Publication history of Wonder Woman

Publication history of Wonder Woman

This article is about the history of the fictional DC Comics' character Wonder Woman.

Early days

Wonder Woman was introduced in "All Star Comics" (issue #8; December 1941), the second bestselling comic in DC's line. Following this auspicious debut, she was featured in "Sensation Comics" #1 (January 1942), and six months later appeared in her own book (Summer 1942). Wonder Woman took her place beside the extant superheroines or antiheroes Fantomah, [ [ Don Markstein's Toonopedia: Fantomah] ] Black Widow, Invisible Scarlet O'Neil, and Canada's Nelvana of the Northern Lights. Until his death in 1947, Dr. Marston wrote all of the Wonder Woman stories. H. G. Peter penciled the book in a simplistic yet easily identifiable style.

Armed with bulletproof bracelets, magic lasso, and Amazonian training, Wonder Woman was the archetype of Marston's perfect woman. She was beautiful, intelligent, strong, yet still possessed a soft side. Her powers were derived from "Amazon concentration," not as a gift from the gods which would become part of her back story later.

Wonder Woman's "lasso of truth" was forged from the Magic Girdle of Aphrodite, which Queen Hippolyte (Wonder Woman's mother) was granted by the Goddess. Hephaestus had borrowed the Olympian belt, removed several links from it in order to forge the magic lasso which was unbreakable as well as infinitely elastic, and compelled all encircled by it to obey the commands of the wielder, most notably to tell the truth.

In Wonder Woman's origin story, Steve Trevor, an intelligence officer in the United States Army, crashed his plane on Paradise Island, the Amazons' isolated homeland. Using a "Purple Ray," Princess Diana nursed him back to health, and fell in love with him. When the goddess Aphrodite declared that it was time for an Amazon to travel to "Man's World" and fight the evil of the Nazis, a tournament was held to determine who would be the Amazon champion. Although forbidden by her mother, Queen Hippolyte, to participate in the tournament, Princess Diana did so nevertheless, her identity hidden by a mask.

After winning the tournament and revealing her true identity, Queen Hippolyte relented and allowed her daughter to become Wonder Woman. Diana returned Steve Trevor to the outside world, and soon adopted the identity of nurse Lt. Diana Prince (by taking the place of her exact double by that name) in order to be close to Trevor as he recovered from his injuries, after which he became Wonder Woman's crime-fighting partner and romantic interest.

In her guise as a nurse, Diana cares for Trevor and frequently overhears his intelligence discussions, allowing her to know where she is needed. Prince is eventually hired to work for Trevor in the War Department as his assistant. Trevor periodically suspects that Diana and Wonder Woman might be the same person, especially since he frequently catches Diana using her tiara or lasso.

Wonder Woman was ably assisted by the Holliday Girls, a sorority from a local women's college led by the sweets-addicted Etta Candy. Etta stood out for several reasons: she had a distinctive figure, occupied a central role in many storylines, and had an endearing propensity for exclaiming "Woo-woo" (which echoed the "Hoo-hoo" catchphrase associated with the popular vaudevillian comedian Hugh Herbert). Etta took her place with Steve Trevor and Diana herself as the series' most enduring characters.

Between 1942 to 1947, images of bound and gagged women frequently graced the covers of "Sensation Comics" and "Wonder Woman". For example, in "Wonder Woman" #3, Wonder Woman herself ties up several other women, and dresses them in deer costumes and chases them through the forest. Later she rebinds them and displays them on a platter. In addition, Diana is rendered powerless if a male manages to chain her bracelets together. The comic's sexual subtext has been noted, leading to debates over whether it provided an outlet for Dr. Marston's sexual fantasies or whether it was meant (perhaps unconsciously) to appeal to, and possibly influence, the developing sexuality of young readers. [Bunn, Geoffrey C. "The lie detector, "Wonder Woman", and liberty: the life and work of William Moulton Marston," "History of the Human Sciences" Vol. 10, No. 1 (1997): 91-119.]

