Wonder Woman


Personal Data

Diana Prince Trevor of Earth-2. Daughter of Queen Hippolyte of Paradise Island. Wife of Steve Trevor. Mother of Hippolyta (Lyta) Trevor/Fury. 

Residence: Washington, D.C. of Earth-2 
Occupation: U.S. Army nurse; later U.S. Army Intelligence service, with an eventual rank of Major 
First Appearance (Golden Age): All-Star Comics vol. 1 #8 (Winter 1941-42) 
First Appearance (Post-Golden Age): The Flash vol. 1 #137 (July 1963) 
Joined JSA: All-Star Comics vol. 1 #12 
Pre-Crisis Fate: Active until Crisis 
Post-Crisis Fate: Retconned out of existence

History

Wonder Woman is the daughter of Hippolyte, immortal queen of the Amazons of Paradise Island. At some point in history, Hippolyte longed for a child and was instructed by the goddess Aphrodite to mold the form of a child out of the clay of Paradise Island. When she did, Aphrodite bestowed life upon the child, whom Hippolyte named Diana, after the Roman name for Artemis, goddess of the hunt.

Diana was an exceptional child, displaying incredible strength and agility even as a young girl. In late adolescence, she received her bracelets of submission and drank from Paradise Island's fountain of eternal youth, which provided her immortality for as long as she remained on the island. She also trained in a variety of skills including medical nursing, horsemanship, and "bullets and bracelets," an Amazon game that deflects projectiles with the bracelets of submission. When these events actually occurred is unknown, since, as an Amazon, Diana was immortal while she remained on Paradise Island.

In 1941, Lt. Steve Trevor, a U.S. Army intelligence agent, crashed his plane in the waters near Paradise Island. His body was found floating in the wreckage by Diana, who to this date had never seen a man. She carried the injured Trevor to her laboratory where she nursed him with the aid of Dr. Althea. Tirelessly, Diana used Amazon science to develop a purple healing ray that could heal extensive injuries. Steve Trevor died from his injuries shortly before the completion of the ray, but once completed, it proved capable of restoring life to the newly dead. While nursing Trevor, Diana had become infatuated with him, a fact which distressed the Amazon queen.

Meanwhile, in Olympus, Ares, the god of war (also known as Mars) taunted Aphrodite with the fact that most of Earth's nations were at war with one another. War, he claimed, ruled the world. Aphrodite reasoned that an Amazon in America would help inspire that nation once it entered the war and ordered Hippolyte to select an Amazon to escort Trevor back to America. Hippolyte was directed to hold a contest to select the most skilled of her sisters to enter Man's World as a champion of love in a world at war. As Hippolyte feared, Diana's infatuation with Trevor led her to apply for the contest immediately. When Hippolyte denied her, Diana designed a mask to hide her identity from her mother and entered the contest anyway.

The contest was grueling, resulting in the elimination of all other contestants save the mystery girl (Diana) and her friend Mala. The final test was the unique Amazonian skill of deflecting projectiles with their amazonium bracelets. At the height of this round, Diana successfully completed the "bullets and bracelets" trial while Mala was wounded. When she revealed her identity, Hippolyte was dismayed but accepting. She gave Diana the costume with which she would represent her people in America and magical implements to aid her. These included a lariat that compelled complete honesty and obedience in anyone ensnared and a jet that was visible only to the eyes of Amazons. Diana adopted a code-name to identify her as the first mystery-woman to the American people: Wonder Woman (All-Star Comics vol. 1 #8).

As Wonder Woman, Diana took Trevor to a hospital in Washington D.C. She then began exploring her new home, intercepting a bank robbery in the process. Using the "bullets and bracelets" routine, she quickly defeated the felons. She departed quickly as the police arrived but not before attracting the attention of Al Kale, a local promoter. Kale offered Wonder Woman the chance to obtain the money she would need to establish herself in a new identity. Kale designed a show based on the Amazon's skill at deflecting bullets, which quickly became a hit. When Diana read that Steve Trevor had recovered, she quickly resigned from Kale's enterprise. Furious, Kale absconded with Diana's earnings but was quickly apprehended. With her recovered funds, Wonder Woman wondered how best to establish an identity that would allow her to be close to Trevor. Approaching the hospital, she encountered Diana Prince, a U.S. Army nurse, weeping at the entryway. Inquiring on the source of her distress, Wonder Woman learned that Prince's fiancé had transferred to the West Coast, leaving her alone. Seeing the striking resemblance between herself and the young nurse, Wonder Woman suggested that she assume Diana's position at the hospital in exchange for the Amazon's accrued wages with Kale. Prince accepted at once, and Wonder Woman had a new identity. Disguising herself, Wonder Woman visited Trevor as his nurse, Diana Prince (Sensation Comics vol. 1 #1).

