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6 Ways We Want Wonder Woman to Shine in Justice League

Unless you’ve been living under a particularly isolated rock you’re aware that Wonder Woman finally starred in her very own live action film this summer. DC’s past few starts at a cinematic universe haven’t fared too well, but with blockbuster sales and widespread critical acclaim Wonder Woman stands out at the DCEU’s most successful offering.

Wonder Woman has been one of my favourite superheroes since I was a little girl. Naturally I was pretty pumped for her cinematic debut. And with Justice League on the horizon we’re soon going to see more of everyone’s favourite Amazon. While not the DCEU’s first crossover it’s certainly the most ambitious and we’ve been jumping at our collective bits. So here are six things we really want to see from Justice League‘s Wonder Woman.

6. Collaborative Ass-kicking

You might be wondering why we’re so enthused about seeing Wonder Woman in battle, it’s a given, right? Justice League is an action flick so of course we’re going to see Diana kick some ass. But what we really want to see is how her Amazonian style meshes with that of her peers. Diana is the only member that we know for sure has trained with and for a community of warriors (of course Arthur Curry is the Atlantean King, but based on the previews he’s at least somewhat neglecting his royal responsibilities).

One of the most difficult aspects of a successful team is integrating everyone’s abilities and styles into an organic whole. Now we know Diana is trained as an Amazon. We also know that the Amazonian martial arts are, as Wonder Woman Production Liaison Anna Obropta states, collaborative. And now we get to see Diana fight with a new team, one with abilities even more extraordinary than those of a society of immortal warrior women.

5. Authority

So do you guys all remember those shield jumping bits from Wonder Woman? You know the ones, first on the Themysciran beach when several Amazons use their shields to propel Antiope into the air. Later on the front Diana’s companions use a tank door to send her flying to a German-held church.

It’s a relatively small thing, probably not given much thought. But our society so rarely trusts women’s expertise and experiences. So to see a group of competent men learning from and supporting a woman is a relative rarity. We all know Bruce Wayne is going to be the de-facto leader of the Justice League, but we hope (and expect) to see him respect Diana as the expert warrior that she is.

4. Camaraderie

While the DCEU has taken some time to find its footing, the DCAU is one of the strongest fictional universes around. It’s also where we find two excellent series: Justice League and Justice League: Unlimited. There’s a lot to praise about each show. From Bruce Timm‘s distinct style to its flexible tone to its fantastic action sequences. But we think the best part was in the ways League members played off one another.

All the best ensemble pieces know how to create chemistry within their casts. It’s this chemistry that is so vital. It keeps even the most fantastical characters grounded and even the most lackluster plots entertaining. We want to see Diana develop unique relationships with all her peers. Not only will these relationships keep her human, but they’ll also help establish the larger DCEU.

3. To Know Where The Hell She’s Been The Last Century

As you may or may not be aware World War I was not in fact the war to end all wars. The 20th century actually turned out pretty bloody. So where was Wonder Woman? Thankfully Gal Gadot recently confirmed that Diana was an active hero in the intervening century. She wasn’t exactly high-profile, but she was still there.

We know we won’t get to know too much about her time in man’s world, at least not until her sequel. We just need some narrative confirmation that she didn’t shrug off the last century. Let’s hope Justice League brings us into the loop.

2. Idealism

It’s no secret that Wonder Woman is the most successful of the current DCEU offerings. It’s also one of the most sincere superhero movies out there. And for that earnestness it has received much praise. While Diana loses a great deal of naiveté in man’s world she never strays from her fundamental idealism. With such pure motives and ethics Wonder Woman is easily the most optimistic of the DCEU movies.

This optimism helped keep Wonder Woman hopeful even in the trenches. In a media landscape dominated by cynicism it is this earnestness that made the film truly stand out. We’re hoping Diana can maintain that idealism no matter how dark Justice League grows.

1. To Stand Out On Her Own

Wonder Woman is a far cry from the perfect movie. Yet for all its flaws women were still openly weeping in theatres (while I myself was not amongst them, many of my friends were). Tears were shed with noteworthy frequency. There are plenty of eloquent explanations out there, but I think Laura Hudson gets it in a single tweet: “…women are so starved for powerful images of women not filtered thru a boner lens that they’re watching WW and bursting into tears.”

By boner lens Hudson is referring to the male gaze. The male gaze is as all-too common way of depicting women for an assumed a straight male audience. Now we here at A Place To Hang Your Cape have no problem with sexy comics and characters. That can be fun, playful, joyous, and well, just hot. But when the vast majority of women are sex objects (emphasis on the object) we have a problem.

Such blanket representation tells us that while women can be strong and powerful, they must also be sexy. Moreover they must be sexy in a very particular, very narrow sense. You can see this problem it all throughout comics. Check out the Hawkeye Initiative for a hilarious look at just how absurd the can male gaze be.

However Wonder Woman was made by and for women. Diana is beautiful and sexy, but Patty Jenkins films all the Amazons with power in mind. When we watch them in training, on the Themysciran shore, or crossing no man’s land, Jenkins places the emphasis on strength and heroism. And when it’s still so rare to see women unconcerned with the male gaze, well that is incredibly powerful.

So that’s what we want to see from Justice League‘s Wonder Woman. What are you looking forward to from Diana of Themyscira? Let us know in the comments section or send us a Tweet!

About the author

Aliza Cohen

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