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Wonder Woman: When icons change clothes


So by now everyone has heard about a makeover for Wonder Woman by J. Michael Straczynski which includes a revamped timeline and a new Jim Lee-designed Costume. The story broke in the NY Times and on The Source and with an interview with JMS at Comic Book Resources. While the new ’90’s themed costume has drawn the most ink, it’s worth checking out the new origin story:

We learn that Paradise Island fell when Diana was just a child, when the gods withdrew their protection. Hippolyta and many of the other Amazons died in a last-ditch defense against an army with weapons that could kill even them, while some of her guards and handmaids smuggled a young Diana off the island. She was thus raised in an urban setting, but with a foot in both worlds, courtesy of her guardians and teachers from Paradise Island. They expect her to retake Paradise Island, defeat the army that’s still hunting for the escaped Amazons (and Diana in particular), and restore all her people to their previous glory. This is a lot to ask of someone who has no recollection of that world, and obviously has no idea about the timeline shift. (Some of the other Amazons do know about the shift, as we see in #600, and there are others in the DCU who also can sense what happened.)

In other words, she’s now Superman, with the burden of a destroyed homeland to deal with, except it’s now a timeline shift with some people in on Hypertime and others not. JMS released a statement on the new storyline:

Suppose you woke up one morning, or turned a corner, and suddenly the life you had been leading up to that moment…was not the life you were leading.

Suppose someone went back in time and changed one thing, and it changed your life to the point that you had little or no memory of what life had been like before the change happened.   What would you do to get it back? Should you get it back?   Who did it? And maybe more important…why did they do it?

That is the question faced by Diana starting in issue 600.

The Gods, for reasons of their own but which may have something to with their survival and perhaps the survival of Earth itself, have changed the timeline. In the new timeline, years ago the Gods removed their protection from Paradise Island, and left it vulnerable to attack. And attacked it was. Led by a dark figure, a veritable army descended upon the Island, equipped with weapons that could kill even the Amazons. Outgunned, doomed, Hippolyta gave over her three-year-old daughter to a handful of guardians who spirited her away as Hippolyta led one last desperate battle against the forces that had come to destroy all she had created. In that final battle, she and most of the Amazons were killed, though some managed to escape.

It’s now nearly twenty years later. Diana has been raised in an urban setting, but with a foot in both worlds. She has little or no memory of the other timeline.   She knows only what she’s been told by those who raised her On the run, hunted, she must try to survive, help the other refugee Amazons escape the army that is still after them, discover who destroyed Paradise Island and why…and if the timeline can be corrected or not. She also does not yet have access to her full powers, but will be gaining them as she goes.   Along the way, she will face a range of enemies — human and otherwise — who we have not seen before.

What we also haven’t seen before is her new look, the first significant change in her appearance since the character debuted in 1941 (not counting the mod look used briefly in the sixties, about which the less said the better). It reflects her origins in both the outside world and the world of Amazons: tough, elegant…a street-fighter’s look which also incorporates elements of her classic design.   It reflects the two sides warring for ultimate victory, and underscores the path she must take.

It’s a look designed to be taken seriously as a warrior, in partial answer to the many female fans over the years who’ve asked, “how does she fight in that thing without all her parts falling out?”)   She can close it up to pass unnoticed…open it for the freedom to fight…lose the jacket or keep it on…it has pockets (the other fan question, “where does she carry anything in that outfit?”, it can be accessorized…it’s a Wonder Woman look designed for the 21st century.   The bracelets are still there, but made more colorful, tied on the inside and over the hand, with a script W on each of them that form WW when she holds them side by side…and if you get hit by one of them, it leaves a W mark. This is a Wonder Woman who signs her work…letting her enemies know that she’s getting closer.

This is Wonder Woman reborn, literally and metaphorically: fast, elegant, tough, smart…the savior of her people, their guardian and protector…avenging the fall of Paradise Island, searching to discover why Paradise Island was abandoned by the gods. In the end, what she discovers will change her life and the world forever…and she will come face to face with a decision that will mean life or death for the entire human race.

A lot of this seems to be a reboot aimed at getting a Wonder Woman movie closer to being made — actresses didn’t seem so thrilled about running around in a glorified swimsuit, although Lynda Carter made it look elegant and heroic (probably because her ass wasn’t hanging out in those relatively modest trunks).
The new origin abandons William Moulton Marston’s semi-creepy bondage-infused ode to the empowerment of the female principle of love and cooperation. Marston didn’t just talk the talk — he lived in a polyamourous relationship with two women — and the weird underpinnings of his Wonder Woman have often been disparaged or set aside, probably helping lead to the problem modern writers have with dealing with the character. He also saw her as a literal role model for girls:

Not even girls want to be girls so long as our feminine archetype lacks force, strength, and power. Not wanting to be girls, they don’t want to be tender, submissive, peace-loving as good women are. Women’s strong qualities have become despised because of their weakness. The obvious remedy is to create a feminine character with all the strength of Superman plus all the allure of a good and beautiful woman.

