Wonder Woman's Powers?

Okay, so how powerful, really, is the post-Crisis Wonder Woman?

The DVDs of the TV show put this question in my mind. The character has changed a lot. She can now fly and seems to be physical more powerful. Is she invulnerable? Does she still have to use her bracelets to block bullets?

I know that the bracelets are more meaningful in post-Crisis… they’re a symbol of her people’s former oppression by men, and taking them off can basically send her into a wild rage, and welding them together can render her powerless, right?

Just, in general, I’m wondering what she’s capable of now.

When I was a kid, I wanted to be Wonder Woman when I grew up…

Related question: does she still have that stpid lasso? And how did she suddenly gain the ability to fly?

Pre-Crisis, she had the intermittent ability to “glide on air currents”, and while I’ll admit her rack defies gravity, it’s not clear how the rest of her body managed.

Post-Crisis, she was given abilities from various Greek gods, including Mercury, which allowed to actually fly. Of the major DC heroes, her powers are among the least well-defined. She can take hits from wrecking balls, yet has to deflect bullets with her bracelets. She has vast superhuman strength, but couldn’t overpower Storm in that ridiculous DC vs Marvel series. In one pre-Crisis story, Batman managed to beat and choke her almost senseless, though he was on serious drugs at the time.

She’s only as powerful as the story requires.

Mockingbird will I’m sure be along to fill in the gaps, but here goes…

Initially WW couldn’t fly unaided. She could glide on air currents. For long distances she had her invisible plane (later upgraded to an invisible jet). Of course she was superhumanly strong and also had superhuman stamina, agility, etc. She could summon her plane telepathically and also had some sort of “mental radio” power she could use to contact Paradise Island. Her lasso was made from Hippolyte’s girdle and had the power to compel anyone bound by it to tell the truth (WW was created by the man who developed an early lie detector). I have this vague memory that her earrings allowed her to survive without oxygen. She could be stripped of her powers if her bracelets were welded together, and also IIRC if she were bound by a man.

Post-Crisis she was gifted with various powers by the gods, including strength, speed, wisdom and flight. Flight I remember specifically came from Hermes. The invisible jet was retconned out but was I believe years later returned. Her bracelets were made from the Golden Fleece and were still what she used to deflect bullets. She retained the lasso and it had the same powers.

In the TV series WW could be stripped of her powers in the first season by removing her magic belt. She had the power to mimic voices, something she never had in the comics. She also used her tiara as a boomerang on TV, something I don’t recall seeing in the comics.

I don’t know what her current strength level is (or honestly if the current WW is still the same Diana; there’ve been a couple others post-Crisis) but based on what I remember she was the strongest female DC hero. Not as strong as Superman, probably on par with Captain Marvel.

In Greek mythology, Hermes had no innate ability of flight and could only fly with his winged sandals. Is it different in the DC universe or just sloppy story tellling?

And in DK2, (not that anyone would actually read that piece of crap) [spoiler] she had a teenaged daughter by Superman, and got preggers with another -still trying to figure out how this was accomplished, since Big Blue never took off his tights, nor did WW remove those stupid bicycle shorts she was wearing. 9I honestly think Wonder Woman’s outfit was the worst thing about DK2). Anyhoo, she not only survived having sex with Superman, at least twice, but also a pregnancy, with a second in progress when the story closed.

Woman of Kleenex, she is not[/spoiler]

Anyhoo, I think that in itself could qualify as one of her powers.

There’s a quite amusing review here.

I have a Wonder Woman comic from circa 1957 that shows her in a circus, showing off her powers. I don’t recall all of them – she’s strong, she can ride air currents, she’s got those bracelets and that lasso – but two of them really stood out in my mind:

1.) She can run up a glass wall

2.) She can thread a needle underwater
Neither of these strikes me as a typical superpower. Going up glass walls is cool (heck, the first Superman movie showed him standing on a glass wall).

But “threading a needle underwater” just seems weird. It’s not the kind of thing I can imagine is called for very often in fighting crime. (“Stop! Or I’ll thread this needle! Underwater!”) It’s not even the kind of thing that competing superheros would get into competition over.

Superman: I’m faster!
Flash: No, I’m faster!
Superman: Well, I’m stronger!
The Thing: Get outtahere, ya Yancy Streeter, I’m stronger!
Hulk: Hulk Smash!
Wonder Woman: well, I can thread a needle underwater
Superman, Flash, Thing, and Hulk break out laughing. Wonder Woman kicks them all in the groin.

Hey, I’m sure it impresses the heck outta Aquaman.

Wonder Woman: Well, I can thread a needle underwater.
Aquaman: Hey, Wonder Woman! Want to thread my needle? underwater?
Aquaman breaks out laughing. Wonder Woman gives him a swift kick in the groin.

OK, the tally so far:
Wonder Woman can

Deflect bullets with her bracelets
Compel people to tell the truth using her magic lasso

Reproduce with Superman and survive

Summon aircraft telepathically
Communicate telepathically with Themysceria
Walk up a glass wall
Survive without oxygen with her magic earrings
Beat up the Batman
Thread a needle underwater

Wonder Woman has a lasso that can make you tell the truth. What a stupid power. She lassoes the bad guy, “Gotcha, now talk.” “Damn, you got some big titties.”

-Dave Chappelle on Dr. Katz

I think it’s important, though, to keep Pre- and Post-Crisis powers separate. So she can fly, but the plane is gone. What about welding the bracelets, does that still make her weak? Does taking them off still drive her into a rage?

Also according to the series, she could catch bad guys with her magic lasso only if they slowed down to an easy jog, in place, and kept their arms close to their sides.

Was the twirling-to-change-clothes thing just for TV, or was it in the comics as well?

That was invented for TV. Originally Lynda Carter spun and through time-lapse she ended up in costume with an armful of clothes, which she’d have to stash. When that slow-mo striptease proved a little risque and more than a little time-consuming to shoot they switched to the much cooler lightburst effect.

In the comics pre-Crisis she would change by spinning her lasso around herself. Post-Crisis she has no secret identity so no transformation required.

I’m unaware of a post-Crisis bracelet-welding but since it’s amazingly lame I’m assuming it no longer weakens her. I’m also unaware of any postCrisis bracelet removal that’s resulted in a rage.

But I haven’t read comics regularly for close to a decade.

Post-Crisis, the plane is back. Don’t ask. It involves John Byrne (IIRC) trying to “fix” things rather than just telling a story. 'Nuff said, true believer?


Wonder Woman also has the power to numb men’s minds.

So did Lynda Carter.

She can create so much wood in men’s pants that they cannot move around well. This is, of course, in addition to numbing minds mentioned above and causing men to walk into traffic because they are staring at her in that outfit.

Levitate her boobs so that they point straight out from her body like steel-reinforced highway marker cones?