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!