Wonder Woman's real "secret origin" has been revealed thanks to author Jill Lepore's historical detective work, as featured in this article on the Smithsonian website.
Even if you're already familiar with WW's history as the creation of William Moulton Marston, you'll probably find a lot of new info. in this article, as well as more than a few surprises:
But Wonder Woman's secret history isn't written on parchment. Instead, it lies buried in boxes and cabinets and drawers, in thousands of documents, housed in libraries, archives and collections spread all over the United States, including the private papers of creator Marston—papers that, before I saw them, had never before been seen by anyone outside of Marston's family.
The veil that has shrouded Wonder Woman's past for seven decades hides beneath it a crucial story about comic books and superheroes and censorship and feminism. As Marston once put it, "Frankly, Wonder Woman is psychological propaganda for the new type of woman who, I believe, should rule the world."
Hidden behind this controversy is one reason for all those chains and ropes, which has to do with the history of the fight for women's rights. Because Marston kept his true relationship with Olive Byrne a secret, he kept his family's ties to Margaret Sanger a secret, too. Marston, Byrne and Holloway, and even Harry G. Peter, the artist who drew Wonder Woman, had all been powerfully influenced by the suffrage, feminism and birth control movements. And each of those movements had used chains as a centerpiece of its iconography.
She believes that Dr. Marston is handling very cleverly this whole 'experiment' as she calls it. She feels that perhaps he is bringing to the public the real issue at stake in the world (and one which she feels may possibly be a direct cause of the present conflict) and that is that the difference between the sexes is not a sex problem, nor a struggle for superiority, but rather a problem of the relation of one sex to the other."
Jill Lepore's book, The Secret History of Wonder Woman, is to be published in late October, 2014.