Any Detective Comics fan could tell you that it's imperative that DC brings their Big Three superheroes to the big screen before anything else. Each of them represents one-third of the major DCU and more specifically, Justice League story lines: Superman (Sci-Fi/Aliens & America), Wonder Woman (Magic & War), Batman (Government & Criminal Affairs). Without a full Trinity established, the DCU will fall on it's face. It's like building two-thirds of the support beams to your house and then expecting to be able to build the rest of your home safely.While these areas of course overlap and often each hero is forced to dabble in an area he or she may not specialize in, ultimately I can't see Superman or Batman delving too deep into the magical side of the DC world.
However, first I think we should clear up some misconceptions about these characters. It worries me that the latest DC project seems to be taking influence from Frank Miller's "The Dark Knight Returns pt. 2". Now don't get me wrong, but while this is of course a great comic (and of course the constant go to source for why Batman can beat Superman) it has major flaws in the character of Superman, and considering this is a Superman movie... Now had they announced that perhaps this movie was taking some tips from Grant Morrison's character-filled "All-Star Superman" run I'd be ecstatic. However, Frank Miller decided that not only was he going to weaken Superman so Batman could "win", but he was also gonna twist and ignore the essence of Superman just to fit his story, which would be fine (as it's a Batman story first) if it weren't being used in the Man of Steel-verse, as this version of Superman already needs help, and must make steps foward, not backward.
You see in TDKR2, Superman has essentially become the governments lap dog, to the point where he's basically sent to stop his old pal Batman. We don't need this. Too be fair, the story will probably be different but, before I go further, allow me to clarify that this IS NOT A BATMAN VERSUS SUPERMAN article, but rather a piece that questions the actual guiding principles that these two live by. My opinion on the actual physical battle between Batman and Superman is irrelevant, though I'm sure someone will still comment on them. I'm just saying that TDKR2, may, ever so slightly possibly not be the most accurate description of how a BvsS might go down... Oh boy.
Now we get to the point of this article, which will be a tad long; don't worry I'll tie everything together at the end. The real problem that we face for Wonder Woman as a character is a defining moral and a solid, and recognizable villain. I think in the creation of this character, somewhere along the way we lost this core concept. Nowadays we kind of just brush Wonder Woman under the "world peace" umbrella. This seems to be the defining trait, "Oh she's a warrior princess who seeks world peace", but the problem is that peace as a concept is so... relative. To a particular point of view that is. Most characters in the DC Universe fight for "peace" in some way shape or form. The Justice League itself is a response group of vigilantes who are constantly fighting to return the world to 'status quo' for a day until the next crisis.
One could even argue that the ever-evil Darkseid seeks peace himself in his eternal search for the Anti-Life Equation (or atleast that's how I'd spin it). His idea is to simply control everyone because he believes that life itself causes all of the chaos in the universe. To put it simply, a king that crushes rebellion brings peace through order, while the rebels who overthrow the king bring peace through freedom.
Do you see? Batman is the King and Supes is the Rebel. Batman fights for Order, and Superman fights for Freedom. Wait, what!? Maybe some of you don't follow, or maybe some of you are wondering why I'm still on this topic, but I must cater to everyone. While we often see Batman running from, and fighting the police, we must understand that he's not fighting the idea of government itself. No. The reason he fights them, hell, the reason he is even Batman in the first place is because he doesn't believe that they're doing a good enough job, and that he can and must, do better. That's why we see him working with Gordon. Therefore, if Batman thought for one second that their was a way to eliminate crime completely, even if it meant a dictatorship to the highest degree, he would take it. Still not convinced? Just look at his arch-nemeses, the Joker, and arguably Prometheus (Prometheus is essentially the bad guy's Batman. I'll be fun to see him on screen.). What do they represent? Anarky, chaos, madness. And vice versa for Superman.
What is it that Superman stands for most? What symbol or 'hint, hint' flag, does he represent? 'MERICA! And what is America most known for? How was this proud country established?! Revolution! Freedom! Fight the Tyranny!, et cetera. His nemeses (Oh wow, deja vu much! #irrelevant) are Lex Luthor and Darkseid, both men of great power who will sacrifice others for their own gain in a heartbeat, and love planning total domination. All of this being said Batman still believes in idea of life itself, which is why he doesn't agree with Darkseid and his Anti-Life Equation. People under it's spell aren't really living, hence the name. This is the reason why order is simply an ideal not a reality, and why he can work with Superman in the first place. Neither has the perfect way to forge forward for humanities future and so they must work together. Here's where Wonder Woman comes in as her drive and purpose is something that is found between these two ideals but is constantly overlooked.
