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Wonder Woman in 1942 (DC Comics)

Wonder Woman

(Diana in 1942)


Power Level:
Game system: DC Heroes Role-Playing Game

Context

This profile is a snapshot of DC Comics’ Wonder Woman during the Golden Age  – specifically her 1942 appearances.

This set of stats only includes the information from the first Wonder Woman Archive, which ends with December 1942. This profile also takes into account her adventures in All Star Archives volume 3. It covers her first adventure with the JSA, up through the end of 1942.


Background

  • Real Name: Diana aka Diana Prince
  • Marital Status: Single
  • Known Relatives: Hippolyte (mother)
  • Group Affiliation: Secretary of JSA
  • Base Of Operations: Washington DC
  • Eyes: Blue Hair: Black


Powers and Abilities

With the beauty of Aphrodite, the wisdom of Athena, the strength of Hercules, and the speed of Mercury, Wonder Woman has amazed the world with her feats of daring and courage in the cause of democracy, justice, and all womankind !


History

Wonder Woman has one of the most quickly retconned  origins. After only six months, her origin was altered significantly. I will list both origins, though only the second one should apply.

First origin

The daughter of Hippolyte, the unnamed Amazon princess was referred to either as “Princess” (by the other Amazons) or as “Daughter” (by Hippolyte). When Steve Trevor crashed on Paradise Island, “Princess” immediately fell in love with him. Aphrodite instructed Hippolyte to send the strongest and wisest Amazon, a Wonder Woman, to go back with him to America.

Hippolyte forbids “Daughter” from participating in the contests to determine which Amazon this would be. Nonetheless, the contest begins with a single masked contestant. The masked contestant beats out her only real competition, the amazon Mala. Mala fails to even deflect one bullet during the bullets and bracelets competition.

Hippolyte is disappointed that the winner is Daughter, but she allows Daughter to take the costume of Wonder Woman. Hippolyte also gives Daughter a name: Diana (this is Dec/Jan 1941/1942.) Diana apparently changes the costume’s skirt to shorts.

She takes Steve Trevor back to America in her invisible plane. Women immediately begin commenting on the scandalousness of her scanty costume.

She meets up with a nurse named Diana Prince who wants to go to Brazil to marry her fiancé. Wonder Woman volunteers to take her place, since they look alike, and WW does have medical training. Soon, she instead becomes the secretary for Colonel Darnell, Steve Trevor’s boss. Wonder Woman becomes known as a great hero.

Eventually, she returns to Paradise Island where she is given the newly crafted magic lasso. Prior to June 1942, she did not have a magic lasso.

Second Origin

This retcon appears in Wonder Woman #1, Summer 1942.

Much the same as the previous one, except as follows: Hippolyte is seen crafting a statue. It gets animated by Aphrodite, who names the tot Diana. Diana’s abilities are clearly far superior to the other amazons. When Steve Trevor crashes on Paradise Island, Diana invents the Purple Healing Ray to keep him alive.

After winning the contest, Diana is given a Wonder Woman costume (with shorts, not a skirt !) and is also given the magic lasso. Thus, there was never a period of time when she was in America before she got the lasso, nor was there a time when she wore a skirt as part of her costume.

Also, during the summer of 1942, Wonder Woman helped the JSA with a case, and was invited to join by Dr. Fate. Unfortunately, the JSA changed into the Justice Battalion, causing WW to volunteer to be merely their secretary for the duration of the war.

This meant that she missed out on the Black Dragon Menace, but she was nonetheless “Shanghaied Into Space” with the other members. She ended up on the planet Venus, where she helped Queen Desira against an attack from meteor men. She then missed out on helping the JSA get “Food for Starving Patriots.”


Description

Note, that she has long since abandoned the version of her costume with a skirt (which she only wore in her first origin story). In her second origin story, her costume has always had shorts, not a skirt. This can’t be stressed enough.

For some reason, everyone these days who wants to draw a picture (or make an action figure) of the Golden Age Wonder Woman wants to put her in a skirt. She never wore a skirt— except once (or twice, if you count covers) ! The skirt quickly changed into loose skirt-like shorts or culottes, and then slowly developed into spandex shorts.


Personality

A strong symbol that women are just as capable of men, Wonder Woman is all too eager to support women (believing that any woman can be a wonder woman), while never seeking to humiliate men (not counting villains, of course). However, as part of her philosophy of loving submission, she will often seek to conquer her foes through submission to them.

If she must let herself get tied up to prove a point, she will be all too eager to do so.

Apart from those personality quirks, she is a strong believer in the American way. She will stop at nothing to protect innocents, whether male or female. However, as a genre conceit, she does run into a disproportionate number of helpless females who she must teach her particular brand of wisdom.


Quotes

“I can do better with fewer clothes !”

“I submit ! Chain me.”

“I hope I wasn’t too rough with pussy.”

“I am a kinder mistress— I am stronger than Baroness Paula.”

“I surrender. You can tie me to that post.”

“Great girdle of Aphrodite ! Am I tired of being tied up !”

“You are bound by the magic lasso— you must obey me ! Yield your will to me ! You are hypnotized— Submit !”

