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Comic Book / Wonder Woman (1987)

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Themyscira's populace, paragon, and patrons. Plus Hera.
So worlds lived, worlds died, and nothing was the same again. Still, the cosmos called for an Olympus, an Amazon race, a champion to lead them all — and Gaea obliged. No longer bound to the meandering, often self-contradicting stories of years past (or the decrepit Comics Code Authority), a new crop of creators arose to craft a definitive Wonder Woman for The '80s and beyond. With this brand-new Wonder Woman came countless new friends, new foes, new locales and new adventures, which came to shape not only her own mythos, but many others in the wider DCU.

Wonder Woman Volume 2 ran from 1987 to 2006, with over two hundred issues to its name. These covered a lot of story arcs and Crisis Crossovers, but can generally be organized among the following six writers:

Alas, not all was ambrosia and nectar. Since the book didn't have any "sister" titles to coordinate with, new writers were usually free — if not outright ordered — to Retool, Retcon, or outright ignore parts of the previous run as they saw fit. As a result, Wonder Woman's reputation for Depending on the Writer arguably grew worse; it wasn't uncommon to see whole supporting casts (and sometimes whole cities) Put on a Bus so the new guy could make room for his own creations, and to this day different runs tend to be highly divisive among longtime fans.

And yet... and yet, this wasn't always a minus. For one, it meant that writers were a lot less bound by Status Quo Is God than you'd expect for an A-list superhero, which led to some very interesting experiments in Diana's characterization, background, and power-set (how many other members of the Justice League can put "former Olympian God" on their resume?). For another, the different spins that each writer put on her personality arguably made her one of the DC Universe's most human heroes, able to see the good in her vilest foes, call out her closest mentors and allies on their misbehavior — and, in turn, be criticized on her own failures and shortcomings.

Volume 2 eventually tapered off into Infinite Crisis (and the infamous Max Lord neck-snapping), much to the dismay of fans who saw long-running character arcs and building mysteries Cut Short. For better or worse, though, a new chapter in the Amazing Amazon's adventures lay just around the corner...

Stories include:

  • "Gods and Mortals" — (1987-1987) written by George Pérez with Greg Potter and Len Wein
  • "Challenge of the Gods" — (1987-1988) written by George Pérez and Len Wein
  • "Beauty and the Beasts" — (1988-1988) written by George Pérez
  • "Destiny Calling" — (1988-1988) written by George Pérez
  • "Journey to the Stars with Wonder Woman" — (1992-1993) written by William Messner-Loebs
  • "The Contest" — (1994-1995) written by William Messner-Loebs
  • "The Challenge of Artemis" — (1995-1995) written by William Messner-Loebs
  • "Second Genesis" — (1995-1995) written by John Byrne
  • "Lifelines" — (1996-1996) written by John Byrne note 
  • "Gods of Gotham" — (2001-2001) written by Phil Jimenez and J.M. DeMatteis
  • "Paradise Island Lost" — (2001-2001) written by Phil Jimenez and George Pérez
  • "The Witch and the Warrior" — (2001-2002) written by Phil Jimenez
  • "Wonder Woman: The Hiketeia" (2002) — written by Greg Ruckanote 
  • "Game of the Gods" — (2003) written by Walt Simonson
  • "Down to Earth" — (2003-2004) written by Greg Rucka
  • "Bitter Rivals" — (2004-2004) written by Greg Rucka
  • "Stoned" — (2004-2005) written by Greg Rucka note 
  • "Counting Coup" — (2005-2005) written by Greg Rucka
  • "Land of the Dead" — (2005-2005) written by Greg Rucka
  • "Mission's End" — (2005-2006) written by Greg Rucka

Tropes included in Wonder Woman volume two:

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    In General 
  • Ace Pilot: Steve Trevor's excellent piloting skills generally remain consistent. In this continuity his mother was also an amazing pilot, and served as one of the Women Airforce Service Pilots and a flight trainer during WWII.
  • Alien Geometries: On Olympus wherever you're standing is "down" for you, there's very few actual walls or ceilings; almost everything is a "floor" if you step onto the surface in question, just try not to fall out any windows because the whole place is a floating mass of waterfalls, gardens and jutting Greek architecture in a pocket dimension so it's a long way down.
  • Ambadassador: Under the Perez and Rucka runs especially, Diana was keenly interested in building and smoothing relations between Themyscira and the outside world — while always ready to open a can of Olympian whoopass on any villain trying to make trouble.
  • Answer to Prayers: Hippolyta's yearning for a child led to her sculpting a clay statue in the form of a baby and beseeching the goddesses of Olympus to give it life. The goddesses answered her prayers and thus Princess Diana of Themyscira was born.
  • Artistic License – Education: Cassie's history teacher never gets questioned or reprimanded for targeting Cassie for detentions every time he suspects she's not paying complete attention in his class, which she does because she already knows everything he's teaching and can answer his questions when he snaps at her in class to try to catch her off guard. He then decides her answers aren't respectful enough and sentences her to after school detention.
  • Comic-Book Fantasy Casting: George Perez has admitted to basing post-Crisis Diana on Marina Sirtis.
  • Continuity Reboot: After the Silver Age had thoroughly muddled Wonder Woman's continuity she was given this new volume and Perez was instructed to try to create a new iconic backstory and continuity for the princess.
  • Darker and Edgier: Than even the most envelope-pushing pre-Crisis stories — sometimes to the title's benefit, sometimes not. The very first issue begins with a dismembered caveman killing his mate, to set up the new concept of all the Amazons as reincarnated souls of women who'd died from Domestic Abuse.
  • Demoted to Extra: What befell Wonder Woman's long-running sidekicks Steve Trevor and Etta Candy (though the pre-Crisis era had been trying to put them Out of Focus one way or another since the end of the Golden Age). Freshly-created supporting characters could usually only hope for this when a new writer took over; more often they'd get Put on a Bus entirely.
  • Deity of Mortal Creation: It's never outright stated how the Olympians came to be but Ares accepting the possibility that the gods owe their existence to human story and belief, which they do rely on for power, is a large part of why he is able to adapt with the times while Zeus' refusal to see himself as anything other than inherently superior and above humanity is why he cannot and loses his mind, power and crown
  • Drop-In Landlord: After moving out of Julia Kapatelis's home, Diana rents a room from an eccentric elderly lady who makes random appearances while Diana is living there. Her appearances are often very odd and not related to the ongoing story, instead providing a bit of comic relief during darker tales.
  • Enemy Exchange Program: While the vehicles are the most notable of the things Diana's rebels have stolen from the Empire's armies to use against them pretty much everything they have was taken from the Empire, and one of their most useful propaganda spreading and disguise items is a hologram projector which H'Elgn was able to make much more versatile, flexible and believable than the Sangtee Empire hologram projector they originally stole. Also, while Diana's core group doesn't contain any kreel they managed to inspire several groups to join their cause and turn on the Empire.
  • Famed In-Story: The Perez run was very thorough in establishing the sheer media blitz that followed Diana's debut in Man's World, even getting Diana a professional publicist (Myndi Mayer). Later runs emphasize or downplay it as convenient, though it doesn't really come to the forefront again until Rucka's overtly political run.
  • Feminine Mother, Tomboyish Daughter: Helena Sandsmark is the prim feminine young mother of the very brash and tomboyish Cassie Sandsmark.
  • Full-Frontal Assault: The history of Themyscira established at the start of George Perez's run shows Hippolyte fighting naked when she leads the Amazons in fighting back against Heracles and his soldiers enslaving them.
  • Gods Need Prayer Badly: Sooner or later, almost every run addresses the fact that the Olympian Gods have grown increasingly irrelevant in modern society. More than one arc has been kick-started by their attempts to redress this; hell, this was part of the reason they created the Amazons in the first place.
  • Good Is Not Soft: All that Thou Shalt Not Kill Technical Pacifist stuff from pre-Crisis? Gone. The Amazons (of Themyscira) still aren't the type to stab first, but they're also under no illusion that every enemy can be reasoned with, and even Diana won't hesitate to kill a clear and present threat to innocents.
  • Hammy Villain, Serious Hero: Diana and Circe have had this dynamic since 90s. While Diana isn't much for brooding and does have her humorous moments, she is rather serious-minded and reserved. Circe by contrast, is a cackling Vain Sorceress with a theatrical flair.
  • Jerkass Gods: Zig-zagged depending on the writer (and, to a lesser extent, the specific storyline). Generally, the male Olympians are more likely to be characterized as jerks (if not outright villains) while the females are more benign, but it's also common for most of the Dodekatheon, male or female, to be mostly-neutral background filler while one or two important ones do all the actual plot-driving.
  • Lady Land: Themyscira (a.k.a. Paradise Island) remains this for the most part, though the pre-Crisis bit about all the Amazons losing their powers if a man steps on the island is thankfully erased.
  • Legacy Character: During the 1990s, 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 1940s and retroactively became the "original" Wonder Woman, making Diana a legacy heroine herself. This idea was ignored by subsequent writers and done away with when DC rebooted its history during the New 52.
  • Mortality Grey Area: Olympians that are stuck in Hades are treated as dead by those outside of it but they need to be heavily restrained to keep them there unlike the truly dead, or they'll just walk right out like nothing is wrong.
  • Nice Girl: Depending on the Writer, of course, but emphasis will often be placed on Diana being one of the kindest and friendliest people around; people who determinedly dislike her before meeting her are incredibly likely to change their mind once they have.
  • Parting the Sea: The opening giving the re-imagined backstory of the Amazons has Posideon splitting a sea to create a path for the Amazons to get to Themyscira.
  • Perspective Flip: Themyscira's origin is one of Heracles' Ninth Labor. The Amazons were the good guys, it was Heracles who betrayed their trust and made them sex slaves. While a sect of the Amazons went kill crazy after escaping, their reaction is quite understandable to a modern audience.
  • Reluctant Warrior: Diana constantly advocates diplomacy over violence, but she'll not hesitate to fight to protect a life.
  • Sex Slave: In the backstory Diana's mother Hippolyta, Queen of the Amazons, (along with her people), was once enslaved and raped by the demi-god Heracles (sent by Ares in his war against Athena). Athena freed Hippolyta on the condition that she would not seek revenge.
  • Stealing the Credit:
    • Both Zeus and Hera like to act like they were involved in giving the Amazons their powers and protected island but it was done secretly and carefully hidden from them by Aphrodite, Artemis, Athena, Hestia and Hermes because they knew their king and queen would interfere and destroy the peaceful sanctuary they were creating.
    • Zeus loves to act like he gave Diana her powers and it was his idea to give Hippolyta a daughter without her having to give birth, when this was again something the aforementioned five did in secrecy with the Amazons. Zeus' first interaction with Diana was when he tried to rape her, and he already had this arrogant idea that she should be thankful and subservient to him.
  • Utopia: While still an Arcadia Themyscira is a far cry from the utopia Paradise Island was, at first. Later writers reconstructed it back to its roots as a utopia where War Refugees from across the galaxy were welcomed, orphans were taken in and scholarship flourished while knowledge from across the universe was collected and stored in the libraries. While those they housed were of any and all genders and sexes the Amazons themselves are all women.
  • 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?" It was so well-done it became one of the stories included in the Greatest Wonder Woman Stories Ever Told omnibus.
    • "Chalk Drawings", written by George Pérez, deals with teen suicide, but unlike many such stories is thought to have been done both tastefully and very well, and is well integrated into the storyline at large.
    • "The Once and Future Story", published in 1998, has a story dealing with abusive relationships as its theme. The plot details how a princess of a tribe of warrior women saves her mother from an abusive relationship with Theseus, while Wonder Woman notices that the archaeologist Moria is likewise in a similar relationship with her husband being the abuser. The back cover also has some information and phone numbers for dealing with such relationships.
  • Waterfall into the Abyss: Olympus and later Themiscyra are both floating locales with waterfalls falling dramatically from them.
  • Wearing a Flag on Your Head: Hilariously (or infuriatingly) enough, six different runs changed almost everything except her star-spangled leotard costume.note  Perez, at least, tried to hammer out a logical explanation for why the Amazons would clothe their champion like this when their culture predates the USA by thousands of years — see his folder for details.
  • Will Not Tell a Lie: She's the Spirit of Truth, she's not big on lying and usually sees through those who are trying to hide things from her themselves, though magic can affect her usually incredible perception.

