Wonder Woman doesn’t live in a fictional city like Batman and Superman, but this break in tradition is fitting for her character and DC Comics.
It’s common knowledge that Wonder Woman lacks a fictional home city, unlike Superman and Batman, but this break in tradition is quite appropriate for the DC Comics mythos. Wonder Woman hails from the legendary island of Themyscira, but upon entering “Man’s World,” she’s adopted different real-world locations as her new home. The most consistent of these are Washington D.C. and New York City, and the latter, while not featured as Diana’s home as often as D.C., is closely tied to the real-world origins of the superhero comic genre, making it particularly fitting.
Most of the superhero comic genre’s most famous creators are natives of New York City, where DC Comics itself was headquartered for most of its history. The culture of New York has a strong influence on the genre itself, and while most of DC’s stories take place in fictional metropolitan areas, they’re all at least mildly based on New York. DC’s most famous locales, Metropolis and Gotham City, are both meant to be New York in all but name, and while Superman’s adventures were set in Cleveland before Metropolis’ creation, Batman’s comics took place in Manhattan initially. New York’s influence is even felt in fictional cities elsewhere in the US, such as Coast City (an analog to Los Angeles), which appeared almost identically to Manhattan in Hal Jordan’s debut.
Wonder Woman has had several home cities in her decades of comics, with the most consistent being Washington D.C. and the fictional Gateway City being her home for a time in the post-Crisis DC universe. During the Bronze Age, however, Wonder Woman was a New Yorker, as explicitly stated by Hal Jordan in issue 214 of Wonder Woman, by Elliot S. Maggin and Curt Swan. This is Wonder Woman’s most fitting home city not only due to Diana Prince’s job at the United Nations but also because it allows one of DC’s “big three” superheroes to live and fight crime in the birthplace of the superhero comic genre itself.
In the Golden Age of superhero comics, Wonder Woman’s civilian identity of Diana Prince was an officer in the US military, so her more consistent home of Washington D.C. made sense at the time. In later eras, however, both of Wonder Woman’s identities became ambassadors or diplomats, helping to bridge Themyscira with the rest of the world and making New York City an even more appropriate home, especially given the sheer diversity of the metropolitan area. Wonder Woman wishes to learn about the cultures of “Man’s World,” so having her live in one of the most diverse locales in the world is invaluable to this endeavor.
New York City is partially or entirely the basis of DC Comics’ most famous fictional cities, and its significance to the superhero genre warrants an important role in-universe. Having one of DC’s most famous superheroes live in New York honors it more than simply having yet another New York analog. While Wonder Woman’s Bronze Age home is a significant break in tradition, it’s worth it as a way to showcase Diana Prince’s diplomatic endeavors and acknowledge DC’s real-world history.
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