Frontier: An animated Direct-to-Video based on the acclaimed comic series by Darwyn Cooke. This Wonder Woman was closely tied with her classic origin but examined the change from the Golden Age to the Silver Age. She was voiced by Lucy Lawless of Xena: Warrior Princess fame — and her personality was a little Xena-ish too.
  • Wonder Woman: A newer DTV produced by Bruce Timm but set in its own continuity and focusing exclusively on her, intending to embrace the classic origin in full. She is voiced by Keri Russell.
  • Wonder Woman: An attempted pilot for NBC's 2011 season by David E. Kelley, focusing on Wonder Woman fairly established in Man's World and running the Themyscira Corporation to get her word out in between fighting crime, starring Adrienne Paliecki as Diana. It wasn't picked up, and fans weren't happy with what word leaked out - partially because Diana seemed to be a Dark Age hero set loose in a Silver Age world, complained about the size of her breasts, and straight up murdered security guards.
  • Batman: The Brave and the Bold: She appears in the Cold Opening of an episode and in the main story of another. Her design is an homage to the Golden Age and has a lot of canon references to the TV series - including the theme music.
  • Young Justice: She appears in bit parts in several episodes as a member of the Justice League. Due to rights issues that were not cleared up until after the show had already begun production, her sidekick Wonder Girl was excluded from the show's roster of teen superheroes during the first season. Wonder Girl (Cassandra Sandsmark) becomes a recurring character in Season 2, with Diana getting an explanded role. She is voiced by Maggie Q of Nikita fame.
  • Super Best Friends Forever: The series of animated shorts by Lauren Faust which feature the first animated appearance of Wonder Girl (Donna Troy) in several decades.
  • A series of DC Nation shorts that take a James Bond-esque, California beach girl approach to the character.
  • Amazon: in light of the success of the CW's Arrow, the network looked at developing possible Smallville-like approach to Wonder Woman, focusing on her teenage years and her emergence into the world outside Themyscira. In mid-2013 it was announced that the project had been cancelled and The CW instead commissioned Gotham, which took Amazon's prequel concept and gave it to Batman.
  • Wonder Women! The Untold Story of American Superheroines: A 2012 documentary on the history of Wonder Woman and other superheroine and Action Girl characters, from a feminist perspective.
  • The LEGO Movie: Minifigures of at least five DC heroes played roles of varying prominence in this 2014 Lego-inspired film, including Wonder Woman. She only had two or three lines (recorded by Cobie Smulders), but this still marked the first time she appeared in a theatrical movie.
  • Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice: Wonder Woman will finally make her live-action film debut in the 2016 sequel to Man of Steel, played by Gal Gadot of The Fast and the Furious fame.
  • Wonder Woman: A live action theatrical film has been "almost about to be made" for about one and a half eternities. Thankfully, a leak has shown that she's finally going to get a movie in the DC Cinematic Universe after the Justice League movie comes out in 2017 (before Batman, of all characters).

Tropes associated with Wonder Woman include:

  • Absurdly Sharp Blade: Diana sometimes carries the Sword of Hephaestus, which can shave electrons off an atom.
  • Action Girl: Despite some times of Unfortunate Implications, Diana has never been depicted as incapable.
    • Etta Candy during George Perez's reboot. Justified, in that she's a military brat in that version.
  • Action Mom: Hippolyta
  • Advanced Ancient Acropolis: Pre Crisis Paradise Island.
  • All-Loving Hero: Diana, all the way. Pre-Nu52, it was emphasized in her Blackest Night tie in, where even decapitating an enemy, the only emotion within her was love. In the Nu-52, where Diana is a much harder person, she still tells Hades that she really did love him after the forced marriage deal he put her through, because:
    Wonder Woman: "Hell . . . I Love. Everyone."
  • Alternate Universe: Wonder Woman was officially the first DC comic to run an Alternate Universe story, predating even The Flash's famous meeting with Jay Garrick. Diana helps her counterpart from another universe fight the race of giants that are tyrannizing her world.
  • Amazonian Beauty: She is a literal Amazon and she is definitely beautiful. Even when she's portrayed as muscular.
  • Ambiguously Brown: Some depictions of her will portray her as such, since logic sets in and they'll occasionally realize her backstory would indicate she's either Greek or South American (the home base of the Amazons.)
  • Ambiguously Gay: Paradise Island has fueled slash for decades.
