She is Princess Diana of Themyscira, Daughter of Hippolyta, also known as the Amazing Amazon, the Spirit of Truth, and Themyscira's Champion. But you probably know her better as the superhero Wonder Woman. The Amazon hails from an island of warrior women and travels to man's world to help battle evil and injustice. She deflects bullets with her bracelets, catches enemies in her lasso, and she does it all in high heels. Wonder Woman, alongside Batman and Superman, is one of the most important heroes in the DC Universe. She has also become a huge figure in pop culture; and, in truth, an icon in American culture.
This year, the world was finally graced with a Wonder Woman movie. The film has become a big success for DC Comics both critically and financially. It boasts a 92% rating on movie review site Rotten Tomatoes and has surpassed $700 million at the worldwide box office. It delighted longtime fans and inspired many new ones.
She's been around since the 1940s, so you probably think you know everything about her. But how well do you really know the esteemed superhero? A real fan should be able to tell: Are These Wonder Woman Facts True or False?
She was the first female superhero
True or false: Wonder Woman, aka Princess Diana of Themyscira, was created by the psychologist and writer William Moulton Marston and artist Harry G. Peter. She debuted in All Star Comics #8 in October 1941. Her first cover was Sensation Comics #1 in January 1942. Even though modern comic books had been around since 1933, this was the first time a female superhero had ever existed in comic books. She was an instant hit and inspired writers to create more female superheroes.
Steve Trevor is blonde to show his submission to Wonder Woman
True or false: Wonder Women's longtime love interest, Steve Trevor, is blonde while the heroine is a brunette. This was done intentionally by the creator William Moulton Marston because he believed that blonde men are more submissive to brunette women. Steve and Diana are meant to illustrate this kind of relationship, with Steve often having to be saved by Wonder Woman - like a reverse Superman-Lois Lane relationship. Marston also made Wonder Woman brunette because he believed they were "friskier" than blonde women.
Her mother created her out of clay
True or false: Wonder Woman has an unusual origin story that is unlike any other in comics. Her mother, Queen Hippolyta of the Amazons, desired a child so badly she sculpted one out of clay and prayed to the gods that she could become real. Her wish was granted by the goddess of love, Aphrodite, to create Princess Diana. Many other Greek gods granted her superpowers as gifts. Diana is destined to be as beautiful as Aphrodite, as wise as Athena, as strong as Hercules, and as swift as Hermes.
Gal Gadot is the first live action Wonder Woman ever
True or false: Despite being around since the 1940s, fans had to wait until 2017 until they got a live action version of the heroine. Several attempts were made. In 1999 there were rumors of a Wonder Woman movie starring Sandra Bullock, which never happened. Friday Night Lights star Adrianne Palicki starred in an NBC pilot written by Ally McBeal creator David E. Kelley in 2011. The show was not picked up by the network. Many believed the character was cursed for live action.
She has picked up Thor’s hammer
True or false: In 1996 there was an epic crossover between the two major comic creators named DC vs. Marvel. Heroes from both worlds battled it out. The losing side would have their universe destroyed. While battling DC's Captain Marvel, Thor loses his hammer Mjolnir. Wonder Woman discovers it and the hammer deems her worthy enough to pick it up and grant her the powers of the god. However, she decides not to use it because wielding such power in a battle would be unfair.
She can talk to animals
True or false: Most fans know that Wonder Woman has super strength, the power to fly, can deflect bullets, force enemies to tell the truth, and is a fierce warrior. But she has an array of other powers that are less well-known to readers. One of these powers is the ability to talk to animals. The Greek goddess of the hunt, Artemis, granted Diana the gift of unity with all animals on Earth and the ability to communicate with them.
Her lasso does not work on herself
True or false: Wonder Woman's main weapon is The Lasso of Truth. The magical lasso was formed from Aphrodite's girdle, making it unbreakable and infinitely elastic. Whoever is bound by the lasso is compelled to tell the truth and obey the commands of the person who wields it. To prevent anyone else from using her own weapon against her, Diana coated it in a special Amazonian chemical. The chemical ensures that the lasso of truth will not work on her.
