Wonder Woman’s Wardrobe Malfunction

Messing with a classic is ballsy, but doing so successfully requires finesse. Do it right, and you get something like the “Star Trek” movie reboot. Misstep, and you’ve got New Coke. It is not for the faint of heart —or the clumsy.

This brings us to Wonder Woman’s new costume, which you can see today in its full glory with the debut of issue #600. As this is being written, V. and I have yet to read new Wondy writer J. Michael Stracynzski’s first issue, so we can’t comment on the story. The outfit, redesigned by none other than Jim Lee, is another story.

Here’s what we like: The old-school top is fine, and the gloves are hot in an I-will-beat-you-down-in-an-alley kind of way.

What don’t we like? Let’s start with the boots, which pissed us off mightily. If you’re going to put Diana in black leggings, why not let her keep some version of her iconic, red kicks? As V. put it, it’s all about the fucking boots, and the mall footwear with golden frippery isn’t going to cut it. And we like biker chick chic as much as anyone, but the star-spangled blue jacket looks like a Black Canary ripoff. And a choker? No. Seriously, no.

Wonder Woman’s new clothes aren’t terrible or offensive; but they are disappointingly generic and dated. As one person wrote on the DCU blog: “Looks like she’s just changed for happy hour after work. In 1996.”

JMS outlines the ideas behind the costume redesign in an extensive interview with Comic Book Resources, but I’m not sure I buy them. For starters, why does a superhero costume have to be practical? In all my years of reading “Wonder Woman” comics — the good and the bad — I’ve never wondered how she fights “without all her parts popping out” or where she keeps her keys. It’s a suspension of disbelief thing. Couldn’t she just keep some recognizable version of her costume underneath contemporary street clothes, like Spider-Man?

It’s not that we’re anti-change, but we think an amazing heroine ought to have an amazing costume. Reboot or no, Wonder Woman is a classic who should be distinguishable from, say, Donna Troy. Paging Christian Siriano!

23 thoughts on “Wonder Woman’s Wardrobe Malfunction

  1. I can relate to this comment on CBR:

    The costume’s not horrible, but come on. This is frikkin Messner-Leobs all the hell over again. RADICAL REVAMP! URBAN SETTING! NEW FOES! DIANA DEPOWERED! In a goddamn LEATHER JACKET!

    And this is right on the heels of the iconic #600 which apparently is supposed to be all about showing how awesome the iconic WW mythology has been over the last twenty years. Going from those epic covers from Jimenez and Scott to…this, right here?

    WORD! How is it that she get’s DEPOWERED in her most powerful issue?

    *sigh* We shall reconvene in an hour after I’ve read it. Perhaps I will feel differently then.

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  2. I think Megan Fox will look HAWT in this outfit!!! ;)

    All kidding aside, it’s not all that bad. Now this is coming from someone who does not read WW, so take that how you like it. But I have been through costume changes with my favorites. Thor more than once, Iron Man how many times now?, but the biggest one for me was Spider-Man.

    Secret Wars #8…Spidey has a new costume! It’s black and white and does weird things! That took me by surprise at age 12. What they did from there was awesome…well until they took the Venom thing too far.

    Give JMS a chance. What he did with his original work, Babylon 5, was brilliant. His run on Thor was awesome! And what he did with Spider-Man was amazing ( pardon the pun), so amazing in fact that since Marvel and Joe Q decided to “undo” Spider-Man, I will not read it unless I download it or it is given to me or I find it used…I will not buy another Marvel Spider-Man comic!

    Enjoy this time and have fun with it…she will eventually spin around and change back!

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    • Megan who? >:-/

      I just read the issue, Don Kramer’s art is good. There seems to be some subtle black boot action, but I’m still not sold on the gold stirrup looking things. Whatevs. It’s done. I’ll deal.

      I’m going to give the book a chance. I usually give a writer three issues to pull me in. Since it’s Wonder Woman, I’ll give it four. It’ll have to start at #601, because the little teaser at the end was pretty meatless. Had I not read interviews with JMS where he explains the time-shift thing, I would not have known what was going on. But the transition was done by Johns, not JMS. So, I’ll keep my pie-hole shut for now.

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  3. While I’m sure the majority of fans will scream “EPIC FAIL”, I’m actually okay with the redesign. There are certain elements I’m not terribly fond of, however, I feel the overall design is more realistic for a female superhero. I envision WW ditching the jacket quite often in battle, so that’s one 1990’s element gone. Additionally, I’m hoping for a live action Wonder Woman feature film sometime in the next few years. This costume is more likely to be believable on the big screen and taken seriously as compared to the star-spangled bathing suit. I gotta think that was one of the motivators for the new costume. Like I said, I’m probably in the minority.

    The Irredeemable Shag

    http://onceuponageek.com

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  4. I was wondering why JMS had more to say about his upcoming Superman run than Wonder Woman’s. Now we know why.

