Wonder Woman is one of the first comic-book movies to make girls feel like they have a superhero.
The long awaited DC movie, inspired by the comic book heroine “Wonder Woman”, was released on June 2, 2017. This movie centers around the protagonist Diana Prince (AKA Wonder Woman), the princess of the Amazons, who has been training since childhood to be a strong and fierce protector of her people. Sheltered from the outside world, one day Diana discovers a pilot named Steve Trevor washed up on the shores of her island. He tells her of the ongoing conflict in the outside world and Diana makes the decision to leave her people and fight alongside humans in the war.
Wonder Woman was already one of the most famous female comic book characters in the world, however, with the 2017 movie release she has become something of a feminist icon as well. The film takes inspiration from the 52 new comic books recently revitalized. Wonder Woman’s character has been revamped; focusing on strong feminist beliefs, solidarity, and strength. They have made Wonder Woman so much more than the Justice League’s token female lead she was once seen as. Wonder Woman is fierce, independent and beautiful. The best part of all? She knows it.
Wonder Woman has been portrayed very differently than most standard lead-female roles, particularly where superhero movies are to be considered. While she does indeed fall in love throughout her journey, it is not the simpering love interest we have come to recognize.
She speaks honestly and frankly with him about sex and pleasure, declaring that while she may have never been with a man before, she knows what she finds enjoyable. She snidely remarks that if it weren’t for the need to reproduce, what would she need a man for? This is a tongue in cheek observation of the patriarchal ideology that was rife in society when the comic books were established.
Diana is by far the strongest and most fearless character in the movie, even before she adopts her Wonder Woman persona. Brazen and righteous, she puts herself in harm’s way in order to save thousands. She enjoys the romance with male-lead Steve Trevor, but never allows it to cloud her judgment or stop her from her achieving ultimate goal.
Wonder Woman’s female director, Patty Jenkins, had a large part to play in its success as a feminine yet, super-empowering story. The movie has broken many box office records including becoming the highest-grossing movie directed by a woman, the biggest domestic opening for a movie directed by a woman, and the largest opening for a female-led comic book movie. It has grossed $765 million worldwide, becoming the 4th highest grossing film of 2017 thus far. It is plain to see that this movie has been created with a feminine touch, causing us ladies, not to cringe at the besotted female protagonist, but rather cheer her on.
These kinds of role models are required for girls and women around the world; powerful, influential and independent yet still; female. Diana shows girls everywhere that you can be both beautiful and alluring while kicking ass. Prior to Wonder Woman’s sensational success, we have only had watered down versions of female characters in male- orientated environments. Female super- heroes were sidekicks, sub plots and sexualized. Now, with this empowering movie, girls can start to actually recognize and relate to the woman on the screen. She allows herself to be identifiable to a large female audience and inspires girls to want to be strong and brave like her.
Gal Gadot, who plays Diana, does a stellar performance as Wonder Woman, making her a believable character who has flaws and makes mistakes. Her performance draws the audience in and despite her character being an unattainable super-woman, she allows the viewers to connect with her on a deeper level.
Between Patty Jenkins’ directorial prowess and Gal Gadot’s persuasive performance, Wonder Woman is one of the first comic-book movies to make girls feel like they have a superhero. DC has made some revolutionary steps to equalizing the way women are viewed in the comic book world and now on the big screen. The bar has been set for future female lead roles, not to mention the need for more female directors to take the reins.