A superhero’s tools and weapons are a crucial part of their appeal and their image. Superman has his billowing cape, Batman has his unique utility belt and distinctive cowl, Aquaman has his trident, and Green Arrow has his beloved bow.
Wonder Woman has more than her fair share of equipment; part of what makes her an extremely powerful warrior. Her Lasso of Truth, Bracelets of Submission, and Amazonian sword and shield were put on spectacular display in Batman V Superman and in her own Wonder Woman movie.
Like all the iconic superhero props, Wonder Woman’s sword and shield are rich with history and play critical roles in her dazzling heroics. There’s plenty of details to glean about her sword and shield in her DCEU films so far and even more tantalizing trivia in her comic book source material.
Suit up Amazons, Here are the 15 Things You Didn’t Know About Wonder Woman’s Sword And Shield!
15 WONDER WOMAN HASN’T ALWAYS WIELDED A SWORD AND OR SHIELD
Wonder Woman was created by American psychologist and writer William Moulton Marston and artist Harry G. Peter. The character debuted in All Star Comics #8 in October 1941. At that time, Wonder Woman’s armaments were based much more strictly upon Marston’s own thematic inspirations for the character.
Marston is widely credited for developing instruments that measured blood pressure, which lead to the advent of the polygraph lie detector. However, in comics, an enchanted Lasso that forces people to tell the truth works just as well, if not better.
Her Lasso of Truth and Bracelets of Submission also tie into Marston’s affinity for bondage and submission in his personal life. He is reported to have described BDSM as a “respectable and noble practice,” and wanted Wonder Woman’s character to be liberating and empowering for women.
In her early days, Wonder Woman didn’t have a sword or shield of her own, but she did resort to using such conventional weapons once her powers were gone.
14 SOME INCARNATIONS OF HER SWORD WERE FORGED BY HEPHAESTUS
In the Greek mythology, Hephaestus is the god of fire, the forge, and of craftsmanship. Hr personally forged all of the weapons of the entire ancient Greek pantheon. Since Wonder Woman is so heavily influenced by Greek mythology, Hephaestus has sometimes played a role in the Wonder Woman comics, along with plenty of other Greek gods.
In Wonder Woman’s first origin story, she was given her Lasso, tiara, and Bracelets by Hephaestus who forged each of the magical weapons himself. Hephaestus is also the creator of Wonder Woman’s sword in Kingdom Come.
Some fans believe that Wonder Woman’s sword in the DCEU movie was also forged by Hephaestus. The sword is called the Sword of Athena. In some depictions of Greek mythology, Hephaestus was the one who split Athena off of Zeus with an axe, allowing her to become her own divine entity.
One could argue that Hephaestus' liberation and empowerment of Athena may be significant to Wonder Woman's sword, which is named after the goddess.
13 HER ARSENAL GREW THE MOST AFTER CRISIS ON INFINITE EARTHS
Prior to the famous DC retcon crossover Crisis on Infinite Earths, Wonder Woman only used her Lasso of Truth, tiara, and Bracelets of Submission in combat. She did resort to using other weapons when the occasion called for them, even projectile weapons, but her main arsenal revolved around this magical trio.
No DC mainstay was spared from the in-universe and out-of-universe overhaul brought on by Crisis on Infinite Earths. DC creators George Perez and Greg Potter gave the Amazonian princess a rebooted origin story, though it was still heavily inspired by Greek mythology.
In addition to the host of blessings Diana receives from all the female Greek goddesses, she gets a slew of new regular weapons, which have become just as iconic as her Lasso and Bracelets. Specifically, Wonder Woman vol. 2 #1 introduced the image of the superhero wielding a shield along with a melee weapon, be it a sword or a spear in some versions.
12 THE SWORD OF ATHENA IS AN ANCIENT AMAZONIAN TREASURE (SPOILER)
In the 2017 Wonder Woman film, we learn about the Amazons through a bedtime legend that Hippolyta tells Diana. In the beginning, or "when time was new," as Hippolyta puts it, Zeus, the king of the gods, created mankind in his own image to be a noble and righteous people.