    • Diana introduced a male suitor, Nemesis, to the courtship rituals of Themyscira. When he points out that Themyscira is filled entirely with women, she basically says, "Yes, exactly."
    • It's been acknowledged that many Amazons are lesbian since George Perez's run in the late 1980s, in keeping to the Classical Greek roots.
    • There have been hints and implications over the years that Wonder Woman herself is bisexual, and several writers have said they consider her so. Nothing has been directly stated in the comics themselves, though.
    • For years there has been subtext between Hippolyta and Phillipus, the captain of the royal guard. On her Tumblr page, Gail Simone claimed she had planned to have the two women officially get married, an idea which was even supported by Dan DiDio. [1]
  • Ancient Grome: especially in the Golden and Silver Age, several gods use their Roman names, especially Mars, Mercury and Minerva. Averted by Perez.
  • Animal-Themed Superbeing: Reoccurring villain, The Cheetah.
  • Anti-Hero Substitute: Artemis took over as Wonder Woman for a brief time during The Nineties.
  • The Artifact: Steve Trevor, pretty much since Marston left the book, has been adrift, but lingers (especially in adaptations) based on the name retaining some currency. Completely averted as of the New 52, however, where Trevor has been upgraded to being basically the DCU's version of Nick Fury.
  • Author Appeal: The bondage situations, as mentioned in the main description. His other domestic partner was noted for always wearing metal bracelets when outside the house.
    • In fact, according to The 10 Cent Plague by David Hajdu, Wonder Women was originally created to help the author "deal with his persistent fantasies of being dominated by women" or some such thing.
    • There is a lot more about this in Les Daniels' Wonder Woman: The Complete History. He genuinely believed in female superiority.
  • Author Tract: One of the reasons William Moulton Marston created Wonder Woman was to convince everyone to come under "submission to loving authority" and how a "loving matriarchy" would be a superior, peaceful world government. Oh, and bondage is highly enjoyable.
  • Badass Princess: Diana
  • Bald Women: Alkyone, a former Amazonian guard of Hippolyta.
  • The Bermuda Triangle: the native home to Wonder Woman and her sister Amazons, the fictional nation Themyscira (a.k.a. Paradise Island), is currently located in the Bermuda Triangle, but the island can teleport to any different location or time whenever the island's inhabitants desire.
  • Big Bad: Ares, the Greek god of war.
    • In the New 52, Ares takes on the appearance of an old man, and seems much more docile. The new big bad seems to be either Hera or Apollo.
  • Big Bra to Fill: Subverted. Wonder Woman's breast size was actually quite modest compared to her peers. Then the TV series came along where she was played by the very buxom Linda Carter and she was drawn to follow suit.
  • Blocking Stops All Damage: A plot point. Her bracelets are divinely created to block just about anything.
  • Bodyguard Babes: Alkyone, Myrto, Charis and Philomela ("The Circle") were named Queen Hippolyta's personal guard. It didn't work out too well.
  • Bodyguarding a Badass: As a diplomat, Wonder Woman has at least once had a division of Secret Service agents (unpowered people with pistols and radios, mind you, not other Amazons) assigned to protect her. It is hard to imagine a threat they could defeat which would even scratch her skin.
  • WONDERBOOBS Of Steel: Hell yeah!
  • Boring Invincible Hero: The 70s depowerment was an attempt to rail against this. Resulted in They Changed It, Now It Sucks.
  • Canon Immigrant: The magic lasso originally did more than compel telling the truth — in the Golden and Silver Age, the captive of it had to obey ANY instruction the holder gave. As this was too squicky for family hour, both Super Friends and the television series changed it to the current version, based on William Moulton Marston's pioneering work with the lie detector. It stayed that way when DC rebooted the character after Crisis on Infinite Earths.
    • It was retooled again at some point: the lasso now not only compels people to tell the truth, it also automatically reveals the truth about anything it's attached to: Diana can use it to find pressure points on giant monsters, etc. This evidently comes from the lasso being some kind of manifestation of the concept of Truth. Which may be why using it on Darkseid in Final Crisis canceled out the Anti-Life Equation.
    • The lasso, per Gail Simone's run, also doesn't just force people to tell the truth. It sees into their soul and reveals their deepest secrets.
  • Canon Discontinuity. The reboot made the original Wonder Girl an awkward character; she was later retconned as a Wonder Woman magic clone with a literal Multiple Choice Past.
