Wonder Woman is quite possibly the best-known female superhero ever. She has been around since 1941 and is a pivotal member of the DC Comics fictional universe. We’ve already compared Wonder Woman to Superman, but today we’re going to talk about her only, or – more precisely – her weaknesses.
Wonder Woman’s weaknesses are: being bound by a man (obsolete), Bracelets of Submission, Lasso of Truth, firearms, blades, old Gods, dimensional travel, Bind of Veils, Scarecrow’s Fear Gas, Poison, and her upbringing.
In today’s article, we are going to give you an in-depth presentation of Wonder Woman. We are going to focus on her character and then on 11 of her major weaknesses, which we are going to thoroughly analyse and support with actual examples from the comic books themselves. So, keep reading to find out more!
Who is Wonder Woman?
Wonder Woman is a fictional superheroine appearing as one of the major characters in the DC Comics fictional universe. She debuted in Sensation Comics #1 in 1942 and was created by psychologist William Moulton Marston and illustrator H.G. Peter, who is usually not credited as her creator. Her real name is Diana, which accounts for her civilian name – Diana Prince.
Wonder Woman was born in the fictional island nation of Themyscira as Princess Diana of Themyscira. Dina is an Amazon warrior and has been trained in the way of the Amazons ever since she was a child. Initially, her origin story included a clay statue made by the Amazon queen, Hippolyta, which was later granted life and several superpowers by the Greek gods (the so-called Old Gods). Newer origin stories retconned this and made Diana the daughter of Zeus and Queen Hippolyta.
Wonder Woman is known as one of DC Comics’ most powerful superheroes ever. She was trained by the Amazons and she also possesses some divine powers, along with specific magical artefacts like the Lasso of Truth. Wonder Woman was granted passage out of Themyscira and into “Man’s World” when she had to accompany U.S. pilot Steve Trevor back to his home. Steve Trevor would later become a crucial part of Wonder Woman’s story.
Deciding to stay in “Man’s World”, Wonder Woman took on the civilian name Diana Prince, while secretly working as a superheroine and a member of the Justice League. During the years, she has managed to “accumulate” a fairly large and colourful gallery of rogues, which includes names such as Ares, Cheetah, Doctor Poison, Circe, Doctor Psycho, and Giganta, along with more recent adversaries such as Veronica Cale and the First Born.
Today, Wonder Woman is one of the most important members of the Justice League but also a standalone heroine, a very important factor history-wise, especially given the fact that she was one of DC Comics’ major character in an area where female, characters weren’t. She has certainly helped shape modern DC Comics.
She has appeared in numerous derivative materials. including movies, TV shows and video games. She was voiced by a plethora of actresses before Patty Jenkins made her Wonder Woman, with Gal Gadot starring – jimmo, iak, večeras
Wonder Woman’s weaknesses
Despite being a superheroine and demigoddess, Wonder Woman has weaknesses like any other comic book character (except maybe Dr. Manhattan, but that is a completely different topic), although she doesn’t have any specific weaknesses like Superman or Green Lantern. She had one specific weakness during the golden age, but that has been removed since because it was obviously sexist and inappropriate for modern standards.
Now, let us see each of her 11 individual weaknesses.
Being bound by a man (obsolete)
This one may sound silly from today’s perspective and this is why we have decided to list it first, so that you can forget all about this fetishist nonsense by the time you’re done with our article. Namely, Wonder Woman is a feminist icon and as a strong, independent female character, she is a role model for a lot of girls and women who read her stories. But it wasn’t always like that. Not at all.
Namely, Wonder Woman’s creator, psychologist William Moulton Marston, was a real funny guy. He was a fan of bondage and he considered bondage a necessary element of every normal life and relationship.
Certainly, Wonder Woman’s character reflected those views in some was, so her initial major weakness was being bound by a man, and a man only (as illustrated above); had she been tied up by a woman or a chipmunk, she’d still be able to beat the crap out of them, but a man – as Marston viewed it, obviously – was so much powerful that even a demigoddess was powerless against such power… horrible.
If a male character managed to bind her, she would instantaneously lose all of her superpowers. This BDSM crap is more sexist and wrong than most people would care to admit, but Marston’s paradox is pretty obvious – he created a strong female character and then shattered her completely when exposed to male “dominance”.
Although it wasn’t stressed out and used often, this weakness “survived” until the 1980s, when DC Comics completely removed it from the Wonder Woman stories, making it obsolete, historical nonsense.
There are so many reasons why this was wrong that we do not even dare list them, but it is important to know that Marston’s fetishism was recognised as outright chauvinism and ultimately removed from the canon by DC Comics.
