An Unraveling Thread

(37 comments)

I should probably link the book I wrote on Wonder Woman, A Golden Thread. Which I just cut the price of. Buy that here.

I saw Wonder Woman opening night, with a big group of friends. Standing outside the theater afterwards, everyone in the group - mostly female - expressed their love for the film, until eventually all eyes turned to me, and I confessed that I kinda hated it. Since then, I have largely opted to shut up about it. What I want out of a Wonder Woman film is, after all, by definition idiosyncratic, and in no small part incompatible with mass audiences. More importantly, however, despite having literally written the book on Wonder Woman (or at least a book), this was very clearly just not my conversation. I didn’t, and indeed still don’t want to be the guy who shits on the first superhero film to actually offer serious female representation largely untainted by the male gaze. There are widespread reports of women crying with joy at seeing a female superhero on screen, including ones who don’t even like superheroes that much. That matters more than a weirdo blogger who happens to have written a book.

Still, it’s been a few weeks now, and we’ve got a nice little lull between seasons of Hannibal, so let’s finally tackle this. First, I want to reiterate that nothing I say here is intended to take away from the basic importance of representation, both in front of and behind the camera. The elation female audiences have had for this film matters. It matters a lot more than tracking the particular movement of Wonder Woman as a signifier within the larger context of superheroes and specifically DC Comics. Nevertheless, tracking that movement is a thing I do, and I’d be remiss if I didn’t at least sketch my thoughts on the matter. Consider this a distant appendix rightfully buried at the end of the cultural report on Wonder Woman; an obscure dissent that’s gone at least three contrarian twists too far.

Let’s start with Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice. Longtime readers of mine will know that I am a Zack Snyder apologist. And while Batman v. Superman is a hot mess of a movie that either needed to be an hour shorter or two hours longer and a TV series (preferably the latter, really), it remains in fundamental ways more interesting than the bulk of what has by this point definitely become an obscene glut of superhero movies. Much of this - indeed essentially all of it - is down to the bizarre cynicism of Snyder’s view of superheroes. Batman v. Superman spends its first half hour in outright fear of its title characters, treating them as objects of horror, an idea inherited from Man of Steel’s controversial resolution in which Superman kills Zod after a city-wrecking battle. And it never really backs away from this view. This is a film that views superheroes as at best morally dubious, embracing the Grant Morrison “superheroes as gods” take while viewing gods as awful intrusions into the world of mortals.

This was, needless to say, not an approach that won a lot of admirers among the left-leaning ends of superhero fandom, whose attachment to superheroes as idealizations of liberalism knows no bounds. But as someone who’s long been of the “superheroes are actually kinda fascist” school of thought, my contention has always been that grappling with this by doing superheroes from a position of religious terror is a way to explore this without going full Miracleman. And indeed, while Snyder’s cynicism led him to make a complete hash of Watchmen, applied to DC his take has been consistently invigorating in its strangeness, even if it’s easy to take the wrong lessons from it, as Suicide Squad grimly demonstrated.

But this approach was always going to find its limits with Wonder Woman. Part of why Snyder’s films work is that they were rooted in the Batman/Superman dyad. Man of Steel was explicitly Snyder executing Christopher Nolan’s vision of Superman, and its take was always in part “what if you cast the same sort of moral suspicion that’s routinely cast on Batman onto Superman?” In actually adding Batman into the mix for Batman v. Superman, Snyder simply took the argument a step further, creating a Batman that was correspondingly skewed to match his Superman, which maintained the basic logic. But it also shifted to the official DC party line that the narrative foundation of the DCU is not in fact the Batman/Superman dyad but the establishing mythos of the Trinity, with the third of their continually published characters, Wonder Woman, also added into the mix.

But Wonder Woman is a problem for the dyad as Snyder understands it. There are basically three ways in which Wonder Woman has been defined within the Trinity; one quite good, two deeply flawed. First, she is simply “the girl one” - the laziest option by far, although still capable of being interesting in the way that diverse representation inherently is. Second, she is defined by her association with war, a contrivance of Gail Simone’s that works to distinguish the character, but not actually on particularly interesting terms. And finally there is the one that actually works, which is to embrace the connection with radical politics offered by William Moulton Marston, which is, of course, also the approach that’s never actually done. But none of these options are great for the dyad as Snyder creates it. “The girl one” is at its most reductive when put in the mix with the excess testosterone of Snyder’s Batman and Superman, while “the warrior one” is scarcely a distinction. Which leaves the radical politics option. Played as a negative option in the same way that Batman and Superman are, this quickly makes Wonder Woman indistinguishable from a supervillain (as basically happens in Injustice); played positively against the quasi-fascist objects of horror and it’s so didactically on the nose as to be pointless.

