Friday, July 2, 2010

Okay, let's talk about the Wonder Woman costume

After all, everyone else seems to be doing it.
Quite honestly, I'm not sure what all the fuss is about. We all know this won't be permanent. It's going to be like the Sekowsky/O'Neill stuff in the 60s and the Loebs/ Deodato "space pirates" costume in the 90s. It will revert at the end of the storyline.
Let's review Wonder Woman costumes through the ages.
The original:

The first revamp, very early in the run:

The 1960s "Emma Peel" look:

The 1982 look, with W's replacing the double eagle for marketing purposes:

The aforementioned "space pirate" outfit, worn during an Sf storyline, just before she lost the title to Artemis:

The borderline porn, high-thigh Deodato version:

The most current version of the classic:

Finally, the new one:

As we can see, to quote Galactica, this has happened before and it will happen again.

And there are more changes, more subtle ones, not documented here.

So I'm not too worried about the costume.
What people seem to be overlooking is that there's a story that goes along with this. And it's a pretty good story.
In a nutshell, as I posted on Huff yesterday, it's a prelude to the new narrative. One of the reasons she has a different outfit is that Themiscarya, her Amazon home, has been not just destroyed but wiped out of the timeline. So she's fighting, she doesn't know why she's fighting, who she's fighting or who she really is. The guides who have trained her are trying to give her the tools to restore her home and family, and bring the rest of the world back from a bleak machinist,soulless post-apocalypse. And that's in a dozen pages.
J. Michael Strazcynski is one of the best writers in comics. His current work on Brave and the Bold made my top 10 comics of 2009. He also wrote the TV series Babylon 5 and Jeremiah, and is working on a film with Ron Howard.
So if you like the new costume, great. I don't mind it, from a strategic standpoint- it seems like more pragmatic fighting gear than the old one, but I can only think of one male superhero whose chest is exposed in any way.

If her "new look" isn't to your taste, take heart. I'm sure it will be every bit as permanent as Superman's death.
As an afterthought, here's a drawing I did ages ago of Troia, the more mature Wonder Girl from the Teen Titans run. Always loved that star-field costume...


  1. I wondered if you'd seen this WW costume round-up on Newsarama . I like the new look. I agree with you that it won't last forever, but I'm glad to see a break from the star spangled bathing suit. Also JMS is one of my favorites. It's such a joy to see him interact with the audience at SD Comic Con every year. He really did Thor justice, so I'm eager to see what he does with WW.

  2. Oh, btw - don't forget Martian Manhunter in that exposed chest thing. I agree with your general point that many female costumes in comics are completely impractical for fighting. Speaking of exposed chests, can I say Power Girl? Bat family outfits usually make more sense (Batgirl, new Cat Woman).

  3. Kim, I read some of the stuff at Newsarama. I don't mind the new look as much as some, but I still don't think it's practical battle gear (not that the old suit was either!).
    Would love to meet JMS. He's becoming one of my favorites- need to read his novel!

  4. We've only seen 10 pages of the JMS run, and so far to me it appears generic gloom n doom Urban Fantasy stuff. (As does the costume.) I'm open to seeing Diana become more a Wonder Woman along the way, and hope that JMS will let her rediscover the literal and figurative magic that makes her such. But I wonder why he gave us such a flat opening to his run?

  5. Wow, that wasn't my experience of it at all. I admit I have a bias towards his work (not mad for his FF run, though), but I found this tense and exciting. The brand on the bracelets/gauntlets was a bit too much of a swipe of The Phantom's rings, but for a 10 page teaser, I thought it worked fine.
    It's obvious that this is going to lead to her rediscovering her heritage as she restores her world. I see pieces and portents of Midnight Nation in this. Will be very curious to see it come together!