She was the Justice Society of America’s secretary
True or false: Before the Justice League was formed in the 1960s, DC's primary team of superheroes was the Justice Society of America - also known as the JSA. Its members include the original Flash (Jay Garrick), the original Green Lantern (Alan Scott), Hawkman, Sandman, and Doctor Fate. Wonder Woman crosses paths with them. They offer her a position on the team. But rather than have her fight alongside them, they made her their secretary. She answered calls at their base while they fought crime.
She beat Storm in DC vs. Marvel
True or false: In the DC vs. Marvel crossover, each DC hero faces off with a similar hero from the Marvel universe. Superman fights the Hulk, Flash races Quicksilver, Aquaman battles Namor, etc. Wonder Woman is paired with the powerful X-men character Storm - who has the power to control the power. Wonder Woman is able to pick up Thor's hammer but decides not to use it during the fight because it would give her an unfair advantage. Even without the hammer, Diana is victorious.
She has been banned for not being sufficiently dressed
True or false: In 1942 the National Organization for Decent Literature blacklisted the book Sensation Comics starring Wonder Woman. The publisher wrote to the bishop of the organization asking why the book had been banned. The answer was that Wonder Woman is not sufficiently dressed, which violated their code. There was no other reason for the book being banned. Oddly enough, her exposed legs and cleavage were not the main issue. The organization had a bigger problem with her back being exposed.
She has always been able to fly
True or false: Wonder Woman is famous for her invisible jet. However, in her original comic book form she was always been able to fly. She was granted the power of flight from the Greek god Hermes. The invisible jet was a creation of the 1970s live-action Wonder Woman series starring Lynda Carter. Creating the illusion of flight was too difficult and looked cheesy to the creators. The invisible jet became so popular that it was later incorporated into the comic books.
Her creator helped create the lie detector
True or false: Wonder Woman's creator, William Moulton Marston, was also a psychologist and inventor. He created the systolic blood pressure test after his wife, Elizabeth, said that she believed there was a connection between her emotions and her blood pressure. The systolic blood pressure test worked as a lie detector. The subject's blood pressure would be taken while they were asked questions. Blood pressure would spike when they got angry or excited. This test was the predecessor of the modern polygraph.
She was designed after Audrey Hepburn
True or false: Wonder Woman's design was partially inspired by the acclaimed dancer, actress, model, and humanitarian Audrey Hepburn. Hepburn remains one of the most iconic Hollywood figures of all time and, in her prime, was considered one of the most beautiful women in the world. She was chosen as a model for Wonder Woman's design because she was a ballet dancer in her youth. This meant she was strong but also graceful and lean. Her experiences living under German occupation during WWII also helped inspire the heroine.
She has a daughter with Steve Trevor
True or false: In one of DC's alternate universe known as Earth-Two, the Golden Age Wonder Woman and Steve Trevor marry and have a daughter together. They name her Hippolyta after Diana's mother and call her Lyta for short. She inherits her mother's powers and creates the superhero identity "The Fury." The name is inspired by the Furies of Greek mythology. DC's crossover event Crisis on Infinite Earths got rid of the multiverse and Lyta Trevor was erased from existence.
Her creator was in a polyamorous relationship
True or false: William Moulton Marston was inspired by two women to create Wonder Woman: his wife, Elizabeth Holloway Marston, and his mistress Olive Byrne. He believed the two of them embodied the feminism of the day. The three of them all lived together and he had four children by the two women. They could not make their arrangement public to their neighbors, so they say that Olive is their housekeeper and that her children came from another man who died during the war.
Her first appearance was originally set during WWI
True or false: Even though Wonder Woman debuted while America was in the midst of World War II, her original adventures are set during World War I. The creators chose to do this because WWI was the first conflict with modern war technology such as machine guns and gas, which terrified the masses. Plus the "villains" are less clear and shows how fragile man's world is. This is where the 2017 film got the inspiration to use the first World War as the setting.