    Perez run 
Issues #1-62note , Annuals #1-2, War of the Gods #1-4
The first of Wonder Woman's Post-Crisis architects, George Pereznote  took considerable efforts to overhaul not just Diana herself, but the entire history of the Amazons. Under his pen, the series became a high-stakes epic fantasy, tying itself closer to Classical Mythology than ever before (though not, of course, without the usual doses of artistic license).

With rogue Gods and monsters hounding her on all sides, you'd expect a rougher, tougher Wonder Woman than any before — and you'd be (mostly) wrong. The Diana of this era was more a Naïve Newcomer than just about every take before or since, reacting to every little curiosity of "Man's World" with wide eyes and open mouth, and every battle with great reluctance. Love was her forte, peace her dream, and instead of marking herself as a superhero (to the point of eschewing a Secret Identity and initially turning down Justice League membership), she prized the role of ambassador, building bridges between man and Amazon wherever she could.

Perez's run makes use of the following tropes:
  • '80s Hair: Perez gives the newly rebooted Diana an absolute lion's mane of curly 80s hair.
  • Apple of Discord: The original(s), courtesy of Eris herself. Interestingly, they don't function as an Artifact of Attraction like in the original myths; instead, they spread a Hate Plague among those who eat them.
  • Artistic License – History: Costuming in flashbacks to the Amazons in ancient times is incredibly anachronistic and nearly always several centuries ahead of what it ought to be in order to align with the audiences' idea of what Greece looked like. The marble statues are also left plain and white even though the ancients covered those things with paint and gilt and considered a naked statue quite incomplete.
  • Athens and Sparta: While not exactly next door to one another, Themyscira and Bana-Mighdall have this relationship down to a tee.
  • Bratty Teenage Daughter: Vanessa Kapatelis is a sympathetic take. She acts out because she's an insecure teenager and her single mother spends more time on her work than with her, but she still loves her mother deeply.
  • City of Adventure: In this version, Wonder Woman typically stayed in Boston, Massachusetts.
  • The Commissioner Gordon: Inspector Ed Indelicato of the Boston Police Department teeters between this and Friend on the Force; while usually eager to help Wonder Woman, he doesn't command a whole lot of authority (indeed, his superiors tend to view Wonder Woman with a mixture of annoyance and disdain), and in any case Boston is typically just the place Diana sleeps, not where she adventures.
  • Creator Thumbprint: Perez's love for costume designing from his prior works continues here with him giving Diana a variety of other costumes and outfits to wear beyond her Leotard of Power. Such as an armored hoplite-like look in Challenge of the Gods and a tanktop and shorts outfit she wears while on Themyscira.
  • Darkest Africa: Figures prominently in the Cheetah's backstory — not that Perez's depiction of modern-day Africa is much more flattering.
  • Defector from Paradise: Following Darkseid's attack, Hermes refuses to quit Earth like the other Olympians, and eventually joins Diana's (mostly mortal) supporting cast. At first it's pretty clear he's trying to have his cake and eat it too, zooming around and using his remaining powers to dazzle and bribe the Puny Earthlings into worshiping him, but he eventually undergoes some pretty brutal Break the Haughty moments and starts losing his powers entirely.
  • Hellgate: One of Perez's most drastic changes to the Amazons' culture — instead of being just a Hidden Elf Village, they now guard Doom's Doorway, behind which lies a cave system leading straight to The Legions of Hell.note 
  • Magic Skirt: Despite the fact that there are shots from beneath aplenty of Hermes flying about in his relative lack of clothing the bit of cloth wrapped about his hips always keeps his private bits covered. His toosh, though... not so much.
  • Multinational Team: The UN delegation in "Strangers in Paradise" consists of twelve people from wildly different backgrounds. However, since the arc is only five issues long, only a few of them (Blind Black Guy Rovo, Troubled Tiananmen survivor Lin Koo, and the all-American Lois Lane) get anything besides token roles in the plot.
  • Put on a Bus: About twenty issues in, Perez had all the Gods of Olympus (except Hermes) run off to the other end of the galaxy after Darkseid blew up Olympus. In-universe, they did this to build a new Olympus (even though they're supposedly capable of retaliating against Apokolips immediately); out-of-universe, it's pretty clear Perez did this as a Deus Exit Machina to cut down on the Gods' Story-Breaker Power, until...
    • The Bus Came Back: In War of the Gods. Let's just say it might've been better for humanity at large if they'd stayed on that other end of the galaxy.
  • Recap Episode: Issue #49 is pretty much 22 pages of a newscaster rattling off Wonder Woman's previous adventures and impact on the world at-large, setting up the Amazons' big visit to the United Nations in the next issue. It's even named "Look Back in Wonder: The Story Thus Far".
  • Skilled, but Naive: In a huge departure from Marston's portrayal (who was snapping off pop-culture references almost the minute she stepped off the island — no doubt because her mother had a Magic Mirror to scry on the outside world with). Perez's Wonder Woman mixes this with a dollop of Good Cannot Comprehend Evil, when she was fresh off Themiscyra. In her late teens, she had been endowed with great intelligence, but she struggled with the concept of Barbara Minerva being deceptive and wanting to steal her lasso, or Myndi Mayer unable to break her cocaine addiction, leading to her drug-induced suicide. Those things were utterly foreign to her, though they helped her become Older and Wiser.
  • Smooth-Talking Talent Agent: A much more nuanced take on this trope is Myndi Mayer, who launches a massive publicity campaign and merchandising empire in the name of spreading Diana's fame (and message of peace) across Man's World. While frequently tacky and egotistical, Myndi does legitimately like Diana as a person, and never willingly antagonizes her before her sudden death via drug overdose.
  • Strange Salute: The Amazons salute by crossing their bracelets above their heads with their hands clenched into fists.
  • Token Minority: Somehow, when granting new life to all the women who'd been murdered by men throughout history, the Goddesses only found two black women (Philippus and an unnamed extra seen in some crowd shots) and one Asian woman, (Euboea). This can be handwaved by their source of these souls being Hades, meaning only those who worshiped the Greek pantheon and had the toll to pay Charon were available, but it doesn't much explain why most of the Amazons are pale blondes. Later runs were (somewhat) better at redressing this.
  • Ye Olde Butcherede Englishe: Likely taking after The Mighty Thor, Perez had the Olympians (and occasionally other 'ancient' characters) speak like this. Pretty much nobody followed him on this one.

    Gods and Mortals
  • And Then What?: How Wonder Woman ultimately stops Ares — by using her Lasso of Truth to force him to envision a world where he's won. In other words, a world completely devoid of human life, with no-one to sing his praises, until he too fades away forgotten.
  • Apocalypse Cult: Ares and his children have a number of Earth-bound minions to help them kick off World War III. Though, given the Gods' considerable powers and longevity, it's not clear if these guys are entirely willing or even human.
  • Black Dude Dies First: The first named character to die is Steve's overly serious black co-pilot Slade, who gets possessed and burnt out to a skeleton by Ares.
  • Evil Is Hammy: Ares is incredibly hammy. Everything he says is loud and dramatic and to the extreme.
  • Fainting Seer: Menalippe is usually able to take the visions she's granted as oracle in stride but her visions foretelling Ares' plan to start a nuclear war leave her on the floor.
  • He-Man Woman Hater: Heracles is quite despicable, and gloats at what he's done to the Amazons, saying that now that they've been stripped of their clothes and bound in chains for the use of men they're finally real women.
  • Healing Spring: Once all's been said and done, Poseidon and his Nereids turn the entire ocean into one for Diana to recuperate in.
  • I Surrender, Suckers: Heracles pretends to take his defeat by Hippolyta in stride and tells his men to stand down and accept the Amazons' offer of an allegiance, all so that he can drug and enslave the Amazons once their guard is down.
  • I Take Offense to That Last One: Julia accuses Myndi Mayer of quite a few unflattering things as she walks out the door after Myndi sauntered into her office, amusingly the only thing Myndi seems offended at on the list is the accusation that she's cheap.
  • Milking the Giant Cow: Ares has quite the flair for the dramatic, and doesn't seem capable of speech at all if he's not making large grandiose gestures.
  • Monumental Damage: Decay turns the foundation of the Boston Massacre Monument to rubble and when Diana catches it to prevent the monument from landing on tourists Decay reduces the whole thing to dust. The comic's monument is a bit different from the real one, putting the Spirit of the Revolution at the top of the tapering column.
  • Mythology Gag: In the 2nd Annual, it' revealed Myndi Meyer helped setup an in-universe comic book detailing Wonder Woman's adventures and the title font for the book is based off Diana's signature. Which just happens to be the same style used for Pre-Crisis Wonder Woman titles and the 70s show.
  • Off with His Head!: Diana decapitates Deimos with a throw of her tiara.
  • Overworked Sleep: Etta Candy, Julia Kapatelis, Steve Trevor, and Matthew Michaelis all fall asleep at the table or on the couch after working through the information in the files on the "Ares Project" Etta secretly copied and studying the talisman Diana got from Harmonia.
  • Pretty in Mink: Myndi Meyer struts into Julia's office wearing a large white fur coat instead of less ostentatious winter gear.
  • Prevent the War: In true '80s tradition, Diana's initial mission is to stop Ares from instigating World War III between the USA and the Soviet Union.
  • Reincarnation: All the Amazons are reincarnations of women killed by men, given form as adults made of clay by Athena, Artemis, Aphrodite, Demeter and Hermes. Diana is no exception, though as she was murdered while still in the womb she is given form as an infant and given a loving childhood.
  • Revive Kills Zombie: Decay, who is a essentially a zombie made from Medusa's heart, is destroyed by the restorative powers of Diana's lasso.
  • Roaring Rampage of Revenge: Antiope insists on taking this on Heracles' surviving men — this is portrayed in an extremely unflattering light, and leads to the fracturing of the Amazons.
  • Sacrificial Lamb: Matthew Michaelis is introduced as an old war buddy of Steve's, and every bit as brave and dutiful... but he's a newly-created character with no real ties to anyone else and nothing to teach Wonder Woman, so guess who gets cut down during the big firefight with Ares' cultists?
  • Sadly Mythtaken:
    • While it's par the course given that part of the Amazon's backstory is that the myths are twisted versions of what "truly happened" Ares gets hit hard here, especially since his parentage of Hippolyta and Antiope was later retconned back in. Here it is he who drives Heracles to attack the Amazons rather than Hera, though her driving Heracles mad is given a mention. This means Ares orchestrated the rape and enslavement of his own daughters, which goes quite contrary to his mythological counterpart for whom his dedication to his children was his only redeeming quality. For mythological Ares the rape or attempted rape of his children was also a Berserk Button, and he didn't much get on with Heracles since the hero killed one of Ares' murderous cannibalistic children.
    • The Amazon daughter of Ares said to have led a contingent of her people to Troy was Penthesilea in the myths, not her sister Antiope.
    • Heracles of myth did not attend the battle of Troy, he was already dead (and/or ascended to Olympus) by the time that mess started.
    • The Areopagus is a rock to the northwest of the Acropolis in Athens, not Ares' private Mordor. Ares does have an abode in mythology outside of Olympus, a dread palace decked in iron in the Balkans (then called Haemus) which is said to weaken light and be guarded by Phobos (fear), Deimos (dread), Eris (discord), Impetus (passion), Insidia (treachery), Nefas (mischief), and the Irae (angers), rather than just house Ares, Harmonia, Phobos, and Deimos like DC's Areopagus.
  • Second-Face Smoke: One of the several ways Myndi gets immediately on Julia's bad side is breathing smoke into Julia's face while trying to convince her to get Diana to sign Myndi as her publicist.
  • Sex Slave: Heracles and his men drugged the Amazons and stripped and bound them for their own use.
  • Stylish Protection Gear: Julia lends Diana a very nice-looking red turtleneck with wide sleeves and a belted waist and some black pants to protect against the cold.
  • Unnamed Parent: Diana's father, from her mortal life which she never got a chance to experience, is never named and given no characterization beyond being a brutal thug who murdered her pregnant mother.
  • Weird Beard: Deimos's beard is made up of thin poisonous green snakes of variable length, and starts at the inner corners of his eyes.

