Daughter of Queen Hippolyta of the Amazon’s, founding member of the Justice League and 1/3 of DC’s fabled trinity, Princess Diana of Themyscira, the Wonder Woman, is many things. Whether she’s being depicted as the daughter of a God or sculpted from clay by her mother and given life by the Goddess Aphrodite, Wonder Woman has maintained her status as the most enduring and iconic female superhero ever since her debut in 1941 in the pages of All Star Comics #8 by creators, writer William Moulton Marston and her often uncredited co-creator, artist Harry G. Peter.
Consistently portrayed as both a fierce warrior and an ambassador of peace, Wonder Woman is known for being a diplomat who opens her heart and hands to even her fiercest enemies, often earning her allies in the process. However, where she differs from her fellow trinity members Superman and Batman is their unwavering and rigid moral codes. Wonder Woman has shown readers on multiple occasions that while she sees it as a last resort, killing is never off the table. With the character’s first solo film finally here, we thought it would be a great time to look back on 15 times Wonder Woman killed.
The first item on our list comes from the Absolute Power storyline by writer Jeph Loeb and artists Carlos Pacheco, Jesús Merino and Laura Martin. In the arc, members of the Legion of Super-Villains travel back in time from the 31st century to eliminate almost all of the founding members of the Justice League. They spare and raise a young Superman and Batman as their children, grooming them to become dictators who rule Earth with an iron fist by killing any opposition, including former friends and allies.
In part two of the series, Superman/Batman #15, Wonder Woman has assembled a group of freedom fighters made up of some of the world’s remaining heroes. During a clash with Batman and Superman’s forces, Wonder Woman tries to appeal to both Batman and Superman, but when unsuccessful, she fatally wounds Batman with a sword through the chest.
14. NAZIS INVADING THEMYSCIRA
In Wonder Woman Vol. 3 #16 by Gail Simone and artists Terry Dodson, Rachel Dodson and Alex Sinclair, (an almost empty) Themyscira is under attack by a squadron of Nazis given the same powers as the supervillain Captain Nazi. After learning the island is all but deserted, they plan is to kill Hippolyta, erase any sign of the Amazon culture and establish a new home for the 4th Reich.
Arriving on the shore of Themyscira thanks to the aid of the Hawaiian God Kāne Milohai, Wonder Woman orders the Nazis to surrender. When they refuse she attacks the Nazis with the aid of a garrison of hyper-intelligent gorillas formerly loyal to Gorilla Grodd that became her allies at the beginning of the arc. During the battle, we see Wonder Woman responsible for blowing up at least one tank with soldiers inside.
13. HITLER’S CLONE
Speaking of killing Nazis, our next entry comes from an episode of the Wonder Woman TV series (then known as The New Adventures of Wonder Woman) starring Lynda Carter. In the season two episode, “Anschluss ’77,” Wonder Woman and Steve Trevor are tasked with tracking a former high ranking Nazi Intelligence Officer living in South America who is using the small town of Rafael, Cordova as a base for the titular Anschluss ’77 project.
The pair eventually learn the project is a plan to clone Hitler and start a 4th Reich, but despite the fact that the Hitler clone is already up and around, the cloning process hasn’t been fully completed so this new Hitler’s cellular structure is still unstable. Posing as the doctor’s new assistant, Wonder Woman tricks Clone Hitler into allowing her to reverse the cloning process, effectively killing him.
This pick comes from another alternate reality story, Injustice Year Three #21 by writer Brian Buccellato and artist Bruno Redondo. For those who don’t know, the Injustice universe sees Superman, Wonder Woman and a number of other Justice League members become tyrannical rulers of Earth after the Joker tricks Superman into killing Lois Lane and their unborn child.
In this universe, Wonder Woman is portrayed as far more militant, and at times even bloodthirsty. While Huntress isn’t the first former ally that Wonder Woman kills for standing in her way, she’s worth highlighting because it’s the first time this Wonder Woman kills someone in a fit of anger by accident. During a fight with Huntress and Batwoman, Huntress calls Wonder Woman and an injured Superman tyrants. Wonder Woman responds by wrapping her Lasso of Truth around Huntress’ neck and jerking it quickly, snapping her neck in the process.