  • Captain Geographic: For America, despite not being born there.
    • In the original story, her mom designed her outfit after Aphrodite showed her Steve's mission that brought him to the island in the first place.
    • In the George Perez reboot, it's explained that when Steve Trevor's mother washed ashore Paradise Island, they thought her American badges were crests, and created an outfit to honor her death based on the American flag.
    • And in Gail Simone's run, it was explained that she was "born" on a night with a red Hunter's Moon and the constellation Cassiopeia visible.
    • In the film, it's explained that she is Themyscira's ambassador, and honors where she's going by wearing their colors (how they knew that Steve's flag patch was the American ensign is not explained).
  • Captain Superhero: Some of the Rogues Gallery, like Steve Trevor's one time alias Captain Wonder.
  • The Champion: A sometimes forgotten part of Diana's character. She is the personal champion of the Goddess Athena. She has been to seen to go through with Athena's plans wholeheartedly, regardless of the risks. She is also called the Champion of the Amazons.
  • Charles Atlas Super Power: The Golden Age explanation. Amazonian disciplines allowed any woman to channel mental energy into muscle, giving super strength and speed. It was a learned skill. In one early issue, it's even taught to some girls from the outside world — one adolescent is seen lifting five tons without strain. The Silver Age Retcon made WW The Chosen One, sculpted out of clay and given life and powers by the gods, making her the most powerful Amazon by far — strong as Hercules, swift as Mercury, etc. In other words, Captain Marvel with a uterus.
  • Chest Insignia: In various ages, her bustier of justice has been decorated with either a gold eagle with Wonderbra wings, or a gold "WW". Alex Ross believably combined the two in Kingdom Come.
  • Chickification: In the 2011 TV series much was made about her going through Xenafication and becoming more ruthless; on the other side, some people didn't like the fact that the normally tough Wondy was sitting on her couch, crying into a bowl of rice cakes.
  • Clark Kenting: Originally on par with the Trope Namer himself, and sometimes worse as she won't even wear glasses as Diana Prince, yet even Steve Trevor didn't figure it out. Averted since The Dark Age of Comic Books when she didn't have a disguise at all, but brought back in The Modern Age of Comic Books when she resumed her Diana Prince secret identity. At least she wears glasses and changes her hair style now.
  • Clingy Costume: Wonder Woman #80 has her fall asleep one day (near a pond, no less) then wake up to find herself trapped in a mask that's rigged to explode.
  • Clothes Make the Legend
  • Combat Pragmatist: Not feeling bound to Thou Shall Not Kill, Diana feels perfectly free to use deadly force if the situation calls for it; while Superman and Batman will not cross that line.
  • Composite Character: During Rucka's run, goddesses Demeter and Artemis seem to be merged into one.
  • Continuity Snarl: The Wonder Woman Family, as discussed here and here.
  • Cool Plane: Her invisible jet. Just don't think too hard about the way it works (or why she needs it if she can fly, though at first it was because she couldn't fly (The Golden Age of Comic Books), then she can only fly glide short distances (The Silver Age of Comic Books) and needs the jet for long-distance flight. This hasn't been true since the 1980s, though). In The Modern Age of Comic Books, she occasionally uses it to transport cargo or passengers, but for the most part, it hangs around due to historic value and Rule of Cool.
    • More recent versions have depicted the jet as a stealth plane.
  • Darker and Edgier: Azzarello's run on the comic has been said to be darker than other previous WW comics.
  • Deal with the Devil: He begged her to take one, but she declined.
  • Demoted to Extra: She hasn't been able to keep a stable supporting cast together in decades. Even Steve Trevor got Put on a Bus years ago.
  • Depending on the Writer: As with most superheroes, her personality and powers vary every time a new writer is brought in.
  • Depower: The I Ching kung fu period.
  • Depraved Dwarf: Recurring villain Dr. Psycho, with emphasis on the depraved. We're talking an evil midget with Psychic Powers who once used Mind Control to make a bunch of people commit cannibalism, an act that not only sexually aroused him, but inspired him to Mind Rape them by letting them feel his arousal as if it were their own and then let them go once he was bored. Even beyond that, he's literally defined by his hateful misogyny.
  • Deus ex Machina: Her lasso of truth, making it somewhat difficult to tell mystery stories.
