Wednesday, June 30, 2010

If it isn't broken, why fix it?: Wonder Woman gets a new costume

DC Comics is going out of its way to alienate long time readers------again.

In the 90's, they thought they could make money out of killing off Superman and disabling the Batman---both for the short term. They targeted the speculator boom of the period, where would-be investors were buying more copies than they really needed of every trendy, "hot" book out there in order to make a profit. Less than a year later, the two iconic heroes were back, good as new.

Now, DC is messing with another of their iconic characters. This time, it's Wonder Woman, and all the fuss is over a wardrobe change, something that hasn't happened in several years.

Images released to the press on Tuesday presented what is supposed to be the Amazing Amazon's 21st century "new look", as designed by artist Jim Lee and envisioned by writer J. Michael Straczynski, who is also putting his stamp on Superman at the same time. Wonder Woman, it seems, has swapped her iconic costume for something more urban, including pants and a leather jacket. A recent storyline explains the change. It seems the gods of Olympus have changed the course of time, such that it alters Wonder Woman's very existence, once again removing her from the early days of the Justice League of America (which DC had previously done in the late 80's). Now, with little or no memory of her link to the gods, Wonder Woman has become another urban avenger.

That is just SO wrong on so many levels. Fans are already howling in protest, even before the first issue with the new look even hits stores. Nearly 70 years after her debut, Wonder Woman has had her wardrobe changed for only the 2nd time. The first attempt was in the late 60's, when the editors of the period re-envisioned her as DC's answer to Emma Peel (The Avengers). Frankly speaking, I'd rather have had a return to that particular look if there was to be a change at all. There are already fans predicting a return to the classic, star-spangled costume, within a year or less. With the 70th anniversary a year away, I'd say that prediction will indeed come true.

The only real, rational reason for the change, no matter how Straczynski tries to spin it, is that it comes down to----what else?----money, and how much DC can make by marketing the new look. Sorry, guys, but this one's an epic fail.


Samuel Wilson said...

I have to get a little nerdy here to remind you that Diana Prince had a brief makeover in the 1990s when she was temporarily replaced as Wonder Woman. She continued to be a superhero in her own right during this period and even wore a leather jacket, along with black shorts rather than full-lenth pants. She didn't look bad. The story you describe sounds dubious, but don't dismiss wardrobe changes with a knee-jerk reflex. I bet that if Wonder Woman finally makes it to the big screen she won't look like her Golden Age self, or like Lynda Carter. The change in the book may just be setting the stage.

hobbyfan said...

This, then, would be the 4th wardrobe change that Wonder Woman has undergone in the last 41 years, Sam.

1969 (approximately): Stripped of Amazon powers, she is given a white jumpsuit and an Asian advisor.

1981: Cosmetic costume change, as the eagle on her costume is replaced with a monogrammed "WW" shaped to resemble the eagle.

1995: With Artemis as Wonder Woman, as you note, Sam, Diana adopted the look you described. I think that lasted less than a year.

2010: Straczynski & Lee's vision resembles the 1995 look, now that you've mentioned it, though with the full length pants this time. I give them less than a year because of the 70th anniversary next year. And if/when they finally do a movie, you can bet your candyass they'll have the classic look.