There’s a new (new!) Batman vs. Superman: Dawn of Justice trailer. Watch it now!
 

 
Online reaction seems pretty skeptical, centering on Jesse Eisenberg’s jittery camp. People don’t want jittery camp from their supervillains anymore, I guess. No love for Frank Gorshin.

Anyway, as you’ll see if you can make it to the end, Gal Gadot shows up as Wonder Woman right at the close, in a moment also played for cutesy laughs. Doomsday (I guess that’s Doomsday) shoots some sort of special effect thing at Batman, and our dour hero is about to be incinerated, when Wonder Woman leaps in with her shield. “Is she with you?” Superman asks, with Henry Cavill demonstrating that he’s got nice comic timing. “I thought she was with you,” Batman replies in grim dark bat voice.

Part of the joke is about the wrong-footed testosterone. Wonder Woman, as a woman, should belong to either Superman or Batman. But (feminism!) she doesn’t. The conflicted bromance m/m romantic comedy (complete with meet cute at the trailer’s beginning) is interrupted; the gritty ballet of manly men thumping each other gives way to the sit-com shuffle of manly men belching in confusion as the woman of the house swoops in to be competent.

William Marston, Wonder Woman’s creator, would probably find a bit to like here; Wonder Woman as invader of man’s world (metaphorically and literally) resonates with his original themes to some degree, and of course it’s nice to have her saving the bat dude rather than the other way around. The perspective, though, is inevitably wrong way round. Wonder Woman, the original comic, started out after all with Steve Trevor invading Paradise Island, and even in Man’s World, Diana was surrounded by sorority girls and fellow Amazons, so that Steve was always the lone dude in a female community.

The whole point of the original Wonder Woman was that Wonder Woman was the standard; women were the normal thing, and men were the sometimes odd, sometimes sexy, but always secondary other. Wonder Woman in Dawn of Justice is heroic, but she’s heroic through the eyes, and from the perspective, of the two guys whose relationship is the title of the film. Which isn’t surprising, really, but does mean that, Supergirl, Jessica Jones, Buffy, or any superhero show where the woman is in the title, is going to be truer in many ways to Marston’s vision than the character called Wonder Woman in a film titled Batman vs. Superman.

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