For a superheroine who’s been around since the Golden Age of comic books, Wonder Woman never had an origin reboot until 2011. The story was always that Hippolyta wanted a child, crafted one from clay and wept over the child all night until she emerged as a micro version of the Diana Prince we know and love.
In one of the best moves of the inception of DC’s New 52 universe, writer Brian Azzarello grounds her conception and birth – for lack of a better word. Now, Wonder Woman is an illegitimate daughter of Zeus – a demi goddess among women. This hardly makes her special to be certain, Green Mythology is peppered with the Lightning Gods ill-gotten children (Hercules being the most recognizable, thank-you Disney).
She is now firmly based in one of the greatest mythological pantheons in human history. Even when ancient Greece was a contemporary society their gods and their stories were co-opted by the invading Romans because of their resonance and moral values. The hero’s journey was invented and perfected by these arcane storytellers and can immediately be traced to the story tropes we are familiar with in comic books.
All that in mind, it only makes sense that with Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice drawing ever closer on the horizon that we would see Wonder Woman’s updated origin make it to the legendary silver screen. As with everything film and superhero this announcement has been received divisively among the nerd community and I want to tell you why this is a good idea.
Wonder Woman is a demi-goddess now. That makes her a divine figure as much as a superheroine. Whether overtly or not, in classic storytelling this places her in a caste above all the other characters who will come to form the Justice League and immediately puts Diana in a leadership position even more so than Batman or Superman, whom we are more familiar with seeing at the spear-head.
Having Gal Gadot’s on screen Wonder Woman be directly tied into Greek Mythology makes any and all characters and stories accessible without feeling contrived. Sure, you could throw a minotaur in an Avengers movie, but it would feel even more out of place there than if Diana Prince had to pull John Stewart and Barry Allen from its clutches. The scope of storytelling opens up immeasurably with this in mind and let us pair that with director Zack Snyder and his work on the 300 franchise of movies … that certainly seems promising.
For scale, a powerful pantheon, relatability and the implicit position of power that comes along with keeping Wonder Woman the daughter of Zeus in Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice and beyond (a solo movie!!!), it would have been nothing short of closed-minded for the WB executives to negate.