Even casual comic fans are aware that Wonder Woman is one of the most powerful heroes out there. She’s one of the small handful who can rival the ability of Superman, and depending on which era you’re looking at, she’s even been stronger than him at times. Though it took nearly 75 years, Wonder Woman’s power will finally be on full display in her first live-action movie in 2017. And we already got a taste of what she could do when she went head to head against Doomsday in Dawn of Justice, smiling as she fought the monster.
Wonder Woman has even fought against her fellow heroes at times, and probably to the surprise of few, she’s often won those encounters. But that doesn’t mean she’s unbeatable either. Over the years, a number of heroes have accomplished the seemingly insurmountable task of getting the better of Diana. Whether they were just lucky enough to catch her off guard, or really did outmatch the Amazon princess in every way, here are 15 Superheroes Who Have Defeated Wonder Woman.
Superman and Wonder Woman have been a lot of things to each other. They’re frequently viewed as counterparts to one another, they often call each other friends and allies, and have occasionally evengotten romantically involved. But they also have been enemies multiples times during their long histories. There’s no definitive victor between them, with Diana emerging triumphant during some fights and Clark standing tall at the end of others. But the fact remains, Superman has some wins over Wonder Woman.
One of the more dramatic fights was in an alternate timeline where Superman and Batman were raised by evil dictators and became the biggest tyrants the world has ever known. The two had already fought and killed numerous heroes, but then they came across Wonder Woman, and Diana actually managed to kill off Bruce. But Superman didn’t take kindly to losing his buddy, and retaliated ruthlessly. Superman beat her down so badly that he even managed to punch through her bracelets. In the end, Superman fashioned a noose out of Diana’s Lasso of Truth and hanged her on the spot.
The Injustice comic books led to lots of fights between heroes that wouldn’t normally have battled, including numerous battles to the death. Superman’s tyranny in the wake of Lois Lane’s death had driven sharp battles lines between the heroes, with Wonder Woman siding with her longtime counterpart. But that devotion was challenged by some of her closest friends, including the likes of Catwoman, Batwoman, and Huntress. While attempting to subdue Huntress, Diana seemed to momentarily forget her own strength, and caught Huntress around the throat with her Lasso of Truth. Diana inadvertently used so much force that rather than just take the air out of Huntress, Diana snapped her former friend’s neck.
Batwoman certainly did not forget or forgive that, and when Wonder Woman was vulnerable later on, Batwoman gave Diana a taste of her own medicine. With Catwoman and Batgirl looking on yet unwilling to help, Batwoman hooked the lasso of truth around Wonder Woman’s neck to make her feel what Huntress had. Diana seemed helpless to defend herself, and Batwoman was on the verge of ending the Amazon’s life. It was only Batwoman’s refusal to abandon her values that spared Diana and allowed her to draw breath again.
Even in the context of the Justice League cartoon, Wonder Woman isn’t safe from feuding with her fellow heroes. You’d think with threats like Darkseid around she’d be too preoccupied for squabbles within her own team, but there’s always room for misunderstandings if it means getting to see popular characters fight. In this case, Wonder Woman and Superman became aware that Aquaman seemed to be working alongside Solomon Grundy, and confronted their friend for answers.
Thanks to Doctor Fate, Diana and Aquaman got transported to Easter Island to fight, and Aquaman wasn’t in a mood to explain himself. They fought back and forth, even using the famous Easter Island heads as weapons against each other. Finally it looked like Wonder Woman had the upper hand, but then Aquaman grabbed ahold of her and took the battle underwater. Even Diana needs air, so she was unable to compete in Aquaman’s home turf and lost the encounter.
12. WONDER WOMAN
Obviously the main point of the Injustice comic series was to get people invested in the video game. The alternate timelines introduced in the game Injustice: Gods Among Us created the opportunity for the heroes and villains of the DC universe to interact with different versions of themselves. It gave us the dangerous combo of two Batmans working together, an evil Green Lantern, and two Wonder Womans with very different ideas of what it meant to do the right thing.
The Wonder Woman of the timeline where Superman turned evil was leading the Amazons to help oppress the remaining heroes of the world. Meanwhile, the Wonder Woman of the second timeline was still true to her ideals, and knew her people could be as well. The Wonder Woman we all know challenged her counterpart to a fight in the game’s story mode, defeated her, and reminded the Amazons where their values truly lie, leading them in the fight to stop the rogue Superman.
11. MARTIAN MANHUNTER
Yet another fight that stems from the Injustice comics, this is a confrontation between Wonder Woman and arguably someone even more powerful than she is, Martian Manhunter. Diana was still devoted to Superman despite the harsh tactics he had adopted, and it was beginning to create major dissent between the world’s heroes. In a last ditch effort, Manhunter visited Superman to try and sway him from his methods one last time. Wonder Woman wasn’t having any of it, though.
