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In my early days of reading comics, I would have loved to see a Wonder Woman Characters guide. It is easy to assume that a guide would be necessary only for Batman and Superman, but when you know a little bit more about the Amazon Princess’ story, you know that is not true. The sheer volume of characters related to a heroine that’s been around since the 40s can be scary for anyone that’s starting out as a comics reader. Especially when you take the intricacies of DC Comics Universe into consideration– Golden age, Pre-Crisis, Post-crisis, New 52, Rebirth, and all that. But fear no more! To remedy all that I have put my years as a Wonder Woman fan to good use and assembled this guide to make your reading experience as smooth as a baby’s bottom.
My bottom line upfront
Wonder Woman has many interesting characters in her roster, just like Batman and Superman. Among her allies, my favorites are Steve Trevor and Etta Candy whilst my preferred villains are the Cheetah and Circe.
Rundown of the article
- Wonder Woman overview
- A glossary of DC comic eras
- The comic debut of each character and a quick overview
- Look for the NEW 52 and REBIRTH symbols for characters created in these eras
- Alphabetic order to make your reading easier
Who is Wonder Woman?
Diana is an Amazon from Themyscira, an Island populated only with female warriors. Depending on the version, the circumstances around her birth will vary. Throughout most incarnations, she was a baby molded from clay by her mother, Queen Hippolyta, and brought to life by the Greek gods. However, the most recent comics establish her as the daughter of Zeus. No matter the origin though, her departure from her home, also known as Paradise Island, will more or less be the same. After pilot Steve Trevor crashes into the Island, Diana takes on the mission to travel to the “men’s world” and become a heroine and ambassador for peace. In this new reality, she takes on the civilian identity of Diana Prince while the population gives her the title of Wonder Woman. Moreover, she is a founding member of the Justice League.
Wonder Woman was created by William Moulton Marston and made her comic debut in All-Star Comics #8 published in 1941. Beginning in the following year, her title has been published ever since. Her creator wanted to make a different kind of superhero. One that would not see qualities associated with the feminine at the time, like compassion, diplomacy, and loving, as weaknesses but as sources of strength. Thus, Wonder Woman succeeds where most fail, and has become an example that we mustn’t always try to solve things with violence. But when diplomatic options have failed, she is more than willing to defeat her enemies with force!
A Glossary of DC comics eras
DC comics and superhero timelines, in general, can be more than confusing. To help you understand just what I’m talking about when referring to different versions of a character, I made a summary of the different time periods.
Golden Age: The initial age of comic books. It spans from the late 30s to mid-50s.
Silver Age: The period in comic book history from the mid-50s to 1970.
Bronze Age: The period in comic book history from 1970 to 1986.
Crisis on Infinite Earths: The event that changed everything. A saga spanning from 1985 to 1986, in which multiple realities in the DC universe were destroyed to give way to a new one. This marks a new beginning for DC since the whole universe was rebooted and characters received new origins.
Modern age/Post-Crisis: The Modern Age of comics is the period from 1986 to the present day. In DC’s case, when something is referred to as Post-Crisis it is a part of this age since it began right after Crisis on Infinite Earths.
New 52:A period specific to DC. In 2011, after the Flashpoint saga, the universe was once again rebooted, giving way to the New 52. Many characters received new origins and redesigns.
Rebirth: Following the end of the New 52, here comes a new era! It is a reboot of sorts that seeks to reconcile elements from the post-crisis and post-flashpoint eras in order to appeal to both new and old readers.
See also: Iron Man Characters Guide
Wonder Woman Characters
Alcippe(Wonder Woman Annual Vol 4 #1): (NEW 52) The Queen of Themyscira before her daughter Hippolyta ascended to the throne.
Alkyone (Wonder Woman Vol 3 #14): The captain of Queen Hippolyta’s royal guard turned traitor after the Queen decides to have a baby. She decides to kill Diana because she believes the amazon’s envy, including her own, for not being able to procreate will destroy the group. She fails at her mission and is imprisoned, only to escape years later and fight against Wonder Woman.
Althea(All-Star Comics #8): One of the best doctors and surgeons in Themyscira, she acts as the physician to the royal family.
