Wonder Woman: The First Feminist Superhero?

It’s been a busy ol’ week for DC Comics. As well as releasing a trailer for Suicide Squad, they have given us the first look at their hotly anticipated Wonder Woman film. And it’s not what we were expecting. Firstly, the teaser is not your typical blockbuster blow-you-away trailer: the clip is narrated by assorted members of cast and crew, while DC Chief Officer Geoff Johns and Comic-Book-Geek-In-Chief Kevin Smith provide insight into the feminist icon, and the origins of her story. And that’s where it gets interesting: feminism. This is probably the first movie trailer from Warner Brothers that’s out-and-out self-identifying as a feminist fable. Despite Wonder Woman's existence in the cultural milieu for 75 years, actress Gal Gadot's portrayal is the very first Hollywood silver-screen production. Johns and Smith (otherwise known as ‘The King Of Nerds’) begin by discussing Wonder Woman’s lesser-known background story. Sure, we're familiar with how Bruce Wayne lost his parents, and we know that Peter Parker has been in love with MJ since school, but what of Wonder Woman’s formative years?
"She comes from Greek mythology. She was born on this island of Amazons called Themyscira. These Amazons were once created to protect man's world, but they've since abandoned it. And Diana's asking constantly, 'why don't we go do what we were created to do and protect man', and they say, 'because they're not worth it'. And this takes her on a journey into our world,” goes the story. As if not to deter male cinema-goers, Johns reiterates her vast fighter credentials: “She’s an Amazon warrior. She's the best fighter in the DC universe," Johns enforces. "She has strength and speed, and she's been training her whole life for war.” Patty Jenkins, the film’s female director’s tact is a little different. "The greatest thing about Wonder Woman is how good, and kind, and loving she is; yet none of that negates any of her power." It’s a sad truth that until now, the female superhero movie has been a somewhat lacklustre genre. Cast your minds back to Halle Berry’s turn as Catwoman and Jennifer Garner’s hackneyed Elektra. What they lacked in character arch and dialogue, they made up for in latex and lashes. Could we be we entering a new comic book age? Is 2016 the year that the female superhero legitimately becomes cool? There’s certainly hope in the form of Netflix’s latest offering Jessica Jones, which tackles issues like rape and sexuality, and Suicide Squad’s Harley Quinn played by a magical Margot Robbie. Harley's outfit was already the most popular costume of last Halloween - her blood-splattered jersey t-shirt and baseball bat a far cry from the spandex-heavy franchises of the early noughties. As Gadot's co-star, Chris Pine, puts it: 'Telling a story like this now is pivotal and important. This story of a very powerful woman.'

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