Marston’s Wonder Woman was the ambassador and embodiment of a better way of life, a conflict-free icon that just doesn’t fly with modern readers’ need for suffering. So in the new version Diana is given much more of a “hero’s journey” type origin, one given to countless boys over the ages — last survivor, taught by mentors, bring kingdom back to glory….it’s the Aragorn/Percy Jackson story. Giving it to Diana gives her lots of heroic opportunities, even as it humanizes her a bit.

Wonder Woman has long been a licensing powerhosue outside of the comics world, as women do look to her as an unsullied image of female strength and power. Just like Superman, Wonder Woman is a cypher-like icon of goodness and heroism, not a fleshed out character. Thus both, as they were created, are boring. The problem with Wonder Woman as she exists now is that DC keeps shying away from going with the “female icon” idea and sticking with the “guys will read about her because she has big boobs” model. This current approach, from what we’ve seen, seems to keep to the middle ground between those two.
One of JMS’s statements does seem to be more puzzling, stating that Wonder Woman has had only two costume changes over the years. See above. (We esp. like the Patricia Mulvihill version on the far right.) Even the slide show entitled The Evolution of Wonder Woman that runs with the NY Times story belies this!
Reaction to this story has been extraordinary with every news outlet and blog from Time magazine to Dlisted weighing in. Fan reaction has, predictably, been scathing. Rich Johnston has a nice roundup. The official DC blog commenters are predictably stricken.

she didn’t need to be redesigned for the modern era. Wonder Woman is a global icon. you can’t change her look anymore than you can change Batman’s or Superman’s. i don’t know who that’s supposed to be in that costume, but it sure isn’t Wonder Woman.

Meanwhile, over at feminist blog Jezebel, folks were more open-minded:

I really think her look works as fashion! I’ve seen Riri, Posh and Gaga in different forms of those boot-pant things.

By far the best pundit coverage is at Comics Alliance, where the roundtable catches a range of CONTEMPORARY reactions, from the historical record of bad costumes

I just like that they remove pretty much all of her body armor, but cover her nose.

to Laura Hudson actually dressing like Wonder Woman as a kid. The new costume itself has led to many an opportunity for humor, as from NPR’s Glen Weldon:

I mean, look at the jacket: It’s “midnight blue,” it’s got some stars on it, and she scrunches it up her arms like a 90s standup comic who’s got a few observations about those packets of peanuts they give you on airplanes. What is the DEAL with those?

Kevin Melrose has all the other quotes you need.

Perhaps the finest quote is from this Daily News comenter:

When will Marvel learn never to tamper with perfection WonderWomen is perfect . the new costume makes her look like a stree *****. come on Marvel IF IT AIN’T BROKE DONT TRY TO FIX IT

While the superficial outrage has been over the costume (because what women are wearing is always what defines them) there’s one aspect of this which we predict will gain momentum as the Outrage Touchpoint. A Source commenter sums it up:

Do I understand it right??? Every other Amazon has beenmurdered????????? WHY DO COMICS HATE WOMEN!!!???????

Killing off an island of peace loving women warriors sure leans towards a women in refrigerators move. But let’s see how it plays out.
Btw, we emphatically DO NOT LIKE the new cover by the otherwise excellent Don Kramer. TOO MUCH BOOBS. Compare it to this much linked to image by Nicola Scott, (who also once dressed as Wonder Woman, so strong was her identification with the character): strong, beautiful and iconic. In a bustier.

Keep her strong, JMS. Keep her safe.

  1. Is anyone but me more bothered by the idea that she’s about 22 than the costume? (It says she was three when the Amazons were slaughtered and it’s now nearly twenty years later.) Not sure how that makes any sense.

  2. It’s astounding to me how closed-minded how comic book fans, especially on the internet, can be.

    Here we have an entire blog post dedicated to the idea that minor changes to what is essentially a one-piece lingerie piece over sixty years consist of radical costume changes.

    The fact remains that the costume has been essentially the same since Wonder Woman was introduced. She still wears the same star-spangled bottoms, even if they’ve gotten skimpier over the years. She still has some kind of red torso piece with a gold emblem over it to push up her tits.

