Looking Like Wonder Woman

So you’ve no doubt heard the criticism that Gal Gadot doesn’t look like Wonder Woman. Okay, let’s get something out in the open before going any further. As a general rule, the DC cinematic universe has made some questionable choices as to the visual appearance of its characters. Many of them strike me as a cross between oversized plastic toys and clothing models despite the enlistment of some good actors to play them.  Marvel Studios, on the other hand, knows their product as well as their demographic, and they usually get their visuals right. Let me add that these are my impressions as a viewer and that I don’t mean to be critical in a negative way. I just think DC can do better than they’ve done so far.

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Having said this, I don’t think Gal Gadot is a bad choice to play Wonder Woman. She has been criticized as being a former model with too delicate an appearance, but she was in the Israeli military. During her term of service, she completed a rigorous course of physical training, evidently in impressive fashion. On that count, let’s not be too quick to judge on the basis of appearance. Let’s see how the movie turns out.

So, in response to the statement that Gal Gadot doesn’t look like Wonder Woman, I must ask an obvious question. What does Wonder Woman look like? I’m trying to limit my pictures to faces as much as I can. Here’s her original conception (enlarged from the first cover, even) by H. G. Peter:

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Her likeness was allegedly based on that of Olive Byrne, the mistress of Wonder Woman creator William Molton Marston…

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… but she could just as easily be said to resemble Jane Russell (top) or Rosalind Russell (bottom), who were actresses from that era.

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If you look at enough panels of the original issues, I think you will notice that Wonder Woman’s physique was far less muscular than in modern portrayals.

Here’s a panel by George Perez…

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… one by Adam Hughes…

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… and one , if your mind is not sufficiently stretched by now, by Darwyn Cooke:

Does Linda Carter look like Wonder Woman, or (perhaps more appropriately) do we think of Wonder Woman as looking like Linda Carter?

Wonder Woman Complete Series DVD UK Box Set Lynda Carter (Pictures by dvdbash.wordpress.com)

Was Alex Ross thus influenced? Well, yes. He admitted as much, but even he has portrayed this character with slight variations.

Artist: Alex Ross (Credit: DC Comics)
Artist: Alex Ross (Credit: DC Comics)

So does Gal Gadot look like Wonder Woman? Well, I’m beginning to think that  Wonder Woman doesn’t look like Wonder Woman. Provided this more recent actress is given a decent script, I’m willing to leave a little room for creative adaptation.

WONDER WOMAN

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14 thoughts on “Looking Like Wonder Woman”

  1. Still nope! I wanna like her but I just don’t. Ww is one of my favorite DC characters and I WANT to like Gadot. Her credentials are impressive, but…

    I’m guessing it’s something in particular about Gadot that’s bothering me, becasue I like all the other portrayals of WW. My favorites are the Adam Hughes, and Alex Ross versions. I grew up with the George Perez and Linda Carter versions.

    On the other hand, maybe its the trailers that give me a bad impression. Maybe if I saw the full movie, I’d like her, but I’m reluctant to see the movie because of the trailers.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Given who Wonder Woman is supposed to be… an Amazon… I always thought she “should” look Greek perhaps. I thought, for example, the actress Melina Kanakaredes (hope I spelled that right, too lazy to look it up right now) from CSI: NY was nearly the spitting image of George Perez version and she had the Greek genes too!

    Of course, she’s too old to play young Wonder Woman now… but back in the day, she was my pick for the role! That said… I agree with everything you said about Gal Gadot, in some ways being a real-life Wonder Woman in the Israeli service… and she has at least a middle-eastern look to her that works for me in the role of an Amazon.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. To me Wonder Woman needs to look beautiful, feminine and confident. So fr its what I’ve gotten from the new Wonder Woman. The question is can Gal Gadot act? I am hesitant or even scared to answer this honestly. Here’s to prove me wrong.

    Liked by 1 person

      1. Well it’s more of a director’s job to make an actor look good, but you’re right, if the lines are bad you’re gonna have a new Anakin Skywalker but I worry when the lines will be good. Sure, then those duties for sure go to the director, but how much of the movie can the director cut out to make an actor look good? So Gal Gadot is not a good actress, maybe she made some improvements, but in BvS she had under 20 lines and in the final battle she never even spoke to Superman and not all her lines in that sounded well delivered.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. I was under the impression that they staged her ineffectively, and it is my hope that a female director will do better with her. I won’t go so far as to say she’s a great actress just yet, but I suspect she has some ability that has not yet had a chance to show itself. For possible similarity, consider Jessica Lange’s first performance in King Kong in 1976. It was poorly scripted and poorly delivered, but she later matured into a formidable actress.

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