(This article contains some minor spoilers for “Wonder Woman 1984”)
When Steve Trevor (Chris Pine) finally reunites with Diana Prince (Gal Gadot) in “Wonder Woman 1984,” the pair take a walk down the Mall in Washington, D.C. and talk about what happened to him. He’s been dead for decades, so naturally she wonders if, you know, he actually went somewhere while he was gone.
“I remember taking the plane up, and then nothing. Nothing,” Steve tells her. “But somehow I know I’ve been someplace since then. Someplace that’s, uh, I can’t really put words to it, but it’s good.”
This is, certainly, an intriguing topic of conversation. And a frustrating one, since they pretty much stop talking about it after that and it’s never brought up again at any point.
But we can talk about it, and I want to because, like, wow. Apparently the DC Extended Universe comes with an afterlife of some sort. Not something I ever expected to come up — and honestly it’s a little bit surprising we even got this tidbit considering the way “Wonder Woman 1984” never really ponders any of the awkward ramifications of having Steve take over the body of some random dude.
Now, if you’re reading this article you almost certainly have some questions about this alleged afterlife situation. Unfortunately, with so few details it’s tough to make any guesses about where Steve actually went after he died. But we can look at DC Comics lore for some helpful info. So let’s do that.
The afterlife has not ever really been a staple of the comic book version of the mainstream DC Universe — though yes, obviously it plays a huge role in DC’s “The Sandman” and its equally good spinoff series “Lucifer,” though those stories don’t really connect back to other DC comics — but it does have one that comes in the form of alternate dimensions. It’s not just Heaven and Hell. The DC Comics pantheon includes all gods and all religions, as well as their accompanying afterlife spots. So we’ve got places like Valhalla and Hades as well.
Basically, the afterlife you end up in is dictated by your religious beliefs — and, of course, your deeds in life. Being a white American during the World War I era, Steve was likely a Christian. And since he was clearly a good guy, giving up his life to save the world at the end of the first “Wonder Woman” — and also considering he said the place he went is “good” — Steve almost certainly did actually end up in Heaven.
So what, if anything, does this mean for the “Wonder Woman” franchise going forward? Probably nothing. But maybe something.
It turns out that Heaven figured into a Wonder Woman comic book arc just a few months ago, in issues #757 and #758. In those issues, a superpowered Judas Iscariot — yes, the guy who betrayed Jesus is a current DC Comics character — captures the villainous Paula Von Gunther, leader of the Four Horsewomen.
He wants to take her to Heaven to be judged by God — yes, the one from the Bible. But Wonder Woman wasn’t having that, as she wanted to allow Paula to redeem herself, and had a showdown with Judas at the Pearly Gates. Diana won, and took Paula back to Earth.
There’s not much relevant to “Wonder Woman 1984” there aside from this being a “Wonder Woman” story. But it’s interesting that something like that would come up in the comics so close to this film. While I would not expect the DCEU to ever actually get into all this afterlife stuff in-depth, the fact that a current comic arc went there means the door is certainly open if they wanna do it.
So, anyway, that’s something to think about.