So this year at New York Comic Con DC didn’t have much of a presence other than a few television show related panels (Arrow, Gotham, The Flash, Constantine…) and also the big homage to Batman and his 75th anniversary.
However, in 2016 it will be Wonder Woman’s 75th anniversary. Though the woman with the indestructible gauntlets, a tiara, the Lasso of Truth, and sometimes an invisible airplane is a cultural icon just as synonymous as her DC mates Batman and Superman, she hasn’t quite received the same red carpet treatment them.
Just yesterday DC announced their 10 plan film from now until 2020. And Wonder Woman is on that list with Gal Gadot set to star (she is also starring in Batman vs. Superman and Justice League). Here’s the thing, this is Wonder Woman’s first big screen movie. In all her 73 years she has elusively slipped into supporting roles, or not even a role at all.
Wonder Woman was introduced to us in December 1941 in All Star Comics #8 and a month later she snagged her own cover on Sensation Comics #1 in January 1942.
At New York Comic Con I saw girls of all ages donning her iconic red, blue, and gold attire. They were each embodying the strength of the Amazonian. But it was only Batman who got the big stage lights on him. The homage to Batman included a moving statue and cardboard cutouts of his progression through the years. And Batman even got his own postage stamps.
Will Wonder Woman get the same treatment Batman did for his big birthday? We have yet to know.
I love Batman, but as a little girl Wonder Woman and all the other female characters amazed me on my favorite cartoons. They saved the day, they did not rest on their laurels like so many female characters are depicted on. They didn’t need to be saved because they were the ones doing the saving. It confused me because I don’t know what woman who is a damsel in distress and every other woman I saw depicted except for these ladies was always getting into some mischief. Not Wonder Woman. Not The Black Widow, not Storm, not She-Ra, not Hawkgirl, or Catwoman….
Women need to stop being depicted as secondary characters because we are not secondary people. We have jobs and roles in life. Many women are mothers, arguably the greatest role. And while more and more male characters get their own television shows such as the barrage of ones DC has been launching, women are once again being maligned. Women are killed or hurt or used as bait to progress the male characters story. Women are more than antiquated tropes and plot points for male characters.
The 2017 Wonder Woman is certainly a step towards the right direction but it is not the end for what the media companies need to wake up to. We don’t need just ‘strong female characters,’ we need well-written, engaging, and realistic women that reflect the women we see in our everyday lives.
Here’s to Wonder Woman, to many more years of breaking the mold.