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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 short, DC Showcase: Death is a bonus feature on the Blu-ray.

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 in The Death of Superman and Batman: Hush, deals with Diana facing down some of her deadliest foes as they seek to enter Themyscira. The movie's plot combines elements of Swan Song (a story arc from James Robinson's Wonder Woman (Rebirth) run) with elements from Greg Rucka's runs on Wonder Woman (1987) and Wonder Woman (Rebirth).

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.
  • Adaptation Amalgamation: This movie adapts and mashes up several Wonder Woman story lines from across both comics and other media:
    • Wonder Woman stealing her outfit and equipment before escaping with Steve instead of winning them via a contest is from the DCAU Justice League cartoon and the 2017 movie.
    • Diana staying with the Kapatelis family when she arrives in Man's World is from the George Pérez run in the 80s.
    • Vanessa becoming the Silver Swan is originally from Phil Jimenez's run, although this movie's portrayal of that transformation, and its characterization of Vanessa, have more in common with how they were handled in James Robinson's Wonder Woman (Rebirth) run.
    • Diana fighting Medusa and out-thinking her via blinding herself is from Greg Rucka's first run on the character in the mid-2000s.
    • Diana being unable to remember where Themyscira is thanks to magical safeguards and Veronica Cale manipulating Diana's rogues into invading Themyscira for her own ends are from Greg Rucka's Wonder Woman (Rebirth) run.
  • Adaptational Angst Downgrade: In the comics, Vanessa idolized Wonder Woman (her mother Julia was actually jealous of their bond) and only betrayed her after several years of neglect and a Trauma Conga Line that ended with her getting "accidentally" run over by Sebastian Ballesteros, who then forced painful Body Horror and cybernetic enhancements on her that kicked any lingering feelings of insecurity to extremes. 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.
  • Adaptational Jerkass: Hippolyta, in the comics and most other media she’s a genuinely loving and supportive mother to Diana, who was heartbroken at her daughter willingly leaving Themyscira for man’s world. Here Hippolyta coldly disowns her daughter and banishes Diana from Themyscira for protecting Steve Trevor. She does reconcile with Diana in the ending though.
  • 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.
  • Anachronic Order: The first couple chapters of the film take place a few years prior to Justice League: War, before the film's title appears onscreen, then resumes shortly after Death of Superman, with Diana still in the silver & dark-blue outfit.
  • Armor-Piercing Response: Hippolyta says that if Diana leaves, she will never become queen and will never be allowed to set foot on Themyscira again, and asks her if she is truly willing to throw everything away for Man's World. Diana simply wraps her magic lasso around her wrist and tells her mother to ask her again.
  • 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 (2010). This explains the visual similarities to his other works.
  • 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.
  • Call-Forward: Steve encounters and battles a small incursion of Parademons emerging from a Boom Tube, some time before the events in Justice League: War.
  • Chekhov's Armoury: The artifact Vanessa stole from Veronica Cale and handed to Villainy Inc. was a stone snake. Later it's mentioned that Julia helped Cale's company develop a medical treatment called "Medusa cells". The snake came from the actual Medusa, from which DNA was obtained, and Villainy was able to clone Medusa to use against Themyscira.
  • Chekhov's Skill: Despite Giganta's size and enhanced strength, Diana is easily able to flip and throw her about, along with Diana's punches and kicks sending Giganta reeling. Diana is able to do similar against the gigantic and enhanced Medusa, but this battle is far more difficult and deadly.
  • 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.
  • Continuity Nod: Diana's now-ended romance with Superman, her meeting the president, and the battle against Darkseid are mentioned.
  • 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: The financier behind Villainy Inc. was Dr. Veronica Cale, who had wished to destroy Themyscira and plunder it for all its worth, after Julia told her many stories about the mythical island.
  • 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.
  • Filler: With the next film being the Grand Finale to the DCAMU, this film stands out as one of the most inconsequential to the franchise as a whole. Wonder Woman does not undergo any significant Character Development, none of the film's events impact previous plotlines, and no characters introduced in this film return for the final instalment. The only actual impact it has is that Diana is wearing her new costume from this film in Apokolips War.
  • Gibberish of Love: Diana shows this when meeting Vanessa for the first time, where she mixes up their names and acts slightly flustered afterwards.
  • 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 Son!: 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 one of two named males in the film's cast, and the only male in the entire film besides the villains' faceless mooks, an arms dealer, and the Minotaur.
  • 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.
  • 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. Though she may have been trying to tell Diana that Dr. Cale was the mastermind.
  • Literally Shattered Lives: Medusa shatters some of her victims after they have been petrified by her gaze.
  • Medusa: Villainy Inc.'s ultimate weapon is a clone of Medusa herself.
  • Mythology Gag:
    • Dr. Poison speaks with the accent and raspy voice she had in the live-action film.
    • One Amazon has a scar and blind eye like Persephone from the 2009 film.
    • Steve suggests "Ferdinand" as a new name for the Minotaur. (The name itself is a Shout Out.) 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.
  • Noodle Incident:
    • Diana and Giganta had clearly encountered and fought before, but here it's the first time they're ever shown battling in this animated continuity.
    • There seems to be an untold history between Medusa and the Amazons which would explain her hatred of them and of Hippolyta specifically.
  • 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.
  • Off with His Head!: This is how Medusa meets her end, just as how Perseus ended her in actual Greek myth.
  • One-Winged Angel: During her fight with Diana, Cheetah shoots herself with a compound to transform into a stronger, faster, more monstrous creature that's able to do more damage to Wonder Woman.
  • 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: As in the comics in recent years, Etta Candy is African-American 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.
  • Red Shirt Army: The Amazons become this even more than in every previous DC film, both animated and live-action. Except for Diana and Hippolyta, no others are referred to by name or given any characterization.
  • Single Tear: Hippolyta, after banishing her daughter from Themyscira.
  • The Smurfette Principle: Reversed. Not counting a bunch of the villains' mooks and an arms dealer, Steve Trevor is the only guy in the entire film. Until the Minotaur shows up.
  • Starter Villain: The film begins with fighter-pilot Trevor encountering and battling Darkseid's Parademons, to emphasize that the story is in the DC Animated Movie Universe continuity and starts as 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.
  • 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:
    • 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.
    • Multiple Amazons, upon seeing other Amazons get turned to stone by Medusa turn and look in the same way. Naturally, they get immediately turned to stone as well.
  • 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.