Why Wonder Woman can be good and you can like her for it (Part 1)

Uneven trinity

You might remember one of my earlier efforts in B-spot was an epic, multi-part series on how making a movie about based on Superman is a potentially good idea. In hindsight, it seems kind of silly, and not in that way in which a former doorman spends his days talking about comic book movies and  Tim Burton's wife.

But really, did a Superman movie happening seem like such a stretch that I needed to tell people it is possible to make the character enjoyable? I mean, why not use those efforts to support less likely characters?

So in an effort to  equalize the playing field I propose now to you a different hero who could be good, but that many believe has nary a place on comics, let alone in the big screen: Wonder Woman.

Unlike Superman, people's gripes about Wonder Woman are not that she's sooooo booooring, but that she's got too much going on. Batman  clearly has "eras" you could take the character from. Superman, you know him by heart. But Wonder Woman? Does she fly or does she need a jet? Is she an aloof, innocent foreigner or a tough, no nonsense warrior? Is she a super swashbuckling feminist Superman as a woman, or a crazy bondage chick in stars and stripes?
And if people don't have strong, likeable, understandable characters, movies only make $836,297,228.

They say she doesn't have a thing like Superman( The super immigrant orphan who does the right thing because he grew up poor) or Batman(The Super rich orphan who bought his way into a ninja degree to fight the general concept of crime) or The X-Men( Who Fight for those who hate and fear them against injustice! And a TV producer Jabba the Hutt!) that just makes people LIKE her.

Well, I will begin by telling what elements and how of Wonder Woman should be used, and how, to trigger what is known as " A good movie" based on Wonder Woman.

I will preface by saying: They already did it. The 2009 Wonder Woman animated film is the most entertaining of any of the Animated DC films. Good action, great animation and they where obviously inspired by the best.

Burn in your golden Hell Ares...I mean Genma!
No don't be the judge. My judgment is better.

They did it, because unlike Green Lantern, that tried to cram as much of the mythos on film as possible, they put forward adventure and  character development. So, yeah, no Hypnota action figures to sell, but the movie's good.

OMG! It's Hannu, MOMMY! BUY ME!

So let's begin with the elements.

Wonder Woman:
Basically, give Wonder Woman a stated goal and make it the reason she comes to our world. Her origin does have a thing, but again, this can't be like Green Lantern, where a fully empowered  hero had nothing to do with his God-like powers and no tangible goal until trouble found him far too late on the movie.

Yeah you
I bet you had to jump up and down
Just to put 'em on
Bet you had to wiggle it around
Just to put 'em on...

Do not fear the sexy, but manage it  wisely.  See, this...
She's so tough...yet so impractically dressed and posed...

...might work in attracting the male gaze, but when you over-exploit a character people are supposed to relate to, the audience  loses the character. I'm not saying there shouldn't be sexiness, but it needs to be subtle. Less Angelina Jolie in Tomb Raider, more Milla Jovovich in Resident Evil.

The Costume: Now, the costume has a problem with people who want they're magic made up Amazons to be realistic. Apparently a 1 piece suit is impractical. Also, a skirt is also impractical. But pants of some sort...THAT'S what warriors wear!
All the world is waiting for you!/And the magic that you dooooo!

I know suit design is an art that becomes more complicated when studio execs are tryin to pass their idea of fun, but here's to main thing to go by:
It's recognizable as the Wonder Woman costume. See this...

...Is considered a bad Wonder Woman costume, but it's recognizable as a costume. THIS...

Doesn't look like Wonder Woman AT ALL! See, Wonder Woman is an ICON. You're not just selling the name, you're selling a visual idea of a character. Redesign some elements of the costume. DON'T  make her unrecognizable as a character.
I mean, It's not like you don't have variations on it.
Steve Trevor:
Do put him in. One of the bigger successes of 2009 WW was that Steve Trevor was actually a fellow warrior and adventurer. He wasn't a gentleman in distress, or just some jackass  who's in love with WOnder WOman, but he didn't outstage her either. I don't think  you NEED to have a male character for the male audience to identify with....but it can't hurt.

Plus,  if there is any mythology to explain to the audience, you let the audience know through him.

The Invisible Plane:
Do use, but with caution: Much like Aquaman's...everything he does... the plane is considered highly mockable element of the franchise. I advise turning it into a stealth plane a la X-Men, where the windows remain visible(so you can see the actors in it)

The Lasso: Do use. See, some people think it's lame, but it's what separates Wonder Woman from other Superheroes.

The Power Set
Should she be the golden age "abnormally strong and fast" version, o the post crisis "Flight and Super strenght" variant? My answer is
Flight: Yes: Limited(No Superman style warp speed zooming: That's why you have a jet!)
Strength: Slightly under a ton: Can lift the car with enough effort, but not  actually throw it.
Speed: As fast as a car.
Resistance:  Should be shown to resist inhuman amounts of punishment, but bullets should hurt.
It needs good effects as well

Etta Candy: Hmm... Not necessary. There is potential there, but also...great risk.

Greek Mythology: I wouldn't. I'd rather they try to use one of Wonder Woman's regular villains and pump them. I mean, I prefer the contrast of an amazon fighting  a robot over an amazon fighting a Greek god of some sort.

Origin: Yes, please. While most people have at least heard of Wonder Woman, the origin helps cement exactly why she does all this amazing stuff.  You gotta have the origin. And it's implied, but...

Themyscira: Look, don't risk it: For the audience to know what your character's about, they gotta know where they came from. And this isn't some bullshit prequel to make  money:  You WANT your audience to go along with  the character. Also, I want a Nubia action figure.

Everyone knows Wonder Woman in the same sense everyone knows chicken, but I've met  a couple who don't know exactly how chicken gets to their table, or even any of the details. A good cousin of mine actually told me with a straight face Kentucky had an Akira-style mass of flesh to make chicken  out of, which honestly sounds 3 times harder than growing regular clucking birds and feeding them growth hormones.

It's a journeeeeey...to-the paaaaaaaaast!
What I mean is,  Don't be the pilot. Don't be Superman Returns. Adventures are journeys, let the audience enjoy the journey with the character.
Stay tuned for part 2, where I discuss which villains should be roped into fighting Wonder Woman.

(Followed upon in part 2)


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