(This article contains some spoilers for “Wonder Woman 1984”)
Films based on DC Comics properties, including the first “Wonder Woman” movie, didn’t used to do the whole post-credits thing, but that’s changed in the past few years as the DC Extended Universe franchise has evolved. And “Wonder Woman 1984” also joins that party with a bonus scene that pops up midway through the end credits.
This mid-credits scene doesn’t tease any upcoming movies from the larger DC Extended Universe like “The Suicide Squad” or “Aquaman 2,” but it might, possibly, suggest something about future “Wonder Woman” movies. Maybe. Though we think it’s likely just a fun extra moment that calls back to something Wonder Woman herself, Diana Prince (Gal Gadot), said earlier in the film.
In the scene, we see a woman walking through some sort of outdoor market when a large wooden pole starts to fall. This woman casually catches the heavy pole with one hand, saving a family with a small child that had been in harm’s way.
The mother thanks the woman, who turns around, revealing the face of Lynda Carter, who played Wonder Woman in 1970s TV series. Carter introduces herself as Asteria.
Diana gave some backstory on Asteria earlier in the movie. In ancient times, the Amazons were enslaved by humans, but they freed themselves, and Asteria, their greatest warrior, held the line “300”-style while the others escaped. She was aided in this endeavor by a suit of gold armor forged from the combined armor of the other Amazons.
In Diana’s version of events, Asteria apparently died saving the others, as her body was never found — just the empty armor, which Wonder Woman wore for the final battle with Cheetah and Max Lord.
If you assumed that the lack of a body meant Asteria lived, well, you were right. And she’s apparently still around, and like Diana is basically keeping her superheroics on the DL, though what else she’s up to remains unknown.
In any case, the mid-credits scene could just be a fun Easter Egg for fans of Carter’s 1970s “Wonder Woman” TV series. But it is conceivable that Carter and Asteria will feature more prominently in future “Wonder Woman” sequels.
After all, Asteria is mentioned as part of the lore in the main story. Her existence does matter to the plot, rather than being totally extraneous. Plus, it might be a little weird to have two Amazons wandering around out in the world without ever meeting.
Just don’t look to DC Comics lore for clues as to where things might be heading. As of this writing, the character has no equivalent in the mainstream DC Comics continuity. In fact, as far as we can tell, the sole mention of a female superhero by that name happens in 1998’s “Elseworlds: Supergirl & Batgirl.”
Briefly, “Supergirl & Batgirl” is as the title suggests an “Elseworlds” tale — that’s the DC comics line exploring different realities in one-off storylines — set in a universe, officially known as “Earth 1098,” where Supergirl and Batgirl are their world’s premiere superheroes like Batman and Superman are normally. That universe’s big superhero team is called the Justice Society, and it’s led by Wonder Woman, who functions as a sort of mother figure to Supergirl.
Early on in the story, several Justice Society A-listers head to Gotham City for an awards gala, but much as happens with the Justice League, a couple of back benchers are left behind to watch things at Justice Society HQ. That would be an alternate universe version of Tim Drake, who in the mainstream continuity is Batman’s third robin, and Asteria. Here’s the scene from “Elseworlds: Supergirl & Batgirl” page 21.
Asteria appears as a background extra in a couple of other panels but gets no further dialogue. And that’s literally it. She doesn’t show up again, so we never get to find out about her powers, whether or not she has a secret identity, or what corner of the DC universe she’s supposed to be associated with.
But that doesn’t mean adding her to the “Wonder Woman” family of characters is entirely random. Asteria is also the name of a Greek goddess whose story is a whole lot saltier than the version seen in “Wonder Woman 1984.” It seems she was one of the very, very many gods and goddesses who Zeus wanted to hook up with, and to escape his advances she fled Mount Olympus and ended up transforming herself into the island of Delos. Later on, she ended up having a child: Hecate, goddess of magic and witchcraft.
But Greek myths are a lot like comic books, so there’s actually a lot of mutually contradictory stories out there. Including one version of events where Asteria actually consented to Zeus’ advances and ended up being the mother of Heracles. Which is to say, there’s a lot of fertile ground to draw from if “Wonder Woman” 3 wants to get even deeper into Greek mythological influences.
Meantime, we’ll just appreciate Asteria as something of a deep, deep cut for dedicated comic book nerds — and perhaps a new character who will return in future “Wonder Woman” movies.