WONDER WOMAN And The Lack Of Women Comic Book Films
Recently, we’ve begun discussing women in comic books, and their lack of representation. Now, some of you may have read when I touched on Wonder Woman’s expected box office haul. To summarize, she’s expected to have the smallest box office debut of the DCEU. Despite the competition for the weekend (Pirates of the Caribbean, The Mummy) there’s another big reason it seems unfair to compare her to her fellow Justice Leaguers; she’s brand new to milennials onscreen. This is the first time audiences are greeting the character (on her own, Batman v Superman doesn’t count) since the 70’s. And, just why has it been so long? Everyone knows Wonder Woman, right? Well, just a theory, but until recently there wasn’t enough interest in comic book properties that focus shifted back toward female superheroes.
But, just as quickly as Marvel films began to pass $1 billion globally, there was a cry being heard in the distance for women to lead a film. To be honest, I’m torn on Hollywood’s response to that cry. I believe women deserve to see a reflection of themselves as heroes on the silver screen. There are some very interesting women in comic books that would appeal to large audiences. But, here is the other side: the characters that have been chosen to lead their own films aren’t the most interesting. She-Hulk deserves a movie, Spider-Woman deserves a movie, Squirrel Girl… you get where I’m going here. But, those are Marvel characters. Who is a DC female superhero deserving of a film?
Let’s start with The Huntress, daughter of Earth-Two’s Batman and Catwoman. Oh, I have your attention now? Starfire, of the Teen Titans who could lead a Titans movie. Perhaps the best way to put a woman in the limelight is have her lead a rag tag bunch like the Titans. Then, there’s Supergirl. We know her, a little, and she’s capable of being tied into Man of Steel and it’s sequel. Think of her like Spider-man’s newest introduction with the MCU. She’d make for a great teen hero with a lot of room for comedy in the script.
But, we’re talking about Wonder Woman, right? The Amazonian goddess with a lasso of truth, an invisible jet, bracelets… jeez, I bored myself just typing that. There is just something about her that isn’t exciting. I will say, the brief glimpse we got at the character in Batman v Superman was great, especially battling. But, then we’re taken back to WWI for her first solo outing? DC should have come with a more interesting story for her first go round. Even if the whole thing had to take place on Themyscira. Speaking with Empire magazine, director Patty Jenkins said this:
“I think the reason that there wasn’t a woman superhero made for a long time is because people were assuming that it had to be a different kind of thing. Or more rarefied, or something. This is Wonder Woman. There’s nothing different. There’s Batman, there’s Superman, there’s Wonder Woman,” she continued. “She’s the full-blown real deal. So it’s very significant, but I also just went forth trying to make a great superhero film the same way I would have with any of them, which was great.”
Well, bad news Patty, from what is being passed around the grape vine; the film is far from great. But, perhaps it will be enough to entice audiences into throwing more dollars behind heroines. We just have to hope that Wonder Woman shines bright in Justice League. In all honesty, the weight that WW’s film carries probably should’ve been Black Widow’s cross to bear. However, as much as we all love the MCU’s Black Widow, that would make for a pretty dull movie. In the age of super-powered heroes, the interest in a normal woman running around doing martial arts is less than great. Think about it, Fox didn’t try to make a solo Mystique film, because that would be almost the same as Black Widow’s movie. So, we’ll keep out fingers and toes crossed that WW is good enough, and in the meantime, let’s dream of She-Hulk.