The bondage and submission elements had a broader context for Marston, who had worked as a prison psychologist. The themes were intertwined with his theories about the rehabilitation of criminals, and from her inception, Wonder Woman wanted to reform the criminals she captured (a rehabilitation complex was created by the Amazons on Transformation Island, a small island near Paradise Island). A core component in Marston's conception of Wonder Woman was "loving submission," in which kindness to others would result in willing submission derived from agape based on Moulton's own personal philosophies. [Wonder Woman: A Complete History ISBN 0-8118-2913-8. William Moulton Marston: Cquote|Confinement to WW and the Amazons is just a sporting game, an actual enjoyment of being subdued. This, my dear friend, is the one truly great contribution of my Wonder Woman strip to moral education of the young. The only hope for peace is to teach people who are full of pep and unbound force to enjoy being bound. Women are exciting for this one reason - it is the secret of women's allure - women enjoy submission, being bound. This I bring out in the Paradise Island sequences where the girls beg for chains and enjoy wearing them.] This concept has resulted in parodies of the character in which male criminals are so enamored with the heroine's beauty that they surrender solely to enjoy her company.

During this period Wonder Woman joined the Justice Society of America (featured in "All Star Comics") as its first female member. Reflecting the mores of this pre-feminist era, Wonder Woman served as the group's secretary, despite being one of the group's most powerful members.

Upon William Moulton Marston's death in 1947, Robert Kanigher took up the writing duties on "Wonder Woman". Diana was written as a less feminist character, and began to resemble other traditional American heroines. Peter produced the art on the title through issue #97, when the elderly artist was fired. (He died soon afterward). During this time, Diana's abilities expanded. Her earrings provided her the air she needed to breathe in outer space, and she piloted an "invisible plane," (originally a propeller-driven P-40 Warhawk or P-51 Mustang, later upgraded to a jet aircraft). Her tiara was an unbreakable boomerang, and a two-way wrist radio similar to Dick Tracy's was installed in one of her bracelets, allowing her to communicate with Paradise Island.

Dr. Fredric Wertham's controversial and influential "Seduction of the Innocent" (1954) argued that comic books contributed to juvenile delinquency, and alleged that there was a lesbian subtext to the relationship between Wonder Woman and the Holliday girls. Reacting to Wertham's critique and well-publicized Senate hearings on juvenile delinquency, several publishers organized the Comics Code Authority as a form of pre-emptive self-censorship. Due to a confluence of forces (amongst them the Code and the loss of Marston as writer), Wonder Woman no longer spoke out as a strong feminist, began to moon over Steve Trevor, and, as time wore into the Silver Age, also fell for Merman and Birdman.

Prior to the start of the Silver Age of Comic Books in 1956 three super heroes still had their own titles in 1956: Superman, Batman, and Wonder Woman. Superman was available in "great quantity, but little quality." Batman was doing better, but his comics were "lackluster" in comparison to his "atmospheric adventures" of the 1940s. Wonder Woman, having lost her original writer and artist, was no longer "idiosyncratic" or "interesting."cite book |title=The Comic Book Heroes: From the Silver Age to the Present |last=Jacobs |first=Will |coauthor=Gerard Jones |year=1985 |publisher=Crown Publishing Group |location=New York, New York |isbn=0517554402 |pages=pp. 3-4 ]

"Wonder Woman" experienced significant changes from the mid-1950s throughout the 1960s. Harry G. Peter was replaced by Ross Andru and Mike Esposito in 1958 (starting with issue #98), and the character was revamped as were other characters in the Silver Age. In Diana's new origin story (issue #105), it is revealed that her powers are gifts from the gods. Receiving the blessing of each deity in her crib, Diana is destined to become "beautiful as Aphrodite, wise as Athena, stronger than Hercules, and swifter than Mercury". Further changes included removing all World War II references from Wonder Woman's origin, changing Hippolyta's hair color to blonde, giving Wonder Woman the ability to glide on air currents, and introducing the rule that Paradise Island would be destroyed if a man ever set foot on it.

Several years later, when DC Comics introduced the concept of the Multiverse, the Silver Age Wonder Woman was situated as an inhabitant of Earth-One, while the Golden Age Wonder Woman was sited on Earth-Two. (It was later revealed, in Wonder Woman #300, that the Earth-Two Wonder Woman had disclosed her secret identity of Diana Prince to the world, and had married her Earth's Steve Trevor).

