Wonder Woman is a character that truly needs no introduction, but I'll give her one anyway. Wonder Woman is one of the founding characters of DC Comics. She is almost as widely known and loved as both Batman and Superman - some would even say that she could be the more popular of the three pillars of DC Comics. Wonder Woman first hit the comic book pages in 1941, and in the last 75 years, she has evolved like many pop-culture icons as she's been re-imagined to reflect the culture of the time. Yet, through all of her changes, she's always been one of the strongest characters, and one of the most positive role models for every generation.
She's been a constant presence in nearly every avenue of our entertainment culture: from comic books to live action television, from cartoons to clothes. And as you all are probably aware of, there is this movie coming soon called Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice, and it seems as though our beloved Wonder Woman (portrayed by Gal Gadot) will make a fairly substantial appearance. With this being her first true cinematic excursion, I thought we should look at some things that you may not already know about the Amazonian Princess.
8. She's a well-rounded athlete
Now, it's not surprising that she has far more talents than just being able to fight evil, but what you may not have known is that Wonder Woman is an accomplished athlete. Outside of her life as a crime-fighter, Wonder Woman spends her free time playing baseball, tennis and hockey. When you have all the strength, speed and agility of an Amazonian goddess it makes perfect sense that you would be a world class athlete. Yet, if that wasn't enough she also opened a chain of fitness clubs to promote exercise to us mere mortals.
7. She was created partly in response to the Nazi regime
In 1938, Superman hit the stands as the first comic book superhero. He, by many parents, was interpreted as a fascist symbol at the time. Think about it, an all-powerful super-human with a growing influence - that sounded too familiar, since comic book popularity coincided with the rise of Nazi Germany. Parents demanded the books to be burned. Seeing the trouble that Superman was in, the publisher at the time reached out to psychologist William Marston to help save comics, and Marston recommended a female hero. Wonder Woman graced the pages 3 years later.
6. She started as a feminist icon
If you've read basically any Wonder Woman comic over the years, I'm sure you've seen some of the groundwork of feminist concepts. Wonder Woman's creator, William Marston, believed that comic books were not only for entertainment purposes but also a way to educate the readers. Wonder Woman broke away from the rest of popular culture by tying in concepts about gender equality. In a press release announcing her creation, Marston had this to say:
Like her male prototype, Superman, Wonder Woman is gifted with tremendous physical strength. Wonder Woman has bracelets welded on her wrists; with these she can repulse bullets. But if she lets any man weld chains on these bracelets (or bind her) she loses her power. This is what happens to all women when they submit to a man's dominance. Wonder Woman was conceived to set up a standard among children and young people of strong, free, courageous womanhood; and to combat the idea that women are inferior to men, and to inspire girls to self-confidence and achievement in athletics, occupations and professions monopolized by men.
5. She ran for Presidency: twice
We could list all of her qualities and qualifications and probably have an article all about why she's deserving to be president (quite possibly I may be using her name as a write-in this year). Yet, sadly I don't see her becoming president any time soon, partly because she's a fictional character and partly because she's not on the ballot this year: but she has been on a ballot before. In 1943, one of the earlier comic books written by Marson included having Wonder Woman run for president Then later in 1972 as a part of a cover story in Ms. magazine she ran again, alas she didn't win either time.
4. She flies a 'not-so' invisible plane
Scoff all you will when she climbs into the cockpit of her invisible plane, and she's still visible. Many readers have gotten frustrated over the fact that they can clearly see Wonder Woman sitting in the invisible cockpit, yet it turns out that the plane has two modes: "crystal mode" is the less stealthy and just refracts the surrounding light to appear as if it's not there, whereas "transparent mode" gives the plane true invisibility. The Invisible Plane was created as a commentary on Depression Era society, which Marston claimed forced women to confront the 'Man's World' indirectly. As popular culture evolved over the years, so did Wonder Woman's plane: from a propeller-driven craft to the sleek fighter jet of modern stories.
3. She was made from clay, and has no father
Originally Wonder Woman was crafted out of clay and given life magically by her 'mother' Hippolyta, Queen of the Amazons. Through her birth, she was gifted with attributes of both the Greek and the Roman gods by Athena. Because of this, she was described as "beautiful as Aphrodite, wise as Athena, swifter than Hermes, and stronger than Hercules." - Now her modern versions tell a different tale as she is now (after 2011's New 52 recreation) a demi-goddess and natural-born daughter of Hippolyta and Zeus.
2. She was once mistaken for Snow White
DC is widely known for their villains, and at one point Tsaritsa, also known as the Queen of Fables, was exiled to Earth from her alternate dimension because of her evil deeds. In her dimension, she reigned until the princess Snow White defied her rule and trapped her in the mystic Book of Fables. Years later, she was freed, accidentally, and wound up in the modern United States. She found Manhattan and transformed it into the enchanted forest, full of all the creatures from fairy tales. She soon mistook a television for the mystic magic mirror and asked it to show her Snow White. At that moment the television showed Wonder Woman during a Justice League fight. The queen confronted Wonder Woman and forced her into a deep sleep only to be awoken by Aquaman by a kiss since he's, ya know, a Prince and all.
1. She has nearly appeared twice on TV since 1975
Thanks to Lynda Carter portraying the Amazonian Warrior from 1975 to 1979, she became a mainstay in popular culture and has appeared in countless animated series and movies, yet what a lot of people don't know is that there have been two attempts to return Diana Prince/Wonder Woman to television. The first was in association with the CW show Smallville, the creators wanted to introduce a younger version of Wonder Woman similarly to what they had done with countless other characters. Yet at the time, Joss Whedon was working on a film so the character wasn't added to Smallville. Wonder Woman also almost made it to television in 2011 starring Adrianne Palicki, but NBC decided not to proceed with the series, but the pilot episode can still be seen online.
Wonder Woman makes her big screen debut in 'Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice'. Check her out in the trailer: