My wife and my daughter saw Wonder Woman on Friday, and my oldest two sons saw it on Saturday. (Our youngest is a toddler, so we can’t go to movies together right now.) Before the boys and I went to the theater, I took my daughter to our local comic shop for some free comics and to have her picture made with a Wonder Woman cosplayer.
After I snapped the pic, the cosplayer smiled at my daughter and told her, “Go protect your family!” It’s what you’d expect a superhero cosplayer to say to a kid, but the admonition struck me as odd and stuck with me for the rest of the day.
Later when I took my boys to see the movie, I felt a swell of pride as my two older sons got excited during the No Man’s Land scene and the following scene in the village. To them it’s just as cool for Wonder Woman to take down German soldiers and defend the helpless as it is when Captain America does it, and that makes me proud.
At the end of the day, these two things are what I found myself thinking about: my boys hopping in their seats as Wonder Woman kicked ass, and the cosplayer encouraging my daughter to kick ass if her family is threatened.
I get it: Wonder Woman is a superhero. She kicks ass, and that’s great. The No Man’s Land scene is now one of my favorite scenes from any movie, and I got the same thrill from watching her take down the German sniper as my boys did. But I hope that people who see the movie––girls, boys, kids, adults, everybody––get what makes it a great movie and what makes Diana a hero: her compassion, and her determination to do what’s good even when it costs her something.