Sunday, 11 May 2014

Wonder Woman (and DC) Musings


Exactly seven months since I last did a post! But that's because of awesome stuff, which I'll get around to after the next few weeks...

For now, a late-night thing...I take it everybody has heard about DC and their attempts to try and catch up with Marvel?

(GIF not mine)

Cute, isn't it? ^^

Or not...If you consider what DC have been up to recently...

The point is, As soon as Samuel L. Jackson as Nick Fury said 'Avengers' back in 2008, everybody realized Marvel were kick-starting something unprecedented. They knew what was coming. And everybody knew that if DC and Warner Bros. were to ever try and match them with their own cinematic universe with the Justice League, it would be seen in many different ways (by film fanatics, comic-book afficianados and common audiences) as a copy-cat move.

Yes it would, but that would mean we'd have the first live action Wonder Woman on screen! Why pick out this character in particular? Well, she is arguably one of the three most famous DC characters EVER...So how many actors have played a live-action Batman? 7. How many for Superman? 6. But Wonder Woman? ONE. 1. UNO. SOLO. ETC. (More like 'Oneder Woman', am I right?! Okay, you get the idea...)

 And kudos to Lynda Carter!)

Here's where I could be letting off steam...You see, Zack Snyder brought us Man of Steel last year. Putting aside the obvious things to complain about for a second, he peppered the film with a few teasers to a wider universe of characters...For example; Lex Luthor, his (eventual) arch-nemesis. Everybody who left the film without a headache (seriously, it's the only film I have ever gotten an actual headache from) were gearing up for the inevitable sequel. What we would've expected #2 to contain would be things such as; Kal-El adjusting to city life (from a rural upbringing), friendly romantic and professional competition with Lois Lane at the Daily Planet and actually helping to rebuild Metropolis as Superman and actually saving people...This time...Y'know, being a hero. I read somewhere that Lex Luthor could be introduced as the actual man to save Metropolis by funding the relief and rebuilding efforts...Using his nefarious ways to paint Superman as a destructive force not suitable for the city. Conflict would ensue with who the public should trust, and so on...

The thing is, I would be one hundred percent behind this idea...If it weren't for Zack Snyder. I was okay with Man of Steel, in that I can justify it as the Casino Royale of the franchise, to some extent...We only really got to see Kal-El become the Clark Kent/Superman we're familiar with, right at the end. Many people agree that we need a stand-alone sequel where we see him be the hero we deserve AND need! (Yes, I went there.) It's logical! But of course, this is Snyder we were hoping this from...I'm surprised anybody actually trusted him with any thought of logic!

So, coming 2016, we'll be getting an as-yet-untitled 'Batman vs. Superman' film. Snyder awkwardly dropped this bombshell at San Diego Comic-Con 2013. And like a young child with his action figures, he doesn't want them shoulder-to-shoulder in a story to inspire team-work and friendship, he wants them SMACKIN' THE CRAP OUTTA EACH OTHER!!!

The subsequent collective sighs scared the environmentalists of the world...('Cause...CO2...)

Okay, so Batman and Superman on screen together for the first time; cool...But we knew the DC would be going in this direction, somehow. See, going back to the teasers; one of them was a Wayne Enterprises satellite. I spotted it! And now back to the Lex Luthor idea, it would've been interesting for a standalone Man of Steel 2 to subtley reference that Luthor is not the only donator for the Metropolis relief effort. It would give Superman a chance to look into it at the epilogue and discover the nearest one; Bruce Wayne of Gotham City...Then Kal-El's next quest is to find him and uncover what his interest is in Metropolis. BOOM. Credits roll...Lead into the crossover (which finds his simple little quest become complex as he can never find Bruce Wayne, but will learn of somebody who can; the Batman...)

However, in Snyder's mind, Batman vs. Superman doesn't necessarily mean just them...It was announced that Wonder Woman will be making her live-action film debut (hah! Thought I'd forgotten about her, didn'tcha). Since then we've heard the casting announcements for the new characters...But it goes to show you how desperate DC are to catch up with Marvel (and tripping up over themselves in the process), when the only uncontroversial casting announcement was Jeremy Irons as Alfred Pennyworth. Oh and Cyborg will be in the film too...Which is good; representation an' all...

But the next thing after is Justice League...And Zack Snyder will once again be in the director's seat (many desks were destroyed by collapsing heads from this announcement...Take a moment to remember the desks). Seriously, it may look like this is a post to bash Snyder (and fair enough), but some ideas he did well; filming with 35mm, the rich Krypton backstory and how that informed Superman...Henry Cavill, Amy Adams...It's just that with all the criticisms, he responds to them with this unbearable attitude like he's correct and everybody else is wrong. In my opinion, that's not the type of person you'd prefer to handle a universe with characters coming from so much history and massive fan-bases...Of course you cannot please everybody, but at least have the decency to recognize when elements have been so negatively received. The audience is just as active in film-making as the creators. Otherwise you're just making them cough up for something they don't want...Like taxes...That's it; Zack Snyder's films are turning into tax-collection.

