Although created to be a positive role-model and a strong female character for girls and boys, Wonder Woman has had to deal with the misogyny that was commonplace in comic book industry for decades. For example, Wonder Woman was a founding member of the Justice Society of America. This roster included the original Flash and Green Lantern. Wonder Woman was an experienced leader and easily the most powerful of them all, yet was rendered a secretary. This would also be accompanied with her losing her powers or getting captured on most Justice League adventures. During the '50s and '60s, comic writers regularly made Wonder Woman lovesick over Steve Trevor, a Major in the United States Army. Stories frequently featured Wonder Woman hoping or imagining what it would be like to marry Steve Trevor.
Critics such as Valerie Estelle Frankel support Jenkins's vision. Frankel argues that the film subverts the male gaze, stating that the construction of Wonder Woman tends to shift every few decades as it reflects the state of feminism during different time periods, including third-wave feminism (which reflects Jenkins's approach). Zoe Williams offers a similar argument, stating that while Wonder Woman "is sort of naked a lot of the time," that is not, at the same time, "objectification so much as a cultural reset: having thighs, actual thighs you can kick things with, not thighs that look like arms, is a feminist act". Williams then juxtaposes Wonder Woman to past female action heroes such as Sarah Connor, Ellen Ripley, and Lara Croft, whom she suggests were all constructed for the male gaze, in which a "female warrior becomes a sex object", (a point which she argues that Jenkins directly references in the film).
Demeter, the goddess of agriculture and fertility, blessed Diana with strength drawn from the Earth spirit Gaea, making her one of the physically strongest heroes in the DC Universe and the strongest female hero in the DC Universe. This strength has allowed her to easily overwhelm Superman and Supergirl. She has also held her own against Darkseid. Her strength has no measurable limits and she can break the Chronus Scepter, which is universal in its destructive power. However, now Diana is the daughter of Zeus, king of the Greek Gods, so it is unclear as to how much of her power and strength is a direct result of her divine heritage. Her connection to the earth allows her to heal at an accelerated rate so long as she is in contact with the planet. However, as mentioned earlier, now that she is a demigoddess, it has been suggested that she heals extremely quickly also due to her divine heritage. In rare cases where she has been gravely injured, Diana showed the ability to physically merge with the earth, causing whatever injuries or poisons to be expelled from her body; such an act is considered sacred, and can only be used in extreme cases.
With a new decade arriving, DC president Jenette Kahn ordered a revamp in Wonder Woman's appearance. Artist Milton Glaser, who also designed the "bullet" logo adopted by DC in 1977, created a stylized "WW" emblem that evoked and replaced the eagle in her bodice and debuted in 1982. The emblem in turn was incorporated by studio letterer Todd Klein onto the monthly title's logo, which lasted for a year and a half before being replaced by a version from Glaser's studio. With sales of the title continuing to decline in 1985 (despite an unpublished revamp that was solicited), the series was canceled and ended in issue #329 (February 1986) written by Gerry Conway, depicting Steve Trevor's marriage to Wonder Woman.
In two social event scenes in Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, it's implied the Wonder Woman character does not consume alcohol. Non-alcoholic consumption is a characteristic usually associated with Batman who, in this cinematic version, does consume alcohol. She is seen consuming a small amount of alcohol in Wonder Woman, however, when offered some by Steve Trevor.
Diana's bulletproof bracelets were formed from the remnants of Athena's legendary shield, the Aegis, to be awarded to her champion. The shield was made from the indestructible hide of the great she-goat, Amalthea, who suckled Zeus as an infant. These forearm guards have thus far proven NIGH-indestructible (the Omega Beams of Grail have proven able to shatter them), and are able to absorb the impact of incoming attacks, allowing Wonder Woman to deflect automatic weapon fire and energy blasts. Diana can slam the bracelets together to create a wave of concussive force capable of making strong beings like Superman's ears bleed. Recently, she gained the ability to channel Zeus's lightning through her bracelets as well. Zeus explained to her that this power had been contained within the bracelets since their creation, because they were once part of the Aegis, and that he had only recently unlocked it for her use. After the 2011 relaunch of the character, it was revealed that Diana was the daughter of Zeus and Hippolyta and that the bracelets are able to keep the powers she had inherited from Zeus in check. In addition, Hephaestus has modified the bracelets to allow Wonder Woman the sorcerous ability to manifest a sword of grayish metal from each bracelet. Each sword, marked with a red star, takes shape from a flash of lightning, and when Wonder Woman is done with them, the swords disappear, supposedly, back into her bracelets. As such, she has produced other weapons from the bracelets in this way such as a bow that fires explosive arrows, spears and energy bolts among others.