    I had to post about this myself over at DBN, and we generally share the same thoughts about this. The outfit. I really am curious about the issue in question, especially now. More like a “Okay, now what the hell is going on?” sort of curiosity, but I’d say that’s better than feeling indifferent.

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  5. In response to DC’s claim that Wonder Woman’s new design is “modern,” National Public Radio’s Glen Weldon begs to differ:

    “Merciful Zeus, the jacket. [...] Long ago, in the benighted (EXTREEEME!) ’90s, DC superheroes and leather jackets went together like Sean Penn and Madonna before Shanghai Surprise. They were the Tamogachis of the spandex set.”

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  7. I think that the change is going to be a good thing. I am a Wonder Woman fan, but I wasn’t a fan of the original costume. It reminded me of something that I would have wore when I was in Ballet. I think giving her a more urban rocker look is great. I would pay money to see a actress dress in this Wonder Woman costume than the original. They could just say that she also retired the original costume and that she still has it in her closest.

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    • I’ve got an open mind about the new storyline. JMS is a good writer, and even if it turns out not to be my cup of tea, nothing is permanent in comics. Still, the Hot Topic choker has to go!

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  9. My question lies not so much with the costume – honestly I had missed the choker on first glance and read through – but with the timeline. Stop screwing with the damn timelines!

    What effect does this have on everything that has gone before? Is Diana really only 21 or so?! Is this why Donna is now in the League instead of Diana? So they could do this? What effect all of this have on Donna’s history for that matter? Have they retconned Diana back out of League history as one of its founders? (So it would seem)

    And so much for any sort of commentary on Diana’s feelings for Bruce when he gets back OR dealing with the whole Max Lord thing – which Bruce had so better remember. And if Diana wasn’t there, who stopped Max? Sigh.

    Sorry – I feel like I just wrote the tag for an episode of Soap.

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    • I. FEEL. YOUR. FRUSTRATION.

      I didn’t even THINK about the Batwondy thing. ARGH. I really had hope that they would go there with the two of them when he finally got back to the future.

      You raise some excellent questions. I read somewhere though, that this book is going to be outside of main DC continuity. I’m not certain, but that would allow them to be business as usual on all the other books.

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  10. I honestly think this all boils down to sales. The new continuity, the wardrobe change — this all gets the mainstream press’ attention, which gets the general public’s attention, which (DC hopes) encourages casual readers to pick it up. I guess it’s also intended as an easy way for new readers to start fresh with Wonder Woman. Comic readership in general has been declining for years, and though she is an icon, WW just doesn’t move as many books as her male counterparts. I’ve got plenty of theories about that, but that’s the reality. I hate the idea of de-powering her and removing any hope for a BatWondy love affair, but take heart: Even if this turns out to be a huge mistake, it’s likely to be undone a year from now anyway. Alas, that’s comics!

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  11. At least she’s getting a hellova lot more attention than she has in a while. If nothing else, I think that itself is a good thing. And since it’s an alternate timeline, I see this almost like an Elseworld or a What-If story.

    While it also appears like a cheap shot in evading the events of BNWW, among other things, the way I see it is, since there also was mention of flashbacks of her proper timeline, it’s not like Diana’s going to forget anything of the real timeline once it’s restored. This is pretty much a journey of getting her life and memory back, much like what Bruce is doing now. There will probably be some repercussions that carry over, but that’s the same with ROBW also. So it’s not like Diana is the only one working to get herself back to someplace. This actually is pretty much a running theme with all of the Trinity right now.

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  12. Check it… Lynda Carter likes the new look…

    Actress Lynda Carter, whom a vast majority of people envision when (and if) they think of Wonder Woman, likes the new ensemble. Really.

    “I think it will take time for people to get over not seeing a lot of leg,” she told ABC News. “[But] I think it’s going to be very sexy and it’s new and I love the little cap sleeve. You know, she’s a hip girl. [...] “I think Wonder Woman has a mind of her own. And I think she was just kind of ready for something new. She’s got an attitude and if this is the new thing that she wants to wear, well, by God, she’s going to wear it. And I like that. And I hope that in the story someone mentions, where’s the old one? And she says, get over it!”

    http://robot6.comicbookresources.com/2010/06/media-and-fans-and-lynda-carter-react-to-wonder-woman-makeover/

    The Irredeemable Shag

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  13. 1996 was the best year ever so… I like it :)Except for the choker.
    It’s not going to last and I don’t think this is about changing her history but adding to it. I think it’s great, a lot of characters go through a what drives me to be a hero/ who am I? Journey and it’s about time Diana was examined on this level. I believe she will go on this adventure and come back not too long after she left. I do have to say that I have never read a full wonder woman run and now I am interested. I love the idea of wonder woman and I really liked her on Super Friends but any story I tried to read, I don’t know I really just couldn’t relate to her stories.

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  14. People claim that the new outfit is more practical, but it would actually restrict her freedom of motion far more than the old one.

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