Diana inserted herself between Superman and Manhunter and warned the latter to get away from Clark. It was clear she was willing to resort to violence if he declined, so J’onn was already moving into action. He altered his form to begin wrapping around Diana, liquefying his body and having it creep inside her to strangle her and wrap around her organs. Diana knew she was helpless to avoid her death if that’s what J’onn wanted, so she fell to appealing to Superman to burn her. Even Manhunter is vulnerable to fire, so once Diana was lit up, J’onn had to retreat to avoid being incinerated. But there was little doubt how Wonder Woman would have fared without Superman to save her.
10. SWAMP THING
Swamp Thing is the type of character who has the misfortune of not exactly looking like a good guy. He’s a hulking, misshapen, monster of a person who looks like he would be quite at home turning new acquaintances into a meal. But Swamp Thing isn’t really as bad as all that, and has no problem using his powers for good should the situation arise. It’s just a shame Wonder Woman wasn’t aware of that.
With people getting killed, Diana went to investigate the cause and found Swamp Thing on the scene. She immediately went on the attack and assumed he would have answers for why he had taken human lives. But Swamp Thing was just totally baffled by the accusation, and absorbed Wonder Woman’s attacks with mounting annoyance, even fighting free of her Lasso of Truth. Swamp Thing finally had enough and used his vines to ensnare Diana, leaving her helpless. Swamp Thing made it perfectly clear that he was doing her a favor by not retaliating against the wrongful attack, and left her trapped in place, saying he’d be in touch if he found the actual culprit behind the murders.
Crossovers between Marvel and DC are always going to be in high demand, so years ago the companies finally gave fans what they wanted by pitting some of their respective biggest names against each other in a brand warfare event. The battles were quick and fun showcases, and some even allowed fans to vote on the winner. We saw Spider-Man emerge triumphant over Superboy, Batman take down Captain America, and an encounter between Wonder Woman and Storm of the X-Men.
Interestingly, it’s shown that Wonder Woman started this fight with the advantage of having Thor’s hammer, but she elected not to wield it in the interest of fairness. That competitive spirit has always been one of Diana’s weaknesses, and that was certainly true here. Storm called upon her control over lightning to blast Diana, but Wonder Woman refused to yield to her opponent. It didn’t matter though, because a second lightning strike incapacitated Diana, and gave Storm the surprise upset win.
8. HARLEY QUINN
Okay, so Harley Quinn isn’t typically a hero– usually an anti-hero at best. But her moral alignment has undeniably veered toward good over the years, and on this occasion she really was trying to do something good. It’s just unfortunate for Wonder Woman that Harley’s version of good also entailed lying, chemical bombs, and abduction.
In Harley’s Little Black Book #1, Harley is a huge Wonder Woman fan, and learns of a plot to kill her idol. Rather than trust that someone as powerful as Wonder Woman can surely handle it, Harley decides she must save her hero! Which she accomplishes by posing as a flower delivery girl, knocking Diana unconscious with a gas bomb, hiding her in a bath tub, and stealing her clothes to pose as Wonder Woman. Honestly Harley’s plan was pretty stupid, and was hardly a mighty victory over Diana. Yet, Harley did manage to incapacitate one of DC’s strongest heroes all on her own, so it’s hard not to be impressed by that.
7. CAPTAIN ATOM
Yet another fight from the Injustice comics featured what was probably Wonder Woman’s most definitive defeat in the storyline. And the ironic thing is she could also be called a victor of this encounter. Diana was once again fighting in defense of Superman, but this time her opponent was Captain Atom, who isn’t exactly someone it’s safe to be waving sharp objects around. When Diana saw Clark was in danger, she leapt into action and slashed Atom with her sword, piercing the containment suit he wears.
Diana’s attack immediately spelled death for Atom, since with his suit breached, he was going to explode. But his radioactive body could also destroy the Earth with his detonation, so Atom decided to spare the Earth by flying into space. Atom wasn’t planning to go alone, though, and took Superman with him to finish the Man of Steel once and for all. Diana flew after them in pursuit, desperate to stop Atom and save Clark. Not only did Diana fail to reach them in time, but she was also caught up in Atom’s explosion and knocked all the way back down to the Earth. Though Wonder Woman killed her opponent, the explosion and impact left her critically injured and put her into a coma for months.
In Wonder Woman # 177 we got an unusual fight between heroes. Though these things always seem to be the result of misunderstandings, this time the two heroes actually didn’t want to fight, but were instead forced into it. Wonder Woman and Supergirl were abducted by a dictator named Klamos who had gathered a bunch of different female warriors and ordered them to fight to the death to see who would marry him.
Wonder Woman and Supergirl weren’t really fond of that plan, but were ordered to or the Earth would be destroyed. So the two women began trading blows, looking evenly matched. Suddenly Wonder Woman was knocked to the floor in front of Klamos, with Supergirl seemingly the winner. Then Wonder Woman sprang up and attacked her captor, revealing she and Supergirl had been faking their fight. So Supergirl won this staged brawl, but the two heroes would fight again in the future with quite different results.
5. GREEN LANTERN
In addition to fighting her friends in the Injustice comics, Wonder Woman continued the battles in the video game. The difference here being that while the comics focused on an alternate timeline Diana who was led towards corruption along with Superman, the story mode of the video game focused more on the mainstream Wonder Woman who was still true to her ideals. So when she traveled to the alternate timeline, Diana quickly got into conflict with the heroes who had joined the corrupt Superman’s regime.