The inspiration to give Diana bracelets came from the pair of bracelets worn by Olive Byrne, creator William Moulton Marston's research assistant and lover. "Wonder Woman and her sister Amazons have to wear heavy bracelets to remind them of what happens to a girl when she lets a man conquer her," quoted Marston in a 1942 interview. "The Amazons once surrendered to the charm of some handsom Greeks and what a mess they got themselves into. The Greeks put them in chains of the Hitler type, beat them, and made them work like horses in the fields. Aphrodite, goddess of love, finally freed these unhappy girls. But she laid down the rule ("Aphrodite's Law") that they must never surrender to a man for any reason. I know of no better advice to give modern day women than this rule that Aphrodite gave the Amazon girls."
Earning a total of $103.3 million on its opening weekend, the film recorded a number of records: the biggest domestic opening of all time for a female director (surpassing previous record holder Fifty Shades of Grey), the biggest DC Comics release without Batman or Superman (ahead of Constantine), the sixth-biggest non-sequel comic book superhero debut ever, as well as the sixth-biggest June debut weekend. Its three-day opening alone made it the highest-grossing woman-led comic book superhero film ever (surpassing Ghost in the Shell). It was also the 16th superhero film to cross $100 million in its domestic box office launch. About 9% ($9 million) of the opening weekend came from IMAX screenings from 343 theaters. In its second week the film grossed $58.5 million, again topping the box office. It marked a 43.3% drop for its second weekend at the box office, better than the average 50–60% decline superhero films tend to see, and was a better second weekend than Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice ($51.3 million) and Suicide Squad ($43.5 million). In its third weekend it grossed $40.8 million, finishing second behind newcomer Cars 3 ($53.5 million). It was the second-best third weekend ever for Warner Bros. and was nearly double what Batman v Superman ($23.3 million), Suicide Squad ($20.9 million) and Man of Steel ($20.7 million) made in their third weekends. It earned $24.9 million and $15.7 million in its fourth and fifth weekends, respectively, dropping just 39% and 36% despite facing rough competition from opening films Transformers: The Last Knight and Despicable Me 3. It eventually became the highest-grossing film directed by a woman, surpassing the previous records of Jennifer Yuh Nelson's Kung Fu Panda 2 and Phyllida Lloyd's Mamma Mia!. By August 8, the film had garnered $400 million in ticket sales, becoming the second female-fueled film (after Disney's Beauty and the Beast), Warner Bros.' third-biggest movie (after Christopher Nolan's The Dark Knight and The Dark Knight Rises), holding the record of the highest-earning superhero origin film, replacing the previous record held by Spider-Man (2002). It also becoming the highest-earning film with a female director in terms of domestic earnings—surpassing Frozen (2013).
Diana's treacherous paternal half-brother, based on the Greek mythological god of war, who masquerades as a speaker for peace on the Imperial War Cabinet as part of his deceptive master plan of conquest and destruction. Describing the Sir Patrick persona of his character, Thewlis said, "Sir Patrick's entire drive through the other half of the story is to bring about the armistice. That's his whole intention no matter what's going on. He meets Diana and see in her somebody who is sympathetic to his cause, quite vehemently so."
Flash and Cyborg save all the hostage, which Silas Stone tells Victor that Steppenwolf can not get the final Mother Box. Batman then jumps down into the Knightcrawler and saves Wonder Woman after a Parademon manages to briefly knock her out. The Knightcrawler gets attacked by Steppenwolf, and Barry helps Wonder Woman get her sword so she can help Batman.
Wonder Woman's origin story relates that she was sculpted from clay by her mother Queen Hippolyta and was given a life to live as an Amazon, along with superhuman powers as gifts by the Greek gods. In recent years, DC changed her background with the retcon that she is the daughter of Zeus and Hippolyta, jointly raised by her mother and her aunts Antiope and Menalippe. The character has changed in depiction over the decades, including briefly losing her powers entirely in the late 1960s; by the 1980s, artist George Perez gave her an atheltic look and emphasized her Amazonian heritage. She possesses an arsenal of advanced technology, including the Lasso of Truth, a pair of indestructible bracelets, a tiara which serves as a projectile, and, in older stories, a range of devices based on Amazon technology.