When Trevor returned to active duty in the Army, Diana Prince accepted a job as a secretary in the office of Colonel Darnell, one of Trevor's associates. In this position she joined the U.S. Army with the rank of Yeoman. In a subsequent adventure, Diana and Trevor prevented the poisoning of the local water supply by Dr. Poison, a criminal chemist. In the course of this adventure, they were assisted by an appendectomy patient named Etta Candy. Candy, who was enrolled at Holliday college and a member of the Beta Lambda Sorority, become a fast friend of Wonder Woman, even joining the Army for a time to be associated with her (Sensation Comics vol. 1 #2).

Wonder Woman's success in the United States infuriated Ares, who dispatched one of his most trusted lieutenants to defeat her. The Duke of Deception, an immortal of unknown origin, captured Wonder Woman and Trevor early in the War but was easily defeated (Wonder Woman vol. 1 #2). He later arranged to have Wonder Woman branded a traitor by her own nation, but was thwarted by the Amazon and her JSA colleague, the Flash (Wonder Woman vol. 1 #239-240).

In addition to thwarting Ares and his minions' attempts to prolong the War, Wonder Woman routinely encountered agents of the Axis, particularly Nazi Germany. Prominent among these were the Red Panzer (Wonder Woman vol. 1 #228), the Iron Claw (World's Finest vol. 1 #248) and Baroness Paula von Gunther (Wonder Woman vol. 1 #1). Ultimately, von Gunther was reformed by Amazonian psychotherapy at Transformation Island.

Wonder Woman also encountered members of the criminal element. One of the more dogged of these was Doctor Psycho, a criminal psychotherapist. Dr. Psycho was a stunted, deformed figure who had been traumatized into a powerful hatred of women by childhood ridicule. Using a young girl named Marva as a medium, Psycho developed methods to form "ectoplasmic" constructs with which to battle Wonder Woman. Psycho was routinely defeated however, a circumstance that only reinforced his hatred of women (Wonder Woman vol. 1 #5, #160).

Another significant adversary was the schizophrenic Priscilla Rich. Rich was a wealthy socialite suffering from considerable mental instability when she hosted a charity function with Wonder Woman as the guest of honor. When the heroine received more attention that herself, Rich slipped into an alternative evil identity, the Cheetah. Creating a costume of animal skin, the Cheetah attempted to poison the Amazon but failed. She later confronted Wonder Woman directly but was defeated in personal combat. Rather than sending her to prison, Wonder Woman transported the Cheetah to Transformation Island in an attempt to cure her schizophrenia (Wonder Woman vol. 1 #6). Rich repeatedly escaped, however, and served as a constant source of antagonism for Wonder Woman (Wonder Woman vol. 1 #28, #230). Whether she was ultimately cured is unknown.

In 1942, Wonder Woman encountered the Justice Society of America. A male-dominated organization, the JSA declined Wonder Woman full membership, despite the fact that she possessed more raw ability than any of the current membership except the Spectre (All-Star Comics vol. 1 #11). She was, however, offered a position as "secretary," which she accepted. She also accepted full membership in the more loosely organized All-Star Squadron (All-Star Squadron #17). In later years, Wonder Woman became more active in the JSA and was eventually inducted as a full member.

After World War II ended, Diana Prince remained in the Army as her relationship with Trevor deepened. By the end of the War, she had achieved the rank of Lieutenant and was a fully certified intelligence agent. She also became more active as a member of the Justice Society as some of the more war-weary members retired. She was active as a member of the JSA when she was summoned along with her fellows before the House un-American Affairs Committee. Based on a recent case, the HUAC concluded that the JSA had ties that ran contrary to American interests and demanded they reveal their identities and submit to Congressional interrogation. The JSA declined and formally disbanded (Adventure Comics #466).

