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Who Is Wonder Woman?

Before you go and see the newest DC film, find out the origins of this golden age character.

Wonder Woman is one of the oldest continuing comic book characters in history. Since her debut in All-Star Comics #8--in 1941--she's appeared in over a thousand comics as well as in television series, and now, her very own solo films. But who is she and what role does she play in the DC Universe? Here is a quick 101 on Wonder Woman.

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Diana Prince--also known as Wonder Woman--made her debut in the early '40s, during the golden age of comics. Originally, a pilot named Steve Trevor crashed his plane onto Paradise Island (later retitled Themyscira), which was the home of Prince and the Amazons. Men had not been on the island since the days of Ancient Greece.

Prince wanted to take Trevor back to America, but the queen of the Amazons, Hippolyta, had to consult the gods before she made a decision. It was later decided that only the strongest warrior could bring Trevor back to the United States, so a tournament was held to determine who it should be. Prince went undercover--to prove she was a worthy of the task without her mother knowing--and ended up winning the tournament. For her victory, Hippolyta gave Prince the Wonder Woman costume we all know today.

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In the early days, Wonder Woman didn't have the same power set she has now. She was tremendously strong, being able to swing a full-grown man above her head at ease. She was also able to run up to speeds of 80 MPH. Finally, she had bracelets that could deflect bullets. The only other familiar element would be Wonder Woman's invisible jet. In addition, she wasn't birthed. She was created out of clay, and Greek gods gave her life, making her the only person on Paradise Island not originally conceived by a man. Later on, Wonder Woman was given her lasso of truth, her sword, and her shield, all of which she still uses today.

Since the golden age of comics, Wonder Woman has gone through many changes. During the The New 52--a reboot of the DC Universe--her origin was retconned a tad. Now, she was the child of Hippolyta and Zeus, making her a demigod.

Currently, Wonder Woman is written by Greg Rucka and features the art of Liam Sharp and Nicola Scott. The bimonthly series rotates between two stories which revolve around Wonder Woman's connection to her past life in Themyscira and the gods that guide her. It's been a series that has fleshed out the character for a new generation of readers.

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Wonder Woman is part of the Trinity at DC comics, which are the three most popular characters at the company: Batman, Superman, and Wonder Woman. She has been a member of many iconic groups: Justice Society, Justice League, and the All-Star Squadron. Over the years, she's been involved in some amazing storylines, so if you'd like to read more, check these books out:

  • Wonder Woman: Gods and Mortals - A reimagining of the character's origin by iconic creator George Perez.
  • Wonder Woman: Eyes of the Gorgon - Wonder Woman takes on Medusa and makes the ultimate sacrifice. Writer Greg Rucka teams with artist Drew Johnson for this story.
  • Wonder Woman: Land of the Dead - After the events of Eyes of the Gorgon, Wonder Woman has to take on Cheetah and Reverse-Flash.
  • Justice League: Darkseid War - The Justice League takes on Darkseid and someone else with a connection to Wonder Woman.
  • Wonder Woman by Brian Azzarello and Cliff Chiang - Issues #0-35 of the New 52 run of Wonder Woman redefine the character and her roots to the gods. It is undoubtedly one of the best modern DC comic runs.
  • Wonder Woman: Year One - Greg Rucka returns to tell the story of the first year of Diana as the Earth's protector, with Nicola Scott on art.

Wonder Woman comes to theater on Friday, June 2. You can check out GameSpot's review of the movie here.