    And really, the costume has always been exploitative at best.

    Imagine, if you will, if Batman’s sidekick had continued to wear his legless underwear to this day. It was a good idea to have Robin put pants on, and it’s well past time that Wonder Woman did the same.

    Having what is arguably the most iconic female character in comics wear practically nothing so that nerds who don’t get laid can drool over her is degrading, and alienates female readers. It is more alienating to readers to have her stagnate as a character.

    As J. Michael Strazynski said, it’s a problem when the general readership thinks y our character is uncool and old enough to be their grandmother. As Don Kramer said, it’s time for her to put pants on.

    This is an interesting new story. It’s an interesting new design for a character who desperately needed to at least put some pants on. Part of the story is about seeing how much of this reboot will stick.

    As someone who doesn’t read many superhero comics because they’re so esoteric, I’m tempted to pick up both this and “Grounded.” Because it’s always nice to see a story that isn’t written exclusively for fanboys.

  3. Am I alone in hoping that A) this story is well done but B) afterwards they return to her original origin story? Because it’s one thing to play with an alternate life and quite another to erase the original for good.

  4. The lulcows are out in force on this one. I’m getting a kick out of reading these comments about people crying – literally crying over this change.

    Casey is right. Aside from a few superfluous changes that only a keen eye would notice or care about (plus a few misguided and aborted attempts to change it up completely) the costume – like the character – has remained stagnant for years.

    I read a headline on i09 that said no one liked the new outfit. This is untrue. A lot of people do. Though I don’t think anyone likes the jacket.

  5. I’ve waited a day for this info to settle in and to ponder it. The Internet is horribly reflexive in nature and opinions are often spouted with little thought or context.

    As a 34-year reader of WW, the news first struck me as some type of joke. But after a day of pondering this…


    Bottom line: I’m willing to give this a chance. As much as I love this character, a freshening up may be the ideal remedy and a way to put her on the radar of people who have written her off for no other reason than stereotypes, cloudy memories of a 35-year-old TV show or insecurity about embracing a character who is a woman (other than a handful of X-Men, this is still a major problem for many).

    I cannot remember seeing this much fire and passion regarding this character, well, ever. Which means its working. And, of course, they’ve laid a very easy out for her to return to her status quo. But, frankly, who not freshen her up and try to garner some pop culture attention and appeal from those too closed minded to give her a chance? I’m curious as to how many people hailing this as a disgrace – looking at your Nikke Finke – have actually purchased a WW comic in the past five years. Or ever. If she had been supported this passionately, there would be no changes.

    As someone who zombie-like has purchased the book for years, regardless of quality, I can say that even Gail’s run started to get a little tedious. And Gail is a terrific writer. But WW, as many other writers can attest, is tough to change, due to her iconic status and concentrated but intense fandom.

    JMS certainly is making significant changes, but little tweaks aren’t doing the trick. I want to see Diana as a vital, compelling character on the A list for more than just longevity and if this move accomplishes that than so be it. The story will be the true proof.

    Granted, there are some caveats. It would be a tragedy for another Donna Troy reinvention. Enough is enough. Let her, and her fans, be. And Wonder Girl has a clean enough past that that should also remain unmuddled. In addition, Diana needs to remain at her extraordinary power level; de-powering characters permanently, especially female ones, is a weak writing crutch. WW is a top-level powerhouse and DC’s greatest warrior. That shouldn’t change.

    As far as the costume…it’s growing on me. Yes, it takes more than a few cues from Black Canary but I see it evolving a bit. Although I disagree with the notion that a warrior would never fight in her classic “swimsuit” – ever see “300?” They arguably wore less – much less a near-invulnerable one. But for those put off by the stylings, if this, along with the new direction, gets them to read, so what? It’s a costume. She’ll wear it again, one day. No doubt.

    Essentially, I’m intrigued by this. And I’m thrilled that a writer on the level of JMS is excited about tackling Diana and making her relevant, popular and viable. It certainly sounds far more exciting than the initial “Paradise Island Gets Destroyed…Again” initial solicitation.

    I’m willing to give this a shot. And I believe any fan who loves Diana will do the same.

  6. I’m not against costume changes, I’m just not feeling this particular one. Don’t flame me, it’s my *opinion*, art is subjective not a science. Also, aren’t they keeping BOTH costumes (in different books)? This could be a cake & eat it, too, scenario. But as Heidi points out, if all the people who complain about Wonder Woman’s outfit simply bought the book then the powers that be may not have changed anything.