The UN made her an honorary ambassador
True or false: The United Nations named Wonder Woman an honorary ambassador for the empowerment of women and girls in October 2016. The decision was immediately met with controversy and backlash. Many UN workers and feminists protested the idea of Wonder Woman representing a feminist campaign. They started a petition for the UN to remove the character from the position. She was stripped of her title a mere two months later, but the UN insists it had nothing to do with the protests.
She sees no use for diplomacy or politics
True or false: The Amazons are a warrior race who train to fight from birth. In their society, whoever is strongest is the one in power. Therefore, the complicated politics of man's world is very confusing for Wonder Woman to understand. She sees no point in attempts at diplomatically solving conflicts, especially when innocent lives are at stake. She thinks pacifism is idealistic and naive when dealing with men. She believes the sword is mightier than the pen and goes in guns blazing.
She was the first female member of the Justice League
True or false: Wonder Woman is not only the first female member of the Justice League, she is also one of the founders. For a while, she was the only woman on the team. The seven original members were her, Batman, Aquaman, the Flash, Green Lantern, Martian Manhunter, and Superman. The team expanded to add Green Arrow, the Atom, and Hawkman - Wonder Woman was still the only female. The second woman to join the ranks was Black Canary, followed by Hawkgirl and Zatanna.
No one else has been Wonder Woman but her
True or false: It is common in comic books for multiple people to have the same superhero identity. Sometimes their sidekicks take over the title when heroes retire or pass away. For example, Bruce Wayne's protegé Dick Grayson has taken up the mantle of Batman, there have been several Robins with vastly different motivations, Green Arrow's son once took over for him, Bucky Barnes was Captain America for awhile, and there have been four Flashes. Wonder Woman is unique - no one but Diana has ever had the identity.
She was partially inspired by birth control activist Margaret Sanger
True or false: Wonder Woman's creator was inspired by many powerful, feminist women involved with the suffragist movement of the early 1900s. One of these women was the famous birth control and women's rights activist Margaret Sanger. Sanger and her sister, Ethel Byrne founded Planned Parenthood in 1916. It was the first birth control clinic in America. They were both arrested days after it opened by undercover cops pretending to ask about birth control. William Moulton Marston's girlfriend, Olive Bryne, was actually Sanger's niece.
She was originally going to be named Suprema
True or false: Wonder Woman was originally called Suprema, The Wonder Woman. The creator wanted to make a feminine character that was not weak, but rather had all the strength of Superman plus all the allure of a good and beautiful woman, which was possibly the inspiration behind the name Suprema. Wonder Woman was a common term at the time to describe a woman who is especially gifted. An editor changed the name the simply Wonder Woman because Suprema sounded too much like Superman.
Hercules is her father
True or false: Wonder Woman's original story is that her mother created her out of clay and she was given life by the goddess Aphrodite. This meant that she had no father. Her origin story was retconned in DC's New 52 relaunch. She became the biological child of Queen Hippolyta and the hero Hercules. In Greek mythology, one of Hercules' labors was to steal the Amazon queen's girdle. He does so by seducing her. During this encounter, Diana is conceived.
She is bisexual
True or false: DC writer Greg Rucka confirmed that Wonder Woman is bisexual. He added that since Paradise Island is only populated by women, there is no real concept of being "gay." This was also confirmed within the comic books. Wonder Woman officiates a wedding between two women. Superman expresses surprise that she is a supporter of gay marriage. She reminds him that she hails from an island where there are only women. Back home, she says, it is just called marriage.
She was partially inspired by Susan B. Anthony
True or false: Another one of the many inspirations behind Wonder Woman was women's rights activist Susan B. Anthony - a key figure in the women's suffrage movement and a vocal opponent of slavery. Anthony never married nor is she known to have had a serious relationship; she once said she could not marry because she never wanted to give up her freedom to become a man's housekeeper. She was once arrested and convicted for voting before women had the right.