Challenge of the Gods

  • 10-Minute Retirement: What kick-starts the arc — after (almost) getting tricked out of her lasso and subsequently mauled by the Cheetah, Diana has something of an identity crisis and runs back to Themyscira.
  • And I Must Scream: While a few of the souls beyond Doom's Doorway are free to run around hassling newcomers to their hearts' content, most of them are saddled with this as punishment. Special mentions to the following:
  • And Then What?: This is how arc ended, with Wondy ensnaring Ares in the Lasso of Truth, forcing him to realize that starting World War III would strengthen his powers immensely in the short term as conflict and disaster engulfed the world...but there'd be nobody left After the End to fight, much less kill, each other, and without any living memory of the gods, he'd fade into nothingness.
  • Batman Gambit: Ares puts the idea in Zeus' head that Diana would be a wonderful conquest, leading to Zeus hitting on her. This in turn leads Hippolyta to a Did You Just Flip Off Cthulhu? moment which creates a rift in the Pantheon between those who support the Amazons (such as Zeus' wife Hera) and those who support Zeus.
  • Bling of War:
    • Diana arms herself in a gold and red breastplate, with a skirt of layered red over white pteruges, a cape, and a golden helm for her challenge, all worn over her Wonder Woman suit.
    • Hippolyta dresses in gold and purple armor with layered white and purple pteruges over a draping deep purple chiton all topped with a large purple cape when she decides to aid her daughter.
  • Breath Weapon: The chimera and hydra both breathe fire.
  • Broken-Window Warning: A brick with a message tied to it gets thrown through the Kapatelis' front window by some of the stooges taken in by G. Gordon Godfrey's rants against heroes.
  • The Cameo: There are appearances of the newly formed Justice League as Juilia quickly gives an overview of the fallout of Godfrey's mess and Diana declining their invitation to join. Batman, Black Canary, Blue Beetle, Captain Marvel, Changeling/Beast Boy, Doctor Fate, The Flash, Green Lantern (Guy Gardner), Martian Manhunter, Robin, and Superman all make an appearance, but none for more than two panels.
  • Did You Just Punch Out Cthulhu?: Diana defeats Cottus, one of the hundred-armed fifty-headed Hecatoncheires, without even being able to see its full form by aiming her spear at its loudly beating heart, and when that just slows it down a little she breaks what appears to be a floating staircase it's clinging to but which is actually its spine.
  • Hydra Problem: One of the many monsters Diana runs into beyond Doom's Doorway. Her solution is fairly Boring, but Practical — tie its necks together with the Lasso of Truth, then pierce its heart with arrows.
  • Like Father, Like Son: Inverted and darkly played straight when Zeus tries to seduce Diana by force in front of her own mother Hippolyta. Hippolyta is furious at this due to her Amazons and herself suffering rape and humiliation at the hands of Zeus' son Heracles and gives Zeus a "Reason You Suck" Speech that pisses off Zeus so much he ends up putting Diana through a trial of punishment.
  • Make Me Wanna Shout: The Pillar of Pallor cries out and moans so loudly in pain and sorrow that it incapacitates first Diana and later Hippolyta. It is only quieted by the vulture guide Ares sent Hippolyta showing it empathy.
  • Mix-and-Match Critters: A chimera accompanies the Minotaur and Echidna when they attack Diana and Hippolyta at the edge of the cyclops cave. It only has two heads, a lion head at one end and snake head at the other, rather than the three attributed to it in myth.
  • The Mole: As mandated by the contemporary Millennium (1988) crossover. It's Pan.
  • Multi-Armed and Dangerous: Cottus is one of the three Hecatoncheires, or hundred-handed ones, and looks like a creature made almost entirely of shadowy arms.
  • Our Minotaurs Are Different: The Minotaur himself shows up to fight Diana and Hippolyta. He is much less pleasant than his distant relative Ferdinand who shows up in Rucka's run.
  • Snake People: Echidna is built with a humanoid torso atop a giant snake, with a venomous snake head at the other end of her body.
  • This Is Something He's Got to Do Himself: Memorably subverted. The Gods decree that Diana must complete the titular Challenge by herself (though she is at least allowed to be armed to the teeth), and it does contain several revelations meant specifically for her. But Hippolyta's resolve to follow and ultimately fight alongside her, though heavily opposed by her fellow Amazons, is also ultimately portrayed as key to finally completing the Challenge.
  • Whole Episode Flashback: About halfway through, Hades shows up to drop one of these on Diana, explaining her stars-and-stripes costume is really an homage to WAAC pilot Diana Trevor (mother to Steve Trevor), who crash-landed on Themyscira shortly after World War II and heroically sacrificed herself to hold off a demon trying to escape Doom's Doorway. Of course, the strapless bathing-suit design remains inexplicable, as it looks nothing like the baggy pants and jacket Mrs. Trevor was wearing and resembles no articles of clothing worn by any Amazon.

Beauty and the Beasts

  • Ceiling Cling: Solomon knocks out the second Ogawa Electronics guard by holding onto the pipes covering the ceiling and swinging down to kick him as he opens the door.
  • Crossover: The storyline's last issue was in Action Comics.
  • Friendly Local Chinatown: Maxine Sterenbuch is sent to Boston's Chinatown as part of an attempt by Henry Armbuster to murder her so she can't interfere with his manipulation of her friend Valerie Beaudry. She ends up rescued and then kidnapped by Solomon instead.
  • Hijacked by Jesus: The mixing of clear Christian themes and belief with the Greek pantheon is overt in this section. Zeus, Posideon and Hades create a light in the darkness and see that "it is good," going out of the way to include that actual biblical quote. Diana asserts that her gods—after spending a chapter making it clear that she worships the entire pantheon, not just the Amazons' patrons—teach "peace, love and understanding" to Julia's mother to draw parallels to her Christianity, however this greatly contradicts the actual beliefs of the ancient Greeks, and even the Olympians as presented in the story itself.
  • Mix-and-Match Critters: Many of Circe's beasts combine multiple animals, like the snake and several iguana combo in Diana's face when she wakes up after being kidnapped by the witch.
  • Sadly Mythtaken: Zeus was not the only one of Cronus' children he attacked, and Zeus had to rescue all of his siblings who had previously been eaten by their father but remained unable to die and trapped inside him. In the comic Poseidon and Hades question if Zeus' claims of self defense in his slaying of their father have any merit and are ungrateful and upset with him for killing dear old dad.
  • Titanomachy, Round Two: Cronus creates his agent Devastation like Hippolyta created her daughter Diana (from clay), to inspire the world into following his "Cult of Cronus". After Devastation is defeated by Wonder Woman, Cronus and his "children" (-not- the Titans of myth, funnily enough) make their assault on Olympus and petrify the Greek pantheon, then turn their attentions to the Hindu deities (in the Godwar story arc).
  • Town with a Dark Secret: The humble little island of Cephalonia is in reality Circe's private fiefdom. Few who try to share this with outsiders live for long.

Destiny Calling

  • Attack of the 50-Foot Whatever: Ixion is — weirdly enough — portrayed as a giant, with the strength to match.
  • Avenging the Villain: The Big Bad Duumvirate of Eurayle and Phobos are looking for some sweet, juicy payback on Wonder Woman — the latter for Deimos' death, the former for Decay's.
  • Heroic BSoD: The younger, more naive Wonder Woman of this run underwent one when she found out that Myndi Mayer was already dead when she'd been shot due to a cocaine overdose; the murderer had unknowingly shot a corpse. Diana did not take it well.
    Diana: Oh Dear Gaea, why? She was so young, so vital!
  • Muggles Do It Better: After giving both Wonder Woman and Hermes a hard time, Ixion is ultimately taken down by the U.S. Air Force.
  • Noir Episode: "Who Killed Myndi Mayer" may not be Deliberately Monochrome, but it's still a heartfelt noir homage, complete with Private Eye Monologue from Inspector Indelicato. Notably, it's the only issue of the Perez run with all-human villains. It was also the only issue that relegated Wonder Woman to a supporting character.
  • Shipper on Deck: Myndi Mayer announced in press materials that Superman and Wonder Woman were dating. It earned her criticism from her staff.
  • Shout-Out: In Who Killed Myndi Mayer?, apparently St. Eligius exists in Wonder Woman's Boston, too — thus bringing the series into that massive Intercontinuity Crossover of the show.
  • Taken for Granite: What happens to a number of policemen and reporters in downtown Boston, courtesy of Euryale.

    Messner-Loebs run 
Special #1, Issues #63-100 & #0, Annual #3note 
  • Blaming the Victim: In issue #95, Artemis visits a shelter for women escaping abused relationships. Artemis asks one woman why she didn't fight back against her abusive husband. When the woman responds that the man would have killed her, Artemis coldly responds, "Good! Better they starve than have a mother who is a parasite and a coward!". Even a reporter doing a newscast on the shelter is appalled by this response.
  • Butch Lesbian: Quinn Thomas' sexual preferences are never confirmed but she's a walking stereotype so it probably wasn't felt that it needed spelling out.
  • Defective Detective: Diana befriends the PI Micah Rains, who usually is able to sort out the true perpetrator of a crime or find a kidnapped victim way quicker than the police, but is incredibly reckless, has no sense of self preservation, has been banned from most bars in Boston and is detested by the police for his rude, disrespectful cavalier attitude.
  • Private Detective: Diana meets and eventually starts a brief partnership with the PI Micah Rains.