    What I will say is this looks like something Hollywood could swallow more than WW’s traditional bathing suit style. Much like the X-Men going from yellow and blue spandex to the black leather motorcycle gang style. So if this helps that effort then I’m all for it.

    That said, I’m on the fence about this because it looks too Hot Topic. But I don’t see this lasting any longer than any other costume change (i.e., Superman’s death, Batman’s Nightfall, et…)

  7. I think the bottom line is it’s a terrible costume. All this backlash isn’t necessarily fanboy fetishists not getting their fix (thanks armchair freuds). It’s just a typical overthought redesign that runs rampant though comics today. Adding a jacket to a blah costume with overly ornate accessories is not going to get the juices flowing. I’m not pretending to be a WW fan, but I’m in line with a lot of reactions I’ve read which can be summed up as ‘*sigh* this again.’

  8. >Having what is arguably the most iconic >female character in comics wear practically >nothing so that nerds who don’t get laid >can drool over her is degrading, and >alienates female readers.

    Considering that many of Wonder Woman’s most loyal and ardent fans are gay men, I think it’s safe to say you don’t know what the fuck you’re talking about.

    WW fans are hating on the costume because IT’S AN UGLY COSTUME, not because they’re horny straight guys who want to see some tits and ass and legs.

  9. This is a classic example of the joke my wife and I make around the house when one of us starts to obsess over details in fiction and lose perspective. One of us leans over and stage-whispers “Psssst! It’s not real!”

    The costume change doesn’t matter to me one way or the other. But what baffles me, and continues to baffle me, is comic book professionals spouting off online about this, insulting both JMS and Jim Lee (you know, the PUBLISHER OF DC COMICS). I hope that wherever these people are working, they feel really secure there. I mean, WTF?


  10. > comic book professionals spouting off online about this, insulting both JMS and Jim Lee (you know, the PUBLISHER OF DC COMICS).

    I love a good burning bridge. Links??

  11. I’m surprised people care at all. The costume is going to revert back to something closer to the “classic” look after a year or two. It’s like everybody forgot the last 20+ years in comics. What next? Real tears over a characters “death?”

  12. >This is a classic example of the joke my >wife and I make around the house when one >of us starts to obsess over details in >fiction and lose perspective. One of us >leans over and stage-whispers “Psssst! It’s >not real!”

    So? All the gruesome deaths, tortures, and sexual assaults of women in superhero comics aren’t real either but that doesn’t stop the PC harpies from screeching about them as if real women in the real world were being raped and sexually objectified.

  13. I see Jim Lee Tweeted that ABC World News will have a segment on it tonight. I have no idea their slant on it.

    As for the pros who might be spouting off, I hope I wasn’t one of them because I got nothing against how it’s drawn. In fact, I have yet to hear one complaint about the art itself, or how it’s written; since the revamp book isn’t out yet. So I’m not seeing the professional disrespect noted. That said, I’m not on the “inside” with DC, thus there might be some serious words going around that I’m unaware of.

    All I see is the Internet up in arms, yet again. Haha!

  14. Dang it Heidi I was going to write a whole thing about how the real issue here isn’t the costume but how they’ve made her into Superman. Sigh can’t beat The Beat.

    I still don’t get why she is into branding people with her badge like Jimmy Smits.

  15. Christain: “Casey is right. Aside from a few superfluous changes..”

    casey is not right. that’s her opinion. WW’s costume was fine, and Robin looked like a dork — that’s why they changed his costume.

  16. I’m not privy to anything! I just tour around the various obvious sites and fora and twitters, and see what anyone can see. And its not like I’m seeking this out.

  17. Maybe people would be more open to the ‘New’ Wonder Woman if it really was a change.

    But this whole, ‘Wonder Woman wakes up one morning to find her memories have been wiped and her history altered’ has been done by DC many, many times. That’s the excess baggage JMS is talking about.

    How many times has Wonder Woman’s memories been wiped where she woke up one morning and her history was different?

    1) Each and every time Steve Trevor was killed and brought back — and that’s a lot. Her memories were wiped and her history was altered by Athena and Hypolyta.

    2) Each and every time Donna Troy is changed — and that’s a lot. How many times has WW woken up to find: she has a sister, she doesn’t have a sister, she has a sister but its not really a sister, its a clone playmate.

    3) WW wakes up one morning to find her history was changed to retrofit Hypolyta as the WW of WW2.

    Wonder Woman doesn’t have a problem. DC and writers like JMS have made her a problem each and every time they wipe her memory and give her a new history and new clothes. In fact, the problem with Wonder Woman is that her memories and history have been changed so many times, she is a living Crisis of Infinite Identities.

