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Why Wonder Woman Deserves Her Own Animated Series

Guest contributor Jeremy Harrison thinks it's high time for Wonder Woman to get her own animated series.

Recently, DC released a movie that has been a long time coming: Wonder Woman! The movie exceeded expectations, which is great- because maybe we can finally get more comic book Heroines on the big and small screen from both DC and Marvel.  But why has it taken so long?

Looking at Wonder Woman’s male counterparts from both live action and animated movies; Superman and Batman star in roughly 16 live action movies and 16 animated movies between them. Wonder Woman, until now, has had just one animated movie, that was made 8 years ago at the time of this article and it underperformed selling only 102,890 copies earning around 2 million dollars.

Batman Under The Red Hood, for example, pulled in five times as much money for DC. Batman as such is a smart decision marketing wise, heck it’s even why he was in Justice League Dark. In my opinion, since Wonder Woman's world is about magic and gods, I think she would have fit the story better, but people do love their Batman as the sales clearly say. They love him so much that Harley Quinn, Batgirl, Catwoman and Katana keep getting mentioned around the DC office but not Wonder Woman.

  • Harley is due in an upcoming animated movie with Batman coming this fall
  • Batgirl has a live-action movie on the way
  • Catwoman had her own movie and I could be mistaken but I think her character gets more respect then Wonder Woman at DC.
  • Katana whom was in Suicide Squad and is related to Batman because she’s an “Outsider” and Batman led that team for a bit.

However, one must keep in mind that Wonder Woman is part of the famous Trinity. One of the three greatest heroes in the DC Universe and she’s been around for 75 years now and yet she hasn’t shared the media coverage/fame as her male counterparts. But because DC looks more at the all-mighty-dollar more so than trying to be creative and push the boundaries and see what people would like …. they try to stay safe.  DC had decided there just wasn’t enough interest in the Wonder Woman character, but she deserves more and better than just being rendered as a side character in the Justice League animated movies. Again, she’s part of the Trinity! DC needs to show her respect worthy of being in the Trinity and the opportunity to blossom.

Now- take-into-account the lack of material available outside of comics that there are of Wonder Woman; and, you're trying to explain who she is to the lay-person, this is the reaction you’ll likely to get:

Fans of the character probably know they made a Wonder Woman TV pilot back in 2011 which no studio picked up. While the show’s pilot was reported to be bad, it’s too bad the creators couldn’t make it work to increase awareness of this awesome character. And yes, they made a show back in the 70s, but how many people today remember it or have watched it? How many people know about Electra Woman and Dyna Girl?

Batman has so many different incarnations that every generation has their own version of Batman and (to a lesser degree) Superman, but the same cannot be said of Wonder Woman.  She pops up in teams and groups, but this is not enough. If the boys can have their own show then Wonder Woman needs her own show too.

However, I’m not a huge fan of bringing these iconic characters to our world. The seriousness and the silliness of Super Heroes really work best in the world of animation. I will never get why the majority of people prefer live-action over animation. It should depend on what you’re trying to adapt and what medium is best utilized for that. For proof, see: Dragon Ball, Death Note, Ghost in the Shell, Beauty and the Beast, Fairly Odd Parents, and Avatar The Last Airbender.

I would like to point out there are exceptions to everything, but generally every time I see a live action adaptation of something that was animated it’s never better than the original. A show can explore her history, character, and enemies a lot better than just a simple movie.

We can start with the basics like how she was made by the Gods. The original story is that she was made from Clay. In the rebooted universe, she is Zeus’s daughter and that’s what they went with for the 2017 movie. In the book Earth One, she’s Hercules’s Daughter. Her exact origin doesn’t matter, what does matter is getting her character right and how the DC Universe sees her.

That’s the 2nd Blue Beetle, Ted Kord looking up the stats for Wonder Woman. One might think that due to her power set, she just a Superman clone, but her personality is completely different.

For one, because she was trained to fight and wield her powers properly.  Heck- in the rebooted DC universe the person who trained her to fight was Ares the God of War where she came to accept him as a surrogate father. He’s not the villain in the comics as he is in the live action movie that just came out.

Since the current live action movie makes it canon that she doesn’t age, you can start her off in War World II, when she first appeared in comics back in 1941 and have the show take a look at different generations. It’s WW II that pushed Wonder Woman to leave her island of Themyscira behind and help bring compassion and mercy to the world. If Superman is about hope, then Wonder Woman is about mercy and second chances and allowing humanity to grow on our own not only through the sword but through diplomacy. She is a trained warrior, yes- but she has also studied and had a lot of time to digest various philosophy books of great Greek scholars for centuries.

Scenes from Justice Leauge the animated series

In the Justice League episode, Savage Time the League have to go back in time to help the Allies win WW II. In a lot of ways, it’s actually close to the live action movie that just came out but better, because it is a perfect amalgamation of seriousness and silliness that only animation can really bridge.  Again your mileage may vary.

  • Both the show and the movie are set in a wartime setting.
  • The War is going badly for our allies because the villain is giving the enemy fantastic weapons.
  • Super Hero/Super Heroine comes in and levels the playing field.
  • The regular men and women of the day triumphed/win the day.  
The Justice League show gave us many more Wonder Woman moments and events to enjoy, but the same could be said of the old Super Friends shows and perhaps with the return of Young Justice we can focus on the character and her side kicks, Wonder Girl,  Donna Troy and/or Cassandra Sandsmark.

Perhaps we can get a live action show involving those characters or better yet, an animated show on Cartoon Network, one that pay homage to the 1970s version such as they did in Batman: Brave and the Bold.

And who knows maybe we will see the Trinity in a Wonder Woman show, I know we will get another movie now, but a show to really explore her character and endear her to a new generation of fans would be like a dream come true.

If you agree, then why not head over and sign  Jermaine Dickerson's petition on Change.org or get involved on Twitter using the hashtag #WonderWomanTAS.