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The Wonder Woman Comic-Con Trailer – Grace & Absurdity

Posted on the 23 July 2016 by Weminoredinfilm.com @WeMinoredInFilm

The Wonder Woman Comic-Con Trailer – Grace & Absurdity

"What I do is not up to you."

And suddenly we have Wonder Woman's mission statement. The line comes near the two-minute mark of the brand new Comic-Con trailer. It's a standard set-up, really. The doting love interest, locked in an embrace with the hero, meekly announces, "I can't let you do this," presumably fearing something bad is going to happen. However, the hero has an unwavering sense of conviction and will not be deterred, regardless of those who would caution restraint. Except, of course, this time the love interest is a dude (Chris Pine's Steve Trevor) and the hero is a badass girl (Gal Gadot's Wonder Woman).

Or you could argue the situation is less the love interest fearing for the hero and more the guy being overprotective of the girl (in fact, that's definitely what it is).

Or you could joke that what we really have is Captain Kirk being put in his place, harshly reminded that he is not the hero of this story because he's in a Wonder Woman movie now, not Star Trek.

Or you could just watch the trailer and be done with it:

Let's take a moment to appreciate what we just watched. That was the trailer to a big budget, female-led comic book movie. We might have forgotten how significant that is, or it might not seem quite as novel since we've already met this Wonder Woman in BvS. However, maybe this trailer will be the moment it sinks back in, similar to how the upcoming Democratic National Convention might be when everyone remembers that we are this close to having the first female President of the United States. But give credit where it's due. WB made Wonder Woman a priority in ways Marvel simply hasn't with its female heroes. After Wonder Woman comes out next June, the first female-led Marvel movie ( Captain Marvel) won't come out for another 21 months, although at least they'll have a female as a co-lead in Ant-Man and the Wasp in July 2018.

Let's also to take a moment to appreciate that we just watched the trailer for a big budget superhero movie that just happens to be directed by a woman. Bravo Petty Jenkins, who lobbied WB for years to make a Wonder Woman movie and even kept up hope when they briefly gave the job to someone else. Now she's at Comic-Con premiering her first Wonder Woman trailer. She told the crowd [via io9], "In 1978, when Superman came out, that movie made me have an experience that I've never had before. I cried for Superman, I was Superman. It was the most powerful artistic experience I had as a child," and she wanted to do that for Wonder Woman. Jenkins added, "It's the best time in the world to make this movie."

Now to the trailer itself:

1. It's the traditional Wonder Woman story

Wonder Woman lived on Paradise Island. Then a soldier washed up on the shore, and she ran off with him to help fight evil in World War II.

That's the traditional Wonder Woman origin story, and this movie appears to be running with the same basic set-up, just substituting WWI for WWII. We've actually known that for quite a while now, via an official plot synopsis and the big DC Movie preview special which aired on The CW earlier this year. However, for the more casual viewer this might be their first introduction to the reality that Wonder Woman will be set in the past, although BvS heavily hinted as much.

2. It's also the modern Wonder Woman story

Traditionally, Wonder Woman was actually formed out of clay by the Queen of the Amazons.

That's stupid. So, in modern times she was turned into the secret daughter of Zeus and Hippolyta. That appears to be the one they're running with in the movie.

3. Goodbye Xena, Hello Wonder Woman

Out with the drab, colorless BvS costume, and in with the more colorful, familiar-looking costume we see in the trailer. Gal Gadot revealed as much when she tweeted the movie poster yesterday (pictured above), and now here's the costume in action. Personally, I wish she was wearing pants, but this costume meets my personal test of I look at it and immediately think, "Yep, that's Wonder Woman."

4. Why is the lasso so bright?

Seriously, is that the lasso, or something she brought with her to a rave? The effect they're using to brighten the lasso in the trailer is either unfinished, or it's simply a strange artistic choice which will require some adjustment. It reminds me of older movies when special effects were still in their infancy, and certain shots gave the impression that someone just pulled out a marker and colored over the practical props the actors used on set during filming.

5. Who exactly is the villain?

No idea. There's that guy Wonder Woman comes upon at the party in her fancy dress, when she instinctively reaches for her sword on her back. Maybe he's one of the villains. However, as far as superhero movies go there is no traditional comic book villain on hand, not yet at least, and that's okay. This is, after all, just the first trailer.

6. Is there a sort of inherent absurdity to this?

Yes. It's a superhero movie. What'd you expect?

Hold on there. Not so fast. What I mean to say is the imagery of a full costume Wonder Woman steadily advancing on a WWI batallion is almost inherently absurd, her brightness and other worldliness contrasting with the more mute and grimmer surroundings. More than just the aesthetics of it, though, I have a kneejerk reaction against the notion of a superhero like Wonder Woman flying in to kick some WWI ass. It feels a tad too Captain America punching Hitler on a comic book cover to me, how very 1940s of them. The First Avenger got around that by pitting Cap against super Nazis led by a man with a scary skull where his face should be. It's unclear from this trailer exactly how Wonder Woman will approach it, although it appears as if the battle will somehow find its way to Paradise Island where some soldiers will get mowed the fuck down by Connie Nielsen, Robin Wright and the other Amazonians.

7. But after BvS...

Ah, screw BvS. By this time two weeks from now we may have forgotten all about BvS, trusting Suicide Squad lives up to the hype (which is obviously no guarantee), and we'll feel far more optimistic about the DC Universe. Let's just skip ahead to that point, and give Patty Jenkins the benefit of the doubt. She already has a lot on her hands, crafting a movie which will be part- Clash of the Titans/Thor, part- All Quiet on the Western Front, part Captain America: The First Avenger. That this trailer actually makes sense is its own victory. Plus, look, they even threw in a couple of jokes. Sure, they might not be the best jokes in the world, but, still, it's better than everyone flashing angry poop faces, right?

Wonder Woman is due out June 2, 2017.

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