THE HISTORY OF WONDER WOMAN IN VIDEO GAMES

Debuting in the pages of All Star Comics #8 all the way back in 1941, Wonder Woman is easily the most recognizable and iconic female comic book super heroine of all time. Not only has the character appeared in comics for close to a century, but she was also the subject of a mega popular TV series starring Lynda Carter in the 1970’s that has one of the most catchy theme songs of all time that’s ingrained in pop culture. The character was introduced to a whole new generation in the early 2000’s thanks to the phenomenal Justice League and Justice League Unlimited animated series’, as well as a feature-length animated film. For the first time ever the character will be the spotlight of her own live-action feature film, simply titled Wonder Woman, starting June 2nd in North America starring The Fast and the Furious alum Gal Gadot who was one of the shining points in the otherwise bleak Batman V. Superman: Dawn of Justice.

Wonder Woman has conquered the world of comics, television, animation and is now taking on Hollywood, but one medium in which the Amazonian warrior has yet to headline is that of video games. While there hasn’t been a solo Wonder Woman game yet however, she has had a history of appearing as part of an ensemble going all the way back to 1995 as a playable fighter in the first ever DC Comics themed fighting game, Justice League: Task Force, from Overwatch developer Blizzard. Wonder Woman would continue appearing in Justice League games for over a decade after the release of Task Force as a playable character first in two Game Boy Advance games inspired by the Justice League animated series: Justice League: Injustice For All and Justice League: Chronicles. 

In 2006 when WB Games decided to do their own take on the X-Men Legends/Marvel Ultimate Alliance formula of blending a dungeon crawling action-RPG with a super hero twist in Justice League Heroes, Wonder Woman was playable in all versions of the primary SKU: PS2/PSP and Xbox as well as the Nintendo DS game of the same name. For the spin-off game Justice League Heroes: The Flash for the Game Boy Advance, Wonder Woman was also present but this time as a support character that the title hero could summon.

Amazons are known as a warrior race, and what better way was there for Wonder Woman to test her might than in the fighting arena once again? Back when they were still owned by Midway and before they would be known as Netherrealm Studios, Ed Boon and his team did their take on Capcom’s Vs. Series by mashing up Mortal Kombat with DC characters in Mortal Kombat Vs. DC Universe of which Wonder Woman was a playable fighter. After they were acquired by WB Games and formally rebranded as Netherrealm Studios, the team behind MK Vs. DC created a new IP using DC’s heroes and villains in Injustice: Gods Among Us, a game set in a universe where Superman ruled over the citizens of earth with Wonder Woman by this side. Wonder Woman returned in the sequel, Injustice 2, which debuted not but a few weeks ago and is the most recent game to include  the character. This week an event was added to the game’s Multiverse mode wherein players were given the opportunity to win gear to assemble Wonder Woman’s costume as it appears in the live-action film.

Fighting games sometimes aren’t meant for players of all ages, especially ones that exist in the same universe as Mortal Kombat, and for the younger crowd, Wonder Woman also appeared in a several family friendly games. The first being Lego Batman 2: DC Super Heroes that was the first time any DC character other than Batman appeared in a Lego game. That game was followed by a sequel in 2014, Lego Batman 3: Beyond Gotham which was much more of a DC Universe spanning adventure than Lego Batman 2 was. Between those games Scribblenauts Unmasked: A DC Comics Adventure was released and was a game where Wonder Woman could be summoned to aid series star Max by simply typing in her name. A costume to turn Sack Girl into Wonder Woman in Sony’s LittleBigPlanet series arrived not longer after Scriblenauts and is still available to purchase for download on the PlayStation Store.

DC’s roster of characters were of the first brand to come to WB Games’ take on the toys-to-life genre, Lego Dimensions, in 2015. Launching alongside the game was a Fun Pack featuring Wonder Woman that allowed her to become playable in the game as well as her iconic invisible jet. Wonder Woman’s abilities like flight, super strength and mind control via the use of her golden lasso were essential in getting a lot of the Gold Brick collectibles in that game before the roster exploded in the months and years after launch.

In the same year that Lego Dimensions launched, a short-lived DC MOBA was launched called Infinite Crisis that featured multiple playable versions of Wonder Woman across various universes. DC beat Marvel when it came to adapting one of the most popular genres of games on PC, the MMO, with the 2011 release of DC Universe Online on the PS3 as well as PC and the game would eventually come to the PS4 and Xbox One. Though in the main game the character you create can only be inspired by the character, she can be played within the game’s Legends PvP mode.

While Marvel put a big push on the mobile video game space, managing multiple games at one time that they could insert their universe of characters into, DC instead focused on porting games like Lego Batman 2 and to mobile devices and creating paired down versions of popular games like Injustice and the Arkham series to mobile devices. DC’s first real wholly original free-to-play mobile game, DC Legends, dropped in late 2016 and of the main characters that players could unlock either with in-game or real-life currency was Wonder Woman.

A VISUAL GUIDE TO WONDER WOMAN IN VIDEO GAMES

 

JUSTICE LEAGUE: TASK FORCE (1995)

 

JUSTICE LEAGUE: INJUSTICE FOR ALL (2002)

 

JUSTICE LEAGUE: CHRONICLES (2003)

 

JUSTICE LEAGUE HEROES (2006)

 

JUSTICE LEAGUE HEROES: THE FLASH (2006)

 

MORTAL KOMBAT VS. DC UNIVERSE (2008)

 

DC UNIVERSE ONLINE (2011)

 

LEGO BATMAN 2: DC SUPER HEROES (2012)

 

INJUSTICE: GODS AMONG US (2013)

 

SCRIBBLENAUTS UNMASKED: A DC COMICS ADVENTURE (2013)

 

LITTLEBIGPLANET (SERIES) (2014)

 

LEGO BATMAN 3: BEYOND GOTHAM (2014)

 

INFINITE CRISIS (2015)

 

LEGO DIMENSIONS (2015)

 

DC LEGENDS (2016) 

 

INJUSTICE 2 (2017)

 

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