In the 1960s, regular scripter Robert Kanigher adapted several gimmicks which had been used for Superman. As with Superboy, Wonder Woman's "untold" career as the teenage Wonder Girl was chronicled. Then followed Wonder Tot, the infant Amazon princess (in her star-spangled jumper) who experienced improbable adventures with a genie she rescued from an abandoned treasure chest. In a series of "Impossible Tales," Kanigher teamed all three ages of Wonder Woman; her mother, Hippolyta, joined the adventures as "Wonder Queen".

The Diana Prince era and the Bronze Age

At the end of the 1960s, under the guidance of editor/plotter/artist Mike Sekowsky, Wonder Woman surrendered her powers to remain in "Man's World" rather than accompany her fellow Amazons to another dimension where they could "restore their magic" (part of her motivation was to assist Steve Trevor, who was facing criminal charges).

Now a mod boutique owner, the powerless Diana Prince acquired a Chinese mentor named I Ching. Under I Ching's guidance, Diana learned martial arts and weapons skills, and engaged in adventures that encompassed a variety of genres, from espionage to mythology. During this time she fought villains such as Catwoman, Doctor Cyber, the hippie gang THEM!, and the campy witch Morgana.

This new era of the comic book was influenced by the British television series "The Avengers", with Wonder Woman in the role of Emma Peel. With Diana Prince running a boutique, fighting crime, and acting in concert with private detective allies Tim Trench and Jonny Double, the character resembled the golden age Black Canary. Soon after the launch of the "new" "Wonder Woman", the editors severed all connections to her old life, most notably by killing Steve Trevor. ["Wonder Woman" #180 (February 1969)]

During the 25 bi-monthly issues of the "new" "Wonder Woman", the writing team changed four times. Consequently, the stories display abrupt shifts in setting, theme, and tone. The revised series attracted writers not normally associated with comic books, most notably science fiction author Samuel R. Delany, who wrote "Wonder Woman" #202-203 (Oct & December 1972).

The I Ching era had an influence on the 1974 "Wonder Woman" TV movie featuring Cathy Lee Crosby, in which Wonder Woman was portrayed as a non-powered globe-trotting super-spy who wore an amalgam of Wonder Woman and Diana Prince costumes. The era continues to influence stories decades later, most notably Walter Simonson's run ("Wonder Woman" vol. 2, #189-194).Fact|date=December 2007 The first two issues of Allan Heinberg's run ("Wonder Woman" vol. 3, #1-2) include direct references to I Ching, and feature Diana wearing an outfit similar to that which she wore during the I Ching era.

Wonder Woman's powers and traditional costume were restored in issue #204 (Jan-February 1973). Gloria Steinem, who grew up reading Wonder Woman comics, was a key player in the restoration. Steinem, offended that the most famous female superheroine had been depowered, placed Wonder Woman (in costume) on the cover of the first issue of "Ms." (1972)—Warner Communications, DC Comics' owner, was an investor—which also contained an appreciative essay about the character. [" [ Who's that Girl? Part 1a: Wonder Woman's pal Gloria Steinem.] " 4 August 2005.] The costume used on the cover of "Ms." was very much like the Silver Age version of the costume, but in one way it was unlike anything that the character had worn before. Steinem's version wore the red high-heeled boots that the character had worn off and on – most recently in issues #157 - #177 of her magazine. The eagle on her costume was also the newer, stylized version. However, the character's original incarnation had worn a skirt, and more recent versions had sported shorts; Steinem's version wore what was essentially the bottom half of a bathing suit. Steinem's new extra-short pants were adopted in issue #204 when the costume returned.

The return of the "original" Wonder Woman was executed by Robert Kanigher, who returned as the title's writer-editor. For the first year he relied upon rewritten and redrawn stories from the Golden Age. Following that, a major two-year story arc (largely written by Martin Pasko) consisted of the heroine's attempt to gain readmission in the Justice League of America. (Diana had quit the organization after renouncing her powers.) To prove her worthiness to rejoin the JLA, Wonder Woman voluntarily underwent twelve trials (analogous to the labors of Hercules), each of which was monitored in secret by a member of the JLA. Towards the end of this story-line, Steve Trevor was resurrected by Aphrodite. He adopted the identity of Steve Howard, and worked alongside Diana Prince (now knowing her true identity) at the United Nations.

