There's technically no need for fictional stories to be grounded in real-life events, but #superhero tales have always suggested that there could be an extra layer to history as we know it, preferring to explain human monstrosity with mutant forces and superpowers. World War II in particular has always been the background of choice for these movies, both because it's one of the most well-known conflicts in history and because it provides the perfect Hollywood-style villain in the form of the Nazis.
World War I, on the other hand, has had less coverage in mainstream pictures, and in the superhero world, we've mostly seen World War II, with Captain America fighting the Red Skull in Captain America: The First Avenger. That's all going to change with the release of #WonderWoman next summer, in which the Great War takes a prominent place in #DianaPrince's journey. And from what we've seen so far, there's more than the trenches that allude to the first worldwide conflict of modern history.
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Doctor Poison Is Quite The Fitting Villain For World War I
One of the most notable ways Warner is accurately depicting World War I in Wonder Woman is the chemical warfare aspect of the conflict. With Elena Anaya rumored to be playing #DoctorPoison, a #comicbook villain whose goal is to contaminate her enemy, the movie is actually staying close to the characteristics of the Great War.
While it certainly wasn't the first time soldiers had used chemical weapons, World War I was was the first major conflict to involve toxic substances, starting with tear gas mainly used by the French in the first years of the war. The Germans escalated quickly, however, developing bombs based on chlorine as early as 1915. Though the gas wasn't necessarily lethal, it had devastating effects on soldiers' skin, eyes and respiratory systems. But the most famous gas of the war was mustard gas, which could stay active for weeks and caused internal bleeding and burns.
These burns were so bad, in fact, that many soldiers were disfigured after the war — could that be the tragic reason for Doctor Poison's semi-artificial face?
'The War To End All Wars'
When describing the incoming threat to the Amazons, Steve Trevor uses an ominous phrase to quantify the war raging outside the island: "The war to end all wars." With this, Wonder Woman honors World War I in that it conveys the overwhelming feeling the conflict generated at the time. Though it was rooted in tensions that had been developing for a while, the war was very quickly triggered and attained proportions that had never been anticipated before, soon drawing in the entire world.
It's interesting to position Diana's arrival when humanity first discovers the concept of a worldwide clash, suggesting that the battle has reached so far that it even involves the Amazons. The fact that this is the first battle on this scale not only further justifies Diana's involvement — as it would be the first one worth acknowledging — it would also explain her strong disillusionment later on. No one thought a war like that could happen, which is why it created such intense shock among those who had to fight in it.
While Wonder Woman certainly isn't meant to be a history movie, it's good to see it made a point of staying as close to the events of the conflict as possible — save for the inclusion of a magical, shiny lasso and an Olympian god or two.