After 75 years since her creation, Wonder Woman will finally be getting her own big budget movie next year! It’s something that felt like it might never actually happen, as we witnessed so many other big name heroes get their solo films. Then we started witnessing the increasingly more obscure heroes getting their big screen adaptions and we couldn’t help wondering how a talking superhero raccoon (albeit a very entertaining one) was making it into movies before one of the main icons of DC comics.
Now that the first trailer for the Wonder Woman movie was released at Comic-Con, it finally feels like a reality, and the wait is nearly over. But because of how scarce Wonder Woman has been in movies compared to Batman or Superman, a lot of people who don’t keep up with her comics might not even know all the powers she has. Do you fit into that category as well? Don’t worry, we’ll catch you up on everything you need to know about the princess of the Amazons before you go to see her movie. So you already know Diana Prince has a lasso and some bracelets, but these are 15 Powers You Didn’t Know Wonder Woman Had.
15. SUPER HEALING
What, you didn’t think Marvel heroes were the only ones with healing factors, did you? Now Wonder Woman is no Wolverine or Deadpool when it comes to bouncing back from major injuries, but she’s absolutely more difficult to take out than your average human—and even some of your above average heroes. Even if your first introduction to seeing what Wonder Woman can do was from her appearance in Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice (in which case, where have you been for the last 75 years since her creation?) then you know she’s pretty durable. She stood up to Doomsday, a villain capable of even sending Batman running for his life.
Like many of her abilities that we’ll be talking about, the origin of this one differs depending on the era that you’re reading. Some tellings have her being gifted the ability of super healing due to consuming water from the fountain of youth. But more in keeping with her typical story of her powers coming from the Greek gods is the story that her healing comes from Demeter, goddess of agriculture. With Demeter’s blessing, Wonder Woman is said to heal more quickly as long as she remains on Earth.
14. CONTROL OVER SOLDIERS
Every time a character is reintroduced for a new generation, the creators always want to add something new while still preserving the classic elements. So when Wonder Woman got revamped for the New 52, it wasn’t that surprising that she would get some abilities she never had before. What was surprising was how she got those powers—by killing her longtime antagonist Ares.
In the New 52 the God of War was actually a mentor to Diana, and his death was an accident that occurred while she was dealing with another enemy. Regardless, there has to be a war god, and since Wonder Woman caused the death of Ares, the mantle passed to her, complete with the powers of the title. Every war needs soldiers, so the god of war actually has an affinity with soldiers to the point that one of Wonder Woman’s new abilities now included being able to command military members to obey her.
This power is so rare that even the word for it is uncommon, but all it really means is that Wonder Woman is capable of speaking the language of whoever she encounters. This was a gift from Athena, the goddess of wisdom, who bestowed Diana with intelligence in a variety of areas (though there have often been origin stories where she just studied every single language there is). Yes, Wonder Woman’s physically athletic gifts are more visually impressive, but knowledge is power in its own right. Heroes like Batman prove how dangerous a sharp mind can be.
Not having to rely on an interpreter might not seem like a big deal, but heroes like Wonder Woman are protectors against global threats. It’s only a matter of time before a hero like that will wind up somewhere with a foreign language, and being able to communicate with the people there is pretty important. Or just imagine how awkward it would be for a hero to encounter a villain who didn’t speak the same language as them. We could just go with convenient storytelling logic and say all the important people luckily speak English, but Wonder Woman actually has a coherent reason for why she’s able interact with people around the world and from other planets.
12. SUPERNATURAL LEADERSHIP
Another quality that Athena, the goddess of wisdom, passed on to Diana is one that goes hand in hand with her ability to communicate with people regardless of language—god-given leadership. It’s another one of those powers that doesn’t sound as impressive and flashy as super strength or some magical weapon, but it’s also very practical for the type of person Wonder Woman wants to be. Being a hero isn’t about being at war all the time, so it makes sense that Diana would have powers conducive to times of peace as well.
Wonder Woman’s prowess as a leader has repeatedly been demonstrated over the years starting early on with her being the princess of the Amazons. Then she became one the Earth’s strongest protectors by becoming a founding member of the original Justice League. She even became President of the United States before.