  18. Stephen, PC harpies? Really?

    And I bet you’d have *nothing* to say if a popular comic written by a woman had men tortured, raped and murdered on a regular basis, in between them lounging around like cheesecake. You wouldn’t say anything about it at all? You wouldn’t draw any conclusions about the woman who wrote that comic or the audience that liked it? Somehow, I doubt it.

  19. I found this quote amusing:

    “I actually just threw up…how dare you do this. THIS IS DISGRACEFUL. I hope you lose the rights to WW. I am now done collecting comics. GOOD JOB!”

    Of course this person will never stop collecting comics.

    One of a few things is going to happen:

    1) This costume and revised origin prove unpopular, and are undone within the year. This may or may not be the plan already. (e.g. Knighty Night, Electric Blue Superman)

    2) Most people get used to the costume, lose their rancor over the changed back-story, and this becomes the new normal for the next decade or two (until someone decides it’s time for a “back to her roots” version and Betsy Ross’ teddy and the Ambassador of Paradise Island credentials are restored). (e.g. “Matrix” Supergirl, Kyle Rayner)

    3) (Long shot) This version proves very popular, is used as the source for movies, video games, and holonovels, and becomes the definitive version of the character, with the previous version(s) thrown in front of a bus. (e.g. Batman as the “Dark Knight”, most of DC’s Silver Age revamps)

  20. I am surprised they didn’t take an opportunity (can’t reboot things everyday… except for Flash) to align the backstory more with the old TV show. It’s not much but could be similar to how the John Byrne post-crisis Superman was very much in line with the movie Superman–the one in the ‘public consciousness.’

    As for WW redesigns, does everyone still remember Tintin Pantoja’s awesome manga-princess Wonder Woman from a couple of years ago? Still a personal favorite.

  21. Christian…

    “The lulcows are out in force on this one. I’m getting a kick out of reading these comments about people crying – literally crying over this change.

    I don’t know what’s worse, a crying reader or a blind sadist who gets off on listening to readers cry.

  22. The costume is lame. First, for a supposedly modern costume it looks an awfully like something Storm might have worn 10 or 15 years ago.

    I am not sure why pants are more modern than shorts. It has been 95 here for a week and I wore shorts every day. I didn’t feel retro in the slightest. As for youthful, again, if anyone is going to show some leg it is going to be a younger person. And to go back to the 60s total revamp of Wonder Woman, that was the age of Diana Rigg and Mrs Peel. What or who is this revamp emulating?

    The retooled origin sounds sort of ok if you prefer her being like everyone else. Now she is urban where once she was raised in mythology. No doubt her dialogue will sound like everyone else as well, and she will take her place along side many a comic character who sound like they are characters on Friends.

  23. What bothers me about the costume is that the lines on the blouse make it look like something Spider-Man would wear!
    I find the explanation about the story kind of confusing. Hopefully it will make sense in the comic. Has accepted DC history been changed or is this a complete reboot? Funny how JMS left Spidey becuase of the “Brand new Day” changes and then does this!

  24. Herb, at this point in time, the thought process is this will only effect the Wonder Woman comic.

    But no one knows this for sure just yet.

  25. I can’t generate much interest over a temporary (and you know it) costume change, but IMHO the outfit is craptacular. I hated it the first time I saw it — on Captain Bucky-merica (or was it 90’s Superboy?) — and I still do.

    I guess she’s in a “dark and gritty alterna-verse” now or something, but the black leggings are especially lazy, lazy, lazy.

    Maybe it’s intended get the cosplay crowd dressing like — and promoting — WW but, like Robin-as-temp-Batman and/or Supermen-red-blue-or-mulleted, I’m confident a variation of the iconic outfit will return — much in the way their respective books returned to 600 and 700-series numbering — when deemed necessary by the marketing dept.

    You want to generate buzz around the character and generate a strong, loyal and protective fan base? She comes from an all-female society — give her a damn girlfriend! (Yes, the kissing and snuggling kind.)

  26. Lol, she looks like Rogue´s sister. Just add a white lock and they are now separated at birth. A weak design.

    WW is a fascinating topic. There is no character where the public discussion is always that far removed from the actual sales. If you read the reaction you could think that this is a book that matters when it actually sells about 25000, which is less than the beyond awful Arsenal mini.

