Crackpot Theory Time: Wonder Woman
CAUTION: THERE WILL BE SPOILERS FOR WONDER WOMAN IN THIS ARTICLE.
So, after watching Patty Jenkins’ Wonder Woman, starring Gal Gadot, I was very thrilled to finally see a great film for an iconic character that is worthy of such an iconic character. However, wholly within the framework of the DC Cinematic Universe, there is one question that had me quickly formulate a crackpot theory.
Wonder Woman is set in World War I, yet when she makes her appearance in Batman v Superman, nearly a hundred years later, she is unrecognized by two men who should reasonably know about her if she popped up occasionally through history, including the second World War. So where was she during this time?
Well, without war, there is little need for Wonder Woman, but in the past one hundred years, there was at least one time when she would have logically appeared, but it is entirely possible that she was not in man’s world at that time. We must assume that she returned to Themyscira at some point to obtain the sword that she used in Batman v Superman, since it definitely looked to be of Amazonian origin given it’s performance against Doomsday and ultimately, Superman.
What would have had her absent from Man’s World during World War II, assuming that she didn’t act as a spy during that time? Perhaps the key comes in Wonder Woman’s god-like nature. since the beginning of the movie seems to infer that it took many, many years for her to grow from childhood to young adult, assuming that thousands of years since the penultimate battle between the gods that saw the infant Diana given to Hippolyta to raise. This indicates that the time for Diana to grow up is proportional to the massive length of her lifespan.
As an aside, if the battle between the gods took place about 2500 years ago, near the end of the classical age, and we witnessed about one-fifth of her life, then Diana could be expected to live to be over 12,000 years old. But that’s not the theory. Where was Wonder Woman after World War I?
Diana was raising her daughter.
Yes, I’m assuming that the night Diana and Steve spent together in the village included consummation of their relationship, so it is not impossible for her to have become pregnant. The dialogue between them on the boat, including the bit that Diana’s studies led to the conclusion that men were necessary for procreation, but not much else foreshadows that bit of plot development. Diana is also very fond of her memories of Steve Trevor, even after a century since his death. This is possibly because she has left their daughter, the only other tangible reminder of Steve Trevor behind on Themiscyra to train with the Amazons, perhaps after seeing the horrors of the Great War repeated thirty years later. Whether or not Diana’s daughter inherited a longer lifespan is up for debate, but I would think that she would, just not as long as her mother’s.
In the comics, Diana had a daughter with Steve Trevor on the original Earth-2, home to the Justice Society of America. Named Hippolyta, she married the son of Hawkman and post-crisis (which eliminated her Amazon heritage), gave birth to a son that would become the new Dream of the Endless. However, given the story of the film, I’d imagine that rather than naming her daughter after her mother, Diana would most likely name her Antiope, who was a revered role model for young Diana. My judgment would lead me to believe that the filmmakers might adapt elements of the Wonder Woman storyline “The Contest” and name her Artemis instead.
Another example of Wonder Woman having a daughter with Steve Trevor was in John Byrne’s series Generations. There, the two married and had a daughter named Stephanie, although she went by Stevie and began adventuring as part of that story’s Teen Titans, called the Justice League of America. Eventually, she went on to take the mantle of Wonder Woman herself. Not much was explored with the character as the series focused on Batman and Superman.
Which, of course, brings us to future film storylines where ultimately, Gal Gadot has to be replaced as Wonder Woman, if Warner Bros. can manage to have the corporate and creative stamina to maintain its universe for more than a trilogy of films. Unfortunately, in the DCEU, there has been very little demonstration of restraint in adapting large stories from the comics. Batman v Superman combined two very large stories into one film. Wonder Woman was very good about showing restraint and sticking to one story, and doing it well. Hopefully, this will mean that we could hope to see some great stories featuring Circe, the Cheetah, and dare we hope for it, Giganta.
The flaw with the theory is that it does immediately make the sole female super-hero to successfully helm a major motion picture in a role that could make her role as a powerful icon for female empowerment less important than her role as a mother. If this is the direction that the character eventually goes, the longer it remains a secret, the better it fits into her iconic role without lessening her symbolism to generations of women feeling empowered by her example.