Soon after Wonder Woman's readmittance to the JLA, DC Comics ushered in another format change. Following the popularity of the "Wonder Woman" TV series (initially set during World War II), the comic book was also transposed to this era. The change was made possible by the multiverse concept, which maintained that the 1970s Wonder Woman and the original 1940s version existed in two separate yet parallel, worlds. A few months after the TV series changed its setting to the 1970s, the comic book returned to the contemporary timeline. Soon after, when the series was written by Jack C. Harris, Steve (Howard) Trevor was killed off yet again.


In 1980, under the pen of Gerry Conway, Steve Trevor was brought back to life a second time. Following Diana's renunciation of her role as Wonder Woman, a version of Steve Trevor from an undisclosed portion of the Multiverse accidentally made the transition to Earth-One. With Diana's memory erased by the Mists of Nepenthe, the new Steve again crash-landed and arrived at Paradise Island. After reclaiming the title of Wonder Woman, Diana returned to Military Intelligence, working with Trevor and re-joined by supporting characters Etta Candy and General Darnell.

In the preview in "DC Comics Presents" #41 (January 1982), writer Roy Thomas and penciller Gene Colan provided Wonder Woman with a stylized "WW" emblem on her bodice, replacing the traditional eagle. The "W" emblem, unlike the eagle, could be protected as a trademark and so had greater merchandising potential. "Wonder Woman" #288 (February 1982) premiered the new costume and an altered cover banner incorporating the "W" emblem. [ [ "Wonder Woman" #288 (February 1982) cover - Grand Comics database Project] ]

After the departure of Thomas in 1982, Dan Mishkin took over writing chores, writing the character with more confidence than had been seen in years, and producing stories that often took surprising and challenging turns.

However, sales of the title continued to decline. Shortly after Mishkin's departure in 1985 (and a 3-issue run by Mindy Newell, along with a well-publicized but never-published revamp by Steve Gerber ["Amazing Heroes" #3] ), the series ended with issue # 329 (February 1986). Penned by Gerry Conway, the final issue depicted Wonder Woman's marriage to Steve Trevor.

As a result of the alterations which followed the "Crisis on Infinite Earths" cross-over of 1986, the Wonder Woman and Steve Trevor of Earth-Two, along with all of their exploits, were erased from history. However, the two were admitted into Olympus. At the end of "Crisis on Infinite Earths", the Anti-Monitor appeared to have killed the Wonder Woman of Earth-One, but in reality, she had been hurled backwards through time, devolving into the clay from which she had been formed. "Crisis on Infinite Earths" erased all previously existing Wonder Women from continuity, setting the stage for a complete relaunch and reboot of the title.

Prior to the publication of the second series, a four-part miniseries was released (with Kurt Busiek as writer and Trina Robbins as artist) titled "The Legend of Wonder Woman". The series paid homage to the character's Golden Age roots, although it appeared to be set on Earth-One.


Wonder Woman was rebooted in 1987. Writer Greg Potter, who previously created the "Jemm, Son of Saturn" series for DC, was hired to rework the character. He spent several months behind the scenes working with editor Janice Race on new concepts, before being joined by writer/artist George Pérez. Potter dropped out of writing the series after issue #2, and Pérez became the sole plotter, sometimes writing the finished scripts himself and sometimes being assisted by scripters such as Len Wein and Mindy Newell. Pérez produced 62 issues of the rebooted title.

Pérez and Potter wrote Wonder Woman as a feminist character, and Pérez's research into Greek mythology provided Wonder Woman's world with depth and verisimilitude missing from her previous incarnationFact|date=March 2008. The incorporation of Greek gods and sharply characterized villains added a richness to Wonder Woman's Amazon heritage and set her apart from other DC heroes.

Wonder Woman was now a princess and emissary from Paradise Island (called Themyscira) to Patriarch's world. She possessed stunning beauty and a loving heart, gifts from the goddess Aphrodite. From Athena, she received the gift of great wisdom; from Demeter, the power and strength of the earth; from Hestia, sisterhood with fire; and from Artemis, unity with beasts and the instincts and prowess of a hunter. Finally, Diana received the gift of speed and the power of flight from the god Hermes.