In a curious blend with Judeo-Christian allegory, Ares, the god of war, grows jealous of Zeus’s creation and poisons the hearts of men with jealousy and suspicion. Devastating war erupts among mankind, but Zeus is not dismayed. Instead, he fashions the Amazons to temper man’s dark impulses with love.
Ares gets his revenge on Zeus and the other gods and attacks. Before he succumbs to Ares, Zeus uses the last of his power to defeat him and seal the Amazons away on the island of Themyscira. Hippolyta then goes on to tell Diana that Zeus finally bestowed upon the Amazons the Godkiller sword, which was said to have the ability to destroy Ares.
11 WONDER WOMAN ONCE WIELDED THE FLASHING BLADE
The Flashing Blade may be one of the most fearsome weapons in all of DC Comics. Long before the Greek god Hephaestus ever fashioned a weapon, the Titans made the Flashing Blade specifically to permanently kill gods.
Wonder Woman goes up against the weapon when it is wielded by Nemesis, a goddess charged with bringing death upon those who commit unjust murder. She has spent thousands of years carrying out this duty, which has driven her mad, and she decides to forcibly pass the mantle onto Wonder Woman.
When Diana is struck with the Flashing Blade, she experiences harrowing visions of possible futures. One of these possible futures shows Wonder Woman as Nemesis' champion, slaying the entire Justice League with the Flashing Blade.
One of the blade’s many powers is the ability subdue its victims, but Nemesis uses the blade’s true potential and siphons Wonder Woman’s powers into herself. Eventually Wonder Woman regains her strength and defeats Nemesis by wielding the Flashing Blade against her.
10 WONDER WOMAN HAS USED TWO DIFFERENT SHIELDS IN THE DCEU SO FAR
When Wonder Woman first debuted in the DCEU she had her iconic arsenal on full display, including her sword, Lasso, and shield. Wonder Woman makes extensive use of her shield in Batman V Superman when she arrives to help Batman and Superman fight Doomsday.
Her shield was capable of deflecting all manner of debris that Doomsday hurled at her, and let Wonder Woman withstand Doomsday's energy blasts. The shield has a concentric circular pattern around its rim with several inscriptions.
The shield Diana uses in Wonder Woman is a wholly distinct and entirely different shield. The face of the shield has a much more detailed star pattern and no observable inscription. This was the shield kept in the custody of the Amazons, and stored with Wonder Woman's armor. The shield serves Diana well, especially when uses it to deflect German bullets and mortar fire.
9 HER SWORD IN THE DCEU MOVIES CARRIES A POIGNANT INSCRIPTION
Zack Snyder is quite fond of slathering the DCEU Superheroes in as much mythological allegory and references as he can. He’s included several hidden messages on the paraphernalia of other DC superheroes.
Superman's suit in Batman V Sueprman: Dawn of Justice has a quote from Joseph Campbell inscribed on the "S" on his chest and other places of the suit. Campbell is a heavily influential writer and mythologist who has inspired plenty of recent pop culture phenomena.
According to the Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice: Tech Manual, Snyder picked the following quote specifically: "where we had thought to stand alone, we will be with all the world." It’s appropriate for Superman’s struggle to find his place.
Wonder Woman’s own quote is engraved on her sword and also comes from the writings of Campbell, specifically from his collection called Goddess: Mystery of the Feminine Divine. The quote reads: “life is killing all the time and so the goddess kills herself in the sacrifice of her own animal.” It may be a bit more cryptic than Superman’s quote but it does resonate with the war-like nature of the Amazons.
8 THE INSCRIPTIONS ON THE DCEU SHIELD ARE APPARENTLY ANCIENT
Zack Snyder didn’t make the inscriptions on either Superman or Wonder Woman’s equipment easily apparent. The Joseph Campbell quotes on Superman's suit appear in the language of the Kryptonians, as imagined by Batman V Superman’s filmmakers. It would certainly make more sense than the quotes appearing in plain English.
