[Wonder Woman](movie:45787) has a lot of eyes on her. Not only will it be the first female fronted superhero movie since 2004's Catwoman, more than any other female superhero, Wonder Woman is the standard bearer, one of the strongest and most enduring representations of female power.
Wonder Woman's Powerful Legacy
In fact, Wonder Woman is a feminist icon and created by someone with the very intent of empowering women in the 1940s, at a time when women were struggling to find empowerment in American society. With many men off to war in another continent, Wonder Woman was like Rosie the Riveter in superhero action - a character who was telling the world that not only could women do just as good a job as men in the professional world, but in kicking evil's butt as well.
Wonder Woman originally didn't need a man to become a successful superhero but she was invented by William Moulton Marston, who also invented the polygraph machine, with his wife Elizabeth. In a statement of the true feministic intent of the character, William Moulton Marston said:
"Wonder Woman is psychological propaganda for the new type of woman who should, I believe, rule the world."
Origins Made of Clay
Some people are already worried about the path this movie version of Wonder Woman is going to take. Perhaps most drastically, the character is set to move away from Wonder Woman's original identity as a being a goddess who was birthed directly from Mother Earth and purely from the Amazon women who blessed their creation as being, "beautiful as Aphrodite, wise as Athena, as strong as Hercules, and as swift as Hermes."
Yes, this means Wonder Woman was never bogged down with daddy issues or had any negative male influence in her life until Steve Trevor showed up, introduced her to all the messed up things "the world of man" was up to it's neck in and she decided to help.
A Brand New Dad
Now, in DC's New 52 version of things, the way the movie is going, is that Diana is the daughter of Zeus' affair with Hippolyta. So not only does she have daddy issues, she's a daughter born out of an absentee father's extramarital relationship. This not only disrupts the general history of things, it also gives her a conflicted feeling about her homeland (she gets teased mercilessly as a child) - which is something she has never been anything but proud of before.
I'm not completely against this version of things, though I can understand why some are upset. I think Wonder Woman can still be a strong, and perhaps even more relatable, figure of empowerment while being Zeus' bastard daughter. Overcoming a troubled childhood to become a powerful superhero is a bit cliche at this point, but it is still a strong message.
Superman's Super Shadow
Maybe not having to consider the influence of men in a female superhero's upbringing is a powerful message too - or not being defined by the men in your file, period. But what's more important to me is larger picture of Wonder Woman's movie debut and whether or not she's being brought to life more by Batman and Superman than anything else.
It makes sense that lesser known or beloved characters like Aquaman will get introduced in a guaranteed hit like Batman v Superman, but does Wonder Woman? Why does Diana need to start out in the shadow of these two gigantic male egos while they're going through their chest puffing routine to see who has the bigger, uh, fan base?
Let's hope it's not as bad as all that. Still, how much more appropriate and cooler would it be if, like the movies proceeding the Avengers, Superman showed up at the end of her movie, asking her if she wanted to be in the Justice League. No, it seems like Wonder Woman has to go to Metropolis for this kind of thing to happen in the DC movie universe.