Friday night at the NYCC DC Comics debuted their newest animated feature, Wonder Woman. The movie was produced by DC animation legend Bruce Timm, and featured the voice work of Keri Russell in the titular role, alongside Serenity star Nathan Fillion, Alfred Molina, Rosario Dawson, Oliver Platt and Virginia Madsen.
The screening, which took place very late in the evening, actually turned out to be the perfect bookend to the day: Wonder Woman is both funny and action-packed and is probably one of the best DC Comics animated features I've seen this side of Justice League.
The film opens with an epic (and violent!) battle between the Amazonians of Themyscira and the warring forces of Ares, the god of war. Hippolyta, Queen of Amazons, barely manages to defeat Ares in combat--but instead of letting the Queen vanquish Ares, head-gods Zeus and Hera decree that Ares be stripped of his god-powers by locking him in two iron shackles and making him the prisoners of the Amazons for all time.
Perturbed by the violence inherent in men, the Amazons hide Themyscira from the world wiht a magical spell, forever preserving their utopia. To usher in this new era of peace, Hera blesses Hippolyta with a daughter sculpted from clay, Diana, the soon-to-be Wonder Woman of the amazons.
If you know the origin of Wonder Woman you know what happens next: Col. Steve Trevor crash-lands his fighter jet on Themyscira, where he falls for Diana. Hippolyta decrees that an Amazon emissary must return Trevor to the world of man, and Diana wins a deadly contest to be that emissary. She is given armor, a magical golden lasso and an invisible plane, becoming the super-heroine known as Wonder Woman.
Ares of course escapes, with help from a rogue Amazon, and Wonder Woman and Steve Trevor try to stop him before he can reclaim his god powers. Of course they fail, Ares regains his terrible power and a huge war ensues, with Wonder Woman eventually winning the day and choosing to remain in the world of men as a representative of the Amazons. The end.
What made Wonder Woman so much damn fun was the witty script by Michael Jelenic, William M. Marston and Gail Simone, along with excellent voice work by Fillion and Russell. Much of Wonder Woman's humor is found in gender jokes, which include Steve Trevor commenting on Wonder Woman's "nice rack" while under the truth-telling spell of the golden lasso - or Trevor trying (and failing) to drink Wonder Woman under the table in order to seduce her. I don't usually believe that animated characters can have chemistry, but then, I hadn't seen Wonder Woman. Trevor and Diana's dance of flirtation is truly what glues the movie together, and everyone in the theater enjoyed it.
Director Lauren Montgomery deserves a lot of credit for balancing just the right amounts of badass action, gender-related humor and feministic attitude into thoroughly enjoyable film.
Wonder Woman is another fine entry in the DC Comics animated library and I recommend you check it out when it hits stores on March 3, 2009.
Source: NYC Comic Con
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