Bracelets of Submission
Interestingly enough, one of Wonder Woman’s strongest weapons – her Bracelets of Submission – is also one of her biggest weaknesses. Namely, being a demigoddess, Wonder Woman was endowed with incredible superhuman powers that she had to learn how to control. The Bracelets are made out of the famous Eight Metal, one of the strongest metals in the Multiverse and were given to Diana so she could control her powers.
She often uses it as a defensive weapon, deflecting both bullets and all forms of physical attacks. Along with the Lass of Truth, the Bracelets are Wonder Woman’s strongest pieces of equipment and have often been used as a decisive factor in her victories. Still, despite being made out of Eight Metal, the bracelets can be removed or shattered, and that has happened on several occasions. For example, in Wonder Woman #750 (2020), Cheetah managed to break her bracelets, after which Diana rushed to make a new pair. Why the whole drama?
Well, we’ve said that the Bracelets restrict her powers, but the question is – why would she even do that? Why would she willingly accept being weaker? Without the Bracelets, Wonder Woman’s powers go up, but so does her rage, and since she cannot control her powers anymore, she also cannot control her rage. At that very moment, Diana stops being a superheroine and becomes a madwoman, a mindless warrior focused on vengeance and destruction. She acts like a humanoid version of Doomsday, and we all know how dangerous Doomsday this. So, if Diana doesn’t get a new pair soon enough, just… run away as far as you can.
Lasso of Truth
The Lasso of Truth is Diana’s most famous piece of equipment (people usually don’t perceive the Bracelets as a weapon) and a very powerful weapon which she often used to subdue her opponents (specifically Superman and other powerful enemies).
The Lasso was given to the Amazons by the Olympian gods and they gave it to Diana when she went to “Man’s World”. It has a lot of different magical abilities and is most often depicted as being unbreakable. Its most famous ability is to force anyone whom it binds to tell the absolute truth, but it can also be used to restrain people and calm them down.
Diana has quite often relied on her Lasso to find out certain information or to defeat her opponents (there is a theory that it doesn’t work on people with an exceptionally strong mind, which is why it didn’t make Batman tell the truth, like it did Superman).
Historically speaking, the Lasso is also part of Marston’s bondage fetishism, but since it was not used to depict the submission of female characters, it was kept as part of the canon. So, how is it a weakness? Well, the same way the Lasso works on other people, it works on Wonder Woman as well. She has fallen victim to the effects of the Lasso on several occasions, including an infamous scene from Superman/Batman #15 (2015), where an alternative reality Superman used the Lasso to strangle and kill that reality’s Wonder Woman.
Wonder Woman is a demigoddess. She has regenerative abilities and is nigh immortal. She is also extremely fast and can deflect or defend herself against most types of weapons. So, she’s like Superman, right? She cannot be harmed by bullets? You might think so, but you would actually be wrong to consider that as a fact.
As the comic books demonstrated on several occasions, Wonder Woman is more than vulnerable to gunshot wounds – she can even be killed by them! Namely, due to the fact that she is a demigoddess, Wonder Woman has two sides – a human side and a divine side.
Her divine side gives her all those amazing powers, but her body is human and it has practically all the weaknesses of a normal human body. Therefore, it can be penetrated by bullets. The good thing here is that Wonder Woman can use her other abilities to deflect bullets, and she usually does, but there have been examples (as illustrated above) where she was wounded by a bullet.
So, what happens then? Well, due to her regenerative abilities, Wonder Woman would eventually heal herself, but her healing factor is not nearly as quick as Wolverine’s or Deadpool’s, as depicted in the Marvel Universe.
So, if it’s just a flesh wound or a shot that missed all the vital organs, Wonder Woman wouldn’t have any major problems as her healing factor would kick in and do its thing.
On the other hand, if the bullet would hit a vital organ and cause internal bleeding, she would need medical attention just like regular humans, since her healing factor is not that fast. Without medical assistance, Wonder Woman could even die from a bullet wound that hit her vital organs.
Blades and similar weapons
Just like she’s vulnerable to bullets, Wonder Woman is vulnerable to blades and similar weapons, be they of human or cosmic origin. As far as the reasons are concerned, they are the same as the reasons for her being vulnerable to gunshot wounds.
Wonder Woman does wear an armour all the time, but her armour is pretty revealing, which can cause significant problems for her. She might not be killed by a blade, but she can be badly injured or even poisoned if there is a toxin on the blade. How common was this? Well, common enough to have become a standard canon related to Wonder Woman and her abilities. There is also an infamous scene where Darkseid’s uncle, Steppenwolf, pierces through Diana’s chest with his weapon. Certainly, she would eventually hear herself, but like with bullets – it all depends on the type and severity of the wound itself.
