This is Comic Book Questions Answered, where people write in to email@example.com to ask comic book questions and I, well, you know, answer them.
Today’s question comes from reader Jim S. and it is one of the most annoying questions out there. Not the question itself, Jim, rest easy! but rather the fact that the answer is so strange. Jim wanted to know if Wonder Woman was bulletproof or not.
In her first appearance, William Marston and H.G. Peter made it pretty clear that she was not intended to be bulletproof through the introduction of the whole “bullets and bracelets” thing….
That scene does not work if she cannot be injured by a bullet, so while the whole “bulletproof bracelets” thing was clearly more a demonstration of her speed than anything else, it was also plainly showing that she CAN be shot, as if she couldn’t be shot, what’s the point of that scene? Hippolyta flat out says that you have to prepare to be injured if you don’t deflect the bullets. So she was definitely created as NOT being bulletproof.
However, as the years went by, and Wonder Woman suffered from the same power creep that afflicts most superheroes, it soon became kind of bizarre for her to NOT be bulletproof. This is a woman who can go toe to toe with Superman in a fight, how does it make sense that she could be taken down by a bullet?
That being said, a recent issue of Wonder Woman answered the question pretty plainly and the answer was “she is NOT bulletproof.” In Wonder Woman #19 (by Greg Rucka, Liam Sharp and Laura Martin), Wonder Woman gets shot…
In the follow-up issue in Wonder Woman #21, it happens again…
We’re clearly talking high caliber bullets here, but they’re also “just” regular high caliber bullets and not, like, magical bullets or anything like that.
So the answer is clear – no, she is not bulletproof. Whether she SHOULD be bulletproof or not is a whole other matter.
Thanks for the question, Jim! If anyone else has a comic book related question that they’d like to see addressed, drop me a line at firstname.lastname@example.org!
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