  27. I’m really of two minds on this. I’m old enough and have now read enough comics to know that this is a marketing thing. It’s an event, like various Crises and 52 and Countdown and World War Hulk and Civil War and Fall of the Hulks and War of the Supermen and New Krypton.
    It is just the latest thing.
    It is a finite story and it will end and they will go back to the way it was. Sooner or later. Superman died and came back in black and Electric Boogaloo Superman fizzled out. Bruce broke his back and KnightFall fell Bruce Wayne’s back came back. And Bruce Wayne just died and is coming back. Hal Jordan’s back, Jason Todd is back, Jade is back, Hawk is back, Barry Allen is back and even Deadman and Bucky Barnes are back.
    This will pass eventually.
    For now it’s an Elseworlds and a ride.
    But you know the main reason it will be back? Because there is an amazing amount of really good stuff in Wonder Woman that outshines all the crap that came out since 1941.
    That’s why they all come back. The good fun stuff, the mythic and iconic outshines the crap. Why else bring back Zod and the Phantom Zone and Kandor and work SO. DAMN. HARD. to make things more or less like they were Pre-Crisis on infinite Earths 1985? The big stories are still there. They pretty much always will be.
    And no slam against JMS but haven’t most of his changes in Marvel already reverted back or there are plans to make things like they were?

    But the WW fan in me does not WANT to only peek in at Wonder Woman while JMS has his run.
    I just hope it is a good enough run that it stands out and is remembered.

  28. I would like to see Wonder Woman with a real job again and friends that she hangs out with. I want to see her be a warrior and a Princess and a working woman and the youngest most brilliant scientist of Paradise Island.
    I’d like to see her stride back and forth between myth and Sci-fi.
    I like aspects of the Amazons that existed in the 1940s, the ones that had the Purple Healing Ray that could bring back the just-dead, the magic Sphere which showed you anyplace in space and time, The Invisible Plane the design of which was based on Steve Trevor’s but could be controlled by Diana’s mental commands as broad-cast through her tiara which was BOTH a sophisticated telepathic communications device AND a throwing weapon.
    I liked when Diana had a Rogue’s Gallery that rivaled Batman’s or Flash’s- The Cheetah, Giganta, Gundra the Valkyrie, Minister Blizzard, The Blue Snowman, The Angle Man, Dr Psycho, The Duke of Deception, Dr. Poison, Clea of Atlantis, Dr. Cyber, The Baroness Paula Von Gunther.

    (I’m sure someone will truck out something pervy from the Moulton-Marston era or reference the Plane and the Superfriends cartoon to put Wonder Woman down. It’s the same people that say all Aquaman does is talk to fish.)

    Could someone please blend Darwyn Cooke’s Wonder Woman, Warren Ellis’ Planetary Wonder Woman, and the above stuff together please? With some Gail Simone attitude? AFTER JMS? Please?

  29. Here’s the problem:
    Wonder Woman is iconic. There are few female superheroes with Wonder Woman’s popularity.

    ANY change to the character will be met with protectionist intentions, partly because she is a symbol which represents so many ideals.

    It’s hard to write a symbol, as symbols tend to be constructed of black-and-white ideals.

    I think the story might work. Will it gain mainstream attention, like this costume change has? Doubtful. If her “death”, which paralled that of another Princess Diana, didn’t gain any press notice why should this?

  30. Well, having read Wonder Woman 600, I can honestly say that I like both the costume change and the revamp. JMS has me intrigued and I will definitely give him some rope to see where this is going. Not since Perez have I picked up this title on a monthly basis but I am considering it now. The clean-slate, easy jump-on point helps. But the new costume does as well… makes Wonder Woman less embarrassing to read in public.

  31. It’s a thrown together idea. People complain about Rob Liefeld, but this looks like one of his designs. It’s like Heroes Reborn.

    There are much better ideas done by fans that I have seen all over the net that blow this out of the water. The comic industry is too full of it’s self. They wonder why people have quit reading. It’s not just the cover price.

    Sure DC is getting a pop out of this, but what then? When all eyes are on them, they’ll drop the ball… again. Why even bother? JMS isn’t a bad writer, this seems like a contrived idea for him to be in the middle of.

  32. Kate F wrote:

    “And I bet you’d have *nothing* to say if a popular comic written by a woman had men tortured, raped and murdered on a regular basis, in between them lounging around like cheesecake. You wouldn’t say anything about it at all? You wouldn’t draw any conclusions about the woman who wrote that comic or the audience that liked it? Somehow, I doubt it.”

    Well, I for one would have something to say when faced with that scenario:

    “Hey– that sounds kinda hot.”

  33. “It’s astounding to me how closed-minded how comic book fans, especially on the internet, can be.”

