She might not get top billing in

Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice

, or even very much screen time, but Wonder Woman steals the show from her caped counterparts in the superhero spectacle.

Despite the popular 1970s television series starring Lynda Carter, this is the first time the lasso-wielding crusader has been in major live-action film. And it's all a set-up for her own stand-alone feature coming next year from director Patty Jenkins.

The Amazonian warrior is played by 30-year-old Gal Gadot - a model who appeared in the fifth and sixth Fast & Furious movies as the ill-fated fan favourite Gisele.

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Gadot was still a relative unknown when she was announced as the new Wonder Woman in 2013.

Many complained that the former Miss Israel was simply too thin. An early photo of her in the gladiator-inspired Wonder Woman costume assuaged some concerns.

By that point, Gadot had gone through nine months of rigorous training focusing on martial arts and sword work to get into Wonder Woman shape. It wasn't much of a stretch as she served as a combat instructor in the Israeli army for two years.

In the film, seen first as Diana Prince, her outrageous cool and skintight asymmetrical frocks turn many heads - Ben Affleck's Bruce Wayne included.

Despite her glamorous image, her power is what makes her stand out, and Batman v Superman gives a little preview of her fighting skills, too.

It's the first major film of this new era of interconnected superhero franchises to focus on a woman.

- AP