'Wonder Woman' poster is a step in the wrong direction
Posted Thursday, July 28, 2016 at 5:21 PM Central
Last updated Thursday, July 28, 2016 at 5:22 PM Central
by John Couture
With all of the news and information coming out of Comic Con last week, I was playing catch up most of the week. So, I missed this when it came out last Friday, but when I added the teaser poster for Wonder Woman today, I was blown away.
And not in a good way.
After touting all of the good things that Warner Bros. and DC did last week, I'm left shaking my head once again at the sensational sexploitation that has been plagued the female superhero. After seeing the trailer for Wonder Woman, I was genuinely impressed that someone might have finally broken the code and created an intelligent superhero movie in which the protagonist is known more for her kick-butt fighting skills than how her butt looks in spandex.
And then I saw this tweet.
On the day that Hillary Clinton will become the first woman ever to accept the nomination for President of the United States from a major party, this poster for Wonder Woman feels like a slap in the face to equality among comic book superheroes. What's even more concerning is that it feels like a reversal of sorts from the way they promoted the character for Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice.
As you can see in this publicity still and Wonder Woman poster for that film, they took a much more subdued approach.
It's as if they knew that Wonder Woman would find a female audience pretty easily, so why not focus the marketing in an effort to entice men to come see the film as well. As a man, I don't know whether to be more offended that they don't think I would watch a good comic book film regardless of the gender of the protagonist or that I could be swayed by such blatant pandering.
I mean they literally shine a spotlight on Gal Gadot's breasts and shade out her face in a move that further dehumanizes the character. And don't get me started about the subliminal message they are sending by literally cutting off her brain from the poster. Have we really transported back in time to the 1970s?
It's not like this is the first time that Warner Bros. has decided to treat female comic book characters as little more than sex objects. Take next week's Suicide Squad, for example. Harley Quinn was a complex character from the comics, but here she is seemingly reduced to a torn shirt three sizes too small and skimpy hot pants. Heck, even Katona's outfit consists of a midruff-bearing t-shirt, while they even found a way to make Enchantress ooze sex.
Sadly, this type of generalization is par for the course for Warner Bros. Who could ever forget the disaster that was Catwoman?
I decided to hit the web and see if everyone else was as outraged as I was, but surprisingly, the reverse was true.
Libby Hill of the LA Times called it "a stunner" and "gets our blood flowing for next year's film."
Maxim, predictably, called it "fantastic" and "unlike anything you've seen before." Actually, I'm getting a bit tired of seeing this type of hyper-sexualized advertising.
And on and on. It seems that most people were too quick to pull the trigger on getting the new poster up in front of their audience's eyes to really think about the implications of the poster. I get it, I'm not a prude and yes, I know that "sex sells" has been a tried and true advertising philosophy for many decades, but isn't it time for a change?
Marvel has had a slightly better track record when it comes to their depiction of women in their comic book films. I mean, I understand to an extent. These characters are based on comics that were written in a different time and for the longest time, the audience for them was mainly teen boys in the throes of puberty.
But, it is 2016 and the times, as the song says, are a changin'. We are ready for a strong, female-fronted superhero film. One that proves that women can kick as much butt as their male counterparts.
I am still hopeful that Wonder Woman will be that film and my wife has already booked a date night for us for June 2, 2017. I just wish that Warner Bros. would get with the times and give us strong marketing images that I would be proud to show my four-year-old daughter.