First, thanks to Dave’s Comic Heroes Blog. He birthed the correlation between Wonder Woman’s 12 Labors and Labor Day.
Taking the cue we’re gonna delve a little deeper into those chores as we lead up to the last hurrah of summer, Labor Day.
The 12 labors were introduced to Hercules as atonement for slaying his wife, son and daughter. Diana’s (Prince) penance was every bit as voluntary, but committed to prove to herself she is worthy to rejoin the Justice League of America.
Wonder Woman (1942) 212
To back up a little, DC, still National Periodicals, was attempting to update their characters. Denny O’Neil and Neal Adams had already revamped Batman, Green Lantern and Green Arrow.
Wonder Woman creators removed her powers. She was given a boutique and sensei named I Ching. He would train her to become a martial arts expert to compensate for the loss of her natural abilities.
The backlash was tremendous. Diana was allowed to return to her Amazonian princess status and regain her powers. Her rebirth was not without pain as creators attempted to reintroduce the heroine with her powers.
It was decided she had memory loss at the time she suffered her power loss. In addition, to prove to herself she was worthy to return to the Justice League fold she would have to perform 12 tasks. During each Wonder Woman would be monitored by a member of the League to determine if she passed.
Issue 212 was her return to William Moulton Marston’s original incarnation. As explained above, Wonder Woman discovered she had suffered memory loss and set about the first of her contests.
Superman was her observer narrating the story after the fact. In his eyes she passed her first test.