Never prone to stewing in solitude, and taking more notes from Richard Donner than from Christopher Nolan, Patty Jenkins' Wonder Woman provides a welcome respite from DC's house style of grim darkness—boisterous, earnest, sometimes sloppy, yet consistently entertaining—with star Gal Gadot proving an inspired choice for this avatar of truth, justice, and the Amazonian way.[209]
Elena Anaya, who played the supervillain Dr. Poison, is contracted for multiple movies, so we may see her return. Jenkins didn’t completely rule out a comeback for Chris Pine’s character Steve Trevor, but that seems unlikely because Trevor is dead. And not the Winter Soldier kind of dead. Connie Nielsen and Robin Wright will reprise their roles as Queen Hippolyta and General Antiope in Justice League, but they haven’t been confirmed for Wonder Woman 2 yet. Oh, and Jenkins wants to recruit 1970s Wonder Woman star Lynda Carter for a cameo role! Here’s hoping.

During the fight, Steve approaches Diana who can't hear him speak due to an explosion temporarily rupturing her eardrums. Steve, after much talking, departs and leaves Diana with his watch before boarding the plane which is taking off with the mustard gas. Ares eventually restrains Diana, imploring her to surrender and realize the futility of their fight. Diana notices the plane in the sky as she's pinned to the ground and watches in horror as it explodes with Steve sacrificing himself to save billions of lives.

Wonder Woman was minorly associated with the series 52, and in the One Year Later universe following Infinite Crisis she becomes a member of the Department of Metahuman Affairs. The most memorable story arc from this era was the much maligned Amazons Attack story arc, which many fans felt was not engaging nor did it do enough service to the well-established characters. After Gail Simone took over the series, a number of memorable story arcs took place, foremost among them Rise of the Olympian and Warkiller. Following the departure of Gail Simone the character was relaunched into the storyline Odyssey, where she must discover who she is and what has happened to her life. During this period she also took part in the events of Blackest Night where she was first a Black Lantern and later a Star Sapphire.
A pantheon of terrible Dark Gods has come to Earth, bringing with them death and destruction. People everywhere are renouncing their own faith in favor of the Dark Gods’, causing riots and worse. The Justice League was supposed to be their cavalry, but with their defeat, Diana and Jason are on their own. The Star Sapphires summon Wonder Woman to help them conquer their own threat, and Jason is left truly alone. Diana is left with no choice but to help the Star Sapphires, while praying Jason can hold out against the dark deities until her return…
Director James Cameron continued this debate, through his critique of the representation of female power in Jenkins's film. In an August 2017 interview with The Guardian, Cameron qualifies Jenkins's vision of Wonder Woman as "an objectified icon" and called the film "a step backwards". In contrast, he states, his character Sarah Connor (from his Terminator films) "was not a beauty icon. She was strong, she was troubled, she was a terrible mother, and she earned the respect of the audience through pure grit."[254] Jenkins stated in response that Cameron's "inability to understand what 'Wonder Woman' is, or stands for, to women all over the world is unsurprising as, though he is a great filmmaker, he is not a woman". She further argued "there is no right and wrong kind of powerful woman" because "if women have to always be hard, tough and troubled to be strong, and we aren't free to be multidimensional or celebrate an icon of women everywhere because she is attractive and loving, then we haven't come very far have we."[255] Reaction to this debate was mixed. Julie Miller sided with Cameron, whom she states refers to himself as "a pretty hardcore feminist" and who told Vulture that "I have no problem writing a script in which the males become subservient to the females, which is what happens in Aliens ... It's up to Ripley to win the day." In contrast, Miller argues that Jenkins and Gadot envisioned Wonder Woman as "a woman who exuded both femininity and strength, along with genuine confusion as to why men would treat women differently than they do other men".[256] Susannah Breslin also agreed with Cameron, describing Jenkins's Wonder Woman as "a Playmate with a lasso" and "female power with no balls".[257] Others were more critical of Cameron's critique.[258] An article in Newsweek suggests that in contrast to his criticism of Jenkins, Cameron's own films include "lot of objectification" and quotes a few Hollywood celebrities who echoed this view. One of the quotes came from Jesse McLaren who states that "James Cameron's just confused there's a female hero whose motivations aren't centered around motherhood."[259] Noah Berlatsky found areas of agreement between both Cameron and Jenkins, stating that while Cameron's objection is "an old point that's been made over and over for decades", Jenkins's film is not "solely focused on objectifying Gal Gadot for a male audience".[260]
It was the fall of 1985...I walked into editor Janice Race's office to find out about the fate of Diana Prince. I was curious to learn who was going to draw her. Superman had [John] Byrne and [Jerry] Ordway, Batman had [Frank] Miller and [Alan] Davis (and later [David] Mazzucchelli). Wonder Woman had...No one. A writer, Greg Potter, had been selected but no established artist wanted to handle the new series. After exhaustive searches, it seemed Wonder Woman would have to be assigned to an unknown...I thought of John Byrne and Superman. What a giant coup for DC. A top talent and fan-fave on their premier character..."Janice" I heard myself say "What if I took on Wonder Woman for the first six months – just to get her out of the starting gate?"
“As to the ‘advanced femininity,’ what are the activities in comic books which women ‘indulge in on an equal footing with men’? They do not work. They are not homemakers. They do not bring up a family. Mother-love is entirely absent. Even when Wonder Woman adopts a girl there are Lesbian overtones,” he said. At the Senate hearings, Bender testified, too. If anything in American popular culture was bad for girls, she said, it wasn’t Wonder Woman; it was Walt Disney. “The mothers are always killed or sent to the insane asylums in Walt Disney movies,” she said. This argument fell on deaf ears.

