You’re reading The Complete Infinite Crisis, a Comprehensive and Encyclopedic look through the universe-changing superhero event published by DC from 2005 to 2006. Shelfdust are proud to provide a complete overview of the story, and everything that happens in it. The overview was going great until we got a bit confused about some of the things which were going on – so we’ve had to call in some experts to help out.
We’ve just found out about JLA: Year One, but there was something about Clark’s explanation which bothered me. Who is Diana Prince? Is she Wonder Woman, or is she somebody else? I’ve heard conflicting things about this and I need a definitive answer! Where is Kayleigh Hearn when you need her?!?
Oh… she’s right here. Hurray!
So wait, is Diana Prince her actual name, or is this a Clark Kent secret identity thing?
Kayleigh Hearn: There is a real Diana Prince, but she’s not Wonder Woman! Wonder Woman’s actual name is Diana of Themyscira. As part of her Golden Age origin, our Diana switched identities with a human woman named Diana Prince, an army nurse who needed to go to South America to be with her husband. (Luckily, she also happened to be Wonder Woman’s exact double. Funny how that works!) Wonder Woman then used “Diana Prince” as her secret identity when she was out of costume. Post-Crisis, George Perez put the “mythos” back in “superhero mythos” and the secret identity was mostly retired, with Wonder Woman living openly as an Amazon. Nothing from the Golden Age ever stays truly dead, though, and she’s used the “Diana Prince” alias here and there.
Where did Wonder Woman work during her civilian career?
Hearn: The question is, where didn’t she work? There are a lot of superheroes whose civilian careers have been stable since their creation (Clark Kent is a journalist, Tony Stark is an industrialist, etc.), but Wonder Woman has been a nurse, a secretary, a boutique owner, a fast food worker, an astronaut, and a diplomat. Only Barbie’s had more career changes! Her long resume reflects several decades’ worth of changing ideas about women’s role in society, including the workplace, and for every creator that’s absolutely loved Wonder Woman, there’s another that doesn’t “get” her and tries to re-imagine her from the ground (clay?) up. But diplomat is the career I’d say suits her best.
Why is Wonder Woman trying to have a secret identity anyway? Did anybody fall for it?
Hearn: Originally, Wonder Woman took on the role of an army nurse to be close to the man she loved, the frequently hospitalized Steve Trevor. And it worked! Pinning up her hair and putting on a pair of glasses seems like a silly disguise, but in a world where you can just run into your doppelganger on the street, maybe uncanny resemblances aren’t a big deal? (Though we’d still get exchanges like this: “I saw Wonder Woman. I don’t think she’s very pretty.” “Hush, Diana! Wonder Woman is the most gorgeous being in the world!”) After the fallout from killing Max Lord, Wonder Woman took on the “Diana Prince” persona again to try to better connect with humanity as an agent at the Department of Metahuman Affairs.
Thanks so much, Kayleigh! I think I’ve got the hang of it all now. Should be plain sailing from here! We’ll get back into the actual issue on Friday…
Kayleigh Hearn is the comics reviews editor for WomenWriteAbout Comics, and has written for publications including The MNT and Deadshirt. You can drop some money in her Ko-Fi account right here, and follow her on Twitter here!