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Wonder Woman (Susan Eisenberg)

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Wonder Woman
Debut "Secret Origins" (November 2001)
Played by Susan Eisenberg

Wonder Woman was born Diana, Princess of Themyscira. The daughter of Hippolyta, Diana was blessed by the gods with amazing speed and strength.

She also possesses the power of flight, silver bracelets that can deflect bullets, and an indestructible golden lasso spun from the girdle of the Earth Goddess Gaea.

Diana was raised among a fabled race of Amazons who trained her to be the ultimate Amazon warrior. Now, for the first time, she has ventured out into Man's world. Her sheltered existence on Themyscira hardly prepared her for the greed, cruelty and oppression that she finds among the human race.

Accustomed to being treated like royalty, Wonder Woman has the aristocratic bearing of a goddess. With her deep sense of honor, she is easily offended when she is not accorded the respect that she feels she deserves, and she does not suffer fools gladly. Yet beneath this imposing exterior, she has a sly sense of humor.

History

The Justice League cartoon was the first chance to add Wonder Woman (voiced by Susan Eisenberg) to the DC Animated Universe, as the rights had been previously tied up in possible movies and television shows. To introduce her into a universe already populated by long-experienced heroes like Batman and Superman, Bruce Timm and his team took a cue from George Pérez’s newcomer-to-man's-world Post-Crisis interpretation. This Diana started off completely innocent and ignorant of man's world. Also like the Pérez version, she neither keeps a secret identity nor has an invisible plane (although in the 1st season of Justice League Unlimited we see her unveil the plane). However, she has straight hair and high-heeled boots suggestive of her old Super Friends incarnation. Also, her lasso did not compel truthfulness until the Justice League Unlimited episode "The Balance" in which Hippolyta activated all her powers.

Her initial personality consisted of a strict adherence to Amazonian dogma (prompting some of her teammates to react to her attitude by calling her "Princess" somewhat disdainfully). Noticeable though is the effect of Man's World on Diana. Her first appearances are marked by her reflexively acting off of Amazonian ideology (in "Fury", she questions how necessary men really are), but as time passes, she becomes more interested in men (in particular, Batman, with whom she has a flirtatious and romantic relationship) and also experiences the emotional excesses of man's world, as compared to the Amazons (who are portrayed as somewhat stoic if not emotionally stunted). Batman's affections for Wonder Woman, however, are somewhat confirmed in the Unlimited episode "This Little Piggy", where he admits his feelings to Zatanna when requesting her help in changing Diana back (she was turned into a pig by Circe). Batman and Wonder Woman also share a kiss in the Justice League season finale "Starcrossed" (they kissed in order to hide their faces from Thanagarian patrol). In the episode "Kid's Stuff", Wonder Woman, in her eight-year old form, also flirts liberally with the young Bruce Wayne. She finds joy but also discovers a temper that frequently needs to be checked by her teammates ("Hereafter", "Hawk and Dove", "Eclipsed", etc.). Later episodes dealt directly with her temper and Diana’s eventual mastery of it. She since adopted the role of ambassador of the Amazons at her mother’s request ("To Another Shore").Agreeing to her Mother’s pleas of representing Themesycra in The United Nations, Diana strongly opposed and eventually upset several other countries representatives with her views on global warming. With her new position offering her even more power, the Justice League now potentially have a say with the United Nations.

Hippolyta activates the costume's full power in "The Balance". While Wonder Woman’s origin in the DCAU is not detailed, in the episode "The Balance", it is revealed that she indeed was a clay statue sculpted by Hippolyta and somehow brought to life. In the same episode, Hades says that he helped Hippolyta sculpt the clay statue that would eventually become Diana, making him feel almost like a father to her, but was banished before she was brought to life. That claim, however, was never substantiated (when Hawkgirl points out she could use the lasso on him, Diana says it doesn't matter). It was also revealed that the Wonder Woman armor was originally made by the god Hephaestus for her mother, Queen Hippolyta, not Diana. However, in episodes, again like "The Balance", it was insinuated and implied that the armor was eventually made for her purposes and use. She had stolen her armor to use once Hippolyta forbade her to enter the outside world. Later in the series it is revealed also that Diana did not know that the armor had additional abilities, which could be activated by pressing the star on the tiara.

Steve Trevor made an appearance in the first season's three-part finale, "The Savage Time", when the League time-travels back to World War II in order to stop Vandal Savage. In this story, Steve is an agent of the OSS. They got separated when Diana returns to the present day. In the episode's conclusion, she visits her friend, now a very old man, at a retirement community. Her eventual fate is unknown, but Kobra mentions that she is still alive during the time of Batman Beyond. Her powers are almost the same as her comics counterpart, including flight and super strength, lending Wonder Woman the ability to hold out against Superman in a fight, while both were hallucinating. She also has a weakness to pierce wounds as shown by Black Manta's poisonous dart harming her. In "Grudge Match", she is able to singlehandedly defeat Vixen, Hawkgirl, Huntress, and Black Canary in a no-holds barred fight. Wonder Woman was originally supposed to appear in the Batman Beyond episode “The Call”, which featured a future Justice League. However, rights issues precluded the possibility and her cameo was instead taken by Big Barda.

See Also

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