"Journey to the Stars with Wonder Woman"

  • Alien Hair: Many of the slave woman have interesting hair substitutes and the kreel don't seem to actually have human-like hair, they've got barbells and hair like stuff that grows in flat strips rather than strands.
  • Animal Mecha: Sangtee Empire space fighters look quite a bit like mechanical fish.
  • Antlion Monster: Scavenger worms are giant creatures with lamprey mouths that hunt by burrowing in the sand at the bottom of pits and eating whatever falls within their grasp.
  • Bizarre Alien Reproduction: The kreel used to be gender benders as a race, capable of changing their physical sex in their later lives, but the church of the Sangtee Empire started working on making women utterly despised and socially unacceptable to the point that they are killed, enslaved or hidden away until they're able to present themselves as male and the race has relied on cloning to reproduce. Unfortunately for the raging misogynists their natural ability to change sex later in life means that cloning a man might result in a girl.
  • Blade Enthusiast: P'Q'Rort Antar Ftt B'Jan hides throwing knives up his sleeves; he's always eager to use them in addition to the knife at his belt.
  • Boarding Party: Diana and her core command in addition to a lot of other freed slaves pull various tricks to board Sangtee ships and force the crew to surrender to them. Usually by fighting them into submission and freeing all the slaves on the ship.
  • Boomerang Bigot: The Emperor is a woman but practices her society's violent and horrific misogyny.
  • Born into Slavery: The Sangtee Empire practices chattel slavery, and Diana is seen feeding some children on the slave planet she and Natasha were conscripted to.
  • Break the Cutie: "Julia"'s backstory, or what little is given since she was tortured so much she's mostly forgotten how to talk.
  • Childish Tooth Gap: In one of Natasha's photos of her daughter Aleksis the girl is grinning to reveal she's missing two front teeth.
  • Chronic Backstabbing Disorder: Sakritt plays up this angle but doesn't actually betray anyone, instead pretending to as part of a plan to take down the empire.
  • Command Roster: Diana's the captain, Natasha is her number two, H'Elgn is their scientist and head mechanic, Nol Lapp is their Communications Officer, Ectreba is The Big Guy and Sakritt fills the role of Security Officer.
  • Corrupt Church: The church of the Sangtee Empire which manipulated the populace in order to strengthen their role in the empire.
  • Defector from Decadence: Sakritt left the Dominators and their culture behind long before she was enslaved by the kreel, she even adopted her own name despite the Dominator stance of No Need for Names and talks about her people disparagingly on occasion with no desire to return to them.
  • Defenseless Transports: The Sangtee Empire slave transports are entirely defenseless despite there being anti-slavery sentiment in the empire. Once Diana's Space Pirate Revolutionaries start stealing the ships and freeing all the slaves the empire starts sending fighter escorts along when transporting slaves and political prisoners in large shipments.
  • Desert Skull: The desert on Hope's End is littered with skulls and skeletons.
  • Dressed to Plunder: Di adopts a leather pants and corset with an oversized jacket paired with big golden hooped earrings and a bandana tied around her head as the head of a rebellion labeled as pirates, and partakes in piracy stealing slaves, ships and other goods from the empire on a large scale. Though she's freeing the slaves and using those goods to provide for them.
  • The Empire: The Sangtee Empire is a galactic empire built on chattel slavery and genocide.
  • Experimented in College: The kreel have an interesting take as heterosexual relations are highly illegal in the Sangtee Empire and women are considered revolting by the ruling class. This does not prevent women kreel from existing or having romantic relations, they just have to present themselves as and publicly identify as men to take part in society as adults which makes any teenage romances they had flings by necessity since they can no longer use their feminine identity.
  • Evil Chancellor: Bruct, who gets elevated into position of D'Tasloo Parva (sort of like Chief Advisor, but more integrated as a liaison between the emperor and the military and church) after Wonder Woman captured A'iir, tried to kill the emperor at the first sign that things might go south, clearly stating that it's because she's a woman and he despises her. He apparently missed that bit where she just made it clear traitors will not be suffered to live even if they're betraying one of her enemies to her benefit.
  • Eye Scream: "Julia"'s eyes were cut out during her torture, partially to ensure she'd never be able to use her race's inherent eye based powers on her captors.
  • Eyepatch of Power: "Julia" starts wearing one after coming out of her catatonic state and being given a cybernetic eye to replace one of her missing eyes.
  • Fed to the Beast: While there is no evidence the slave drivers on "Hope's End" throw living slaves to the scavenger worms, it's still a fear many of them hold, and Natasha in particular has had nightmares about being thrown to the things.
  • Fist of Rage: Several Sangtee Empire nobles clench their fists in rage when Wonder Woman has herself projected into their meeting via hologram and cockily informs them that since they're practicing chattel slavery they have no right to complain about the revolution she's leading, and that they have no choice but to lose.
  • Foreshadowing:
    • Diana notes that it's pretty suspect that Thomas Randolph has a custom space suit all lined up for her along with an experimental craft only she can pilot (since the force of it would kill a human), if the rescue of the cosmonaut Natasha was really a surprise emergency and he had tried to get hold of heroes more suited to operate in space first. He later sabotages the mission, sending Diana and Natasha careening deep into space in an attempt to kill her.
    • The Sangtee's bizarre morality as it regards to children, which means that citizens who turn out to be "devolving" into females in their test tubes are born and taken to seclusion to be trained to act like men instead of being killed/aborted, is foreshadowed with the children on the slave planet. Despite all the horrific atrocities and brutality visited on the slaves the children are never touched by the slave drivers and run about doing whatever they'd like, are clothed much better than the adult slaves and aren't fitted with collars.
    • There a quite a few hints that the Emperor is a woman before it's revealed.
  • Galactic Conqueror: The Emperor of the Sangtee Empire, which has conquered many inhabitable planets and runs itself out of space ships that operate as cities.
  • Gender Bender: The kreel are naturally gender benders, able to transition late in their lives, which is part of how they would naturally procreate as it was common for entire generations to be born one sex so some would have to change in order for there to be any children. This has been suppressed for centuries with reproduction now enabled by cloning.
  • Graffiti of the Resistance: The rebellion at large adopts Wondy's layered =W=s as their symbol. The symbol is even stated to have been tagged on buildings in the capitol and is said to have become a the symbol of all branches and offshoots of the resistance against the Empire's deadly misogyny and slavery practices.
  • Green-Skinned Space Babe: Quite a few of Diana's crew are humanoid women with odd skin tones who look quite attractive after they've been liberated from slavery and have had a chance to heal up, eat right, and groom and accessorize as they please.
  • Grin of Audacity: Diana tosses a great wild one at Natasha after she fights Ectreba and knocks her out and has the prisoner Ectreba had been "questioning" taken to medical, and then informs everyone that she and Ectreba will be questioning the man the next day.
  • Hellhole Prison: Diana and Natasha are imprisoned and enslaved on a desert planet without enough oxygen in the atmosphere to be comfortable for a human, where food is questionable and served in a sloppy shared trough, and where the slave drivers are cruel and trying to work the prisoners to death.
  • He-Man Woman Hater: The Sangtee Empire's hat, but there's some variance in just how much actual members adhere to it. Bruct and most of the governors/P'Q'Rort however despise women and can't quite stand to be in the same room as one without trying to kill her.
  • Horse of a Different Color: An old recording of the Sangtee Emperor shows them riding some kind of lizard/dinosaur-like mount.
  • It Only Works Once: The rebels leave one of their ships floating disabled with breaches in the hull near a shipping lane, with the crew inside playing dead in spacesuits to take advantage of the empire's salvaging practices in order to get the jump on them. The next time the empire sees a damaged and disabled rebel ship they instead destroy it from afar. The rebels were using the ship as a different kind of trap this time and were able to hack the empire's ships after the destruction of the abandoned ship alerted them to their whereabouts.
  • Jack Bauer Interrogation Technique: Ectreba's a fan. Diana is not. Ectreba tries to use this on their most valuable prisoner but Diana interferes before it gets too far, only not stopping it beforehand because she wasn't aware of Ectreba's plan.
  • Knockout Gas: The Sangtee Empire pumps knockout gas into disabled ships in found during their patrols before boarding and stealing them and enslaving any outsiders on board.
  • Law of Alien Names: Ectreba.
  • Loyal Animal Companion: Yuri for Natasha.
  • Made a Slave: Natasha and Diana are made into slaves by the Sangtee Empire, and go on to escape and start a rebellion that forces the empire to abolish slavery. Some of their fellow revolutionaries/pirates were also captured and made slaves by the empire before Diana's revolt.
  • Mars and Venus Gender Contrast: The basic plot is that a bunch of men enslaved all the women in their empire and now the women are fighting back. Overall this is the weakest and most unfortunate part of the arc as the idea that men are brutish violent idiots and women are clever kind and forgiving is played completely straight. Though the graffiti in the Sangtee capitol gave hints and an opening for there to have been male allies to the revolution who disapproved of the Empire's horrific acts in the capitol this was never followed up on.
  • Martial Arts and Crafts: Natasha manages to use her stage magic abilities for fighting. This includes slipping her bonds and then pulling out a bouquet to wack a Sangtee Empire guard in the head with, revealing that it was hiding a crowbar but causing the guards to hesitate because the attack is so odd.
  • The Mutiny: Diana's entire high command starts feeling like she's risking them unnecessarily and they should take what they've been able to get and move on to live their lives since they don't feel they can actually defeat the empire, though only Sakritt and Ectreba start planning a mutiny. Diana is able to talk them out of it rather easily, though Sakritt does mention the truce has its limits.
  • Ninja Pirate Zombie Robot: Diana's revolution group can be described as an all female armada of Ex-Slave Revolutionary Space Pirates with a No Kill Rule. Individual members count as well:
  • No Name Given:
    • Nol Lapp's name is incredibly easy to miss since it's only stated once on a page where she isn't even present, but even if one misses it she presumably has a name since she's from the group that didn't have their genetics scrambled in the Six-Minute War, even if by the time Diana meets her on the slave planet she's acting like she is one, keeping her form loose and tentacley and going by "the Durlan".
    • The crew's first and Ace Pilot is never named and hard to keep track of due to her mild morphic abilities.
  • Nothing Up My Sleeve: Sangtee Empire P'Q'Rort Antar Ftt B'Jan hides throwing knives up his sleeves.
  • No Woman's Land: The Sangtee Empire is a bad place to be a woman. If you're kreel you're hidden throughout your childhood and young adult life until you've been fully trained to hide your femininity and act as a man, if you're not you are sent to hellish slave planets and worked to death.
  • One-Gender Race: The kreel at first appear to be all male, and are claimed to change genders once every millennia at which point children are born. The reality is that they've been repressing and hiding their females due to religious propaganda that has ensured that the ruling class at least believes women are weak and inherently inferior, and they've substituted cloning for natural procreation.
  • Opposite-Sex Clone: Kreel biology means that attempting to clone a man may result in a female infant, as is the case for the Emperor.
  • Parrot Pet Position: Yuri, the space lizard/tiny dragon, hangs out on Natasha's shoulder at times.
  • Pirate Girl: Diana's whole pirate crew is made up of women.
  • Pirate Parrot: Natasha trains herself up "Yuri, the magic lizard", a creature that looks like a small dragon mixed with a salamander that has some protrusions reminiscent of feathers. He's not actually magic in the least, she just uses him during her little magic shows for the crew.
  • Power Nullifier: A red sun for "Julia", which the empire has found a way to artificially replicate.
  • Praetorian Guard: The Sangtee Emperor has a pair of personal guards who usually stand at their shoulder, dressed in a unique uniform. Oddly they are missing during the climactic confrontation.
  • Privateer: Diana's crew of revolutionaries fighting the Sangtee Empire mostly acts like and are labeled as Space Pirates. Once they achieve their goal of forcing the Empire to legitimize female citizens and cease enslaving non-kreel peoples within the Empire for their gender the Emperor legitimizes the remaining members as privateers working for the Empire.
  • Punctuation Shaker: A'iir. H'Elgn.
  • Reduced to Ratburgers: After being enslaved Diana and Natasha start hunting and eating the blue fleshed tiny lizard things on the planet to supplement the slop they're fed. Natasha notes that the lizards are unappetizing but a source of protein they can't turn from in their situation.
  • Religion of Evil: The Sangtee Empire's state religion which promotes the hatred of women.
  • La Résistance: Diana's leading a resistance made up of escaped and liberated slaves. It's mentioned that her symbol has been seen tagging things in the capitol indicating she has support among the kreel too, since there are no slaves there.
  • The Revolution Will Not Be Vilified: While there is implied killing going on during their battles it's stressed that Diana and co are focused on causing the least damage possible, Diana herself doesn't kill and doesn't require her fighters to, and that they're trying to get their enemies to surrender rather than kill them. It's even mentioned that many kreel just surrender outright without a single shot fired since the revolutionaries are known for leniency.
  • Rewarded as a Traitor Deserves: The Sangtee Emperor orders Sakritt executed once the information she's given them while betraying the revolutionaries is proven. When Sakritt's betrayal turns out to have been a ruse and the Emperor concedes to the revolutionaries' demands the Emperor instead chooses to work with Sakritt long term since they greatly value loyalty and Sakritt's dangerous play proved that she is incredibly loyal to her companions.
  • Salvage Pirates: Amusingly it's not the space pirates who engage in this but the empire. Diana and Natasha's careening makeshift spacecraft is uncontrollable and they're basically just sending calls for help into the void while watching their food and breathable air run out when the empire answers their distress call to impound their vehicle, steal everything including the clothes off their backs and enslave them.
  • Screw the War, We're Partying: Diana and her crew are seen enjoying some down time drinking and watching a crew member put on a magic show while leading a revolution against the slavery practices of the Sangtee Empire.
  • Seadog Peg Leg: One of Diana's pirates is missing part of a leg.
  • She Cleans Up Nicely: Pretty much all of the slave woman look much nicer when they're freed and have had a chance to heal, eat, rest and groom themselves a bit. They don't all look conventionally attractive by human standards, but nicer.
  • She Is the King: The Sangtee Emperor is a woman in disguise.
  • Shock Collar: The Sangtee Empire's slave collars can deliver a painful potentially fatal shock over extended periods.
  • Shout-Out: To Star Wars. Especially Return of the Jedi with the slave women on a desert planet and creepy worms living with their gaping, teeth-filled mouths open to the sky but otherwise buried in the sand.
  • Single-Biome Planet: "Hope's End" is an apparent desert planet that's used as a deadly prison planet, though Natasha notes that they've only seen a fraction of the place and it's possible it's not all desert. Part of its hellish nature is that the atmosphere has a much lower oxygen level than is comfortable for humans.
  • Sissy Villain: The rather effeminate kreel Emperor of the Sangtee Empire turns out to be a woman who is forced to pass as a man in public due to her society but does not want to and uses her confrontation with Wondy to overrule the laws that require it. The governor of the Empire capitol ship the final confrontation occurs on is also rather campy with his ornate robes, gestures, and preference for walking about in open nightgowns, but is the least antagonistic of the Empire's nobles, save his giddiness at getting to witness tortures and executions ordered by his Emperor, and is mostly a villain by proxy due to his position.
  • Slave Collar: The Sangtee Empire fits all of its many slave women with collars that allow them to listen in on their conversations and zap them with potentially fatal results to get them to fall into line.
  • Slave Liberation: Diana watches several unsuccessful ones while plotting her own and learning enough to communicate with the other prisoners. When her plot is set into motion she doesn't stop at just freeing all the slaves on the planet they're on, she turns it into a resistance movement and doesn't stop until she's forced the intergalactic empire to abolish slavery altogether.
  • Space Fighter: The Sangtee Empire have standardized fighters, seen escorting the slave ships. The revolutionaries' fleet is largely comprised of small space vessels but not all of them are proper fighters, as their policy is to try hacking empire ship's navigational sensors and boarding and forcing surrender.
  • Space Is an Ocean: Given a nod as all of the Sangtee Empire space ships, from fighters to freighters, look like mechanical fish. The only exception are their giant space faring cities which instead look like cities in giant bubbles.
  • Space Pirates: Diana and the revolutionaries become pirates that attack Sangtee ships and steal almost everything of value including most of the ships and free the slaves.
  • Space "X": Yuri, the space lizard. Who looks rather a lot like a tiny dragon.
  • Standard Sci-Fi Fleet: The full Sangtee Empire fleet is never shown as Wondy and her crew are mainly focused on attacking slave ships and their escorts, however they're known to have Space Fighters, Breaching Vessels (though only ones captured by the rebels are seen in use), Escort Ships and Cruisers which are all run out of large local Space Stations that function as the capitol city of their sector.
  • Starfish Robots: Robots seen in the Sangtee Empire shipping yard halls are fairly practical if top-heavy non-organic looking things that move on tracks and are covered in spires, which is quite a contrast from their space-ships which mostly look like mechanical fish.
  • Stealth in Space: When Diana is running an interplanetary revolution against the Sangtee Empire her tech people come up with a very practical way of implementing stealth in their attacks on Sangtee ships and convoys; remotely hacking the enemy ship's scanners and sensory equipment prior to approach.
  • Straw Misogynist: The entire Sangtee Empire.
  • Stripperific: Mike Deodato's infamous "Wonder Thong".
  • Supernormal Bindings: "Julia" is held in bindings designed to immobilize and de-power her.
  • Suspiciously Specific Denial: After Wonder Woman is able to capture the Sangtee Emperor's personal advisor the man proclaims he'll die before telling the revolutionaries his Emperor's devastating secret, letting Wondy and her high command know there's a secret to be unraveled that could be important to their goals.
  • Sweet Polly Oliver: The Emperor is a woman. Not even just her sex, once she's accused of such she agrees it's her gender.
  • Sword and Gun: Sakritt wields a Laser Blade and blaster together. In combination with her long sharp teeth she makes a great imposing factor when Diana is trying to convince pilots and their crews to surrender.
  • Tailor-Made Prison: "Julia" is held in a special cell designed to de-power her without killing her and keep on display to the other slaves to demoralize them and shame her.
  • Thirsty Desert: Part of what keeps the slaves from fleeing the mining camp on the Sangtee Empire planet nicknamed Hope's End is that it appears to be a desert planet and they're reliant on their brutal slave drivers for enough water to live.
  • Thou Shalt Not Kill: Diana holds herself and to an extent her revolutionaries to this rule, she doesn't hold it against any of them if they killed their slave masters while escaping but if they want to join her crew and be part of any boarding parties they have to agree to focus on forcing surrender rather than killing their hated enemies. Some of her party chafe at this rule like Sakritt and Ectreba, while others embrace it like the Durlan and "Julia" as it feels like putting distance between the brutality and barbarism of their slavery and their freed lives. Some of them also appreciate the stark differences between their way of operating and the empire's, and that she doesn't call on them to compromise their morals for the cause. This policy is also key to their success as her reputation means that Sangtee fighters surrender to her quickly and it gains her popular support.
  • Treacherous Advisor: Sakritt likes to play up this role but she's honestly quite devoted to Diana, and is easily talked down from her plans for mutiny. She later relishes getting to play this role to the Emperor to help Diana and the group infiltrate the capitol.
  • A Taste of the Lash: A guard using his electrically charged lash and Diana's collar against her is what sets off her revolt that led to the revolution. While there had been previous escape attempts they were small desperate affairs that the guards quickly squashed, Diana had made herself so beloved that her getting knocked into a scavenger worm pit was enough to get all the slaves in sight to turn on the guards, and the fight spread across the whole desolate planet allowing Diana and some others to steal a ship, and from there their revolution started.
  • Technical Pacifist: Diana has no problem with herself or her crew thoroughly beating and injuring their foes, but draws the line at killing for herself and when applicable for those working with her.
  • Warrior Prince: The Emperor rose to fame as a warrior putting down rebellions prior to ascending to the throne.
  • Weird World, Weird Food: There are lizard things with blue flesh on Hope's End that are palatable raw for humans, khunds, and several of the other species who've had members interred on the hellish planet, but Natasha does not care for them much and is eating them out of necessity and desperation.
  • Whip of Dominance: Whips are commonly used by Sangtee Empire slave drivers, and the Emperor used one to non-lethally put down slave revolts prior to their ascension. Emperor Sangtee's skill with it made it their signature weapon though they're good with a gun too.
  • Willfully Weak: Diana is careful to make sure she doesn't let her captors know she can fly so that she can avoid being restrained and displayed like the Daxamite she later names Julia and can plot her slave rebellion with an ace in the hole.
  • The Whole World Is Watching:
    • In the climax of "The Witch and The Warrior", Diana and Circe's battle is broadcast to the entire world under orders from Diana to Oracle to usurp all stations. Circe intends to make Diana execute her on t.v. in hopes that it will cause people to lose faith in Diana. Diana instead spares Circe's life.
    • Diana has another televised battle in Greg Rucka's first run. This time, her opponent is the gorgon Medusa whose sisters, with the aid of Circe, plan to use Medusa's gaze to turn everyone watching the fight to stone. Diana blinds herself with one of Medusa's snakes and kills the gorgon.
  • Women Are Wiser: The theme, played distressingly straight. Most clearly spelled out when she stops "Julia" from killing one of the men who tortured her, and after a little tussle, "Julia" actually walks away, agreeing with Diana that she'd regret it later if she'd gone through with it.

