The third movie in the DCEU has finally arrived. Wonder Woman has stormed into theaters, pleased countless critics, and seems poised to take home millions of dollars at the box office. That’s not conjecture, folks, that’s fact. Wrap a certain golden rope around director Patty Jenkins’ latest venture, and the truth will out: the DCEU finally has a crowd-pleasing hit on its hands.
Though Gal Gadot may justly be getting praised for her performance as Diana Prince, Wonder Woman should be thanking the gods for their almighty gift: the Lasso of Truth. Forged from Aphrodite’s girdle, virtually unbreakable, and infinitely expandable, the golden rope has long been an emblem of Wonder Woman’s virtue and integrity in the superhero world. While it has been a presence in comics for decades, few people have appreciated its true capabilities, history, and role in Wonder Woman’s reign.
Here are 15 Things You Didn’t Know About The Lasso of Truth:
15. It’s Made From Aphrodite’s Waist Belt
When Wonder Woman first arrived on the All-Star Comics page in 1941, she fought only with her super-powered bracelets and god-like intuition. A few issues into the follow-up run of Sensation Comics, creator and proto-feminist William Moulton Marston gave Diana Prince her Lasso of Truth, an instrument he believed would reflect Wonder Woman’s true power over men.
As Queen Hippolyta explained to her daughter, the Lasso “is made of tiny golden links…which were taken, at Aphrodite’s command, from the magic girdle itself.” In Greek mythology, that girdle (or waist-belt, as we might call it today), was forged by Hephaestus himself, designed to make Aphrodite all the more seductive before men. How fitting, then, that William Marston adapted a token of sexual beauty and adapted it for Diana to read the hearts and minds of men.
14. It Has The Power to Restore Forgotten Memories
Human beings are complicated. We twist truths, lie about reality, and rationalize our choices far more frequently than we dare admit. Though Diana’s Lasso can amend even the most egregious fabrications, it has the capacity to do more than that.
When wrapped around its intended subject, the Lasso restores shattered memories and restores them to their truest state. This means that it can even erase a telepath’s falsely-created memory, wipe out illusions, and even make the mentally insane find temporary peace. Rather than go on a mere fact-finding mission, the rope of the gods probes the very soul of its captive. Put another way, the Lasso of Truth is so powerful that it could even make the Joker himself speak unequivocally. After all these years and origin stories about how the Clown Prince of Crime came to be, it’s high time Diana Prince wield her weapon to suss out the truth.
13. It Cannot Be Broken or Reshaped
If a dictionary existed in the world of superheroes, the Lasso of Truth would be pictured next to “immutable.” Thanks to Aphrodite’s impenetrable girdle chains (or Gaea’s belt, depending on the origin story), Diana’s designated weapon of choice cannot be bent or distorted in any way.
By those same standards, the Lasso of Truth is nearly impossible to break. Even Superman in rage mode can hardly stretch its heavenly bonds, as multiple comics panels have proven. To be fair, freakshows like Bizarro Superman have managed to snap the Lasso, but only because he represents the total opposite of truth. In Golden Perfect, Wonder Woman herself rejected the truth the Lasso foretold and snapped it in rebellion. During both rare instances, however, the immortal rope repaired itself just moments after being broken.
12. Diana Has Used It To Teleport
It’s good to be a demigoddess. In addition to her invisible jet and superhuman speed, Diana Prince has also been known to teleport across the world of man, though only in the most dire circumstances. While it has seldom been specified exactly how Wonder Woman moves through space and time, she has frequently used her Lasso of Truth while beaming through the continuum.
In Wonder Woman Vol. 2, #28, the Amazing Amazon wrapped her allies in the gleaming rope as law enforcement officers attempted to apprehend her. “If we are to rescue our sisters, and my mother, we must retreat to the impenetrable sanctuary of our Themyscira.” In conjunction with Hermes’ prized caduceus (the Greek god’s dual-snake symbol which appears in Diana’s abdomen), Wonder Woman and her friends teleport in a millisecond and disappear, leaving only the blinding light of the Lasso of Truth in their wake.
11. It Can Enable A Quick Costume Change
Superman has a phone booth. Batman has his subterranean cave. What does Wonder Woman do for her signature costume change? For her initial comics run, she was often shown throwing off her Diana Prince garb and donning her Wonder suit in the same frame. It was a move that preserved her modesty while highlighting her lightning-fast reflexes.
