By now, it has become abundantly clear that 2017 is shaping up to become a huge year for the DCEU. Not only will the comic book brand’s biggest team unite for Justice League in November, but Diana Prince has a very real shot at dominating the summer when Patty Jenkins’ Wonder Woman debuts in June. All eyes are on the Amazonian warrior’s first solo movie to do great business when it hits theaters – but there are still a few aspects of the character that need to be ironed out within the new canon. Specifically, to ensure that mainstream audiences properly accept Diana, Wonder Woman needs to make sure that it thoroughly explains this heroine’s particular set of powers and weaknesses in a way that makes sense.
As the final member of the DC Trinity to debut on the silver screen, Diana Prince finds herself in a more precarious position than Batman and Superman. The issue is not with the character herself, but with the fact that most mainstream audiences don’t know the ins and outs of her abilities. With Superman, the movies have always stuck to the classics — seemingly limitless super strength, invulnerability, flight, heat vision, and freeze breath. When it comes to Batman, things are even easier: he has money that allows him to buy a lot of cool toys. By comparison, Diana’s abilities have been depicted far less consistently over the years through the comics, cartoons, and movies. Sometimes she can fly, other times she requires the use of the Invisible Jet. Sometimes she can go toe-to-toe with Superman, while on other occasions his strength has far surpassed hers. We have a basic understanding of her core abilities when it comes to her strength, speed, durability, and fighting ability, but the DCEU hasn’t delved into her limitations as a hero yet.
That leads us to where the real inconsistencies lie: her weaknesses. When Wonder Woman made her debut in Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, director Zack Snyder allowed her to face off against Doomsday, and she held her own in the process. If anything, she seemed far more capable of taking on the Kryptonian beast than Superman himself (making you wonder why she couldn’t have been the one to wield the Kryptonite spear). However, everything that we have seen from her upcoming solo movie suggests that Wonder Woman will depict Diana Prince as a far more physically vulnerable hero — aggressively using her shield and Bracelets of Submission to keep dangerous projectiles like bullets at bay.
In fact, one specific shot from Wonder Woman‘s trailer seems to indicate that bullets will harm the Amazon women of Themyscira:
We admittedly don’t know exactly how that scene will play out yet, but the fact of the matter is that we have reached a severe gray area concerning what can hurt Wonder Woman. With Batman, we know that any deadly weapon can kill him, provided it can penetrate his armor. With Superman, we know that a red sun can take away his powers, and Kryptonite can kill him — the term Kryptonite has even become shorthand for a weakness in non-DC settings. These shortcomings are very easy to understand and require minimal explanation. It’s not so easy with Wonder Woman.
Unlike those weak points, Wonder Woman’s fundamental limitations as a hero have fluctuated significantly over the years. Early depictions of the character showed her losing her powers if a man could manage to bind her hands together, but even that weakness was slowly phased out to the point that she now has no clearly defined vulnerabilities as a hero. With that in mind, the biggest challenge Wonder Woman currently faces is the problem of helping us understand where Diana’s powers stand in comparison to the other DC heroes. If the film can do that, then we will have a much firmer understanding of her strengths and limitations going into Justice League.
What do you think about the general depiction of Wonder Woman’s abilities in the DCEU? Do you see any inconsistencies, or do you think her solo movie will adequately explain these issues? Let us know what you think in the comments section below to keep this conversation going! Wonder Woman will debut in theaters later this year on June 2nd. For now, check out everything that we currently know about her first solo movie to get yourself up to speed before the film premieres!