There is much that DC should look to Marvel for in the way of building a cinematic universe, but their work with women isn’t one of them.

In April of 2015, Jen Yamato wrote a scathing article for The Daily Beast about Marvel’s treatment of Black Widow and other female superheroes, saying that “Marvel’s most badass female characters keep getting exploited—and utterly wasted—just to prop up the men around them.

She isn’t wrong and it’s because of that statement that I’m worried about Wonder Woman in the upcoming Batman v Superman movie.

Will DC Learn from Marvel’s Error?

Peter Flynn’s “3 Ways Gail Gadot’s Wonder Woman Will Influence Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice!” lists her as a possible subplot, love interest, or side character.  Obviously, this information isn’t from the production company, but the article does a great job outlining the expectations most fans have for female characters in this genre.

The Problem Is: How do these possible roles do anything other than prop up Superman and/or Batman?

I understand the urge to sexualize strong female heroes.  It’s an easy leap from fantasy to fantasy.  However, as a father to a thirteen-year-old girl, I am hoping that independent female leads are put on screen sooner rather than later.

My cynicism breaks through when I consider Wonder Woman’s … history … with the men around her.  Over the years, she has had ties to Superman, Batman, Orion, Aquaman, and several others.  Now this isn’t a problem for me either, considering her back story.  Remember, she was raised on an island solely populated by women.  It is only normal that she would binge on her curiosities while exploring the wider world.

That itself is not a problem.  Strong and independent women can and should have as many adult relationships as they want without being seen negatively.  The concern is whether her relationships are used to define who she is as a character.

A Strong Woman and a Strong Character

Even if Wonder Woman ends up romantically involved with someone, she should be shown to be of her own mind and in control of her own choices.  In this pic, Superman does his usual “How can I focus on my task if I’m worried about protecting you” routine that he has had to do with Lois Lane for the last 75+ years.  Wonder Woman sets him straight and tells him that “there’s work to be done.”  Truly Wonderful.

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Wonder Woman and Superman as Equal Partners in their Professional and Romantic Relationship

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