[WARNING: This article contains potential SPOILERS for Wonder Woman]
Just when you thought you knew it all when it comes to Wonder Woman, the DCEU goes and gives her a new, secret superpower. And thanks to the latest Justice League trailer, we think that power (and its source) can finally be confirmed. It arrives after months of dissecting Wonder Woman trailers as more and more of her DCEU origin story was revealed – leaving plenty of room to read between the lines. Officially, the DCEU version of Wonder Woman will share the same parents as her New 52 counterpart… but this time around, she’s getting new superpowers because of it.
Since neither Wonder Woman nor Justice League has been released, it’s impossible to say if our theory on her true parentage – and how it will help give Wonder Woman a new kind of villain – is accurate. But it’s seeming more and more likely, with evidence continually mounting (along with our excitement that the DCEU will take her in so compelling a direction). And it provides her with a personal story all her own, separated even from her mother Hippolyta, the Queen of the Amazons.
The use of Diana’s superpowers in the new Justice League trailer seem to confirm our suspicions that she’ll now be blessed with more than her Amazonian training. She’ll wield the powers of her father, too.
Wonder Woman’s Power Emerges
When we got the chance to visit the editing bay with director Patty Jenkins, we saw a lengthy presentation of Wonder Woman footage shedding light on her origin story. Some of that footage wound up either included or alluded to in Wonder Woman‘s ‘Origin’ trailer, depicting Diana’s training from a young girl to adulthood – and the first sign of her new superpower. A new superpower that, according to Jenkins, makes Diana the weapon to kill Ares, not any sword or traditional weapon.
The trailer’s most important detail, as we found when breaking down the trailer’s key moments, was her vambraces. Previously thought to be enchanted, as were those in past comic books, they didn’t behave as one might expect. They glowed with energy and blasted her opponents, sure, but they did so almost at Diana’s will. Combine that with our being told that Diana’s military training was approved only after she experienced a strange burst of similar energy, and the truth seems clear. Diana is the source of the power, not her armor.
When she finally set sail with Steve Trevor (Chris Pine), her mother, Queen Hippolyta (Connie Nielsen) hinted that Diana’s power, like her true nature, was being kept a secret from the princess. What that secret is, and why it must be kept tie into her comic book origins… and are somewhat revealed in later sequences from other Wonder Woman trailers.
Wonder Woman’s Power is Mastered
Specifically, we’re talking about this moment, pictured above. At first, we took it as Wonder Woman’s appearance in Batman V Superman would suggest. Wherever that lightning was coming from, she was using her vambraces to protect her, and absorb the energy. But when we remembered the New 52 Wonder Woman origin being used for the DCEU, another explanation seemed possible. For the non-comic readers, that origin revealed that the previous story – Diana was made by her mother from clay, and blessed with life from the gods – was only a cover. Diana had a father… and his name was Zeus.
The Greek god of the skies, thunder, and lightning had a reputation for torrid love affairs, so one with Queen Hippolyta wasn’t all that shocking. But it distinguished Diana from her sisters as a true demigod like Hercules, and from the origin story of the Amazons being told in Wonder Woman, it seems guaranteed. According to an animated origin sequence at the beginning of the film, Zeus created man, Ares turned man to war, Zeus created the Amazons to save the day, Ares killed Zeus, and the Amazons were hidden by their ‘father.’
That’s the history lesson young Diana gets in her upcoming film, and most of it may be true, but the language could be a bit deceiving. If Diana is Zeus’s daughter, as was confirmed by producer Charles Roven prior to BvS, it would make sense for Hippolyta to want that kept a secret. Not only to keep Ares blind of Diana’s true power, but to keep Ares blind to her true purpose. As the story goes: Zeus died, hid his children from man’s world, but left them a means to eventually kill Ares – the mythological power attributed to Godkiller, the sword Diana takes with her on her mission to find and defeat Ares.
But as we see these secrets being told, the godlike powers of Diana manifesting, and the aforementioned image of her crossing her arms as if to call the lightning to herself, another answer arrives: Diana is the Godkiller, not a sword. And if our theory claims that her unique genetics mean she can call on the power of the sky and lightning as her father once did, then the newest Justice League trailer may confirm it once and for all.
Wonder Woman Wields Her Father’s Lightning
Finally, we arrive at what might very well be confirmation that Diana is not just the daughter of Zeus, but as a result can control the forces of lightning just as he did. It’s just one of several key moments in the Justice League trailer that fly by in a blink, but when Wonder Woman and Aquaman stand ready to face their enemy inside an Apokoliptian structure, she takes the offensive. She’s smashed her vambraces together to launch a powerful shockwave at Doomsday, but this time it’s a bit different. As she brings one forearm down onto her planted shield, electricity is shown arcing from her wrist to the shield, resulting in a powerful blast that keeps her hair blowing and war cry flying as its impact roils out.
The electricity now seems to be divine lightning, an attack worthy of Zeus that, when fired onto Diana’s one of a kind shield, is redirected forward at any who stand in her way. The exact function and nature of Diana’s energy absorption/attacks has been vague to this point, so hopefully by the time Justice League comes around, this is the easiest answer. How does Wonder Woman launch attacks? “She’s Zeus’s daughter, so she can channel divine lightning like him.” It would be something generally new to the character – at least in this form – but important in leveling the playing field.
After all, the new trailer also shows Aquaman with the power of a god, using his Atlantean trident to stop a rushing wall of water in its path. It may be too much to hope that the male of this pair of ancient hybrids would be relied upon for defense, while his sister handles the devastating attacks. Yet for Wonder Woman fans who love wordplay and metaphor, there’s nothing better than Zeus granting a gift to his daughters capable of killing War itself in their distant future.
That gift is neither a god like those who destroyed themselves, nor a man like those Ares turned to cruelty. Instead, it’s the result of love between the God of the gods… and Woman. Now that is a wonder.