Our next pull comes from the New 52-era, Wonder Woman Vol. 4 #23 by writer Brian Azzarello and artists Cliff Chiang and Matthew Wilson. In this issue, Wonder Woman and a group of her friends (including the Gods Hera and War) have returned to London from New Genesis to find the city under the control of First Born, the original offspring of Zeus and Hera, and his army of Human-Hyena hybrids.
War summons his own army of fallen soldiers to even the odds, but that doesn’t stop First Born from defeating War one on one. Intending to kill him and take his place as the God of War, Wonder Woman is forced to kill War by driving a spear through his back and into First Born’s chest. In his final moments, War absolves her of her guilt, reassuring her it was the warrior’s path and he would have done the same.
10. DIANA, THE ROMAN GODDESS
Another death Wonder Woman would have liked to avoid was her accidental killing of the Roman Goddess Diana during the The Game of the Gods storyline. After finding out Diana has used the Scylla to turn her Amazonian sisters to stone, Wonder Woman confronts the Goddess at Olympus in Wonder Woman #192 by writer Walt Simonson and artists Jerry Ordway, P. Craig Russell and Patricia Mulvihill.
Upon realizing Diana has killed an Amazonian scouting party and stripped them of their armor, Wonder Woman becomes enraged kicking the Goddess into a massive statue of Zeus which crushes her under its weight. Despite her anger, Wonder Woman shows remorse for her death, screaming Diana’s name and coming to her side as Diana begs for forgiveness with her last breath.
9. VON BACH
The next pull comes from the now-iconic pages of the Elsewords story Kingdom Come by writer Mark Waid and artist Alex Ross. For those who may not be familiar, Kingdom Come deals with an alternate future for the DCU where the universe’s established heroes have gone into retirement, giving rise to a new generation of antiheroes with much looser morals than their predecessors.
In the 4th and final issue of the series, Wonder Woman and other members of the Justice League, who have now come out of retirement, are attempting to contain a prison break from, the “Gulag,” a superhuman rehabilitation facility established by Superman. During the ensuing battle, Wonder Woman is forced to kill supervillain Von Bach to stop him from crushing Zatara (the son of the original Zatanna Zatara) to death.
8. DEIMOS, THE SON OF ARES
Wonder Woman’s second volume kicked off with a storyline centered around Ares, the Greek God of War, and his attempts to plunge the world into chaos by sparking a third world war. In issue #5 by writer Len Wein, writer/artist George Pérez and artists Bruce D. Patterson and Tatjana Wood, Wonder Woman and a group of her companions travel to Ares’ realm to confront the God after learning he’s seized control of Washington.
Upon their arrival, Wonder Woman and co. are met by Ares’ sons Phobos and Deimos whose godly abilities nearly overwhelm them. While her friends are forced to fight manifestations of their deepest fears, Wonder Woman goes toe to toe with Deimos, and despite her reservations, uses her tiara as a projectile weapon to decapitate the God and save the Earth.
7. TRITON, SON OF POSEIDON
Deimos isn’t the only son of a God Wonder Woman has slain. During the two-part God Complex storyline, Wonder Woman and Aquaman are working together to figure out why Aquaman’s nemesis Black Manta slaughtered a boat full of Wonder Woman’s Wonder Scouts, a group of young girls who were being taken to Themyscira for sanctuary.
Manta reveals he was hired to kill the Wonder Scouts by Poseidon’s son Triton as revenge for Wonder Woman rejecting him (in exchange for Triton promising to return Manta to his original form). Although Aquaman is able to convince Wonder Woman to spare Black Manta, he’s not able to come between her and her rage toward Triton. During their fight in Wonder Woman #163 by writer Ben Raab and artists Derec Aucion and Tom Simmons, she unapologetically snaps the demigod’s neck, earning her praise from Poseidon himself.
Wonder Woman kills the offspring of another Greek myth in the pages of Wonder Woman Vol. 2 #4 by writer Len Wein, writer/artist George Pérez and artists Bruce D. Patterson and Tatjana Wood. This story comes from that same arc where Ares is starting all kinds of trouble, this time by using Medusa’s daughter Decay to wreak havoc on the city of Boston and killing several people.
The two clash across the city drawing mass media attention with Wonder Woman allowing her rage to blind her, giving Decay the upper hand. When Decay’s powers start weakening Wonder Woman and forcing her to age rapidly, she realizes that because her Lasso of Truth is made from the life force of the Earth wrapping Decay (a creature powered by Death) in it would cause her to perish.
