Wonder Woman might have already debuted in Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, but the character didn't get a defined origin story until her solo outing.
The film is being praised for bringing the character to life for a new generation of fans, and rightfully so. As for its take on her origin, it is interesting to think about how it ranks against the superhero origins that have come before.
In the film, the curtain is peeled back on Diana's history growing up on Themyscira. Her journey from young curious child to idealistic Amazon warrior makes up the first chunk of the film and goes a long way to defining the hero that fans see later in the film. It's a relatable story about coming to terms with the outside world with ancient Gods and superheroes thrown in.
Director Patty Jenkins always wanted to go with an origin story, feeling it integral to the character. "I thought that it was very important. That's how I had always wanted to do it and had pitched that talked about that many times and then we ended up in a wonderful moment where that was everybody's ambition and everybody embraced a way of doing it which was wonderful."
"I thought that it was very important. That's how I had always wanted to do it and had pitched that talked about that many times and then we ended up in a wonderful moment where that was everybody's ambition and everybody embraced a way of doing it which was wonderful."
Jenkins feels stories like this serve a purpose, one to hopefully inspire.
"I would say these kind of movies are important, and they're important if for nothing else to inspire us all to imagine that we could be better people and possibly strive to do that in our own lives, to be our own heroes. So I hope that she makes one feel like a hero for a moment, and I hope that that everytime something like that happens it makes someone able to make a more heroic choice in a moment that they can."
Without further ado, hit the next slide to see how Wonder Woman stacks up with some of her superhero origin brethren.
Christopher Nolan's first entry in his celebrated Batman trilogy brought the well-known origin story of Bruce Wayne to the big screen. At this point, it's old hat really, and Nolan's take didn't really bring anything new to how those events played out.
Nolan did bring some wonderful elements to Bruce's origins as Batman though, including the involvement of Ra's al Ghul in Batman's early training. Ra's didn't just train Bruce in the realm of combat but rather challenged his mental state and beliefs. It was an intriguing look at the Dark Knights psyche and the emotion that he pushes down constantly, but that also fuels him eventually putting on the costume.
So, it better than Wonder Woman?
That would be a no, and mostly because the first half of his origin just drags too much. Once he's older things pick up pace, but the early parts are just too boring and somber to keep raise it above Diana.
The official description for Batman Begins is below.
Batman Begins explores the origins of the Batman legend and the Dark Knight's emergence as a force for good in Gotham.
In the wake of his parents' murder, disillusioned industrial heir Bruce Wayne (Christian Bale) travels the world seeking the means to fight injustice and turn fear against those who prey on the fearful.
He returns to Gotham and unveils his alter-ego: Batman, a masked crusader who uses his strength, intellect and an array of high tech deceptions to fight the sinister forces that threaten the city.
Superman The Movie
Superman is perhaps the most iconic of DC's pantheon of heroes, but his film record has been a bit spotty. He seems to be at his best when inspiring, something Superman: The Movie seem to capture better than most.
Both flashed back to his time as a young man as his powers started to manifest, but they differed in their approach to his Kryptonian heritage. In Superman: The Movie, Kal finds Jor-El earlier on, or a holo version of him to be exact. Donner's Superman is closer to Diana primarily because of that because this version seemed to grasp his place in the world much sooner in life than the ones that come after.
So, is it better than Wonder Woman?
It isn't necessarily better, but it's neck and neck, coming out in a tie. Both truly captured the idea of hope immensely well and will be somewhat timeless because of it.
The official description of Superman: The Movie can be located below.
A box-office smash, an Academy Award winner and a fan favorite since it first flew into theaters in December 1978, Superman: The Movie assembles a cast and creative contingent as only a big movie can.
At its heart (just as in three sequels) is Christopher Reeve's intelligent, affectionate portrayal of a most human Man of Steel. Watching Superman again isn't just like being a kid again. It's better.
Reeve, Marlon Brando (Jor-El), Gene Hackman (Luthor) and Margot Kidder (Lois Lane) give indelible performances that fuel the film's aura of legend. Looks like a swell night for flying. Why not come along?
Man of Steel
Man of Steel sought to bring DC's icon into the 21st century, and for the most part, it succeeded, albeit with some significant changes.
The biggest one is in relation to his father, Jonathan, who dies after he walks into a tornado to go get the family dog. His foot was injured, and he can't make it back to the overpass, so when Clark starts to move towards him Jonathan puts his hand out to stop him. His number one goal was to keep Clark's secret under wraps.
This among other things results in the character wandering the world making a difference wherever he can, and it's some time before he meets his Kryptonian father.
This Superman is inspiring despite the weight he carries on his shoulders, and the movie is more about him coming to terms with being a symbol at all rather than what the symbol means
So, is it better than Wonder Woman?
No, but there is still a lot to like about his Man of Steel origin. It's not for everyone and does have its flaws, but it still captures what the hero the essence of a hero.
The synopsis for Man of Steel can be found below.
In the pantheon of superheroes, Superman is the most recognized and revered character of all time. Clark Kent/Kal-El (Cavill) is a young twentysomething journalist who feels alienated by powers beyond anyone’s imagination. Transported to Earth years ago from Krypton, an advanced alien planet, Clark struggles with the ultimate question - Why am I here? Shaped by the values of his adoptive parents Martha (Lane) and Jonathan Kent (Costner), Clark soon discovers that having super abilities means making very difficult decisions. But when the world needs stability the most, it comes under attack. Will his abilities be used to maintain peace or ultimately used to divide and conquer? Clark must become the hero known as “Superman,” not only to shine as the world’s last beacon of hope but to protect the ones he loves.
Accuracy wise the Green Lantern origin story is quite sound, as a young and reckless airforce pilot is given the ring by a dying Abin Sur.
DC did an amazing job with setting up Abin Sur's previous dealings with Parallax, so things appear to be moving right along when he gives the ring to Jordan. Even what followed as Hal first comes to terms with his new power and how it has changed him is rather good.
The origin as a whole is left intact and only gets better once Hal gets to OA and meets the other Lanterns. Some had an issue with the additional quippy elements that Reynolds brought to the character, but those don't detract as much as you think.
It's the other elements, like anything to do with Hector Hammond or the fact that he fights essentially a gross cloud of fear at film's end. It was a bit too convoluted, but as an origin, it is actually quite successful.
So, is it better than Wonder Woman?
Of course not, but that has more to do with intentional decisions about character more than an inaccurate origin.
The official synopsis for Green Lantern can be located below.
‘Bringing the enduringly popular superhero to the big screen for the first time, “Green Lantern” stars Ryan Reynolds (“X-Men Origins: Wolverine”) in the title role, under the direction of Martin Campbell (“Casino Royale”).
In a universe as vast as it is mysterious, a small but powerful force has existed for centuries. Protectors of peace and justice, they are called the Green Lantern Corps. A brotherhood of warriors sworn to keep intergalactic order, each Green Lantern wears a ring that grants him superpowers. But when a new enemy called Parallax threatens to destroy the balance of power in the Universe, their fate and the fate of Earth lie in the hands of their newest recruit, the first human ever selected: Hal Jordan.
Hal is a gifted and cocky test pilot, but the Green Lanterns have little respect for humans, who have never harnessed the infinite powers of the ring before. But Hal is clearly the missing piece to the puzzle, and along with his determination and willpower, he has one thing no member of the Corps has ever had: humanity. With the encouragement of fellow pilot and childhood sweetheart Carol Ferris (Blake Lively), if Hal can quickly master his new powers and find the courage to overcome his fears, he may prove to be not only the key to defeating Parallax…he will become the greatest Green Lantern of all.