Instead of comparing this female superhero to the average man, the idea is to compare Wonder Woman to another superhero, for example Superman. In the film Man of Steel, Henry Cavil portrays the role of Superman. The majority of the movie he goes by the name Clark Kent, and he discovers that he was born with special powers. Clark begins his journey to uncover where he comes from, and he figures out his purpose on earth (Superman). During a series of events, the hero in Clark rises as he tries to become a symbol of hope for all mankind. The Wonder Woman and Man of Steel film differ in terms of backstory, but are similar in terms of secret identity and love interests.
One difference between Wonder Woman and Superman is their backstories. “She was an immortal warrior, raised on an island utopia populated exclusively by women, who journeyed to Earth to fight crime” (Lang 74). Diana, princess of the Amazons and daughter of Hippolyta was raised on a man-free island called Themyscira, and she is an Amazon warrior. In the film, Diana’s aunt Antiope tells her, “You’re stronger than you believe. You have greater powers than you know” (Wonder Woman).
Hippolyta, Diana’s mother, was against training Diana, for she knew her daughter had special gifts. Diana’s powers were far greater than any other Amazon’s. Out of the blue, a plane crashes in Themyscira waters. Diana rescues the pilot inside the plane, and causes destruction on her island. In the film, German soldiers chasing the pilot in the plane fight the Amazons in battle, resulting in the death of Diana’s aunt Antiope, one of the greatest warriors on the island (Wonder Woman).
The pilot explains the war happening in the outside world. Diana believes all of these events are happening for a reason, that reason being The God of War known as Ares. “This is a woman who has been raised in a very sheltered environment, who is curious what life is like outside. She wants to be where the people are” (Sperling 20). Diana sneaks out of Themyscira with the pilot, and her many weapons. “not-so-sexy weapons that include a shield, a lasso of truth, and a pair of indestructible bracelets—” (Sperling 20). She also takes the sword she believes will kill the god of war, and restore peace into the world. Diana runs into a few incidents along the way, but she finally catches Ares, and she destroys the god of war during an intense battle.
Superman’s origin story is different to Wonder Woman’s. On planet Krypton, a baby by the name Kal-El is the first naturally conceived child in centuries, but Krypton is on the brink of extinction. Kal-El is unique, and he is not like others on his planet. Goyer states, “People were bred to be warriors or scientists or what-have-you, and there’s a whole element in the movie about nature versus nurture” (qtd. in Breznican and Jensen 34). Jor-El saves Kal-El’s life by shipping him off in a space craft towards earth. Despite Kryptonian’s being far more impressive than the average human on earth, Jor-El proceeds with his decision. “A kindly Kansas farm couple who quietly adopt the boy and teach him those all-American values that will shape the ways he will someday use his great powers” (Breznican and Jensen 34). Kal-El is given the name Clark Kent by Jonathan and Martha Kent, who are now his parents.
One day, Jonathan explains to Clark what happened the day his spacecraft landed on their farm, Jonathan says, “this was in the chamber with you” while handing a piece of unknown metal to a teenage Clark (Superman). With this information Clark seeks for an explanation, but little did he know he was going to trigger something unpleasant. General Zod, a Kryptonian, lands on earth and is looking for Kal-El. Zod’s mission is to destroy humans on earth, and to repopulate with genetically conceived Kryptonian’s, but he needs the genetic codex to accomplish this. The codex Zod is looking for is the item that was left in the spacecraft Kal-El was sent in. In the film, General Zod says, “I have journeyed across an ocean of stars to reach you” (Superman). This message motivates Clark, and further in the film helps him transform into Superman. After securing the codex from a back and forth brawl with Zod, Superman defeats General Zod and is left as the only living Kryptonian.
Wonder Woman and Superman have similar secret identities. Diana gets her alter ego from Steve Trevor, the pilot she left her island with. Diana Prince also wears glasses, but in the film it is unspoken what her job in the real world is. In the film, Diana struggles to find her identity. Though she never identifies as Wonder Woman in the movie, her character still suits up in a superhero outfit, and she fights for justice (Wonder Woman). When she gets back into character as Diana Prince, her superhero attitude sticks around. This makes her outspoken because men during that time were not used to a woman speaking her mind. Superman also has a secret identity similar to Wonder Woman’s. Superman is also known as Clark Kent in the film.
Cavil says, “Imagine what it would be like to be someone like Clark Kent/Kal-El, and feel like a stranger amongst even those that you love, never developing full relationships with people for fear of them discovering how much of a freak you are” (qtd. in Breznican and Jensen 34). In the film, Clark was a very isolated boy growing up. He was learning more about himself as he grew older, and he was afraid that his special powers were going to affect his life negatively. Snyder says, “He can’t fight back like a normal person. He’s sort of trapped by that in a weird way” (qtd. in Breznican and Jensen 34). Towards the end of the film, Clark identifies as Clark Kent, and he is a journalist. He also wears glasses and a suit. Despite his attempt at living a normal life, he stays equip to transform into Superman when he’s needed.
Lastly, another similarity between Wonder Woman and Superman are their love interests. Wonder Woman’s love interest is Steve Trevor, and he is also the man who crashed on Themyscira. In the film, Steve Trevor says, “I wish we had more time—I love you!” (Wonder Woman). Right before Steve parted ways with Diana, he tells her that he loves her and he gives her his watch. Throughout the film, Diana and Steve flirt a bit and they make it obvious that they’re into each other. Like in Wonder Woman, Superman has a love interest of his own. Clark’s love interest is Lois Lane. Lois says, “You know what they say, it’s all downhill after the first kiss” (Superman). At the end of the film, Superman has his first kiss with Lois Lane.
Before this took place, Clark saves Lois’ life on a Kryptonian ship when a robot attacks her. Lois and Clark flirt a bit throughout the film, but never officially say that they like each other. Clark saves her multiple times throughout the film, and he shows that he cares when doing so (Superman). Both Wonder Woman and Superman have distant but inseparable relationships with their love interests. In a way, Steve Trevor and Lois Lane are considered to be a damsel in distress in the films. Steve and Lois are also a weakness to Wonder Woman and Superman. No matter what situation Steve and Lois are in, their superhero’s always come to the rescue.
In conclusion, both the Wonder Woman film and Superman film contrast, but they are also very similar. In Wonder Woman, Diana, princess of the Amazons, encounters a series of events that make her act out on rational decisions. Diana leaves the island she knows and loves to protect the world from evil that lives within mankind. Superman leaves his world for a greater purpose in life. Kal-El, a Kryptonian baby is shipped off to earth on a spacecraft. He adjusts on a farm in Kansas, and identifies as Clark Kent. Like Wonder Woman, Clark Kent wants to protect the world with the special gifts he was born with, but he wants to do it as his alter ego. Both Wonder Woman and Superman restore peace into the world with their love interests by their side. The Wonder Woman and Man of Steel film differ in terms of backstory, but are similar in terms of secret identity and love interests.