WW has always been the half-way merger between Batman and Superman. One human, one god and one half human-half god. That's the beauty of the trinity. Taking it a step further we see this in their personalities, with Superman preferring to float down slowly in front of his enemies with his hands up, politely asking you to put your weapons down. Batman's just gonna glide kick you out of the blue (or should I say dark?); no words or surrender, just you getting your bones broken and your faced smashed in. This makes Superman a better pacifist than WW, as while she may give you a heads up that she's opening the can, she won't hesitate to unleash the full power of whoop-ass on you. Thus her fighting for peace is hypocritical. No, she must fight for something more specific, something tangible and that has an end goal. And the easiest way for us to identify this would be to look at her archenemy.
Who is it? Could it be Ares? Maybe, but there are two problems with this. First, Ares is one of 11 other (major) Olympian gods. He's no more important than any of them and he's not a one-of-a-kind character. More importantly, Ares' drive for war is far too vague. It's just like part of his nature really, like breathing or taking a piss. Not really something you can blame him for or vie against emotionally. It's just as bad as WW fighting for "peace". No, he fails the test (he of course should still be a major villain but he fails as an arch-nemesis).
Cheetah? Well, she's certainly 'o-o-a-k' and is a reoccurring foe, but ultimately she doesn't fit the bill. What's her drive exactly? Revenge, money? No, no and she's also not like an evil reflection of our hero like Joker or Darkseid. With these two we can easily see haw one slip up can turn our heroes into them. That's what makes them such great foes really, and that's what Wonder Women needs. Someone we can look at and say, "If Diana goes too far here she'll be just like...", and so what do I see as her enemy? You probably know already. Maybe you don't, either way I'm gonna say it: Nazis (these people believed in the purity and superiority of the Aryan race, who they also believed descended from...Atlantis...mind blown).
Now some of you may be laughing, but let me clarify that I merely refer to the racial and supremacist attitude of Nazis. That's what Diana must fight against. In some ways Amazons are similar to Nazis as they're are actually a superior (physically) race. Imagine if the Amazons decided they didn't like the way the world was being run and took over and started persecuting all the men, blaming them for the state of the in the world (Sound familiar? Hitler essentially did the same thing to the Jews), using them at best a slaves and... breeders. They'd have some right to, albeit a very small amount but still (Ok, this is starting to sound like the ultimate feminist movie, we're just here to see Wonder Woman kick CGI butt). The problem with just saying Nazi's however is that it's more of a concept here than a person. Even neo-nazis won't work alone as that's just a semi-large group of people. And thus we need to apply it to someone who will be WW's new arch-nemesis, a liberty I reluctantly took, gladly. It had to be someone we know as we don't have time to make up a new character, but also someone big enough to take on the Justice League as both Batman and Superman villains have done repeatedly in the past. The most logical and almost face-palming choice? Drum-roll please.. No? Ok, the Immortal King, Vandal Savage!
Honestly, it makes perfect since if you think about it. For too many reasons to list here in fact, so I will stick to the Big 3, because 3 is a magic number... or was it two? Never mind, inside joke.
1. He's even older than her and the Amazons
I do believe he's the oldest living human, despite being in perfect physical condition, and while yes he's fought virtually every hero ever, so have Lex, Joker and Darkseid. Especially Darkseid. More importantly, his age gives him an understanding of the old worlds of Greece and Atlantis(plus many others), and he has a deeper understanding of magic, something that will of course future heavily in WW's future movies and the JL series itself. His age also gives him the advantage of time to plan and infiltrate, controlling the world using his Illuminati like, Secret Society, which I'll get into in a second.
2. He's definitely a supremacist
His whole reason for wanting to take over the world is because he's so old he thinks he's the most suitable ruler. Now personally I think this is kinda lame so I'd twist it to him wanting to purge the world of all of the "lesser" beings and repopulate with a perfected human race, which he will then lead because he's the oldest and can lead teach them how to be better humans than the "trash I see around me". Therefore, I'd go ahead and make him the founder of DC's Secret Society, with this being his secret end goal. (This would allow you to add in all the Earth-based villains you want to this group and have them be defeated separately in their own agendas, but never completely until whatever movie it all culminates in. Just saying.)