If a man binds her bracelets, she loses her powers
True or false: Wonder Woman's bracelets, more formally known as the Bracelets of Submission, are indestructible and can deflect bullets. But they have one weakness - the goddess Aphrodite put a curse on the bracelets. If a man welds chains onto an Amazons bracelets, she will immediately lose all of her powers. This is partially inspired by the suffragette imagery of the era, which often depicted the feminists in chains to symbolize their oppression. It is also inspired by the creator's affinity for bondage.
She has dated both Batman and Superman
True or false: Wonder Woman, Batman, and Superman are known as "The Trinity" of DC. Diana has been romantically involved with both of the heroes. She and Batman fall for each other in the animated Justice League and Justice League Unlimited shows; however, they never end up formally dating. They also had a brief fling in the Justice League comics. She and Superman have dated in the Kingdom Come series, Injustice: Gods Among Us, and were a longstanding couple during the New 52 relaunch.
She has perfect measurements
True or false: Wonder Woman is incredibly strong. And yet, in her original design, she does not appear very muscular or bulky. A man who takes her measurements notes that she has perfect modern Venus measurements: this was an equation used to determine a woman's ideal body shape using her height and age. Diana maintains her slim figure because Amazons train to strengthen their muscles through mental force and brain energy. This enhances the muscles without making them any bigger.
She has run for president
True or false: William Moulton Marston once said that Wonder Woman is psychological propaganda for the new type of woman who he believed should rule the world one day. He believed that in 1,000 years, women would be in charge. Wonder Woman has run for the president of the United States in the comics not just once, but twice. Her first campaign was in a 1943 story written by Marston himself. The second was on the cover of Ms. Magazine in 1972.
She is forbidden from marrying
True or false: Steve Trevor repeatedly begs his angel Wonder Woman to marry him. She almost always refuses and says she will not marry him until her services as Wonder Woman are no longer required. That means injustice and evil must be vanquished from the world before she can think about herself. However, she does not tell him the full story. She actually made an oath to Artemis, the virgin goddess of the hunt, that she would never marry a man.
She once gave up her powers and became a martial artist
True or false: Wonder Woman's character was seriously revamped during the 1960s. The Amazons must go to another dimension. Instead of accompanying her sisters, Wonder Woman wants to stay on Earth. This decision requires her to give up her powers and retire the Wonder Woman identity. This does not stop her from fighting crime, however. She becomes Diana Prince full time, opens up a mod clothing store to support herself, and learns martial arts from a Chinese master, I Ching.
She cannot remove her bracelets
True or false: Wonder Woman's bracelets are called The Bracelets of Submission for a very important reason. They keep her strength and emotions under control. She is capable of becoming much stronger than she is, but the bracelets prevent this. This way, it stops her from losing her temper and causing too much destruction on man's world. The goddess Aphrodite decrees that Wonder Woman can never remove the bracelets to ensure the world is protected from her superior Amazon strength.
Her design was inspired by pinup girls
True or false: Wonder Woman's appearance was modeled in part after the Varga Girls - a creation of the Peruvian pin-up model painter Alberto Vargas. His creations appeared in centerfolds in Esquire magazine during the 1940s. The Varga Girls epitomized a different kind of beauty than the typical American girl. They were noticeably more athletic, sultry, and exotic looking. The girls in the paintings were known for showing off their legs, looking athletic, being scantily-clad, wearing high heels, and being in seductive poses.
Captain America was inspired by her
True or false: Wonder Woman was created to be a symbol of hope and represent the American spirit during a time period plagued by war and uncertainty. She frequently battles enemies of the state alongside the army. She also fights corruption within the country that takes advantage of everyday American people, such as protesting unfair wages. The concept was well received. Rival company Marvel took inspiration from the character when creating Captain America, who would serve a similar role for the Marvel universe.
She has vowed never to kill women
True or false: Unlike Superman and Batman, Wonder Woman has no problem using deadly force if it is necessary. Nevertheless, she has only killed men. She has taken an oath to never kill another woman. This stems from Amazonian law. It is their philosophy that all of the problems in man's world are caused by men, and the women of man's world are simply victims of the other sex. Women can be reformed if they are removed from the society of toxic masculinity.