Angle Man(Wonder Woman #62): A con-man and thief from Italy. Initially, his obsession was to play his crimes from all possible angles. With his device, the angler, he can open portals to other dimensions, warp physical properties such as gravity and alter people’s perceptions.
Antiope(Wonder Woman #326): The second Amazon created by the gods and sister to Hippolyta. She was the leader of an opposition group that later became the Amazons of Bana-Mighdall.
Aphrodite (All-Star Comics #8): The Greek Goddess of Love and beauty, she was the sole creator of the Amazons in the pre-crisis era. Post-crisis she was one among the many gods who gifted the Amazons. She Granted Diana the gift of beauty and a loving heart.
Ares (Wonder Woman #1): The Greek God of War and arguably Diana’s main foe. One way or the other, throughout Wonder Woman’s many reboots he is always involved in her origin.
Artemis(Wonder Woman Vol 2 #1): The Greek goddess of the moon and hunt. She gave Diana hunting skills and the ability to communicate with animals.
Artemis of Bana Mighdall(Wonder Woman Vol 2 #90): A fierce warrior from the Amazons of Bana Mighdall. She became Wonder Woman for a while after Queen Hippolyta started having visions about the heroine’s death and decided to create a new contest for the mantle. Artemis’s time as Wonder Woman was highly unsuccessful due to her abrasive nature and lack of diplomacy skills.
Astarte(Wonder Woman #252)(Wonder Woman Vol 3 #42): This is the name of two separate characters. Pre-Crisis Astarte was an alien who traveled through space in a silver snake in search of a person who turned out to be Wonder Woman. Post-crisis she was an amazon, the older sister to Hipollyta, who was taken by an alien race called the Citizenry.
Atalanta(Wonder Woman #317): Another sister to Hippolyta. In the Silver age, she was the Queen of the Amazons of the Amazon. In Rebirth, she was reimagined as the sister to Alcippe, Wonder Woman’s grandmother.
Athena(Wonder Woman Vol 2 #1): The Greek goddess of wisdom and one of the patronesses of Themyscira.
Cassandra(Wonder Woman Vol 4 #14):(NEW 52) Daughter of Zeus and half-sister to Diana in the new 52. She has the power to control people with her voice.
Cassandra Sandsmark(Wonder Woman #105): The third girl to hold the Wonder Girl title, after Diana and Donna Troy. Pre new 52 she was a daughter of Zeus which was the origin of her powers. After the new 52, she was reimagined as the daughter of Diana’s half-brother, Lennox. Her powers now stem from her armor.
Cheetah AKA Barbara Ann Minerva(Wonder Woman Vol 2 #7): The Third woman to hold this title, but the most famous one. She was an anthropologist who partook in a ritual during an expedition that would grant her youth and vitality. Things didn’t go exactly as planned and she became a hybrid of woman and cheetah. The source of her powers is the plant god Urzkartaga.
Cheetah AKA Deborah Domaine(Wonder Woman #274): The second Cheetah and niece to the original one, Priscilla Rich.
Cheetah AKA Priscilla Rich(Wonder Woman #6): The original Cheetah. She was a socialite who suffered from a split personality disorder and dressed as a cheetah to commit crimes.
Cheetah AKA Sebastian Ballesteros(Wonder Woman Vol 2 #170): An Argentinian businessman who stole the powers of the cheetah from Barbara Ann Minerva.
Circe(Wonder Woman #37): A powerful sorcerer based on the greek character of the same name. Despite debuting in the golden age, she wasn’t around much during that time. It was George Perez’s Wonder Woman reboot post-crisis that turned Circe into one of the most popular Wonder Woman villains.
Deimos (Wonder Woman#183): One of Ares’s sons, he is a recurring enemy of Wonder Woman, alongside his brother Phobos. He is the god of terror.
Demeter(Wonder Woman #328): The Greek goddess of agriculture and the seasons. She gave Diana the gift of strength.
Doctor Cyber AKA Adrianna Anderson (Wonder Woman Vol 5 #5): This villain is an expert in cybernetics and assistant to Veronica Cale. After Adrianna’s death, Veronica reconstructed her friend as an A.I. Now known as Doctor Cyber, she can take any form, including a robotic body.
