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At last. We're only a few days away from the theatrical release of Patty Jenkins's Wonder Woman, the first female-led superhero blockbuster in over a decade. Starring #GalGadot as the titular hero, it's the most hotly anticipated movie of the summer—and now Warner Bros. has released 'To Be Human,' the first track from the soundtrack. Sia's song featuring Labrinth is haunting, it's beautiful, and it's so very Wonder Woman.
More than just being lovely, the song dives into the heart of Wonder Woman's identity. The central refrain—"To be human is to love"—is a powerful one; but it's also one that shines a fascinating light on the character's motivation. In this film, Wonder Woman is a symbol of love; but not of romantic love. As Wonder Woman comic book writer Greg Rucka observed last year:
"When we talk about agency of characters in 2016, Diana deciding to leave her home forever - which is what she believes she’s doing - if she does that because she’s fallen for a guy, I believe that diminishes her heroism. She doesn’t leave because of Steve. She leaves because she wants to see the world and somebody must go and do this thing. And she has resolved it must be her to make this sacrifice."
At the time, Rucka was retelling Diana's origins in the #DC Rebirth relaunch, and he fundamentally rejected the notion that Diana left the island of Themyscira out of attraction to Steve Trevor. From the trailers, we already know that #PattyJenkins's Wonder Woman leaves her home because she can't simply stand by as the world goes to war. To quote Sia's song: "If I stay, who would I be?"
Here's the thing, though; the word 'love' means far more than we imagine. In the context of Wonder Woman, love is something strong and fierce, a passionate devotion to the good of the entire human race. Diana leaves Themyscira because she embraces her love for the world. But that love will be tested on the battlefields of the First World War, and Diana will learn to choose to love in the face of humanity's worst. It's the kind of unflinching love that is truly inspiring. It's the kind of unconditional love that is at the heart of what it means to be humanity at its best.
It's a powerful, timely message; a reminder that there is something fundamentally greater than all the horrors of this world. It's a message that makes #WonderWoman far more than a mere superhero; it turns her into an icon, representing something ancient and powerful.
The first track of Wonder Woman is out, and it's a thing of beauty, with a powerful and transcendent message. I'm looking forward to hearing the next track!