Batman V Superman: Dawn Of Justice (BVS) may have been getting tons of bad reviews and word of mouth, but one thing that most people seem to agree on is how awesome Gal Gadot’s Wonder Woman is.
In a movie that is mostly grim, dark and messy, Wonder Woman is a shining beacon of hope – hope that director Patty Jenkins’ upcoming solo Wonder Woman movie might actually help us forget that BVS even exists.
Arguably the most iconic female character in comics, Wonder Woman was born and raised on the island of Themyscira (or Paradise Island, as it was called when she made her debut in 1941’s All Star Comics #8), home of the female warrior race known as the Amazons.
Created by American psychologist and writer William Moulton Marston and artist H.G. Peter, she has been an almost constant mainstay in the DC Comics universe, and is considered one of the publisher’s three core “Trinity” characters along with Batman and Superman.
The upcoming 2017 movie is not the first live-action version of Wonder Woman, of course. The most famous version of the superheroine is, of course, the one played by Lynda Carter in the Wonder Woman TV show that ran from 1975 to 1979. Jenkins’ film, however, will be the character’s first live-action feature film, and will also feature Chris Pine as love interest Steve Trevor.
But what actually makes Wonder Woman, well, wondrous? Here are 5 Ws that help define her:
As a female superhero, she has managed to remain a constant and hugely influential presence in the DC Universe for so long, especially in a genre that has been heavily skewed towards male characters throughout the years. Not only is she part of DC Comics’ core “Trinity” (along with Batman and Superman), she is also a founding member of the Justice League, and has played a major role in almost every single one of its major events over the decades. Oh, and she’s dating Superman right now, by the way. Talk about a power couple.
Make no mistake about it – Wonder Woman is a true wonder, and THE most powerful female not just in DC, but in all mainstream superhero comics (sorry, Marvel). It’s not just the fact that she has powers; she is also a natural leader, and is often seen taking the lead on Justice League missions, or leading an army into battle.
In terms of powers, she has super-strength and the ability to fly; but what sets her apart from other heroines with similar powers (Supergirl, Power Girl, etc) is the way she uses them in tandem with her Amazonian warrior training, as well as her weapons. Which brings us to …
Batman may have his Bat-gadgets and Superman may have his powers, but Wonder Woman is the one member of the trinity who is comfortable using actual weapons regularly. Her main weapons of choice in the comics are her Lasso Of Truth (which compels anyone held by it to tell the truth), her metal bracelets (which can deflect bullets), and her, er, tiara, which she can throw as a weapon.
In BVS, she proves to be quite handy with a sword and shield combo (we have no idea where or how she got them after she got off the plane though), which she wields quite often in the comics as well.
Unlike Batman and Superman, however, Wonder Woman also has no qualms about wielding guns. In recently released footage, she is seen holding a machine gun; while Brian Azzarello’s brilliant New 52 run on the Wonder Woman title even had her wielding twin golden guns at one point.
Oh, and she had an invisible jet. Not the most practical of vehicles, mind you, but hey, it’s an INVISIBLE JET.
Of the three core DC characters, only Wonder Woman can be described as a true warrior, having been trained since birth in various forms of armed and unarmed combat, and also in military strategy.
War is something that somehow seems to follow Wonder Woman around, to the extent that Azzarello made her the actual God Of War at the end of his run, taking the place of Ares.
As we’ve seen from the teases in BVS, Wonder Woman played a role during World War I, which is when the Wonder Woman movie will take place. The warrior side of Wonder Woman is also apparent in the Mark Waid/Alex Ross classic graphic novel Kingdom Come, in which Diana dons her war armour and leads an army of superheroes against the escaped inmates of a superhuman prison.
Wonder Woman has had several costume changes throughout the years, all of which can be seen as a sign of how society views women at the time. Her costume has gone from a shoulder-baring red top/skirt combo in the Golden Age to a skimpier 1960s Silver Age one-piece-swimsuit-like bodysuit complete with the tiara and metal bracelets that are now essential parts of the character, and to the current full body costume that made its debut in June last year.
Then there was that time (several times, actually) that she decided to wear a half jacket over her costume. Yeah, we didn’t see the point of it either.