DC's latest foray into the world of live-action superheroes saw the release of Wonder Woman and the film is doing incredibly well! This is good news for the DC Extended Universe since their recent attempts with Suicide Squad and Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice did not do well at all. Not only is Wonder Woman raking in the cash, it's getting some fantastic reviews and currently holds a 92% Fresh rating on RottenTomatoes.com.
Gal Gadot's portrayal of the Amazonian princess has brought new attention to the world of female superheroes and role models. Since Linda Carter's portrayal on the television series, Wonder Woman has grown as a feminist icon-- a woman who represents everything good about women and their importance in the world.
Seeing as most people these days picture the strong, dominating character who has so recently graced our screens, we thought it would be fun to examine some of the stories from days gone by that portrayed her in a slightly different light. Was Wonder Woman always an icon of feminine ability? No, she was not. Back in the day, sometimes showed an outdated, sexist interpretation of Wonder Woman who did some really questionable things. With that in mind, here are the 15 Worst Wonder Woman Stories Ever, Ranked.
15 Wonder Woman's Other Dad - Wonder Woman #152
You know how Diana's poppa is Zeus, King of Gods? DC decided to throw that premise out for just one story when they referenced her long-lost father who died at sea. It was revealed to Wonder Girl, a younger version of the character who was first used to explain her origin story in Wonder Woman #105, written by Charles Moulton and penciled by Ross Andru in 1958. This is the tale that shattered the myth of Diana having been crafted from clay.
When Wonder Woman #152 came out a few years later, the revelation of her father's tale sends Wonder Girl out to sea where she rescues a human about to drown. When she finally returns him to land, he awakens and mistakenly identifies her as his daughter, which Diana quickly embraces. She then entertains her dear old dad for a few pages before reuniting him with his real daughter, Annie.
Like many of the earlier stories that fleshed out the character, it's all just a bit too silly, which is why it landed on our list.
14 Wonder Woman Embraced BDSM - Wonder Woman #4
Wonder Woman carries a whip (It's the Lasso of Truth, but it sure looks like a whip) and the personal politics of her creator, William Marston, making these BDSM vibes sort of unsurprising. Truthfully, Diana isn't really into the practice so much anymore, but all the way back in Wonder Woman #4, written by Marston and penciled by Harry G. Peter, she had to leash up a bad guy to get things done. To be clear, it wasn't Diana who was brandishing the leather, whips, and chains, but rather, Elva, a woman she was helping tame a fella named Torgson.
To assist her friend, Diana dresses up Elva in the guise of a queen and has her dominate Torgson. She then gives Torgson to her as a slave whom she dominates and makes her captive until Wonder Woman's return a few days later. When Elva relents and releases her captive from his chains, it all turns into a domestic violence situation that finds our heroine chained up and awaiting her doom. It was an odd choice for the storytellers to go, but in the end, Wonder Woman escapes and saves the day.
13 Egg Fu - Wonder Woman #157
Sometimes, a story is bad because it's written poorly, but when it comes to comics printed back in the day, it can have a lot to do with bad characters who are incredibly insensitive and even racist. When Egg Fu was introduced in Wonder Woman #157, they checked just about every box of what you shouldn't do in storytelling these days. Egg Fu was introduced as a villain who, for some reason, was the shape of an egg and as big as a house. Lacking any appendages, he used his rather impressive Fu Manchu mustache to grab and throw things.
If that wasn't enough, he was also about the most racist depiction of every single Asian stereotype known to man. Along with the Fu Manchu, he was colored yellow and spoke with a dreadful accent.
In addition to the gem pictured above, he also said "The foolish Amelicans do not know that the instant any of their pilots attempt to take photoglaphs of our installations--they might just as well pless a tligger against their own blains", which is all we really need to say about him to throw this issue onto the list.
12 Wonder Woman Fought Batgirl For Batman’s Love - The Brave and the Bold #78
When it comes to superhero dating, it's really just a matter of time before someone gets to doing the nasty... at least, that's what some producers out in Hollywood might want you to think. In the real world of comics, the characters don't interact as often as we might want them to. That wasn't the case in The Brave and the Bold #78, which featured the Caped Crusader in a story alongside Wonder Woman and Batgirl.
After facing a villain who calls himself Copperhead and adorns himself in a snake outfit, Batman is faced with his most challenging fight of his life: a love triangle between himself, Wonder Woman, and Batgirl! The whole fiasco was set up by Copperhead in so that he could distract Batman away from guarding a priceless artifact. Though he was flattered at first, Bats ended up getting annoyed at all the attention and eventually foiled the plot.
It was a misogynistic way of incorporating female heroes into the story and it doesn't stand up to some of the better Batman stories out there.
