Wonder Woman’s Boyfriend Inverts the Damsel in Distress Trope

Warner Bros. Pictures

When Wonder Woman isn’t busy saving the world, the Amazon warrior princess spends her spare time with the very human man in her life. Steve Trevor, classically an intelligence officer in the United States Air Force in the DC Comic Universe, is the ultimate “gentleman in jeopardy,” throwing the damsel in distress trope for a loop.

It’s really not poor Steve’s (Chris Pine) fault that he’s nothing more than a mere human. And the new Wonder Woman trailer gave us some hints into which story lines are being kept (and changed) for Steve and Diana’s (Gal Gadot) romantic relationship in the upcoming film.

First off, Steve is a pilot and crash lands off the coast of Paradise Island. Diana, witnessing the crash, dives off a cliff and swims Steve to shore. In the 1940s DC comics, Diana nurses Steve back to health and falls in love with him in the process. She follows him to “Man’s World” to be with him where she works as a nurse at his side but moonlights as Wonder Woman. Steve notices that Diana bares a “striking resemblance” to the hero, but doesn’t suspect they’re the same person.

That doesn’t seem to be the case in the upcoming Wonder Woman. Instead, it looks like Diana is prompted to go to war to do what she does best after her “sister” is shot: Never stand by “while innocent lives are lost.” Steve’s just along for the ride and benefits from having an Amazon at his side to protect him.

The trailer even pokes fun at the expectations for women during World War I. Steve introduces Diana as his “secretary,” a “very good secretary,” to his colleagues — the dialogue is intermingled with shots of Diana fighting off what looks to be four bad guys and saving Steve from a bullet with her Bracelets of Submission. The trailer ends with Diana demanding how a woman could possibly fight in the poofy dresses people keep putting her in.

Whereas it’s usually the woman taking a backseat in superhero films, it’s nice to know that the titular character of the first female-led superhero movie in over a decade is calling the shots. Marvel’s Elektra came out in 2005, but it seems DC officially beat Marvel to the punch this time around as it looks to challenge its audience’s expectations.

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