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Western Animation / Wonder Woman: Bloodlines

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Wonder Woman: Bloodlines is a 2019 movie in the DC Universe Animated Original Movies line and part of the DC Animated Movie Universe. It was released online on October 5 and on Blu-ray/DVD on October 22. You can see the trailer here.

The first 15 minutes take place prior to the events of Justice League: War and explain how Diana met Steve Trevor and arrived in Man's World. The rest of the film, taking place after the events of Reign of the Supermen and Batman: Hush, deals with Diana facing down some of her deadliest foes as they seek to enter Themyscira in a condensed adaptation of Veronica Cale's introductory arc in Wonder Woman (1987).

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Tropes in this film:

  • Abusive Parents: "Mothers are bad" appears to be a consistent motif. Hippolyta banished Diana after she decided to help Steve Trevor, Julia was immensely strict and negligent on Vanessa to the point it drove her mad with jealousy by watching her treat Diana differently, Pasiphae made her own son the Minotaur into an eternal brainwashed guardian of her shrine, and Veronica Cale describes her own mother as having an "icy glare" and an alcoholic.
  • Adaptational Angst Upgrade: In the comics, Vanessa idolized Wonder Woman with her mother Julia being jealous of the attention and only betrayed her after being forced to undergo painful Body Horror and cybernetic enhancements that kicked any lingering feelings of insecurity Up to Eleven. In the movie, Vanessa despised Wonder Woman from the start for stealing her mother's attention and affection and chose to undergo her transformation into villainy out of willful resentment.
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  • Adorkable: Diana shows this when meeting Vanessa for the first time, where she mixes up their names and acts slightly flustered afterwards.
  • Amazon Chaser: A rare woman-on-woman example. In the prologue, Steve implies Etta has a thing for buff women. Etta herself later confirms as such when she states she hopes to find Amazons who "like 'em thick." In the final scene, Etta has A Lady on Each Arm.
  • Armor-Piercing Response:
    Hippolyta: If you leave, you will never become queen. You will never set foot on this island again. Are you truly willing to throw away everything that you are, a mere chance of helping them?!
    [Diana wraps her magic lasso around her wrist]
    Diana: Ask me again, mother.
  • Art Evolution: The movie showcases more streamlined designs and brighter colors. According to executive producer James Tucker, primary character designs were done by Steven Choi due to Phil Bourrasa being busy working on Young Justice. This explains the visual similarities to his other works.
  • Badass Gay: Etta. A somewhat capable female field agent who has a love for female body builders like the Amazons.
  • Bio-Augmentation: Dr. Poison created a physical enhancement chemical that can either grant ordinary humans superpowers (in Giganta's case) or enhance a super's existing abilities (in Cheetah's and Medusa's case) for a short duration.
  • Compelling Voice: Medusa can compel people to look into her eyes. Diana is able to resist long enough to blind herself, making her immune to Medusa's powers. Vanessa nearly submits, in part because she felt she deserved to die after betraying Diana and becoming the Silver Swan.
  • Costume Evolution: Like Superman and Batman before her, Wonder Woman changes from her more modest and practical silver New 52 uniform/leotard back to her brilliant gold DC Rebirth look.
  • The Dog Was the Mastermind: Dr. Veronica Cale was the financier behind Villainy Inc. who had the ultimate goal of destroying Themyscira and plundering it for all it's worth, after Julia told her many stories about the mythical island. She personally murdered Julia for this very reason. Dr. Cyber and Dr. Poison were the only villains who worked directly for Cale. With both of them dead and all physical evidence of Cale's involvement destroyed by the story's end, Cale escaped punishment by the law but she was confronted by Diana one last time. In the end, Cale screamed that she will have her revenge someday after Diana drove a sword into her desk.
  • Dramatic Irony: During the attack on the Amazons, Hippolyta says that man's world has come to the island with war. The team of villains is made up entirely of women.
  • Evil All Along: Surprising the few who are not familiar with the comics, Veronica Cale is the puppet master of Villainy Inc.
  • Evil Is Not a Toy: Refusing to be a pawn to others yet still wanting to destroy Themyscira for her own reasons, Medusa kills both Dr. Cyber and Dr. Poison for daring to give her orders despite having been released by them as their Person of Mass Destruction.
  • Expository Hairstyle Change: While Vanessa's jealousy of Diana festers, she dyes her ginger hair a reddish-purple as part of her rebellious look. When her body is cleansed of the Silver Swan virus and her relationship with Diana is mended, Vanessa's hair is its original colour again.
  • Eye Scream: Wonder Woman purposefully blinds herself with venom from Medusa's hair-snakes to make herself immune to the monster's petrifying gaze.
  • The Heavy: Silver Swan/Vanessa is the source of most of the story's conflict, both emotional and physical. Medusa becomes this when she appears, becoming the story's final enemy.
