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Wonder Woman's character was created during World War II; the character in the story was initially depicted fighting Axis military forces as well as an assortment of colorful supervillains, although over time her stories came to place greater emphasis on characters, deities, and monsters from Greek mythology. Many stories depicted Wonder Woman rescuing herself from bondage, which defeated the "damsels in distress" trope that was common in comics during the 1940s. In the decades since her debut, Wonder Woman has gained a cast of enemies bent on eliminating the Amazon, including classic villains such as Ares, Cheetah, Doctor Poison, Circe, Doctor Psycho, and Giganta, along with more recent adversaries such as Veronica Cale and the First Born. Wonder Woman has also regularly appeared in comic books featuring the superhero teams Justice Society (from 1941) and Justice League (from 1960).
A day before Whedon's departure from Wonder Woman, Warner Bros. and Silver Pictures purchased a spec script for the film written by Matthew Jennison and Brent Strickland. Set during World War II, the script impressed executives at Silver Pictures. However, Silver stated that he had purchased the script because he did not want the rights reverting; while stating the script had good ideas, Silver did not want the film to be a period piece. By April 2008, Silver hired Jennison and Strickland to write a new script set in contemporary times that would not depict Wonder Woman's origin, but explore Paradise Island's history.
Carolyn Cocca has stated that Wonder Woman possesses a "duality of character" due to the character possessing both feminine and masculine qualities in her physical abilities and attitude, which Cocca felt made her more appealing to a wide audience. Wonder Woman's first female editor, Karen Berger, claimed that, "Wonder Woman [is] a great role model to young women, but also contains many elements that appeal to males as well. Wonder Woman crosses the gender line.". Berger worked with George Pérez on the new issues of Wonder Woman starting in 1987, and the new Diana "works with friends and allies to teach lessons of peace and equality."
The Gods, led by Athena, create the Amazons in Greece to realize their ideals and bring humans into following them. The leader of the Amazons, Hippolyta feels a yearning for a child). She makes a clay form of a child and prays to the Gods. Hearing this the Gods give the clay form, transforming it into a live child blessed with Gaea's gift, life. The Gods grant her various abilities and she grows up as Diana of Themyscira.