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Questions about Wonder Woman's animal powers

Sick Nick

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Questions about Wonder Woman's animal powers
« on: March 07, 2018, 02:02:14 PM »
I always thought one of the coolest powers Wonder Woman had in New Earth/Post-Crisis was her ability to communicate with animals. I'm pretty sure it was something introduced by Perez along with her flight, as I don't recall Pre-Crisis WW ever having this power but do recall pre-Crisis Wonder Woman kicking tigers around, punching buffalo and shoving elephants' heads into the ground, at least in Superfriends comics. Perez mainly used it to big up Diana's Disney Princess aura, having her chatting to doves in mid-air, falling asleep with racoons in her arms and what not. Later on, though, the power became much more practical. Cheetah tried to send 5 or 6 big cats against WW but they were practically eating out of her hand from the get-go. I think Diana even used the power with dinosaurs.

I'm hazy on the limits and exact nature of this power. I could probably head to the DC Wiki to find some of the answers to my questions but thought some of you fine folks might be able to help.

1. I've stopped short of calling this power 'animal control' because I don't think that's what Diana does with it. I presume it's a god-given ability to telepathically talk to animals; if the beast in question is posing any kind of threat to Diana or others, I guess she politely asks it to stand down and because Diana's so damn likeable, it pretty much always works. Namor OTOH I think has legitimately shown the ability to compel sea creatures to do his bidding whether they like it or not; he doesn't ask, he commands. The same applies with the Lizard and reptiles. Is my understanding pretty much on the money?

2. Presumably the power wouldn't work against shapeshifters because even in animal form, they retain their human-level intellect/sentience. In the animated movie 'JLA: Crisis On Two Earths', Diana takes on an evil version of Vixen called Vamp, who transforms into a (male) lion, giant snake and grizzly bear during the battle. At no point does Diana use her animal powers and the fight ends when she lifts Vamp in bear form overhead and snaps her spine with a backbreaker. I can't recall a similar instance in comics but I'm guessing Diana wouldn't be able to use her animal communication to defeat a shapeshifter like this e.g. Snowbird, if they existed in the same universe, or Beast Boy.

3. What's the most intelligent species that WW communicated with on New Earth, obviously under human level? I know she fought Grodd and the soldiers of Gorilla City but they're super-intelligent examples of their kind. New 52 WW showed the ability to calm Titano, once she'd severed the Venom conduit that was driving him nuts, but it seems the consensus is that new 52 Wonder Woman is a good bit stronger than New Earth WW was and perhaps her other powers are greater as well. I don't recall New Earth WW communicating with anything smarter than a lion or tiger. Maybe a horse? How does a horse compare with a big cat in terms of cognitive functions anyhow?

4. Diana showed the ability to mentally chat to mammals and birds but could WW also communicate with fish and other sea creatures, like Aquaman? I remember Themyscira was protected by a school of megalodons for a while ... did Diana ask for their help with her powers?

5. Diana's power never seemed to work against dragons ... is this because dragons are usually too intelligent/sentient and have a moral compass, often veering towards evil?

6. Diana also never seemed to be able to appease mythological monsters with this power. I can understand minotaurs, centaurs and cyclops have human-level intelligence but what about the likes of griffins, hydras and chimeras? None of these ever seemed human-level in intellect; chimeras were used as mounts by the Amazons and didn't seem any smarter than lions, for example. Following 'Amazons Attack', Diana has to remove the threat of a hydra - her inner monologue equates it to a beast simply looking to protect itself but instead of asking the giant reptile to move peaceably away, she punches it out. Perhaps these creatures were created as enemies of the gods and Greek heroes; is that why WW had to raise her hands against them?
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Re: Questions about Wonder Woman's animal powers
« Reply #1 on: March 08, 2018, 01:27:09 AM »
You are correct.

She basically talks to them and convinces them. She uses her level 10 Capt Picard diplomacy skills when talking to them. She does not order them. As you noted, they like her.

Cheetah once took control of animals but when Wonder Woman came, the feral felines joined her instead. She said it's because the creatures LIKE HER. A LOT.

WW/Tasmanian Devil (best written probably better than the Batman/Elmer Noir):

Confronted by the Tasmanian Devil at the Aegan Labyrinth, she managed to surprise Taz she could speak his language. She later gains his ultimate loyalty (to the consternation of the prime guardian, The Minotaur) and the 2 of them later defeated Circe and her army.

Wish they would keep Taz as the guardian of Themyscira guarding its borders instead of just being a one shot.

Sick Nick

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Re: Questions about Wonder Woman's animal powers
« Reply #2 on: March 08, 2018, 07:33:33 AM »
I need to read that issue.

I forgot that WW had a little chat with a family of polar bears during Simone’s run while icicles hung off her. I swear, Wonder Woman has more tolerance to the cold than any other character.
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He'll be buying drinks all night then.