Unlike most of the other mystery-men of the time, Wonder Woman remained active after the HUAC meetings of 1951 due to her special relationship with the U.S. military. When Vandal Savage captured the JSA in 1963, Wonder Woman was among those whom he snared. Upon their rescue by the Flashes of two Earths, the JSA resumed active duty with Wonder Woman as a regular member (The Flash vol. 1 #137).

During the mid-1960s, Wonder Woman married Steve Trevor, now a General in the armed forces. Together they had a daughter, Lyta. Wonder Woman remained a semi-active member of the Justice Society throughout her career and in the military until the late 1970s, when she retired from the military and revealed her identity to the world (revealed in Wonder Woman vol. 1 #300). By the 1980s, Lyta was college-aged and enrolled at the University of California - Los Angeles. Shortly after classes started, she met Hector Hall, son of Hawkman Carter Hall. The two conspired to become super-heroes, with Lyta adopting the code-name Fury.

During the 1980s, Wonder Woman tended to be an active member of the Justice Society, taking part in a number of cases, including answering a call from Superman that resulted in her drowning in the river of Koehaha, the Stream of Ruthlessness. Wonder Woman then went on a rampage, competing with an equally maddened Hawkman for an Egyptian secret of immortality. The goal of this quest was to secure immortality not for herself, but for the aging General Trevor, who was well into his seventies at this point. Wonder Woman was aging at a much slower rate due to her Amazonian physiology, insuring that she would outlive Trevor by decades. In the ensuing struggle with Hawkman over the secret, Trevor was severely injured. Shortly thereafter, the addictive effect of Koehaha lured Wonder Woman back to the river where she was cured of its effects after a confrontation with the Ultra-Humanite (Infinity Inc. #3-10). Wonder Woman transported Trevor to an island near Paradise Island to be treated by the Amazons' advanced medicine. During the time, she was called to testify before a Senate Sub-Committee in the so-called "Batman Diary" hearings (America vs. the Justice Society #1-4).

While Trevor recovered, the Anti-Monitor initiated the Crisis on Infinite Earths, and Wonder Woman again returned to active duty. As the Crisis closed, the multiverse was reborn as single universe, and the Queen Hippolyte and Paradise Island of Earth-2 no longer existed. However, the Gods of Olympus had taken Trevor aside during the Crisis and now offered him and Diana immortality and a place in the hallowed halls of Mount Olympus (Crisis on Infinite Earths #12). After the completion of the Crisis, Brainwave Jr. removed the memories of her Amazon heritage from Lyta Trevor (Infinity Inc. #27) and the world no longer remembers the Golden Age version of Wonder Woman.

Note: In Wonder Woman vol. 2 #130-133, Hippolyta (mother of the post-Crisis version of Diana) travels back in time and joins the JSA, serving with them from 1942 until approximately 1950. She has appeared in the present since then as a former member of the JSA. This change of events is not reflected in this text since it is unknown how this new timeline additionally affects JSA history or whether similar events occurred in the lives of both Wonder Women. Most recently, Hippolyta has seemingly died at the hands of alien invaders of Earth and her role is more confused than ever (Wonder Woman vol. 2 #172).

Powers/Skills

Wonder Woman's powers were the result of her Amazonian heritage. Her abilities, which represented the pinnacle of Amazonian physiology coupled with divine blessing, included: Wonder Woman was also trained by her Amazonian sisters in a variety of martial techniques unique to Amazons. Most notable among these was the ability to deflect projectiles with her Amazonium bracelets. As with all Amazons, Wonder Woman was immortal so long as she remained on Paradise Island. Upon leaving Paradise Island, she lost her immortality and aged, albeit more slowly than normal mortals.

Finally, Wonder Woman possessed magical equipment given to her by her mother on Paradise Island. In addition to her bracelets, these included an invisible airplane and a magical golden lariat that compelled those ensnared by it to obedience to whoever held the free end.

Weaknesses/Limitations

Wonder Woman could be wounded or slain by any mortal projectile that she was unable to deflect. She had a superior metabolism, more resistant to blunt injury than normal mortals, but was not invulnerable. She lost her superior abilities and became a normal mortal woman when her Amazonian bracelets were bound together by a man. If her bracelets were removed, she ran amok in a kind of "berserker rage."

Principal Adversaries

All of Wonder Woman's adversaries were also wiped from existence by the Crisis on Infinite Earths, although many of them have post-Crisis counterparts. [ List of Appearances | Back To Member List ]