All The World Is Waiting For You1 of 12Wonder Woman is finally out in theaters and taking audiences and critics by storm. And while it's not an Easter egg-laden DC-continuity romp like previous DCEU films, there are a lot of possible takeaways from the film about what it means not just for Diana as a character, but for the future of DC's burgeoning (and embattled) film world.
We here at Newsarama decided to dig into Wonder Woman a little deeper, discovering and analyzing the ramifications of Wonder Woman and the DC connections you may have missed.
Wonder Woman is DC's Iron Man2 of 12Like the big screen Tony Stark, the movie Wonder Woman is all about helping people. Whereas that manifests very differently in the two characters, they both come to their heroism on similar paths.
Both characters are forced to witness a side of life their protected upbringing shielded them from, and both are moved to action by witnessing innocent people in danger. Unlike most of Marvel’s heroes, neither Wonder Woman or Tony Stark comes from a military background. And, like Tony Stark, Wonder Woman’s superhero origin comes from herself and her own actions, rather than growing out of tragedy.
And there’s also the meta-connection - Wonder Woman is WB’s chance to redefine and codify a character that, while popular, isn’t particularly well understood by general audiences.
Wonder Woman is NOT DC's Iron Man3 of 12On the other hand, Wonder Woman - and its world – are very unlike that of Marvel’s Iron Man movies. For one thing, there’s no hint of “Tony Snark” here. Wonder Woman (both the movie and character) are entirely without guile or sarcasm, finding humanity in compassion and activism instead of self-deprecation and side-eyed humor.
Whereas the Iron Man movies live and die by its sense of humor, Wonder Woman instead channels that energy into maintaining a mythic quality that separates it from the “real world,” while still dialing down on the better parts of human nature.
Swords to Plowshares4 of 12The end of Wonder Woman implies that Diana was ready to go on fighting for humanity after she defeated Ares – but Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice made it seem like she hadn’t been an active superhero in many years. So what happened in the interim that made her give up her role as a hero?
Again, BvS thinly implied that the loss of Steve Trevor and her allies made Diana give up being Wonder Woman after WWI – but that’s not what’s shown on screen. So is there more to that story than meets the eye? Or did something happen in the interim to make her quit?
This Belongs in a Museum!5 of 12Of the many things still unclear about Wonder Woman’s civilian life, perhaps the most interesting and curious aspect is her secret identity. Unlike the Marvel Cinematic Universe, where superheroes’ identities are generally public knowledge, the DCEU’s heroes maintain that level of anonymity.
All we really know about Diana’s civilian life is that she works in the Louvre, Paris’ famous museum. Having a connection to art and history make perfect sense for a woman raised in a classical Greek influenced society – but along with the mystery of why she stopped being a superhero, her secret identity raises a lot of questions about Diana’s unseen history.
Trident6 of 12Wonder Woman and Aquaman were both introduced in Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice - but did Wonder Woman also introduce a key part of Aquaman's mythology?
In the flashback scenes where Ares is shown murdering the other gods, we see a figure (most likely Poseidon) carrying a trident - a trident that looks a lot like the one Aquaman carries.
Is Aquaman's trident literally the trident of Poseidon? In some versions of the trident's comic book origin story, it belonged to Neptune - the Roman equivalent of Poseidon.
What's more, a connection may not be too far-fetched, considering Atlantis' roots in Greek myth.
Paradise Island7 of 12Like the mystery of Wonder Woman’s retirement, there’s also the little matter of Themyscira still floating out there somewhere in the DCEU.
It’s implied in a bit of Hippolyta’s dialogue that Diana can’t return to the island once she leaves – but with Connie Nielsen reprising her role as Hippolyta in Justice League, it doesn’t look like Themyscira will be left in the aether for long.
Interestingly enough, in the post-Crisis DC Universe, Hippolyta was the original Wonder Woman, having served in the JSA during World War II.
Old Gods/New Gods8 of 12Steppenwolf, the primary villain of Justice League, and his master Darkseid are “New Gods,” characters created by Jack Kirby that represent a form of otherworldly divinity. The New Gods are central to the DCEU, as are Mother Boxes, the primary technology of the New Gods.
It’s interesting then that Wonder Woman - the last DC film before the New Gods are fully introduced in the DCEU – ends with the death of the last of the “old Gods,” Ares.
It’s established in Wonder Woman that Ares slew the other gods thousands of years in the past before being presumed dead himself. Now, of course if Ares was still alive after millennia, other gods could be too. And as a daughter of Zeus, Diana is technically a god herself (or demi-god at least). But we more interested in the symbolism here – and the potential connection to a lesser-known aspect of Kirby’s Fourth World mythology, in which the Fourth World represents an new epoch of reality – after the death of the previous incarnations of the gods.
Trickster9 of 12Oddly enough, Diana and Ares may not be the only gods in Wonder Woman. The character of the Chief, played by Native America actor Eugene Black Rock, introduces himself to Diana in the Blackfoot language as Napi, a Blackfoot trickster god and storyteller.
According to Black Rock, director Patty Jenkins allowed him to create the character from the ground up, including his own wardrobe accurate to the character's background and ethnicity. So could the Chief telling Wonder Woman he's a demi-god be considered an Easter egg for those familiar with Blackfoot folklore, a nod to the character's heritage and ancestry? Or is the Chief's secret identity canon?
R.I.P. Steve & Etta10 of 12There are few dangling threads left for Diana’s friends and allies by the end of Wonder Woman, but with undeniably charismatic performances from Lucy Davis as Etta Candy and Chris Pine as Steve Trevor, DC’s gotta be thinking about how to bring them back or use them again.
Yeah, Steve Trevor apparently died at the end of the movie, but Chris Pine’s take on the character (and star power) leave the idea that DC and WB have to have a backdoor. If Marvel can bring back Agent Peggy Carter after Captain America: The First Avenger, surely there’s a world in which Etta Candy and Steve Trevor get more screen time.
Wonder What's Next?11 of 12One thing is for sure - Wonder Woman is the first unqualified success of the DCEU. Sure, it might not do Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice money, but it’s got critics and fans alike ready to give Justice League and DC’s other upcoming films a chance.
So what did Wonder Woman have that DC’s films could draw from going forward? Well, for one thing, it was a perfect depiction of its main character – from her powers, to her attitude, to her compassion and heroism, Diana felt ripped from the page, and from the hearts of fans.
We’re not saying DC’s films so far haven’t gotten their characters right, we’re saying Wonder Woman left little room for argument, presenting a definitive version of the character.
In a world where the conversation around adapting superheroes to film largely revolves around how closely the big screen versions of characters represent both the core of the character and their audience, nailing the portrayal of Wonder Woman on screen is the best lesson of what it takes to sell a superhero on the big screen.
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