For what it’s worth, it’s clear that Snyder is broadly sympathetic to Wonder Woman in a way that he’s not actually with Batman or Superman, which is actually about you’d expect from the director of Sucker Punch. I remember Jack, who I gather will be writing about Wonder Woman soon, pointing out with evident relish the way in which she’s portrayed as enjoying the climactic fight against Doomsday, a delighted smile playing across her face at the opportunity to charge in at impossible odds. Which is, obviously, the Simone approach (also what you’d expect from Snyder), but is still an interestingly privileged position for her. More broadly, Sucker Punch makes clear that Snyder views femininity as a potentially viable alternative to the bleakness he identifies in masculine heroism, a viewpoint that comes tantalizingly close to what Wonder Woman was originally created for. She’s even positioned as the chronological beginning of superheroes, with a century of experience under her belt before Batman ever hit the scene, a move that seems primed to take the third option and allow her to be the actual moral foundation of the DCEU.

But, of course, this is just an illusion. The actual franchise history - which is of course where Wonder Woman’s narrative claim to intrude on the Batman/Superman dyad comes from - remains firmly centered on Snyder’s more nihilistic vision. Wonder Woman may be the first hero, but she’s explicitly positioned as having hidden herself for the hundred years between the mysterious photograph of her standing around with Captain Kirk and the present day such that Superman’s “revelation” (as the film’s opening chyron puts it) remains the narrative anchor point.

And there’s a fundamental way in which this decision sets Wonder Woman up for failure. It has to be a story of Diana not becoming a hero - an explanation for how “A hundred years ago I walked away from mankind.” And indeed, its opening monologue promises to explain just that by having her declare “I used to want to save the world,” pointedly suggesting that she doesn’t anymore. Yes, the film eventually finesses this in the final monologue by having her say that “only love can truly save the world. So now I stay, I fight, and I give - for the world I know can be,” which is semantically indistinguishable from wanting to save the world. But the overall frame is still essentially just how Wonder Woman came to occupy her Batman v. Superman role of haunting the film with the possibility of the larger DCU. It’s an origin story for a ghost.

It is in this light that we must understand Wonder Woman’s period setting. The decision to revert back to something very close to Wonder Woman’s actual historical origins makes the film into an explicit near-miss of Marston’s original vision: a story of how the character he imagined doesn’t quite take hold and instead gets caught in an embryonic state, waiting a century for the men to come along that will enable her to finally take form. This is, of course, painfully on the nose; it may not be a literal century, but it’s been seventeen summer movie seasons since the first X-Men film kicked off the cinematic superhero boom, and we’re only just getting around to a major female-led film. Wonder Woman really did have to wait. But what’s important here, I would argue, isn’t just the structure of delaying Wonder Woman, but that this is accomplished by going back to her Golden Age origin in precisely the way Batman and Superman’s DCEU versions do not.

Well, sort of. Marston’s Wonder Woman was, of course, a World War II character, as was the entire golden age superhero era. And she was overtly political - the reason she’s sent from Paradise Island to Man’s World is because the “last citadel of democracy, and of equal rights for women” is in danger from the Nazi menace. This was mostly a trojan horse for Marston’s elaborately weird philosophies about how men need to submit to loving female authority, but this doesn’t change the underlying sense of activist utopianism in Wonder Woman. But the film changes the setting to World War I, consciously moving from the “good” war with clear-cut comic book villains to a war defined by its futile pointlessness.

The major reason for this is obvious, which is that it sets up Wonder Woman’s disillusionment regarding saving the world, taking the “war to end war” rhetoric and subsequent disillusionment surrounding it and making it a personal character arc. But this ends up being a half-formed transition; World War I is presented virtually indistinguishably from World War II, with all the jingoistic rhetoric of valorous Americans/Brits and evil and murderous Germans intact. And so the switch to World War I doesn’t end up changing anything about Wonder Woman’s origins except to strip them of moral content. The Germans are essentially indistinguishable from Nazis and providing all of the same narrative function as comic book Nazis; it’s just that no moral point follows from this and there’s not actually a point to opposing them.