"Diana's New Job"

  • All-Loving Hero: Her status and firm belief in trying to rehabilitate criminals and get people help rubs a few cops the wrong way, but they often change their tune after spending time with her.
  • Ambition Is Evil: Cassie Arnold teams up with a murderer masquerading as a hero to propel her own career as a reporter by making it look like she's an Intrepid Reporter like Lois Lane.
  • Bar Brawl: Micah Rains gets into a bar fight shortly after he and Wondy start talking about working together. She decides to stand aside and watch what happens since everyone involved treats the thing as routine.
  • Blatant Lies: The White Magician claims he set Brian on fire by accident while trying to restrain him after gleefully setting the teen alight and claiming Brian had intentionally styled himself as a super-villain with the code name "Central Processor of Death".
  • Broke Episode: With Paradise Island gone and her stipend checks from the JLA tied up in a computer glitch, Diana has to fine some source of income. This is where Taco Whiz comes in...
  • Burger Fool: Diana gets a job at the fast food joint "Taco Whiz."
  • Confused Bystander Interview: Cassie Arnold uses confused bystanders to help support her agenda driven broadcasts of White Magician's "rescues", often cutting them off if they're about to say something that contradicts the narrative she's building and asking leading questions.
  • Fearless Infant: The young daughter of a mafia jerk who took her despite his ex-wife having custody of their kids is completely fearless and cheerful like it's all a show when her father gets her stuck in the middle of a shoot out, and then uses a device to transform himself into a fire-breathing monster.
  • Good-Guy Bar: By the end of the arc most of the JLA, JSA and several Titans have started frequenting the Taco Wiz Diana works at, making the villain who decided to try and attack a customer about ten feet from the door look insanely foolish even if he did make something like a black hole in the middle of the street.
  • If It Bleeds, It Leads: Cassie Arnold decides to take advantage of this to propel her career, by teaming up with a murderer masquerading as a hero in order to get the grisly scenes of his "rescues" before any other news teams, and often before the action even starts.
  • Not the Fall That Kills You…: Diana is usually able to catch people safely with her lasso due to the lasso's variable length and resulting ability to behave like it has whatever degree of elasticity is needed, but she needs to be concentrating. At one point she was focused on trying to talk down a heavily armed criminal and caused severe potentially career-ending injuries to an unfortunate police officer she caught who'd been tossed out a window.
  • Serious Business: Diana takes her fast food job incredibly seriously, somehow turning the somewhat ridiculous premise endearing with her earnestness.
  • Spotting the Thread: Diana notices very quickly that high technology has suddenly become readily available to the criminals of Boston, and that many of those who might have been able to explain where they got it from have been murdered by the White Magician while he claims to be protecting people.
  • Struggling Single Mother: Diana's manager Hoppy had to get a job at Taco Whiz in desperation to provide for her kids after the plant she was working at laid her off.
  • Tagalong Reporter: Deconstructed with Cassie Arnold, who tags along with White Magician and gets to be the first reporter at incidents he takes care of because he keeps her in the loop. The problem is she's reporting what White Magician tells her to in order to control public opinion on him and most of it is lies to make his murders look like acts of heroism.
  • Villain with Good Publicity: The White Magician is a straight up villain masquerading as a hero with the support of his pets in the press.
  • A Wolf in Sheep's Clothing:
    • The White Magician, the villain who sabotaged Wondy's attempt to save Natasha in the last arc, has been posing as a hero in place of the missing Wonder Woman but it quickly becomes clear he's murdering people and arranging a media circus to make himself look a hero before the criminals and other unfortunates he's targeting even start their attacks.
    • Diana's new friend Donna Milton is a murderer who is inserting herself in Diana's life to help the Big Bad of the arc defeat her. She ends up coming to care for Diana despite her original intent which becomes even more poignant with the later reveal that Donna is Circe.

