Beautiful as Aphrodite, wise as Athena, swifter than Hermes, and stronger than Hercules, Princess Diana of Themyscira fights for peace in Man’s World.
One of the most beloved and iconic DC Super Heroes of all time, Wonder Woman has stood for nearly eighty years as a symbol of truth, justice and equality to people everywhere. Raised on the hidden island of Themyscira, also known as Paradise Island, Diana is an Amazon, like the figures of Greek legend, and her people’s gift to humanity.
As Themyscira’s emissary to Man’s World, Diana has made it her duty to lead by example, even if the differences between her birthplace and new home sometimes present hurdles for her to jump. She has come to represent the possibility and potential of life without war, hate or violence, and she is a beacon of hope to all who find themselves in need. She stands as an equal among the most powerful Super Heroes, with a sense of purpose to protect the world from injustice in all forms.
Diana’s job, however, is anything but easy. Constantly torn between her mission to promote peace and her need to fight back against the pervasive violence of her new home, Diana struggles to walk a line between her warrior strength and endless compassion each and every day.
Wonder Woman first appeared in “All Star Comics” no. 8 on Oct. 21,1941 in a back-up story meant to test her appeal at a time when female Super Heroes were rare.
An instant favorite, Wonder Woman was soon headlining her own standalone title less than a year later. Subsequent generations came to know the Amazonian princess with silver bracelets on her wrists and a magic lasso by her waist via her hit 1970’s television series as well as roles in animated shows and movies.
Wonder Woman was created, in part, by William Moulton Marston, a psychologist famous for the invention of the polygraph. The doctor struck upon an idea for a new kind of superhero, one who would triumph not with fists or firepower, but with love.
Marston’s wife and fellow psychologist Elizabeth Holloway Marston suggested that her husband should have his new hero be a woman. Agreeing, William based the character off of her, and their mutual polyamorist partner Olive Byrne.
“Not even girls want to be girls so long as our feminine archetype lacks force, strength, and power,” Marston wrote in a 1943 issue of The American Scholar. “Not wanting to be girls, they don’t want to be tender, submissive, peace-loving as good women are. Women’s strong qualities have become despised because of their weakness. The obvious remedy is to create a feminine character with all the strength of Superman plus all the allure of a good and beautiful woman.”
Marston was an outspoken feminist, polyamorist and firm believer in the superiority of women. He described bondage and submission as a “respectable and noble practice.” All topics that struck up major controversy in an overtly conservative America.
Facing major backlash, Wonder Woman’s turbulent history began. Starting out as a feminist hero that can face off against the likes of Superman, the “Golden Age” of comics saw the character stripped of her heroics and limited to a simple secretary or side character.
Despite her tribulations in mans world, Wonder Woman flourished and flew past the hatred. She now stands as an equal in the holy trinity of comic-dome. Superman may be the strength, and Batman may be the brains, but Wonder Woman is the heart.
As one of the first female superheroes in history, Wonder Woman continues to blaze trails representing numerous historically unheard people around the world.
Wonder Woman stands as an icon for all, and an inspiration for many. Because only love can truly save the world.
To learn about the secret origins behind Wonder Woman’s creation, watch “Professor Marston and the Wonder Women” on HBO Max.