"Gas was intended to win the war. On that much Wonder Woman is absolutely right." said David Hambling in Popular Mechanics. Rachel Becker of The Verge stated that despite the scientific liberties of using a "hydrogen-based" chemical weapon as a plot device, the film succeeds in evoking real and horrifying history. "First off, mustard gas is such a horrible, terrifying weapon, it doesn't need to be made more potent. But if you were a chemist bent on raining destruction on the Allied forces, you wouldn't do it by replacing the sulfur atom in mustard gas with a hydrogen atom. You'd know that sulfur is the linchpin holding together this poisonous molecule."
Wonder Woman actress Gal Gadot reacted positively to Diana's rebooted orientation, and agreed her sexuality was impacted by growing up in the women-only Themyscira. Gadot stated that Wonder Woman feels she need not be "labelled sexually", and is "just herself". "She's a woman who loves people for who they are. She can be bisexual. She loves people for their hearts." Coming from a society that was only populated by women, "'lesbian' in [the world's] eyes may have been 'straight' for them." "Her culture is completely free from the shackles of heteronormativity in the first place so she wouldn't even have any 'concept' of gender roles in sex."
A stand-alone #0 issue was released in September which explored Diana's childhood and her tutelage under Ares, the God of War, now known most often as simply 'War'. The issue was narrated in the style of a typical Silver Age comic book and saw Diana in her childhood years. The main plot of the issue was Diana training under War as he thought of her being an extraordinary girl with immense potential. The issue ultimately concluded with Diana learning and experiencing the importance of mercy, which she first learned when War showed it to her during their sparring. This later translated into her refusal to kill the Minotaur – a task given to her by War; however, this show of mercy makes her a failure in War's eyes, which was actually his fault since he inadvertently "taught" her mercy and affection as his protege. Later in the series, Wonder Woman is forced to kill War during a conflict with her evil half-brother, Zeus' son First Born, and herself becomes the God of War. After the Amazons are restored, she rules over them both as a warrior queen and God of War, as the ongoing conflict with First Born escalates. At the end of Azzarello's run, as part of a final conflict, Wonder Woman kills First Born, while Zeke is revealed to have been Zeus' plan for resurrection, with Zola revealed to have been a mortal shell for the goddess Athena, who gave birth to Zeus just as he once did to her. Wonder Woman pleads with Athena not to allow the Zola personality, whom she has grown to love as a friend, die with Athena's awakening. Athena leaves the site in animal form, leaving a stunned and confused Zola behind with Wonder Woman.
Additionally, Mayling Ng, Florence Kasumba, Madeleine Vall Beijner, Hayley Jane Warnes and Ann Wolfe portray Orana, Acantha, Egeria, Aella and Artemis, respectively, all of whom are Amazons. James Cosmo appears as Douglas Haig, Steffan Rhodri appears as Darnell, and Dutch supermodel Doutzen Kroes portrays the Amazon Venelia. Samantha Jo was cast as the Amazonian Euboea, and previously played the Kryptonian, Car-Vex, in Man of Steel. Zack Snyder also makes a brief cameo appearance in the film as an unnamed soldier.
In the Silver Age, Wonder Woman's history received several changes. Her earlier origin, which had significant ties to World War II, was changed and her powers were shown to be the product of the gods' blessings, corresponding to her epithet, "beautiful as Aphrodite, wise as Athena, stronger than Hercules, and swifter than Hermes". The concepts of Wonder Girl and Wonder Tot were also introduced during this period.
Wonder Woman's outfit has varied over time, although almost all of her outfit incarnations have retained some form of chestplate, subligaculum, tiara, bracelets, and her signature five-pointed star symbols. When Wonder Woman was first introduced, she wore a heavily patriotic skirt and red top which incorporated an American eagle and elements of the United States flag, reflecting the comic's origins during World War II. Later artists introduced what would become Wonder Woman's classic ensemble, adding an armored plate to her top whose design recalls a letter W and revealing blue short shorts, whose precise length varied from artist to artist. Other artists have experimented with different looks for Wonder Woman over the years, including an all-white mod jumpsuit, a biker outfit, a variation of her mainstream depiction featuring leather pants and a jacket, and a number of armoured battlesuits. Contemporary artists have attempted to emphasise Wonder Woman's traditional outfit as a red armored top with a blue gladiator skirt.
The New 52 universe does not have a "Diana Prince" identity as stated in an interview by series writer Brian Azzarello. However, when she and Superman began dating, for her civilian identity she used the Diana Prince alias whenever she was around Clark Kent; such as when she introduced herself to Lois Lane at Lois's housewarming party under that name.