In this aspect, Wonder Woman is significantly weaker than Superman, who cannot be penetrated by human-made weapons, due to his skin becoming much stronger on Earth. Wonder Woman’s human side is a weakness in that aspect, as it makes her body vulnerable to regular human injuries. In this aspect, she is similar to Eobard Thawne, who is virtually intangible due to his speed, but can be surprised and killed by a sword, like Thomas Wayne (Batman) did in Flashpoint. The f*cker’s going to come back eventually, but still – it’s something!
Whether you’re taking into account her original origin story or the new version, Wonder Woman has close ties to the Old Gods of Earth (i.e., the Olympian Gods of Ancient Greece). In her original origin story, she was a clay statue brought to life by Zeus and given godly powers to protect and lead the Amazons. In the newer stories, Wonder Woman is the daughter of Zeus and Queen Hippolyta of the Amazons, i.e., a demigoddess.
So, why are the Old Gods a weakness, then? Well, simply put it, if someone gives you something, he can also take ti back, right? Now, since the Old Gods are responsible for Diana’s powers and her equipment, it is reasonable to assume that the Old Gods can also take away her powers, right? This never actually happened, but it is a reasonable assumption, especially when talking about the older, Golden Age version of the character. Since the newer version got her powers at birth, it is a tad more difficult to imagine how they could be taken away, but the Old Gods are known for their resourcefulness.
If you’re think we’re joking, just remember the story of the Greek hero Hercules, who, despite being a demigod, lost his powers at one point during his life.
So, this is Diana’s connection to the Old Gods. This is still an unexplored theory so we might be proven wrong at some point in the future, but until that happens, we can safely assume that it is theoretically possible that the Old Gods just decide to make Wonder Woman human by taking away her powers.
Time travelling is a very tricky thing. Dimensional travel is even trickier. Although comic books are known to have been quite elegant when executing this extremely complex phenomenon, it doesn’t change the fact that it is a very straining and risky experience. Yet, comic book characters due it relatively often and Wonder Woman is no exception.
Travelling in other dimensions and realities can be a risky thing. You might end up in a place that will make you even stronger, but you might also end up in a place where you’re no stronger than a common gerbil. Wonder Woman is more at risk of landing in a place where she’d lose her powers than vice versa. Why? We are going to explain.
Namely, Wonder Woman got her powers from the Old Gods, which exist in the dimension/universe she inhabits. But, as the numerous Flash comics explained, travelling to a different dimension might affect your skills and abilities. So, theoretically speaking, if Wonder Woman went to a dimensions where the Old Gods never existed, she might lose all of her powers, as there is no entity in that dimension that could’ve given her the powers. This also never happened in the comic books and is, like the preceding weakness, just a theoretical possibility that we can entertain in this moment, because the comics never outright denied it.
Bind of Veils
The Bind of Veils is an Ancient Greek artefact introduced during the New 52 imprint. It appeared only once, during Snyder’s Endgame storyline involving Batman. Endgame depicted an epic final showdown between Batman and the Joker that involved practically all the characters associated with Batman, Wonder Woman included.
The Bind of Veils was found by the Joker and used on Wonder Woman. The artefact brainwashed Wonder Woman into attacking Batman, thinking he was her enemy (it also caused her to think that she’d killed the Joker). The Joker both played a joke on Diana and wanted to see whether she would kill Batman. Although she started off strong, Batman was ultimately able to subdue her and free her from the influence of the Bind of Veils.
This artefact had a very specific influence on Wonder Woman. It did not weaken her, but it brainwashed her and made her an easy target for manipulation. This is why the Joker was able to manipulate her into almost killing Batman. Most readers have compared the Bind of Veils to Kryptonite, assuming that this was Wonder Woman’s new weakness, but there has been no confirmation of that fact, mostly due to the fact that the Bind of Veils did not appear after Endgame. It might make a reappearance during the Rebirth imprint, but we’ll just have to wait and see whether the Bind of Veils is going to play a more important role in future narratives or not.
Scarecrow’s Fear Gas
Jonathan Crane, a.k.a. The Scarecrow is a fictional supervillain usually appearing as an enemy of Batman. He is a genius-level psychiatrist obsessed with phobias who turned into the Scarecrow, which is a psychological manifestation of his modus operandi. His best-known weapon is his Fear Toxin (usually a gas, but also present in other states), which he uses to induce fear in his opponents by making them hallucinate and see their worst fears. Although he is primarily an enemy of Batman, he has occasionally fought other members of the Justice League, even becoming a Yellow Lantern at one point of his career.
