It's hard to believe we are already through issue #15 of WONDER WOMAN and JUSTICE LEAGUE. In over a year we've seen many shifts in Wonder Woman's powers, but it is still unclear what the full extent of her power set really is. Is she stronger than Superman? Do her bracelets give her the ability to go into a sort of "berzerker rage"? Can she draw swords from her bracelets, or was that just a one time thing? We look at her appearances in JUSTICE LEAGUE and in WONDER WOMAN to try and identify just how powerful her character is.
We first saw the extent of Diana's powers in issue #8 of WONDER WOMAN where she meets Hephaestus. In the issue's first scene Diana chooses a quote "archaic" costume before she steps into battle to face off against Hades. The issue opens with Wonder Woman on Mt. Etna where she chooses a sword, a dagger and a shield to take with her into the fight. In this issue we see the character put up a fight against various undead adversaries, losing her weapons along the way. In the final moment of battle, Wonder Woman lifts her silver cuffs to deflect a bullet, but finds it goes right through the metal. Are her bracelets weak? At this point in her series she's certainly engaged in plenty of fights, but the extent of her power is still unclear to readers. It is not until her appearance in WONDER WOMAN #12 that we are given more insight into the full extent of her powers and where they stem from.
If you've ever read a comic where Wolverine goes into "berzerker rage," then you might have seen the similarities between that and what Wonder Woman was like in issue #12 of her series. In this issue, Diana removes her bracelets before engaging in a fight with a God, and she becomes visibly more intense and ruthless as a hand-to-hand combatant. Prior to the New 52 continuity it was thought that Wonder Woman's bracelets are what gave her some of her exceptional power. However in this issue she explains in a moment before engaging in battle that the bracelets are what protected her opponent from her intense power.
The zero issue revealed a lot about Wonder Woman. One, that she was one of the Amazon's better warriors and that she was part God and Zeus' daughter. But one of the most important aspects of this issue came when it was revealed that Diana would seek the tutelage of the God of War in secret, and that his guidance was what gave her a certain edge over her opponents. So was it Ares' teaching that gave Wonder Woman such incredible power? It is only in the 12th issue of her series that we've seen her exhibit such intensity.
The most recent issue of WONDER WOMAN shows yet another addition to the character's power. In this issue Diana is set to go up against Orion in a fight, and she draws two swords from her magic bracelets. So what does this mean? Can Diana conjure any type of weapon from her bracelets, or just those swords?
This does explain more about her appearances in JUSTICE LEAGUE where she uses a sword, but it can never be found on the hilt of her belt. So if you've wondered why that is, perhaps it is because she draws them from the magic of her bracelets. While we are assuming that these are "magic bracelets," it does seem likely. They appear and disappear at her will. Yet, how strong are they? If these are the same swords that helped defeat Darkseid in issue #6 of JUSTICE LEAGUE then we know that they are pretty strong.
What do you think, though? Would you like to see the creative teams behind these books explain the full extent of Diana's powers a bit further? Now that she is equipped with magical swords that she is able to conjure from her magical bracelets, does it make her the strongest member of the Justice League? Does her magic make her stronger than Superman?