Wonder Woman is heading into its third week in theaters and, based on the box office, most people have seen it at least once already. At least, most people who would click on this article about Chris Pine’s future within the franchise. However, if you’ve somehow found yourself here by accident and don’t wish to be spoiled, flee now!
WARNING: SPOILERS FOR WONDER WOMAN BEYOND THIS POINT.
Since Wonder Woman’s creation in 1941, Steve Trevor has been an integral part of the character’s mythos. He’s been Diana’s friend, lover, and United Nations liaison. So it was a surprise to see Trevor show up in Wonder Woman as the story is set in World War I. How could Steve be part of Diana’s life in the present if she met him in the early 20th century? Surely he would be old as heck or dead by the time Diana Prince shows up in Justice League. The film got around this by just straight up killing Steve Trevor when, in an act of heroism, Trevor flew a plane full of deadly gas away from civilization and blew it up. A hero’s end for heroic man. Or is it?
Everyone knows death is merely an inconvenience in the world of superheroes, unless you are Uncle Ben or the original Gwen Stacy. Basically, if you want to live in comic books, don’t befriend Peter Parker. And it seems rumors of Steve Trevor’s demise may be greatly exaggerated. During an interview with Fandango, director Patty Jenkins hedged on the ultimate fate of Diana’s first male love interest.
“All I can say is [Steve’s death] was a dilemma. It’s something I hope we don’t talk about in the public [because] I want people to see, but it’s very hard to know which characters will be in the next movie because of the time period, so it’s a big question.”
Couple that quote with the fact that Chris Pine signed a multi-picture contract when he came aboard the DCEU and it opens the door to Trevor’s return. But how? The DCEU could take a page from Marvel’s Captain America and have Steve show up in flashbacks as Hayley Atwell’s Peggy Carter did, but that doesn’t quite track. After all, Peggy lived a full life after Steve Rogers went into the ice, while Steve Trevor blew the heck up after knowing Diana for a handful of days… maybe a few weeks. That doesn’t leave a lot of wiggle room for Wonder Woman to have meaningful flashbacks. Though DCEU could always choose to show Trevor before he crash landed in Themyscira.
However, there could be another way. Remember, at the end of Wonder Woman, Diana actively chooses to spare Doctor Poison to spite Ares. After the smoke clears on the final battle, the evil chemist is nowhere to be found. Does an ambitious woman like Doctor Poison slink away into obscurity and count her blessings that she wasn’t crushed by a tank during a morality battle between gods? Ha! No. She continues her research, whether for good or ill, because workaholics don’t let something like a near-death experience dissuade them from glory. Now, Doctor Poison is a smart lady. She knows Steve Trevor is important to Wonder Woman. So what’s to stop her from gathering a few trusted cohorts and dragging Trevor’s lifeless (or nearly lifeless) body from the smoking remnants of the plane? Nothing.
The gas in the plane Steve Trevor blew up was created by Doctor Poison. This same woman whipped up a super-strength serum on a whim to keep her proto-Nazi boss complacent while she worked on her passion projects. If anyone could reverse the damage caused by both the explosion, the gas, and the subsequent hard smack into the ground, it’s this woman. But why would she do such a thing? Who knows? Maybe she wanted to say thank you to Diana for sparing her life. Maybe she wanted to make Diana regret saving her life. Maybe she wanted to turn that scrumptious spy who spent a few minutes making her feel like a whole person into a sex slave. The possibilities are endless when you combine a crazed chemist with superhero science magic.
I mean, World War II is still coming down the pipe. Justice League is set in the modern day but there’s nothing to stop Wonder Woman 2 from being a mission where Diana must stop Nazis only to discover her former flame is now working for the enemy. Brainwashed, obviously. And also impervious to aging so that once Diana frees Steve from his captors, he doesn’t age out of “love interest” territory. You know, just a suggestion.