  • Does This Remind You of Anything?: One memorable story has Diana appearing on "The Scene," a talk show hosted by various female journalists such as Lois Lane and Linda Park. The name, logo, and entire premise of the series are extremely similar to those of the real life female talk show "The View."
  • Enfant Terrible: Ares' sons and Devastation.
  • Everything's Even Worse With Sharks: Themyscira is protected by Megalodons in the sea around it, and the giant sharks have even offered themselves for a Heroic Sacrifice to help protect the island.
  • Everybody Hates Hades: Largely averted, instead making him a patient shepherd with an epic combover. Sporadic appearances tied to Artemis portray him as a regular Satan, however.
  • Exiled from Continuity: Complex legal issues resulted in Wonder Woman and her supporting cast being unable to appear in a number of DC television adaptations. For example, she was supposed to appear in "The Call", an episode of Batman Beyond, but had to be written out and replaced by Big Barda, and was also the only JLA member to not appear in "The Big Leagues", a crossover with the Static Shock TV series. The producers of Smallville have similarly said they tried to use her in the show, but were unable to due to legal reasons. Her sidekick, Wonder Girl, was also barred from appearing in the cartoon adaptations of Teen Titans and Young Justice (though for the latter, Greg Weisman has said that the issues were eventually lifted). Wonder Girl finally joined the cast in season 2 of the latter series.
  • Expy: Tom Tresser/Nemesis, as portrayed in Wonder Woman, was a 21st Century analogue of Steve Trevor.
  • Fad Super: She was created to be timely as both a super-patriot and a fightin' first-wave feminist. Writers have gradually divorced her from the patriot angle while struggling to define what sort of feminist she is.
    • Supporting character Nubia was introduced as a painfully inept attempt at creating a heroine to reflect the Black Power movement of the 1970's.
  • Flag Bikini
  • Flight, Strength, Heart: Literally, as she actually was given a loving heart and the power to make friends easily. She was also given beauty, the power to talk to and calm animals; and has an invisible plane, even though she can fly, and it doesn't actually make anyone within it invisible.
  • Feminine Women Can Cook: Averted to a degree in a JLA Classified arc, where during a League meeting, Wonder Woman (one of the team's toughest warriors) bakes a plate of Themiscryan pomegranite-flavored pastries. In the last scene of the issue in question, Batman says, "And one more thing. Diana, Alfred will need this recipe."
  • Feminist Fantasy: The reason William Marston created Wonder Woman, as he explains in the page quote.
  • Flying Brick: Slowly evolved into this from Lightning Bruiser.
  • Funny Animal: "Wonder Wabbit," a Funny Animal rabbit counterpart of Diana who lives on Earth-C-Minus. Wonder Wabbit is a member of her world's "JLA" (the "Just'a Lotta Animals").
  • Getting Crap Past the Radar: The B&D content of the Golden Age comics was so blatant and ever-present, it pretty much stomped on the "sub" part of "Subtext".
  • Go Karting with Bowser: In Wonder Woman (vol. 3) #36, over a few pages, Wondy goes from fighting Giganta (who it turns out, was merely waiting for her date with The Atom) to commiserating about Tom Tresser telling her their relationship is over to beating up the Olympians together. Giganta these days is more of an Anti-Villain or Punch Clock Villain at worst.
  • Greek Mythology: Though the Golden Age had very much The Theme Park Version, often liberally simplifying them, mixing in other mythologies, and Westernizing them. More modern incarnations are generally more faithful about their adaptations... Depending on the Writer.
  • Heroic BSOD: She's not prone to these, but one instance happened when she was forced to confront two equally valid but conflicting truths (which of the parents had the rights to a child, one of whom was a supervillain dictator). The lasso actually snapped and for a brief time, truth itself became totally unbound on the world.
  • The Heart: Diana has consistently been recognized as the most loving member of the Justice League, always motivated by her love of others. In fact, it's been recently revealed that she LITERALLY loves everybody: she is a fighter who loves even her enemies. This means that she fights because it's necessary, never out of anger or revenge. In fact, during Blackest Night, her enormous capacity for love earned her a Violet Ring, turning her into a Star Sapphire. Also during Blackest Night, when she faced Black Lantern Maxwell Lord, he reads his aura during the fight and realizes she's feeling love for him while they fight.
  • Hidden Elf Village: Paradise Island, though it is accessible to the outside world in certain arcs.
  • Hourglass Hottie: Even the versions that are muscular and athletic generally have a wasp-waisted hourglass figure.