(Side note: It seems that the only decent form(s) of media DC have been getting right in recent times is TV and animation:
(From this thread: But just wait until Marvel's Netflix series start hitting our screens...!)

DC's best films in the past decade have only come from Christopher Nolan...So why try competing with Marvel? With TV, Arrow has been doing brilliantly and has already expanded their own superhero roster with the Black Canary and the Flash. So building up characters and introducing new ones for new series - still connected - could work for the Justice League. Build each major hero and save Superman and Batman 'til last, bring Wonder Woman back to TV (lord knows they have tried for her) and just have the Justice League film as a sort-of culmination point...Anyway, that's just a thought...)

Anyway, so what's the big idea? DC and Warner Bros. fast-tracking a Justice League picture; okay. Then what? Release individual pictures for the seperate characters afterwards? We hope so. (It's a different way to do it from Marvel and I think DC/Warner know that very well.) Especially for the only female in the main Justice League roster...! Gal Gadot has apparently signed for three pictures as Wonder Woman. There is a slight worry about this, due to three being the magic number. You can bet your bottom currency denomination that there will be a trilogy of Justice League films. Therefore, Wonder Woman won't be getting her own story anytime soon.

I could do the usual 'let's not get all 'Womens' Lib.' about this'...But no; LET'S. It's not taboo; people just don't want to bring it up. We need to. Wonder Woman Needs her own film. A quick search through sites like The Mary Sue will explain to you in detail why we need it (just in case you haven't got it already). DC/Warner Bros. seem to come up with every pathetic excuse under the sun to not do anything about it. For that, I point you to this Tumblr thread. Which proves that it would be easier for Marvel to buy the rights from DC to make their own. Because, even Anthony Mackie (Marvel's Falcon) has indicated that the money spent would be worth it.

Marvel has (somewhat) seen the light; they have been showing a whole range of strong and dynamic female characters throughout their cinematic universe...Pepper Potts defeated the villains in the three Iron Man films, the science is strong with Betty Ross, Jane Foster & Darcy Lewis, they're pushing the Black Widow boat out, with more prominant roles in each film she appears in, Lady Sif has been shown as Marvel's answer to Wonder Woman (enough said), Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. has a regular ensemble composed of equal amounts men and women and best of all; Peggy Carter, will be getting her own TV series (based on her appearences in the Captain America films and the highly acclaimed One-Shot: Agent Carter), where she will get to kick the misogyny of the 1940's right in the patriarchy! (I CANNOT WAIT! Now we're waiting for characters in both the films and TV such as Ms./Captain Marvel, Wasp, She-Hulk, etc.)
   Meanwhile, DC/Warner Bros. seem to think that Wonder Woman is 'tricky'...More tricky than a billionaire spending obscene amounts of money to dress as a bat to put fear into criminals, rather than donating his wealth to Gotham where it's needed most? More tricky than an invincible humanoid alien whose only weakness is the element from his own freakin' planet whilst using a pair of glasses as his only disguise...?

Here's an artist who has seemed to understand Wonder Woman better than Warner Bros. may ever do...His work makes Wonder Woman a powerful warrior with a great heart; a faithful representation of the Amazons...Definitely a version Wonder Woman I want to see on screen:

SEE?! As soon as I saw these, I fell in love! ^^ This is the Tumblr thread where I came across them...I post this because the comments are brilliant:

And here's the artist's collection of all his wonderful Wonder Woman creations:

(Whilst we're at it; yes, Batgirl, Batwoman, Powergirl, Birds of Prey, Supergirl, etc. films, please.) 

Why do I feel so passionate about this? Because like a lot of rational modern men, I'm a feminist. In a general sense, I'm fed up of Women being marginalized, treated unfairly and victimized by patriarchal dominance (in all walks of life...Summed up perfectly by Wonder Woman herself). Yes, some things are getting better...But there's a long way to go. I've come across plenty of amazing Women online and through social media and blogging and such...And more often than not, it's because they have put themselves out there to do what they love (creative and journalistic writing, gaming, production, fightin' the good fight, etc.) Like them, I don't just want girls to grow up believing that they need to find a hero; I want them to *be* the hero...And the Women I've come across through Twitter, Tumblr and such are proof that Women are already heroes in my book (refers to the old 'Ginger did everything backwards in heels' addage)...Every major female figure to me that I know or have come across has something to aspire to or be inspired by. And I know Women who will destroy anybody who says that they will have to 'work twice as hard to be seen as half as good as men'. Women in general (remember, it's the Lionesses who go out hunting and return with faces soaked in blood...) have to go through so much in their lives, usually against men...But they fight, they persevere, they become their own superheroes.

Wonder Women are everywhere...It's been time, for a long time, to give them representation.


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