Wonder Woman is the super-powered heroine who has been fighting evildoers since her comic book debut in 1941. Wonder Woman was created that year by "Charles Moulton" -- a pen name for William Moulton Marston, a psychologist with a keen interest in the female psyche and what later would be called Women's Liberation. Marston decided that the world needed a feminine equal to Superman
, who had been super-popular since his introduction in 1938. She first appeared in All Star Comics #8 in December 1941. Wonder Woman's tools include her Lasso of Truth, a rope that impels truth-telling from those bound by it, her bullet-deflecting bracelets, and an invisible airplane that flies faster than the speed of sound. As conceived by Marson, Wonder Woman was named Diana, wore a red-white-blue-and-gold superhero outfit, and came from a race of powerful Amazon women who lived on Paradise Island. Over the years her backstory and specific powers have varied, but she's remained a popular part of the superhero canon. She was played by Lynda Carter in the TV movie The New, Original Wonder Woman
(1975) and the series Wonder Woman
(1976-79), and will be played by Adrianne Palicki in a new series planned for launch in 2011.