  • Immortality: Depending on the Writer. The Lynda Carter version "remembered the Greeks and the Romans". In Justice League Unlimited, Batman points out that she's from "a society of immortal warriors". In some comic incarnations, her immortality was lost when she left Paradise Island; in The Kingdom, she loses it due to pregnancy; in still other continuities, she is still and always immortal, and may even eventually become a goddess herself.
  • Immune to Bullets: Sometimes. Frequently her bracelets are, but she herself is not. Despite being completely able to take on Superman...
  • Impossibly Cool Weapon: The Golden Lasso, Bracelets of Submission and Sword of Hephaestus.
  • Improbable Weapon User: A lie-detecting rope, a tiara, bracelets and an invisible telepathic airplane that used to be a flying horse. All perfectly normal.
    • In the Golden and Silver Age comics, she also possessed devices such as the Purple Healing Ray (Exactly What It Says on the Tin) and the Mental Radio, a two-way radio/TV device that transmitted messages via telepathy.
  • Improvised Weapon: In addition to her standard armament of improbable weapons, she'll use whatever is available, including the invisible plane as a battering ram against larger foes.
  • In Name Only: In the foreword to the Trade Paperback "Gods and Mortals", George Perez mentions that there were several proposals for the Post-Crisis reboot of Wonder Woman, some of which had nothing in common with the original but the name.
  • Jack Bauer Interrogation Technique: After Genocide stole her lasso and went on to kidnap Etta Candy, Wondy resorted to this with Cheetah. She used the tiara to cut Cheetah's face and then threatened to cut off pieces of her tail if she didn't reveal where Etta was being held.
  • Insistent Terminology: Nemesis in "Who Is Wonder Woman?":
    Sarge Steel: "... You'd still be one of Circe's pigboys."
    Nemesis: Wolfmen. A small but important distinction."
  • Island Of Mystery: Themyscira, or Paradise Island.
  • Kill It with Fire: One of her oft-ignored abilities, in the comics, is immunity to fire.
  • Kryptonite Factor: In The Golden Age of Comic Books, in keeping with the bondage undercurrent, she lost her powers whenever she was tied up her bracelets were chained together by a man (she was tied up "incorrectly" on several occasions. Hilarity ensued.) She (like all other people, supposedly), could also be knocked out by hitting them on the right spot in the back of the head. In addition, ''removal'' of an Amazon's bracelets would send her into Unstoppable Rage. In The Silver Age of Comic Books, this was expanded to being bound in any way by a man. All these vulnerabilities were removed Post-Crisis; not being bulletproof was sufficient.
  • Lady Land: Paradise Island/Themyscira
  • Lady of War: Some recent reimaginings.
  • Leaning on the Fourth Wall: Wonder Woman (as Diana Prince) gets into an argument with a superhero memorabilia seller about why WW is not considered cool. He says "all I know is she's never sold as well as Superman or Batman...".
  • Legacy Character: During the 90's, the Wonder Woman mantle was briefly passed to Artemis before she was killed off. Later, the mantle again changed hands, this time to Queen Hippolyta. This lead to a series of confusing events where Hippolyta went back in time to the 1940's and retroactively became the "original" Wonder Woman, making Diana a legacy heroine herself. Of course this idea was ignored by subsequent writers and done away with entirely when DC rebooted its history during the New 52.
  • Leotard of Power: The classic example
  • Life Drinker: A comic had a No Celebrities Were Harmed version of Walt Disney named Wade Dazzle who was being kept alive by life force drained from visitors to his theme park and fed into his preserved body.
  • Lightning Bruiser
  • Living Lie Detector: With help from her magic lasso. It's also canon that she's the spirit of truth, and it's hard to tell a lie around her even without the lasso. As Mercedes Lackey pointed out in the foreword to "The Circle" TPB, the lasso doesn't just make someone tell the truth, it makes them see and confront the truth.
  • Long-Lost Relative: The leader of the Citizenry is Astarte, Hippolyta's forgotten older sister, who was taken by the Citizenry in Hippolyta's place. The sisters are not fond of each other these days.
  • Made of Iron: Her skin's not so tough against some things as other Flying Bricks, but she's still far more durable than normal humans. While pointy objects and bullets seem to annoy her a lot, blunt stuff and even lava or other such things don't bother her any more than they do Superman.