It’s around here that a joke like “Executive Producer Steven Mnuchin must have been thrilled” feels appropriate, and while it’s easy to read too much substance into the politics of one of the film’s financiers, it’s still culturally significant that this is a Wonder Woman film executive produced by Donald Trump’s Treasury Secretary. Not so much, again, because of how this influenced the film as because it’s just so perfectly depressing an image. Because this is Wonder Woman utterly defanged, made as utterly unsubversive as possible.

This loss is perhaps most keenly felt around the Amazons. The film goes out of its way to make them look middling - Hippolyta is a hypocritical coward who lacks the strength of her own convictions, and those convictions are reduced to nothing more than “wait for Ares’ return and then fight him.” The film never even looks back at them once Diana is off the island - a frankly bizarre bit of narrative structure. This is unsurprising - the underlying cynicism of the Snyder approach was never going to fit well with a utopian society of women. But it’s still remarkable just how much the film seems like it would prefer that Wonder Woman have some other origin.

Well, I say the film. But what I mean is the script. The film’s saving grace is, in many ways, the fact that Patty Jenkins is blissfully unaware that she’s been handed a pointlessly deconstructed take on Wonder Woman. She’s not directing a film about Wonder Woman’s failure to become a hero, but rather a straightforward superhero film about a woman. At times she even lets traces of the character’s radicalism through, most obviously in the largely improvised Diana/Steve boat scene. And she introduces her own quiet radicalism in her decision not to frame Wonder Woman in the male gaze, which is admittedly more than Marston ever managed or indeed tried. While the film she’s directing is less interesting than the untidy excess of the Snyder films it spins off from, it’s still a better fit for Wonder Woman than any option other than having Wonder Woman actually be the moral alternative to the Batman/Superman dyad, which was never actually going to happen because, again, we live in a world where the Wonder Woman movie is executive produced by Donald Trump’s Treasury Secretary.

Which brings us back where we started - with the thing that’s good about Wonder Woman simply and straightforwardly being its female representation. And to be fair, that matters more in the face of “institutionalized misogyny” being taken to a whole new plane by the Trump administration. So yes. In the face of a President who’s admitted to serial sexual abuse, a Vice President who refuses to promote women to positions where they’d have to meet with him one on one, a seventeen year superhero boom that’s had no major films with female characters, a sustained assault on women’s health care and reproductive freedom, and the rise of the alt-right in geek culture that’s determined to push women out of cultural spaces the representation of Wonder Woman matters. It matters more than anything else on the table, and it renders most criticism of the film, from “the first and second acts are to different movies, neither of which are resolved in the third act” to “its politics aren’t radical enough” firmly irrelevant.

On the other hand, the fact that we’re so starved for female representation that we have to uncritically settle for this is the best argument for subjugating men to loving female authority since William Moulton Marston.

Comments

Comment awaiting approval 2 months, 4 weeks ago

William Shaw 2 months, 4 weeks ago

One thing I really liked about the film was the framing of Daniel Thewlis, the British Establishment made flesh, as the epitome of evil. The sequence where Chris Pine says 'I wish there was just one bad guy, but the world is, like, complicated man,' only for the film to turn around and say 'actually no, the one bad guy to blame for everything is the posh bastard in tweed who sent you here in the first place.' Now THERE'S something with subversive potential.

Plus, the visual of Thewlis doing the Generic Supervillain Hover while still dressed in tweed and spectacles is a fantastic visual, but it's suggested rather than presented - for no discernible reason, we never get a closeup on him when he's like that, and the movie contrives to put him in generic Lord Sauron cosplay.

Shame.

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Austin G Loomis 2 months, 4 weeks ago

On an arguably related note, are you planning to review, or even to see, Professor Marston & the Wonder Women when it comes out this fall?

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Phil Sandifer 2 months, 4 weeks ago

No firm plans, but it's on my radar.

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UrsulaL 2 months, 4 weeks ago

There is also the option of bringing the three together - "the girl one", "the warrior one" and the radical politics.

After all, it is radical politics to give power to a girl. Particularly the power of war. And it changes things to have that power lie, not in a dyad of two white men, but with a woman. (And especially growing up in the Amazonian jungle, she's from a cultural place outside the white mainstream.)

There is an interesting analogy in the way that Sanders and Trump both played up misogynistic fears of Clinton, Trump overtly, Sanders more subtly by focusing on the economic without taking into account the interactions of race and sex in economic oppression.

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mr_mond 2 months, 4 weeks ago

Would you mind elaborating on why giving a woman the power of war is particularly radical?