The American theme of Diana's costume was explained by Pérez in the "Challenge of the Gods" storyline in which Diana engaged in a series of trials arranged by Zeus as punishment for refusing his advances. Diana met the spirit of Steve Trevor's mother, Diana Trevor, who was clad in armor identical to her own. Trevor revealed that during World War II she had crashed on Themyscira while on duty as a US Army pilot. She blundered into an Amazon battle against Cottus, a multi-armed demon, at the portal to the underworld. Trevor was drawn into the battle, although she was armed only with her side arm. She wounded the beast before suffering a mortal blow, allowing the Amazons to reseal the portal.Cite comic | Writer = Wein, Len | Artist = George Pérez | Story = Echoes of the Past | Title = Wonder Woman | Volume = | Issue = 12 | Date = January, 1988 | Publisher = DC Comics | Page = | Panel = | ID = ]

The Amazons, impressed by this unknown woman's self-sacrifice, entombed her with honors and clothed her in armor displaying the American flag pattern on her uniform (which they assumed were her heraldic colors). Consequently, Princess Diana's costume honors Diana Trevor and, by clothing her in its own heraldry, was intended to ease the heroine's acceptance in Man's world.Fact|date=July 2008 Trevor's legacy was also the primary reason why Ares arranged for Steve Trevor to bomb the island, as he could not resist the irony of the heroine's son unwittingly killing her admirers.

Wonder Woman did not keep her identity a secret, and initially did not consider herself a superheroine. Indeed, her character was wide-eyed and naive, innocent and without guile. Diana spoke only Themyscirian, a variation of ancient Greek, and had to learn English when she arrived in America. Fortunately, Diana soon met Julia Kapatelis, a scholar in Greek culture, and her daughter Vanessa Kapatelis who helped the Amazon princess adjust to the world of Men. However, for all her apparent naiveté, Diana was a trained warrior, and had no compunction against using deadly force when called for. For example, she felled the god Deimos in battle and felt completely justified under the circumstances. Through Pérez's tenure on the book, Diana confronted war, injustice, inequality, death, and conflicts involving the Olympian Gods.

Wonder Woman's supporting characters were altered as well. In addition to the introduction of the Kapatelises, Steve Trevor was changed into an Air Force officer considerably older than Diana, thus sidestepping the traditional romance between the two. Instead, Trevor became involved with Etta Candy, a mature military officer possessing a plump physique. The Greek war god Ares, and the witch Circe eventually became two of Diana's greatest enemies. Her rogue's list included the Cheetah, a woman who could transform into a ferocious feline-humanoid creature; and the Silver Swan, a once deformed radiation victim granted beauty, wings, and deafening sonic powers through genetic engineering.

Following Pérez, William Messner-Loebs took over as writer and Mike Deodato became the artist for the title. With the exception of Phillipus and a few Bana-Mighdallian Amazons, Deodato exclusively portrayed the Amazons as CaucasianFact|date=March 2008 — including Euboea, who was already established as being of Asian descent. Messner-Loebs introduced Diana's Daxamite friend Julia in Wonder Woman vol. 2 #68 during the six issue space arc. [ [ Wonder Woman Vol. 2 #68 ] ] [ [ Wonder Woman Vol. 2 #71 ] ] Messner-Loebs's most memorable contribution to the title was the introduction of the red-headed Amazon Artemis, who took over the mantle of Wonder Woman for a short time. He also included a subplot during his run in an attempt to further humanize Diana by having her work for a fictional fast food chain called Taco Whiz.

John Byrne's run included a period in which Diana's mother Hippolyta served as Wonder Woman, having traveled back to the 1940s, while Diana ascended to Mount Olympus as the Goddess of Truth. Byrne posited that Hippolyta had been the Golden Age Wonder Woman. In addition, Wonder Woman's Amazon ally Nubia was re-introduced (as Nu'Bia; scripted by a different author).

Writer Eric Luke next came aboard the comic and depicted a Diana that was often questioning her mission in Man's World, and most primarily her reason for existing. His most memorable contributions to the title was having Diana separate herself from humanity by residing in a floating palace called the "Wonder Dome", and for a godly battle between the Titan Cronus and the various religious pantheons of the world. Phil Jimenez, the penciller who next worked on the title, produced a run which has been likened to Pérez's, particularly since his art bears a resemblance to Pérez's. Jimenez's run showed Wonder Woman as a diplomat, scientist, and activist who worked to help women across the globe become more self-sufficient. Jimenez also added many visual elements found in the "Wonder Woman" television show.