5. MEDOUSA (MEDUSA)
Wonder Woman would kill Medusa herself (who is for some reason called Medousa in this issue) years later in the pages of Wonder Woman Vol. 2 #210 by writer Greg Rucka and artists Drew Johnson, Ray Snyder, Richard Horie and Tanya Horie. After being resurrected by her sisters, Medousa goes on a rampage before coming after Wonder Woman by turning her friend, 8 year-old Martin Garibaldi, to stone.
She then challenges Wonder Woman to a duel to the death at Yankee stadium during a live broadcast, threatening to turn millions of viewers to stone if Wonder Woman loses. Wonder Woman fights blindfolded for a majority of their match to avoid Medousa’s gaze, but when she finally has it ripped off she blinds herself with snake venom before finally decapitating her foe and claiming victory.
In Wonder Woman Vol. 2 #10 by writer Len Wein, writer/artist George Pérez and artists Bruce D. Patterson and Carl Gafford, Ares has been defeated by the Amazons and the Gods of Olympus are celebrating their victory. Zeus in particular has decided to “reward” the Amazons with his “personal favor.” Zeus tries to push himself on Wonder Woman, but is refused, sending the God into a rage. He proceeds to attack Wonder Woman until he’s pulled back to Olympus by his wife Hera.
Soon after, Wonder Woman is called to Olympus and tasked to complete a series of challenges prepared by the Gods to regain their favor. The trials take place in the caverns below Themyscira, and the first creature Wonder Woman faces is a multi-armed monstrosity called Cottus whom she slays with a spear to the heart. Though evil, Cottus is clearly sentient earning its spot on the list.
3. THE WHITE MAGICIAN
Our next entry comes from Wonder Woman’s final confrontation with the hero-turned-villain, The White Magician (a.k.a. Asquith Randolph). Existing for hundreds of years and going by several titles over his career as a crime fighting superhero, The White Magician eventually became lustful for power as his magic began to dwindle with age. In the ’90s he became a regular foe of Wonder Woman, and for a time was a real thorn in her side, even trapping her in space for months.
Resorting to increasingly dubious ways to increase his magical abilities, Randolph sells his soul for more power in Wonder Woman Vol. 2 #100 by writer William Messner-Loebs and artists Mike Deodato Jr. and Patricia Mulvihill. Transforming himself into a hulking demonic figure, Randolph mortally wounds Artemis, the then-active Wonder Woman. Overcome with rage, Wonder Woman beats him repeatedly until he literally explodes in a burst of hellfire.
2. MAX LORD
Arguably her most infamous kill, Wonder Woman snapped Max Lord’s neck in Wonder Woman Vol. 2 #219 by writer Greg Rucka and the massive artistic team of Tom Derenick, Georges Jeanty, Karl Kerschl, David Lopez, Rags Morales, Nelson DeCastro, Javier Bergatiño, Bob Petrecca, Mark Propst, Dexter Vines, Tanya Horie and Richard Horie.
Lord has been using his telepathic abilities to control Superman as the latest step in his ongoing plot to wipe out all superhumans (besides himself of course). Using his powers to convince Superman that Lois Lane is dead and that Wonder Woman is the Doomsday who killed her, the Man of Steel attacks her full-force, eventually breaking Wonder Woman’s wrist. Wonder Woman is able to distract Superman long enough to get her Lasso of Truth around Lord who reveals the only way Superman can be free of his mind control is if Wonder Woman kills him.
1. FRIENDS, LOVERS & GREAT BRITAIN
Based on the 2011 Flashpoint miniseries, Justice League: The Flashpoint Paradox sees Barry Allen’s Flash waking up after a confrontation with his arch-enemy Eobard “Zoom” Thawne, to find the world has radically changed overnight. He’s lost his powers, the Justice League doesn’t exist and Aquaman and Wonder Woman’s people are at war. Most importantly for our purposes, in this alternate future Wonder Woman is a ruthless warrior and conqueror.
An attempted alliance between the two nations leads to a sexual encounter between Wonder Woman and Aquaman, and when Aquaman’s wife Mera confronts her about the affair Wonder Woman decapitates her and sends Aquaman the head. The war leads to Aquaman’s forces sinking most of Europe and Wonder Woman claiming Great Britain as New Themyscira. Over the course of the film she’s also personally responsible for the deaths of Steve Trevor, Billy Batson and finally Aquaman.
Which kill surprised you the most? Let us know in the comments below!