Yes, we love Wonder Woman, but this is NOT the first superheroine movie ever. Yes, Wonder Woman did hit the box office hard and became the top box office superheroine film to date. This success comes as no surprise, as she is also the most enduring superheroine in comic book history.
We all know “Wonder Woman” is amazing, the story of the movie is great, well told, Patty Jenkins really did an amazing job at delivering a believable Amazon warrior heroine we all love so much. Gal Gadot was simply the perfect choice for this role, BUT, she is not the first.
These ladies paved the way for her, and we have to give them credit for it.
Not even Halle Berry’s presence could redeem this terrible spinoff of Batman. It got seven nominations in the Golden Raspberry Awards which celebrate the worst movies of the year – and this film won 4 of them. Her acceptance speech somehow made it way better, when she climbed on stage and said “I’d like to thank Warner Brothers, thank you for putting me in a piece of (bleep) Godawful movie, it was JUST what my career needed. You know, I was at the top, and ‘Catwoman’ just plummeted me to the bottom. Love it.” But, if we put that aside, this was a film about a woman who revealed a new, strong side of her personality, and she was indeed a superheroine. As bad as this movie was, it has shown that we need more female superheroes.
Buffy the Vampire Slayer
One of the most empowering TV shows of all time, this masterpiece of Joss Whedon, still has a massive following for a good reason. She was strong, she was witty, kind of lost and girly, but she was the very first girl on small screens to be the hero without a strong male figure to fight alongside her. This show has shown us that a female superhero can have character development, that she doesn’t have to be one-dimensional kickass who sacrifices everything to her secret hero life. She had emotions, relationships, responsibilities and she managed everything successfully, opening a new path for the genre and showing that women can have a decent place in it.
Laura Kinney / X 23
This year Logan reinvented the superhero movie and provided an appropriate substitution for Hugh Jackman’s Wolverine role. The true star of this movie was X 23 played by young Daphne Keen. Whether she was plunging her claws into a skull of an enemy or delivering a heartbreaking monolog, this girl blew apart the “violent teen” tropes with her embodiment of Laura’s pain and alienation. This little heroine has shown to us that even a girl in pain can be an inspiring superhero, and the fact that she was so close to Wonder Woman (same year of release) made the audience crave for strong ladies even more.
She was strong, she kicked ass, she was a genetically enhanced superhuman who could jump, fight and solve any problem that came before her, while saving the innocents. It’s wild popularity gave Hollywood a glimpse of what the audience wants from their lead ladies – to be deep, thoughtful while being able to handle their business.
There is both the 1984 movie and the current CW series. Before the Girl of Steel got her current show, this character was played by Helen Slater in an earnest, although not amazing film set in the same universe with Christopher Reeve’s Superman. For all of its shortcomings, this film was about a superheroine made of steel and it was much better that Reeve’s second Superman film. As for the Supergirl TV series that is currently airing, we can only say that with an avalanche of comic superheroes, people wanted to see a superheroine, and her popularity is not showing signs of ceasing.
Most of these superheroines were not hits, but they gave the audience a taste of strong, willful leading ladies that Wonder Woman used perfectly.