Thursday, July 01, 2010

Wonder Woman joins second tier X-Team

I've been meaning to say something about this new Wonder Woman costume.

My first reaction was on Facebook was "Holy crap! This is just disrespectful.

"I'm not against trying to make Wonder Woman's costume less overtly sexy or showy, but this doesn't respect her iconography at all. She has problems with her character being very well defined, but she is one of the strongest icons in comic books. This strips her of anything that makes her familiar to general readers.

"The worse part is, if their intention was indeed to get her into a less overtly sexy or showy costume than it's a massive failure, because it's only a matter of time before they go back, quite likely even pretending this was a single storyline change like the electric Superman costume. And because of the bad vibes over it, her recent costume will become even more entrenched.

"Wonder Woman is the female superhero in the minds of non-geeks. Her iconography is the most important part of who she is. Dressing her as a second tier Teen Titan is foolish commercially and just disrespectful."

Yeah, I stole and slightly altered my joke for the title of this, mostly after reading Bold Fashion Choices--The New, New (New) Wonder Woman, which notes the similarity to the Marvel look in this new look.

I just think if you put this new Wonder Woman in this outfit alongside Superman and Batman in something like Trinity and people will wonder "Who the hell is that?"

In Wonder Woman Throughout the Years by Brian Cronin, he says, "We don't know what the future will hold for Wonder Woman exactly, but one thing certainly seems to be certain – some sort of costume change will eventually occur."


Does that leave this as just a publicity stunt? Or is it intended as a new direction that's destined to fail despite its best intentions?


Roderick Heath said...

You know, there's some kind of weird synchronism here because I was thinking a few days ago about the reasons why WW hasn't yet joined the superhero movie fold, and one of the most prominent that jumped into my mind was, "Difficulties in coming up with a costume concept that won't seem dully sexless or inspecific, and yet doesn't also look like something worn in a bad '70s roller-disco musical". The above pictured design...sure doens't solve the problem.

hobbyfan said...

I've been saying since this first broke that the whole concept of changing Wonder Woman's costume is, 700 different kinds of stupid. If it ain't broke, why fix it? Because it's about the money that DC thinks they can make by marketing this new image. Like, does "New Coke" ring a bell?

In the 90's, DC killed off Superman pro tempore, then brought him back. They disabled Batman, just so they could put some kid with a pseudo-religious delusion in the suit to appease the violence-obsessed fanboys of the period. That didn't work. As noted in the first post, Supes went electric for a while, and of course they restored him to normal.

Now, you have Bruce Wayne "returning from the dead" (actually lost in time). And I don't really need to add Marvel's ill-conceived tinkering with THEIR icons. When are they ever going to learn that you just don't mess with a cherished icon?

Neil Sarver said...

Rod, yeah... WW is a tough one. She doesn't much have a character that would be easily recognizable. Partly because she's been revamped any of a number of times.

Darwyn Cooke's WW is, by the way, brilliant, womanly and powerful looking. Attractive but not slutty. And, most of all, is instantly recognizable as WW.

hobbyfan, I think within the comic world it was pretty clear from the beginning that the deaths of Superman, Batman as well as Captain America were specific storylines. Whether one thinks they work or not is a question of some relevance.

I think there's an outstanding question whether "Knightfall" was originally intended to move the series to a new Batman, or to open the door to it. I suspect they largely knew it wouldn't work permanently, but I'm not convinced they knew for sure it was a temporary deal.

I'm also not sure on Electric Superman. I seem to recall they said it was always intended as a storyline, tribute to the Silver Age Red Superman/Blue Superman, and they could be wholly honest there, too.

I don't think all of these stories completely work. I think that the pure volume of them reeks of desperation, if nothing else.

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