In the era of dueling comic companies, it comes as no surprise that there’s a lot of hype and critique around every superhero movie that’s released. DC’s highly anticipated Wonder Woman is no exception. Fans have been waiting a while for the Amazon princess especially since Batman vs. Superman announced her appearance. Not to mention, she could be regarded as the most well known female superhero ever. Between her popularity among fans and the highly critical media, there is a burden on Wonder Woman to reach high expectations. This is especially true because to many, Wonder Woman is more than a superhero; she is a symbol of feminine power.
Wonder Woman’s history as an icon
Ever since the creation of Wonder Woman, she has been a symbol of strength for women. She showed that in an era of comics revolving around men (Batman, Superman, Antman, Spider-man, Ironman…I could go on), a woman could do everything that they could. She fought for justice and took out Nazis. If that’s not enough, in 2016, the United Nations named the character a UN Honorary Ambassador for the Empowerment of Women and Girls. While that title was later dropped for extenuating reasons, it still shows just how much Wonder Woman is linked with the concept of girl power.
When it comes to the new DC movie, is this burden on Wonder Woman maybe a bit much?
The pressure’s on
With mixed critique towards recent DC movies such as Batman vs. Superman and Suicide Squad, it puts a lot of pressure on Wonder Woman to be a success. That’s not the only thing Diana Prince is expected to accomplish.
Here’s a look at her checklist:
- Be a role model for all young girls coming to see the movie
- Pose as a symbol of power for women everywhere
- Be B.A. enough
- Not need a man to carry the film
- Have just the right balance of beauty and brains
- At the same time, be fit enough to be realistically Wonder Woman, yet pretty enough and a good actress to basically be the full package
- Have a near perfect portrayal or else critics will rip apart how similar I am to the comics
Why? Because society is super judgmental. Don’t get me wrong; there are some FANTASTIC goals on here. However, did the media or society set up the same kind of expectations for the male-fronted superhero movies?
In comparison to male counterparts
When Batman vs. Superman got mixed reviews, did people start questioning how young boys would look at Batman going forward? When it came out did they worry that Superman’s performance might not be “manly enough”? Did anyone say Ben Affleck wasn’t close enough in physique to really capture the character?
NO! The movie was critiqued for other things like…its story, its concept, and its execution. There was most definitely a lot of build up to the movie, but there wasn’t a societal attachment. That meant that there was no letdown for any group of people specifically looking for the characters to mean something different to them.
Now, it seems as though it is Wonder Woman‘s job to not only save the critiqued movie franchise, but also to represent so many other things to its audience. In a way, it’s got a great intention. I surely hope that lots of adults and children are inspired by her character. I also hope, though, that these other expectations don’t eclipse what the movie is meant to do; tell a story about an Amazon princess that fights for justice. Maybe society will start to view Wonder Woman as that, instead of possibly picking apart the movie for every expectation that has been set. In order to truly be equal and filled with girl power, Wonder Woman should be judged on an equal level as the movies led by her male-counterparts.
Is it fair to put that much of a burden on Wonder Woman?
Featured image courtesy of The Mary Sue