I’ve been a fan of the DC Comic universe since I was a kid. I’ve been a follower of the Green Lantern series since the late 80s/early 90s, and was a huge fan of Superfriends as a kid (cringe). However, the cinematic universe that DC has put up to compete with Marvel has been somewhat lackluster. Some of the films have been decent, but none of them has really been a great movie.
In particular I was very disappointed with Superman v Batman, particularly with how the ending of the movie played out. I felt like it was poor storycraft and really detracted from so many other cool things that they could do with the characters. That means that every new film that comes out in the DC Universe becomes the one film that “maybe” will save the franchise. I know DC is making tons of money, so I’m not worried about saving the franchise from a financial standpoint, but more from a world-building perspective.
Before I go any further.. SPOILER ALERT I will be talking about plot points after the break!
Wonder Woman, if nothing else, restored my faith that the DC Universe can be something cool and fun. Wonder Woman showed us that you can tell a really fun and unique story with characters that have been around forever. This take on Wonder Woman was fresh and I felt like for the first time on screen, they really delved into her character as a representative of the gods to mankind. She wasn’t just a superhero out to be loved and respected. She had a sacred duty that she chose to fulfill, and did it with passion and love.
I very much enjoyed how Diana was ignorant of the ways of the world, yet she had studied it and wasn’t just a country bumpkin. They could have played up the fish-out-water moments a lot more than they did, but I’m glad that they kept them to a few quick jokes. It showed that Diana was intelligent and could adapt to a situation, despite it being unfamiliar. This made her character even more powerful.
Wonder Woman’s relationship with Steve Trevor was also handled very well. There was some tension between the two of them that eventually resolved, but it wasn’t a skin-show. Seeing Diana be the protector and the one who saves the day, on her own accord, was a powerful message about a human beings abilities apart from their gender. Yes Steve sacrificed himself in the end, but it wasn’t to stop Wonder Woman from being in mortal danger. He was taking care of humanity in whatever small way he could, while Diana truly saved the day defeating the god of war.
In many ways I was glad that Steve is no longer with us, as one of the things that bugged me at the end of Captain America was the unrequited love between Peggy and Cap. Having Steve Trevor die put a nice endcap on the situation and we didn’t need to wonder about how they spent the next 80 years. It also helped Diana come to understand and love humanity, through her love of Steve, and gave her the courage to be a true hero, and not just an all powerful goddess.
I was very pleased with Wonder Woman, and it gives me hope that perhaps with Zach Snyder playing less of a role in the movies going forward, that perhaps we could end up with a much better universe. Justice League will test this assumption, but I’m hopeful that in the end my love of my childhood comic book world, will be vindicated.