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Wonder Woman’s LGBTQ History

Writer Greg Rucka‘s recent revelation that Wonder Woman is LGBTQ has the internet buzzing. In an interview with Comicosity, Rucka acknowledged that she is interested in people of the same gender, though not necessarily exclusively. This could mean that she is bisexual, pansexual, gender-blind, or hold several other forms of attraction. Like most Amazonians, she’s just not 100% straight, nor is she 100% lesbian either.

Wonder Woman’s Beginnings

wonder woman 1940s comic

Wonder Woman has been a queer icon since her very inception. The credited creator of Wonder Woman is Dr. William Marston, but in actual fact, he created the comic with the help of his wife Elizabeth and their polyamorous partner Olive.

Olive was the physical inspiration for Wonder Woman from the beginning. These original stories were quite subversive for the time and the queer subtext incredibly heavy to the point where DC did their best to bury it for decades.

Relationships

Wonder Woman has a history of presenting LGBTQ themes throughout her comics; she has just never been shown to have had a relationship with a woman before. One of the better-known examples of LGBTQ relationships in Wonder Woman comics is the unrequited crush that Io had on Diana. But she was hardly the first.

The first explicit lesbian relationship in the Wonder Woman comics didn’t come until 1988. Introduced by George Pérez, the priestesses Menalippe and Penelope were lovers. Sadly, Menalippe’s death in the War of the Gods cut their love story short. Phil Jimenez introduced Anaya as a lover for sculptor Iphthime. They didn’t last long either: Anaya’s involvement in a Bana-Mighdall terrorist attack that wounded Iphthime and an ensuing civil war drove a wedge between them.

But those are small change. Minor Amazonians. Bigger names like Queen Hippolyta — Wonder Woman’s mother — have had relationships with women too, with the queen often paired with General Philippus. And just last year, writer Meredith Finch introduced a past relationship between Hippolyta and her counselor Derinoe.

However, these relationships are isolated, and the majority of the Amazonians still seem to be single. In Wonder Woman: Earth One, Grant Morrison explains that same-sex relationships are common, but doesn’t show it.

In the mid-00s, Gail Simone took over as writer of the Wonder Woman comics. She later hinted that she wanted to make Wonder Woman openly interested in all genders, but the editors wouldn’t allow her be that direct at the time.

Amazonian Sexuality Represented

sensation-comics-ft wonder woman issue 48-jason-badower

It’s not until Sensation Comics Featuring Wonder Woman chapter #48 when Diana officiates a lesbian couple’s wedding that we actually see the full extent of Amazonian sexuality represented. Even then, Diana has to explain to a baffled Superman that to Amazonians, same-sex marriage is just marriage. Prior to this, we had only seen hints about this side of Amazon culture. Rucka’s comments have created some clarity while keeping it vague enough for wide interpretation.

In the Films

wonder-woman

In a recent Variety interview, Gal Gadot weighed in on the sexuality of Wonder Woman. While Wonder Woman’s sexuality won’t be explored in the films, Gadot said, “In this movie, she does not experience any bisexual relationships. But it’s not about that. She’s a woman who loves people for who they are. She can be bisexual. She loves people for their hearts.”

Strong LGBTQ Characters

Subtle bisexuality seems to be a safe path for DC at the moment. This is the fourth major female comic character who has come out as bisexual in some way in the New 52, with Catwoman, Harley Quinn, and Poison Ivy also coming out, providing strong role models for the LGBTQ+ community.

Want to find out more about other LGBTQ+ characters in comics, film or TV? Check out our articles covering some of our favorite characters and those who defy LGBTQ+ stereotypes.

Celebrating LGBTQ Characters in Comics

Fighting Stereotypes: LGBTQ+ TV and Film Characters with Nuance


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