Wonder Woman was created by William Moulton Marston, pen name Charles
Moulton, a consultant for Detective Comics (now DC Comics) in 1940. With
the super men filling the field, from Superman, to Batman, to Green
Lantern, WMM was concerned that there was no female hero. The head of DC
Comics, Max Gaines, encourage Marston to create a female superhero,
which he did, using the pen name Charles Moulton which was a combination
of Max Charles Gaines middle name and his own middle name. And so Wonder
Woman was born, first appearing in 1941 (All Star Comics #8). Marston
was the creator of the systolic blood-pressure test, which led to the
invention of the polygraph. He was convinced that women were more
honest that men and could work faster and more reliably. Throughout his
life he championed the causes of women of the day. Marston stated: "Not
even girls want to be girls so long as our feminine archetype lacks
force, strength, and power. ... Women's strong qualities have become
despised because of their weakness.
After Wonder Woman's debut in 1941, she was featured in Sensation Comics #1 (January 1942), and six months later in the summer of 1942, the first issue of her own comic, "Wonder Woman." Marston wrote all of Wonder Woman's appearances, until he died in 1947. The first artist was H.G. Peter, who gave her a simple but identifiable style, that contrasted with the other super-heroes of that time. When she was first created, she was the archetype of the perfect woman, beautiful, intelligent, strong, but still had a soft side, her powers coming from "Amazon concentration." He magic lasso was forged from the Magic Girdle of Aphrodite, which Wonder Woman's mother (Queen Hippolyta) was given by the goddess. It was unbreakable, infinitely stretchable, and it could make anyone encircled by it obey the commands of the holder, most of the time this meant, answering questions truthfully. In the comic, Wonder Woman was helped by the Holliday Girls (led by the chubby, sweet-loving Etta Candy) who would help Wonder Woman from time to time. Etta was the only notable one, with her prominent figure, tendency for saying "Woo-woo," all of the time, and lasted throughout the series. As evildoers often cast women into bondage, a common feature of the Sensation Comics covers, it was Wonder Woman in issue #3 who ties other women up. This identifiable feature was supposed to be an outlet for Marston's own fantasies and practise of bondage. From the first, Wonder Woman did not so much stop criminals as attempt to reform them. On a small island, just off Wonder Woman's home of Paradise Island, was Transformation Island, where the Amazons had created a rehab center to house the criminals.
After William Marston died, Wonder Woman was written by Robert Kanigher.
She became less of a reformer and feminist, and more of a traditional
superhero. She developed more abilities, including her earrings to give
her air to breathe in outer space, her "invisible plane", which in the
television series is like plastic coffin with wings, her tiara became an
unbreakable boomerang, and her bracelets allowed her to communicate with
her home island. As time went by, Wonder Woman experienced many
changes. Her origin was adjusted, with her powers coming from ancient
deities. In the early 1970s, feminist Gloria Steinem was influential in
the revival of Wonder Woman as a superhero (the director of the 1970s
television version, was greatly influenced by Steinem's book). Steinem's
Ms Magazine featured Wonder Woman in her 1940s red white and blue
costume and contained an appreciation of the character.
In her television appearances, Wonder Woman was Diana, a princess and an emissary from Paradise Island to a man's world. She did not hide her secret powers, and at first was a vulnerable innocent. In later representations, other writers and artists tried to portray the Amazon woman in skimpy outfits and alluring poses, but this drew criticism from the feminists. During the 1990s, there were many rumors of a possible Wonder Woman feature film, but nothing came of this. It is likely that Lynda Carter's portrayal has made it impossible for anyone suitable to be found to inherit the role.