  • Magical Girl Warrior: Even more so as depicted in an anime-style Japanese statuette seen by Diana and Black Canary when the two visit Tokyo. The price tag reads "Wonder Woman: Happy Magic Fun Sword Girl - Sexy! Sexy! Fight! Fight!"note 
  • Magic Skirt: Her original look, but only in her very first story. And even there, a couple of panels make it clear that Wonder Woman is actually wearing culottes, not a skirt. The skirt became popular in later eras, however, whenever an artist wanted to evoke a "Golden Age Wonder Woman" look and feel (e.g., in Kingdom Come and DC: The New Frontier).
  • Mama Bear: It doesn't matter if you're some Eldritch Abomination or one of the Gods themselves, you do not mess with Hippolyta's daughter.
  • Master Poisoner: Doctor Poison
  • Metronomic Man Mashing: Wonder Woman gets this done to her by The Devil. It succeeds in pissing her off. Well, more so than she already was at him.
  • Mildly Military: In the early Silver Age, you would never have guessed that being a lieutenant in the U.S. Air Force required Diana Prince to do anything more onerous than wear a blue uniform.
  • Mirror Self: John Byrne retold Donna Troy's origin so that she was originally the mirror self of Princess Diana as a teenager, but given a separate personality by the sorceress who owned the mirror. Donna Troy was then captured by Queen Hippolyta's nemesis Dark Angel, who mistook her for Diana, and subjected her to live multiple lives that all ended in tragedy, ultimately leading to the one where Donna becomes Wonder Girl/Troia of the Teen Titans. This origin has recently been retconned out of her history since 2006.
  • More Deadly Than The Male: Batman and Superman both have codes against killing. Post-Crisis, however, Diana explicitly doesn't, which has led to conflict between them on a few occasions.
  • Most Common Superpower: Depending on the Artist, can rival Power Girl.
  • Motive Decay: Cheetah III, Giganta, and Circe all have severe cases of this.
  • Multiple Choice Past: Her origin and history have been retconned at least half a dozen times.
  • Not Quite Flight: For most of The Silver Age of Comic Books. Finally they just said "screw it, she flies".
  • Oh Crap: Both the trope and the words used by Diana in the animated movie.
  • Our Giants Are Bigger: Long-time Silver Age writer Robert Kanigher seems to have liked stories about giants, so giants of one sort or another kept showing up (usually as villains) all through the Silver Age.
    • Giganta.
  • Painted-On Pants: Wonder Girl traditionally wears these. During the Messner-Loebs run, WW also wore something like bike pants.
  • Pimped Out Cape: Wonder Woman doesn't wear capes often, but when she does, they usually fit this trope.
  • Pinball Projectile: Her tiara (See Precision-Guided Boomerang below)
  • Power Loss Makes You Strong: Part of the thinking behind the Depower. Feminists shouted back "No it doesn't!"
  • Power Trio: Forms DC's "Holy Trinity" Batman and Superman. There was even a short-lived cominc featuring the three called "Trinity".
  • Precision-Guided Boomerang: Her tiara, though she rarely uses it this way because it can kill people.
  • Punny Name: Ubiquitous for lesser characters in The Golden Age of Comic Books; most notably Etta Candy for the chubby girl.
  • Put on a Bus: Anyone seen Julia Kapatelis anywhere?
  • Race Lift: Etta Candy was black in the failed pilot. It was RetCanoned into the DCU with The New 52.
    • The Wonder Woman of Earth-D in the Multiverse was of Arabic descent, while the Wonder Woman of Earth-23 is black. And also looks an awful lot like Beyoncé.
    • The Wonder Woman of Azzarello and Chiang's run has a distinctly olive skin tone, though it doesn't seem to have spread to the rest of the New 52.
  • Really 700 Years Old: On the '70s TV show she claimed to be more than 2,500 years old.
  • Reasonable Authority Figure: Sarge Steel, at least while not having his body inhabited by Dr. Psycho.
  • Red Eyes, Take Warning: When she started to lose her soul in "Ends of the Earth", her eyes turned red until she got it back.
  • Reluctant Warrior: She may be an Amazon, but she constantly advocates diplomacy. At one point, she is forced to kill Maxwell Lord since he had telepathic control over Superman, and (while under the Lasso of Truth's effects) refused to not use it to kill other heroes.
  • Requisite Royal Regalia: Her tiara.
  • Retraux: Issue #0 of the New 52 reboot is styled after Golden Age Wonder Woman comics.
