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25 things you might not know about Wonder Woman
Gal Gadot as Wonder Woman is flanked by Henry Cavill as Superman and Ben Affleck as Batman in "Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice," which opens with a PG-13 rating next week. An R-rated version will be included with its later Blu-ray/DVD release. - photo by Jeff Peterson
Despite the exclusive boys club title and the heavy emphasis on its two male leads in all of the promotional materials, Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice is, in some ways, just as much Wonder Womans show as anyone elses.

The Amazonian princess finally makes her big screen debut, a full 75 years after first appearing in comics. And if several early fan reactions are to be believed, she completely steals the spotlight.

However, beyond the basics, like her iconic star-spangled-one-piece-and-tiara get-up, Wonder Woman isnt as familiar to most audiences as her co-stars and veterans of the silver screen Batman and Superman.

With that in mind, here are 25 things even a lot of comic fans might not know about Wonder Woman, her creator, her history in comics and TV and her complex role as a feminist icon over the last three-quarters of a century.

1. Wonder Womans creator had a Ph.D. from Harvard. Completely shattering the typical image of an old-timey comic book writer, Wonder Womans creator, William Moulton Marston, had degrees in psychology and law from Harvard, and developed the influential DISC model for emotions that is still in use today as a tool for assessing things like behavior and social compatibility, according to

2. And he helped invent the lie detector test. also indicates Marston created the systolic blood pressure test that remains a vital part of the modern polygraph machine. According to "Forensic Science: From Fibers to Fingerprints" by Lisa Yount, Marston's initial goal was to use it to interrogate German POWs during World War I. Not coincidentally, one of Wonder Womans main tools is the Lasso of Truth, which forces anyone caught by it to you guessed it tell the truth.

3. Wonder Woman wasnt her original name. According to The Guardian, Marston wanted to call her Suprema, the Wonder Woman. However, editor Sheldon Mayer suggested that they ditch Suprema, and her name was shortened to just Wonder Woman.

4. She has multiple identities. Her real name is Princess Diana of Themyscira Themyscira being the fictional island where the Amazons live (originally called Paradise Island). Outside of her homeland, she goes by Diana Prince. Get it?

5. Marston drew inspiration from the suffragist movement and birth control advocate Margaret Sanger. From the beginning, Wonder Woman was conceived as the ideal liberated woman. When hired to help out on the comics, Time reports that co-writer Joy Hummel was allegedly handed a copy of Sangers Woman and the New Race for research, according to Jill Lepore.

6. She was a direct reaction to Superman and Nazis. According to, as the Nazi party rose to power, concerns by parents about fascist undertones in the Superman comics led publisher Max Gaines to hire Marston as a consultant after reading an interview where Marston had argued that comic books could actually be good for kids the only problem with them, as he later phrased it, was their bloodcurdling masculinity," according to The Atlantic. This led Marston to create a character with all the strength of Superman plus all the allure of a good and beautiful woman.

7. She was originally made from clay and had no father. Wonder Womans origin story has changed over the years, but originally, she was fashioned out of clay by Hyppolita, the Queen of the Amazons, and made to be, as the original comic said, beautiful as Aphrodite, wise as Athena, switfter than Hermes and stronger than Hercules.

In the current iteration of the character, however, she is the daughter of Hyppolita and Zeus.

8. She was modeled after Marstons live-in mistress. Rather famously, Marston lived in a polyamorous relationship with his wife Elizabeth Holloway and one of his students Olive Byrne, who also happened to be Sangers niece. According to, Wonder Womans physical appearance was based on Byrne.

9. She flies an invisible jet. Even though one of her powers is flight, she also has an invisible jet she controls telepathically thanks to her tiara, which also doubles as a throwing weapon.

10. Wonder Woman has her own "kryptonite." Another tool in Wonder Womans arsenal are her indestructible bracelets, but chaining them together causes her to lose her powers. reports that this was partly inspired by images of the suffragists, who chained themselves to buildings as a form of protest, but also because

11. Marston hoped Wonder Woman would teach girls the value of female submission. According to Time, he theorized not only that women enjoy being bound, but that it was beneficial to their psychological well-being. This might seem to violate everything Wonder Woman stands for, but according to Marston, it was the whole point of the character. On one occasion, he wrote to his publisher, saying that he felt Wonder Womans truly great contribution was that taught readers to enjoy submission to kind authority, wise authority, which he believed was the only hope for peace (quoted from Geek Pittsburgh).

