I mentioned this a while back, and have made a few comments here and there reinforcing it: I’m kind of a Superman/Batman/DC fan. Alright, so saying ‘kind of’ is a very liberal usage of the term… Here’s a shot of my collection, of sorts, something I call my ‘Alter of Superman’ though it has gathered quite a bit of Batman lately.
It’s poor quality because it was taken with the camera on my laptop, but it should get the point across. It’s also a mirror image, so it looks like Bizarro’s S. But if you think it looks ridiculous there, you should see it in person, because it’s much more imposing in real life. I should add that that entire top row of the DVD shelf is filled with various Superman and Batman movies and TV shows made throughout the years…
Obsessed much? Yes. I am. So sue me. But of the DC poster-heroes, there’s a third that gets little love. Wonder Woman. I know, right? Nobody wants to see female superheroes, unless they’re supporting characters in a predominantly male cast. I can hear feminists scream from here…
But that’s the point of Wonder Woman, isn’t it? A strong, female hero. One that can embrace her sexuality in that skin-tight leotard without being a promiscuous, erm, harlot.
Anyway, I never really thought much of Wonder Woman outside of that supporting role. She was fine in the Justice League TV show or when working with the other big guys, but I didn’t really care about, or think it would be worthwhile, seeing her in a standalone setting.
Then I saw Wonder Woman, a recent direct to DVD release in the DC animated universe, the fourth of its kind produced by Bruce Timm, the leading man in the critically acclaimed Batman, Superman, and Justice League animated series. The first, Superman Doomsday, gave a simple version of the ‘Death of Superman’ arc from the nineties. The story wasn’t quite as fleshed out as it could have been, but it gave the best Superman action scene to date. The second, Justice League: The New Frontier, was mediocre. The third, Batman: Gotham Knight, which was released about the time of The Dark Knight and meant to tie in loosely with that universe, was absolutely horrible. Then came Wonder Woman, a movie I bought out of brand loyalty but didn’t expect much out of.
It turns out this was the best of the group, by far. In terms of story quality this one surpasses the others by miles. The only rival it has in action is Superman, but I think most neutral viewers would agree that this was the better film. And critics agree. It has gotten very positive reviews, and IGN ranked it the number 1 straight to DVD animated movies of 2008 (obscure award? Perhaps, but an award nonetheless). Not only that, I learned today that it’s still selling well and is projected to continue its upward trend (hence my promotion). It was released in March and has sold almost 200,000 copies and is expected to hit the half-million mark by years end. The bottom line is: Wonder Woman turns out to be marketable, even in direct to DVD animated format, and the movie is really good. So put away your preconceived notions about cartoons and superheroes and watch it. I assure you, you’ve seen a lot worse (like Ghost Rider).