5. William Moulton Marston created her to be a model liberated woman.
In a comic book landscape dominated by male heroes, a consultant for DC named William Moulton Marston had an idea for a modern female superhero. The character that would become Wonder Woman was partially inspired by Marston’s wife Elizabeth, along with Olive Byrne, who lived with the couple in a polyamorous relationship. Marston created the character to rival the strength of Superman, but also have all of the positive characteristics that he associated with females, such as fairness and loving of peace. He originally called her Suprema, The Wonder Woman, but her name was shortened before she made her comic book debut in All Star Comics #8 in December 1941. Wonder Woman was granted her own series in 1942, and while it was meant to appeal to both sexes, the comic books included articles and advertisements designed to appeal to a female audience. She was quickly accepted into the superhero world, even becoming the only female member of the Justice Society (a precursor to the JLA). But it wasn’t all female empowerment, as she was quickly excluded from the team’s battles and relegated to the team’s official secretary. Men!
4. Her bracelets hold back her power.
Wonder Woman is one of the strongest DC superheroes, with superhuman strength that puts her at least in the same category as Superman. She has even overpowered Supergirl, who is sometimes considered more powerful than Superman, though Wonder Woman is admittedly aided by her Amazonian warrior training. It was long thought that her silver bracelets, which were created from the remains of Zeus’s shield, added to her powers since they are unbreakable and can be used offensively. But in the New 52, Wonder Woman removes her bracelets in order to fight a God, explaining that the bracelets are what actually protected her opponents from her intense power. It remains to be seen how powerful Wonder Woman is compared to other superheroes without her limiting bracelets on.
3. She is a founding member of the Justice League.
The initial lineup of the Justice League of America, which debuted in 1960, included only one female superhero: Wonder Woman. Also included on the team were Superman, Batman, Martian Manhunter, Flash, Green Lantern, and Aquaman. Eventually, more females joined, including Zatanna and Hawkwoman. Wonder Woman is almost always depicted as a founding member, sometimes even acting as the groups leader along with Superman and Batman. However, during one reboot, Wonder Woman was replaced with Black Canary as a founding member of the new Justice League. Wonder Woman was eventually given her founding member status back though. The latest version of the Justice League in the New 52, which drops “America” from its title, features Wonder Woman as the only female founding member once again, but Atom (Rhonda Pineda) and Elemental Women also join the team.
2. She has wielded Thor’s Hammer.
Thanks to the success of Marvel’s Cinematic Universe, almost everyone has heard of Thor’s hammer, Mjolnir. On the hammer’s side reads the inscription, “Whosoever holds this hammer, if he be worthy, shall possess the power of Thor.” In Avengers: Age of Ultron, much to do is made over the fact that Thor is the only character who can lift the hammer. But you might be surprised at the number of characters who’ve wielded it in the comics who aren’t the God of Thunder, including Wonder Woman. During the 1996 Marvel vs. DC crossover that pitted Marvel heroes against DC heroes, Wonder Woman gets the opportunity to try her hand at lifting Thor’s hammer. In the comic, Thor loses control of Mjolnir during a battle with Shazam/Captain Marvel. When Wonder Woman stumbles upon it, she is deemed worthy of the power and easily able to lift it. But Wonder Woman, not wanting to give herself an unfair advantage, chooses to discard the hammer when it comes time to battle Marvel’s Storm, and she ultimately loses that battle when Storm zaps her with some lightning.
1. Marston invented part of the polygraph.
Marston wasn’t just a comic book writer and creator of Wonder Woman; he was also a psychologist, lawyer, and inventor. He invented a systolic-blood-pressure measuring apparatus, which eventually lead to the invention of the polygraph. Marston believed there was some connection between blood pressure and a person’s emotions, and he believed that women were more likely to be honest. Although there isn’t any evidence of a direct connection, many people believe Wonder Woman’s Lasso of Truth, which forces anyone ensnared within it to tell the truth, can’t just be a coincidence. Some suspect it was designed to promote some of his psychological theories on emotions and truth telling.