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Roderick T. Long 2 months, 4 weeks ago

"World War I is presented virtually indistinguishably from World War II, with all the jingoistic rhetoric of valorous Americans/Brits and evil and murderous Germans intact"

Well, except that Diana spends most of the movie assuming that the German general is the big bad, when it turns out the British politician is actually the big bad. Doesn't that subvert the trope a bit?

I'd also be interested in your take on Dr. Poison, who seemed more complex and even sympathetic (certainly more so than the two main male antagonists) than most comic-book-movie adversaries are.

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Phil Sandifer 2 months, 4 weeks ago

I think subverting that trope would require that Thewlis just be the big bad, as opposed to the bigger bad. Having the German general be a Nazi with the swastika filed off is hard to subvert around.

Doctor Poison was interesting. A film that gave her most of the general's plot would have been more interesting too.

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Aylwin 2 months, 4 weeks ago

Well, Ludendorff was a Nazi.

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Aylwin 2 months, 4 weeks ago

To expand and clarify, he was never actually a card-carrying party member, and represented another far-right group, the Volkisch Freedom Party, during his years in parliament. But he was a close political ally of the Nazis in the mid-1920s, to the extent of being effectively Hitler's partner in leading the 1923 Munich Putsch. In the presidential elections of 1925, he stood for the National Socialist Freedom Movement, a party established by the merger of a Nazi faction with the Volkisch Freedom Party, during the brief period after the putsch when the Nazi Party was banned.

And we're not talking about some alliance of convenience here. His beliefs were in harmony with Nazism, not only on the obvious stuff like nationalism, authoritarianism, ultra-militarism or anti-communism, but also in terms of things like racial theories, conspiracist anti-semitism, Lebensraum policies (which he actively promoted during the First World War), or esoteric religion with neo-pagan tendencies (which he turned to in the interwar period, viewing Christianity as too soft and too Jewish). He was the main originator of the stab-in-the-back-myth. On any looks-walks-and-quacks-like-a-duck basis he qualifies with flying colours, with or without the swastika.

And it does not require any creative intervention to put him front-and-centre, considering that in the later years of the war he was one member of a duumvirate which not only commanded the army, but to a considerable (though much-debated) extent dominated the government as well. And while he was in theory only the second-in-command to Hindenberg, it is commonly argued that he was actually the primary driving force of strategy and policy (though the extent to which that is true is also disputed).

Obviously historical accuracy is decidedly not a priority of this film. But representing Ludendorff as a quasi-Nazi or as the leading figure of the German war-effort can hardly be said to be a betrayal of reality. Arguing that this constitutes "jingoistic rhetoric", which is to be decried for detracting from the "subversive" goal of representing the British Establishment as the supreme villains of the war seems...odd.

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Gavin Burrows 2 months, 4 weeks ago

I think the question is less whether the film libels Lundendorff. (Who, were he still around today, would be unlikely to get round blog moderation here.) But that, partly because the film needs Diana to believe he’s Aries, he has to be the proto-nazi element in opposition to all the other German generals. There’s the scene where he bumps them off to avoid them signing an armistice.

Yet in truth they mostly came from aristocratic backgrounds, were gung-ho imperialists and when they did object to Nazism it tended to be more about the Reichstag now admitting people who weren’t proper toffs.

In short, the problem's not that it says Ludendorff was bad, but that Lundendorff solely was bad.

The best way to watch the film is not to think of the actual First World War but the way it’s popularly seen, as the ultimate example of a war which should never have been fought. And historicising things, such as naming the Red Skull equivalent after an actual General, runs counter to that.

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Phil Sandifer 2 months, 4 weeks ago

To be honest, given that he was portrayed as a gas-huffing thrall of Aries, it didn't really occur to me to check whether there was an actual historical figure there, and even with the name match I'm not sure lining him up with a historical counterpart quite works.
Of course, I'm not 100% sure about the British Establishment as the supreme villains either, given that Aries's scheme appears to be to establish ceasefires in order to cause more wars, which is, to say the least, difficult to parse. I forgot to make more of that in the piece though.

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JFrancis 2 months, 3 weeks ago

On the latter point at least, I wonder if the intention was to associate Ares with an armistice that came into effect several hours after it was signed (resulting in needless deaths, something he seems to be aiming for) and subsequently with the punishing nature of the Treaty of Versailles. Certainly I read it as setting Ares up as masterminding the well-known A-level history question, "To what extent did the Treaty of Versailles lead to the Second World War?"