After undergoing a few costume-change permutations, the Wonder Woman authors settled on something a little more snazzy. By twirling her Lasso of Truth around her like a chandelier, the “vibrations” of her rope accelerated her costume change and turned Diana into the fearsome warrior of the Justice League. As the writers not so subtly insist, “this new costume change devised by Amazon scientists will save a lot of wear-and-tear on [Diana’s] wardrobe!”
10. And Force Victims To Do Whatever She Demands
When Wonder Woman first got her hands on the Lasso of Truth, her imagination outraced her responsibility. Just moments after Queen Hippolyta had bestowed the weapon to her daughter, Diana set about forcing unsuspecting humans (and animals) to obey its command. She excitedly exclaimed “I’ll try this magic lasso on the dog,” before upgrading the experience to command Doctor Althea to stand on her head. While Althea does as she’s told and maintains an embarrassing headstand, Hippolyta reprimands Diana for her treatment of the elderly lady: “think of the doctor’s dignity!”
So powerful is the Lasso of Truth that Diana once whipped it around an army of native American warriors and forced them to “return to [their] tepees in peace.” As the head of the tribe conceded, “your medicine is great indeed!”
9. The 1954 Comics Code Toned Down The Lasso’s Bondage Connotations
If you think the above panel isn’t real, think again. Earlier in the Amazon’s career, Wonder Woman bound an armed criminal with the Lasso and forced him to untie a woman’s binds with his teeth. Things got out of hand when Diana’s excitement reached fever pitch: “Get down on your knees before that girl who was fool enough to love you, and loosen her bonds with your teeth, like the cur you are!” There’s making a subtle sexual argument; then there’s hitting your audience over the head with it. This instance definitely fell under the latter category, and when the Comics Code Authority landed in 1954, Wonder Woman’s bondage themes were put on the backburner.
After Marston died in 1947, writer Robert Kanigher took up the reins and steered the ship away from the S&M subtext. It would be a few years until the Lasso of Truth would reemerge, but when it did, all bets were off.
8. Steve Trevor Used It To Win Diana’s Hand In Marriage
If Diana Prince can’t use her trusted rope, who better to step in than her beloved gentleman in jeopardy, Steve Trevor? While he certainly feels the Lasso’s grip in the new movie, he actually got to wield its power in the comics. Mr. Trevor never succeeded in hiding his affection for Diana, but in Wonder Woman #167, his obsession with the Amazing Amazon goes nuclear.
When Steve got his hands on the magic whip, he lassoed it around his main gal and straight up said, “I command you to marry me, Wonder Woman!” Without missing a beat, Diana surrenders to her man and says, “I am compelled to obey!”
Following a series of misadventures (including a lion punch!), during which the stubborn pilot outright refuses to let his lady love free of the lasso before they can get a shotgun wedding performed at the courthouse, Wonder Woman finally frees herself and laughs off the whole thing. So much for progressivism.
7. Six Flags Just Built Two New Lasso of Truth Rides
Summer is here, and it’s not just the movie theaters that are heating up. Keeping up with the tradition of building rides for the release of The Dark Knight and Man of Steel, Six Flags brought out the big guns for Wonder Woman and named their rides after her Lasso of Truth. At their Discovery Kingdom theme park, this twirling, pendulum-like ride vaults thrill seekers over 150 feet in the air and at speeds exceeding 70 miles per hour. Though it may not have the most original design, it certainly doesn’t seem built for the faint of heart.
Given its swing-set appeal, the Lasso of Truth ride at Six Flags Great America (outside Chicago) seems less aggressive at first glance. As it turns out, the ride takes patrons up to 24 stories (over 270 feet) and swings them around at top speed.
6. Its Creator Developed The Original Lie Detector Test
Though it has become an iconic superhero weapon, the Lasso of Truth takes its roots from the real-life polygraph test that William Marston helped develop. As a leading proponent of the systolic blood pressure test, Marston laid the foundation for the development of the lie detector test and even coined the name for it.