The quotes on Wonder Woman’s equipment are arguably a bit more sophisticated. Instead of being written in a totally fictional language like Kryptonian, the inscriptions appear in some form of ancient Greek but not exactly.
Nerdist consulted Vincent Tommaso, an Assistant Professor of Classics at Trinity College in Connecticut, who published a semi-academic analysis of the inscription. His impression of the ancient Greek on Wonder Woman’s BvS sword is that it was deliberately made to appear even more ancient and archaic, as if the Amazons were a truly primordial culture that existed alongside Gods.
7 HER SWORD IS SHARP ENOUGH TO SEVERE ELECTRONS FROM ATOMS
In various DC comic series Crisis on Infinite Earths Wonder Woman’s new main weapons gains some incredible attributes, including her sword. One of the most powerful incarnations came in the 1996 DC comics miniseries Kingdom Come, by Mark Waid and Alex Ross. In this miniseries, Wonder Woman convinces Superman to reform the Justice League in a highly disillusioned world after an attack by Magog irradiates the American Midwest.
Wonder Woman has been exiled from Themyscira by the Amazons, who believe she has failed to bring peace to Man’s world. Diana still has her signature weapons. With a magical enhancement from Hephaestus, her sword has the power to break the atomic forces that hold particles together and sever electrons from their atoms.
Wonder Woman warns Superman of this after he casually draws the blade across his finger and cuts himself. Superman questions the necessity of a weapon with such power but Wonder Woman say she’ll use it in accordance with her own principles regardless.
6 WONDER WOMAN’S SWORD HAS CAUSED A NUCLEAR EXPLOSION
The ability to split atoms was too amazing to be ignored, and was thus used after Kingdom Come. In the DC comics line Superman/Wonder Woman #6, General Zod and Faora are constructing a makeshift gate to the Phantom Zone, intent on releasing untold monsters upon the Earth.
Superman and Wonder Woman arrive at the island in the South Pacific where the gate is being constructed. Superman battles Zod and Wonder Woman engages Faora. Apollo and Strife are watching the battle from Mount Olympus, and Apollo decides that Zod needs some solar enhancement to gain the upper hand over Superman.
Wonder Woman and Superman are eventually subdued and carried into the core of a nuclear reactor, where the sun can’t heal Superman and the radiation will likely kill Wonder Woman. Superman comes up with a brilliant plan to stop the opening of the Phantom Zone gate.
Together, with Wonder Woman holding her sword and Superman guiding her to cut atoms, they split one of the Uranium atoms in the reactor core directly below them. The resulting nuclear explosion obliterates the gate.
5 HER SWORD AND SHIELD HAVE BEEN REPLICATED IN REAL LIFE
The YouTube series “Man at Arms: Reforged” is an incredible series of videos that show the Stagmer brothers, of Baltimore Knife and Sword, making fully functional replicas of some of your favorite movie, show, and video game gear. The brothers provide their audience with the entire process, from handling the raw materials to adding the details.
They even created a replica of Wonder Woman's shield. They use a CNC plasma cutter to cut a 25 inch circle of 41x30 chromoly steel that forms the base of the shield. This is heated and hammered into a convex shape. Then the detailing and flutes are chiseled on, and the straps are molded with kiln fired clay. After its creation, the brothers test the shield against bows and arrows.
“Man at Arms: Reforged” also made a replica of Wonder Woman’s sword from her title film. They made the core of the sword out of a piece of 10x45 round stock steel, and the outside blade of Damascus steel is folded into a 200 layer stack and stretched. The guard and pommel is molded from polymer clay.
