Wonder Woman has been the subject of a discussion regarding the appearance and representation of female power in general, and of female action heroes in particular[227] since her initial 1941 appearance in Sensation Comics,[227] as she was created to document "the growth in the power of women", while wearing "a golden tiara, a red bustier, blue underpants and knee-high, red leather boots."[228] She was blacklisted a year later in 1942 in the "Publications Disapproved for Youth" because, the group behind the list argued, she was "not sufficiently dressed".[228][229]
At the time of her debut, Wonder Woman sported a red top with a golden eagle emblem, a white belt, blue star-spangled culottes, and red and golden go-go boots. She originally wore a skirt; however according to Elizabeth Martson, "It was too hard to draw and would have been over her head most of the time."[189] This outfit was entirely based on the American flag, because Wonder Woman was purely an American icon as she debuted during World War II.[194] Later in 1942, Wonder Woman's outfit received a slight change – the culottes were converted entirely into skin-tight shorts and she wore sandals.[194] While earlier most of her back was exposed, during the imposition of the Comics Code Authority in the mid-1950s, Wonder Woman's outfit was rectified to make her back substantially covered, in order to comply with the Authority's rule of minimum exposure.[194] During Mike Sekowsky's run in the late 1960s, Diana surrendered her powers and started using her own skills to fight crime. She wore a series of jumpsuits as her attire; the most popular of these was a white one.[194] 

But under the new 1987 re-boot of the title, under the editorship of Karen Berger, and with the writing and art of George Perez at the helm of the book, the same-sex appreciation by Wonder Woman and the Amazons was more than hinted-at and this was established quickly in the new run of the title. Upon her first sight of supporting character Vanessa Kapatelis (in issue #3), she is shown smiling upwards at Kapatelis, thinking to herself "I've never seen another woman quite like her...she's so young...so vulnerable...so beautiful..."[247] Three years later, in the very first issue (#38) of a new decade, there is a story-line presenting a cultural exchange between appointed leaders from 'Man's World', who are the first mortals to visit Themyscira in this continuity, and the Amazons of Themyscira, in Themyscira, itself. The guest Unitarian minister, Reverend Cantwell, asks the Amazon Mnemosyne "..."Don't you miss the sharing God intended for the sexes?" to which Mnemosyne replied "Some do. They have sworn themselves to Artemis, the virgin hunter, and Athena, the chaste warrior. Others choose the way of Narcissus. But most of us find satisfaction in each other -- three thousand years can be a long time, reverend."[248]. Probably more than at any other time in the then nearly fifty-year history of the character, the Amazons were explicitly and unequivocally defined, in general, as lesbian. Additionally, Kevin Mayer, brother of the major supporting character Myndi Mayer, was openly gay and this was treated sympathetically[249]. By this time, DC Comics was a Warner Brothers-owned company, and had been for over 20 years.
In the comics, Steve Trevor and Diana met in the Second World War (1939-45). However, in the film, they meet in the First World War (1914-18). The change in World Wars was made because the filmmakers thought that era was more suitable: "World War I was the first time that civilization as we know it was finding its roots, but it's not something that we really know the history of. In this world, there are questions about women's rights, about a mechanized war where you don't see who you are killing. It's such an interesting time." See more »
Thus although by the modern depiction her accomplishments at the time seem ordinary, in that era they were more so. Diana Prince was originally an army nurse, but quickly attained the rank of lieutenant in Army Intelligence. This was partially a creative convenience so that she could be close to both Steve Trevor and received information which she needed to pursue her superheroics. In the real world though, this role in Army intelligence, even as the secretary to General Darnell, was still a rare position for a woman to hold in society. At this time as well, the character had her only real sidekicks in her history in the form of Etta Candy and the Holliday Girls. These characters gave the Wonder Woman a degree more of levity while also allowing the writers to focus on some issues which were more related to women. When Marston left the character, the strong driving force of the character to act as a strong moral guide and role model for female readers left as well and the character became more sensitive to the forces driving the industry as whole. Thus Wonder Woman changed somewhat to a more stereotypical woman. Her main interest was not always fighting crime, but for a time it became all in the interest of keeping Steve Trevor happy and interested in her for marriage. Also the backup stories featuring the Wonder Women of History were slowly phased out and replaced with features on marriage customs from around the world and trivial facts on random household objects.
×