The origin of some of Wonder Woman’s powers has varied immensely over the years, but usually one way or another she winds up as the super powered Amazon we are all familiar with. One such origin that has varied has been Wonder Woman’s ability to communicate with others using her mind. Over her history she has been able to train herself into learning mental communication, or have others assist in providing the power for her, or even most recently where it is another power she gained from the death of Ares.
It’s not a power that has been on particularly high display during the live action displays of Wonder Woman, probably because it’s overshadowed by her battle skills as a warrior princess. Of special note is that since Wonder Woman became the new God of War, her telepathy has focused in particular on being able to mentally communicate with soldiers.
10. ANIMAL EMPATHY
Most people probably wouldn’t call animal noises another language, so we can’t really lump this in with Wonder Woman’s omnilingualism, but it is another form of communication she has access to. This doesn’t exactly put Wonder Woman on the level of someone like Squirrel Girl when it comes to having animal allies, but she has used the ability given to her from Artemis, goddess of the hunt, on occasion to some use.
As seen above, Wonder Woman has even used her bond with animals to make some dinosaur friends help her out. Not that she really needs them for protection when she’s as strong as she is, but it certainly beats regular human allies. Plus it’s not like she only cares about animals when she wants help during a fight. She’s also been shown bonding with animals like a family of polar bears when she was feeling lonely.
9. RESISTANCE AGAINST ELECTRICITY
You’ve likely surmised by now that pretty much the entirety of this article will be focusing on powers Wonder Woman has gained from the Greek gods. And really, that’s not too surprising since that’s the origin story that’s explained her existence for a long time now. But throughout her existence, the Amazon actually has picked up a few talents that she didn’t acquire through divine intervention. In fact, one ability was even the inadvertent gift of one of her most common enemies.
Dr. Psycho dates back in Wonder Woman’s history to the early days of her comics, and has been a pretty persistent nuisance to her. He’s not some super powered monster, but he’s still struck some blows against Diana over their history. But his attempt at using his Electro Atomizer on her was not one such occasion. Rather than defeat Wonder Woman, the plan actually rendered her immune to electricity as a result. Pro tip for any villain: try not to be stupid enough to make the protagonist even more resilient.
8. CONTROL OVER THE DEAD (POTENTIALLY)
This is the only power on this list that’s purely speculative at this point, but there’s really no reason Wonder Woman shouldn’t be able to do this. Remember how she accidently kills Ares in the New 52? Yeah, that’s just the gift that keeps on giving. Since she became the new God of War and inherited the powers of that mantle, dominion over the dead should be at her fingertips. After all, it was kind of the main thing Ares was known for.
And yet, Wonder Woman has yet to actually utilize this power, leading many to question whether she actually can. It’s certainly kind of hard to imagine the kind and compassionate Amazon being willing to pry deceased warriors from their rest just to serve her. But why have her take over the role of Ares if she was never going to use his most spectacular ability? She has to do it at some point. It’s just a question of when.
7. MAGIC RESISTANCE
Reading through this article, you’ve probably noticed a few similarities between what Wonder Woman is capable of and what you know Superman is able to do. It’s hardly a secret that the two of them are counterpart heroes to each other in many ways. But just as Superman has powers that Wonder Woman obviously doesn’t have, such as heat vision, she too has powers that the Man of Steel could never use.
One of Superman’s few weaknesses has proven to be from magic attacks, but Wonder Woman doesn’t have to worry about that as much. While she’s not invulnerable to assaults from a mystical source, she does have some resistance to those abilities. Being bulletproof is great, but when your enemies can deploy attacks that don’t rely on Earthly means, it’s even better to have some resistances there as well.
Another one of the princess of the Amazon’s more rarely displayed powers is also one of the most impressive she possesses: on infrequent occasions, she has shown that she is capable of teleportation from one area to another. Jeeze, who needs super speed, flying, or even an invisible jet when you can do that? You’d think she’d upgrade this to her primary means of transportation.
