San Diego Comic Con always brings forth a delightful deluge of awesome trailers, moments and announcements – 2016’s event was no different. The big surprise – at least for me – was the fact that Warner Bros. and DC Comics brought the big guns with three trailers – the most exciting of which is the brand new Wonder Woman footage.
I think I may have mentioned that I am more than a little obsessed with Wonder Woman, so needless to say, I have a few opinions on the trailer.
The wonders of Wonder Woman
The trailer opens with the picturesque backdrop of Themyscira; an entirely new fictional setting, never before seen in a DC movie. Wonder Woman (Gal Gadot) is seen leaning over, in amazement, at the unconscious body of Steve Trevor (Chris Pine) – and with good reason; on the island of Themyscira, there are no men, only Amazons.
Within these first few moments, the audience are given a small insight into the brand new fictional setting of Themyscira, which is filled with fantastically beautiful architecture, and a definitive Ancient Grecian overtone, further amplified by the fashion choices of Wonder Woman et al.
Wonder Woman’s origin
Surprisingly, I wasn’t too disappointed with the mention of Diana’s origin, in the opening moments of the trailer. While it doesn’t necessarily give credence to Wonder Woman’s original inception, it does dispel the New 52 storyline that I rather detest. Or at least, it skirts around the origin slightly, by not stating outright that she’s Zeus’ daughter:
“I have no father. I was brought to life by Zeus.”
While I do still take issue with the fact that Zeus is even mentioned – because nothing says idyllic island devoted to strong Amazon women, devoid of men, quite like Zeus being responsible for its core-hero’s life. However, I am still please that her newer comic book origin has been diluted somewhat.
The plot of Wonder Woman
Fictional settings aren’t necessarily a new concept within DC movies – Gotham and Metropolis being, perhaps the most famous of them all – and while seeing Themyscira visualised in film is undoubtedly exciting, for me, I think the most exciting element of the trailer has to be the fact that Wonder Woman is set back in time, at a point, that has never been cinematically acknowledged or documented in a superhero movie – during the tumultuous throes of World War I.
I’d be interested to hear the reasoning behind this decision, given that Wonder Woman’s first appearance in comic book history was in 1941, and upon her debut, she was actively involved in storylines pertaining to World War II. The latter isn’t entirely unfamiliar to comic book fans, and has been seen in the likes of Marvel’s Captain America before. However, the Wonder Woman trailer has thrown the titular character even further back, and into entirely uncharted territory. It could be a risk, but at this point in time, we don’t really know a lot about the more intricate details of the plot to comment.
What we do know a lot about, however, is the fashion sense of our titular character, following her appearance in Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice. It seems that the new Wonder Woman trailer has followed a similar suit (no pun intended) as her first onscreen appearance. Admittedly, it’s also quite interesting to see her utilising formal wear in her quests: in a scene that doesn’t look too dissimilar to the party in Batman V Superman, we see Wonder Woman in a brilliantly blue gown, with the top of an enormous looking sword peeking out from the back. Annoyingly, there’s no reason behind why she has the sword, or why her hand is snaking so purposefully towards the sword’s hilt, as other party goers look on in confusion.
While it does look pretty exciting, I have to admit, that I am not a fan of Wonder Woman using a sword – which I have probably outlined in a previous post – given her ‘love and magic’ origins pre-New 52.
Wonder Woman’s villains
In spite of the action we were proffered in the trailer, it did seem somewhat lacking in a villainous direction; who was the sword in Diana’s dress aimed for? Who did Steve stop her from attacking? The trouble with the movie being set in World War I – and perhaps what makes it all the more intriguing – is that there isn’t really one particular group or villain we can pinpoint – like the Nazis in World War II, for example.
However, there was one rather shining glimmer of villainy in the shape of this looker:
Who is this person?
Given the scarred mask, she looks a little like Wonder Woman’s best known foes, Baroness Paula von Gunther. In the comic books, the Baroness was also scarred, but she is best known as a Nazi leader, who has had numerous run ins with our Amazon hero. It could be that she is the core villain in the new Wonder Woman movie; she doesn’t look run of the mill and the coincidences between Baroness von Gunther and the scarred mystery woman are rather too strong to suggest anything else.
The rest of the action
The trailer itself is relatively action packed, and I’m quite pleased that Patty Jenkins has filled the movie with gloriously strong women, wielding weapons like champions. Given DC’s rather unfortunate past when it comes to female led superhero movies, it wouldn’t be too rash of someone to believe that all of the action would solely be focused on Wonder Woman doing some fancy tricks with her lasso, and that’s it. However, the trailer suggests that almost every woman on Themyscira is a formidable warrior, which is a welcome change.
Speaking of lassos of truth… I was pretty excited to see it in action again. Having seen it in Batman V Superman, when Wonder Woman used it against Doomsday, I was really excited to see it in the movie: Diana uses it to, rather expertly, fling soldiers around in battle in one scene in the trailer and it casts a rather magical and distinct contrast to the rather gloomy backdrop in which it is seen. The lasso is probably the most unique of any superhero movie weapon of choice we’ve seen so far, which makes any action scene featuring the lasso of truth wonderfully unique in its execution.
The trailer ends with a truly brilliant moment, that is wonderfully reminiscent of the Golden Age of Wonder Woman.
Etta Candy is introduced as Steve’s secretary, but was known as Wonder Woman’s sidekick from the comic books. It’s a pretty excellent moment in the trailer, which sees Wonder Woman taking a firm stance against the role of a secretary saying it sounds like she’s a slave. This comment sets in motion a relationship between Etta and Diana that is bound to strengthen as the storyline progresses.
Wonder Woman hits cinemas in 2017.