One of the interesting aspects of Wonder Woman’s comic book history is that she spent her first 20 years of existence mostly isolated from teaming up with her fellow superheroes. She was a member of the Justice Society of America, of course, but even there, she was only the secretary of the group, so it wasn’t until the series almost finished out its Golden Age that she was actually allowed to go on adventures with the rest of the team. It took the creation of the Justice League of America in 1960 to really open up Wonder Woman’s team-up opportunities. However, even there, while other superheroes would often fight each other over silly misunderstandings, Wonder Woman didn’t often have those types of stories, very possibly for sexist reasons.
Thus, as we list the biggest beat downs that Wonder Woman has given to fellow superheroes, do note that she had a lot less opportunities than her fellow heroes for hero-on-hero fights. Therefore, a few fights on this list technically ended without a definitive winner, but in instances where she clearly would have won the fight, we still counted them (we just gave them less weight than her more definitive victories). Finally, while we all love Injustice, those stories are out of continuity and we’re not going to count them.
15. MIND-CONTROLLED SUPERMAN
It is important to note that Wonder Woman has never actually outright defeated Superman in battle (not counting Injustice). However, on at least one occasion, Diana clearly would have defeated Superman. It occurred during their most famous fight, part of the “Sacrifice” storyline.
Maxwell Lord had used his mind control powers to make Superman think that Wonder Woman was Doomsday. He was sluggish, though, due to the mind control, and while Superman did plenty of damage to her, this was because she was holding back while trying to use her lasso of truth to cut through the mind control. It left her at a strategic disadvantage and Superman broke her wrist while she was trying to get the lasso around him. However, she was routinely taking advantage of Superman’s sluggishness and had just sliced open his throat when she ultimately decided the only solution was to kill Lord instead.
Robin, Wonder Girl, Superboy and Impulse left Young Justice because of an event where a Superman robot was used to kill former Titans Lilith and Donna Troy (Donna has died and been reborn more than her fair share of times). Nightwing disbanded Young Justice due to things getting too dangerous in the wake of the deaths. So when the Justice League found out that the older members of the Titans (Cyborg, Starfire and Beast Boy) were re-forming a new Teen Titans, they were not pleased.
Starfire interrupted Wonder Woman while she was confronting Wonder Girl and after Starfire blasted her, Wonder Woman promptly punched her a far distance. She kept doing this to Starfire every time she came at her, but finally decided to really start fighting when Nightwing showed up to break up the fight. Wonder Woman was destroying Starfire.
One of the best aspects of JLA/Avengers is that writer Kurt Busiek was well aware of the histories of all of the characters featured within the series, so he was well situated to come up with the most compelling interactions between the DC Comics heroes and their Marvel counterparts. Initially, the Justice League and the Avengers were set against each other in a classic “see who can collect more items” sort of scavenger hunt.
During the search, Wonder Woman encountered Marvel’s Hercules. The DC version of Hercules had sexually assaulted Wonder Woman’s mother millennia ago, while the Marvel version of Hercules did not. Therefore, in JLA/Avengers #2, Busiek and artist George Perez paired the two heroes up and Wonder Woman spent two pages just pummeling Hercules every few panels. Eventually, the larger scavenger hunt broke it up, but Wonder Woman had dominated their encounter to that point.
12. BIG BARDA
In the 1996 Mister Miracle series, Mister Miracle and Big Barda suffered martial problems and temporarily separate. During that separation, Barda is killed and Mister Miracle has to tap into the fact that he was the living embodiment of the Anti-Life Equation and he used those powers to bring Barda back to life, but they sort of made Miracle snap. When he finally recovered his humanity, he and Barda spent some time apart. Barda went to stay on Paradise Island, where she sparred with Wonder Woman “as if it was a real fight.”
11. GREEN LANTERN (HAL JORDAN)
One of the interesting aspects that Geoff Johns brought to the rebooted Justice League following the New 52 was that the members of the League were not all perfect pals or anything like that. There was a good deal of friction between the various members, especially the members that still did not know each other as well as they did others. One of those weaker relationships was between Green Lantern and Wonder Woman. So when Hal got into Wonder Woman’s way in Justice League #11 (by Johns, Jim Lee and Scott Williams), she responded by breaking through his ring construct and pounding him.
Hal then fought back and after a bit, their teammates broke them up, but seeing as how Wonder Woman was easily breaking through his ring constructs (presumably due to her force of will… or fists), she looked like she would have creamed him easily.
A whopping four entries on this list are from a single comic book. The graphic novel, JLA: League of One was written and drawn by Christopher Moeller. The basic gist behind the story is that Wonder Woman has discovered from an oracle that a dragon is going to kill the Justice League. Wonder Woman decides that she has to then take out each of her teammates until she is the only Leaguer left, at which point if the League died according to the prophecy, it would only be her.
Her takedown of Aquaman is a bit of a cheat, as she had help. She enlisted the Greek sea monster, Charybdis, to help keep Aquaman out of commission. Still, she did have to grab him and throw him into the whirlpool against his will, which was impressive on her part that she pulled it off.
Wonder Woman has actually taken out the Flash (Wally West) a couple of times. The other time came in JLA: Classified #17 (by Gail Simone, Jose Luis Garcia-Lopez and Klaus Janson, where Wally was possessed by Starro and Wonder Woman, knowing that Starro was in control, realized that she could time where Starro (in control of Wally’s body) was going to run next. She then was ready to punch him at just the right moment.
In JLA: League of One, Wonder Woman once again got help. While Wally was running through the jungle (where the dragon was about to show up), she had a Naiad, a greek forest nymph, make the ground come up and trip Wally while he was running. While he was dazed on the ground, Wonder Woman just kicked him, knocking him out cold.
