Many comic book fans out there are totally in love with Wonder Woman— honestly, what’s not to love? As a character and a superhero, she possesses so many traits that are very admirable. She’s a tough fighter who demands respect from her peers, especially from the prejudiced men who belittle her strengths. At the same time, she’s an incredibly complex and multidimensional character who feels strongly, willingly makes herself vulnerable, and shows compassion and mercy whenever possible. On top of all of that, she’s one of the strongest superheroes in DC Comics history, and one of even fewer characters with no tangible weaknesses.
The young readers who pick up her issues to this day– boys as well as girls– continue to be inspired by the Wonder Woman legacy. She’s reminded us all that a true leader is one with strength, bravery, and compassion.
Check out these 15 Moments That Prove Wonder Woman Is A World-Class Superhero.
15. Justice #12 – The Battle with Cheetah
Cheetah’s been one of Wonder Woman’s recurring archenemies for a while now, but this specific fight in Justice #12 was something else. In this issue, Wonder Woman is plagued by a curse that is causing her body to deteriorate and slowly die. Despite being in a horrific amount of pain, even for a superhero like herself, Wonder Woman lures Cheetah out into a field and battles her to give her team enough time to evacuate the innocents in the area. The final blow of the fight? A classic headbutt. Cheetah didn’t stand a chance. Thankfully, Wonder Woman survives her curse.
This moment was so memorable because, despite literally falling apart and dying in the most physically painful way possible, Wonder Woman still thinks selflessly. She’s willing to fight Cheetah in order to save the civilians she protects, and tops it off with one of the most painful finishing blows ever. Exposed nerves and a killer headache as well? Wonder Woman has no chill, and she’s the pinnacle of endurance.
14. Wonder Woman: Spirit of Truth – Nonviolent Diplomacy
In the fourth book of this series by Alex Ross and Paul Dini (with some seriously beautiful artwork), Wonder Woman arrives in a third world country in the midst of turmoil and war in order to help resolve their conflicts. After she attempts to save the innocent civilians in immediate danger, she tries to connect with other women in the area, only for them to become frightened of and angry at her, and throw rocks at her. Wonder Woman shows her vulnerability at this blatant hatred of her despite her goodness and desire to help.
Spirit of Truth is one of Wonder Woman’s most popular stories for many reasons. Throughout the comic, she goes back and forth between the two strongest parts of her character– karate-chopping guns in half with her bare hands, then comforting a frightened child. On top of that, she realizes that her savior complex and being in the spotlight can often do more harm than good. After the events of Spirit of Truth unfold, she returns to the country in culturally appropriate attire and saves the women and children from the ongoing violence, then quietly leaves. A true leader, with no self absorption.
13. Justice League: War – Tell us your truth
Justice League: War, the direct-to-video animated film that featured the Justice League came out in early 2014. It was an adaptation of Justice League: Origin from Jim Lee and Geoff Johns.
This particular scene made its rounds on the internet pretty quickly. In Washington, D.C. outside of the White House, a crowd of angry civilians are protesting Wonder Woman and the rest of the Justice League for the damage their battles have cost the country. When a particularly nasty protester swings around an effigy of Wonder Woman and starts throwing some ugly sexist slurs her way, she lassos him and demands to know his real truth.
This scene was great because Wonder Woman could smell a compensating jerk using hate to cover for his own insecurities from a mile away. She doesn’t hurt the man or beat him up, even though he pretty much deserves it. She doesn’t shame him for his truth, either. Instead, she exposes his hypocritical actions and laughs it off. The truth will set you free!
12. Wonder Woman – Fausta, the Nazi Wonder Woman
Lynda Carter was the classic Wonder Woman from the ’70swho stole our hearts with campy sound effects and sometimes hilarious fight scenes. But the show Wonder Woman was far from something to be laughed at, especially the third episode from the show’s first season called “Fausta, the Nazi Wonder Woman”.
In the episode, a Nazi spy comes to America to investigate Wonder Woman’s secrets for the benefit of the Axis Powers. The spy impersonates Wonder Woman and kidnaps Diana. After being stripped of her lasso and bound by it, Wonder Woman is forced to reveal her only weakness– her power comes from her magic belt.
This episode, while cheesy, had some great moments for Wonder Woman. The casual sexism Wonder Woman experiences from Nazi Colonel Kesselman is shown. Additionally, despite being the cause of the whole mess, Fausta is shown mercy by Wonder Woman and she allows Fausta to fight on her side. This episode showed just how important Wonder Woman’s ideals of women sticking together are to her character.
