Posted by Eleanor Tremeer @eleanortremeer
MP staff writer. I talk about superheroes a lot. Sometimes I'm paid for it.
Eleanor Tremeer

There's a little known fact about Wonder Woman: That she's as much as a heartthrob for women as she is for men. Diana of Themiscyra's romantic interest in women has been clear in the comics since the Golden Age, but this aspect of her character is often played down. The fact that Diana is, in our terminology, bisexual, has remained in the realm of fun facts — until last week, when it became newsworthy.

Greg Rucka was the one to drag Diana out of the closet; the current Wonder Woman writer was interviewed by Comicosity, and when asked whether Diana was queer, his response sent the internet into a frenzy.

"Are we saying Diana has been in love and had relationships with other women? As Nicola [a co-writer] and I approach it, the answer is obviously yes."

Flashbacks show Diana flirting with women, as Steve Trevor trains. [DC]
Flashbacks show Diana flirting with women, as Steve Trevor trains. [DC]

This simple answer inspires many questions, but the most pressing is whether we'll see this part of Diana's story make the leap from the page to the silver screen.

She's Not Gay, But She's Not Straight Either

Rucka has already made a point of including Diana's romantic history in her new Rebirth comic — during the origin-story flashback, Diana is shown flirting with many women, while other Amazons discuss how attractive she is.

To many readers, the question of whether Wonder Woman is queer is a bit of a moot point: Diana grew up on an island populated only by women, and it's foolish to think that this culture would be devoid of romance. But as Rucka points out, the Amazons don't see their love for each other as gay, just as love.

"It’s supposed to be paradise. You’re supposed to be able to have a fulfilling, romantic and sexual relationship. And the only options are women. But an Amazon doesn’t look at another Amazon and say, 'You’re gay.' They don’t. The concept doesn’t exist."

Diana officiates a lesbian marriage or, as she calls it, a marriage. [DC]
Diana officiates a lesbian marriage or, as she calls it, a marriage. [DC]

In Rucka's version of Wonder Woman's origin story, she does not leave Themiscyra because of her love for Steve Trevor, but rather because she heeds a call to heroism. However, it's clear that Diana and Steve did fall in love, as the two speak to each other fondly when they're reunited in later issues.

If we wanted to align Diana with any sexual identity then, she seems to fall under the bisexual umbrella, as she is attracted to both men and women. We already know that the 2017 movie will feature Steve Trevor as Diana's romantic interest, but does this diminish her story? And will she be revealed as bisexual in the film?

Love In The Time Of War

In Warner Bros' Wonder Woman, as in the original origin story, Steve's crash landing on Themiscyra prompts Diana to leave her home and plunge headfirst into a World War — becoming the hero we know as Wonder Woman.

And it seems — as Diana slow-dances with Steve in the moonlight — that she will fall in love with Chris Pine's dashing pilot along the way.

So does this mean that Diana isn't queer at all in the 2017 film? Not necessarily — although Rucka seems to think that if Diana falls in love with Steve that doesn't just undermine her heroism, but her queerness.

"And it needs to be yes for a number of reasons. But perhaps foremost among them is, if no [she isn't queer], then she leaves paradise only because of a potential romantic relationship with Steve. And that diminishes her character. It would hurt the character and take away her heroism."

If Chris Pine soulfully danced with you in the moonlit snow, you'd fall in love with him too. [WB]
If Chris Pine soulfully danced with you in the moonlit snow, you'd fall in love with him too. [WB]

This is where we get into the tangled mess of opinions and author interpretations. Of course Diana falling in love with Steve doesn't undermine her sexuality — as we've already established, it's been clear from the start that Diana loves both men and women.

The question of whether her love for Steve undermines her heroism is more complicated, as women in movies are often added in as love interests for male characters, depriving them of their own plot independent of a man. It's easy to think that Wonder Woman is falling prey to this trope but instead, the opposite is true — Steve is Diana's love interest, not the other way around. Diana is the eponymous hero, and as such she drives the story. All other characters support her — and it seems unfair to deny this hero a romantic subplot.

Diana and Steve in 'Wonder Woman'. [WB]
Diana and Steve in 'Wonder Woman'. [WB]

So much for Diana loving Steve. It's whether Diana is shown to love women as well that's really the issue here.

Taking A Stand For Representation

Although the decades have been peppered with various DC movies, this new franchise — called the DCEU and beginning with Man of Steel — is fairly young, with only three films in this continuity so far.

After Batman v Superman and Suicide Squad both sparked a divided response from critics and fans, all eyes are on Wonder Woman to restore faith in the franchise. Establishing Diana as queer might be a big risk for a movie that is already under such scrutiny.

Wonder Woman in the trenches. [WB]
Wonder Woman in the trenches. [WB]

After Ghostbusters came under fire for including a cast of mostly women, we can only imagine the furore if one of DC's Holy Trinity was revealed to be anything other than straight. The answer, if WB do want to take a stand for some much needed LGBT representation within the superhero genre, is probably just to not make a big deal of it.

Just as the Amazons don't see loving women as anything other than love, present Diana being queer as totally normal, even mundane. Don't show it in the trailers, just have her mention a girlfriend or two in the movie, or include a flirtatious scene between Diana and Etta Candy. If Wonder Woman doesn't see attraction to women as as anything out of the ordinary, then maybe we shouldn't either.

Only time will tell on this front, but with Diana firmly established as not-straight in the comics, we're edging closer to this being confirmed on the big screen too. And who knows, maybe Diana will get a girlfriend in Justice League... maybe.

Tell us in the comments: Do you think Diana will be bisexual in the 2017 movie?

You tell him, Diana! [WB]
You tell him, Diana! [WB]

[Source: Comicosity]