Wonder Woman is finally here, and it’s already set to become the biggest box-office success of the DC Extended Universe. And overall, it’s not hard to see why audiences are loving it — with perfect casting, vivid visuals and a kickass theme tune to boot, it’s a joy to watch Diana of Themyscira become the hero we know and love throughout the course of the movie.
As we know, movies in shared universes contain references to other major characters and events, and Wonder Woman is no exception to this. Indeed, a certain Caped Crusader looms behind two particular scenes. But why is he here? And why is Batman’s involvement so meaningful in the grand scheme of things in the DCEU? Let’s take a look:
What Is Batman Up To In Wonder Woman?
Moviegoers already know that the majority of Wonder Woman is set in the time period of the First World War. The story begins in Diana’s youthful days before Steve Trevor’s (#ChrisPine) arrival on Themyscira, but the film soon switches to chart Steve and Diana’s campaign against the German army and Ares. But all of this is framed by two modern-day sequences that are set after the events of Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice, as Diana receives the photographic negative of her wartime team, which she had hunted for throughout the previous movie.
We don’t actually see Bruce Wayne in Wonder Woman — after all, he's a busy guy, overseeing the reconstruction of Gotham’s abandoned harbor, running a successful company, searching for metahumans and beating criminals to a pulp at nighttime does put a strain on your schedule. Yet his presence is certainly felt because it’s a Wayne Enterprises vehicle that delivers the original photograph to Diana’s office in the Louvre.
Admittedly it’s a small touch and sure, we all know that the main purpose of these scenes is to connect Wonder Woman to the wider DCEU, but to write them off does them a great disservice. Director Patty Jenkins could have simply had Diana find the photo herself rather than have Bruce send it to her, and the fact that #Batman did speaks volumes to us.
Wonder Woman Sets Up Batman’s Role In Justice League And Beyond
After General Zod’s attack in Man of Steel, we followed an abrasive, extremist Batman through the course of Batman v. Superman. Moreover this was a Batman who willingly — and controversially — forsook his one rule, offing several of Lex Luthor’s goons and nearly Superman (Henry Cavil) in his increasingly violent campaign. But now, things are changing for Batman following his final confrontation with Superman, since as #BenAffleck says:
“He’s no longer extreme in that way...He’s wanting to redeem himself… and he’s wanting to make the world better, having learned lessons that were important in the last movie."
It’s safe to say that Bruce was not particularly accommodating towards Diana (or anyone else for that matter) in Batman v. Superman. Jealously pursuing the information on Lex Luthor’s computers, he was presumptuous and dismissive — until he realized what kind of extraordinary person she was. Even then, his email to her in the third act of Batman v. Superman was brusque and interrogative, which is in stark contrast to the polite inquiring tone of his note in Wonder Woman, where he hoped she would discuss her past with him sometime.
And that’s not all. In the modern-day ending of Wonder Woman, we saw the titular #superhero defiantly leaping back into action, with nary a trace of the reluctance we saw from her in Batman v. Superman. Diana had previously walked away from mankind after the “century of horrors” — until she, like Batman, was inspired by #Superman’s death to reenter the fray. Her attitude towards Batman seems to have thawed as well, and she gratefully responds to Bruce with none of the coolness that we’ve seen so far.
Indeed, referencing her brief and tragic love affair with Steve, she simply and touchingly replies with the line:
“Thanks for bringing him back to me.”
And honestly, these scenes are really lovely additions that hold a lot of promise in the future of the DCEU. Both #superheroes are reevaluating their methodology following Superman’s death, and it’s clear from the trailers for Justice League that Batman and Wonder Woman are working closely together to unite the team. But the latest installment in the #DCEU shows that their teamwork is not merely a grudging one born out of necessity.
After their previous squabbling, Bruce’s gifting of the photographic negative is a considerate and respectful gesture, as is Diana’s appreciation. These small interactions of kindness in Wonder Woman add a heartwarming flavor to the growing relationship between Bruce and Diana. They are very telling in terms of Batman’s changed demeanor, and from a man who had previously lost all hope, they serve as a brief, heartening but vital step in the return of his compassion.
It’s going to be very exciting to see this dynamic play out in #JusticeLeague, when Batman recruits his fellow members and fights alongside Wonder Woman against the forces of Steppenwolf!
Justice League hits theaters on November 17, 2017.
What did you think of 'Wonder Woman'?
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