Doctor Cyber AKA Cylvia Cyber (Wonder Woman #179): The silver age version of this character. Cylvia Cyber uses her armor suit and tech gadgets to fight Wonder Woman.
Doctor Poison AKA Marina Maru(Wonder Woman Vol 4 #48): The third villain to hold this title and a descendant of the previous versions. She hates Wonder Woman and the United States.
Doctor Poison AKA Maru’s Granddaughter(Wonder Woman Vol 2 #151): The unnamed daughter of the first Doctor Poison.
Doctor Poison AKA Princess Maru(Sensation Comics #2): A Japanese princess who helped the Nazis with her inventions during World War II. A master of toxicology, she developed a gas to infect soldiers’ brains. She was the first costumed villain Wonder Woman met.
Doctor Psycho AKA Edgar Cizko(Wonder Woman #5): A highly misogynistic villain with telepathic powers. Post-crisis he was a psychologist. He gained the moniker of Dr.Psycho from his colleagues who mocked his research in the field of psionics.
Donna Troy(The Brave and the Bold #60): Known throughout her superhero activities as Wonder Girl, Donna Troy is a duplicate of Diana from a magical mirror. As an adoptive daughter to Hippolyta, she has fought alongside the amazons time and time again. If that wasn’t enough, she is also a founding member of the Teen Titans and has taken on the title of Wonder Woman when Diana needed to step down.
Duke of Deception (Wonder Woman #2): One of the first foes Diana encountered, he is an immortal demigod who represents lies and deception. With his powers, he creates illusions capable of making people question themselves and fight their own peers.
See also: Spiderman Characters Guide
Eris (Wonder Woman #183): The Greek goddess of Strife and Chaos and a recurring foe to Diana. In the NEW 52, she is a daughter of Zeus, and therefore, Wonder Woman’s half-sister.
Etta Candy(Sensation Comics #2): Wonder Woman’s best friend, Etta Candy is a spirited young woman who’s always inclined to help. Throughout the years, she has been portrayed in many different ways. The leader of a sorority at college in the Golden Age, a Lieutenant romantically involved with Steve Trevor in the Post-Crisis era, and a Commander for A.R.G.U.S organization during Rebirth.
First Born(Wonder Woman Vol 4 #13) :(NEW 52) As the name suggests, he is the firstborn son of Zeus and Hera. He is a major villain in the New 52 Wonder Woman comics where he seeks revenge against The Olympus for being abandoned.
General Phil Darnell(All-Star Comics #8): Steve Trevor’s boss in the army. In the incarnations where Diana works for the army, he would also be her boss.
Giganta(Wonder Woman #9): One of Wonder Woman’s deadliest foes, she was a mutated ape transformed into a tall red-haired woman by a mad scientist during the Golden age. Post-Crisis she was a brilliant scientist named Doris Zeul with the ability to drastically change her size.
Grail(Justice League Vol 2 #40):(NEW 52) Grail is the daughter of Darkseid and an amazon assassin. Initially, her conflict was with the Justice League. But later on, she made things personal with Wonder Woman by waging war on Themyscira.
Hecate(Superman Family #218): The Greek goddess of witchcraft and magic. She is an antagonist to Diana, but they rarely fight each other face to face. Instead, Hecate is most often invoked by Circe to give her strength and powers.
Hephaestus (All-Star Comics #8): The Greek god of fire and smithing, he forged Wonder Woman’s most famous weapon, the lasso of truth.
Hercules(All-Star Comics #8): A Greek demigod, son of Zeus, and a mortal woman. He has been depicted as a foe to the Amazons and the man responsible for their enslavement prior to the creation of Paradise Island.
Hermes(Wonder Woman #1): The Greek god of travels, merchants, and thieves, he is the messenger of the gods. Post-crisis his blessing to Diana is superspeed and the ability to fly.
Hestia(Wonder Woman #1): The Greek goddess of hearth and home. Her gift to Diana was sisterhood with fire, which helps in opening up people’s hearts.
Hippolyta (All-Star Comics #8): Diana’s mother and the Queen of Themyscira, Hippolyta is a fierce warrior capable of anything to defend the amazons. Throughout many decades, Diana’s birth was a result of Hyppolita molding a baby from clay and asking the gods to make it real. In New 52, it is established that Diana is the daughter of the Queen and Zeus.