The ContestThe introduction of Artemis

see the arc's page

The Challenge of Artemis

  • Ax-Crazy: Cheshire tries to gleefully kill Diana even though it goes against her employer's wishes and she has to nearly kill herself just to get close enough to poison her. The Joker appears in the last issues and is is normal horrific laughing self.
  • Cobweb Jungle: Diana is very unsettled by the cobwebs and dust coating the inside of Thomas Randolph's home, mostly because they make the place look like it's been abandoned for years when Randolph cleared himself and his victims out less than twenty-four hours prior and the rapid state of decay is the side effect of powerful and dangerous magic use.
  • Cutlery Escape Aid: Cheshire escapes from prison with a short length of twine, cheap plastic knife and a small compact mirror.
  • Deadly Upgrade: The White Magician upgrades his physical form with dark magic in anticipation of a fight with Artemis, and it ends up burning his body out and leaving only a pile of ashes for his remains.
  • Death Is Cheap: Artemis dies in this arc, but comes back in short order. What can you expect from a comic book story during the 90's?
  • Driven to Suicide: Artemis' use of the Lasso of Truth is not as refined as Diana's and she is horrified when angrily questioning a villain while having them restrained with it causes them to eat their gun.
  • Due to the Dead: Artemis falls in battle against the White Magician and is promised a proper Amazonian funeral and coins for the ferryman by Diana as she's dying. Of course her death will not last long.
  • Growing Muscles Sequence: Randolph was already in the process of growing far more muscles than his human frame had room for when he decided to feed on the life of the two women in the house with him to become truly monstrous.
  • Hero Antagonist: Artemis ends up hoodwinked by the White Magician into fighting Diana and taking part in heroics that are entirely staged (without her knowledge) just to keep Artemis from interfering with Randolph.
  • Punch-Clock Villain: Bill Baker, who "played the part" of The Chauvinist, The Exploiter, and Involute the Conqueror for pay by the White Magician, and seemed to think Artemis was in on the fact that it was all an act.
  • External Combustion: Julianna Sazia took out Paulie Longo by planting a car bomb in her own car which she then activated when he stole it to try and escape from her hitmen.
  • Evil Is Not a Toy: Thomas Randolph keeps finding more and more questionable ways to increase his magical power, which eventually warps him into an inhuman monster and kills him.
  • Fighting a Shadow: Diana clues in to the fact that Circe is hiding when she fights "Circe" only for her opponent to be incredibly weak and easily defeated yet somehow able to flee to prevent Diana from inspecting her which Diana realizes means the witch she fought was only a magical construct.
  • Magic Enhancement: Randolph was already on his way to looking less than human due to his attempts to increase his dark magical power before he took from Cheetah and Cassandra Arnold's life-forces to go full One-Winged Angel.
  • Tentacle Rope: Julianna Sazia's secondary security system is a bunch of metal tentacles which restrain Artemis just long enough for Sazia's hologram to taunt her about her impending death, then attempt to crush her to death.
  • Uncanny Atmosphere: Randolph's use of magic has made his home feel decidedly off, and it doesn't help that Diana knows he's been living there but the magic has artificially aged and decayed the place so that it looks like it's been abandoned for years.
  • Villainous Rescue:
    • Cheetah starts turning to a more friendly enemy to Diana after Di saves her life, though she's still a murderer who will happily take on contracts that set her against Diana. She ends up rescuing Diana from Poison Ivy and Cheshire's poisons while the three are all working for the same boss, though she still helps capture Di for their boss she just refuses to kill her or let anyone do so in front of her.
    • Circe tries to rescue Diana and Artemis with her reawakened powers but only manages to save Diana.

    Byrne run 
Issues #101-136, Annuals #5-6note , Secret Files & Origins #1
  • A.I. Is a Crapshoot: Julian Lazarus tries to "resurrect" his son Kris by building an AI that's designed to be what Julian remembers of his son. However due to Julian's unhinged reaction to Kris's death and the fact that "Kris" is in a computer in the laboratory where his father has been experimenting with creating Hard Light constructs with a special form of matter, his incredibly bored and deprived of stimuli "son" interprets the situation as a video game. As a result, he starts creating twisted superpowered hard-light constructs designed after heroes and villains which cause mayhem before their unstable nature cases them to explode while being fought by Wonder Woman and others, in a scenario where "Kris" thinks he's just playing a computer game. Even without that issue, Lazarus's assistant insists that, despite Lazarus proclaiming that he's preserved his son's "soul" in the databanks, his work was only ever meant to recreate bodies rather than minds, and at best all he's done is create an artificial intelligence that thinks it's his son, or at least responds based on what Lazarus thinks his son would have done in such a scenario.
  • Author Appeal: Diana got a geeky assistant, fulfulling Byrne's usual Tiny Guy, Huge Girl fetish.
  • Badass Crew: Whatever missteps this run might have taken, it was instrumental in cementing a proper "family" that could fight alongside Wonder Woman, consisting of Hippolyta, Artemis, Donna Troy and — of course — Byrne's very own Wonder Girl, Cassie Sandsmark.
  • Bill... Bill... Junk... Bill...: In Issue 126 Julia goes through the pile of mail that added up while she and Vanessa were on a camping trip, quickly sorting the assorted envelopes with ''""
  • Birdcaged: Neron sticks Artemis and Cassie in dangling spiky birdcages.
  • Came Back Strong: After Diana gets her soul fried by , the Dodekatheon revives her as a full-blown Physical God. This is zig-zagged, however, as Olympus' Alien Non-Interference Clause forbids her from intervening to help any mortal who hasn't prayed to her.
  • Failure-to-Save Murder: Doctor Julian Lazarus's son Chris died when Chris was caught in an explosion at Lazarus's lab, Lazarus's ex-wife calling Lazarus a murderer after he informed her of the death. Lazarus was so distraught that he tried to use his experiments to bring Chris back to life, even though his work was only intended to recreate physical copies rather than a complete personality, and at best what he created was a computer program that thought it was his son.
  • Guest-Star Party Member: This run was especially heavy on guest-stars that typically had nothing to do with Wonder Woman (and everything to do with Byrne's idol Jack Kirby). For almost half the run, in fact, the usual "Wonder Woman created by William Moulton Marston" tag sat right across from a "The Demon created by Jack Kirby" tag.
  • Hard Light: Julian Lazarus' experiments are focused on creating hard light constructs with an artificial AI and appearance derived from a program observing recordings of living or deceased beings with a little input by Dr. Lazarus and his assistants. He doesn't have it down yet and the constructs are prone to violent explosions when exposed to unexpected physical contact, which ends up blowing up his lab and killing his son.
  • Magic Skirt: During Hippolyta's stint as Wonder Woman she wears a skirt for some unfathomable reason, possibly due to the false belief that Diana wore a skirt in her first adventures—Di wore a pair of spangled culottes, long loose shorts that were popular athletic wear for women at the time. Hippolyta's skirt manages to maintain her modesty in most panels despite having to defy physics to do so.
  • Recap Episode: Issue #120 is an extra-sized issue recapping a number of Diana's adventures since Issue #1 — though nowhere close to all of them (indeed, most of the stuff from the Loebs run is glossed over).
  • Suspiciously Similar Substitute: Several of Byrne's new supporting characters were accused of being this — Helena and Cassandra Sandsmark for Julia and Vanessa Kapatelis, and Mike Schorr for Ed Indelicato. For his part, Byrne maintains that only Perez had the right to write the originals.
  • Tiny Guy, Huge Girl: Diana is given a small assistant, fulfilling one of Byrne's favorite Author Appeals.
  • To Hell and Back: About halfway through the run, Diana is abducted by the Archdemon Neron, forcing her sidekicks and allies to invade Hell to for her soul.
  • Zombie Apocalypse: Annual #6 (like all of DC's annuals that year, a Pulp Magazine homage — specifically, to Robert E. Howard's more horror-tinged stuff) is all about an adolescent Diana trying to stop one of these.

    Luke run 
Annual #7, Issues #139-159, Secret Files & Origins #2
  • Crossover Cosmology: Luke's run was bigger on this than just about any other writer's (even Perez's), teaming Diana up with the entire Hindu pantheon, and featuring special guest appearances from several others as well.
  • Lotus-Eater Machine: Oblivion traps Diana in a double-layered one. The first layer convinces her that she's accomplished her mission, getting Man's World to give up on war and live in peace and harmony forevermore... but when she starts breaking free, it starts focusing on her personal desires, which apparently amount to a polyamory with Batman and Superman.

