By Contributing Writer, Beatriz Barbosa
As a huge supporter of DC Comics and its cinematic universe, I am also a big fan of the three most iconic comic book characters of all time: Superman, Wonder Woman, and Batman. The exemplary trinity of DC comics. With decades worth of storytelling behind them, these characters continue to inspire and bring people together all around the world to celebrate them. Having a variety of different versions across many arcs, the DCEU trinity happens to be one of my favorites. To me, and possibly to others, they are symbols of hope, empowerment, and redemption.
Perhaps one of the best storylines created for Superman is the one being told in DC’s current film slate. Portrayed by Henry Cavill, it is the relatable and emotional story of a newcomer adjusting to life in a brand new place. It is incredibly sentimental to witness the tale of an outsider attempting to lead a “regular” life and it brings back many memories of my first year in America. Seeing Superman not being welcomed mirrors the many unfortunate experiences of a huge percentage of immigrants. As an immigrant, this arc makes me feel understood, especially because the story is being told through a superhero. I have rarely been able to relate to heroes because I often feel as if the problems they face aren’t universal. This, however, is something millions of people, myself included, can comprehend. Zack Snyder’s Superman gives me hope that even when we’re not welcomed, we must resist and keep on fighting because we, just like any other being, deserve to live in a safe environment and have the opportunity to build a better future for ourselves. The symbol of hope is bold and clear in both Man of Steel and Batman v Superman and can be found even in our darkest days. It is a shield stamped on a hero’s chest and impressed forever in our minds.
Wonder Woman – a goddess, a warrior, an emblem of truth. The embodiment of empowerment to both women and men of all ages. Building from the jaw-dropping first appearance of Gal Gadot’s Wonder Woman in Snyder’s BvS, the origin film directed by Patty Jenkins is the epitome of grace and power. One of the biggest takeaways from 2017’s Wonder Woman is that for a character (especially a female character) to be considered strong, they don’t necessarily need to only be vindictive. We all have layers and show more than one emotion. Diana is the female hero we have been waiting for. She is genuinely kind and deeply cares about what she believes is right, and she is willing to fight for those morals she thinks are just. Diana loves and is not afraid to demonstrate the fact that she does, and it is refreshing to watch a female superhero on the big screen not be belittled but rather be portrayed front and center. As said and believed by many, Wonder Woman is not only a historic fictional character but also most importantly she is a mindset. This is felt throughout the entire film, particularly in No Man’s Land, where Diana realizes she has the potential to save lives and lead the battle. She inspires Steve Trevor and the rest of the soldiers. Diana Prince is one–of–a–kind; a badass warrior with a gentle heart.
Batman’s arc as created by Snyder in DC’s extended universe is an honorable one. This is an older version of the world’s greatest detective, “older than his father ever was“, as mentioned in Batman v Superman. A more rugged, broken Bruce Wayne. He seems to have lost hope in humanity and is willing to cross certain lines that previous live–action Batmen hadn’t crossed before. Until near the end of Batman v Superman, Bruce is unwilling to listen to Clark and believes that Superman shouldn’t exist just for the sake of his ominous power over other human beings. He is reluctant to open up to others and works alone (besides Alfred), and it takes Superman’s sacrifice for Bruce to realize that there is still good in men. The beautiful monologue shared with Diana at Clark’s funeral shows just how much he has come to terms with all the tragedies in his life. Bruce finally understands from Clark’s selfless sacrifice that people will keep fighting for what they believe in and that no matter how much damage is done, there is still another chance to rebuild and grow from our failures. And as promised, Bruce didn’t fail him in death. He teamed up with Wonder Woman and the other members of the Justice League to fight united against whatever evil he knew was coming. Bruce Wayne was swallowed by guilt and chose to redeem himself by uniting a team, from which he gained hope once again in justice and humanity.
By no means do I believe these characters must always fit into this box of characteristics I’ve described, but these have been the points that most stood out to me in the DCEU films. There is so much more room to grow and build not only for the characters but also for their relationships and dynamics. I look forward to seeing more from them on the big screen as they continue to inspire us to be superheroes in our own world.