I-Ching(Wonder Woman #179): There was a time in the 60s when Wonder Woman decided to give up her powers and stay in the men’s world instead of moving to another dimension with the amazons. Now powerless, she decided to be trained under the last survivor of a powerful monk group, I-Ching.
Jason(Justice League Vol 2 #50): (REBIRTH) The long-lost twin brother to Diana. Hippolyta gave the boy away to Glaucus, an argonaut, since amazons are not allowed to keep men on Themyscira. Fueled with anger he became an antagonist to Diana.
Julia Kapatelis(Wonder Woman Vol 2 #3): Julia is an expert in ancient Greek history and language. Thus, she became Diana’s tutor in the men’s world, guiding the heroine in her discovery journey.
Kasia(Wonder Woman Vol 5 #2):(REBIRTH) An amazon and romantic interest to Wonder Woman in the Rebirth era, prior to Diana’s travel to the men’s world.
Keith Griggs(Wonder Woman #301): A United States Air Force officer and romantic interest to Diana Prince. He worked with Diana, Steve, and Etta.
Lauren Haley(Wonder Woman #325): She was a lieutenant who worked under General Phill Darnell with Steve, Diana, and Etta. She died during Crisis on the Infinite Earths.
Mala(All-Star Comics #8): A childhood friend of Diana and one of the most prominent amazons during the Golden age.
Maxwell Lord(Justice League #1): A powerful businessman, he took it upon himself to found a new Justice League. He has the power to control minds, but this comes with side effects, such as the aggravation of his brain tumor. He continually sabotaged the Justice League and was able to control Superman and make him fight against Batman and Wonder Woman. When Diana used the lasso on the villain and asked how to free Superman from his control, Lord answered that she had to kill him. So she broke Lord’s neck, a decision that would cause dire consequences to the heroine.
Medusa(Wonder Woman Vol 2 #92): The legendary creature from Greek myths. Medusa became an antagonist to Diana in an attempt to take revenge against the gods through their champion.
Mer boy(Wonder Woman #107): A young merman who had a love interest in Diana during their adolescence.
Michael Bailey(Wonder Woman #252): An astronaut who had a relationship with Wonder Woman. Eventually, it was revealed he was a member of the Royal Flush Gang, and they became enemies.
Milan(Wonder Woman Vol 4 #15):(NEW 52) A son of Zeus who is able to see into the future and an ally to Wonder Woman.
See also: Spider-Man Villains List
Nemesis AKA Thomas Tresser(The Brave and the Bold #166): A former vigilante and Suicide Squad member who started working for the government alongside Diana Prince. He is a master of disguise and an exceptional spy. He is also a love interest to Wonder Woman.
Nikos Aegeus(Wonder Woman #297): An enemy to Wonder Woman who rides around in the mythical Pegasus wreaking havoc.
Nubia(Wonder Woman #204): Pre-crisis, Nubia was Diana’s twin. Queen Hippolyta made two babies from clay, but Nubia was stolen by Ares and raised to believe the amazons were evil. She was an antagonist to the amazons until Diana was able to free her from Ares’ control. Post-crisis she is an amazon warrior and ally to Wonder Woman.
Paula von Gunther(Sensation Comics #4): The Baroness was an agent of the Gestapo and the first recurring foe of Wonder Woman. Eventually, they became allies, and Paula started living with the amazons. In the new 52, she was the leader of the Four Horsewomen, a group created to seek revenge against Wonder Woman and the Amazons.
Philippus(Wonder Woman Vol 2 #1): The general of the Themyscirian army, the Queen’s personal protector, and a mentor to Diana, Philippus is one of the most prominent amazons in the comics. In the Rebirth era, it is heavily implied Queen Hippolyta and she are in a relationship.
Phobos(Wonder Woman Vol 2 #2): One of Ares’s sons, he is a recurring enemy of Wonder Woman, alongside his brother Deimos. He is the god of fear.
Silver Swan AKA Helen Alexandros(Wonder Woman #288): A greek ballet dancer and the first woman to become the Silver Swan. Her powers were granted by the god of war after she called out to the gods seeking revenge against men.
