The second #WonderWoman trailer has sparked much speculation, with tons of Easter Egg hints to keep us going until the movie is finally released next year. The trailer gave us a bit more context to the story, revealing how an attack on Themiscyra caused Diana to plunge into the fray herself. But she's not just looking to protect her home country — Steve Trevor's secret mission seems to be the key to all this, as it looks like he was investigating some new form of chemical warfare.
Crashing on Themiscyra's shores after an aerial attack on a German facility goes wrong, Steve tells the Amazons that his mission was to stop the war. But this isn't just a vague agenda: It's one specific scheme that he needs to foil, and the mysterious masked villain seems to be the one designing the weapon that's "more powerful than you could possibly imagine."
Dr Poison's Concoctions
To find out what the weapon is, we have to look to the comic books. Ever since the first trailer dropped, we've been wondering whether that masked woman is actually Doctor Poison, an obscure villain from the Golden Age who was brought back a couple of times in more modern comics.
Doctor Poison is a fascinating character — disguised as a man (leading many to believe this character was a representation of "drag king" culture), Poison was later revealed to be Princess Maru, a Nazi spy and scientist.
By corrupting the water supply to all Allied troops, Doctor Poison infected the soldiers with a drug that caused them to disobey all orders. This lead to complete havoc in the ranks, but with the help of the Holiday Girls — lead by Etta Candy — Wonder Woman managed to take down Doctor Poison, later unmasking her to reveal her true identity.
Poison wasn't adverse to acting with others though, as she later joined the team Villainy Inc — and it might be that she's working under the orders of Ares in Wonder Woman.
Escalating The War
In the trailer, we saw more of the masked woman than any other villain. She seems to be involved in all the scenes in which the mysterious gas is developed — and in this shot it looks like she's conducting some kind of human test to judge the gas's effects.
The use of a chemical weapon as a plot device in Wonder Woman is very evocative, considering how mustard gas was an infamous part of the First World War. This was the first time such a gas had been used in conflict, and the results were absolutely devastating.
At the beginning of the war, troops were not deployed with gas masks, and so each gas attack carried a high death toll. The injuries were horrific, with soldiers taking days to die from blocked airways. Even those who survived often suffered blindness, or developed cancer in later life. The use of chemical weapons was later banned from modern warfare.
It seems safe to say, however, that Doctor Poison's gas in Wonder Woman is different from mustard gas, and might be all the more dangerous, if it induces the same effect as her poison in the Golden Age comic.
In fact, this could be the reason Ares recruited Doctor Poison in the first place, if Danny Huston's as-yet unnamed character really is the God of War in disguise. Ares draws his power from conflict, so it makes sense that he would get involved in WWI. Not content with just standing by and soaking up all the horrors of trench warfare, Ares may be looking to escalate the conflict, pushing it to fever pitch and plunging the Earth into a war that will last decades, or even centuries.
Alone, Ares can only do so much by pulling the strings and nudging human generals in this direction. But with Doctor Poison's help, Ares could incite every single soldier to act the way he wants them to — but whether that's a bersker-style rage or just obeying his commands remains to be seen.
It all comes down to what Doctor Poison's gas does, so here's hoping Wonder Woman finds a way to destroy it. (Don't worry, we're pretty sure she will.)
Tell us in the comments: Do you think Ares and Doctor Poison are working together?