“Radio City Music Hall was full to its 5,000-seat brim with comic book fans Sunday night. They were there to see a cinematic first: Batman and Superman together on the big screen, proving once and for all who would win in a fight. When the heroes made their entrances, and when they got in a particularly good punch, the crowd cheered. But when one hero — whose name did not make it into the title — lands in the middle of the movie’s climactic final battle with sword and shield in hand, the crowd went wild.
This is how Wonder Woman, one of the most iconic superheroes of the last century, made her entrance into modern cinema. When Israeli actor Gal Gadot walks on screen in Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, it marks the first time the character has appeared in a live action feature film in her 75 year history.
For context: Batman has appeared in features nine times played by six different actors. Superman has hit the big screen seven times with three different actors donning the red cape.
The importance of this moment — in a world where female comic fans fend off harassment online, where female action stars are paraded around in sexy jumpsuits — can not be understated.
Wonder Woman is not the first female superhero in Hollywood. Scarlett Johansson has been holding down the Marvel female fort since her first appearance as Black Widow in Iron Man 2in 2010. Characters like Storm, Jean Grey and Mystique have been a vital part of the X-Menuniverse for more than a decade. Jennifer Garner even took the Marvel hero Elektra to a headlined movie back in 2005.
But none of them were Wonder Woman. And that means something.
When she was created by Charles Moulton in 1942, Wonder Woman (and her alter ego Diana Prince) became one of the first female superheroes to gain name recognition. Since then she has continued to be one of the most recognizable, despite a presence in pop culture that is markedly smaller than her counterparts…”