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|First Appearance:||Sensation Comics #1 (January, 1942)|
|Used by:|| Wonder Woman|
The Invisible Plane is an Amazonian aircraft that is capable of invisibility. It is a lightweight aircraft, but it is unknown how much punishment it can actually take. It is armed with invisible missiles. Sporting not only a streamlined design, but also invisibility, the Invisible Plane is at Wonder Woman's disposal whenever and wherever she needs it. The Invisible Plane is instantly recognizable as part of the Wonder Woman mythos. It was introduced in Sensation Comics #1 in 1942, as Wonder Woman carries Steve Trevor back to his home in Washington D.C.
Wonder Woman's invisible plane represented the peak of Amazon engineering. When it was decided that Wonder Woman would venture forth into the modern world of mankind, the Amazons provided her with an invisible stealth plane that could make Transatlantic flights without the need for refueling. Although the plane itself was entirely invisible to the naked eye, its pilot and occupants were still very much visible, giving the illusion of a group of people sitting in the sky. Wonder Woman could interact with the invisible plane via telepathy and sometimes used electronic devices within her tiara to command the plane's course and flight patterns.
The Plane appeared in the very first comic stories, including All-Star Comics #8. Wonder Woman is seen storing the plane at an abandoned farm near Washington, D.C., in the barn; she goes there as Lt. Prince and changes clothes in some of the earliest tales. Shortly thereafter, the telepathic capacities of Wonder Woman's tiara allow her to summon it, often to hover or swoop by the War Department, and she would exit on a rope ladder. She uses the plane to fly into outer space, and frequently transports Etta Candy and Holliday Girls, Steve Trevor, or others. During the 1950s, the Plane became a jet, and was often shown swooping over Lt. Prince's office; she stripped out of her uniform at super speed and would bound to the plane. Wonder Woman continued to use the plane for super-speed, outer space, and multi-dimensional transport up until the un-powered era of Diana Prince. When Wonder Woman resumed super-powered, costumed operations in 1973, she continued to use the Jet as before, but did glide on air currents for short distances. In Super-Team Family #60, she was blinded by Star Sapphire and crashed her jet. In a story set in World War II, Wonder Woman's plane was stolen and hidden by Osira, Egyptian alien, while Wonder Woman was under her power (Wonder Woman #231-232).
One legend has it that the invisible plane was once a Pegasus that had been given to Princess Diana by the Gods of Mount Olympus, provided that she had the skill to tame it. However, this legend is mainly regarded as a myth, since the original Invisible Plane was in fact a product of Amazon technology.
The second Invisible Plane is originally a "morphing crystal" that was developed scientifically by an alien race called the Lansinarians. The Lansinarians were a blind alien race and could not react quickly enough to changes in their environment. Thus, they developed a life support device: the morphing crystal that catered to their needs. The crystal is a shape-changing device that can take many forms.
It was initially a malleable alien sentient being who was part of "The Ring," the device which would become the Invisible Plane crash lands on Earth and is found by a group of subterranean beings called the Lansinarians. These beings later bestow the device to Wonder Woman in gratitude for saving them. The plane, which possesses a sophisticated artificial intelligence, responds to Wonder Woman's thoughts. It is able to render itself invisible as well as alter its shape, transforming into any form of vehicle its bearer desires, be it a jet, submarine, motorcycle, or horse-drawn chariot.
Lacking her daughter's power to fly and taking her daughter's original Golden Age incarnation, Wonder Woman's mother, Hippolyta, disregarded the original Invisible Plane and makes good use of the alien technology as a plane during her time-traveling stint as the Wonder Woman of the 1940's. To adjust to the era, she willed the device to assume the form of a prop-driven plane and it takes on the appearance of the original Invisible Plane. After its return to modern times, the Plane later begins to display a personality. Displaying its capacity for remorse after attacking Wonder Woman and her friends, it transforms itself into floating base above Gateway City for his mistress. Proving a good--if silent and faceless--friend, Plane receives a name: WonderDome. Later, Dome's technology is also incorporated into the Amazons' city of Themyscira following its reconstruction in the wake of the Imperiex War.
In Wonder Woman #201 (by Greg Rucka), the Dome sacrifices itself to prevent a tidal wave from destroying Themyscira. Having "died," Dome is now the equivalent of a human corpse. While it can still function in its traditional shape of the Invisible Plane, it can no longer alter its shape and is now a lifeless inanimate object that is neither intelligent nor self aware.
Following the One Year Later continuity jump, Diana was given a new invisible plane, created by Batman, because her original Invisible Plane had been destroyed and the second (Wonder Dome) was stuck on Themyscira.
- It has the power to be undetectable by radar or the human eye and the ability to shift from its crystal, "transparent mode" to complete invisibility rendering both itself and its occupants truly invisible.
- The Invisible Jet propels itself by harnessing graviton particles. It is in this fashion also that it shields its passengers from the forces of sudden acceleration.
- In outer space, the craft can extrude a portion of itself around Wonder Woman. Without taking in additional air supply, it can process one's own exhaled oxygen to allow breathing for 20 minutes.
- The Invisible Jet can shape projectile weapons out of its own substance but doing so depletes the amount of material in the vessel. When such depletion occurs, the craft can regenerate itself slowly. This function is to be avoided and used only when absolutely necessary as a last resort.
- Although Wonder Woman possesses the power of flight, the Invisible Jet is very useful when she needs to transport a larger group of people or when she needs to use stealth on a mission.
In Other Media
- A very realistic, full-size plane was featured on the Wonder Woman live-action series, and shown several times during the World War II era. It was featured as a jet in two episodes of the CBS series, set in the 1970s, before disappearing. After its disappearance, Wonder Woman runs at incredible speeds, bounds great distances, or even changes costumes and rides to her destination on motorcycles.
- The Invisible Plane is a regular feature on the Super Friends cartoon show; Wonder Woman gives a ride to Aquaman and the Wonder Twins on a regular basis. In Challenge of the Super Friends, the Invisible Jet is shown using magic lasso projectiles. Being that Super Friends is a staple of nostalgia humor, a frequent joke alludes to the question of how Wonder Woman can locate or operate her plane since it is invisible.
- The Invisible Plane has appeared on the animated series Justice League Unlimited. It had a separate origin that was supposed to have been told in an animated TV movie, Justice League: Worlds Collide, but the feature was never produced. Had it been produced, it would have also explained how the League roster would be expanded and transformed into Justice League Unlimited. At the 2007 Wonder Con in San Francisco, California, Bruce Timm announced that that Justice League: Worlds Collide might be produced in the next few years.
- In the 2009 animated film, Wonder Woman, Diana receives an invisible plane to transport Steve Trevor back to the outside world after he crash lands on their island and its hull configuration is consciously modeled after Trevor's fighter plane.