11 An Experiment In Feminism Falls Flat While Racism Soars - Sensation Comics #8
After 50 women are fired from Bullfinch's Department Store, Wonder Woman is called into feminist action to stand up for her fellow women. In order to do this, she captures the owner of the department store with her Lasso of Truth and compels her to forget her identity and become a lowly worker so she can learn what it means to be mistreated in her own store. The story is meant to instill the idea that women are equal and should be treated fairly in employment. The book was published in 1942 so it's a product of its age, but the story falls flat.
While attempting to promote feminism, it falls prey to various anti-woman stereotypes and doesn't really hit the mark. Additionally, it has one of the most racist panels we could find in a Wonder Woman comic - so much for equality among all women.
10 Amazons Attack
Amazons Attack was a six-issue limited series published by DC in 2007. It was so poorly received that numerous copies were sent back to the publisher having been unsold. The fans hated it and the reviewers were less than pleased.
The story revolves around the ladies of Themyscira attacking Washington D.C. following the events of Infinite Crisis. They were upset over the United States' illegal detention of Wonder Woman, so why not head on over to the States and kick some butt? Hippolyta declares all out war on Man's World and it develops from there. The story failed to do much more than irritate those who bothered to purchase the books.
This story wasn't bad because it was anti-feminist, racist, or anything of the sort; we had to throw Amazons Attack on here because it was just plain awful.
9 "Disco Devil" - Wonder Woman TV Series
Not all of Wonder Woman's best (and worst) stories are found on the page; the television show from the 1970s had a few really great ones... and one really bad one. In the fifth episode of the third season, we were treated to one of the most idiotic villains of all time.
The episode title was "Disco Devil" and it revolved around a telepathic disco dancer who was using his powers to steal classified information from government scientists. You can't make this stuff up... well, somebody did and the world is a better place for it. Yes, the story is bad, but it's one of those "so bad it's good episodes" so many fans appreciate it for its devotion to cheesiness.
In order to battle the disco telepath, Diana must enlist the aid of yet another telepath in her quest to stop the evil and nefarious plot of the Disco Devil! Chalk this one up to "it was the '70s" and we can call it a day. If you haven't seen this particular episode of the Lynda Carter series, you may not be missing a great story, but you are definitely missing something every fan should watch.
8 Wonder Woman Becomes the JSA's Secretary - All-Stars Comics #12
Since she has the strength of Hercules, the looks of Aphrodite, and the battle skills of Athena, you might think that Wonder Woman would be placed on the front lines of any conflict. Unfortunately, in All-Star Comics #12, the Justice Society of America thought it best to take our leading lady out of the fight and put her behind a desk. Yes, Wonder Woman was made the secretary for the JSA in this issue.
The JSA had recently formed a new battalion to deal with the menace of the Black Dragon Society and it was decided that Wonder Woman, who was not a full member, should remain behind while the rest of the heroes went off to war. It's a classic tale of "leave the woman behind; war is man's business", which isn't surprising for the early 1940s... but when you have someone as powerful as Wonder Woman able to lend a helping hand, not using her is just plain stupid.
Diana was barely in the book and longingly looked on as the men went off to war, "Good luck boys--and I wish I could be going with you!"
7 Wonder Woman Thinks Slavery Is Just Fine If The Master Is Good - Wonder Woman #3
If there's one topic that is going to get just about anyone riled up, it's slavery. It's not one of those things that really needs explanation. Wonder Woman gets herself caught by a woman named Paula who hypnotizes her into becoming a submissive servant, otherwise known as her slave. That's all well and good for a heroine and her villain, but it's really what is said later on in the story that brings Wonder Woman #3 onto this list.
“If girls want to be slaves there’s no harm in that. The bad thing for them is submitting to a master or to an evil mistress like Paula! A good mistress could do wonders with them!” Really, Wonder Woman? If a girl wants to be a slave, there's no harm in that? Well, the book was printed in 1943, which was only 80 years after slavery was abolished in the United States...
6 Wonder Woman Gets A Job At Taco Whiz - Wonder Woman #73
When her mother - and all of Themyscira - disappears from the sea, Diana finds herself needing to support herself for the first time. She ends up crashing on Julia's couch in her basement and needs to get out and find a job, which proves much harder than she initially thought.
While Wonder Woman has plenty of skills that make her mighty, Diana's resume is somewhat lacking in work experience. After looking for some time, she finally lands a job at Taco Whiz and one of the greatest superheroes of all time sets to slinging tacos to earn a buck.
Eventually, Diana gets thrown into an assassination attempt and ends up battling a diminutive, fat demonic fellow who belches fire. She quickly dispatches her foe only to hear the man she rescued say, "Hey, that was pretty slick handling.. f'r a chick. I mean it..." Even in a book published in 1993, Wonder Woman was still having to deal with being a woman in a man's world-- even though she can fly and beat the crap out of demons.
