The Wonder Woman trailer was released this weekend at the great geek migration that is San Diego Comic-Con (SDCC). Having just watched it for the third (or fourth? I’m starting to lose track) time, I’ll tell you one thing: I am excited.
The trailer is epic – in fact parts of it make me will me to imagine a Captain America where Peggy becomes the super soldier instead of Steve. We get to see the Amazon warrior – and best part of Batman vs Superman: Dawn of Justice – in action. Fighting like a girl. Delivering lines like “what I do is not up to you”, which I have not been as excited for since Black Panther’s bodyguard uttered the “move or be moved” line in Captain America: Civil War.
Even the tagline – Power. Grace. Wisdom. Wonder. – is truly beautiful.
But, despite the above, do you know what else I am?
I’m scared this movie will not live up to this amazing visual treat we’ve been exposed to. Maybe I still have some trust issues from Batman vs Superman (Facebook memories recently informed me that I was excited about one of the Batman vs Superman trailers, despite being very skeptical since it was announced, so, there’s that) and worry that the movie will end up disappointing and confusing us. And honestly, we’ve fought too hard to let that happen.
How many years have we waited for a female fronted superhero movie? How many girls ached to see a hero like Diana on the big screen (side note: where is our Black Widow movie?), and not seeing that dream realized due to the old, sexist thought that woman don’t read comics? It’s been too damn long and I’m tired.
And I wish it didn’t have to come down to this argument but you see, that ties into the other reason I’m scared: at SDCC, while we had this positive kick-ass female-lead movie, DC also unveiled it’s animated movie The Killing Joke, which is based on the graphic novel of the same name. The story is dark and controversial in itself, but short, and in order for the animated movie flesh out this storyline further, it decided to explore in more depth the character of Barbara (Batgirl). It did so by making her a jilted romantic interest to Batman.
And with that simple act it seems like it’s one step forward and two steps back with DC. By “fleshing out” Barbara’s character by romantically tying her to Batman, the studio has reaffirmed the notion that women are only romantic plot devices, even when heroes in their own right. How this will fair for Diana remains to be seen, but hopefully Steve will be necessary only as a plot device to Diana to leave Themyscira and enter the world of men.
It seems like we have a long way to go when it comes to representing female superheroes, but despite the above reservations, I’m excited to see how Wonder Woman pulls it off.