  • His Own Worst Enemy: Vanessa's growing feelings of inadequacy and her mother Julia's endless fascination with Diana lead to her rebellious streaks. This spirals down into embracing outright villainy after Julia's murder, with Vanessa (now Silver Swan) blaming Diana for her misery. Some part of Vanessa deeply regrets her choices, but she refuses to admit it until Medusa magically compels her to do so, leading Vanessa to briefly consider suicide until talked out of it by Diana. This also results in Vanessa's redemption, with her helping Diana to defeat Medusa.
  • Hoist by Her Own Petard: Dr. Cyber and Dr. Poison both suffer the price of bringing Medusa back to life as a weapon for Villain Inc.
  • I Have No Daughter!: When Diana chooses to help Steve escape Themyscira, she briefly battles with Hippolyta over aiding a prisoner and running off with the sacred armor. After this, Hippolyta proclaims this trope and essentially kicks her off the island. When Diana returns home and saves it from Medusa, Hippolyta welcomes her home and even proudly accepts her Man's World title of Wonder Woman.
  • Improbably Female Cast: Steve Trevor is the only named male in the entire film and aside from one weapons dealer the only male in the film.
  • Jerkass Gods: In this continuity Pasiphae, who retains her Minoan status as a goddess rather than as a princess in the more well known Greek mythology, is the one to have made her own son the Minotaur into a ceaseless guardian of the maze. She also gives incredibly vague visions that you can only make sense of if you know ichthyology.
  • A Lady on Each Arm: Etta at the end.
  • Last Words: As Julia lays dying from a gunshot wound in Vanessa's arms, she calls for Diana while reaching towards her. The fact that her mother's last words weren't even directed at her does not help the young lady's growing hatred of Wonder Woman. As shown in The Stinger, she may have been trying to tell Diana it was Dr. Cale.
  • Literally Shattered Lives: What Medusa does to some of her victims.
  • Medusa: One of the film's main villains is she herself.
  • Mythology Gag:
    • Dr. Poison speaks with the accent and raspy voice she had in the live-action film.
    • The Amazon with a scar and blind eye might be this continuity's version of Persephone from the 2009 film.
    • Steve suggests "Ferdinand" as a new name for the Minotaur. (The name itself is a ShoutOut.) Afterward, Ferdinand is shown making a salad.
  • Nice Job Fixing It, Villain!: In a Pyrrhic Victory sort of way; Veronica gains access to Themyscira as planned, but Medusa's attack gave Diana the chance to reconcile with her mother and people. Now that Diana has figured out Veronica's involvement, all Amazonkind is ready for Cale's future invasions.
  • No Ontological Inertia: Killing Medusa turns all her stone victims back to flesh; but only the victims who weren't smashed to pieces while stone. Reversed with Medusa herself, seemingly due to being cloned from a stone fragment of herself, upon being killed her corpse turns into stone.
  • Not So Different: Diana and Vanessa are both burdened with feelings of not being good enough for their mothers.
  • Off with His Head!: This is how Medusa meets her end, just as how Perseus ended her in actual Greek myth.
  • Poor Communication Kills: Diana did notice the attention Julia was giving her was hurting Vanessa. If she reached out sooner, and tried harder than a note under the door, Silver Swan may have never existed.
  • Race Lift: Etta Candy is African-American, as opposed to her normal Caucasian self, here.
  • Random Events Plot: The movie is rather oddly structured, as aside of the basic thread of saving Silver Swan it is rather episodic as to put in as many Wonder Woman villains as possible.
  • Real Men Wear Pink: The Minotaur once freed wears a pink shirt and makes a salad.
  • The Smurfette Principle: Reversed. Not counting a bunch of the villains' mooks, Steve Trevor is the only guy in the entire film. Until the Minotaur.
  • Starter Villain: The film begins with fighter-pilot Trevor encountering and battling Darkseid's Parademons, just to emphasize that the story is in the DC Animated Movie Universe continuity while also a Prequel to Justice League: War.
  • The Stinger: Diana confronts Veronica over her dealings, but while she can't drag her off to jail, she lets her know that, as Themyscira's official Champion and reconciled with Hippolyta, she tries anything with her home, she'll make her pay.
  • Suddenly Sexuality: There is no hint that Etta is a lesbian until it is randomly brought up in the last third of the film.
  • Taken for Granite: Happens to a number of Amazon warriors near the climax, courtesy of Medusa. She does the same thing to Steve Trevor, as he attempts to save Diana. They get better. Well, the ones that didn't get smashed to pieces, that is. Medusa herself also becomes this just after getting killed.
  • Too Dumb to Live / Didn't Think This Through: Even someone with only an elementary school knowledge of Medusa would know how deadly she is. But it still never occurred to the two geniuses, Dr Poison and Dr Cyber, to have any fail-safes ready in case Medusa turned against them.
  • Tragic Villain: Vanessa, whose negligent mother put pressure on her to the point of making her feel insecure while treating Diana better, eventually driving her to contact Villainy Inc. and be turned into the Silver Swan. She gets a Heel–Face Turn.
  • When You Coming Home, Dad?: It is implied that Julia prioritized her career over her family before a living piece of history came to stay at her house. Having Diana around to feed Dr. Kapatelis' obsession with Ancient Greece only made Vanessa slip through the cracks quicker.
  • Villain Team-Up: Cheetah, Giganta, Dr. Cyber, Dr. Poison, and Silver Swan form Villainy Inc.

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