Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Wonder Woman in "Couture Shock"

In the foreword to the TPB Love and Murder (2007) Jodi Picoult introduces us to her experience writing Wonder Woman. Interestingly, she mentions in the third paragraph that, "My first attempt to effect subtle change was to take her out of her bustier, as any woman writer would know it's impossible to fight crime without straps. I was soundly rejected"

Well Ms. Picoult guess who got some straps today!

Ms. Picoult is not the only one over the years who has had concerns over Princess Diana's wardrobe. If you read Wonder Woman regularly you may recall the hilarious exchange between Black Canary and Wonder Woman when they put on costumes to go incognito in Japanese underground fighting. Wonder Woman's was awful. It had flames and flared pants.

The Wonder Woman costume has undergone tweaks over the years but remained mostly the same. It is well loved. However, that's where a potential problem may come into play. Superman is linked to his cape and tights, but I would wager to guess most people know his origin story, at least the Krypton part. Meanwhile, Batman has had many costume tweaks, but again we know his origin. For Wonder Woman I think in some regards the costume eclipses her identity, supplants it. Part of this is the obvious lack of a live-action Wonder Woman movie franchise. The TV Show followed the comic books, but younger generations may not be familiar with it.

Having said all of that I personally don't care if the general public can tell me facts about Diana's past or that of any other comic book character. There are plenty of elements of other subcultures, like football, that I know next to nothing about. Just because the vague "public" whatever that is, doesn't appreciate something, doesn't make that thing any less valuable. The history of a character does not have to be known by the majority of society to be legitimate. However, that is a different subject all together.

When I found about the costume change I felt a twinge of worry. Now that I have actually read issue #600 I find myself surprised at how much I LOVE the new costume. It has been soundly criticized online, however, the pictures online don't really show the true features of the costume. In the pictures I have seen it looks like she is wearing stirrup leggings with a padded bolero style jacket. This is not the case.

What it actually looks like is the contemporary or urban version of armour. Those "shoulder pads" are actually more like spaulders. The stirrups are metal details on her boots. This costume is actually perfect. However, I think one would have to read the issue. It starts with a series of vignettes and pin-up pages by wide variety of artists. Then, something happens during this.... I don't want to spoil it, but I was very happy with what happened.

Bottomline: Excellent new storyline that takes Wonder Woman into a territory she deserves to go. The character is really going to be explored in a very stunning, new way. The costume? READ THE ISSUE! If you still hate it, I understand, change is hard. However, I doubt we have seen the last of the bustier.

Finally, check out the issue if, for nothing else, the Power Girl and Wonder Woman story by Amanda Conner. I think Amanda Conner is one of my favorite comic artists. It was also so nice to see her version of Power Girl again.

1 comment:

  1. I was hoping you'd weigh in on this!!! I for one think you make an excellent point - for the most part (besides Superman), male superheroes are not defined by their costume. I like the new costume and look forward to exploring the new back story as well.