Oh, hey, let’s talk about the Wonder Woman costume.

§ July 1st, 2010 § Filed under retailing § 20 Comments

The people have spoken! You voted nearly 2 to 1 in favor of my dropping the new Flash series from my regular reading list. Now, don’t take this the wrong way…if you’re enjoying the new Flash series, good for you! I’m glad you like it. But this new series just didn’t do anything for me, and frankly, the Flash franchise had (har har) lost some momentum after this debacle which, I think, created the seeming necessity for this extensive reboot.

And like reader Jeff says:

“Save your money for something you’re excited about, not something you’re waffling on.”

Good advice.

And what’s up with this?

“NO! Save your money for breath mints…. hooo boy!”

Well, I never! I’ll have you know, Mr. “Sniffer,” that my breath is like a fresh spring breeze! So there. (And, by the way, have you met…the Sneezler?)

• • •

Say, have you heard that Wonder Woman has a new costume? No, really, it’s true! I wouldn’t lie about this! It really happ…

…Okay, I’ll stop. Yes, it seems like everyone is discussing it, way out of proportion to the actual importance and likely impermanence of the change, mostly in the context of “boy, everybody is talking about this” and “this costume change won’t last.” So sure, I’ll pile on, too.

Well, “pile on” is a bit more negative than I intended, as I actually don’t mind the outfit. I mean, it’ll only be around for the duration of this storyline, or, at the absolutely most extreme possibility, until a Wonder Woman movie eventually comes out, so if you really do hate it, it’ll be gone soon enough. But as a temporary change, I think it’s fine, and not terrible-looking. And plus it inspired fellow Bureau Chief Matt Wilson to cook up the Superheroes Wearing Jackets Tumbler site, so how bad can it be?

My primary concern, at first, is that I do get kids coming into the shop who, having seen Wonder Woman on TV, now want Wonder Woman comics. And here we are with the one Wonder Woman series where Wonder Woman herself is no longer in her recognizable, iconic costume. Of course, I then realized it’s not that big of a deal, since the actual monthly WW title hasn’t been very attractive to child readers for about twenty years, and changing the costume won’t make any difference to that segment of the market. I’ve plenty of back issues from the ’70s and ’80s, and there are the character’s appearances in the comics based on the cartoons, so I’ve got a good selection to offer our younger Wonder Woman fans. (Any older Wonder Woman fans who aren’t already funnybook fans invariably want merchandise…they couldn’t care less about the comics.)

The costume change is, naturally, aimed at the people already dropping their cash on new comics every week, to convince them to perhaps redistribute or expand their budgeted finances to take in this latest Exciting New Direction for Wonder Woman. And of these two new assignments being written by J. Michael Straczynski, the Wonder Woman one at least seems to be getting a tentative “well, let’s see where it goes from here” from the nerdinet, as opposed to JMS’s Superman storyline which appears to be receiving almost universal derision. (Though I do like this comment on Dr. Polite Scott’s site, which gives a possible psychological underpinning for this coming Superman series).

I did find it curious that, despite the real world news coverage, I didn’t receive too much of an influx of the type of folks who only drop into comic shops to get the new hot thing they saw in the news. Well, then again, it’s only been a day, and plus it’s not like anyone absolutely died for sure, no, honest this time. Maybe we’ll get ’em over the weekend.

As for the comic, Wonder Woman #600, itself…doesn’t look too bad, actually. And I’m a sucker for anniversary issues…for those of you who have been keeping track with me, perhaps this will be the fifth comic I pick up this week.

• • •

I came across this link the other day, and reader Frippe dropped me a line about it as well, and it’s a look at panels where the action and the result of the action coexist in the same image. And the first thing I thought of when I first saw the link was my jokey overanalysis of a Richie Rich cover that would fit right into this theme. So read that first link, because it’s interesting, and read my self-link, because that’s one of my favorite posts on this site.

20 Responses to “Oh, hey, let’s talk about the Wonder Woman costume.”

  • Malky says:

    When they change her back, can she please keep wearing pants?

  • Nimbus says:

    Re: Wonder Woman’s new costume. Okay, so the main additions are black leggings and a blue jacket. As many others have said, the jacket is very 90s and… okay, I guess. Not very spandex-superheroey though. Better if they ditched the jacket and carried across the colour scheme to the leggings (i.e. blue with stars on the thighs near the top to link with the old costume).

    I’m not sure about the straps on the feet though. What the heck are they?

    More importantly though – that doesn’t look much like Wondy. It looks more like Donna Troy!

  • CW says:

    WW looks like she’s been raiding ’90s-era Superboy’s closet. Bleh, yuck, and phooey.

  • De says:

    My co-worker doesn’t read comic books at all. Her exposure to Wonder Woman came from the Lynda Carter show and the odd episode of Superfriends. She said she liked the new costume quite a bit.

