WARNING: This article contains SPOILERS for Wonder Woman.
The Wonder Woman movie has given DC’s best known heroine a brand new set of powers, meaning Diana has put Batman and Superman on notice come Justice League. The producers had let it slip in the very beginning that the DCEU would most likely be following her New 52 origins as Zeus’s daughter, and director Patty Jenkins more recently teased Diana’s “secret” superpower granted as a result. It didn’t take us long to theorize that Wonder Woman can now use Zeus’s lightning… but that’s just the beginning of her new, demigod superpowers.
Fans have already seen that Diana of Themyscira has the powers to stand beside– well actually, in front of Superman and Batman in Dawn of Justice, and looks to once again be on the frontlines against the forces of Apokolips come Justice League. We’re not surprised, given the unparalleled powers introduced in Wonder Woman, even if they break with DC tradition, or at least ‘tweak’ the typical physiology and powers of both the Amazons and their favorite daughter.
To get down to just what Diana is now capable of (and which powers can be honed in future Wonder Woman sequels), we’re taking a closer look. Those who have yet to see the movie, but plan to, should (obviously) read no further in our look at Wonder Woman: New Movie Superpowers Explained.
Super-Human (and Super-Amazon) Strength
If you go to the comic books, you’re likely to find several instances where it is at least implied (if not outright stated) that the Amazons are a race of warrior women blessed by the gods with immortality and superhuman physiology. It’s in keeping with the classical tradition of capital-H ‘Heroes,’ typically showing their favor among the gods in the form of strength, speed, endurance, or wisdom superior to those of a normal man or woman. But in the DCEU, that is a little unclear. Diana’s Amazon sisters seem to be as strong and rigorously trained as would be expected, but the idea that they are blessed with strength beyond muscle fiber isn’t directly presented.
That’s a point clarified when Diana makes her giant leap towards the tower holding Themyscira’s prized military possessions, as it certainly seems that her being able to make the jump at all is an act of greatness. In other words, Diana crosses the gap not because she is able to as an Amazons, but because she simply believes she can. When falling, Diana is surprised that her hand can actually shatter the stone blocks of the tower to offer a handhold – confirming, we would argue, that her superhuman strength is due to her divine parentage, and not simply her Amazon blood.
Both Diana and the Amazons are still susceptible to bullet wounds (at least we assume?), seeing Amazons succumb to such simple injuries, and implying they possess the same weaknesses as humans. Technically, it’s unclear whether that’s a ceiling on the kind of weapons the Amazons were built to resist, while they are still stronger or more resilient than the humans firing at them. The movie steers clear of that question to instead drive home the point that Diana is stronger than either race – even if her own weaknesses aren’t actually known just yet.
Projected Energy From Bracers
It’s the scene that all but confirmed for viewers who knew Diana’s New 52 origin that the DCEU would also reveal Wonder Woman is the daughter of Zeus. As Antiope pushes Diana to her limits, shouting that she must never allow a distraction in combat to drop her guard, and never expect a fight, or an enemy, to play by the rules, she succeeds in totally disarming the princess. With no means to defend herself left, Diana reaches out, slams her bracers together in front of her to stop the coming blow… and what happens next proves once and for all that Diana is no normal Amazon.
A burst of fiery orange energy erupts outward from her wrists with enough force to send Antiope flying through the air along with the other Amazons in the immediate vicinity – producing a shockwave that slams every spectator to the ground. It startles some in attendance, but Antiope – like the audience – grins, knowing that Diana is beginning to use the powers afforded her by her father, the King of the Gods. And as is to be expected, the exact nature of the blast, the energy, the shockwave, and its limits… well, they’re as hard to pin down as any other aspect of the Greek Gods’ physiology.
Fortunately, the final act of the movie leaps headlong into this power. Not only does Diana use it in tandem with another Greek God possessing similar gifts, but she finds a new gear, obliterating everything around her as her anger and rage fuel energy blasts and shockwaves befitting her godlike lineage. And in that same fight, she uncovers powers given to her by her father that even her brother, Ares, doesn’t know to expect…