Silver Swan AKA Valerie Beaudry(Wonder Woman Vol 2 #15): A woman born with deformities due to radiation who decided to undergo a treatment called Project: Silver Swan. As a result, she became a beautiful woman with the powers of flight and sound manipulation. She was an enemy of Wonder Woman.
Silver Swan AKA Vanessa Kapatelis (Wonder Woman Vol 2 #3 as Vanessa Kapatelis)(Wonder Woman Vol 2 #170 as Silver Swan): The most famous version of the character. She is the daughter of Julia Kapatelis and appears as an ally to Wonder Woman. However, Diana’s presence in her life unleashed dire consequences which created a lot of resentment in the young woman. As a result, she was easy prey to the manipulation of Dr. Psycho and Sebastian Ballesteros who turned her into the Silver Swan.
Siracca (Wonder Woman Vol 4 #13):(NEW 52) Another one of the many children of Zeus, Siracca appears as an antagonist to Wonder Woman. But eventually, they become allies.
Steve Trevor(All-Star Comics #8): The man who started it all when his plane crashed into Paradise Island. Steve Trevor is an American Soldier and competent ally to Wonder Woman. During the Golden Age and most of his incarnations, he is depicted as Wonder Woman’s main love interest. The exception to this is George Perez’s Post-crisis reboot where he is more of a brotherly figure to Diana and eventually marries Etta Candy.
See also: Wandavision Characters Guide
Trevor Barnes(Wonder Woman Vol 2 #170): A humanitarian lawyer who works for the United Nations. He is a love interest to Wonder Woman.
Veronica Cale (Wonder Woman #196): A self-made millionaire, Veronica Cale was created by writers to be Wonder Woman’s Lex Luthor. During most of her comic book appearances, her attempts to discredit Wonder Woman are rooted in jealousy. However, in the Rebirth era, she was given a more tridimensional reason to oppose Wonder Woman. The gods Deimos and Phobos have stolen her daughter’s soul, and they will only return it when Veronica discovers the location of Themyscira.
Zeus(Superman #28 – first appearance in DC)(Wonder Woman #131- first appearance in Wonder Woman): The Greek god of Sky and Thunder. Though he was first adapted into DC in a Superman comic, he appears most frequently in Wonder Woman stories. Throughout most of the heroine’s comics, his part has been like that of any other god, but since the new 52, things changed when it was revealed Zeus was Diana’s father.
Justice League: Citing every member of the Justice League here would make me surpass the word count limit for this article. But since all of them are really important allies to Wonder Woman, they appear here as an honorable mention.
Orion: Not originally a Wonder Woman character but a New Gods one. However during Wonder Woman Vol 4, in Brian Azzarello’s run, Orion became an important ally to Wonder Woman and a prominent figure in the comic.
Question: Where did Wonder Woman come from?
Answer: She came from Themyscira, also known as Paradise Island. Depending on the version, the accounts of how this island came to be will vary. Pre-crisis era establishes that the amazons fled to an island blessed by the gods after escaping enslavement by Hercules. In post-crisis, things are a little different. The Amazons of Themyscira are the reincarnated souls of women killed by men throughout history. They are shaped from clay and given power and immortality by some of the greek gods -Aphrodite, Athena, Hermes, Hestia, and Demeter.
Question: What are Wonder Woman’s powers?
Answer: She possesses superstrength and all the perks that come with it, such as superhuman durability, stamina, agility, and accelerated healing. She also possesses super speed, can fly, talk to animals, and is excellent at hand-to-hand combat.
Question: Can Wonder Woman beat Superman?
Answer: The outcome of a conflict between the two heroes can be hard to determine because they are almost evenly matched. Superman possesses the strength superiority so he is more likely to win. However, Wonder Woman’s advanced fighting techniques and divine weapons, such as the lasso of truth can give her an edge. And she has subdued him a few times in comics.
A wonderful bunch of characters
Listing every single Wonder Woman character would be impossible due to the sheer amount. But in this article, I have acknowledged the most prominent and even some obscure ones in order to make your reading experience easier. No matter in each era you choose to start, this guide will always be handy. So be sure to return here whenever you get confused or forget someone important. Have a great read!