As one of the longest continually published comic book characters, Wonder Woman’s history has undergone some changes over the years, though a few elements remain consistent in all of her depictions. She is the princess of the Amazons, a race of women who live free of men on Paradise Island (later dubbed Themyscira). After growing up on this island, Wonder Woman (whom her mother named Diana) journeys to Man’s World on a mission of diplomacy, peace, and love.
"Gas was intended to win the war. On that much Wonder Woman is absolutely right." said David Hambling in Popular Mechanics.[223] Rachel Becker of The Verge stated that despite the scientific liberties of using a "hydrogen-based" chemical weapon as a plot device, the film succeeds in evoking real and horrifying history. "First off, mustard gas is such a horrible, terrifying weapon, it doesn't need to be made more potent. But if you were a chemist bent on raining destruction on the Allied forces, you wouldn't do it by replacing the sulfur atom in mustard gas with a hydrogen atom. You'd know that sulfur is the linchpin holding together this poisonous molecule."[224]
James Robinson is an acclaimed, award-winning writer whose works include Starman, JSA: The Golden Age and Superman. With Geoff Johns, he was co-writer of Hawkman. In addition, he wrote the screenplay to The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen, starring Sean Connery, and created the acclaimed young-readers comic series Leave it to Chance. Robinson is currently writing Wonder Woman (Rebirth).
Critics such as Valerie Estelle Frankel support Jenkins's vision. Frankel argues that the film subverts the male gaze,[242] stating that the construction of Wonder Woman tends to shift every few decades as it reflects the state of feminism during different time periods, including third-wave feminism (which reflects Jenkins's approach).[242][246][247] Zoe Williams offers a similar argument, stating that while Wonder Woman "is sort of naked a lot of the time," that is not, at the same time, "objectification so much as a cultural reset: having thighs, actual thighs you can kick things with, not thighs that look like arms, is a feminist act".[248] Williams then juxtaposes Wonder Woman to past female action heroes such as Sarah Connor, Ellen Ripley, and Lara Croft, whom she suggests were all constructed for the male gaze, in which a "female warrior becomes a sex object", (a point which she argues that Jenkins directly references in the film).[248]
The success of the superhero television series Supergirl informed the marketing and promotion strategy used for Wonder Woman.[155] According to Time Warner chief marketing officer Kristen O'Hara, they wanted to approach the Wonder Woman marketing campaign in a light manner, similar to how they did with Supergirl. O'Hara elaborated that the modest campaign route they took for Supergirl aided in establishing a large central fanbase among women well in advance of the series, which reportedly generated 5 million female superhero fans in one week.[155] They were then able to model over time, and grow that audience leading up to the 15-months-later release of Wonder Woman.[155] Though neither the film nor the series are aimed exclusively at women, the latter's campaign gave them their first opportunity to begin collecting data about female superhero fans.[155] In May 2017, a promo for Wonder Woman was released during the season finale of Supergirl, featuring a remix of the song "These Boots Are Made for Walkin'" and Supergirl (Melissa Benoist) wearing Wonder Woman's boots.[156] The promo included an appearance by Lynda Carter, star of the 1970s Wonder Woman, who plays the American president on Supergirl.[156]
The "Lies" story arc runs parallel with and explores Diana's search. No longer able to get into Mount Olympus, Diana tracks down Barbara Ann Minerva, the Cheetah, to get help.[161][162] Cheetah agrees to help in exchange for Diana aiding her in killing the god Urzkartaga and ending Minerva's curse. The pair battle their way through Urzkartaga's minions, the Bouda, and defeat Andres Cadulo, a worshiper of Urzkartaga that planned to sacrifice Steve Trevor to the plant god. Once reverted to her human form, Minerva agreed to help Wonder Woman find her way back to Paradise Island. During this time, Wonder Woman reconnects with Steve. Minerva eventually realizes Paradise Island is an embodiment of emotion instead of a physical place, so Wonder Woman and Steve head out to find the island. They succeed and Wonder Woman is greeted by her mother and sisters, though Steve senses something is wrong. Wonder Woman comes to realize nothing is as she remembers and, upon using the Lasso of Truth, discovers everything she thought she knew was a lie: she never really returned to Themyscira after departing with Steve years earlier. The revelation shatters Diana's mind and she is left nearly insane. Veronica Cale, a businesswoman who has been desiring to find Themyscira and the leader of Godwatch, sends a military group called Poison after her, but Diana's state has left her vulnerable and oblivious to the danger she and Steve are in. Steve wards them off long enough for them to be rescued, and reluctantly places Diana in a mental hospital so she can get help. While there she comes to grasp the reality she thought she knew was false, eventually coming out of her stupor and able to rejoin the others in tracking down Veronica Cale, who is trying to find Themyscira.
The Diana Prince alias also played an important role after the events of Infinite Crisis. Wonder Woman was broadcast worldwide killing a villain named Maxwell Lord, as he was mind controlling Superman into killing Batman. When Wonder Woman caught him in her lasso, demanding to know how to stop Superman, Maxwell revealed that the only way to stop him was to kill Lord, so as a last resort Diana snapped his neck.[63][64] To recover from the trauma of killing another person, the Amazon went into a self-imposed exile for one year.[65] On her return to public life, Diana realized that her life as a full-time celebrity superhero and ambassador had kept her removed from humanity. Because of this she assumed the persona of Diana Prince and became an agent at the Department of Metahuman Affairs. During a later battle with the witch Circe, a spell was placed on Diana leaving her powerless when not in the guise of Wonder Woman.[66]
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