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Wonder Woman 1984: Why Does Diana Don The Golden Eagle Armor?

Wonder Woman 1984 is the sequel to the universally acclaimed Wonder Woman (2017) starring Gal Gadot as Diana of Themyscira. Directed by Patty Jenkins, Wonder Woman 1984 is set after 60 years of the events of its prequel. The movie also stars Pedro Pascal as Maxwell Lord and Kristen Wiig as Dr. Barbara Ann Minerva aka The Cheetah.

Prior to its second trailer release in the upcoming DC FanDome event scheduled to be held on 22nd August 2020, Wonder Woman 1984‘s first trailer and set photos are a colorful homage to the ’80s era pop-culture. With popping colors and upbeat background music, the first trailer showed Wonder Woman in her full glory which included some kinetic fight sequences and swinging from lightning in the most spectacular way possible.

If the theatrics weren’t appealing enough, Wonder Woman went even further to treat long time comic book fans with a bigger surprise. Yes, she donned the Golden Eagle Armor which was first seen in Mark Waid and Alex Ross’ Kingdom Come. As Kingdom Come was set under Elseworlds imprint, the breathtaking armor finally made it to the main continuity in  Wonder Woman #144.

Also see: Pedro Pascal Prefers Working With Wonder Woman Over Baby Yoda

However, no matter how breathtaking the Golden Eagle Armor looks, it doesn’t serve any practical purpose in the comics. Being an Amazonian demigoddess, Wonder Woman is practically invincible to most physical attacks. Yet, she donned the famous Golden Eagle Armor in Kingdom Come.

Despite being one of the strongest and fiercest members of the Justice League, Diana is always the voice of reason. To handle a group of genius, paranoid, and superhuman members, Diana always saves the day with her eloquent rationale backed by compassion. Never the first one to declare war, Diana always offers peace as the first option, which was also shown in Wonder Woman.

Also see: Steve Trevor’s Return in Wonder Woman 1984 Explained

In Mark Waid and Alex Ross’ Kingdom Come, the original Justice League returns to thwart an apocalyptic threat. Instead of offering peace as an option, Diana quietly dons the costume to everyone’s surprise. Considering herself to be a soldier in the war, her Golden Eagle Armor is a symbolic gesture of war. As an Amazonian, her fierce side gets unleashed whenever she has donned the armor.

In later editions, the Golden Eagle Armor was introduced to the main continuity. Still used sparingly, Wonder Woman donned the armor only when she had to fight threats more powerful than her. After almost getting killed by Devastation, Wonder Woman donned the armor to fight her powerful nemesis. She also donned the armor in her fight against Imperiex, though still getting badly injured in the fight.

However, Diana donning the Golden Eagle Armor in Wonder Woman 1984 is not that straightforward as it seems. Though Cheetah is one of the most vicious and long-standing nemeses of Wonder Woman, donning the Golden Eagle Armor against her sure doesn’t seem right. As an Amazonian, Diana fought the God of War in the first movie without using the armor. So, what can be the possibilities?

Dr. Barbara Ann Minerva is shown to be a friend of Diana in the trailer. In the comics, Dr. Minerva does befriend Diana, but for a selfish reason. As an archaeologist, Dr. Minerva wishes to have the Lasso of Truth which puts her at odds with Diana. But soon after, Dr. Minerva gains superhuman abilities in a mystical manner, transforming into the Cheetah. As the Cheetah, Dr. Minerva’s senses are highly enhanced. She also gains super-speed, super-strength, and other feline abilities which makes her a deadly nemesis for Diana.

According to recent reports, Wonder Woman 1984 won’t be holding any bars in the vicious and violent portrayal of Cheetah. Played by Kristen Wiig, Cheetah is going to push Wonder Woman to her edge. As Cheetah has also gained her powers through the mystic arts, she might prove to be more than a handful for Diana of Themyscira. Cheetah’s agility, enhanced reflexes, and lethal hand-to-hand combat skills might force Diana to get some additional armor to protect herself from the vicious attacks.

Another reason for Wonder Woman donning the Golden Eagle Armor might be quite anti-climactic in nature. As Dr. Barbara Ann Minerva is inspired by Cheetah from Wonder Woman: Rebirth, she would most probably be gaining her powers from the ancient plant god Urzkartaga. However, Dr. Minerva was tortured by her newfound powers as it was meant for a virgin. As a result, whenever she transforms into Cheetah, she is overwhelmed by her insatiable bloodlust. Also, she suffers from excruciating pain whenever she transforms back into her human form. So, how does the Golden Eagle Armor play a role here?

Known for her prowess and abilities, Wonder Woman is one of the most prominent heroes of the DC Pantheon. However, Diana’s greatest power is her ability to empathize with others. As the zenith of compassion, Wonder Woman always goes the extra mile to make others see the light, which also includes her most dreaded nemesis Cheetah. The Golden Eagle Armor is not to fight and subdue Cheetah, but, to withstand her attacks till she understands the futility of her actions. Despite being a supervillain, Cheetah is still redeemable, and Diana will try her level best to bring a fellow sister to the light.

The third and final explanation for Diana donning the Golden Eagle Armor might be related to another supervillain. Enter, Maxwell Lord. Though nothing yet is known about his abilities in the movie, Maxwell Lord has shown telepathic persuasion in the comics. As a result, Maxwell Lord has can control the minds of his victims by pushing subconscious suggestions to do his bidding. In the comics, he has been able to telepathically control Superman, forcing him to brutally beat down Batman and fight Wonder Woman.

In the movie, Maxwell Lord might tap into his ability to make Wonder Woman see visions that force her to don the costume to fight imaginary enemies or worse, her own allies. Also, Maxwell Lord might also be telepathically controlling Cheetah, forcing Wonder Woman to don the armor to protect herself from the bloodthirsty feline villain. As Maxwell Lord has previously gained sensitive information regarding the Justice League in Infinite Crisis, maybe Wonder Woman 1984 could pave the road for Maxwell Lord to become a recurring villain in the future.

Written by Akash Senapati

Akash is an India-based writer who has previously worked with Quirkybyte and Xtrascoop. He loves DC Comics, Anime, Pink Floyd, and sleeping in no particular order. His favourite graphic-medium writers are Grant Morrison, Chris Claremont, Christopher Priest, Garth Ennis, and Eiichiro Oda. Prep time > Aliens.

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