Supergirl, Catwoman, Batgirl, Storm, Jean Grey, Rogue, Mystique, Elektra, Black Widow, Scarlet Witch, Gamora… none of these comic-book characters have been around even nearly as long as Diana of Themyscira, yet all of them made it to the big screen before she did. And while, given the current conveyor belt-like DC and Marvel Cinematic Universe output, more and more female heroines can be seen onscreen today than at any other time, not one of the recent crop has been given her own standalone movie. Until now.

Wonder Woman’s success, critically and commercially, has exceeded all expectations. A big opening weekend is one thing; the mere 45% drop off a week later (by comparison, Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice fell 69%) better than any superhero movie released since 2010, is going a long way to refuting longheld inference that female superhero movies couldn’t match the boys. “There was an obsession with the young male audience, thinking superhero movies were only for them,” director Patty Jenkins told the BBC last week. “I think there was just some fear about giving her her moments that’s finally changed.” This video looks at why the dial finally shifted, what perhaps held it back all this time, and what unleashing the screen power of a goddess might mean for the superhero movie, a genre way behind its action, sci-fi and fantasy sisters in establishing a gender equality-based cinematic justice league.