So, how is Crane connected to Wonder Woman? Well, he has imprisoned her once and we assume that she would be, due to her human side, affected by his Fear Toxin. Similarly to her weakness to firearms and bladed weapons, Wonder Woman is also weak to poison, so there’s actually no reason for her to not be weak to Scarecrow’s powerful toxin.
It is not known how her fears would manifest, since Scarecrow’s toxin is individual in its presentation and depends on the victim’s fears. We don’t actually know Wonder Woman’s fears so we can only assume how it would manifest, but we can assume that it would have a strong effect on her. Yes, it probably wouldn’t incapacitate her – she has super breath she can use and she can also hold her breath for a while – but it would certainly have some effect on her. She would hardly be immune to it, despite all of her superpowers and abilities.
It is important to note that Diana has never faced Scarecrow’s Fear Toxin so this is just an assumption based on her general biological characteristics. How exactly she would react still remains unknown but we hope that we’ll find out at one point, because it would be interesting to dig a bit deeper into Diana’s psyche, and there’s hardly anyone better suited for that than Dr. Johnathan Crane. Plus, we know Diana would find a way to win so we don’t have to be afraid for her health and mental state.
Batman was just being Batman when he devised a plan to defeat every other member of the Justice League, Wonder Woman included. The Dark Knight was a human among metahumans and he was well aware of the danger these characters might become, so he devised a plan to defeat each of them in case one of them went rogue. Due to their specific characteristics, it wasn’t always easy for the Dark Knight to come up with a water-proof plan, but he managed to do it. Even for Wonder Woman.
Finding out everything he could about his teammates, Batman was well prepared each time he started his planning. While coming up with a plan to defeat Wonder Woman, he analysed her basic biology and concluded that the best was to defeat her would be to poison her. This is something that wouldn’t work on Flash or Superman, because they could just run or fly so fast that the poison would disappear before even activating, but Wonder Woman was never that fast. Also, her human side remains vulnerable and open to different types of attacks, all of which we’ve analysed in the preceding sections, including Scarecrow’s toxin, which is a poison. Wonder Woman’s not immune to poisons and her skin can be penetrated by ordinary human-made weapons, which gives the attacker multiple ways of getting the poison into her blood stream. Knowing how her body works, we just don’t see a way – except for an antidote of course – how she would avoid succumbing to the effects of the poison.
This is a major weakness for Wonder Woman and one that could easily be exploited were Batman to lose his contingency plans. This happened in the animated movie Justice League: Doom, when someone stole the plans; Cheetah later poisoned Diana and the Amazon warrior saw everyone as Cheetah, which sent her on a rampage until Cyborg intervened in the last moment. This is why where is absolutely no doubt that poisons are a major weakness for Wonder Woman, but luckily for her – it’s not that easy to poison her. If you don’t believe us, just ask Doctor Poison, one of Wonder Woman’s recurring enemies, who has repeatedly tried to get rid of Wonder Woman with her poisons, but was never successful.
Finally, we’ve come to the last weakness Wonder Woman has. This one is technically not a weakness, but it could be interpreted as one if you look at it from a certain point of view.
Namely, Wonder Woman was raised on the island of Themyscira by Amazon warriors. The living conditions on the island, as well as the way she was raised, are extremely different from anything known in what the Amazons call the “Man’s World”. Diana was thus raised as a warrior and cannot fully and completely relate with regular humans and their problems. This makes her seem cold and distant from time to time, and she has had several blunt comments in completely inappropriate situations. This is not a sign of any lack of emotions, but rather of her not being able to understand her surroundings completely.
On the other hand, Diana does care and wants to protect the ones she cares about. It is very simple to protect someone from a potentially lethal situation, everyone knows that, but Wonder Woman wasn’t always an emotional support, although she definitely should have been in certain situations. As we’ve stated, this is not a weakness per se, as this element doesn’t really do anything to her powers, but it does make her incapable of helping in every possible situation, which can be interpreted as a weakness, albeit a truly minor one. This is why we have decided to put it on the last place of our list, as its significance in developing Diana’s character is not that big.
And this covers all of Wonder Woman’s major weaknesses. We have provided enough information and examples for you so you can see how they are manifested. And that’s it for today. We hope you had fun reading this and that we helped solve this dilemma for you. See you next time and don’t forget to follow us!