Wonder Woman, whose first solo live-action film premieres tomorrow, is usually described as “beautiful as Aphrodite, wise as Athena, stronger than Hercules and swifter than Mercury.” But that hasn’t protected her from some really dumb stories over her 76-year history. Here’s a list of silly Wonder Woman facts.
1. Happy Hollidays
One of the early additions to the Wonder Woman storyline were her semi-sidekicks, the girls of Beeta Lamda sorority at Holliday College. They were led by the cheerful Etta Candy, who as her name suggests, loved to eat sweets.
2. No more powers for you
In 1968, writer Denny O’Neil decided Diana Prince (Wonder Woman's civilian name) didn’t need all those pesky superpowers, and reduced her to a karate fighter. To put her properly in her place, they also gave her a mentor: an old Chinese gentleman named I-Ching. Stereotype much?
3. Glass ceiling
After she got her powers back, Diana re-joined the Justice League. But before she could, she had to perform 12 labours, Hercules fashion, to show she still had the right stuff. Would the League do that to Superman? Batman? Of course not. Even in the Justice League, a woman has to be 12 times better than a guy to get the same job.
4. Typing is not a superpower
Hawkman, chairman of the Justice Society of America, once invited Wonder Woman to join their prestigious group of superheroes ... to take the minutes as their secretary.
"Why,” replied Diana, who could probably have twisted Hawkman into origami, “that’s quite an honour!” Yup, that was the '40s.
5. Want chips with that?
For a little while in the '90s, Diana worked in a fast-food restaurant called Taco Whiz. Is staying fit when surrounded by fast food also a superpower?
6. We's going to need more rope
Getting captured and tied up is an occupational hazard in adventure stories. But according to a comparative analysis by author Tim Hanley, in Wonder Woman comics it was women who were tied up 84 per cent of the time.
7. Mummy knows best
In 1986, a new origin established Diana as in her 20s, not in her 520s. So who was in all those Wonder Woman comics going back to 1941? To solve this dilemma, writer/artist John Byrne dressed Diana’s mother Hippolyta in the iconic costume and sent her back in time to fill in.
Which is weird, because Hippolyta has been alive since ancient Greece — she didn’t have to go back in time to be in the second world war. You’d think people would notice a thing like that.
8. Baby stories
In the early 1960s, DC began running stories of Wonder Woman when she was a baby. She was called Wonder Tot, and met genies, monsters and mer-people. Pretty cool childhood.
9. Birds and bees (and fish)
Also in the early ’60s, DC began running stories of Wonder Woman as a teenager. These Wonder Girl stories featured her dating the only boys who were available around Paradise Island, which didn’t allow (human) males. Love interests included Ronno the Mer-Boy and Wingo the Bird-Boy.
10. Who’s the statue’s daddy?
Long-running comics characters often have origins changed or updated. But even by that standard, Wonder Woman’s past is amazingly varied.
Some things remain somewhat standard. Diana’s powers always come from the Greco-Roman gods, either as gifts or genetics. Her mission remains constant: to bring peace to “man’s world”. She’s always the daughter of Hippolyta, queen of the Amazons.
But her daddy? Well, usually she doesn’t have one — in most origin stories, she’s a clay statue brought to life by the gods.