  • The Rival: Artemis of the Bana-Mighdall (later becomes The Lancer)
  • Rogues Gallery: Ares/Mars, Cheetah, Circe, Giganta, Dr. Psycho, Dr. Cyber, Angle Man, Paula Von Gunther
  • Royals Who Actually Do Something: Queen Hippolyta of Themyscira isn't above getting her hands dirty (and, in one bit of comics continuity, was Wonder Woman during World War II). Her daughters, Diana and Donna, are more than happy to follow in their mother's footsteps, Diana as the current Wonder Woman and Donna as the first Wonder Girl (now Troia).
  • Sanity Slippage: Pre-Crisis, if Wonder Woman or any Amazon lost their bracelets, they slowly turned batshit crazy. Justified in that they were a punishment for the Amazons sins.
  • Schizo Tech: Pre Crisis, Paradise Island had both magic and advanced technology. For instance, they built the Invisible Jet. Since they had a magic scrying device that let them observe developments on the outside world at will, and they were a scholarly culture with nothing but time on their hands to invent things, this actually makes perfect sense. Post-Crisis, this was deemed confusing, and the Amazons were cast solidly back into the Bronze Age.
  • Secret Identity: Though not much anymore. Lampshaded to Hell and back in the Simone run, with Tom Tresser even telling her that she's the worst person at keeping a secret identity he's ever known.
  • Set Right What Once Went Wrong: Diana's mission in new story arc.
  • Shooting Wonder Woman: Maybe a sniper would have a chance, but most goons like to stand directly in front of her before shooting at her.
  • Sidekick: Wonder Girl, Etta Candy.
    • And the Holiday Girls, young women from Holiday women's college who assisted WW, did investigative work, got caught and tied up and rescued a lot. Many of them were from Etta's "Beeta Lamda" sorority, where a common pledge prank was that you had to walk around campus in baby outfits with diapers and a bottle.
  • Some Nutty Publicity Stunt: Wonder Woman provoked what may have been the first comic book appearance of this trope, in one of her earliest adventures. Stealing a car from some Axis agents, they start shooting at her. As Wonder Woman deflects the bullets of one bad guy's tommy gun (with one hand) while driving off, the other says "I saw her on the stage! Let her go, she's probably doing some publicity stunt!" Which shows you how they lost the war.note 
  • Speaks Fluent Animal: Diana has the infrequently acknowledged ability to talk to animals.
  • Star-Spangled Spandex: Along with Wonder Girl, Donna Troy.
  • Statuesque Stunner: And HOW!
  • Strapped to a Bomb: This happened at least once. She wasn't just tied to the bomb, the bomb was dropped on a city. It was on the cover of a comic. This one, in fact.
  • Straw Feminist: When written badly. The Pet Peeve Trope of a lot of WW fans.
    Old Amazon: I say to you, that beast is man! See its lust for alcohol, and raw meat, and sex!
    Wonder Woman: (Thought Caption) Well, this is a diplomatic nightmare. Why do people think a belief in women equals a hatred of men?
    Old Amazon: They love war! Them, and worse, their women! And worst of all...
    Wonder Woman: (Thought Caption): Please don't say it, please don't say it.
    Old Amazon: They leave the toilet seat up!
    Amazons: Kill the men! Kill the men!
    Wonder Woman: (Thought Caption) Urgh. Kill the scriptwriter.
  • Stripperiffic: JMS tried to deliberately avert this when redesigning the costume for his run. It's debatable as to his success; true, her legs are covered up, but her new breastplate actually shows off more cleavage than the old one, and the jacket usually comes off when she fights (and was eventually abandoned entirely).
  • Superhero Origin: She's the chosen champion of the Amazons and their patron goddesses, tasked with spreading the message of love, peace, and justice.
  • Super Senses: Diana can sense magic! In some versions her normal senses are enhanced as well.
  • Super Speed: She has the speed of Hermes, and according to a recent issue of Justice League, can hit and dodge faster than Superman thanks to her warrior training.
    • She'd still lose in a race, though. As Batman put it, "Who's faster: Bruce Lee or Usain Bolt?"
    • In another, older issue, a variant of when she first met Flash, she showed off how fast she was. He countered... by running backward and still beating her. She was amused.
      Wonder Woman: I warn you, the gods granted me the speed of Mercury.
      Flash: Oh, I'm sorry. I thought you were fast.
