While Marvel and DC Comics have a decades-old rivalry that's been both very serious and very friendly on occasion, one of Marvel's greatest icons, Stan Lee, did the unthinkable by working with DC on a series of loosely connected one-shot stories in the early 2000s. Together with some of the biggest artists in comics, Stan Lee reimagined some of DC's biggest heroes in the Just Imagine... series.

Along with superstar artist Jim Lee and Michael Uslan, Stan Lee offered a new take on Wonder Woman that stands out as one of the best comics in the line, and, she, along with the other Just Imagine characters, are still a part of the DC Multiverse today. Now, CBR is taking a look back at Stan and Jim Lee's Wonder Woman, what she could do and what happened to her.

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Instead of heralding Greek mythology, this version of Wonder Woman comes from a Mezoamerican angle. In the ancient past, the sun god Manco Capac drove his golden staff into the ground and created the fabled city of Cuzco. In the present day, the site is being ravaged by the warlord Armando Guitez, who seeks to plunder any ancient relics that may be found. Maria Mendoza, a young woman with a powerful sense of justice is the only person standing between him and the power of those relics.

Maria meets a young archaeologist, Steve Trevor, a man who works for Guitez but is trying to do so ethically. Steve has been uncovering ancient runes of great mystical power, and he has managed to smuggle a few of them out of the country and into L.A. After Maria's father unsuccessfully stands up to Guitez, Guitez murders Maria’s father for his unwillingness to look the other way. After Maria swears vengeance, Steve manages to ferret her away to where Guitez has been storing plundered magical runes, but Guitez fatally shoots him and obtains incredible demonic power from the runes.

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Just as all hope seems lost, a voice reaches out to Maria and calls her the chosen one. Upon finding the sun god’s golden staff, Maria is transformed into a different kind of Wonder Woman.

While Maria's depiction does not seem like the traditional Diana, there are some subtle similarities such as gaining Wonder Woman’s signature hairstyle and eagle insignia.

Her godlike power grants her the ability to make her imagination reality, but she tends to use her powers for flight, super-strength and golden energy manipulation. The staff even molds itself into a golden bracelet so that she can activate her powers at will. She even seems to take some inspiration from Marvel's Thor, a mere mortal who also transformed into his god form by using a magic staff.

With her newfound abilities, Maria puts an end to Guitez, who's now wielding demonic power. Settling in Los Angeles, Maria gets a job as a secretary for the local gossip paper, where she is put on assignment by her boss to investigate who Wonder Woman really is.

Maria’s adventures don't end in Just Imagine Wonder Woman. Wonder Woman is one of the founding members of the  Just Imagine Justice League, appearing in Just Imagine: JLA, by Lee, Uslan and Jerry Ordway. She helps take down Blockbuster with her golden staff, and she acts a bit like a den mother for the team. She also takes part in the final fight in Just Imagine: Crisis, by Lee and John Cassaday, helping to put a stop to a world-ending villain named Crisis in the ultimate climax of the Just Imagine... line.

While the Just Imagine characters have only made a handful of collective appearances since that imprint ended, they still exist on Earth 6 in the current DC Multiverse. Despite their infrequent appearances, they're still the most tangible legacy that Stan Lee, one of Marvel's most iconic creators, left on the DC Universe.

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