During the mainstream Green Lantern’s chapter, Wonder Woman accompanied him as they encountered Sinestro on the streets of the city wreaking havoc. Sinestro used the power of his ring to try and crush Diana, but Hal Jordan made the save and beat down his old nemesis. Then the alternate timeline’s Green Lantern showed up—now known as the Yellow Lantern. This counterpart Hal Jordan was working with Sinestro, and made his intentions clear to his mainstream self by immediately dealing Wonder Woman a knockout blow as she recovered from Sinestro’s assault. It set up a fight between the two Hal Jordans, and left Wonder Woman realizing she’d have to reevaluate who she could trust in this new world.
In a straight-up fight, there’s no question who wins between Diana and Bruce. We’ve even seen that result play out in the Hiketeia comic, where Batman was defeated with no trace of ambiguity. And yet, any Batman fan knows his game is to learn his opponent’s weakness and find a way to neutralize a threat through prep time. He’s done it with many heroes, and Wonder Woman is among them.
Batman’s most impressive scheme to incapacitate the Amazon princess was one that simultaneously involved him taking out the rest of the Justice League. Unfortunately, Bruce didn’t mean to enact this plan at the time, and instead had it stolen by Ra’s al Ghul, who utilized it himself during the Tower of Babel story.
Thanks to Batman establishing this contingency plan, Diana wound up in a virtual reality world locked in an impossible fight with another warrior. And because Wonder Woman is so competitive, she refused to stop fighting even if it meant she could die of exhaustion, leaving Ra’s plenty of time to have his way with the world without fear of any heroes.
This is another fight from the Injustice comics, so you know the drill by now. Superman was once again clashing with other heroes, and it looked like Clark was getting into trouble, so Diana stepped in to help him. But this time Wonder Woman was going up against someone much like herself, someone who had power from the gods: Hercules. It was a big fight, with heroes and villains on both sides of the issue gathered to watch the spectacle.
Even in a one-on-one fight many people would probably pick Wonder Woman to come out victorious in this encounter. But further tipping the scales in Diana’s favor was that she and Superman took on this fight together. The two of them jumped Hercules and pummeled him into the ground with punches, seemingly making quick work of the mythological figure. Then Hercules literally punched Superman into outer space.
Right as Diana realized she might be in trouble after all, Hercules caught her by the throat in a death grip. Fortunately for Diana, she was still surrounded by a large number of superpowered beings who were on her side, because she had clearly underestimated Hercules as an opponent.
2. THE CHARACTERS OF MORTAL KOMBAT
It’s not many comic book characters that can lay claim to going head to head with the characters of Mortal Kombat, but thanks to Mortal Kombat vs DC Universe, Wonder Woman is one of those lucky few. Or perhaps unlucky, considering how some of her encounters ended. The story mode of the game had numerous Mortal Kombat characters meet the Amazon in battle, and several proved capable of besting her. While they might not be what people typically think of as superheroes, Mortal Kombat’s cast does feature superpowered combatants trying to save the world, so it’s hard to discount them.
Wonder Woman first fell when she met and challenged Jax. Outraged by his usage of guns, she declared no hero would use such weapons and took him on. Unfortunately for Diana, Jax’s enhanced arms proved to pack more power than she thought and she was left out cold.
Then in an even more intriguing matchup, Scorpion encountered Wonder Woman when he wound up on the island of the Amazons. Scorpion may look evil, but he’s really just a lone wolf who does his own thing, which luckily enough often winds up helping the good guys. But here Diana refused to allow him to roam her land freely, so Scorpion took her on. Diana was once again the loser, but there’s really no shame in losing to someone as strong as Scorpion.
With the name of this comic being Superman and Spider-Man, you can already tell what the big interaction in this story was. But this DC and Marvel crossover also featured two more big stars tagging along for the ride: The Hulk, and the Amazon Princess herself, Wonder Woman. The main villain causing chaos in the story was Doctor Doom, but it wouldn’t be a crossover if the heroes didn’t get to test out their powers against each other due to a misunderstanding.
Spidey and Diana had gone after Doom separately, but when they wound up in the same room, Doom announced that he had set up this confrontation, trying to convince each hero that the other was working for him. Peter didn’t buy it for a second, but Diana was a bit more gullible and began chucking machinery at Spidey and trying to hogtie him with her golden Lasso. Fortunately, Spider-Man was able to use his speed to avoid the onslaught, and evened the odds by killing the lights.
As strong as Wonder Woman is, she couldn’t see a thing in the dark, while Spidey could get around fine with his spider-senses. Peter then surprised Diana with a tap on the shoulder and politely let her know that if he was actually looking for a fight, he easily could have been pummeling her at the moment. Diana begrudgingly admitted that since she was still standing, Spider-Man must be telling the truth and she called off the fight.
Wonder Woman will arrive in theaters on June 2, 2017, and Justice League is coming November 17, 2017.