What do you really know about Wonder Woman? Not much, eh? We can’t blame you considering that it’s been Batman and Superman who’ve dominated the superhero genre for decades.
But now that Wonder Woman is coming to Cineworld on 2nd June all that’s about to change. Now would then be the perfect time to swot up on your knowledge of the Amazonian Warrior just in time for her debut solo film where Bats and Superman will be taking a back seat this time around. This summer, it’s all about Wonder Woman so here is what you probably don’t (but should) know about her.
She was formed from clay (yes, really)
We are all well-versed in the origin stories of both Batman and Superman because we have seen their origins retold countless times within popular culture, but do you know Wonder Woman’s? Spoiler: it doesn’t contain any dead parents!
Her mother, Queen Hippolyta (played in the upcoming movie by Connie Nielsen), was lonely and created a statue of a child from clay. The story goes that Aphrodite, the Greek Goddess of love, took pity on Hippolyta and brought the statue to life naming the newly born child Diana.
Later, in the ‘New 52’ origin (on which this year's blockbuster is reportedly based), it was revealed that Zeus was Diana’s father meaning that Diana is the stepsister of Hercules. As she grew, Diana proved to be the most gifted of all the Amazonians but everything changed when a US solder, Steve Trevor (played by Chris Pine) crash lands on the island.
It’s here where Diana learns about the horrors of WWII and where it’s decided that an Amazonian warrior will enter the world of man to become their new champion.
She has controversial beginnings...
The Wonder Woman who we love today had a seedier subtext than you might have expected. Her original creator, William Moulton Marston, was a man who had – how to phrase this – a very singular taste that would have been enough to put Mr Grey to shame. He wasn’t shy about it either and frequently had Wonder Woman in situations where she was restrained - he even wrote that if her bracelets were chained together she would lose her strength.
This helped lead to the the comic censorship movement and the Restrictive Comic Codes of the 1950s. If that wasn’t weird enough, parents condemned Wonder Woman in her early years for “corrupting America’s children” not because of the fifty shades of subtexts, but because they believed her costume revealed too much of her back. Thankfully Gadot’s Wonder Woman leaves such things in the past and gives is a modern, self-assured Wonder Woman that we deserve.
Her lasso is inspired by the original lie detector
Despite his tastes, Marston had a successful career as a psychologist and inventor alongside his comic-book writing. Perhaps what he is most famous for was developing early models of the polygraph machine (lie detectors).
It’s not surprising then that he gave Wonder Woman her very own magical lie detector in the form of her trusty Lasso of Truth, which forces whoever is held in it to reveal only the truth. We didn’t get to see much of Gadot’s gadgets in BvS and the truth is that we cannot wait to see her put them to use in Wonder Woman.
She was inspired by feminist icon Margaret Sanger
For those who don’t know, Margaret Sanger (pictured above) was the woman who started the movement to legalise birth control and fight for women’s rights – truly, she was the original Wonder Woman. What is perhaps more interesting is that Marston knew Sanger personally as her niece was the mother of two of Marston’s children.
Wonder Woman was part of the Justice Society of America (sort of)
Wonder Woman was one of the founding members of the Justice League but did you know that she was also part of the first-ever crimefighting team, The Justice Society of America? They're credited with being the first comic book super-team and first emerged in the winter of 1940 – 1941.
In actual fact she was made the secretary and didn’t take part in any actual crimefighting until much later in the series. Luckily for us Wonder Woman was promoted to the Justice League in the 1960s where she cemented herself as one of the most recognisable and iconic superheroes of all time, a legacy that will undoubtedly be continued by actress Gal Gadot.
Gal Gadot is the third live-action Wonder Woman
After her eye-catching debut in BvS we're ecstatic to see the character in her first full-length movie, but by no means is Gadot the first actress to portray the legendary hero.
Most of us are probably aware of Lynda Carter’s performance of Wonder Woman in the mid-70s TV show but even this wasn’t the first live-action depiction of the character. Before Carter, Wonder Woman was played by tennis star Cathy Lee Crosby in the 1974 pilot of the TV show before Carter took over the role.
Crosby wasn't a terrible choice but we’re still glad Carter took over as she was simply a perfect fit for the part (as is Gadot). There are, of course, various animated depictions of her and a cancelled 2011 series which was to star Adrienne Palicki.
Nevertheless, Gadot remains the third live action incarnation of this superhero icon and she is poised to be the definitive portrayal.
That’s what you should know about Wonder Woman but we can guarantee that we will learn more about her on 2nd June when the movie is released in Cineworld.
Andy Murray is a writer who blogs for Cineworld as part of our news team.