Wonder Woman was taken to Zamaron where the Star Sapphires informed her that a Dark God had taken hold there, too. Diana fought the newly-emerged Karnell, Dark God of Love, who informed Diana that he and his brethren had come from the Dark Multiverse, which the Justice League had recently encountered. When Diana wore the Tenth Metal during the climax of the Justice League's battle with Barbatos, Diana had wished for the gods' return. Though she had meant the Gods of Olympus, the Dark Multiverse's gods were chosen instead, and thus she had unintentionally caused their invasion. Together with the Star Sapphire Corps, Wonder Woman was able to defeat Karnell, who retreated back to Earth. Wonder Woman left the Corps and returned home.[102] In her absence, Jason had united with the Justice League and fought the Dark Gods, who had plunged Earth into chaos. Suddenly, the Dark Gods disappeared, only for them to return with Jason at their side.[103] Jason fought Wonder Woman, but after he led her away from the Dark Gods, he revealed that he was using his armor to channel the power of Dolos, God of Deception, and was in fact deceiving the Dark Gods. Using the wisdom of Athena, Jason developed a plan to convince the Dark Gods to retreat back to their reality. He offered himself, along with the power of the Greek Pantheon, in exchange for the Dark Gods leaving Earth. The Dark Gods accepted the proposal and Diana tearfully said goodbye to her brother, who was taken with them to the Dark Multiverse. The planet was saved and its people returned to normal, but Diana was distraught over the loss of her brother.[104]
The modern age of the character can be tied to the reboot of the character following Crisis on Infinite Earths. In this the character became defined by the vision of George Perez in a way which the entire concept of the character was defined by his direction. As opposed to the past where the character would get retold origins which would try to make her more contemporary, now she got one which tied her much more strongly to the stories of the ancient gods. For the first time Diana enters Man’s World not knowing how to speak English already, and is forced to master the language on her own. In this period she also became much more closely related with modern female issues, and this was usually through her circle of friends – Julia and Vanessa Kapatelis and Mindi Mayer. Such issues as the cultural need for women to be attractive and thin, suicide and the sensationalization of the media as it pertains to women were all addressed. This version of the character also reimagined Steve Trevor as a father figure for Diana as opposed to a romantic counterpart. After Perez’s run on the character, she was taken over for a time by William Messner Loebs, who recast her again in somewhat more traditional superhero stories, though in this case she still explored a different aspect of humanity. After a long space voyage, when she returned home she was forced to work at a fast food restaurant to pay her bills and made friends with a number of people in her “civilian identity.” This built up to the revelation of betrayal of her mother, and of Artemis taking over as Wonder Woman for a short time, but this was soon reversed. The following writer was John Byrne, who when he was writing Superman in the post-Crisis on Infinite Earths DC universe, had hinted at a relationship between Diana and Superman. This was explored occasionally under his run, but it is probably best known for the death of Diana, and the assumption of her duties by Hippolyta. She was soon returned to life (as she had never really died, instead having been deified). This period also introduced Cassandra Sandsmark, who would go on to become Wonder Girl at a later point. The remainder of this second series is best remembered for by the writing of Jimenez and Rucka, both of whom helped define the character. The latter during the lead-in of events to Infinite Crisis had Diana fighting Superman who was being controlled by Maxwell Lord. Battered after their battle, Diana has managed to stop Superman by using her lasso of truth on Lord, and the only option which she is given to stopping him is to kill him, and realizing this is the case, she does so. This created a controversy both within comics and in the real world, as both fans and characters alike debated the morality of this decision. In comics this also led to strained relations between her and Superman and her and Batman and with the addition of the events of Identity Crisis, helped to lead to the breakup of the Justice League of America at a crucial point right before the main events of Infinite Crisis were about to begin.
During the fight, Steve approaches Diana who can't hear him speak due to an explosion temporarily rupturing her eardrums. Steve, after much talking, departs and leaves Diana with his watch before boarding the plane which is taking off with the mustard gas. Ares eventually restrains Diana, imploring her to surrender and realize the futility of their fight. Diana notices the plane in the sky as she's pinned to the ground and watches in horror as it explodes with Steve sacrificing himself to save billions of lives.

