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Making The Case for Steve Trevor's Return

by Skyler 11 months ago in movie

Analysis and History Lesson

There is plenty of noise regarding Steve Trevor's resurrection in Wonder Woman 1984. Understandably, those who have not seen the movie have a reason for concern with his fate in the first film. Meanwhile, general audiences may even raise an eyebrow. However, how is it comic book fans are skeptical? Steve Trevor is brought back by Diana's wish with the Dreamstone. With all the comic book fans and readers, I ask - this is what bothers you?

The Comic Book Resurrection

Historically, Steve Trevor met his demise in the comics back in 1969. Furthermore, Wonder Woman loses her powers to stay with Steve, for Themysicra is journeying to another dimension. If she wants to maintain her powers, she must go with them. Unfortunately, Steve Trevor is framed, and she wants to be by his side. An understandable and brave decision this is. Sadly, he dies in the next issue. Now she is simply Diana Prince, powerless and no Steve Trevor. Hence, the movie, Wonder Woman 1984, derives some basis from the comic books. Yet, it goes further.

Years later, when Wonder Woman regains her powers, DC Comics resurrects Steve Trevor. In 1976, Aphrodite resurrects Steve Trevor, but he is a brunette who takes the identity of Steven Howard since the public believes Steve Trevor to be dead. He did not have good lawyers like Bruce Wayne does in Batman Begins. Later on, we find this Steven Howard is just the Olympian, Eros, who was carrying the memories of Steve Trevor. When Steven Howard meets his demise, Eros is released. However, DC Comics brings back Steve Trevor again!

No Steven Howard this time. Diana is now mourning the loss of her love, again! She seeks her mother, Hippolyta, Queen of Paradise Island. The Queen prays to the Goddess Aphrodite, who responds by erasing Diana's memories of Steve. Talk about Eternal Sunshine of The Spotless Mind but in 1980. Suddenly, a plane crashes on Paradise Island with its surviving pilot. It is none other than Steve Trevor...from an alternate Earth. Deja vu, as if we are retracing the origin of this couple's first meeting. Aphrodite uses the Mists of Nepenthe, to cover the Earth. In effect, everyone forgets the existence of the original Steve Trevor. Hence, they reboot the relationship between Wonder Woman and Steve Trevor in a sense.

Recall an episode of the Justice League animated series, 'A Knight of Shadows?' In this story, the Justice League is trying to find the Philosopher's Stone before Morgaine Le Fay and her son does. Merlin hides the stone, for Morgaine Le Fay hopes to use it to conquer the kingdom of Camelot and imbue her son, Mordred, with ultimate power. Wonder Woman and The Flash track it down to a man named Harv Hickman, an old archaeologist. When they meet him, he is Hugh Heffner. How this change you ask...

Wonder Woman: Let me understand this. You possess the most powerful object in the world and yet all you wished for is money and women?

Harv Hickman: What else is there?

Philosopher's Stone, Dreamstone, what's in a name? They are you typical deus ex machina that characters in the plot abuse for their selfish reasons. With Harv Hickman's wish, who's to say Wonder Woman cannot make a similar wish as in Wonder Woman 1984?

The Problems of Sex and Romance

Now many seem to have trouble with the notion of Steve Trevor in the body of another man, with Diana being perfectly comfortable 'sleeping' with him as audiences and critics put it. Unless you come from a conservative background, then yes, this may be a reasonable complaint. Nonetheless, Americans always get twisted over the topic of sex. With the old Comics Code Authority, there was no sex on the pages for decades. But we are adults, so is Wonder Woman and her various Steves she loves. No doubt, they were all intimate. How is this any different? In our more liberalizing culture on sex and relationships, what is the issue? Polyamory is growing! Do not forget Diana's Greek origin, and the ancient Greeks are hardly conservative on the topic of sex.

No doubt this is still awkward, yet we seem to forget that Diana is grieving. Steve Trevor was her first love. Do you not remember when you lost your first love, rather it was a death or a break-up? Claiming it is never easy is a huge understatement. Plus, cannot one equate this to the old 'rebound sex' term? We see before Steve's return that Diana is not happy at all. She is just surviving but not living. How would any of us react if, in Diana's shoes, our first love returned from the grave but in another form? Again, if you are grieving like Diana is, possibly you would embrace this lost love as well? By no means am I passing judgment on anyone that makes a decision such as hers. The heart wants what the heart wants. Studies have shown people in such an emotional state make less informed, rational decisions. Lastly, you cannot tell another person how to feel. A parent cannot tell their child how to feel, no more than your therapist cannot tell you how to feel. We may disapprove of one's decisions based on their emotions, but again it is not your decision to make.

There are murmurs that she rapes this man, who we finally meet at the end of the film. Yet, in the late seventies where are these same complaints with Steven Howard? However, this man's body and mind are under the control of Steve Trevor? If we want to continue these rape allegations, is Steve Trevor not guilty as well?

In conclusion, people are brought back from the dead all the time in comic books. Never are they brought back by any real grounded machinations, given we still cannot resurrect people in reality. Comic books do this nonsense all the time, with people from alternate universes, clones, time travel, and much more. Try watching soap operas, they too are guilty of plot lines like this, just not as fantastical. Finally, why does it bother you so much who Wonder Woman sleeps with? Maybe we should sit back and find happiness in that Diana and Steve got to see each other one last time and say goodbye.

If you like what you read here, please feel free to leave a like and or a tip.

Other Wonder Woman pieces of mine...

Kamala Harris, Wonder Woman, She Is Not!

Wonder Woman The Wilsonian

Sources

Wonder Woman #178 (1968), DC Comics

Wonder Woman #179 (1968), DC Comics

Wonder Woman #180 (1969), DC Comics

Wonder Woman #223 (1976), DC Comics

Wonder Woman #248 (1978), DC Comics

Wonder Woman #270 (1980), DC Comics

Wonder Woman #271 (1980), DC Comics

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Skyler

Full-time worker, history student and an avid comic book nerd.

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