Sneak Peek: JMS’s Wonder Woman

Published on June 30th, 2010

diananewwwcostumeAs Wonder Woman’s 600th issue hits comic shops today, fans will see a whole new look for Diana, designed by Jim Lee. Instead of her trademark bathing suit she is now in, what looks like to me, a costume from a Michael Jackson video.  Her blue jacket, clearly has shoulder pads and looks like a “members only” jacket. Although the pants and fitted top look like a more practical fighting outfit I have to say, this does not say Wonder Woman to me. This says, trendy 80’s “wanna be.”

According to J. Michael Straczynski, writer of Wonder Woman #600, this is the modern answer to the many fan questions about the practicality of the traditional costume. In the DCU blog he had this to say, “It’s a look designed to be taken seriously as a warrior, in partial answer to the many female fans over the years who’veasked, “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.”

I have to disagree with him on some of his statements. First it isn’t a 21st century look, it’s a 20th century look. It has fingerless gloves, how Madonnaof her! Her costume doesn’t say, “Take me serious as a warrior” it says, “I saw this is the latest throw back look young Hollywood is wearing.”  Also, what is with the crazy spur straps on the boots? I’m sure it’s just to add color to what looks like black leather pants, sure that’s gonna help her range of motion while she fights, but really it makes no sense. As a female comic fan I have to ask, why is this the best you could come up with Mr. Lee? Wasn’t there some way to keep the integrity of her old outfit while updating it? I’m all for pants and toning down the American flag look, but is this really the best way to go? Where is that iconic “W” on the front of her top? It’s been reduced to an accent, not the statement it is meant to be.

I don’t feel the strong amazon princess in this picture. If this was the new outfit for her newest protege than I would say well done. You have created a hip and trendy teenage girl coming into her own, a character young girls could relate too. Someone who is trying to be like Wonder Woman but not look exactly like her. I really don’t know if you showed this picture to random non-comic readers, if they would be able to identify it as Wonder Woman. That makes me sad.

As well as the new costume they are completely retelling her origin story. She grew up in an urban environment not knowing she was an Amazon princess and now has to learn her powers as she goes. So, I guess she is a young girl coming into her own. More Wonder Teenager than Wonder Woman.

Christina Flores
Christina@comicimpact.com