After Jimenez, Walt Simonson wrote a six-issue homage to the I Ching era, in which Diana temporarily loses her powers and adopts an all-white costume ("Wonder Woman" vol. 2, #189-194). Greg Rucka became writer at issue #195. His initial story arc centered upon Diana's authorship of a controversial book and included a political subtext. Rucka also introduced a new recurring villain, ruthless businesswoman Veronica Cale, who uses media manipulation to try to discredit Diana. Rucka modernized the Greek and Egyptian gods, updating the toga-wearing deities to provide them with briefcases, laptop computers, designer clothing, and modern hairstyles. Rucka dethroned Zeus and Hades (who were unable to move with the times as the other gods had), replacing them with Athena and Ares as new rulers of the gods and the underworld. Athena selected Diana to be her personal champion.

"Infinite Crisis"

The four part "Sacrifice" storyline (one of the lead-ins to "Infinite Crisis)" ended with Diana breaking the longstanding do-not-kill code of DC superheroes. Superman, his mind controlled by Maxwell Lord, brutally beats Batman and engages in a vicious fight with Wonder Woman, thinking she is his enemy Doomsday. In the midst of her battle with Superman, Diana realizes that even if she defeats him, he would still remain under Max Lord's absolute mental control. She creates a diversion lasting long enough for her to race back to Max Lord's location and demand that he tell her how to free Superman from his control. Bound by her lasso of truth, Max replies: "Kill me." Wonder Woman then snaps his neck (see "The OMAC Project" for more about this storyline).

Upon his recovery, Batman rejects Diana's attempt to explain her actions; Superman is no better able to understand her motivations. At a crucial time, a profound rift opens up between the three central heroes of the DC universe. In the final pages of "The OMAC Project", the Brother Eye satellite (the deranged Artificial intelligence controlling the OMACs) broadcasts the footage of Wonder Woman dispatching Maxwell Lord to media outlets all over the world, accompanied by the text "MURDER."

At the start of "Infinite Crisis", Batman and Superman distrust Diana: the latter can only see her as a coldblooded murderer, the former sees in her an expression of the mentality that led several members of the League to decide to mindwipe their villains (when he tried to stop the League from mindwiping Dr. Light after the villain brutally raped Sue Dibny, Batman's memory was also altered). To make matters worse, in "Infinite Crisis" #2 Brother Eye initiates the final protocol "Truth and Justice," which aims at the total elimination of the Amazons. A full-scale invasion of Themyscira is set into motion, utilizing every remaining OMAC. Diana and her countrywomen, now isolated and alienated from the outside world, must fight for their lives.

In "Infinite Crisis" #3, the Amazons prepare to destroy the OMACs with a powerful new weapon (the Purple Death Ray, a corruption of the healing Purple Ray). Realizing, however, that the battle is being broadcast to TV stations around the world, and edited to make the Amazons look like cold-blooded killers, Wonder Woman convinces the Amazons to shut the weapon down. She then assembles the Amazons on the beach of Themyscira to decide their next move.

Diana calls upon Athena, who transports Paradise Island and the Amazons to another dimension. Wonder Woman chooses not to join them, and is left to face the OMACs on her own. In "Infinite Crisis" #5, as Diana is breaking up a riot in Boston, she is interrupted by a woman she initially believes is Queen Hippolyta. However, the intruder identifies herself as the Earth-Two Wonder Woman, Diana Prince, who has voluntarily left Mount Olympus in order to provide Diana with vital information and guidance. She advises her Post-Crisis counterpart to be "the one thing you haven't been for a very long time... human," and, more importantly, strongly urges Diana to intervene in a fight taking place at that moment between the Modern Age Superman and his counterpart, Kal-L. Having left Mount Olympus, and with her gods' blessings gone, Diana Prince then faded away.

Wonder Woman manages to stop the Supermen from fighting, enabling them to work together in defeating the forces deployed by Alexander Luthor, Jr. and Superboy-Prime (who are revealed as the true culprits behind the Crisis). In the Battle of Metropolis, Diana redeems herself by convincing an anguished Batman not to shoot Alexander Luthor, Jr. to death. At the story's conclusion, Diana, Bruce Wayne, and Clark Kent interact like the friends they were in the past, and Diana declares her intention to do some soul-searching before returning to her role as Wonder Woman.