3. Increase Vandal's own popularity
Now, I think we can all agree that Vandal's a bad ass in his own right, but he unfortunately never really reached star status as a comic book character. You know, household name style. Why not? He's got the name, and has appeared plenty of times in DC properties, most recently in Young Justice (R.I.P.), but one thing I think holding him back is image. He doesn't really have a look, you know. He's just a guy with a beard and a few scars. And he's always changing clothes, albeit fancy clothes, but none the less, that needs to change. Both Lex and Joker have an image that makes them instantly recognizable. Savage doesn't. Joker has his hair and skin plus purple suit, and Lex his bald head(it wasn't always bald I know, but that's how he's most known). Well for Savage let's give him something unique. Recognizable outfit? No clothes. He's savage remember? Maybe he just doesn't like clothing because he comes from a time where nakedness wasn't taboo(and he's not worried about climate as he's already mastered his body through thousands of years of practice. Sahara or the Arctic he's fine). Add in like a thousand scars and just have him walk around naked the whole time, that'll garner some attention(Of course careful camera work will keep it PG). Only half-kidding actually. I'd also make him look old and well, savage. I know he technically doesn't age, but maybe he just ages reeeeeeaaaaaaaaaaaalllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllllyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyy slowly, and even if he's not that old that doesn't mean he can't pretend. It's all about image. Throw a shaman staff in there as well and you've got him.
The next big thing is his personality. A good Joker draws attention through his insanity and humor. A good Lex Luthor commands the scene through his intelligence and demeanor. The Joker talks to you like you're about to die screaming, and it's all a fun and games, while Luthor talks like he's already 32 steps ahead and he forgot you existed (not that he ever forgets anything). Whenever Savage is in the room he needs to admit his own aura, and this is of course: timelessness. He should seem like some sort of sage, who is beyond worldly things (like clothes and um, morals) and is full of wisdom. Honestly, instead of feeling like you MUST respect him, it should seem like you WANT to respect him. He's like your elderly grandpa and he treats your brutal murder as "discipline". Now when you're talking to that friend of yours who's not really a comic book fan (he knows who Joker and Lex Luthor are and.. that's it) you can say, "Hey did you see the latest Wonder Women? What did you think of the Vandal?" and he/she'll frown and then go "Oh, you mean Savage, the old naked guy?! Yeah, he was insane. I felt so awkward sitting there and then he just ripped that girls throat out and I was like WHOA! PG, PG." instead of "Hey did you see the latest Wonder Women? What did you think of the Vandal?" and he/she'll frown and go "Um yeah, the guy who never dies, yeah he was cool I guess I didn't really get him though. Wonder Woman was hot though!"
Finally, bringing a villain like him in as WW's enemy elevates his status and brings more perspective to her character. And that brings us to the purpose of all of this, what Wonder Woman fights for as it must be the opposite, and that is Equality. Wonder Woman fights for Equality within humanity and believes that this is the greatest path for "peace" To reiterate one last time: Batman fights for Order (Monarchist), Superman fights for Freedom (Capitalist), and Wonder Woman fights for Equality (Communist). Their nemesis represent chaos, domination and discrimination respectively. I think these are themes that are extremely relevant to us today as a society and something that we see everyday in all forms of media. Drone warfare, far off civil wars and of course the ever present gay marriage issue. And of course, the how every studio today is desperate to be politically correct.
For Wonder Woman it's not just about being a women among men, but rather bringing equality to all of the people of Earth. Now of course, there's the issue of costume, or rather how her "fans" perceive her and too be honest, it pisses me off when I see people writing in all caps about how she needs to be in panties with her boobs falling out or else they'll boycott the movie. Really?! Because last time I checked they revamped both Batman and Superman's costume and you guys cried(and in some cases still cry) about those for months over the color or fact that you can't see someone's underwear. Personally, I'm looking for a combination of modern military garb with antique pieces(like the eagle crest) and MMA clothing. This is another reason the trilogy is important it cements the direction you've chosen visually for the people that don't care about the character or themes of the movie and just wanna see someone jumping around. Can't wait to see what Flash looks like. There are some other things I'd love to say about Moviepilot articles these days but, no, this is about the Trinity, and the future of the DCU.
What do you guys think? Am I crazy? Are these the worst ideas you've ever heard or the most outstandingly, mind-bogglingly brilliant thoughts? Good or Bad, let me know in the comments below. In fact, if you're to lazy for a full sentence just leave a smiley :) or a frowny :(. Maybe a derpy :/ if you want. Good-bye.