5 Wonder Woman And Steve Trevor Get Hitched - Wonder Woman #127
If there's one thing we never really picture Wonder Woman doing, it's being a domesticated woman who has her husband's supper ready for him when he gets home. After years of asking, Wonder Woman finally agrees to marry Steve and the two get hitched almost right away. Things don't really work out too well for the pair when Steve learns that not only can't Diana cook, but she is way more trouble than he thinks she's worth.that's
Of course, as these stories go, it turns out to be nothing but a dream brought on by a bullet. Steve was grazed and while he was passed out, he dreamt of being married to Wonder Woman only to awaken and tell her that it would be "downright mental cruelty to be married" to her. Well, she doesn't take too kindly to this attitude and Steve is left trying to defend himself for only having dreamt of their imperfect union.
The story does little to progress the characters and it's not worth the paper it's printed on.
4 Wonder Woman Taught A Gorilla To Play Baseball - Wonder Woman #79
The tale told in Wonder Woman #79 is more of a headscratcher than anything else. Not all stories told in comics make sense, that's what we love about them! Then there is the time Wonder Woman helped to teach a gorilla named Andy how to play baseball. Wonder Woman finds herself facing an opposing team who makes all the rules up as they go along and she is only allowed the aid of the aforementioned Andy for her team... so she must teach the friendly ape to play... because, no idea is a bad idea? Not so much.
Looking past the terribly drawn gorilla, which is somehow twice the size of a regular gorilla, it's really just a stupid story. After the duo inevitably wins thanks to Diana's super speed, Andy grunts a pleasant "UH-NGU!" The editors thankfully translated that to mean "There's no one like Wonder Woman" so the reader wouldn't be left in agony wondering for the rest of their days what the good gorilla was thinking after winning his first ballgame.
3 Wonder Woman Joins Supergirl To Frolick With Frenchmen - The Brave and the Bold #63
In The Brave and the Bold #63, Wonder Woman finds Kara Zor-El, otherwise known as Supergirl, working as a fashion model in Paris. When she confronts the Kryptonian about her responsibilities as a superhero, she is rebuffed and shown the cutest outfit! Diana, of course, tries on the tight dress and by the next page is being seduced by a French gentleman whose kiss is nothing short of intoxicating to the Amazonian princess.
It doesn't take long for Diana to decide on a life of happiness with Andre, Count De Tour, who literally walked into a woman's dressing room and kissed the first woman he saw. Incidentally, the story is titled "Revolt of the Super-Chicks" so you know it wasn't dipping too far into the literary barrel. In the end, the ladies realize they must return to their lives and break up with their French fellows as they fly away.
On the last page, Superman is seen thanking Diana for saving Supergirl from a life of frivolous lovemaking as the two ladies wink through the fourth wall at the reader.
2 Wonder Woman Is The Prize - Wonder Woman #125
If you thought we could get through this list with only one issue about a silly love triangle involving Wonder Woman, you might want to skip this one. Back in Wonder Woman #125, our lovely Princess Diana got mixed up with Mer-Man, Steve Trevor, and Amoeba-Man. Okay, so it's not really a love triangle and more of a quadrangle, but that description aside, it's a pretty bad story. Despite her protests, Steve and Mer-Man agree to a contest for Diana's hand in marriage.
While they are going about their various challenges, Diana is kidnapped by an invading alien force of gigantic amoeba people. The two men put their differences aside to pilot Wonder Woman's invisible jet into the flying saucer, forcing it to crash. After saving her, they demand she choose one of them, again not really asking if it was all okay with her in the first place. The alien invasion is thwarted and never again mentioned so it all kind of leaves the reader wondering what they just picked up... and happily, put back down.
1 Wonder Woman Turns Into A Gorilla - Wonder Woman #170
"Great Hera! Gorillas from outer space" should be enough to convince you that this story is going to be pretty silly. When a flying saucer touched down on her beloved island home, Diana is greeted by some gorilla astronauts wearing glass domes who are looking for love in all the wrong places. Their mission is to find themselves a queen so they dropped in on the Amazons to decide on which lovely lady to take home with them.
Wonder Woman couldn't let this happen so she tries to convince the gentlemen to leave Paradise Island before she and her sisters lose their powers. They get to fighting and Diana is shot with a ray gun that turns her into a gorilla! It's not like she could have gone to apeworld and become their queen looking like a hideous human!
The apeman realizes his mistake when Wonder Woman's former beauty is lost and she is turned back into herself. She then convinces the leader to turn himself into a human and then she promptly uses her Lasso to compel him to return to his homeworld.
There is no possible way we covered every bad Wonder Woman story so please sound off in the comments with your favorite... worst Wonder Woman stories!