Wonder Woman 1984 has finally arrived after many, many different release dates. Patty Jenkins’ film was decidedly divisive, and it definitely didn’t have the near-universal acclaim of the 2017 original. Nevertheless, Wonder Woman 3 has been officially announced, with Jenkins returning as director, and Gal Gadot returning as Diana Prince. But how do can a third Wonder Woman movie earn the universal love of the first?
The smartest thing here would be to double down on the Greek mythology aspect of Diana’s source material—which 1984 woefully glossed over—and to adapt the actual stories found in the very best Wonder Woman comics. Below are five comic book storylines we think should inspire the forthcoming third film, which would ensure perhaps the best Wonder Woman movie yet.
“The Challenge of the Gods” (Wonder Woman, Vol. 2, #10-13)
This storyline came early in George Perez’s seminal reboot of Wonder Woman in the late ‘80s. After rejecting the advances of Zeus (who at this point in DC continuity was decidedly not Diana’s father), the King of Mount Olympus forced Diana to undergo a journey to prove her worth to the gods. She embarked on a harrowing mission through Doom’s Doorway, the portal under the island of Themyscira leading to the Underworld.
Beneath the island, Diana faced off against all kinds of mythological monsters, like a cyclops, minotaur, and hydra. She also encounters lost loved ones in the realm of Hades. This would be a perfect scenario for a third Wonder Woman film. It could bring in some much needed Greek mythology into the story, and show off Diana’s unmatched battle prowess. An encounter in the realm of Hades with her departed loved ones could also provide some closure. Especially with the likes of her Amazonian aunt Antiope and Steve Trevor.
“The Witch on the Island” (Wonder Woman, Vol. 2, #19)
This is another early George Perez tale, which reinvented the classic Wonder Woman foe Circe. The immortal enchantress from Greek myth is mainly known for turning men into pigs in Homer’s Odyssey. In the comics, her enmity towards Diana stems from an ancient prophecy; she believes means that Diana will steal her powers, thus robbing her of her eternal life.
This story sees Diana face off against Circe on her mythical island home in the Mediterranean. Circe is one of Wonder Woman’s top tier villains, and is a formidable foe for her to face onscreen. Besides, the villain best known for transforming humans into animals could be responsible for bringing back Cheetah. Circe stands right alongside Ares and Cheetah as Diana’s greatest enemies in the comics, and we think she deserves to be on the big screen.
“Paradise Found” (Wonder Woman, Vol. 2 #177)
Writer/artist Phil Jimenez was greatly influenced by the George Perez run of comics from the ’80s and ’90s. His two-year run on Wonder Woman in the early 2000s is a spiritual sequel in many ways to that seminal era. In issue #177, Jimenez restores the island of Themyscira into a new and highly advanced nation, after its having been nearly destroyed in the previous years’ worth of stories. The broad strokes of this story, which saw the paradise island home of the Amazons join the modern world, could be adapted into something very cool onscreen. Ditto Jimenez’s designs for a new and advanced Themyscira.
“The Eyes of the Gorgon” (Wonder Woman, Vol. 2, #206-213)
This storyline, written by Greg Rucka, ran in issues #206-213 of the second volume of Wonder Woman. This storyline also ties deeply into Greek myth, and shows the Amazing Amazon facing off against the serpent-headed gorgon Medusa (here spelled Medousa). Realizing there is only way to defeat a creature whose gaze can turn one into stone, Diana goes so far as to blind herself to defeat her. First translated into animation for the movie Wonder Woman: Bloodlines, this story really should get a live-action equivalent.
JLA: A League of One (Original Graphic Novel)
This might be the hardest to adapt in a standalone Wonder Woman film, due to all the Justice League heroes involved. Despite the JLA title, this is a Wonder Woman story through and through. This original graphic novel finds Diana reeling when the Oracle at Delphi gives her the knowledge that the Justice League will die saving the Earth from an ancient dragon.
Determined to keep her friends from dying, Diana beats each one of her teammates one by one until only she remains, literally a “league of one.” This story shows how Wonder Woman is resourceful enough to subdue all her JLA teammates. Yes, even Superman. But also how she is caring and compassionate enough to go to any lengths to save them.
Featured Image: Warner Bros.