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I don't know much about the Wonder Woman franchise so please bear with me. Also to clarify I'm specifically interested in the universe depicted in the 2017 Wonder Woman film staring Gal Gadot. Based on limited research it appears as if Zeus is alive and causing mischief in the comics.

In the movie a young Diana was told the story, by her mother, of how Zeus surrounded Themyscira with clouds to hide it from the outside world just before he died. The story also said that Ares was gravely injured during the fight with Zeus, and might have died.

We know that Ares didn't actually die as a result of that encounter because Diana ends up fighting him at the end of the movie.

Just before Diana makes her leap across the ravine she makes eye contact with a bull (that seemed to appear from nowhere). Furthermore, I don't recall seeing cattle previously in the movie, but I confess I wasn't really looking for them. I know in Greek mythology Zeus is associated with the bull which made me question whether he really is dead. Based on the Wikipedia page on DC's Zeus it seems like he is a significant force in the comics. While it is expected for there to be some divergence between comic and movie mythic arcs I would expect major forces/plots to be preserved.

We also know that Diana's mother deliberately with holds information from her "to protect her." This was a point of contention between her mother and several Amazonians. The other Amazonians are seen multiple times wanting to tell Diana more, but her mother won't let them. I believe this means that we can't trust Diana's mother 100%, since she as been willing to omit and/or shade facts.

My question is should I interpret that scene to mean that Zeus is alive and present at that moment, that Diana just saw a vision of Zeus, or was it just a random bull? The eye contact feels like too much of an unfired Chekhov's gun to be meaningless, but since it didn't fire maybe it is meaningless?

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    In the comics, yes. In the film, who the heck knows. – Valorum Jun 14 '17 at 16:42
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    @Erik - Not to mention that she was very keen for her daughter not to leave the island. Learning that she has a deadbeat dad somewhere beyond the shield is almost guaranteed to get her to go find him. – Valorum Jun 14 '17 at 17:14
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    I don't remember a bull in that scene. I remember a goat. I guess I'll just have to go see the movie again, ah, woe is me. – Martha Jun 14 '17 at 17:41
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    @sethen He confirmed he was Ares before the actual fight started. I just figured the lightning was "god power" that just looked like that -- it was never a storm bolt from the heavens, just cast from his hands. – Zeiss Ikon Jun 14 '17 at 18:27
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    @ZeissIkon: I thought it was a given that Diana is a lot older than she seems. – Martha Jun 15 '17 at 0:26
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In the movie, there were multiple places where it was claimed that Zeus is actually dead. Both Hippolyta and Ares said (or strongly implied) that. The overall impression given by the movie is that the gods, in general, are gone, leaving mankind to fend for itself. I believe this is actually going to play into the plot of Justice League, based on some information from the trailers and early script leaks.

In the comics, Zeus and the other Olympian Gods are alive and well. In the New 52 (the most recent storyline), Zeus has gone missing and is presumed dead, mostly by the gods who want to take his throne.

He's actually been reborn as the child Zola, as part of a plan to ferret out traitors on Mt. Olympus.

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    If you gave specific examples of references to Zeus' death in the movie, this answer would receive more upvotes. – CodeMed Jun 15 '17 at 1:24
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    Hyppolyta said that Zeus made the fog, struck Ares a near deadly blow and brought Diana to life "with his dying [or last] breath" – Möoz Jun 15 '17 at 10:32
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From Wonder Woman (2017) movie:

Long ago, when time was new... and all of history was still a dream... the gods ruled the earth. Zeus king among them. Zeus created beings over which the Gods would rule.
Beings born in his image... fair and good, strong and passionate. He called his creation "Man". And mankind was good.
But Zeus' son.. grew envious of mankind... and sought to corrupt his father's creation. This was Ares, the God of War. Ares poisoned men's hearts with jealousy and suspicion. He turned them against one another... and war ravaged the Earth.
So, the gods created us, the Amazons... to influence men's hearts with love... and restore peace to the Earth. And for a brief time, there was peace.
But it did not last. Your mother, The Amazon Queen, led a revolt... that freed us all from enslavement. When Zeus led the gods to our defence... Ares killed them one by one... until only Zeus himself remained. Zeus used the last of his power to stop Ares... striking such a blow, the god of war was forced to retreat.
But Zeus knew... that one day Ares might return to finish his mission. An endless war... where mankind would finally destroy themselves... and us with them.
So Zeus, left us a weapon. One powerful enough to kill a god. With his dying breath, Zeus created this island... to hide us from the outside world... Somewhere Ares could not find us. And all has been quiet ever since.

If you can see the bolded part, Zeus is no longer alive.

  • I don't see how this adds anything. I already acknowledged this in my question. – Erik Oct 6 '17 at 18:32
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What i find interesting is that ares wielded lightning in the battle against Diana. Lightning is Zeus's weapon. I wonder, did she fight ares or did zeus go insane and kill all the gods and pretend to be ares. It makes it sound like zeus was weakened in the fight "zeus with the last of his power struck ares" but then he (zeus) makes the island to protect the amazons and thus makes diana as a future gaurd, so he had to have lived then at least for some time after the 'battle'. it seems weird to me a god would succumb to injuries later.

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    Is there anything in canon that suggests this might be what happens? – Bellatrix Sep 30 '17 at 4:58
  • For reviewers, this although not a direct answer, does discuss the possibility of Zeus taking over Ares and existing, it is an answer albeit not the best or supported by evidence. – Edlothiad Sep 30 '17 at 9:07

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