Wonder Woman Origins and Evolutions
Wonder Woman Origins and Evolutions
Next week sees the very first solo feature film of Wonder Woman, an event over 75 years in the making. Though the world’s most iconic female hero is only just now arriving on the big screen, her history in comics and other media has been extensive and long-reaching throughout the decades. So for our latest Origins and Evolutions piece we’re diving into the history of the princess of the Amazons! Check out the full Wonder Woman Origins and Evolutions in the gallery below!
Before she was Wonder Woman, she was Diana, princess of the Amazons, trained to be an unconquerable warrior. Raised on a sheltered island paradise, when an American pilot crashes on their shores and tells of a massive conflict raging in the outside world, Diana leaves her home, convinced she can stop the threat. Fighting alongside man in a war to end all wars, Diana will discover her full powers…and her true destiny.
Wonder Woman stars Gal Gadot (The Fast and the Furious films, Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice), Chris Pine (Star Trek), Robin Wright (The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, Netflix‘s House of Cards), Danny Huston (Clash of the Titans, X-Men Origins: Wolverine), Ewen Bremner (Exodus: Gods and Kings, Snowpiercer), Saïd Taghmaoui (American Hustle), Elena Anaya (The Skin I Live In), Connie Nielsen (Gladiator, Nymphomaniac: Vol. I) and Lucy Davis (Shaun of the Dead).
Directed by Patty Jenkins, Wonder Woman is being produced by Charles Roven, Zack Snyder and Deborah Snyder, with Richard Suckle, Stephen Jones, Wesley Coller, Geoff Johns and Rebecca Roven serving as executive producers.
Wonder Woman opens in theaters on June 2, 2017.
In the early 1940s, William Moulton Marston (seated left) was contracted to work on a comic for National Periodicals and All-American Publications, two of the predecessors for DC Comics. Marston settled on creating a female hero with the ideals that she would be the ideal female leader.
In the pages of All Star Comics #8 in 1941, Wonder Woman made her debut. The next year the character would appear on the cover of Sensation Comics #1 and leading to her own self-titled series in June of that year.
Another interesting piece of trivia for the character regards her famous “Lasso of Truth,” which was seemingly born from the fact that Marston himself helped birth the modern polygraph (lie detector) machine.
In the Golden Age of comics, Wonder Woman was a member of the Amazons on Paradise Island and followed Steve Trevor back to “Man’s World” and later aided in the fight against the Nazis. She was also a member of the Justice Society of America in the role of the team’s “secretary,” which made Marston furious given his intention on creating an equal heroic icon.
The Justice League
In the 1960s, Wonder Woman would be a founding member of the Justice League along with Aquaman, Batman, The Flash, Green Lantern, Martian Manhunter, and Superman.
In addition to a revamped appearance, Wonder Woman was given a more expanded origin in the 1960s which first tied her roots to the Greek gods and myths. In this version, she was said to be “beautiful as Aphrodite, wise as Athena, as strong as Hercules, and as swift as Hermes.” Her further adventures included her time as Wonder Girl and, you guessed it, Wonder Tot.
“The New Wonder Woman”
In the late ’60s and early ’70s, the hero underwent a massive costume change, ditching her patriotic themed outfit for some groovy new digs.
Due to the success of the TV series (more on that later), DC revamped the Wonder Woman title to fit her roots more closely and put her setting back during World War II.
Following Crisis on Infinite Earths, the continuity for the entire DCU had been reformatted and as a result, the most popular version of Wonder Woman was born thanks to the team of George Pérez, Len Wein, and Greg Potter.
Sins of Youth
A series of one shots at DC saw ages being swapped for members of the Justice League and Teen Titans and in the one shot Sins of Youth: Wonder Girls, a young Wonder Woman gets a brand-new costume.
During one story, Diana found herself back in the 1940s where she briefly assumed the identity of the super heroine Miss America.
All-New Wonder Woman
In 2010, the 600th solo issue of Wonder Woman was released and with it came a brand new costume.
During the events of the “Blackest Night” storyline, a horde of Black Lantern rings are let loose on Earth and attach themselves to dead or revived heroes that have previously died – one of them finds Diana.
To combat that, however, the lanterns of the various other corps. duplicate their own rings with Star Sapphire’s ring finding and choosing Wonder Woman as its host.
When the DCU rebooted once again, it came with a change for Wonder Woman. Instead of being the result of Zeus bringing her to life from clay, she was actually a descendent from the Greek God himself.
Later on, Diana would assume the mantle of God of War after besting Ares in Combat.
Later still, Diana would get another costume change with the third costume reflecting her role as a god, a queen, and a warrior in the world.
The latest installment from DC comics has taken Diana back to her roots with a very old fashioned-inspired version of her costume.
Though Diana has been Wonder Woman for most of the character’s history, some occasions have called on another to step into her shoes for one reason or another.
Originally, Artemis was “the first Wonder Woman” who ventured to Man’s world with a different idea from Diana herself and chose to conquer it. Her body was later resurrected by magic to fight the Amazons.
In another story, Queen Hippolyta had a vision of a future where Wonder Woman died and decided to host a tournament to find a replacement, which Artemis won. However, through a series of ever escalating circumstances, Artemis found herself being the subject of Hippolyta’s vision and died in battle as Wonder Woman.
Speaking of Queen Hippolyta, following the events of Crisis on Infinite Earths, Diana’s own mother Hippolyta went back in time to assume the mantle of Wonder Woman to correct the time stream. Even after returning to the present, she would continue to act as the hero for a brief time, even fighting alongside her daughter.
Another Amazon who challenged Diana for the title of Wonder Woman, and actually won in combat! Her tenure as the hero was short, however, just two issues, as she was killed in battle.