Earning a total of $103.3 million on its opening weekend, the film recorded a number of records: the biggest domestic opening of all time for a female director (surpassing previous record holder Fifty Shades of Grey), the biggest DC Comics release without Batman or Superman (ahead of Constantine), the sixth-biggest non-sequel comic book superhero debut ever, as well as the sixth-biggest June debut weekend.[184] Its three-day opening alone made it the highest-grossing woman-led comic book superhero film ever (surpassing Ghost in the Shell).[185] It was also the 16th superhero film to cross $100 million in its domestic box office launch.[186] About 9% ($9 million) of the opening weekend came from IMAX screenings from 343 theaters.[187] In its second week the film grossed $58.5 million, again topping the box office. It marked a 43.3% drop for its second weekend at the box office, better than the average 50–60% decline superhero films tend to see, and was a better second weekend than Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice ($51.3 million) and Suicide Squad ($43.5 million).[188] In its third weekend it grossed $40.8 million, finishing second behind newcomer Cars 3 ($53.5 million). It was the second-best third weekend ever for Warner Bros. and was nearly double what Batman v Superman ($23.3 million), Suicide Squad ($20.9 million) and Man of Steel ($20.7 million) made in their third weekends. It earned $24.9 million and $15.7 million in its fourth and fifth weekends, respectively, dropping just 39% and 36% despite facing rough competition from opening films Transformers: The Last Knight and Despicable Me 3.[189] It eventually became the highest-grossing film directed by a woman, surpassing the previous records of Jennifer Yuh Nelson's Kung Fu Panda 2 and Phyllida Lloyd's Mamma Mia!.[9] By August 8, the film had garnered $400 million in ticket sales, becoming the second female-fueled film (after Disney's Beauty and the Beast), Warner Bros.' third-biggest movie (after Christopher Nolan's The Dark Knight and The Dark Knight Rises), holding the record of the highest-earning superhero origin film, replacing the previous record held by Spider-Man (2002). It also becoming the highest-earning film with a female director in terms of domestic earnings—surpassing Frozen (2013).[190][191][192]


Wonder Woman received a largely positive response from film critics, with some calling it the DC Extended Universe's best film, with additional praise highlighting Jenkins's direction, acting, chemistry of Gadot and Pine, musical score, and action sequences.[8][203] On the review aggregator Rotten Tomatoes, the film holds an approval rating of 93% based on 425 reviews, with an average rating of 7.66/10. The website's critical consensus reads, "Thrilling, earnest, and buoyed by Gal Gadot's charismatic performance, Wonder Woman succeeds in spectacular fashion."[204] It is the second highest-rated superhero film on the site.[10][note 1] On Metacritic, the film has a weighted average score of 76 out of 100, based on 50 critics, indicating "generally favorable reviews".[205] Audiences polled by CinemaScore gave the film an average grade of "A" on an A+ to F scale, while PostTrak reported filmgoers gave it an 85% overall positive score and a 73% "definite recommend".[206]
That hardly ended the controversy. In February 1943, Josette Frank, an expert on children’s literature, a leader of the Child Study Association and a member of Gaines’ advisory board, sent Gaines a letter, telling him that while she’d never been a fan of Wonder Woman, she felt she now had to speak out about its “sadistic bits showing women chained, tortured, etc.” She had a point. In episode after episode, Wonder Woman is chained, bound, gagged, lassoed, tied, fettered and manacled. “Great girdle of Aphrodite!” she cries at one point. “Am I tired of being tied up!”
Diana lifts a tank ready to crush Doctor Poison with it, but hesitates when she thinks about the love and compassion that Steve brought to her life when she realizes that he professed his love for her before leaving to sacrifice himself. Dropping the tank, Diana spares Doctor Poison, telling Ares that he is wrong about humanity. She tells him that while humans are everything Ares says and can be capable of the worst crimes, she's learned that they are equally capable of so much more: unbridled love and compassion. Ares engages Diana in a final fight, but is defeated after she fully embraces her powers as the God Killer and blasts Ares with powerful divine lightning. The soldiers, free from Ares' corruption, stop their fighting, thereby finally ending the war.[3]

Perhaps due to her Amazonian background, Diana greatly respects other noble selfless warriors, as evidenced when she attended Superman's funeral in Smallville and spoke of how he had been much more than a soldier (adding to what Batman said about Metropolis burying an empty casket). As a result of her great posthumous respect, she was, therefore, more than willing to aid Batman in honoring the heroic death of Superman, by helping round up the metahumans from Lex Luthor's files to form a team of superheroes (later known as the Justice League) to protect the world from the imminent mysterious alien invader Steppenwolf and his Parademon minions after Superman's death left the world vulnerable.
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