Why is Wonder Woman left out in the cold?

Comic Relief - Justin Cook (Cara Smith/AQ)

I’m not sure if people hate Wonder Woman, or if they’re just apathetic to her. Maybe it’s a sign that our society’s still got some sexism in their veins.

The only thing I’m sure of is that there must be some reason that every attempt to expand her franchise fails.

Batman’s blowing up the box office and Superman keeps getting movies whether they bomb or not. Yet the final member of the trinity hasn’t had a single feature film. Even Supergirl had a movie, and I don’t even want to bring up the 2004 Catwoman film.

It’s quite sad that a weak Superman knock-off and a glorified opportunity to see Halle Berry in bondage gear were worth spending millions on, but not Wonder Woman.

Comic fans aren’t to blame. She’s always sustained a monthly comic book which sells fine. Her 2009 animated movie is the fourth highest grossing out of 14 DC Animated Features and when you take into account that the majority of these films feature Batman, Superman, or a combination of both, this is a pretty impressive figure.

Therefore, it’s the rest of the world that’s keeping Wonder Woman down. Sure, she had a successful television series in the 70s, but she’s also had four failed attempts at live-action shows. Just last year a pilot was filmed for NBC, but they decided they weren’t interested.

Surprisingly, CW has announced that they’ve begun planning a Wonder Woman series (tentatively titled Amazon), but we’ll see how far that gets.

It was announced in 2001 that she would have her first theatrical release. Since then it’s been in development hell. Avengers director Joss Whedon was even attached to it from 2005-2007. Basically he eventually left because the powers-that-be just weren’t into it.
A Wonder Woman film’s been announced yet again, this time just because all of DC’s main Justice League members are getting a shot at the big screen (despite the traumatic misstep that was Green Lantern).

It just doesn’t make sense. If someone asked you to name a female comic character, I guarantee your first thought would be Wonder Woman. She’s an iconic character. She was created as a strong independent woman during a time when women were happy that they could finally vote.

Wonder Woman’s a badass. She’s smacked Superman around countless times and could literally tear Batman in half. A batarang isn’t going to stop a pissed off Amazon. It’s a shame Whedon didn’t get his chance.

Whedon is the rare filmmaker that understands a female character who isn’t around to be rescued. Buffy was a vampire slayer, not the pathetic mess that Twilight woman is.

In the Avengers, Black Widow’s not there to play the love interest. She knocks Hawkeye out, survives an encounter with the Hulk, and isn’t afraid to take on a Norse god. I’d be willing to bet money that Whedon would’ve done the character justice.

Unfortunately, now we’ll get a Wonder Woman who’ll probably just stand in the shadows of her male counterparts. DC recently rebooted their entire line of comics. Since then there’s been some notorious and borderline misogynistic depictions of female characters. In August, DC announced that Superman and Wonder Woman would be hooking up.

The scheme’s generated sales and a lot of media attention, but it’s hard not to see it as a step back for her character. I’m sure Superman will soon be back with perennial damsel-in-distress Lois Lane, but until then fans will have to hold on hope that there’s no lasting damage to Wonder Woman’s character.

If we’re lucky, maybe someday she’ll get a real chance to shine outside of the comic world.

 

Recommended Reading- The Crow Special Edition TPB

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