8. JUSTICE SOCIETY
Since the first season of the Wonder Woman TV show was set during World War II, DC tried to come up with a clever way of having Wonder Woman’s series match the show, so they came up with the idea of having the book suddenly follow the Earth-1 Wonder Woman, who fought in World War II as well! The book followed her until finally going back to the Earth-1 version in Wonder Woman #233. The last issue of Earth-2 Wonder Woman was written by Alan Brennert and Martin Pasko and drawn by Michael Netzer and Vince Colletta.
In the issue, the villainous Osira has taken control of the minds of Wonder Woman’s male Justice Society teammates, Atom, Mister Terrific, Starman and Johnny Thunder. Wonder Woman quickly beats up Terrific and Atom (even shrugging off Atom’s best punch) and then Johnny Thunder’s Thunderbolt helps her take down Starman, as well.
7. MARTIAN MANHUNTER
While Superman is naturally the member of the Justice League that most people are most afraid of, there is a good argument to be made that the most dangerous member of the League is actually the Martian Manhunter, as he is as strong as Superman, but he also can shape-shift his entire body, turn invisible, turn intangible and, of course, has telepathic powers that can attack your mind and also mentally coordinate attacks with his teammates!
Therefore, when Wonder Woman decided that she had to take out her teammates in JLA: League of One, her first target was Martian Manhunter. She quickly stunned him, wrapped him in her lasso of truth and then teleported him somewhere where he’s surrounded by lava, to take advantage of his one weakness: an awful fear of fire!
6. ELONGATED MAN
In a really weird coincidence, just a year after the Wonder Woman #232 story where a villain named Osira took control of Wonder Woman’s male Justice Society teammates and forced them to fight her, we got Justice League of America #157 (by Gerry Conway, Dick Dillin, Juan Ortiz and Frank McLaughlin), where Wonder Woman faced off against a villain named Muari who… took control of Wonder Woman’s male Justice League teammates and forced them to fight her.
This time around, though, she at least had a female teammate, Black Canary and a female guest-star, Supergirl, to help her! Still, she had to take on Batman, Elongated Man and Aquaman by herself, and she knocked out Batman and Elongated Man easily before Aquaman proved harder to knock out.
5. POWER GIRL
In the storyline leading up to Wonder Woman #41 (by Gail Simone, Chris Batista; Fernando Dagnino, Doug Hazlewood and Raul Fernandez) the sons of Ares (known as The Crows), used their abilities to turn people against Wonder Woman. At the end of Wonder Woman #40, Diana discovered that her fellow hero, Power Girl, was now out to get her, twisted by the Crows!
Power Girl certainly got her share of good hits in on Wonder Woman in the fight, and Wonder Woman clearly respected Power Girl, but at the end of the day, as Wonder Woman noted, Power Girl “isn’t an Amazon” and she then lays Power Girl out. She then keeps Power Girl in a hold until she snaps out of the mind control.
The celebratory 200th issue of Justice League of America (it was bimonthly for much of its run, which is why it took 22 years to hit 200 issues) was a very clever giant-sized story by Gerry Conway that had the original seven members of the Justice League fight against the members of the League who joined later on as they each fight for the meteors from the Justice League’s first case (the original members are being brainwashed by the aliens who the League fought in that first issue).
In a story drawn by Dick Giordano, Zatanna tries to stop Wonder Woman, but the crafty Diana uses her magical lasso to divert a water spout created by Zatanna back at the magician! Only the Amazon’s Purple Ray healing machine kept Wonder Woman from killing her friend!
3. GREEN LANTERN (KYLE RAYNER)
When he was introduced at the end of “Emerald Twilight” following Hal Jordan’s descent into madness (later explained by Hal being possessed by the yellow fear entity known as Parallax), what made Kyle Rayner stand out is that he was basically an “everyman.” He was not chosen because of an ability to overcome great fear. He was chosen because he was the closest person when Ganthet showed up with the ring. That made him becoming an accomplished hero such an impressive feat of heroism.
However, at the end of the day, he is basically just a regular guy with a ring, which is why Wonder Woman was able to dupe him so easily in JLA: League of One. She called him to the JLA headquarters and just grabbed the ring off of his finger and head-butted him, knocking him unconscious.
In the crossover “H’el on Earth,” Supergirl and Superboy decided to team up with the villainous H’el, as he tricked them into believing his plan to bring Krypton back to life. While Superman was taking the fight directly to H’el, he had his Justice League teammates deal with Supergirl. Flash failed to take her down, so in Supergirl #17 (by Mike Johnson and Mahmud Asrar), it was Wonder Woman’s turn.
While Supergirl might actually be stronger than Wonder Woman, she did not have any real combat training, and so Wonder Woman was able to easily out-maneuver her and wrap her up tightly in her magic lasso. Supergirl surprised her, though, by unleashing a solar burst and breaking free of the lasso. This made Supergirl weak, though, so Wonder Woman was then able to take her down easily.
As noted earlier, Wonder Woman knocked Batman out easily when Batman was under the control of Mauri, but a more notable encounter between Batman and Wonder Woman occurred in the classic graphic novel Wonder Woman: The Hiketeia, the first Wonder Woman story written by Greg Rucka (it was drawn by J.G. Jones and Wade von Grawbadger).
The story is about a young woman on the run from Batman who traveled to Wonder Woman’s embassy home and invoked an ancient Greek ritual in which Wonder Woman would be honor-bound to protect her with her life. The thing is, Batman is honor-bound to capture her because she killed some people (they were bad people, but still). So Batman tirelessly fights against Wonder Woman, with Diana repeatedly kicking his ass, even holding his face to the ground with her boot. The woman “solved” the conflict by killing herself.
What was your favorite superhero vs. superhero fight featuring Wonder Woman? Let us know in the comments section!