12. She was briefly banned. In the 1950s as concerns over the content of comic books reached a fever pitch, Wonder Woman was banned by the National Organization for Decent Literature, according to The Atlantic, for showing too much skin on her back.

13. She was singled out by Fredric Wertham in 'Seduction of the Innocent.' In his anti-comic book screed, the controversial psychiatrist asserted that Wonder Woman was a lesbian and that she gave young girls wrong ideas about the role of women in society.

14. She was part of the Justice Society of America as its secretary. When the pre-Justice League superheroes went off to fight Nazis during World War II, Wonder Woman stayed home to answer phones and take messages. Marston was allegedly furious about this.

15. She was a founding member and the only female teammate of the original Justice League of America. She joined as one of the founding seven members alongside Batman, Superman, Green Lantern, The Flash, Aquaman and Martian Manhunter.

16. She ran for president twice. And lost both times, first in 1943, and again in 1972.

17. She can wield Thors hammer. In a 1996 Marvel/DC crossover (via Business Insider), Thor lost his hammer Mjolnir while fighting the confusingly named DC character Captain Marvel. Wonder Woman was able to lift it, gaining Thors powers in the process.

18. But she was beaten by the X-Mens Storm. Right after gaining Thors powers, she gave them up in order to have a fair fight with another Marvel character, the X-Mens Storm, which she lost when Storm electrocuted her with a bolt of lightning.

19. She doesnt have a no-kill rule. Unlike Batman and Superman, Wonder Woman has no qualms taking a life when necessary.

20. Pants or no pants? According to Tech Times, Wonder Womans costume hasnt always been a red, white and blue one-piece. Originally, she wore a knee-length skirt. It was only in 1962 that she adopted the spandex body suit. By 1968, though, she ditched the whole superhero costume altogether when she lost her powers for a period of four years. During this time, she wore outfits that would have looked at home in a James Bond movie, including, most famously, a white jumpsuit.

Most recently, according to, in 2011, a redesigned Wonder Woman costume with pants sparked a minor kerfuffle resulting in her once again back to bathing suit bottoms.

21. Gloria Steinem was the reason she got her powers back. In 1972, after four years as little more than a poor mans Emma Peel, Wonder Woman got her powers and her superhero costume back. According to, it was entirely thanks to Steinem, who campaigned to have the popular character, whom she had read growing up, reinstated to her original Golden Age glory. A costumed Wonder Woman made the front cover of the first issue of Steinems Ms. magazine.

22. Lynda Carter isnt the only actress to have played her before Gal Gadot. The honor of being the first actress to play Wonder Woman belongs to Linda Harrison (Nova from the original Planet of the Apes), who donned Wonder Womans tiara for an unaired 1967 TV pilot called Whos Afraid of Diana Prince? done in the vein of the campy Adam West Batman. After that, pro tennis player-turned-actress Cathy Lee Crosby played a blonde Diana Prince in a 1974 TV movie that was intended as a pilot for a series that was never picked up.

More recently, Australian model Megan Gale was cast in the role circa 2007 for Mad Max director George Millers aborted Justice League movie, and Adrianne Palicki (Mockingbird on ABCs Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.) starred in yet another failed Wonder Woman pilot (boasting possibly the most embarrassing superhero costume of the modern comic book movie era). Several famous actresses have also voiced her in animated form, including Xena's Lucy Lawless, Keri Russell, Michelle Monaghan, Rosario Dawson and Cobie Smulders (Agent Maria Hill from the Marvel Cinematic Universe).

23. Multiple big-name directors tried and failed to make Wonder Woman movies. The fact that Wonder Woman hasn't appeared in a live-action movie until now wasnt for lack of trying. Miller nearly brought her to life in a Justice League movie.

Even more tantalizing, self-proclaimed feminist and geek hero Joss Whedon tried for years to get a Wonder Woman movie made with his future "Avengers" co-star Cobie Smulders in the lead, according to Business Insider. Likewise, art house sensation Nicolas Winding Refn vocally lobbied for the opportunity to direct a Wonder Woman movie, picking Christina Hendricks from "Mad Men" as his choice to star, as reported by We Got This Covered.

24. She is dating Superman. Yep, in the current New 52 comic universe, Superman and Wonder Woman are a thing.

25. But forget Batman vs. Superman One of the most hotly debated matchups in all of comicdom isnt the Caped Crusader against the Man of Steel (no contest Superman has literally shattered planets with his punches), its Supes against Wonder Woman. The Amazonian princess is often thought to be as strong as Superman. The difference is, shes also trained as a warrior and uses weapons. Game on.
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