So maybe not so much 'ceasefires to cause more wars' as 'this particular ceasefire to cause more wars'.

That's where my mind jumped in any case, neatly allowing me to deduce Ares' identity in ten seconds flat.

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Martin Porter 2 months, 3 weeks ago

I suspect we're ovethinking this a bit. That the Treaty of Verseilles created more wars, as oppsoed to just stopping a bloomin' big one, is a pretty difficult one to argue. It wasn't perfect, but on the whole the politicos did their best.

What it most definitely did preserve was the European Empires, but I doubt that is what the film was getting at either.

Frankly if anyone can explain why Ares was Thewlis, apart from the fact he had to be someone, I'd be very interested.

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Gavin Burrows 2 months, 3 weeks ago

I kept thinking "a nice idea, but a bit too extra-diegetic". Then got to the bit where it allowed you to guess Aries, which is more than I did!

For me it would have worked better had there been no Aries. Not only would have it taken the film away from the generic super-battle finale (and it's not a memorable fight). But also it would have made for a more dramatic moment for Dina.

She slowly tracks down and bumps off her man. Only to find that he was just one General among many, with others ready to take her place. Outside of Paradise Island, the old Gods died millennia ago and since then the evil that men have done has been done by men. Her war to end wars is a war without end. At first she's stupefied, then she figures she may as well fight it anyway.

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JFrancis 2 months, 3 weeks ago

Having only watched the film through once, I'm very sympathetic to this suggestion. The final fight was very much a 'and here we go off the rails' moment for me. It rather undercut the growing realisation on Diana's part that things didn't work the way they did in the heroic stories.

Whether it would have been better to cast Ares as long dead or a current in the world you can't just punch to death, I'm not sure. Either way, at the time I expressed it as thinking that the last bit felt as it it had been written by someone different from everything that had come before.

And I should probably be clear that I'm not necessarily talking about the actual effects of the Treaty of Versailles so much as a popular conception of it. This is stretching back a decade and a half to studying it at school though, so I certainly am not going to pin everything on the theory, and I certainly don't claim any recent understanding of the history, but it struck me as an interesting thread (ahem).

I certainly think that if you have to have Ares, treating him almost as a farmer of war - bringing even the big ones to an end before everyone can get too sick of them to try again next time - would be a fruitful way of portraying him.

As for him being David Thewlis, I'm all in favour of it simply for the sublimely daft image of him still having the same moustache when he's a god of Olympian figure and proportions.

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Radek 2 months, 2 weeks ago

But in a way, there was no Ares.
Steve says so: Ares is actually inside every human. You cannot excuse the Germans/Nazis/whoever their actions because they are not being brainwashed either by an evil god or an evil dictator. People are essentially corruptible - and perhaps even essentially corrupt - even the Americans. That's Steve's point. And Diana says that maybe she's the only who is can actually be said to be innocent. And he agrees.
Interestingly, if she were then to follow through with her mission to "eliminate Ares", she would have to wipe out humanity, which was indeed the "real" Ares' plan.

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CJM 2 months, 4 weeks ago

My issue with that reading is that he spends the war pushing for a weak peace treaty and sends them out into the field to maintain that treaty. So Ares becomes a figure of appeasement.

Which in turn means that it still feels very much like a World War 2 film, with Eviler Neville Chamberlain as the main villain.

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James A Mullins 2 months, 4 weeks ago

"Starved for female representation?"

Despite me being British what the hell does Trump, the alt-right or his overall influence does it really matter. I care about female represention and I grew up with it in many positive ways but how are we really "starved"? Do you mean in this genre?

Examples please.

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Lambda 2 months, 4 weeks ago

Well, someone like me doesn't need more female representation in my media, I haven't seen an American superhero film for well over a decade, and apart from Doctor Who, I almost exclusively watch anime. (As such, I don't really know what I'm doing on this review page.) But it still seems pretty clear to me. You can evaluate media based on what it does for you personally, what it does for the average viewer you imagine, or what it does for the society in which it exists. That point is very much the third. Women, and their importance and interiority etc. are being pushed out of huge swathes of American culture, with very real consequences for them. And superhero movies, which are watched by almost everyone in this culture, have been playing a part in this by featuring an endless line of male hero after male hero. If every time you go to the cinema to see a hero, they're a man, it's easier for men to think women aren't important or that they're objects you can do with as you please or whatever, and also for women to feel demoralised, that it's the natural way of things etc. (It won't be like that for everyone, of course, but if you're already close to a given tipping point, it might put you on the other side, which means more people ending up on the wrong side.) And that's the experience of the huge numbers of people who watch lots of superhero movies. Until now.