    • According to an issue of JLA, the speed of Mercury is around mach three. Pretty fast by most standards... but of course, the Flash has been quoted as saying, "Can we pick up the pace? Mach ten is a crawl!"
  • Super Strength
  • Super Toughness: Exactly how much toughness she has depends on the writer, but generally she'll fall under this trope. She usually likes to block bullets with her bracelets instead of her skin, though.
  • Superhero Speciation: Nowadays, Diana has found her distinctive place in the DC trinity: while Superman provides the inspiration of good and Batman with his cunning, Wonder Woman provides an element of pragmatic power willing to go a step further than them and kill her enemies if necessary, while also using her diplomatic/political power as Themyscira's representative to the rest of the world to advocate for peace whenever possible.
  • Take That / Shout-Out: In one of the issues following Amazons Attack, Steel tells Nemesis to spy on suspected Amazons because "we don't want an Amazons Attack 2".
  • Those Three Gals: the cynical Amazons Hellene, Oenone and Iphthime. They double as Blonde, Brunette, Redhead.
  • Thou Shalt Not Kill: Averted with the current version series, considering Diana is perfectly willing to kill if she judges it necessary and will never second-guess making that decision. * NECKSNAP*
    • Which makes sense since Wonder Woman is a dedicated warrior, though she always tries for peace first.
      • Kingdom Come. Wonder Woman has a slow Heroic Breakdown as she keeps pointing out she's a warrior - why else would she have a sword? - culminating in her killing of Von Bach. Batman gives her a What the Hell, Hero?.
      • This has led to Flanderization by people Completely Missing the Point that she was acting violently out of character in Kingdom Come. That's why Batman and everyone were so shocked by her killing Von Bach. Since then, readers and writers alike seem to have pegged her as the one member of DC's Big Three who is willing to kill—which, in light of most of her history, may count as pretty drastic Motive Decay.
      • Pre Crisis, she was one of the most devout Technical Pacifist types in the DCU. That was part of the point of having a lasso (aside from Moulton's interests) — it was a non-lethal weapon. Back then, the Amazons certainly knew how to fight, but only for self-defense. Paradise Island was a "paradise" with lessons to teach us because unlike man's world, it was peaceful. There's a reason they were aided by the goddess of love and the arch-enemy of Amazon society was the god of war.
  • Token Minority: Nubia, who was even explicitly called the "Black Wonder Woman" in The Seventies. Later years have shown the Amazons to be more racially diverse, so Phillippus, while the most prominent black Amazon, doesn't stick out quite so much.
    • Nubia was the black Wonder Woman. In this version of the story, Hippolyta had originally been directed to make two figures, one dark, one light. The black baby was stolen by Ares and thereby hangs the tale.
  • Throne Made Of X: Hades' throne is actually his father, Cronus, who's chained in place.
  • Took a Level in Badass: What happens when Wondy wields Thor's Mjolnir? This.
  • Unstoppable Rage: For Wonder Woman and other Amazons in their Pre Crisis incarnations, the Bracelets of Submission acted as a check against the use of unrestrained power. If Wonder Woman's bracelets were removed, she became intoxicated with power, violent and nearly unstoppable. Like some readers, villains could be confused about the "rules" of Wonder Woman's bracelets, thinking that their removal would also remove her strength (cue Oh Crap moment for the bad guys).
  • Very Special Episode: One of the few well-handled varieties dealt with the drug induced suicide of Wonder Woman's publicist Myndi Mayer early in Perez's run in Who Killed Myndi Mayer?
  • Wearing a Flag on Your Head: Her tiara and leotard.
  • Will Not Tell a Lie: As the Spirit of Truth, even a secret identity is difficult for her.
  • World's Best Warrior: Certainly the strongest Amazon warrior. In general, she's one of the biggest threats in the DC Universe. She's Superman with combat training.
  • World's Most Beautiful Woman: Supposed to be this in DC, due to Aphrodite's blessings.
  • Xenafication: Xena herself was ten times as compassionate and sympathetic than the 2011 tv version of Wondy. This version of Wondy seems to have been built around the notion that "strong women need to be more ruthless than anyone else!"
  • Zorro Mark: As of the new Re Tool, her bracelets leave a "W" imprint on enemies. To quote JMS, "This is a Wonder Woman who signs her work... letting her enemies know that she's getting closer."

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alternative title(s): Wonder Woman; Wonder Woman
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