selenak: (Abigail Brand by Handyhunter)
[personal profile] selenak
Wonder Woman was a very enjoyable comic book movie. I haven't read any of the WW comics or any others featuring her, so I had no other versions to compare this Diana to. What immediately struck me, though, was the difference to the other recent DC movies. Because it seems this particular director and scriptwriter (writers?) finally managed to chuck the moroseness that passes for depth out of the window and instead came up with, oh wonder, a heroine who enjoys what and who she is and is an unabashed, heart-on-her-sleeve do-gooder. Also, she's kind. Not many people in the superhero business are, especially after the 80s. She has a learning arc, and I thought the balance between naivete, learning about the darker side of the 'verse and keeping core beliefs regardless was well struck.

The trailers had me a bit worried because of the WWI setting, this war being not one prone to good versus bad stories, and I was concerned that they simply made it I instead of II to avoid the inevitable Captain America comparisons and completely ignore the bloody mess the "Great War" was. Turns out the script actually made WWI story and themes relevant. Mind you, it needed still a great deal of handwavium. Our heroine and sidekick/love interest sail from the Mediterranian - somewhere near Turkey - to London in what appears to be one night. In the autumn of 1918, with the war still going on. Even if we take Steve Trevor's throwaway line that someone helped them - cut to steamboat ahead of their sailing boat, implication that it tugged them, I guess? - into account, that's...well, as I said. Earth geography must be different. Then there's Ludendorff, who in rl lived until 1937 and is infamous mainly for two things, a) being a key pusher of the so called "Dolchsto├člegende", the myth that the German army could have won if those evil social democrats and peaceniks at home hadn't stabbed the army in the back by insisting on a surrender, and b) being the other leader of Hitler's 1923 attempted and failed coup in Munich. Becoming a DC villain serves him right, couldn't have happened to a nicer guy, but if he'd simply shot officers for pointing out the miserable state of both Germany and the German army to him, he'd have been courtmartialed, despite being near the end of the war one of the two or three top generals, and if he'd gassed the rest of the commanding generals, well, not even his reputation could have saved him from arrest and execution. The German Imperial army was no one's idea of a democratic organization, and was far too prone to authority worship, but seriously, it did have rules, and that stuff wasn't on. (As I said, Luddendorf was more the type to poison people's minds with propaganda, not their bodies, after making sure he personally wouldn't be blamed for the surrender despite having practically led the army near the end.) Not to mention: was the general who argued with him about a surrender before he gassed the lot supposed to be Hindenburg? In which case DC killed off both Hindenburg and Luddendorf in 1918, which is... err, interesting, given I assume even DC has Hitler still happening. I suppose someone else aids his rise in the early 20s (Luddendorf), and someone else first wins over him in the 1930 presidential elections (Hindenburg beat Hitler there) and later appoints him chancellor in 1933. Oh, and where on earth were the Gala guests supposed to come from in November 1918, especially the evening dressed women? The Gala takes place in Belgium, according to the movie. A few days before the war ends. Now the rich were as always doing better than the poor, but still, the situation in Germany in November 1918 was catastrophic, and making a trip to Belgium (with what, btw? Where did those cars come from? Petrol was rationed! And trains were full of wounded soldiers) for a party would have been - well, impossible. And what's this talk about "the Kaiser" agreeing, or not, to the surrender? The guy had other worries. The November revolution was in full swing, and by November 9th, the Chancellor officially announced Wilhelm's (and Wilhelm's son's) abdication, while Social Democrat Philip Scheidemann announced the beginning of the ill-fated Weimar Republic. And... never mind. Like I said. Clearly, history went differently in DC world.

The reason why I didn't mind all this is that Diana's big realisation moment could not have happened in WWII and was very WWI specific; to wit: That both sides in this war have the drive to slaughter each other in them, independent from divine influence. Which is, btw, why it's important that Ares' human disguise didn't turn out to be Luddendorf, without this making L. less of a villain, but a (completely) fictional British politician named Sir Patrick Morgan. (The WWI poets would approve.)

Other things: liked the cast and the ensemble, really liked that Diana being a warrior and Diana being kind and compassionate was never presented as paradoxical or in conflict with each other but as one driving the other, wished Snyder's lasting legacy, the slow mo fighting, would finally stop but wasn't bothered enough in this instance to mind, and was grateful that for all the "fish out of water" humor, Diana wasn't presented as childlike or somehow unaware of sexuality just because she hadn't been in contact with a man before.

In conclusion: a deserved hit.

P.S. Now I remember I did encounter Diana in the comics before, in a flashback. In Mike Carey's story about Lyta Hall post Sandman, The Furies, it's revealed Lyta is the daughter of Diana and Steve Trevor. (It's a single panel, a memory that haunts Lyta of her early childhood and her mother.) I suppose that makes Diana the grandmother of one of the Endless?
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