    Jimenez run 
Issues #164-188, Wonder Woman: Our Worlds At War #1, Secret Files & Origins #3
  • Abdicate the Throne: To end the Amazon Civil War, Hippolyta and Diana abdicate their royal positions and abolish the monarchy.
  • Ax-Crazy: Circe and her army of female villains during "The Witch and the Warrior". After Circe turns all male heroes into animals, Circe gathered an army of all the female villains in the world to hunt and kill the male heroes. The female villains are seen enjoying hunting and killing the male heroes. Not only that the female villains are also slaughtering innocent civilians while taking over New York City.
    Lex Luthor: Those women are bloodthirsty!
  • Big Badass Battle Sequence: During "The Witch and the Warrior" features a massive battle between all the female heroes and all the female villians in the DC universe.
  • Catapult Nightmare: Diana and Donna find themselves plagued with horrific nightmares of their mother Hippolyta's death that wake them with a violent start in the weeks following it which they eventually realize are being inflicted on them by Circe.
  • Cat Fight: "The Witch and the Warrior" has a huge one. There is a huge fight between all the female heroes and female villains in the world.
  • Civil War: Using longstanding grievances, the Amazon tribes of Themyscira and Bana-Midghall are manipulated into a brief but deadly civil war with one another.
  • Continuity Porn: For better or worse, Jimenez was very, very big on reviving anything and everything from older Wonder Woman stories, from the downright goofy (Villainy, Inc.) to the genuinely breathtaking (Themyscira II draws on resources from a half-dozen corners of the wider DC Universe).
  • Counterpart Combat Coordination: Most of the individual fights between the female heroes and female villains in "The Witch and the Warrior" end up being between characters with similar or contrasting powers. In the first group Scirocco takes down Terra, both of whom have Dishing Out Dirt abilities, the winged women Hawkgirl and Harpi fight, the two former Female Furies Barda and Knockout take each other on, New Wave fights Tsunami and Cascade and Black Canary out-screams Silver Banshee. In the group of opposing powers Nox and Nightfall try to take out Dr. Light and Killer Frost easily defeats Inferno. Bumblebee and Penny Dreadful both have electrical powers fight each other, and the speedster, Jesse Quick, beats another speedster named Dervish.
  • Cry into Chest: Once Circe's brainwashing is undone with the lasso of truth Superman cries into Wonder Woman's chest while apologizing for fighting and hurting her. It comes across as a bit ridiculous given there's still the ends of a giant battle going on throughout New York that both of them could be helping with, and Diana heals unnaturally quickly and isn't even all that banged up considering who she was fighting.
  • Day in the Life: Issue 170, "She's a Wonder", sees Lois Lane tag-along with Diana as part of an interview that takes her through a usual day in Diana's life as a political ambassador, social activist, and superhero.
  • Demonic Possession: In "Gods of Gotham" Ares' kids, Deimos, Phobos, and Eris, return to the mortal plane possessing the bodies of Joker, Scarecrow, and Poison Ivy. Backfires somewhat in the case of Deimos as the Joker's insanity actually begins to rub off on him and Phobos switches bodies to takeover Batman temporarily.
  • Different World, Different Movies: During "The Witch and the Warrior" Wonder Woman's fight with a brainwashed Superman takes them past a billboard advertising the Broadway musical the Phantom of Gotham, complete with a white mask and red rose on a black background.
  • Dishing Out Dirt: During "The Witch and the Warrior" Terra, a hero whose superpower is control over earth, and Scirocco, a villain with the same power, fight. Scirocco wins and kicks up a dust storm that blinds Argent to incoming attacks, thereby taking out two Teen Titans.
  • Dragged Off to Hell: Ares banishes his kids, Phobos, Deimos, and Eris, to Hades for both attempting to poison him and his immense disappointment they've brought him. Unlike other comic book characters, they stay there and aren't heard from again in this continuity.
  • Dramatic Dislocation: During Wonder Woman's fight with a brainwashed Superman in "The Witch and the Warrior" he dislocates her left shoulder and she has to grit her teeth and pop it back in during a lull in the fight.
  • Elemental Rock-Paper-Scissors: A few villains and heroes who use conflicting elements fight during the giant brawl across New York in "The Witch and the Warrior". Two dark/shadow manipulators try to take down Dr. Light, who blasts through their combined power, and Killer Frost handily freezes Inferno solid.
  • The Exile: Following the Amazon Civil War and abolishment of the monarchy, both Hippolyta and Diana are exiled from Themyscira while the two tribes try to rebuild. The ban is lifted eventually once the Godddesses help rebuild the island following Our Worlds at War.
  • Face–Heel Turn: Remember Vanessa Katapelis? That cute little Tagalong Kid from the Perez run? No? Well, then you won't mind if we make a few cybernetic adjustments to her, will you? We were looking for a new Silver Swan, anyways...
  • Girl's Night Out Episode: "The Witch and the Warrior" serves as one for the entire DCU, as Circe turns every single male superhero (except Superman, who gets captured and brainwashed instead) and supervillain into an animal and blocks off all of New York as a private game reserve for herself and every super villainess around. The opposition? Wonder Woman and Oracle coordinating about a hundred super heroines from Ordinary High-School Student Spoiler to Flying Brick Power Girl.
  • Great Offscreen War: The reason the various pantheons of the DC universe didn't get involved in the Our Worlds at War crossover. The conflict apparently supercharged the various War Gods (Ares, Sekhmet, Skanda, etc) and it took the combined might of all the pantheons to keep them at bay.
  • Hobbling the Giant: The very first time Giganta shows up with Giant Woman abilities in the comics in "The Witch and the Warrior" Empress and Monstergirl yank some long pieces from the nearby Sylph's shroud and wrap them around her ankles while Wonder Girl flies up to banter with Giganta before laying her out with a punch in the face.
  • Hunting the Most Dangerous Game: Circe creates a twisted hunting game for as many villain women as she can gather with her magic, by taking the world's top male heroes, transporting them to New York City, transforming them into human-animal mashups (thereby preventing them from using their powers and/or gadgets), and putting a magical barrier around New York while the villains hunt down the heroes and slaughter any civilians in their way.
  • "I Know You're in There Somewhere" Fight: Diana has to fight a Circe-brainwashed Superman without her lasso. She tries throughout the fight to get him to come to his senses but nothing works until she gets her lasso back and wraps him in it.
    • Also did this earlier in the "Gods of Gotham" arc when Phobos-possessed Batman. Appealing to Bruce's better nature, she was able to get through him without the lasso.
  • Imperial Stormtrooper Marksmanship Academy: Lampshaded by Hawkgirl when she takes down Harpi during "The Witch and the Warrior", as all of Harpi's shots are failing to hit anything or anyone of tactical importance.
    Hey Harpi, you ever actually hit your target with those blast powers of yours?
  • Kung-Shui: When Wonder Woman has to fight a brainwashed Superman during "The Witch and the Warrior" they end up punching and throwing each other through several New York City skyscrapers and making an absolute mess of Times Square.
  • I Have No Son!: In "Gods of Gotham", Ares says this to both Deimos and Phobos right before he sentences them to punishment in Hades. In Demios' case, he says the son he had died long ago when Deimos was first killed by Diana in Perez's "Gods and Mortals".
  • Ironic Hell: In a Call-Back to the Perez run, Phobos' punishment in Hades is to be chained to the same wheel he freed Ixion the Assasin from.
  • Making a Splash: "The Witch and the Warrior" features a fight between New Wave, Tsunami and Cascade, three superpowered individuals with the ability to control water. They flood a fair portion of Manhattan and nearly drown some of their respective allies.
  • Mythology Gag: Jimenez was fan of the Lynda Carter Wonder Woman show and so made several nods to the show in his run. From Wonder Woman doing the famous spin transformation to sporting several of the alternate costumes Carter wore in the show.
  • Nightmare Weaver: Circe imposes nightmares about Hippolyta's then very recent death and Vanessa being kidnapped and transformed into the new Silver Swan on Diana and Donna. It takes them about a week to realize their bad dreams are being inflicted on them rather than just being caused by everything that happened recently.
  • No-Sell: At one point a revitalized Circe was able to throw off the Lasso of Truth without even trying due to increased magical power, which was shocking for the characters and readers alike given that the lasso is meant to be inescapable in such a manner by any living thing. Later writers ignored the incident, but at the time it made the heroes hopelessly outclassed in their current fight.
  • Oh, My Gods!: Diana uses Oh, Morpheus help me as an expression after waking from a bad dream.
  • 1-Dimensional Thinking: When Empress, Wonder Girl and Monster Girl knock down Giganta during "The Witch and the Warrior" Mustang Sally tries to escape being squashed by riding her bike in a straight line along the same trajectory as Giganta's fall. She ends up underneath her ally.
  • Parents as People: A running theme throughout Jimenez's run is the rocky relationship Diana has with Hippolyta over Hippolyta having developed a life outside of being Queen of Themyiscra as Wonder Woman of the JSA.
  • Punch Catch: During Wonder Woman's fight with a brainwashed Superman in "The Witch and the Warrior" she catches a punch he throws her way in Times Square, which causes her some immediate bleeding and which she notes nearly snapped her arm.
  • Red Skies Crossover: Subverted (or at least downplayed) with the Our Worlds at War tie-in; though the overall crossover is Superman's, it had significant effects on Diana's mythos (at least for the time), most prominently Hippolyta's death.
    • Played dead straight with Joker's Last Laugh, which ran smack into "The Witch and the Warrior". The "tie-in" technically has nothing to do with the crossover; it's only thematically similar in that Joker (and Lex Luthor) arbitrarily shows up for a few pages and sprays Circe with some toxin, which she magicks away almost instantly.
  • Removed from the Picture: After Vanessa has been Mind Raped into resenting and hating Diana and Cassie by Dr. Psycho and Circe Cassie finds old pictures of Vanessa and Diana in Nessi's room with Diana's face scratched out.
  • Shared Dream: Diana and Donna talk and realize they are both having the same recurring nightmare about their mother's death, which makes them realize Circe is tampering with their dreams.
  • Tears of Remorse: Once Wonder Woman removes Circe's brainwashing Superman cries while apologizing for what he'd done while under it. Considering all he'd done was fight someone in his same weight class with added super quick healing abilities and cause a bit of property damage that blends right in with the damage from the greater fight going on at the time it comes across as rather out of touch. Especially as said fight is still ongoing and he could get up and help.
  • Troubled Fetal Position: Being lassoed by the Lasso of Truth leaves Superman curled on the ground crying, for some reason he and Diana leave the lasso on him for quite a while despite there being plenty of molly around he could use to prevent Circe from magicking him again and the fact that if Diana took the lasso to Silver Swan she'd redeem the poor tortured and brainwashed girl just about instantly.

    Rucka run 
Issues #195-226note 


  • All There in the Manual: Rucka wrote out portions of Wonder Woman's in-universe book, Reflections, but only scant details of it's actual content is comes up in the story.
  • Ambition Is Evil: Veronica Cale is a hardworking scientist and CEO, who hates Wonder Woman for getting "undeserved" praise heaped upon her for "being a pretty princess", does cruel experiments and treats humans as disposable stepping stones.
  • Beast and Beauty: The Kythotaur chef Ferdinand falls in love with the with the lovely human Dr. Leslie Anderson, which leads to him using his strength more proactively and heroically instead of remaining in the background, or more accurately the kitchen.
  • Deadpan Snarker: Under Rucka's pen, Ares in his "God of Conflict" role has traded in his Large Ham and No Indoor Voice for this.
  • Diplomatic Cover Spy: Issue #195 introduces Jonah McCarthy, a Harvard educated lawyer who joins Diana's embassy staff. After having her sight restored, Diana begins to grow suspicious of Jonah and it is ultimately revealed that he is a spy working for the organization Checkmate.
  • Girlboss Feminist: Veronica Cale presents herself as a philanthropic, feminist hero who rose from humble beginnings to become one of the most powerful people in the world. In truth, Cale is a petty, envious woman who resents Wonder Woman for being born into her powers and will stoop to any low in order to publicly destroy the Amazon princess. This includes using the services of Dr. Psycho, a known rapist and misogynist, and manipulating or blackmailing her own employees, male and female, into going along with her schemes.
  • Hellbent For Leather: Ares and Circe have traded in their previous attire for early-2000s black clothing and leather.
  • Modernized God: Rucka modified the looks and behavior of most of the Greek pantheon to reflect the way they'd adapted, or failed to adapt, with the times. The Egyptian pantheon was likewise modified and notable exceptions included Zeus and Hera who maintain their classical looks, and behavior, putting them at odds with the others.
  • Rank Up: Following the abolishment of the monarchy from the previous run, Philipus and Artemis have become Themyscira's co-rulers. Philipus running civil affairs and Artemis the military.
  • Reformed, but Not Tamed: Ares has kept to his promise to Diana to stop intefering directly in mortal affairs (though he makes exceptions for the Amazons), as well also ditching his demonic-blue Grecian armor as his default appearence, but mantains his Smug Snake personality and has started going for more covert ways of screwing around with the other Gods and Amazons.

Down to Earth

  • Call-Back: Myndi Mayer gets one with a local Myndi Mayer Foundation meetup composed of teenagers getting broken by a group of overly-protective parents.
  • Loophole Abuse: Ares' justification for visiting Themysicra despite his promise to stop inteferring in mortal affairs is that the Amazons are "hardly mortal".
  • Reflective Eyes: Diana is seen reflected in a pilot's goggles on the cover of issue #195.

Bitter Rivals

  • Bound and Gagged:
    • Kimberly Dunn gets gagged and tied to a chair by Cale's pet enforcer. Then Cale shows up and rants at her before murdering her.
    • Veronica Cale gets to taste her own poison when Doctor Psycho ties her up and gags her and tosses her in the closet.
  • The Bus Came Back: Julia's back! The circumstances aren't great given she's back because her daughter is dying and listed as a wanted terrorist, but she's back.
  • Crossover: Diana's many things but she's not much of a detective, so she calls in Bruce to figure out who killed Keyes and why.
  • Kill and Replace: Doctor Psycho kills Matthew Fallon and dumps his corpse in the Hudson River, then uses his psychic abilities to pretend to be Fallon in order to hide from the authorities and prey on Leslie Anderson.
  • Disproportionate Retribution: Veronica Cale has Kimberly Dunn attacked, tortured and tied to a chair so that she can rant at her and murder her for leaking Cale's plans to sully Diana's name.
  • Elaborate Underground Base: Bruce is shown working away at the ludicrously large main screen of the computer in the batcave.
  • Even Evil Has Loved Ones: Circe is convinced to actually help the gorgons when Poseidon reminds her of her daughter and convinces her they should team up to get revenge on Athena and her champions who have separated them from their loved ones.
  • Giant Wall of Watery Doom: Themyscira's fall causes a huge tsunami. Diana is able to prevent it from reaching land but at the cost of most of the Lansanarian's functions, most importantly its ability to act as a physical shield for Themyscira.
  • Media Scrum: After Veronica Cale manipulates things so it looks like one of Wonder Woman's supporters murdered Keyes Diana is accosted by a mass of reporters as she exits the Themysciran Embassy. Unlike most who have to deal with such reporters Diana doesn't mind and likes that people are paying attention to and questioning the man's murder.
  • Reality-Changing Miniature: When Hera kicks the image of Themyscira in the scrying pool it affects the real Themyscira, knocking it from the sky and into the ocean and causing huge amounts of property damage and injuries to the visitors on the island.
  • Stealth Hi/Bye: Bats scares poor Ferdinand while he's singing and fixing breakfast, though Ferdinand recovers quickly and offers him some food. He's not sure if it's breakfast or dinner by Bat standards.
  • Tears from a Stone: Poseidon makes a dramatic entrance by transforming one of the stone corpses of Medusa's ancient victims into water, which starts as water dripping from its eyes and the damaged parts of the stone. When he leaves the corpse turns back to stone.
  • Voice Changeling: The Leucrocota that Artemis, Euboea and Io hunt down and recapture tries manipulating them by imitating voices.

