The Warrior Princess

Captain's Blog - Stardate 60416.2

Last night I finally saw Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice. Wow was that a dark film. I think I counted one joke in the whole two and half hours of movie. There were a number of things about this film that impressed or surprised me. If you know the comics, there are some spoilers here.

  1. This was the first thing I've liked Ben Affleck in for a while. He is possibly my favorite screen Batman since Michael Keaton, and he totally works in this dark universe.
  2. I loved the subtle inclusion of the soon-to-join-us members of the Justice League.
  3. While I knew where "the creature" went in the comics, I was not expecting this film to take us there...though given the tone I shouldn't really be that surprised.
  4. I totally get why fans of the Marvel "Avengers" movie might not get or like this film. There are a lot of complex issues at play.
  5. Holly Hunter's last scene in the film was brilliant.
  6. Contrary to many reviews, I actually liked Jessie Eisenberg as Lex Luthor. My favorite is still Michael Rosenbaum, but this worked for me.
  7. I need to re-watch Smallville when I get a sec. Sure wish it was on Netflix so I could do it on my phone.
  8. As a fan of the DC television universe, I absolutely get why they are not going to interact. And I'm honestly okay with that. 

However, one of my favorite parts of the movie is Wonder Woman. Hands down. I cannot wait for her film now. Unlike Batman and Superman, hers in not a story we've had overplayed. In fact, she has not had her own motion picture in my lifetime, or possibly ever. She has either been animated, or Lynda Carter. 

They've been trying to get her on screen for a while. There was talk of one being developed by Joss Whedon, creator of "Buffy the Vampire Slayer," which Charisma Carpenter (Cordelia on "Buffy" and "Angel") was campaigning hard for. NBC tried in 2011. (Here's a fan video with the '70s theme song). Then the CW tried. She's been trapped.

An interesting thing about the warrior princesses that have been on television, they include an element of camp. Let's listen to that song, for example. "In your satin tights, fighting for your rights..." Then let's consider Xena. The Hercules/Xena franchise was built on camp. And then there's...oh...right.

So what is it about Wonder Woman that has made her so hard to capture on film for toddy's audiences? Okay...we can call out the outfit. Gotta be honest, I get why people complained about the 2011 version pictured above. Even though she's "Superman" tough, that's a lot of skin for a warrior to show. Not really an empowering image. Also, the realism of today's superhero expectations make incorporating a believable costume a challenge.

But is it something more? 

Why do network and studio executives wary of putting the spotlight on a female superhero? In the Marvel films, the closest thing they have is Black Widow and, of the one's I've seen, she's been pretty superfluous to the storytelling. CBS launched "Supergirl" this year and, though it's had decent ratings and good reviews, it remains unconfirmed whether it will be picked up for a second season. 

Maybe they won't think the female superhero will be believable? Maybe the studios are concerned that today's audiences will think she's a lesbian. I don't have a clue. 

Joss Whedon is always asked, to the eventual frustration of the writer, "Why do you always write strong women characters?" He finally has replied, "Because you keep asking me that question."

What I do know is that Gal Gadot was amazing as Wonder Woman. She got some bad-ass entrance music and the outfit worked. She kicked ass on a major scale and, though we still don't yet know much about her, I'm pretty sure we all wanted to. She is definitely sexy, feminine, and beautiful, especially in her secret identity, but there is no questioning her integrity on the battle field.

She is a true warrior princess.