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Wonder Woman: Best Comic Issues of the 1980s | ScreenRant

Wonder Woman has been a mainstay in DC comics for a long time. However, in her long story, the 1980s can be seen as a defining decade as writers like Len Wein provided more context behind her mythological roots. Coming to her supporting characters, her mother Hippolyta, and lover Steve Trevor were fleshed out in greater detail in the stories from this era.

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Larger-than-life battles with new villains like Cheetah and Silver Swan were common. But some of the best storylines from this time also explored the internal dilemmas that Diana Prince goes through with her double life on Themyscira and the world of humans. Regardless of where she was, her loyalties were often tested with arduous challenges. At the end of the day, she emerged as not just a valiant warrior but the timeless pop culture icon that she is.

6 Challenge Of The Gods (Wonder Woman Vol 2 #8-14)

A seven-issue comic book arc, The Challenge of the Gods finds Diana proving her prowess as an Amazonian warrior as new challenges plague Themyscira. Zeus and Hercules appear as antagonistic characters with the former even attempting to woo Diana. When she rejects his advances, she goes through several tests that put Hippolyta's life in danger.

Apart from the titular "challenge," the best part about this comic is perhaps the origin of the Wonder Woman comic villain Cheetah. Introducing the character of Barbara Minerva, she is shown to turn into the creature as a result of a ritual. Even though Cheetah's origins have changed in the years to come, her comic book debut continues to be of significance to seasoned readers.

5 Gods And Mortals (Wonder Woman Vol 2 #1-7)

 

Gods and Mortals starts off with wonder Woman leaving Paradise Island to adjust and assimilate in the world beyond. But she cannot adjust to her new life in peace as the recurring Wonder Woman comic book villain Ares strikes back. The Greek god of war plans on starting World War III before Diana foils his plans.

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More than the action between Ares and Wonder Woman, what's noteworthy is the introductory focus on the culture of Amazons. George Perez's aesthetic panels showcase the marital culture of the warriors of Themyscira, the same traditions that made Wonder Woman who she is.

4 One Super-Villain: Made to Order (Wonder Woman Vol 1 #274)

As Wonder Woman builds diplomatic ties with military generals, the tactician and cult leader known as Kobra uses her friend Deborah as a pawn. As is revealed later, Deborah is turned into the next Cheetah following the previous Cheetah's death (Priscilla Rich).

Showing the origin of Deborah's version of Cheetah is important for it adds an emotional touch to her character. She is introduced as a loyal friend of Wonder Woman, helping her fit in with her double life as Diana Prince. Just like the first Cheetah, she is not inherently evil and has had a few wholesome moments in the DC comics. But it is her circumstances and Kobra's control that makes her evil. For fans of Kristen Wiig's role in Wonder Woman 1984, Made To Order would make for essential reading.

3 Of Gods And Men: Crisis On Infinite Earths (Wonder Woman Vol 1 #329)

Crisis On Infinite Earths was a massive crossover event that spanned across the issues of a plethora of DC characters. The major premise included Anti-Monitor taking control over Wally West (The Flash) and unleashing a new multiverse. This particular Wonder Woman issue finds Anti-Monitor joining forces with Hades who wages an all-out war against the Amazons and Olympians. The dead Amazon warriors are also revived as zombies as a part of Hades' plans against his brother Zeus.

RELATED: 10 Things From The Crisis On Infinite Earths Comics We Wish Were Included In The Arrowverse

Apart from the central battle, Of Gods And Men is also significant for developing Diana's relationship with Steve Trevor. After the crisis is temporarily averted, both confess their love with each other and even end up marrying as Zeus performs the ceremony. The newly-married couple even shares a vision where they are in a golden field with no worries as their future child walks with them. Both Diana and Steve know that this bliss seems to be unlikely in their tumultuous lives but it still makes for a pure and wholesome moment.

2 Bid Time Return! (Wonder Woman Vol 1 #322)

Both Wonder Woman and her love interest Steve Trevor have had fuzzy memories following the latter's resurrection. However, this particular issue finds both lovers getting their memories back. As Diana discovers that Hippolyta was behind their lost memories, she decides to go against her mother.

Hippolyta and Diana have indeed shared a challenging relationship from the start. While Diana's powers help her adapt to human society, Hippolyta has always been suspicious about her daughter venturing into the "Man's World." Her overprotective parenting further comes out in the open with Bid Time Return. This is why the comic is an important read to understand Wonder Woman's family dynamics.

1 Swan Song (Wonder Woman Vol 1 #288)

As Steve Trevor recovers from a head wound, Wonder Woman faces off against a new nemesis called Silver Swan. As a disgruntled ballet dancer, she went on to ask the heavens to seek vengeance on the men who wronged her. Ares listens to her prayers granting her wings and eternal beauty. However, his one condition is for Swan to kill Wonder Woman in return.

The over-the-top nature of the storyline is characteristic of its era. At the same time, this issue launched an iconic trend within Wonder Woman comics i.e. her costume. While the boots and the red, white, and blue ensemble had minor changes, her eagle emblem was replaced with a 'WW' logo. This symbol continues to be used today giving Wonder Woman a distinct visual identity like Superman, Batman, and other DC heavyweights.

NEXT- 5 Ways Steve Trevor Changed In Wonder Woman 1984 (& 5 Ways He’s The Same)

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