Eyes of the Gorgon

  • Alien Blood: Medusa's blood is dark blue.
  • Badass Boast: Medusa and Diana each get some in during their duel:
    Medusa: You know nothing of pain! I would teach you more before your eternity of stone! I would fill your every breath with it! I would make it your food and drink! Such a poor showing Amazon! I've hardly broken a sweat!
    Diana: Your lust for revenge has driven you mad, and if you know nothing of Athena know this; her champions would die a thousand times to save but one mortal life.
  • Badass Normal: Steve Trevor fights Medusa briefly during her attack on the White House, and while he's only saved through Athena's intervention he quickly leads a group in firing on her and chasing her from the premises.
  • Big Entrance: Three of the Bana's chief deities—Neith, Bast and Isis—make a grand entrance when they come to Olympus to join with the Themyscirans' patrons to go give Hera a piece of their minds for destroying Themyscira. They do a Team Power Walk down the staircase to their allies with a wall of flame containing their steeds and carriage behind them and Neith gets off a one-liner about kicking Hera's keister.
  • The Blade Always Lands Pointy End In: Diana throws her (actually Artemis') sword at Medusa's head during their fight in the White House. The gorgon doges by a hair and the blade sticks into the wall behind her.
  • Blade Reflection: Diana uses the reflection on her gauntlets and her borrowed sword to see Medusa during their first fight.
  • Blindfolded Vision: Diana wears a blindfold for her duel with Medusa, and after Medusa removes it she blinds herself to continue the fight. Her other senses are already heightened so she's still able to fight and react faster and better than even most of the JLA.
  • Blind Weaponmaster: After blinding herself in her fight with Medusa Diana is not hindered by her new disability in the fight; because she's trained blindfolded and has enhanced senses she's still a better fighter than most of the Justice League.
  • The Cameo: #210 has quick one panel cameos of several DCU teams being told why they can't interfere with Diana's duel with Medusa. Wonder Girl tells the core four at Titans Tower, Captain Marvel tells the Justice League, and Wildcat tells the Justice Society of America.
  • Chainmail Bikini: Medusa's armor is rather lacking in coverage. You'd think someone who's been killed by having her head cut off and is still furious about it would want at least some kind of neck protection.
  • The Chessmaster: Athena gets to really show off her chops, using Hera's remorse at what happened to Themyscira and her insistence Zeus be punished for to immediately recruit her to Athena's side in the plot to overthrow Zeus while carefully manipulating and planning out everyone's interactions including those of her enemies.
  • Children Are Innocent: Diana is angry and upset about everyone Medusa killed, but she is only upset at Athena for not interfering to save the one child Medusa murdered, Martin Garibaldi.
  • Compelling Voice: Medusa can compel people to look at her by demanding that they do even if they know better.
  • Cosmic Chess Game: Athena is shown playing chess with pieces that look like the characters she's manipulating.
  • Deadly Gaze: Meeting Medusa's eyes kills by turning her victims to stone.
  • Death of a Child: Medusa gleefully murders Martin Garibaldi to Diana and his father's horror and grief and his brother gets guilt added on because he died saving him. This death is what motivates Diana to try to beat Medusa to death, and agree to a duel to the death once Medusa invokes Ares and is under his relative protection.
  • The Ditz: Stheno has a tendency towards cluelessness that irritates her sisters.
  • Do Not Adjust Your Set: Circe used some Post-Modern Magik to televise Diana's duel with Medusa worldwide, intending that the gorgon look at the camera at the fight's completion and turn the millions of viewers into stone.
  • Duel to the Death: Medusa invokes Ares when Diana gets her pinned during her attack on the embassy, thereby forcing Diana to agree to a duel to the death if she wants to get at the murderous gorgon. Interestingly Ares implies beforehand he probably wouldn't have bothered to show in a full official capacity if not for Athena requesting it of him and piquing his interest.
  • Dynamic Entry: Diana enters the embassy by catching Medusa in a flying tackle as the gorgon tries to kill her employees and friends there.
  • Eiffel Tower Effect: One of the panels showing civilians watching Diana's duel with Medusa shows the Eiffel Tower and two French flags in the background, just to make sure the reader knows these people are in France.
  • Eye Scream: Diana blinds herself to continue her fight with Medusa, she'd just keep her eyes closed but Medusa has an enthralling voice and keeps using it to try and force Di to look at her.
  • Failed a Spot Check: Euryale fails to notice a pissed off Pegasus emerging from the pooling blood beneath her beheaded mortal sister. This allows Pegasus to easily knock her out when she tries to run Diana through to avenge Medusa.
  • Fainting Seer: Callisto has a nasty vision of Diana's wounds and grief after the duel with Medusa that has her go faint on the stairs, though she is caught by Io before she can hit the ground.
  • Femme Fatalons: The gorgons's fingernails are long, sharp and a metallic gold.
  • Forced to Watch: Medusa intends to force Diana to watch as she murders her way through the embassy. While Diana is able to save most of her friends she is horrified at the sight of Medusa gleefully attacking Peter Garibaldi's two children and succeeding in murdering Martin.
  • Hellish Horse: The trio of Egyptian deities who come to Olympus travel there in a chariot pulled by two large black draft horses that have fire for their manes and tails and leave flame where they walk.
  • In-Series Nickname: Demeter calls Ares "old red-eyes" when she's questioning Athena's decision to include him in their plans.
  • Kill the Cutie: Poor poor Martin, who was a sweetheart and died saving his little brother.
  • Lady Legionnaire Wear: Diana dons a two tier skirt of pteruges for her duel.
  • Left Stuck After Attack: Diana takes advantage of this to disarm Medusa during the gorgon's attack on the White House, picking up an armchair like a shield and yanking Medusa's sword from her grip as soon as the blade was lodged in the furniture.
  • Literally Shattered Lives: Veronica Cale has her security staff broken down and ground into dust after they're petrified by Medusa's gaze in order to hide the evidence of the gorgons' presence at her company since she's teamed up with them.
  • Luckily, My Shield Will Protect Me: Diana starts out with a shield during her duel, which she uses effectively for protection before Medusa cuts the shield strap.
  • Magic Mirror: Circe uses a scrying mirror.
  • Media Scrum: Diana is disheartened when a rush of reporters want to know how she does her hair now that she's blind rather than ask any questions about the kidnapping victims she's just saved.
  • Mind-Control Eyes: When Doctor Psycho fully takes over any of his victims their eyes look bulging with the veins around them sticking out.
  • Multishot: Io teaches Lyta how to loose two arrows at a time, while running.
  • Never My Fault: When the joint Amazon patrons confront Hera for her destruction of Themyscira Hera blames the whole thing on Zeus and his wandering eyes.
  • Off with His Head!: Diana ends her duel with Medusa by chopping off her head.
  • Overworked Sleep: Dr. Leslie falls asleep at her desk while trying to figure out a way to save Vanessa, who is dying due to the silver swan modifications but would die on the table in her current state if they tried to remove them.
  • Pet the Dog: Ares gets a few moments to be almost nice to Diana. When she gives him a question to ask Athena on her behalf he treats it solemnly instead of continuing to make fun of her and tells her to get her, very injured, self home. He later is visibly uncomfortable watching a not yet recovered Diana get tossed around by Briareos, and starts questioning Athena before being cut off.
  • Prevent the War: Diana, Artemis and Philippus see the U.S. warships parked off the coast of Themyscira to be a threat and sign of the U.S.'s willingness to escalate things into a military conflict. Their meeting to try diplomatically heading this off was going poorly already and then was interrupted by Medusa.
  • Psychic-Assisted Suicide: Doctor Psycho lines up a bunch of unwilling jumpers all over the city with tenuous mind control, and then jumps from one to another as Wonder Woman saves them so that he can try to sexually assault her using their bodies, and pass along some information about how he escaped in hopes that it'll help him stay alive a little longer.
  • Punched Across the Room: After Medusa rips off Diana's helmet during their duel Diana punches her across the arena.
  • Pyrrhic Victory: Diana wins her duel against Medusa but everyone Medusa killed is still dead and Diana is blinded. Highlighted by how Diana sinks to her knees holding her stabbed-through side immediately after killing the gorgon and says a simple unenthusiastic "I win."
  • Revenge by Proxy: Medusa seeks revenge on Athena and her ancient champion Perseus for her beheading centuries ago by killing Athena's current champion Diana.
  • Smart People Play Chess: Athena is playing chess with pieces shaped like the characters against her owl, an extension/reflection of her own will, when Ares comes to see what she wants. She continues playing throughout their almost friendly argument and Ares smirks when he sees the owl move the piece that's clearly Ares before Ares agrees to do what his sister is asking of him.
  • Sword Fight: Diana and Medusa have a couple of sword fights. The first one in the White House and the second on live television with Ares overseeing the duel.
  • Taken for Granite: Medusa kills quite a few people by turning them to stone.
  • The Usurper: Athena manages to usurp Zeus in Olympus, with her champion's at first hesitant aid.
  • Verbal Judo: Robert and Martin are playing and Robert mentions his doll having a laser gun only for Martin to remind him that their father said no guns, so the two resolve to have their characters duel it out with words. The adults partake in plenty as well, but it's high stakes and not nearly so cute.
  • You Have No Idea Who You're Dealing With: Circe murmurs "You've got no idea what you're getting into." with a little smirk when Medusa has Circe teleport her outside the embassy so that she can kill Athena's current champion.

Land of the Dead

  • Continuity Nod: As Diana prepares to make her journey into the Underworld, she stops and pays tribute at Diana Trevor's marker outside the entrance to Doom's Doorway. A nod to the first time Diana went to the Underworld in "The Challenge of the Gods" storyline during the Perez era.
  • Everybody Hates Hades: For all his other modernizations, Rucka plays this one surprisingly straight, painting Hades as a ruthless, torture-happy Evil Overlord.
  • Impaled with Extreme Prejudice: Ares kills Hades by stabbing him in the back with the spike on top of his huge battle axe.
  • I Was Just Passing Through: Ares puts on a bit of a front about his aid to Diana and the others, though Diana sees his true intentions quite clearly despite her current blindness. His chat and aid also give Di a chance to try and warn Hades of Ares' intentions, but Hades doesn't listen and Ares stabs him in the back while he's trying to drown Diana in souls.
  • Klingon Promotion: Ares becomes the new ruler of the underworld by murdering Hades.
  • Pet the Dog: After Ares becomes the new ruler of Hades he releases the soul of Medusa's victim Martin Garibaldi to Athena and Hermes, allowing them to bring him back to life since his body was not destroyed or damaged outside its transformation to stone.
  • Rescued from the Underworld: Diana, Cassie, and Ferdinand go to Hades to revive Hermes at Athena's bidding.
  • The Usurper: As a follow up and continuation of Athena's plan her brother Ares kills Hades and becomes the new king of the underworld.
  • You Kill It, You Bought It: Ares kills Hades to become the new ruler of Hades. Due to Hades much more integrated nature with his realm in comparison to Zeus it's unlikely there was any other way to defeat him.