Spoilers to follow…
By now, movie goers have been slammed with reviews and opinions of DC’s cinematic adaptation of Wonder Woman. Truth be told, I cried, cheered and cherished every moment of her debut and thanked the Gods for Patty Jenkins and Gal Gadot but knew many were not aware of the inside jokes or tips of the hat to the original super hero. Feminist or not, I implore you: Read up on Diana’s legacy during her last 75 years of history before throwing shade at plot points you didn’t understand. This film was fan service to the extreme and had a few reshoots with a very pregnant leading lady to make the film more relatable to the uninitiated viewers. Those just introduced to this leading superhero may not be aware of the following:
1. By defeating Ares, Diana becomes the God of War.
She is a demigod and daughter of Zeus. A weapon designed to eradicate Ares from existence. In Greek mythology, besting the God of War means you become “IT”. Similar to the Elder’s Wand in Harry Potter, the power is passed on to the conqueror. Ladies and gents, we have a new sheriff in town and she is all out of bubble gum. The new God of War is full of compassion and confidence. Does this mean that future wars are to be blamed on her? How will she influence the will of men? To be continued…
2. Amazons are not immortal, and more so outside of Thermyscira, Diana can be killed.
By a lead bullet no less. What makes Wonder Woman so badass is that she goes into battle knowing she can die. She is vulnerable and can get beat down by enemies and that fact doesn’t phase her. You see her bleed and hurt just like any other human. She just doesn’t dwell on the pain and works through it, gracefully. Broken ribs? No problem. She’s got this. 💪💪💪💪
3. No one calls Diana Wonder Woman during the entire movie.
She is always Diana, Princess of Thermyscira and the Amazons, Daughter of Hippolyta, God Killer. Steve gives her the last name Prince to make her appear normal. Not a single soul calls her Wonder Woman. She is always herself and her moral fiber earns her peers’ respect. Ain’t that grand?
4. Diana’s Amazonian armor is the color of Steve’s country of service.
For this movie, Steve is both US Air Force and a spy for the British Army. The colors of the Union Jack and the USA flag are similar shades, but for modernization’s and shock value’s sake, DC made the colors more metallic and armorish. The original outfit for Wonder Woman was made in these colors to make her more relatable to the world of men. She wears the flag, in a way, of the imperialists and superpowers of the world at the time of her inception. (1940s)
5. The Amazonian Queen and General are played by actresses who have played popular movie royalty.
Connie Nielsen played a Greek princess in Gladiator, and Robin Wright played Buttercup in The Princess Bride. Even though it doesn’t relate to the lore, these ladies are icons in their own right and could have not been cast more appropriately. The rest of the amazons were Olympic athletes and fitness stars, among others. All these women trained and were not faking it. They all made me proud to fight wearing a skirt.
6. In the comic books, Diana’s original cover story is that she is Steve’s secretary.
She gets clearance this way and is close by every time Steve needs saving. The trope of the damsel in distress was reversed in their love affair. Originally, her love for Steve is what has her leaving the protection of her Queendom, and Etta Candy was a college student that befriended the Amazon when she was introduced to the world of men. It is Etta who tells her how to dress and what to say or do. This is why this secondary character’s role is so meaningful: a woman helping another sister without passing judgement. Wow!
7. Another trope reversed: Man’s savior and protector is a woman.
There is a reason why the word human is not used. All the points made are about men and their nature. Men or man is plural for humankind BUT, in this movie, the emphasis on the world is meant to anchor us around the concept of the patriarchy and its hegemony. In other words, the darkness and cruelty of humanity is embodied by men, and it is up to a man to prove they are creatures worth saving. The woman in the room doesn’t understand why men can’t be more like the Amazons and why women in general aren’t more like her. Hmmm.
8. Hippolyta plays the role of Queen and King, misogyny and all.
The Queen goes out of her way to protect her daughter and keep her in the dark about her true power. She refuses to train her because a Princess should not be a warrior and tells her she was made if clay, a very frail and temperamental material. When she leaves to fight Ares, the Queen calls her “Her greatest sorrow”. Considering she had an affair with a married man and raised the kid on her own you’d expect her to be more progressive and would want more for her daughter. A little more support, mom?
9. The Amazons’ knowledge is thousands of years old but they never show how advanced it truly is.
Diana has never left “Paradise Island” and has to rely on information collected and analyzed almost a millenia ago. This is why everything is new to her but her people are incredibly advanced. In the comics, the medicine in Thermyscira borders on magical and can heal almost anything. Yet Antiope dies and we move on. Hmmm.
10. The invisible jet is never explained (or shown).
We know Wonder Woman has an invisible jet. It appears it could be made of transparent aluminum (wink wink) and has some kind of stealth propulsion that makes it undetectable. Why did they not explain this part and/or skipped it? Does it matter? Aliens? Wayne Tech perhaps? It will probably not make it into the movies. One can dream…
There are many other intricacies left unexplained or unmentioned but I’d need to see the movie again to fully exploit and explain those. Are there any you remember that aren’t on this list? Share your thoughts in the comment section!