    It’s always so astounding to me to see folks trying to pin the “blame the fans” label on a thought process that is clearly yet more corporate arrogance. DC must be the only comics company out there that thinks it can get sales from continuously pissing off its intended continuity-obssessed readership.

  34. All superhero costumes are exploitative.

    No, Dr. Strange’s costume isn’t exploitative. Nor is the Vision’s. Even the Scarlet Witch had an attractive but functional costume from the FORCE WORKS-AVENGERS era.

  35. Well, I for one would have something to say when faced with that scenario:

    “Hey– that sounds kinda hot.”

    Both men and women write fetish fiction, but they generally do so anonymously, and with good reason. They’re writing the same stories repeatedly, just changing the names which accompany the magic phrases that turn on a reader. Production of such stories could actually be computerized: Just use templates with blanks for names and descriptions — a serious form of Mad Libs.


  36. Synsidar:

    Though exploitative often comes with the connotation of being unfair or (in this case) specifically sexual, note that I didn’t say “sexually exploitative.”

    The function of superhero costumes (even the bad ones) is to impress the reader with a strong visual-kinetic sensation first, and everything else (like real functionality) is secondary.

  37. “Both men and women write fetish fiction, but they generally do so anonymously, and with good reason. They’re writing the same stories repeatedly, just changing the names which accompany the magic phrases that turn on a reader. Production of such stories could actually be computerized: Just use templates with blanks for names and descriptions — a serious form of Mad Libs.


    You do get the concept of a joke, don’t you?

    Regardless, there can be certain differences even within the oeuvre of a given author. Take a look at the work of the guy who invented the lady under discussion.

  38. Christian,

    It must be difficult walking on one foot seeing as how every time you open your mouth, your other foot ends up inside.

    Maybe you should have stopped typing after the words, ‘What’s wrong with enjoying the tears…’

    Because the only thing more repugnant and pathetic than an upset fanboy is a fanboy who gets off on upset fanboys.

  39. Funny thing is, I think I’ve bought at least one Wonder Woman comic in my life (tie into Countdown to Infinite Crisis(?)), I know, but I think I’ll pick up 600.

  40. After a day to step back and catch my breath, I realized I got caught up in the fanboy fervor.

    Now that I look at the whole thing, I see a few points:

    1) The Amazons all slaughtered? Not sure I like this. DC’s (and Marvel too! Don’t think you guys are off the hook!) track record with regards to women can be twisted to show a streak that might be regarded as immature and sometimes borders on misogyny. Certainly the mileage people have gotten with the old Lois Lane comics is a sign of this, not to mention the pages people have written about Power Girl, Spoiler, Donna Troy, Kyle Rayner’s girlfriend. If the attack on the Amazons were demonstrated to be compared to the slaughter of the Jedi in the Star Wars prequels, we might have something better to discuss.

    2) If the Amazons are comparable to the Jedi, then does that make Wonder Woman comparable to Luke Skywalker (or Leia?) where the hopes of the old guard are pinned to the New Hope? A similar theme shows up in the Harry Potter books too. We’ll see…

    3) As much as JMS talks himself up, one bit that bugs me about his books as that his characters spend a lot of time talking. Lots of it. Just picking up an issue of his Brave and the Bold books (or Squadron Supreme or Spider-Man) and leafing through, it’s pages of people standing around and jabbering. Now, this might be an issue with the artist (I recall John Romita Jr. keeping things interesting on Spider-Man) but if a book costs $4 now, I might prefer to wait for the trade to feel like I might be getting my money’s worth. Or not picking the trade up if all I think I’ll be getting is pages of people standing and talking in a non-interesting manner. The preview of JMS’s run in Superman doesn’t help either; mopey Superman walking across America sounds boring, so why should I take a chance on Wonder Woman?

    4) The costume is growing on me. It seemed like a step backwards to the 90s, but I like it.

    5) I haven’t seen it anywhere, but is there a moratorium on Wonder Woman appearances in other books while this is going on? What about Donna Troy? Or is Donna Troy not raised by Amazons anymore?

  41. They’ve been telling stories about this character for 70 years, and they’re not allowed to give her some new clothes? It’s not like they’re burning all the old comics. Any time you want to see WW in her old costume, just pick up one of the many hundreds of comics that she’s been in.

  42. Favorite reaction quote so far:

    “Instead of “baddass,” though, this new look is more appropriate for a background dancer in Janet Jackson’s “Rhythm Nation” video.”