Near the conclusion of the Infinite Crisis the history of Earth is modified. Wonder Woman's Silver Age past is restored, and it is revealed that she has also served as a founding member of the Justice League. This notion was evidenced in the merging of both the Earth-One Wonder Woman and the 1987 rebooted Wonder Woman by Alexander Luthor. ["Infinite Crisis" #6 (May 2006)]

"Wonder Woman" vol. 2 was one of several titles canceled at the conclusion of the Infinite Crisis crossover, with #226 (April 2006) the final issue (with 228 being published, including an issue #0 between #90 and #91, and issue #1000000 between #138 and #139).

2006 relaunch

In conjunction with DC's "One Year Later" crossover storyline, the third "Wonder Woman" comic series was launched with a new #1 issue (June 2006), written by Allan Heinberg with art by Terry Dodson. Her bustier features a new design, combining the traditional eagle with the 1980s "WW" design, similar to her emblem in the "Kingdom Come" miniseries.

Donna Troy has taken up the mantle of Wonder Woman; Diana has disappeared to parts unknown, though there are reports that she has been seen in the company of an eastern mystic named I Ching. The World Court drops the charges against Diana for the killing of Maxwell Lord.

When Diana returns she takes on the persona of Diana Prince, now a secret agent and member of the Department of Metahuman Affairs. She is partnered with Nemesis; the two report to Sarge Steel. Her first assignment is to retrieve her sister Donna Troy, who has been kidnapped by several of her most persistent enemies; their powers have been augmented by Circe. After this is accomplished, Diana takes back the title of Wonder Woman.

Wonder Woman, Superman, and Batman re-form the Justice League of America and collaborate on the team's roster.

Wonder Woman asks Kate Spencer (whom she knows to be Manhunter) to represent her before a Federal grand jury empaneled to determine if she should be tried for the murder of Maxwell Lord (though the World Court has exonerated her, the US government pursues its own charges). Upon concluding their deliberations, the grand jurors refuse to indict Diana. [Manhunter #26-30]

During the story-arc penned by Jodi Picoult (issues #6-10, and which ties into "Amazons Attack!"), Diana is captured and imprisoned by the Department of Metahuman Affairs, led by an imposter Sarge Steel. She is tortured and interrogated to garner information that will allow the United States government to build a Purple Death Ray previously used during "Infinite Crisis."

For reasons of her own, Circe resurrects Diana's mother Hippolyta. When Hippolyta learns that her daughter is being detained by the US government, she goes on the warpath, leading an Amazon assault on Washington, D.C. Freed by Nemesis, Diana tries to reason with her mother to end the war.

Gail Simone took up writing duties on the title beginning with issue #14. [ "Simone's Wonder Woman Debut Pushed Back a Month" [] ]

In "Wonder Woman Annual" #1 (2007), Circe gives Diana the "gift" of human transformation. [ "Wonder Woman Annual" #1 Volume Three, 2007] When she becomes Diana Prince, she transforms into a non-powered mortal. She is content, knowing that she can become Wonder Woman when she wishes and be a member of the human race as Diana Prince.

The relaunch was beset by scheduling problems, described by Grady Hendrix in his article, "Out for Justice," in the "New York Sun". "By 2007 [Heinberg had] only delivered four issues. ... Ms. Picoult's five issues hemorrhaged readers ... and "Amazons Attack!", a miniseries commissioned to fill a hole in the book's publishing schedule caused by Mr. Heinberg's delays, was reviled by fans who decried it as an abomination." [Hendrix, Grady. "Out for Justice". "The New York Sun" December 11, 2007]

Many attribute these flaws to the constraints that DC placed on the authors; Picoult's interpretation in particular has received acclaim from critics, who would have liked to have seen the novelist given more time to work. Says Min Jin Lee of the UK Times, "By furnishing a 21st-century emotional characterisation for a 20th-century creation, Picoult reveals the novelist's dextrous hand." [ [ article] ] Indeed, others blame DC's inconsistent portrayals of the Wonder Woman universe, brought about by employing so many writers in such a short span of time, for the failures in the relaunch; "I feel sorry for Picoult, she was going in a good, clear direction but is soon side-tracked by DC Comic’s external needs." [TaCk's Pop Culture blog [] ]


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