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Dustseeing 2 months, 4 weeks ago

List of superhero films with a female lead:

Supergirl (1984)
Tankgirl (1995), although we can quibble over Tankgirl's status as superhero...
Black Scorpion (1995)
Black Scorpion II: Aftershock (1997)
Barb Wire (1997)
Witchblade (2000)
Catwoman (2004)
Elektra (2005)
My Super-Ex-Girlfriend (2006)
Wonderwoman (2017)

That's a pretty large gap between 2006 and 2017, and before then, the only ones that really stand out as "superhero films" (rather than parodies or comedies) are Supergirl, Catwoman and Elektra. If we take Iron Man (2008) as the start of the superhero renaissance, we have 24 Marvel films either released or in production, with only one female lead- Captain Marvel. Plus a joint lead- the Wasp.

I don't know about you, but a couple of films in the last ten years doesn't really shout "representation".

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Phil Sandifer 2 months, 4 weeks ago

I'd set the renaissance at X-Men in 2000, but that still really only gets you Catwoman and Elektra, which were second tier sequels made on the desperately cheap.

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Dustseeing 2 months, 3 weeks ago

X-Men is more the 12th century renaissance if we're taking a teleological view (after Sarton- "pregnant with many ideas which could not be delivered until much later")- although although I'd admit that the MCU and Snyder probably look more favourably on Sanger et al. than their 15th-c. predecessors.

(If we're going to stretch the analogy to breaking point, then that makes Chris Nolan our Petrarch.)

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Martin Porter 2 months, 3 weeks ago

Difficult to really claim Barb Wire for the feminists ...

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bombasticus 2 months, 2 weeks ago

Please say more on Barb Wire here.

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Other Edge 2 months, 4 weeks ago

"But as someone who’s long been of the “superheroes are actually kinda fascist” school of thought,"

A strange thought, because every fascist I've met despises superhero movies and calls them Jewish "capeshit" propaganda meant to steal cinema away from the "right" filmmakers.

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Froborr 2 months, 4 weeks ago

The idea of the superhero--that a singular individual possessed of immense power, accountable to no one, will wield that power to protect Us and punish the Other--is itself fascist (or at least protofascist), even while the characters and creators rarely are. It's unsurprising to me that fascists themselves would be more concerned with the latter point, since fascists rather notoriously don't care much about ideas. Whereas for me, that very tension is the source of a lot of what makes superheroes interesting.

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Phil Sandifer 2 months, 4 weeks ago

Yeah, my view is roughly that fascists are idiots and I don't care what they think.

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Sarracenian 2 months, 3 weeks ago

Remind me to introduce you guys to Ishinomori works then

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Froborr 2 months, 3 weeks ago

I read his Zelda comic as it came out in Nintendo Power. And while I haven't read them or watched the adaptations, I'm broadly familiar with Cyborg 009 and Kamen Rider.

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Sarracenian 2 months, 3 weeks ago

I recommend giving a swing then, if you ever want a superhero stories that arguably is one of the rare unambiguous aversions of the proto-fascism in superheroes (helps that one of the main themes is how the superheroes existing is very much a bad thing & how they cannot actually save the world)

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Wack'd 2 months, 4 weeks ago

So your "peak contrarian" argument for this being a bad film is:
1. It's not properly a superhero origin
2. The villains are too generic to wring social commentary out of
3. The backstory doesn't quite work

Like. I know you say you don't wanna be too hard on it because it's important but after all the hype about how scathing this was gonna be I'm feeling...kinda let down. And I like the movie.

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Phil Sandifer 2 months, 4 weeks ago

I don't think I ever promised scathing. The perverse contrarianism is more in saying "Wonder Woman isn't feminist enough and also should be more like Batman v. Superman."

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Wack'd 2 months, 3 weeks ago

Fair enough. Phrased that way: yeah, no, I see it now.

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Howard David Ingham 2 months, 3 weeks ago

Interesting that you say that WWI is indistinguishable from WWII in the film. I felt there was enough in the way of blurring (and some anachronisms) to make me feel that it was a very late in the game decision, like it was written and production designed as a WWII movie and filmed as a WWI one.

I wondered if that was something to do with people behind the scenes desperately wanting to defang it because having a character played by an Israeli actress with well known and quite outspoken politics facing off against the architects of the Holocaust made people in the process a bit nervous.

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