Like Diana, Nubia was born from clay and set to be raised alongside Diana as her sister; however, she was raised by Ares to conquer the Amazons and sought to claim the title of Wonder Woman.
A clone of Diana, Donna was the first hero to use the title of Wonder Girl and briefly assumed the role of Wonder Woman during the One Year Later storyline that followed Infinite Crisis.
Also during the One Year Later storyline was the villain Circe, who sought revenge against Diana (though she was no longer the acting Wonder Woman) and actually siphoned her powers away from her, briefly assuming the title of Wonder Woman.
As previously mentioned, the Sins of Youth storyline saw the ages of DC heroes flipped with Diana becoming a teenager in the Wonder Girls #1 one shot and the second Wonder Girl, Cassie Sandsmark, briefly assuming the role of Wonder Woman.
Despite a failed pilot in the late ’60s, the actual first appearance of Wonder Woman on television was in the animated Brady Bunch spin-off, The Brady Kids.
Following that animated appearance, Wonder Woman made her debut in the ever-popular Super Friends series. Shannon Farnan would provide the voice for the hero from 1973 to 1985, when it concluded.
1974 TV Movie
Ahead of the TV series fans know, another attempt at bringing Wonder Woman to television was made with Cathy Lee Crosby playing Wonder Woman. The failed pilot was converted instead into a TV movie.
(Photo Credit: Getty Images)
1975 TV Series
Lynda Carter portrayed the title hero in the series which debuted in 1975 with a TV movie and ran for three additional seasons on both ABC and CBS.
Another attempt was made at bringing Wonder Woman to television back in 2011 with Adrianne Palicki playing the hero. Ally McBeal writer David E. Kelley was set to showrun the series that wasn’t picked up.
Wonder Woman has appeared in a number of DC video games ranging from Injustice to LEGO Batman and DC Universe Online, among others.
As with nearly every other character in the DCU, countless other versions of Wonder Woman exist across the multiverse.
When Marvel and DC teamed up to mash up their Universes, the Amalgam universe was born. Stitching together characters from both the MU and the DCU, there were actually two different Wonder Woman characters, the first was Ororo of Themyscira (mixing her with Storm of the X-Men) and the second was the wife of The Punisher (who himself was a mix of Steve Trevor and Frank Castle).
The Flashpoint Universe radically reinvented the DCU and saw Wonder Woman as Queen Diana, the tyrannical ruler of the Amazons who found herself locked in a war with Emperor Aquaman and the Atlanteans.
The Future’s End storyline leaped ahead five years in the DCU and showed off a version of Wonder Woman fully comfortable in her role as God of War.
Maria Mendoza of Earth 6
This alternate reality has the distinction of being the home of “Just Imagine…” a series of one shots that reinvented the entire DCU with Marvel Comics legend Stan Lee. Lee worked with writers to create “his” versions of the famous DC heroes, his Wonder Woman being a woman of Peruvian descent who gets her powers from the Incan Sun God.
Walküre of Earth 7
This version of Wonder Woman comes from a world that is based on the “Ultimate Marvel” line, namely a modern reinvention of all the heroes. It further parodies Marvel by having all the heroes die and be reborn as zombies ala Marvel Zombies.
Brünhilde of Earth 10
This alternate world saw Superman raised by none other than Adolph Hitler and forming a team of Nazi versions of superheroes called the New Reichsmen.
Wonderous Man of Earth 11
This Earth has a gender-bent version of every character, resulting in a male Wonder Woman.
Madame .44 of Earth 18
Earth 18 is a wild west-themed Earth where the Wonder Woman equivalent rides alongside her fellow “Justice Riders.”
Wonder Woman of Earth 19
Though originally from a different world and the one shot comic Wonder Woman: Amazonia, this Wonder Woman lives in a steam punk-inspired Earth along with the Batman from Gotham by Gaslight.
Wonder Woman of Earth 21
This world can be found in the pages of Darwyn Cooke’s DC: The New Frontier, featuring ’60s-set versions of the heroes.
Wonder Woman of Earth 22
Mark Waid and Alex Ross’s Kingdom Come hails from this Earth, featuring an older than usual Wonder Woman.
Wonder Woman of Earth 23
The previously-mentioned Nubia is the Wonder Woman of this world, which also features none other than President Superman.
Bizarro Wonder Woman
Several different versions of a Bizarro Wonder Woman have appeared throughout the DCU.
Wonder Woman of Earth 30
The events of Mark Waid’s Red Son, which depicts Superman landing in communist Russia instead of quaint middle America, has its own Russian Wonder Woman as well.
Pirate Wonder Woman of Earth 31
This Earth has seen the lands flooded and the heroes take to the seas as pirates.
Wonderhawk of Earth 32
This Earth combines the heroes with other heroes, resulting in the likes of Aquaflash, Black Arrow, Bat-Lantern, Super-Martian, and Wonderhawk.
Herculina of Earth 34
A version of the series Astro City by Kurt Busiek and Brent Anderson, this version of Wonder Woman goes by the name Herculina.
Majesty of Earth 35
An homage to the Rob Liefeld comic Awesome Comics, this version of Wonder Woman is a play on the character Glory, who was herself originally done in homage to Wonder Woman.
War-Woman of Earth 36
Another homage, this one related to Venus of Big Bang Comics, who was a Wonder Woman homage in her original form.
Wonder Woman of Earth 41
This version of Earth is based on the heroes of Image Comics, including an obvious Savage Dragon homage, plus a version of Wonder Woman.
Vampire Wonder Woman
Earth 43 is all vampires, and as such there’s a vampire Wonder Woman.
Platinum Wonder Woman of Earth 44
This Earth has an all-metal version of the Justice League, likely a combo of the Metal Men and the JL.