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Yes, We are Still Talking About Wonder Woman

Wonder+Woman+Cartoon
Wonder Woman Cartoon

Wonder Woman Cartoon

Clair Pan

Clair Pan

Wonder Woman Cartoon

Ann Zhang, Reporter

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Opinion by ANN ZHANG

When I was in sixth grade, my French teacher’s son jumped off a roof because he thought he was Superman. The boy broke an arm, and Madame Ross tsked, “I sure wasn’t that crazy as a child.” The entire class had heard of Superman, of course. Just mention Clark Kent, Krypton, or the red letter S—chances are, people will instantly think of our iconic crimefighter.

Everyone deserves to feel like a superhero. Unfortunately, the majority of superheroes who make it to the big screen are about as diverse as a bag of M&Ms—sure, there’s variation, but it all tastes the same.

Female superheroes are an acknowledged concept, but most lack Superman’s familiarity and influence. On Halloween, for instance, there’s never a Scarlet Witch or Black Widow in sight, yet the streets are always teeming with tiny Batmen. Rogue and other obscure characters receive less attention than Spider Pig!

In reality, a role model cannot be “one-size-fits-all.” What about those of us who find it hard to identify with deep-voiced dudes? Personally, I still remember the first time I listened to “I’ll Make A Man Out Of You.” The best part was when Mulan wrenched that arrow from the top of the pole. Let me just say, there is nothing quite like seeing someone who looks like you kicking butt.

So when the buzz over Wonder Woman’s heroine broke loose, many moviegoers—comic book connoisseurs and idle high schoolers alike—experienced the film in theaters. To quote Sophie Sinton ‘20, Wonder Woman made fans feel “empowered as hell.”

The beginning of the movie explores the childhood of Diana Prince, also known as Wonder Woman. After watching, William Hylen ‘20 “understood the character a lot more and really liked her.” We learn that Diana’s talents are not purely god-given; throughout most of her life she trained among the Amazons, a hidden tribe of female warriors. Regardless, Diana empathizes with mankind. She insists on leaving Themyscira, the island she grew up on, in order to enter the human world and end World War I.

Wonder Woman’s setting provides space for action. The story’s villains, under the influence of Roman god of warfare Ares, develop bomber planes and poisonous gases. Edrick Joe ‘19 eloquently sums it up: “There were a lot of explosions.” Meanwhile, Diana fights back using Amazon armor, an indestructible shield, and a sword called the Godkiller in addition to her natural superhuman abilities.
“Wonder Woman could do pretty much everything,” remarks Luanna Summer ‘18. Thus, the movie encourages hopeful mortals, such as my former French teacher’s son, to believe that they, too, can defy expectations… or gravity.

Most importantly, Wonder Woman takes a surefooted step closer to equal representation in big-budget films. Elle Harris ‘19 explains: “We’re so used to seeing male superheroes or female versions of male superheroes, like Batgirl and Supergirl.” Wonder Woman, on the other hand, doesn’t rely on any male counterpart. She’s her own person.

“It was inspiring to see a strong female character fighting off men,” says Evan Harris ‘22. Yet Diana’s appeal can stretch across gender lines; according to Elle Harris, Diana portrays “a character that young girls and even young boys can aspire to be.”

However, like all movies, Wonder Woman also has its flaws. “It was really obvious who the villain was,” says Eddie Ko ‘18. Furthermore, the movie’s plotline hardly wavers from the archetypal hero’s journey, which is either comforting or tiresome, depending on how you view it. Freshman Stuti Sinha reflects, “I wouldn’t say [Wonder Woman] is my favorite DC movie, but it’s not my least favorite.”

Other audiences simply lack interest. Ethan Orchard ‘17, who will be attending NYU’s Tisch School of Arts this fall, “didn’t see Wonder Woman because DC Entertainment is the most repulsive studio machine alive.” He adds, “But I like the idea of a female superhero.”
Overall, Wonder Woman makes an undeniably positive impact, raking in hundreds of millions of dollars and boosting spirits worldwide—which is certainly more than “The Emoji Movie” can claim. Nowadays, stores carry a glorious variety of Wonder Woman merchandise, from action figures to shot glasses. It is fair to say that this Halloween, many little girls and maybe even a few boys will don Diana’s signature headpiece.

Once the media finds something else to talk about, fans can still look forward to the confirmed Wonder Woman sequel, which is set to premiere in late 2019. And if that’s too long of a wait, “Justice League” hits theaters on November 17. Thank Zeus!

 

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