11. Challenge of the Gods – Patient in the Face of Adversity
This comic book from George Perez had another Wonder Woman scenario in which Diana had no patience for misogyny. In Challenge of the Gods, Zeus summons Diana and gives her an offer– she is welcome to visit Mount Olympus, but must experience “the ultimate sharing of flesh“. Gross, Zeus. Diana has no time for his advances, rejects him, and patiently tries to get him to understand her choice. Zeus doesn’t take the rejection well and attacks her with lightning. Wonder Woman’s mother chastises Zeus for this, only to make Zeus angrier. Luckily, Hera and the other Olympian goddesses force him back, furious at how he treated Wonder Woman and the Amazons. That doesn’t stop Zeus entirely, and he forces Wonder Woman to fight through hordes of demons and face different challenges.
This story was an inspiring moment for Wonder Woman, because despite being bullied for rejecting Zeus’ advances, she bravely faces the challenges ahead and emerges victorious, all while making Zeus look like an enormous creepy loser. There’s a lot of redemption as well, and Hercules apologizes to the Amazons for his role in the mess and his mistreatment of them, citing that he thought it would “make him a man“.
10. Wonder Woman Vol. 2 #170 – Reproductive Rights
In the 2001 comic by Joe Kelly and Phil Jimenez, we get a sobering, inspiring glimpse into Wonder Woman’s everyday life when she’s not in full costume, battling villains. One specific of the comic shows her giving a speech in defense of women’s reproductive rights as an Amazon ambassador before the United Nations. Though this moment only took up a few frames of the comic, the dialogue shows Wonder Woman’s deep devotion to the liberation and protection of women.
Her speech opens with a convicting introduction: “Women and their children must no longer fear abuse, anywhere in this world.” She continues to get into the need for educational resources for women to become self-sufficient and in complete control of their bodies and reproductive lives. She closes with a powerful ending fit for a world class leader: “All human beings deserve to live on this planet without threat of violation, physical or spiritual, simply because of the body they were born in, the gender they were born to, or the region in which they live.“
9. Wonder Woman Vol. 2 #219 – A Moral Conflict
In this somewhat controversial 2005 release from Greg Rucka, we see Wonder Woman handling one of the most difficult decisions she’s ever had to make like a true leader.
At Checkmate headquarters, Maxwell Lord uses his psychic abilities to control Superman‘s mind and plagues him with hallucinations. When Wonder Woman demands that Maxwell ends this game, he forces the mind-controlled Superman to brutally battle Wonder Woman. It is revealed that Max’s hatred stems from a fear of metahumans ending humankind. After Wonder Woman’ victory against Superman, she is able to lasso Max and subdue him. She is then left with a detrimental and difficult choice– break her own code of mercy and kill Maxwell in order to end his mind control rampage, or release him and endanger the lives of metahumans (and normal humans) everywhere. Wonder Woman makes a difficult, but swift decision– she snaps Max’s neck and kills him immediately.
8. JLA: A League of One – The Weight of the World
Wonder Woman seeks the guidance of the Oracle, who reveals a disheartening prophecy– a long-sleeping dragon has awoken, and the Justice League will defeat her at the cost of all their lives. Despite the encouragement to leave the League in order to survive this seemingly inescapable fate, Wonder Woman decides to take matters into her own hands.
Throughout the story, Wonder Woman approaches each member of her team with the exception of Batman and Superman, battles them, defeats them, and leaves them subdued and unable to fight. When she attempts to load her team into capsules to be launched into space, Batman confronts Wonder Woman. After a fight, Wonder Woman defeats him, and launches him along with the others to safety. She then notifies Superman that he is the only one capable of retrieving the team while she single handedly battles the legendary dragon alone. The awesomeness doesn’t stop there, either.
In the final battle with the dragon, Wonder Woman is blasted with flames that burn away impurities. Wonder Woman emerges from the flame alive, her pureness of heart being her saving grace. Wonder Woman is victorious at the risk of nearly dying. A truly self-sacrificial, intelligent superhero indeed.
7. Justice League #20 – No Weaknesses
In Justice League #20, we learn of a problematic and controversial plan that Batman has put into place. If, for any reason, the members of the Justice League become rogue, evil, or are otherwise compromised, each member of the League has their own box in a vault containing their specific weaknesses so that they may be apprehended. He shows this vault to Superman, expresses his concern for Superman and Wonder Woman’s relationship, and then hands him a box featuring her emblem. When Superman opens it, the box is empty. “Wonder Woman doesn’t have a kryptonite, Clark,” Batman tells him, “The hard truth is that if she ever crosses the line, you’re the only one who could stop her. You’re the box.“
This scene wasn’t an attempt to make Wonder Woman seem like a Mary-Sue; Wonder Woman surely has a weakness, maybe several, but none that can be easily controlled by Batman or anyone else. Only one man can stop her should she be compromised– that’s quite a lot of power.
