The big three of DC Comics are finally joining forces on the big-screen, but one of those heroes in particular made a huge splash at San Diego Comic-Con.
No, we're not talking about Batman, even though his "Dark Knight Returns"-inspired armored appearance was pretty damn cool. Instead, it's the first official Wonder Woman photo that stood out as the big surprise. There's been a lot of talk about how director Zack Snyder plans to include the Amazonian warrior in his "Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice," with some even guessing that Gal Gadot wouldn't suit up in all her Wonder Woman glory except for a scene or two.
Even if that's the case, we can take comfort in knowing that as Wonder Woman, Gal Gadot looks good. Really, really good. Let's take a closer look.
No spandex, no tights. Wonder Woman is armored up. Everything is forged from some kind of metal, giving her the appearance of a lethal warrior. That's exactly the kind of Wonder Woman that fans deserve and need to see.
Wonder Woman's indestructible bracelets are as advertised: They can't be destroyed! With the bracelets, Wonder Woman can deflect and guard just about any attack. You can bank on seeing those bracelets in action - slow-motion, Snyder-style at some point in "Dawn of Justice."
The bracelets aren't just used for defense. In the comics, Wonder Woman uses them to conceal and conjure up swords, one of which is seen in the first Wonder Woman photo. Beyond that, we also see the Lasso of Truth at her hip, a weapon she can use to compel the truth out of anyone it contacts.
Short version: Wonder Woman is armed up and ready for battle.
The Kryptonian Connection
Make of this what you will: Jett of BatmanOnFilm.com highlighted Wonder Woman's tiara as somehow linked to Krypton. There are rumors that the superheroes of the DC Cinematic Universe are all descended from Superman's home world in some way, shape or form — a big deviation from comic-book canon. Do you see the link?
Even beyond the Krypton connection, though, the tiara has combat purposes: Wonder Woman's been known to use it as a throwing weapon from time to time.
Flat-footed boots would seem to make the most sense for a combat-heavy character, but there's the practical matter of boosting Gal Gadot's height to consider. At 5'9," the boots add some extra Amazonian height to the character, allowing her to stand closer to Henry Cavill's 6'1" and Ben Affleck's 6'4" statures.
I mean, just look at that. Look at that! Superman, Wonder Woman and Batman, reunited in live-action at last. If nothing else, it's an iconic image, just as Snyder promised months ago.
The Big Takeaway
More than anything else, the Wonder Woman of "Dawn of Justice" looks recognizably like Wonder Woman. There's no bomber jacket, like the lukewarmly received 2010 Jim Lee redesign. She's a closer cousin to the animated "Wonder Woman" movie's design, which, for my money, is one of the best DC Comics movies of all time, live-action included.
But the aesthetic of "Dawn of Justice" was never really in doubt. There are plenty of people who don't care for Snyder's visual sensibilities, but going into a Snyder movie, you have a sense of what the experience will look like. And with icons like Batman and Wonder Woman in his hands, it was never really a question that Snyder would do his best to get it right. (He might forget about their underpants, but that's another story.)
The real question is, design aside, will "Dawn of Justice" work as a movie? "Man of Steel" is one of the most divisive superhero films of the modern age. A lot rides on "Dawn of Justice" succeeding. We now know that Gadot looks great as Wonder Woman. But will she embody Wonder Woman in her performance? And can Snyder convince us that Gadot's Wonder Woman, Affleck's Batman and Cavill's Superman can all coexist in the same universe?
We'll know for sure on May 6, 2016, when "Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice" finally arrives.