I Wonder, Where is Wonder Woman?

BY MORGAN

Wonder Woman is more iconic in red, white, and blue—starred spanx and all—than Captain America himself. She’s girls’ first choice of super-heroine Halloween costume, boy’s first super-powered crush, and Superman and Batman’s gender-flipped equal. So why hasn’t she headlined her own movie yet?

DC Comics executives claim that our favorite Amazon is too “tricky” for the big screen. She has no “single, clear, compelling story that everyone knows and recognizes.” Which, um, what? I just gave you her story in one epithet: Meet Diana Prince, more popularly known as Wonder Woman, everyone’s favorite Amazon. Even my brother knows that much, and his interest in comics extends to Naruto and Naruto alone.

Wonder Woman first appeared on the scene fighting Nazis, which, unlike the costume colors, calls Captain America much more quickly to mind. Her origin story, though often rewritten, is most commonly this:

Hippolyta, ruler of Themyscira, would submit to no man and thus bear no children. Yet, the Amazon Queen so desperately wanted a daughter that she formed Diana from clay and lay with her at night. During her sleep, the Olympian gods breathed life into the clay, and thus Wonder Woman was born.

There, DC. What’s so tricky about that?

More recently, the New 52 reboot of her title tweaked her origin. Diana grew up believing that she was born from clay, made by no man, a “true” Amazon, but is revealed to be the product of Hippolyta and Zeus’ passionate affair. When the truth comes out, it brings Hera’s wrath upon her, estranges her from her sisters, and entangles her in a fight for the throne of the gods, which Zeus has now abandoned. Although controversial, this update to her mythos could translate easily to the screen.

Other ‘”complications” include Diana’s reasons for coming to earth and which of her villains she should be paired against. Classically, Wonder Woman wins a tournament in disguise to embark with Steve Trevor, a pilot, back to earth, where she acts as an emissary of Themyscira. In the New 52 run, Wonder Woman embarks on a journey on earth to protect Zola, a human girl pregnant with Zeus’ bastard. Either way, a reason to be on Earth can be easily established. Seriously, DC, it takes, like, two minutes’ thought.

As for the villain? Wonder Woman has plenty to choose from. Cheetah is Wonder Woman’s archetypal archenemy. Although her origin fluctuates, each person to don the name also dons the guise of the great cat and seeks desperately to destroy Diana. Giganta is another long-time enemy of Wonder Woman’s, with the ability to change her mass and size. Diana vs. the giantess would be a fight worthy of cheesy 3D and numerous special effects—just what Hollywood loves these days.

The best of Wonder Woman’s adversaries, however, come from Greco-Roman myth. Diana’s storyline has always been tied to the gods, and watching Diana face off against the Olympians themselves would be incredible. The current run has made the goddess Strife into a Loki-esque character, allied to Diana at first until her true colors are revealed. Strife, Medusa, Hera, Hades, Zeus… Wonder Woman could fight any of them, and the results would be a box-office success, drawing in fans of Thor and Percy Jackson alike.

Common Internet argument against a Wonder Woman movie is that, well, she’s a woman. Female-fronted action movies don’t do well—or so neckbeards claim. They cite Catwoman and Elektra as examples. The problem with both of those movies, of course, isn’t that their leads were female, but that the female leads were over-sexualized for a male audience. Instead of being made to save the day, they were made to prance around in impractical lingerie and do some ass-flashing acrobatics. If a heroine is essentially wearing a bra and leather pants, the movie is gonna flop.

A recent Wonder Woman TV series starring Adrianne Palicki was pulled for mysterious reasons—and her spandex costume was less empowering than the porn parody version.

A flop in the making? Execs thought so. I thought so, too, judging by appearance alone. I can’t get behind a Wonder Woman who looks like she’s about to mount a pole, not because I’m against women owning their sexuality, but because this isn’t a woman owning her sexuality—this is a feminist icon being sexualized for male masses. How do you do a super-heroine justice (pardon the pun)? Replicate the sheer, feminine badassery of Joss Whedon and Scarlett Johansson’s Black Widow.

DC execs pretend that Wonder Woman has been “one of the top three priorities for … Warner Bros” since Marvel stepped up their game and inspired a comic book craze. And yet Diane Nelson, Warner Bros’ brand manager for superheroes, has confirmed that an Aquaman movie may be coming to theaters near you, a Flash TV show has replaced the Wonder Woman work-in-progress, and the Superman and Batman sequel to “Man of Steel” is being put into production as I type. It seems that DC is gunning faster than a speeding bullet, full-speeds ahead toward a Justice League movie without developing one of its Big Three first. Still, adamant enthusiasts are demanding Diana onscreen.

Wonder Woman fans have been doing a better job of bringing her to life than the company that owns her rights. HardCoded created a fan trailer for a fake “Wonder Womans” movie in which Diana kicks Nazi butt; Chestercee made a short about Wonder Woman on a date gone wrong; and Rainfall announced a Wonder Woman film to be dropping on Sept. 29. Perhaps by popular demand we will one day get to see Wonder Woman on the big screen.

Photo courtesy of Flickr.

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literally darling selfie hehMorgan is a bed-dwelling, soda-addicted fluffy socks fiend. She’s also an English major, trained in over-analysis and general wordiness. She is prone to sending 60+ word texts. A fan of sci-fi shows, fantasy books, and blockbuster films, Morgan’s knowledge base also extends to Pon farr jokes and comic book references. DC makes attempts at her heart, but Marvel owns her soul. Hailing from a conservative family and living on a liberal arts campus, Morgan’s general life view falls somewhere in-between, but you can bet that one way or another her opinions will be made clear. She can usually be found in her natural habitat: surrounded by Dr. Pepper cans and marathoning Community. Morgan’s hidden talents include belting out Phantom of the Opera, painting shirts for presents, sculpting owl mugs, and creating clay DnD figurines.

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