Regardless, Wonder Woman’s method of teleporting has varied heavily depending on the era. In her earlier years, she has been shown just straight up warping away from one place and even taking other people with her when she wants to. As years went by, a more grounded reasoning was given to her power so that instead of actually transporting her body from one place to another, she was actually just projecting a mental image of herself that she could conjure while in meditation. But even while in this mental form, she’s still capable of being hurt, so there’s a justification for why she doesn’t rely on it for every situation.
5. SUPER BREATH
Like most of the comic book characters who have been around for a while, Wonder Woman has had some powers that have stood the test of time better than others. Like Superman, her unimaginable strength extends to her lungs as well and allows her to blow air with the force of a storm. Though her version of the power differentiates from the last son of Krypton’s version in that her breath doesn’t seem to be capable of freezing anything.
This might be one of Wonder Woman’s lesser known powers on the list just due to the fact it’s apparently fallen out of favor compared to her other abilities. Maybe when you’re one of the strongest characters in all of comics, being able to breathe really firmly just doesn’t feel that necessary. Still, even as the series writers have changed and new eras have been ushered in, Diana has shown she can still break out this rare technique when she wants to.
4. SUPER SPEED
Even most casual fans know that Wonder Woman is capable of flying on her own in some continuities of her storyline (or else she’s using her invisible jet). It’s the messenger god Hermes that gifted Wonder Woman with flight, undeniably one of her most useful powers when she actually possesses it (since in more modern retellings of her origins, Wonder Woman did not initially have this power at her disposal). But less talked about is the other gift Hermes gave Diana—superhuman speed.
We’re not talking faster than the Flash or anything like that here, but Wonder Woman can still catch people off guard with how quick she can move. It’s an especially useful power in combination with her bullet deflecting bracelets, basically allowing her to move fast enough to keep a bulletproof shield in front of herself. Hermes sure wasn’t stingy when it came time to give out presents.
3. INVULNERABILITY TO FIRE
As her title would indicate, Hestia, goddess of the hearth, bequeathed powers relating to fire when the pantheon of gods were lending power to the princess of the Amazons. The most significant effect of this gift was on Wonder Woman’s famous lasso of truth. Hestia’s fire actually lends the signature accessory its ability to compel the truth in some tellings of Wonder Woman’s origins. Fire burns and purifies, so it makes sense it would leave behind only the truth.
But another aspect of Hestia’s blessing was more defensive. Wonder Woman herself is actually fireproof in some iterations of her story. She’s stood immersed in the mystical flames of Ares himself and was totally unharmed by an experience that would surely leave any normal person a pile of ashes. So next time you think “goddess of the hearth” sounds like a dorky title for a deity, just remember the kind of powers a goddess like that is able to dispense to her worshippers.
2. SUPERNATURAL BEAUTY
Yes, seriously. Sure, being good looking isn’t exactly an intimidating power unless you’re the main character in a romantic comedy who’s afraid to talk to attractive people at the bar. But if you’re getting gifts from each of the gods, who wouldn’t want something nice to look at in the mirror to go along with the super strength?
Aphrodite, the goddess of love, admittedly didn’t give Wonder Woman some super useful gift by granting her exceptional beauty. Her appearance is never going to stop some villain from knocking her through a building. But we all know writers like to keep their characters in pristine shape and looking like super models, so at least Wonder Woman actually has an explanation for it other than extremely fortunate genetics and luck with avoiding scars in her fights.
1. SUPER STRENGTH IF SHE REMOVES HER BRACELETS
Even if you have never read a Wonder Woman comic, you should know that her jewelry is far from being mere decoration. Her ability to deflect bullets with her bracelets is well-documented. Less talked about is that her wrists can also be a weakness for her if they are bound together by a man. But then, there’s a third aspect of her bracelets that can be both a strength as well as a weakness.
Naturally, Wonder Woman is capable of taking off her bracelets, but doing so isn’t like taking off any other accessory. Taking the bracelets off gives Wonder Woman an enormous boost in her overall power, though it comes at a huge price. The bracelets act as inhibitors, and removing them drives her insane. We know Wonder Woman is typically a kind and compassionate person, but that goes right out the window when the bracelets come off, and her opponents can expect no mercy.
How many of these powers did you not know about? Tell us in the comments which ones you’re hoping will be in the Wonder Woman movie coming out on June 2, 2017!