6. Wonder Woman Vol. 4 #0 – Mercy
This might be quite a long moment (this story arc spans quite a few years, centuries even) but it is still an important moment in Wonder Woman’s history. A young Wonder Woman endures intense training from the God of War, Ares. As her final test of strength, she is pitted against the legendary Minotaur, a giant half-bull, half-man beast. Of course, she’s Wonder Woman, and so she defeats the Minotaur pretty quickly. As the injured and defeated beast lies before her, Diana prepares to deliver the final blow. However, she doesn’t. She feels bad for the beast and spares him. Ares is very angry, citing that revenge cannot be an option for a defeated foe.
This was an awesome moment not only because it showed how good-hearted Wonder Woman is, but also because several issues later the Minotaur returns and spares Wonder Woman as well. The power of mercy was truly proven.
5. Wonder Woman Vol. 2 #104 – Not fit to be queen
After Darkseid nearly destroys Paradise Island, Amazon society is left in political and emotional turmoil. Wonder Woman’s mother, Queen Hippolyta, has fallen into a deep depression and has officially abandoned her place on the throne. Naturally, the new queen is expected to be Wonder Woman herself.
Instead of taking on the throne, Diana straight-up refuses. Even if it is in her blood, she’s not the one who should rule. She offers the throne to Philippus, one of the island’s most loyal, tough, and benevolent soldiers. Diana offers her the throne, saying, “Rule here, Philippus. Rule wisely, and in my mother’s name. The throne is not for me. My lot has been cast another way. I am not a ruler, not a queen. Now and forever, I am Wonder Woman.” She’s staying true to herself and doing what’s best for her homeland, even if it may look like Diana is wimping out of a situation she’s supposed to accept.
4. Wonder Woman: The Hiketeia – Compromise
The ancient Greek ritual of Hiketeia involves one person’s placement under the willing protection of another. Wonder Woman takes part in a similar form of Hiketeia in the 2002 graphic novel from Greg Rucka and J.G. Jones. A young woman named Danielle Wellys is in need of protection and Diana become bound by honor to protect the young woman for the rest of her days. It’s not until afterward that Wonder Woman discovers the girl is on the run for committing literal murder. However, not everything is as it seems. Danielle targeted sex traffickers and drug dealers who murdered her own sister, and killed them in a fit of vengeance. Worse yet, Danielle is being pursued by Batman himself for her crimes.
This puts Wonder Woman in a tight spot, to say the least– will she choose to break an oath, or will she turn her back on justice? It seems like Wonder Woman always gets stuck in these morally compromising situations, but that’s because her character handles them well. This novel is no exception, and it portrays Wonder Woman as her most thoughtful, self-reflective, and funny self. A great Wonder Woman moment indeed.
3. Wonder Woman Vol. 3 #19 – A reminder
Wonder Woman investigates the accumulating deaths of an alien race and discovers her newest opponent– a rogue, grief-stricken Sector 422 Green Lantern whose daughter was killed during the onset of a war. He blames the planet for his daughter’s death and, while blinded with rage, decides to exact his revenge on the entire planet. Wonder Woman battles him, and the battle is ugly. Not even Wonder Woman can handle the power of a Green Lantern ring totally unscathed. To say the least, he royally kicks the crap out her. Nearly defeated, Wonder Woman does the unthinkable. She reaches out her hand to the rogue Green Lantern and shows him compassion, silently begging him to come to his senses.
This is one of the best Wonder Woman moments because Diana isn’t afraid. She isn’t reaching out her hand in fear of the final blow. She genuinely wants this guy to come to his senses and reach through to him in order to get him to remember who he truly is.
2. Wonder Woman Vol. 2 #170 – truth in all its forms
In this story, Lois Lane decides to follow Wonder Woman around and interview her for a special exposé called “A Day in the Life of Wonder Woman”. However, Lois is surprised at the life Diana leads when she’s not in full costume and defending the earth. Lois witnesses her give a magical pro-woman speech at the United Nations (the one that we previously mentioned because it was just too good) and follows up with a fun game of pool and apartment-hunting with her sister. But it doesn’t stop there; Diana also speaks to college students, volunteers, and literally holds dying babies in war-torn countries to comfort them as they die. Lois is blown away, and wonders how she does it all. Diana tells her that she embraces truth in all its forms every day and within herself.
1. Wonder Woman Vol. 2 #210 – Selfless savior
In one of the most memorable Wonder Woman moments in all of DC history (so far) we find out that Athena and Poseidon have decided to send their champions, Wonder Woman and Medusa, into battle with each other in one-on-one combat. But this is no ordinary Gladiator-style battle– nearly forty million lives hang in the balance if Wonder Woman cannot defeat Medusa and prevent her from showing her face on television. Wonder Woman, being the smart lady she is, fights Medusa blindfolded. A grisly, intense battle ensues, resulting in Diana getting stabbed and having her blindfold ripped off.
When it becomes clear that she’s been compromised, Diana grabs a snake and blinds herself with venom in order to continue fighting. This selfless, smart, and badass move is one that shows how awesome Wonder Woman really is. It’s one of the most action-packed Wonder Woman moments that is also deeply emotional.
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