“Wonder Woman is, like, one of the greatest heroes out there, but people don’t know her origin like they know Superman’s origin and Batman’s origin.” – Geoff Johns
With those words, Geoff Johns, DC Comics’ Chief Creative Officer, introduced the Amazing Amazon, Wonder Woman, in the DC Films Presents: Dawn of the Justice League special. And her appearances in Dawn of Justice (coming this month) and her solo film (coming in 2017) should fix that.
One could argue that won’t be true, as it’s already revealed they’re going for the New 52 version of the character. Introduced in the 2011 reboot, this Wonder Woman is the daughter of the god Zeus and the Amazon queen Hippolyta. The previous version, dating back to William Moulton Marston’s 1940 creation, was created from clay and granted life and powers by (most of) the Greek goddesses.
But many things remained. Here are five things to look forward to in the DC Extended Universe:
Bullets and Bracelets
Arguably one of the more memorable tricks from the 1977 Wonder Woman series starring Lynda Carter was the repeated use of the “Bullets and Bracelets” tactic. Using her bracelets, she deflects bullets. While it has always looked nice on paper, its execution in animation and live action has been mixed. With today’s CGI, the days of fast-forwarding and dropping frames to make her arms appear faster are behind us. The “Bracelets of Submission”, made of such magic metals as “Amazonium”, “Feminum” and the silver from Zeus’ Aegis, create a balance between the power of the Amazons and loving submission to the positive aims of civilization. Without them, Wonder Woman loses her sanity, and with them chained, she loses her powers. Or at least, she used to. It’s been overlooked or forgotten countless times.
Lasso of Truth
Though she’s featured prominently with a sword and shield in the trailers, her lasso is still clearly visible on her hip. Forged by Hephaestus from the Girdle of Gaea and shot down from Olympus by Artemis, the Lasso compels anyone ensnared in it to tell the truth. Or obey the wielder’s demands. Or it lowers their guard. It can also burn off hangovers and forgetfulness. As the warrior for truth and peace, this is an essential tool in her arsenal.
As it is unbreakable, it can also effectively be used as a weapon – a whip, a surujin, a noose, even a shield. Writers, artists and animators have had a lot of fun with it.
Diana is an ambassador for peace, which makes war an ever present danger. From her origins in the 40s to her current role in DC Comics Bombshsells, it’s why she left Paradise Island. War has always been the mark of Man’s World, personified by her oldest villain, Ares (or Mars), the God of War. It’s something the Amazons left behind two millennia ago. Diana saves pilot Steve Trevor and escorts him back to fight Nazis and their collaborators, and sticks around afterwards.
This time, she’ll go back to World War I, and judging from comments from Zach Snyder, it won’t have been her first trip to Man’s World. An underappreciated era in DC Comics, there’ve been only a couple of Great War characters, most notably Balloon Buster and Enemy Ace, not to mention family members of Jay Garrick, Maxwell Lord and John Constantine.
With her current origin, the Greek Gods undoubtedly come into play. They’ve been portrayed on screen a couple of times in recent years – the Percy Jackson movies, Clash of the Titans and Immortals – which raises the question for which esthetic they’re going this time. Classic Greek togas from George Perez and John Byrne, or the more modern outfits from Drew Johnson and Cliff Chiang.
Wonder Woman has been a goddess herself. She was briefly resurrected as the Goddess of Truth, and up until a month ago, she was the Goddess of War after Ares’ death. She wasn’t fond of her duties, and her inactivity led the Goddess of Peace, Eirene, to start a plot to resurrect Ares to restore the balance. With him alive again, Diana has apparently relinquished her title.
The most exciting thing, of course, is… Wonder Woman herself. Unlike most superheroes, Wonder Woman has always done the right thing from the perspective of compassion and love. Athena and Aphrodite were two of her matrons, and she is most often associated with these – more often than Demeter, Hestia, Artemis, or Hermes. She is Athena’s champion, and will seek a peaceful solution if there is one. This reluctance to fight causes enemies to sometimes underestimate her. In her own words, “do not mistake a desire to avoid violence for the inability to deal it.” She’s bested Batman at least twice, and fought Superman to a standstill. So, prepare for action scenes, because it’s unlikely even she can talk Doomsday into standing down.
Though she’s been around since the 1940s, she’s so far only appeared in TV series, TV movies and animation – never in the cimema. Unless we count The Lego Movie, in which she had a handful of lines but played no major part. Wonder Woman is part of DC’s Trinity, and thus a flagship character… at least in name. Unlike Batman and Superman, who have had multiple comic series on sale at the same time, Wonder Woman never had, and they never sold as well. But right now, she has more titles than ever. Sensation Comics ft. Wonder Woman might just have finished, but there’s still Wonder Woman, Superman/Wonder Woman, Wonder Woman ’77, The Legend of Wonder Woman, and, to a lesser degree, DC Comics Bombshells. They showcase her in a variety of forms, both in and out of current continuity, so there’s ample choice for new readers to find a style that satisfies them.