“This is easy— what made you fellows think this elephant is heavy ?”

“Oh ! I would not dare to lie to you— you are so big and strong !”


DC Universe History

Mmm… Nah.


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Game Stats — DC Heroes RPG Print Friendly

Tell me more about the game stats

Wonder Woman (historical, 1942) – America’s Guardian Angel

Dex: 11 Str: 12 Bod: 09 Motivation: Responsibility of Power
Int: 07 Wil: 08 Min: 08 Occupation: Secretary (for military intelligence)
Inf: 09 Aur: 08 Spi: 08 Resources {or Wealth}: 004
Init: 034 HP: 090

Powers:
Hypersensitive Touch: 11, Hypnotism: 03, Jumping: 06, Recall*: 08, Sealed Systems: 08, Superspeed: 07, Swimming: 06

Bonuses and Limitations:

  • Hypersensitive Touch may only be used to identify substances by their weight (a task with an OV/RV of 10/10)
  • Sealed Systems probably does not protect against radiation.

Skills:
Animal Handling (Riding)*: 11, Artist: 01, Charisma (Persuasion)*: 09, Gadgetry*: 07, Medicine: 04, Scientist: 04, Vehicles*: 11, Weaponry*: 11

Advantages:
Attractive, Credentials (Military, low), Genius, Languages (all human languages), Leadership, Sidekick (Etta Candy), Scholar (psychology), Schtick (Precise Blocker (Bracers))

Connections:
Hippolyte (High), Etta Candy and the Holliday Girls (High)

Drawbacks:
Loss Vulnerability (chains welded to bracelets by an adult human male, STR, 0 APs), Secret Identity


Wonder Woman’s wondrous gear

  • Magic Lasso [BODY 18 STR 08, Control: 12, Hypnotism: 09]
    The lasso is a chain made of very tiny links made from Hippolyte’s girdle. The chain is so fine, it feels like silk. Control works on animals as well as people, as if the user had both Animal Control and Speak with Animals. As soon as the lasso successfully grapples a target, Control is used automatically, but only to make the target stop taking actions. Control may not be used to make the target take other actions until the user’s next Dice Action. The same is true for Hypnotism.
  • BRACELETS [BODY 15, Superventriloquism: 08]
    Superventriloquism represents light rather than sound; Superventriloquism only allows Wonder Woman to send “flash signals” by reflecting sunlight in order to communicate at a distance; the Holliday Girls can understand these signals.
  • INVISIBLE PLANE [STR 08 BODY 18, Flight: 14, Invisibility: 12, Vehicles (air): 07, Weather Control: 04, Hardened Defenses]
    The invisible plane is not made of wood or metal. It is supposedly indestructible and flies faster than humans have ever flown before. Vehicles skill represents its robot-controls (i.e., auto-pilot). It has a rope ladder from which Wonder Woman often dangles in order to save people.
    The plane also contains an “Electronic Mist Beam” which cuts through the dense clouds over Paradise Island and makes a rainbow path to the Amazon landing field, represented by Weather Control. Presumably, Invisibility also protects against radar.
  • MAGIC SPHERE [BODY 08, Postcognition: 34, Precognition: 34, Remote Sensing: 25]
    Technically, the magic sphere belongs to Hippolyte, but Wonder Woman has access to it whenever she needs it. The cognition powers work in conjunction with Remote Sensing to allow the viewer to see any location in any time period. By looking into the future, the Amazons have achieved a degree of scientific knowledge which is unsurpassed in the rest of the world. Hippolyte also used it to teach Diana all the arts and sciences of the modern and ancient worlds.
  • TELEPATHIC RADIO-TELEVISION [BODY 04, Radio Communication/Telepathy: 25, Recall: 08]
    The Telepathic Radio looks like a small Greek temple with a round screen. It receives signals sent to it via mental telepathy; the sender of the telepathic signals need not have the Telepathy power herself, but must know the specific Telepathic Radio-Television to which she intends to send a mental signal (much like having to know a phone number in order to call someone by phone). When a signal is transmitted to a TR-T, the device makes a sound to let its owner know. To receive the signal, the user must put on a WW-style tiara which is attached to the radio by a wire.
    It allows the user to send signals back to the person who is sending communication. It also functions much like an answering machine in case no one is around to receive the message at the time it is sent, which is represented by Recall. Both Wonder Woman and Etta Candy have a telepathic radio, as does Hippolyte. In 1943, Steve Trevor will also receive one.
  • PURPLE HEALING RAY [BODY 07, Invulnerability: 07]
    This ray was invented by Princess Diana in order to save Steve Trevor’s life (in the second version of her origin).
  • EARRINGS [BODY 01, Radio Communication: 40]
    Radio Communication only allows Wonder Woman to communicate with Queen Desira from the planet Venus via “magnetic hearing”.

Design Notes

Scholar (psychology) may be used to un-brainwash someone. With Gadgetry, she invented the Purple Healing Ray as well as bracelets that protect against paralysis rays. Leadership is generally only used on hordes of girls, such as the Holliday Girls.


By Sean MacDonald

Source of Character: DC comics

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