  • Cole Moore Odell says:

    I have no idea if JMS’s sad, self-doubting, post-traumatic Superman will pick up new readers, but I know for a fact that it lost this one, who finally dropped the books after 24 straight years (and sporadically back to 1975 before that.)

    I wonder if DC will ever admit to itself that the endless, grim soap-opera that bounces between the poles of 1) metastories about the Most Noble Icony Icon Ever and 2) the Weeping Super-Gorilla hasn’t been working for about 20 years now.

    They could always try portraying Superman as a determined, devil-may-care vigilante who fights as a champion of the little guy…but nah, that could never work.

  • ExistentialMan says:


    I fondly remember your “Richie Rich Over-analysis” post from waaay back when. Sniff. (Wipes tear from eye)

  • If people got worked up about Wonder Woman’s character as much as they are about her new costume (which is OK, but nothing to go all jihad over), DC might have something.

  • A.L. Baroza says:

    Holy crap, that Richie Rich cover is disturbing. Look at the size of his head!

  • Anonymous says:

    This won’t last for long:

    “Thanks for saving us, Black Canary!”

    “I’m not Black Canary. I’m Wonder Woman!”

    “Whatever, anyway, thanks for saving us, Wonder Canary!”

    “Sigh! Better send this new outfit back to Black Canary’s wardrobe!”

  • Mike noticed me! MIKE NOTICED ME!!!


    Thanks for the acknowledgement on my Polite Dissent comment, Mike.

    Please note that I don’t entirely disagree with Cole Moore Odell’s assessment of the last couple of decades of the Superman titles; we hear a lot about him being the Iconic Noble Hero, but it’s largely an informed ability — especially in those early Post-Crisis/Post-Byrne years, when they tried to simultaneously have him Everyone’s Inspiration and the New Guy In Town. Meanwhile, every few years, he’s going on a pilgrimage into deep space, or seeing a psychologist, or some other feet-of-clay thing that’s rarely handled well.

    The thing that’s bugging me is that everyone’s just seeing the slap, and not putting it into the context of the last year of stories — and especially the last MONTH of stories. If Clark has ever had an excuse to have a breakdown, it’s now — and both Straczynski’s first page and the Robinson story that opened the issue both show him in a very delicate state.

    As for those who say that Superman shouldn’t be angsty — hell, did you people ever READ those Silver Age stories that you revere so highly? He was constantly whining about Lost Krypton, and Rao knows his personal relationships were more than a little dysfunctional … .

  • Casie Palilla says:

    I couldn’t imagine now, having to put a jacket on over my Wonder Woman underoos! Not cool(unintentional pun)!

  • Cole Moore Odell says:

    Sure, Superman could be Mr. Melancholy in the Silver Age, but at least he knew how to let off some steam–check his smirk whenever he got his robots to spank Lois. Plus, he never stopped winking at me. That goes a long way.

    DC’s in classic definition-of-insanity territory, in that they keep doubling down on this unholy hybrid of self-flagellating melodrama and self-aggrandizement when a completely viable, proven-successful take on the character–one that would simultaneously “darken” him into a wisecracking bad boy of the type Hollywood loves while actually returning him to his roots–is just sitting there gathering dust. What are they waiting for, a global depression, increasingly cruel, insulated oligarchy and raging wars? This *is* 1939. A confident, sarcastic Champion of the Oppressed might just work. It couldn’t hurt to try.

    Oh, wait.

  • philip says:

    I’m not opposed to the idea of a new costume for Wonder Woman, but this one is ugly and, yes, sorta ’90s in a “grim and gritty” way. Okay, maybe a little part of me is opposed to a new costume for Wonder Woman, but I’m trying to reserve judgment until we get further into the JMS story arc before I “go all jihad.”

  • Hal Shipman says:

    I actually dont’ mind the costume much – and the reasoning behind it. The only change I would make would be to make the WW bigger – because it really just looks like a ref top now. And, yeah, maybe the jacket.

    And I think that people are getting too worked up about the origin changes. There are enough hints about people knowing the “timeline is wrong” that this surely isn’t going to stick. I’m betting that it’s essentially a year-long elseworlds that, at the end of it, Diana will keep the costume AND they’ll use that experience to justify a personality change.

    Either way, I’m dropping the book because I can’t stand JMS’s writing, for the most part. Definitely trade, at best.

  • Hal Shipman says:

    ref = red

  • Wow, am I the only person in the world who liked the whole Spider-Totem idea?

  • Chris T says:

    They’re going for the Wonder Man fan base with the jacket. Definitely.

  • Roger Green says:

    FOX News HATES the new costume, considers it unAmerican.

    Therefore, I’m in favor.

  • Ryan S. says:

    …but don’t comic geeks universally deride any mention of anything DC tries to do with Superman as being the worst thing that they could have done?

  • Kid Nicky says:

    I think most “fans” of all three of DC’s holy trinity only care about t-shirts and tattoos and stuff. My estimate is that maybe 1 in 10 people wearing a superman S shirt have ever read a comic,maybe less.