A peace-loving warrior who was born to the Greek god Zeus fights in World War I with an army of futuristic weapons, despite having grown up far from the human race. Welcome to Wonder Woman’s wacky world. The new cinema adaptation of the DC Comics series may have a crazy plot, but it uses it to make some sharp points about gender, violence and the nature of truth. Since its June release, the movie has received glowing reviews and made almost a billion at the global box office. What makes it such a winner?
As the first female-led superhero film in over a decade, Wonder Woman was inevitably going to be a feminist talking point. More importantly, however, its protagonist is a genuinely badass hero who sets out to save the world from the stupidity of men. How has feminism changed since the character was invented in 1941?
Emma, nudity, and the meaning of feminism
She is an actress, a feminist activist for the UN, and now a semi-nude model in Vanity Fair magazine. Her photoshoot has sparked a fierce feminist row: does baring your breasts betray women?
Mrs. Carter shocks women with marriage tour
She is one of the world’s most successful female stars, admired for her empowering musical messages. But Beyonce’s latest tour is named after her husband. A step back for feminism?
‘Feminism is dead.’ Oh no it isn’t.
Hundreds of feminists will gather at a conference in London this weekend just days after the launch of the new Women’s Equality Party. Feminism is big news. But will it ever be ‘done’?
Wonder Woman — or Diana of Themyscira, as she is known in this film — has been raised a pacifist by a tribe of warrior women. She is keen to use her fighting skills to end all wars; in fact, her nemesis is Ares, the god of war himself. Since time immemorial, people have debated what can be achieved through warfare…
Pacifists bid for place in war commemorations
The government’s plans for commemorating World War One are under attack on two fronts: to some they seem jingoistic, to others too meek. Was the war necessary, or simply evil?
Japanese emperor hints at end of peaceful era
The head of the world’s oldest monarchy has revealed his desire to step down. He will be known as the emperor of ‘peace everywhere’ — but could Japan’s age of pacifism be coming to an end?
The bow that launched a thousand tweets
This time he DID sing the national anthem. But now a storm is raging over Jeremy Corbyn’s very stiff bow at the Cenotaph yesterday. Why is Britain so touchy about remembrance this year?
World War I
Having grown up on a remote island, Wonder Woman suddenly finds herself thrust into “The War to End All Wars”. Of his decision to set the film in this period, screenwriter Allan Heinberg has said that “we are in a very WWI world today” due to growing nationalism. Is this parallel fair?
EU President warns of a return to the trenches
One hundred years after World War One, the President of the EU Commission says that his institution is vital in avoiding another bloody conflict. Are these worries justified?
Huge crowds flock to WW1 Remembrance artwork
The field of ceramic poppies at the Tower of London has caught the public imagination. But does such a beautiful memorial to those killed blind us to the horror of the First World War?
One of Wonder Woman’s many awesome weapons is the Lasso of Truth, which forces anyone who gets caught up in it to tell the truth. Fittingly enough, her creator William Moulton Marston helped invent the lie detector. In an age often described by the term “post-truth”, the themes of reality and honesty are more important than ever…
Facebook’s fake news: ‘post-truth’ is the word
‘Post-truth’ could be ‘one of the defining words of our time’, says Oxford Dictionaries. The announcement comes as Facebook continues defending itself from criticism over fake news stories.
Liars beware: new truth test unveiled
Scientists claim to have developed the most accurate lie detector yet, by analysing body movements for signs of guilt. But do the ethical pitfalls of truth tests outweigh their benefits?
Over the past decade and a half, the rebirth of the superhero movie genre has reignited interest in the comic books that spawned them. While they may seem like pure entertainment, politics is never far away — in this respect, Wonder Woman is no exception. What do we expect from our comics?
Comic world shocked as Thor turns female
Fans are flabbergasted as Marvel Comics announces a new series in which the hammer-wielding Norse god changes sex. Is making a superhero a superheroine an effective way to achieve equality?
‘Iconic’ comic book superhero to come out as gay
Is Batman gay? Superman? Aquaman? The internet is bursting with rumours. The cause: an announcement by DC Comics that one of its main characters will soon come out of the closet.
Avengers assemble again for Marvel bonanza
Avengers: Age of Ultron is released today and it could break the box office record for the highest-grossing opening weekend. Are we seeing the end of original ideas in films?