4 HER SWORD HAS BREACHED CAPTAIN ATOM'S CONTAINMENT SUIT
Captain Atom is a nuclear-powered superhero whose power is voluntarily contained and controlled by a suit of Dilustel Armor. Without it, his nuclear power would devastate the environment surrounding him. In the Injustice: Gods Among Us comics, Wonder Woman discovers firsthand just how dangerous her sword can be.
Atom joins Batman, Green Arrow, Black Canary, and Catwoman on an Insurgency mission at the Fortress of Solitude to try and capture one of the Super-Pills for themselves. Superman naturally shows up to prevent this meddling with his regime. Atom engages Superman and the rest of the Insurgency heroes are cut off from the fight.
Atom manages to overpower Superman and is about to deal a finishing blow, when Wonder Woman arrives, coming to Superman’s aide. She strikes her magic sword at Captain Atom’s neck and manages to breach his containment suit.
Atom’s death and nuclear detonation are now imminent. When Atom grabs Superman and flies high above the Earth, Wonder Woman tries to get Superman back but gets caught in the explosion and falls into a coma.
3 SHE FOUGHT DEATHSTROKE INTO SUBMISSION
In Deathstroke vol 3 #8, the mercenary Slade Wilson is approached by Hephaestus and offered a most unusual contract. Hephaestus wants him to slay the primordial Greek titan Lapetus.
To aid him in this task, Hephaestus presents him with a fantastic sword made specifically for killing immortals: the God Killer. This mighty sword has a will of its own, bending its shape to suit the battle at hand, and influencing its wielder to prevail or track down its target.
Deathstroke arrives at Themyscira and casually smashes a statue that looks like Lapetus. Wonder Woman then arrives and informs him that he had in fact released Lapetus from his vessel.
Wonder Woman and Deathstroke begin to fight. Even with the God Killer in hand and with his prodigious combat capabilities, Deathstroke cannot defeat Wonder Woman and her own divine sword. She lets Deathstroke go after her fellow Amazons urge her to set him free.
2 SHE ACQUIRED A NEW SWORD AND SHIELD BETWEEN WONDER WOMAN AND BATMAN V SUPERMAN (SPOILERS)
Wonder Woman has wielded two different sets of shields and swords in Batman v Superman and Wonder Woman. As viewers who’ve seen the whole Wonder Woman movie know, one of those replacements was out of necessity.
When Ares finally reveals himself to Diana, she brandishes the Godkiller sword at him. The blade disintegrates against Ares’ hand. It was clearly not imbued with the power to kill gods as Diana believed, and was possibly only a red herring for the story.
Since we see Wonder Woman with a sword again in Batman v Superman, she evidently acquired another one, and a powerful one at that. Wonder Woman is able to severe Doomsday’s hand with her sword in the movie. Surely a sword capable of dismembering an enhanced, mutated Kryptonian has a good story behind it.
We could file this under speculation for the inevitable Wonder Woman sequel, or perhaps more exposition or flashbacks in the other DCEU movies.
1 HER SHIELD MAY BE A CLUE TO HER TRUE POWERS IN THE DCEU (SPOILERS)
Fans have been raving about the sequence in Wonder Woman where Diana reveals her full Amazon armor and climbs the ladder up and out into no man's land. After all the discouragement and explanations that Steve and the other men have levied at her, she confidently marches into machine gun fire, shield in hand, and leads the charge to liberate the occupied village.
It’s a star-making sequence for Wonder Woman but it does make us wonder about her true capabilities. Her shield does a spectacular job of deflecting and arguably absorbing bullets. None of the bullets even hit her exposed arms or legs. Is the shield magically drawing all the incoming fire towards it?
The real question is whether or not Wonder Woman was already or had become bulletproof in the movie. We saw from the beach battle that she is not impervious to wounds, but this was before she realized her full potential as the daughter of Zeus.
She couldn’t be expected to dispose of her shield, but perhaps she’ll find herself in a situation in later movies that will test whether Wonder Woman herself is bulletproof.
Do you know any other facts about Wonder Woman’s sword and shield? Let us know in the comments!