    – Jessie Reid at Project Rooftop

  43. Donna Troy appears in the Justice League book, which appears to be going back to the “Justice League Detroit” days with lots of younger versions of the “Big League” and second/third tier heroes. Or think of it as “When Titans Graduate” or “Justice League Lite”. There’s a Batman, there’s a Green Lantern, there’s a Flash, there’s a Wonder Woman…

    Wonder Woman did take part in “Blackest Night”, and she did have a part in “The Brave and the Bold” #33, by JMS.

    I don’t think it’s official, but there doesn’t seem to be much crossover in the DCU of late.

    Also, this upcoming storyline is an alternate/Elseworlds story. Longtime readers may remember when Paradise Island was ravaged by Darkseid. This sort of thing is nothing new… with the female-only aspect and ther presence of Wonder Woman, any threat to Paradise Island carries tremendous storytelling effect.

    Okay… I’m confused… fans complain that they spend $3.99 for a comic book that gets read in fifteen minutes, but if there’s too much text, it’s also bad? When reading a JMS story, I’ve never realized that it’s too wordy…I stay in the story and continue on. Of course, that skill depends on the writer and artist, and the 22 Panels Which Always Work.

  44. Tom Bondurant wrote, re Wonder Woman:

    Indeed, I’m hard-pressed to think of a “traditional” Wonder Woman story. Sure, there’s the mythology and the social consciousness, but within those confines is still a pretty wide range. One significant difficulty is the loss of William Moulton Marston’s unique viewpoint, which (for good and ill) defined the character for a decade. Ever since, writers and artists have struggled to justify and/or explain away the cleavage, the bracelets, the lasso, and yes, the bondage; and ever since, there’s always been something a little “off” about the character. Superman and Batman (for good and ill) were each refined early through their adaptations in other media. Wonder Woman’s adaptations came much later, most notably when she could be lumped in with the similarly-endowed women of “Charlie’s Angels.” Lynda Carter’s heart might have been in the right place, but the show still came across as campy, leaving its mark on Wonder Woman as indelibly as Adam West’s on Batman.

    While the comics moved on, they still subjected Diana to different interpretations. The 1987 Pérez revamp emphasized her unfamiliarity with Patriarch’s World. Writer Bill Messner-Loebs tried to balance superheroics with street-level slices of life. John Byrne doubled down on the superheroics, throwing in a Silver Age tribute for good measure. Phil Jiminez’ run sought to fuse the Pérez interpretation with the more wholesome parts of the Golden Age. Greg Rucka saw Diana’s world through diplomatic and political eyes, Allan Heinberg brought back the secret-agent aspects, and Gail Simone showed us Diana the compassionate warrior. I’ve followed Wonder Woman faithfully since Pérez, and it’s been a fascinating evolution. I can’t say that anyone’s gotten her exactly right, though, because I’m just not sure what “exactly right” is.

    The failure by anyone to get her “exactly right” indicates that there’s a problem with the concept, because a fictional character has a purpose associated with her story. Her failure to age isn’t an excuse for her to remain forever naive, innocent, or in any one state. Aging forces a person to make choices, because opportunities disappear as one ages. Repeated mistakes brand someone as a failure.

    THOR isn’t doing any better as a treatment of mythological characters and might be worse. Gillen’s attempt to add new characters, the soul-eating Disir, has resulted in a mess, because of the flip-flopping between “The gods are humanoid aliens” and “The gods are humanoid beings created by human worshippers”. They can’t be both.


  45. Okay, I have lots of reaction to this costume. First of all, I’m saddened to see my favorite Amazon back with ginormous balloon boobs after she’s been drawn so beautifully and with respect during Gail Simon’s run. Then of course, there’s that the costume is just plain lame, not even a throwback to the 1990s, more like the 1980s. But most important: would DC let anyone change Superman’s costume like that? Batman’s? You don’t mess with an icon.

  46. With all due respect… “Batman” got a radical costume change in “Knightfall” and Superman was altered when he became electro-magnetic.

    Those were not permanent changes, and neither will this be… it’s an alternate reality where Diana is a fugitive. DC knows better than to mess with i¢on$. (Catwoman and Supergirl, however…)

    As for the cleavage on the cover, yeah, that’s a major error. Lee’s original sketch was more acceptable. I’ll reserve judgement until I see the interior pages. Ms. Simone has endorsed JMS as a successor.

  47. Diana copied my bangs and she wore them well. I, however, could not pull off the tiara thing. Especially on the subway.

  48. Could I just say such a relief to search out someone who definitely knows just what they’re sharing on the internet. You actually have learned to take a major issue to light and enable it to be necessary. Even more people should learn this particular and understand this aspect of the story. I can’t believe you are not very popular because you really have the gift.

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