A 1918 graduate of Harvard Law school, William followed the advice of his wife, Elizabeth, who suggested to her husband that, “when she got mad or excited, her blood pressure seemed to climb.” Though it took several years for the legal world to embrace Marston’s device, he tested 100 criminals in a Massachusetts court and found that 97 of the convictions aligned with the results of his test. Given Marston’s publicly held belief that women are more inherently honest then man, it’s not hard to see how the Lasso of Truth came to be.
5. The DCEU Lasso Lights Up (And Was Hand-Weaved)
While we caught a glimpse of the Lasso in Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, the movie hardly showcased its ornate nature. That has swiftly changed in Patty Jenkins’ Wonder Woman, where set decorator Anna Lynch Robinson went out of her way to make the Lasso as realistic and luminous as possible.
Rather than relying on CGI and green screen, the Lasso of Truth in the DCEU is as practical as it gets. In fact, it was hand-weaved, providing the rope with a “great texture and some actual movement to it” that only enhances Gal Gadot’s overall performance and action stunts. Thanks to some nifty tricks with the lighting department and countless screen tests to get it right, the Lasso of Truth is able to light up on all on its own.
4. There Are Two Other Lassos In Existence
Though the Lasso of Truth may be the marquee weapon, it’s not the only rope of its kind. The first alternate lasso belongs to Donna Troy, and like Wonder Woman’s whip, it forces victims to do whatever she commands. The Lasso of Persuasion has limitations, however, and only works on fighters with less mental strength than Wonder Girl (as Donna Troy was known). Unlike the golden Lasso of Truth, however, the Lasso of Persuasion weapon is made of silver.
Thanks to Ares, the mighty god of war, the Lasso of Lightning has the power to create an electrical force field that harnesses lightning directly from Zeus. Cassandra Sandsmark, the third hero to carry the title of Wonder Girl, is the primary owner of the Lasso of Lightning. The angrier she gets, the greater the power of her lightning blasts.
3. The Justice League Have Used It To Haul Planet Earth
If there was ever any question about the Lasso’s power, look no further than JLA Vol. 1 #75. In an epic struggle against the evil Gamemnae, the Justice League band together to save the Earth and its increasingly fragile frame.
Though Tragic Kingdom is primarily an Aquaman-focused story, the League’s struggle to bring down Gamemnae and protect our world takes center stage. Thanks to the mysterious magic of Manitou Raven, the Lasso of Truth expands to galactic size and becomes the net needed to physically pull planet Earth back into its natural orbit. Partnered with the might of Martian Manhunter, Superman, and Wonder Woman, the Lasso of Truth saved the day and kept the globe from going dark. Where’s Batman, you ask? He’s waiting in the wings to “reinforce [the] entire planet’s structure” from the “stress” the Lasso maneuver put on the world.
2. It Once Embarrassed Hal Jordan
In the 2012 issue of Justice League Vol. 2, #4, we find The World’s Finest in a state of disarray. Darkseid is en route, Parademons abound, and chaos ensues in every corner of the League’s already unpredictable life. Amid all of the madness, of course, Hal Jordan finds himself in yet another precarious situation.
While ducking an incoming Parademon swarm, the gregarious Green Lantern spouts out a totally unexpected monologue that ends with him saying: “I want to impress you. Most of what I do is about trying to impress people.” Diana Prince spins around and lets him down easy, telling him “you were touching my lasso…it makes you tell the truth.” It’s a compromising situation for Hal Jordan, one so embarrassing that even Batman himself can’t even stifle his laughter.
1. It Has Limitless Strength
Though it was originally known as “the Magic Lasso of Aphrodite,” Wonder Woman’s signature weapon quickly took on its more specific power. Best known for forcing its captives to tell the truth, the Lasso is usually seen in close proximity to Diana Prince. Some stories have calculated the rope’s maximum length tops out at 150 feet, while the 1970s Wonder Woman series shows it at a far shorter length.
As it turns out, the Lasso of Truth is well-equipped for countless other purposes than lie detection alone. Thanks to Hephaestus’ Olympic construction of the holy rope, it can extend for a nearly infinite distance (as demonstrated in entry #3). Its only limitations are in the mind of its user, and wherever Diana Prince bids it to go, the Lasso of Truth will obey.
What other powers does the Lasso of Truth have? Where does it rank among the coolest weapons in comics? Let us know in the comments!
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