In less than a week, audiences will finally get to see if Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice can possibly live up to years of hype and ominously massive fan expectations. And while much of the conversation about the film in recent months has focused on its box-office prospects, concerns about an overly dark approach and which of the two titular heroes would “really” win, the film will also be noteworthy for marking the first time in 75 years that Wonder Woman has appeared in a theatrical feature film – despite being easily the most famous and recognizable female superhero ever created.
Now, Wonder Woman herself, Gal Gadot has shared a new image to promote Batman V Superman, drawing attention to one of Diana Prince’s most iconic superhero accessories: her bracelets.
It’s hard to imagine that anything about Dawn of Justice could be said to be secretive at this point, given the way that the film’s endless drip-feed of marketing has turned the prospect of the entire story having already been given away into a running pop-culture punchline; hence, it’s easy to forget that we haven’t actually seen that much of Wonder Woman in action in the film. Even if (as is widely expected) she doesn’t figure into the story in a major capacity until late in the game, we’ve yet to hear Diana speak more than a few lines of dialogue and have little idea what the “movie version” of her frequently-reimagined powers-set will be, how many weapons she will use, and so forth.
Likewise, we haven’t seen much of Wonder Woman using the tools she is perhaps most associated with, including her famous lasso and her armored bracelets. The bracelets, at least, are finally center-stage in the new image, where they notably appear to be glowing as though having recently released or absorbed some great amount of energy.
The bracelets (which, in the film, appear to be more like full-blown gauntlets) are one of the most important features of Wonder Woman’s traditional costume, and figure prominently as part of her backstory. Creator William Moulton Marston (along with his wife Elizabeth Holloway and their partner Olive Byrne) originally envisioned Wonder Woman’s origin as a radically-revisionist feminist “answer” to the myth of Hercules conquering the Amazons, wherein the male demigod was portrayed as a boorish conqueror who turned the Amazons into slaves. Though they eventually rebelled from bondage and withdrew from the mortal world, DC’s Amazons continued to wear enchanted metallic cuffs on their wrists as a reminder of why man’s world was not to be trusted – and as a symbol of their submission to their patron goddess Aphrodite.
Additionally, the trial-by-combat Diana originally had to pass to earn the Wonder Woman mantle was called “Bullets & Bracelets,” and for a time her one weakness was being unable to break free of her bracelets being bound together under her own power. The unique powers (and limitations) ascribed the bracelets was largely symbolic of the complex themes of sexuality and submission (see also: Wonder Woman’s magic lasso, which compells truth from anyone it ensnares) that informed Marston’s ahead-of-its-time social philosophy. While DC moved away from many of the more unusual aspects of the character under later writers (including completely rewriting her origin as part of the New 52 continuity) the bracelets have typically remained – if with new/different renderings.
This still, however, is the first indication (however vague) that they may have a greater power or significance in the new DC Extended Universe beyond just being a part of Wonder Woman’s armor. How she will get to use them in Batman V Superman and the Wonder Woman solo film in 2017 (and/or whether we’ll see the lasso, the invisible jet and other aspects of classical Wonder Woman mythos), that remains to be seen.
Batman V Superman: Dawn of Justice opens on March 25th, 2016, followed by Suicide Squad on August 5th, 2016;Wonder Woman on June 23rd, 2017; Justice League Part One on November 17th, 2017; The Flash on March 16th, 2018; Aquaman on July 27th, 2018; Shazam on April 5th, 2019;Justice League Part Two on June 14th, 2019; Cyborg on April 3rd, 2020; and Green Lantern Corps on June 19th, 2020.
Source: Gal Gadot