Last month Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice premiered to scathing critical reviews, record breaking box office returns, and a storm of controversy. Both a sequel to 2013’s Man of Steel and the next step in DC Comic’s attempt to create a cinematic universe to rival the wildly successful Marvel franchise, Batman v Superman had a lot riding on it. You would think that the main draw of a film titled Batman v Superman would be the chance for fans to see two of the biggest comic book icons duking it out onscreen for the first time, but pre-sale surveys told a different story. In one survey, a whopping 88% of respondents indicated that Wonder Woman’s introduction to the big screen was what they were most excited to see, and while I didn’t take part in that particular survey, anyone who knows me even a little knows that that’s the box I’d check without a moment’s hesitation. So forget Dawn of Justice, might we be at the dawn of a new era of superhero films? Namely, ones featuring a female character in the lead role? I think YES! And Wonder Woman will be leading the charge.
I have never been shy about declaring my love for Wonder Woman. I have loved this character since I was a child, and today, anyone who visits my house will invariably find themselves on a tour of my Wonder Woman room where I display all of the memorabilia that I’ve collected over the years. One of my most prized possessions is a copy of the first edition of Ms. Magazine that proudly proclaims, “Wonder Woman For President” on its front cover (1972). Another one is a box containing pieces of Linda Carter’s costume from the 1970s television show. Pictured above is a custom made pair of stilettos my hubby bought for me on ETSY. I quite literally have shelves full of Wonder Woman paraphernalia.
Someone recently asked me why I collect Wonder Woman, and there are lots of layers to that answer. Firstly, it’s just fun to collect something that is deemed a collectible, and superhero stuff is certainly that. Secondly, I loved her show growing up and it really did inspire me. However, perhaps most significantly, to me she represents something much bigger. This is what I said in my 2013 60+ page report titled WHY NO WONDER WOMAN?
I believe in the story of Wonder Woman. I always have. Not the literal baby being made from clay story, but the metaphorical one. I believe in a story where a woman is the hero and not the victim. I believe in a story where a woman is strong and not weak. Where a woman can fall in love with a man, but she doesnʼt need a man. Where a woman can stand on her own two feet. And above all else, I believe in a story where a woman has superpowers that she uses to help others, and yes, I believe that a woman can help save the world.
So needless to say that fact that we have not had a truly great female superhero film has left me bothered to say the least. (You can refer to the report for the complete history of such films.) But now the wait is almost over. I’d like to think that the powers that be in Hollywood read my report and got to work, but regardless of how it happened, later that year it was announced that Gal Gadot had been cast as Wonder Woman for the upcoming Man of Steel sequel, and in 2014, it was announced that Wonder Woman would finally be getting a solo film in 2017.
It was a long wait to get to last month’s premiere, but believe me when I say it was worth it. The movie itself was just as horrible as the critics said it was, but Gadot’s Wonder Woman was truly amazing. Finally, after all of these years of waiting, I got to sit in a darkened theater and cheer for this character that I love so much. I’d like to say that Wonder Woman was easily the best thing about the movie, but given my passion for the character, I’m guessing my endorsement won’t hold much water. So I’ll let others do it for me. In the midst of a sprawling, muddled, and just plain poorly done film, Wonder Woman stole the show, and I couldn’t be happier. Well, that’s not entirely true. I really wish the film had been better, and the fact that an entirely different creative team is in place for Wonder Woman’s solo film gives me hope that her first outing won’t be as much of a disaster. However, I’ll be there regardless, because even if the reviews match those of Batman v Superman, I’ll still be first in line for a ticket, ready and waiting to cheer on my hero once more. Earlier this month news came that the release date had been moved up three weeks to June 2nd, 2017, and as far as I’m concerned, that date can’t get here fast enough.
Happy National Super Hero Day! What Super Hero do you love?
(The piece below is a miniature glass sculpture one of kind art piece I just bought at a gallery in Chicago. It’s a miniature glass airplane on the right)