There are a few elements that are always present in any good Wonder Woman story. The theme of feminism is, naturally, the undercurrent to it all, but Diana must also be strong and compassionate, a warrior who understands the importance of truth and love. Then there are the themes that sometimes get forgotten — the peace which Diana strives towards, and the fact that she is attracted to women.
Yes, one of DC's Holy Trinity is bisexual, and this has always been a part of Wonder Woman's story, whether her writers remember it or not.
Evident even in the 1940s, Diana's love of women caused quite a stir in that time, and although this was played down significantly in subsequent years, recently Diana's bisexuality has come to the fore again. But will this aspect of her character make it into the movies?
A History Of Diana's Bisexuality
When William Marston co-created Wonder Woman — he credited his wife Elizabeth with the idea, with significant influence from their romantic partner Olive Byrne — he deliberately included themes of alternative sexuality. Marston's love of bondage and female domination was evident in Wonder Woman's Golden Age comics, as was his support of lesbianism.
Obviously, Diana couldn't come out and say she was romantically interested in women as well as men, but this part of the story was barely subtextual.
It was so obvious, in fact, that it contributed both to Wonder Woman's popularity, and controversy. In his book Seduction of the Innocent, Fredric Wertham wrote that Wonder Woman inspired lesbianism in young girls who read the comics.
The Lesbian counterpart of Batman may be found in...Wonder Woman. The homosexual connotation of the Wonder Woman type of story is psychologically unmistakable. The Psychiatric Quarterly deplored in an editorial the "appearance of an eminent child therapist as the implied endorser of a series…which portrays extremely sadistic hatred of all males in a framework which is plainly Lesbian."
This book contributed to the instatement of the Comics Code, which severely restricted what was allowed to be shown in comic books. Naturally, Wonder Woman's attraction to women, and the queer themes in her comics, disappeared for decades. Recently though, there's been a resurgence in this.
In 2014, DC's Secret Origins series showed a snapshot of Diana's life in Themiscyra, exploring her relationship with Aleka, revealing the sexual tension between the two of them, and the possibility of "love". The fact that Themiscyra is a society of women who are attracted to women has become clearer in recent years too, and even Hippolyta — Diana's mother — had a girlfriend in the 2015 Wonder Woman Annual.
In 2016's Earth One, Grant Morrison included an off-the-page girlfriend for Diana, and the recent continuity reset known as Rebirth saw Diana get a new origin from the pen of Greg Rucka — who has always been a champion of Diana expressing her bisexuality. The Rebirth comic presents Diana as something of a heartbreaker on Themiscyra, as she takes many female lovers while other women pine after her.
And then there's the fact that another one of DC's bisexual icons, the indomitable Harley Quinn, also has a huge crush on Wonder Woman.
Will We See Bisexual Wonder Woman In The DCEU?
The need for LGBT representation has been talked about a lot, and it's even more important when it comes to superheroes — in many ways, superheroes are the gods of our time, as we create beings that are quite literally the superlative of what we hope to be ourselves.
Needless to say, if Wonder Woman were to express attraction to women in the 2017 Wonder Woman movie, the cultural impact would be huge. For comic book purists, this would be harkening back to the queer subtext that has always been present in Diana's story — Wonder Woman has always stood for those in society that are oppressed, making her bisexuality not only true to her origins but also to the very nature of her character.
But will we actually see this? It seems unlikely. Even in the comic books, Wonder Woman's bisexuality has never been addressed head on. Of course she's had a few male love interests, but Diana has yet to have a long running female love interest — or even a female love interest she more than mentions in passing. Unlike Harley Quinn, Wonder Woman has not even had an on-page kiss with a woman. Although 75 years have passed since Wonder Woman's creation, her bisexuality is still largely the stuff of subtext.
Warner Bros. have the opportunity to change this, but it would be surprising if they did. Why take such a chance with a fledgling franchise that's already seen more than its fair share of controversy? The earliest we can hope for a nod towards Diana's love of women is in Justice League, as Diana's romantic interest in her solo movie is Steve Trevor — as it should be, in keeping with her origin story.
We can hope that Diana will get a girlfriend in later installments of the DCEU, but it might be best to look to the comics for the first steps in this direction — and don't hold your breath.
Would you like to see Diana get a girlfriend in the DCEU? Tell us in the comments!