The much-anticipated Warner Bros' release of Wonder Woman 1984 had its share of ups and downs. Obviously, quite a number from within the entertainment industry remain furious at the studios' decision to have simultaneous releases (for now) of their tentpole blockbusters from now through 2021 and the cat's out of the bag on the Patty Jenkins film. Here are my five questions/observations of the DC Extended Universe film.
Wonder Woman 1984 Suffered from Same Issues as some Spider-Man Sequels
Depending on how you feel about the 2007 Sam Raimi sequel in Spider-Man 3 and the 2014 Marc Webb's Amazing Spider-Man 2 where it overstretched itself too thin where it affected the development of the film's villains in Max Lord (Pedro Pascal) and Barbara Minerva/Cheetah (Kristen Wiig). The similarities are pretty uncanny. While Max isn't a thief like Flint Marko/Sandman was, his moral compass is almost completely shot to the point where pride and shame largely dictate his actions for something better for his child. The difference mainly is Max doesn't become a sand mutant, but the Wishmaster. Meanwhile, without any real build-up, Barbara becomes kind of a hybrid between Eddie Brock/Venom from SM3 and Harry Osborn in TAS2. Like Harry, there's this bond we never see and like Eddie, a jealousy that develops in a real short amount of time. I mean, Cheetah is supposed to be Wonder Woman's biggest rival, but it never gets to the point where the audience has time to go through the motions.
Will Cheetah Come Back?
So now that Barbara had a taste of power granted from a couple of wishes, will we see her come back in that Cheetah form that's more closely resembles the comic? It was an artifact that helped render her permanent change. Also, for semantics sake, did she renounce her first wish to get her Cheetah form, or did her two wishes stack? Did she lose all of her enhanced abilities when Max renounced his wish to have the powers of the crystal? Generally, with superhero films, you don't see back-to-back appearances with the third film recently announced. It's a shame, too, because the Cheetah arc could have been so much more.
Steve Trevor Shouldn't Have Come Back
This ties to the earlier points about Cheetah. As important as Steve Trevor (Chris Pine) is to the development of Diana Prince/Wonder Woman (Gal Gadot) character, he just largely got in the way. Sure, one can say it humanizes Diana like us, but you know what else does? How about her friendship and bond with Barbara? There's a golden opportunity missed here since, at one point, Diana was admittedly bi in the comics. What would be wrong with Barbara and Diana having feelings for one another? It would make audiences feel for Barbara's fall, even more, when she gets to be too much. Hell, I wouldn't even be against throwing Steve back there as that third wheel who comes back into Diana's life that spurns Barbara's jealousy. Either way, Jenkins and co-writer Geoff Johns and Dave Callaham missed out on this opportunity to put a button on this rivalry. Cheetah had the potential to be to Wonder Woman what Lex Luthor is to Superman and Joker is to Batman, and they blew it.
What of Max Lord?
Depending on which canon you follow, the comics' version of the character is a master manipulator and perhaps shares too many characteristics with Lex running his own tech company and has his own share of issues with superheroes. Obviously, the WW84 version has none of that and instead made him a sympathetic character as many times as they remind you by shoving his son in front of your face. It doesn't seem to make logistical sense; after all the trouble of making him a "redeemable" character, he comes back to his "scheming" ways. Guess they can just take his son away in the next film or another future one to make him snap, reverting back to his old ways. In the grand scheme of things, it seems like he was targeted just as a one-off character. The only other logistical way that makes sense is if DCEU gives him his tech company to help the Justice League.
Who's Next for Wonder Woman 3
There is no tease to what will happen with the next film, provided no last-minute disaster makes Jenkins and/or Gadot quit. I'm not jinxing it. Just ask Ben Affleck and Henry Cavill about their relations with DC and Warner Bros. The post-credit scene is an obvious nod to Lynda Carter introducing the former TV WW to the current canon as the legendary Amazonian warrior Asteria. Now the question is, who will be next? Not sure if you can create any deep story with Giganta since she just ultimately fits into canon as much as a super sentai character. First Born can be as devastating and brutal as General Zod was in Man of Steel (2013), using his brute strength to reign terror on earth when he was a threat to the Gods of Olympus. Circe is one of Wonder Woman's biggest villains, using her magic to wreak havoc, for starters, turning humans into animals. Who do you think would fit the bill?