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Here's a Think Piece About Wonder Woman's Awful New Costume


In the new solicitations for DC Comics coming this June, HitFix has the exclusive first look at Wonder Woman's new outfit beginning with issue #41. It's way more protective with armor and less skin showing, but the design is a mishmash of colors, angles, and excess. 

In the 75 plus years of the Amazon princess,' existence she's undergone a number costume changes. Most people have resigned themselves to settle for nostalgia and choose the classic bathing suit-style costume as their favorite and most iconic of Wonder Woman. Practicality be damned! If it was good enough for Lynda Carter it's good enough for us!

However, public sentiment hasn't stopped DC Comics from tinkering with the design. The latest artist to reimagine the duds that Diana Prince's alter ego wears is David Finch. He's the current illustrator on the comic book series with writer and wife, Meredith Finch. Artist Finch is known for his bodacious character designs where the women resemble lingerie models instead of athletic-looking warriors. Finch is undoubtedly talented but at times his pouty-lipped vacant-eyed drawings leave a lot to be desired. 

The new costume is an improvement over the bathing suit because it's more practical and functional for battle. She has golden long gauntlets and armored shoulders with less skin exposed vulnerable to attack. Then things begin to make less sense. 

The dark blue unitard underneath covers her legs and arms with an inexplicable notched collar. It's then layered with a tri-colored bodice that might have a partial breastplate at the top then goes down in a flounced tail panel. The two biggest head-scratchers are the blades that extend from the gauntlets and the red and white thigh-high boots. 

Gone is her sword and now these blades emerge like a certain X-Men and somehow retract in a gauntlet that is shorter. Magic!  With all these colors and patterns already taking place above her knee why on earth would she wear red thigh-high boots with wide white trim? The result is a muddled mess of costume design devoid of symmetry or reason. This is where less would have been more. And I'm not talking about less clothes but better design choices. 

Image: Comic Vine
This is reminiscent of the Great Wonder Woman Pants Controversy of 2010. Wonder Woman celebrated her 600th issue at the time with a new look from Jim Lee. Not only were fans outraged at the addition of pants, pants! but also a useless little jacket to boot. If we were honest fans we'd say pants make sense. Without pants, there can only be chaos in society. In any case, the new look didn't last long. It wasn't entirely terrible but perhaps too subdued and forgettable. The look definitely was not befitting of an Amazon. 

In 2011, Brian Azzarello and artist Cliff Chiang ushered in a new era for Wonder Woman with the New 52 version. The rebooted series returned her to her bathing suit costume with a tweaked color scheme and a "no cheesecake" pledge from the new creative team. The series was a success, a seminal work that revolved around Diana and her dysfunctional family of gods. 

One costume design within that run that was particularly important was because it epitomized her as a battle-ready heroine. The picture below features her in a breastplate, armored leg and arm guards with a shield and sword in hand. She looks ready to kick ass looking like a gladiator. The most sensible touch? Her hair is up. That's how you know she means business. 

Image: DC Comics

The Finchs took over for Azzarello and Chiang and it's unfair to judge them so harshly as they had big shoes to fill. And we don't know whose idea it was to redesign Wonder Woman's costume once again. DC Comics has been known to make questionable decisions. Take Superman's new casual super-wear for example:

Image: Nerdist

It's literally jeans and a t-shirt. Superman would not be allowed in any night club in the country dressed like that. It'a basically  a remix of Superboy's signature laid-back look. 

No one sets out to make an awful suit for one of the most iconic superheroes in history. It's just unfortunate that this design is unnecessary and over-the-top. But like in comics itself nothing stays the same. This design change won't be the last.

Here's the solicitation for Wonder Woman #41: 

A daring new direction begins with the arrival of a brand-new villain! But while he may be new to us, he’s not new to the world he seeks to tame. And speaking of villains, Donna Troy’s quest to destroy Wonder Woman ratchets up another gear (if that’s even possible!), while the games of the Gods bring dark portents to the ultimate Amazon!

WONDER WOMAN #41
Written by MEREDITH FINCH
Art and cover by DAVID FINCH and JONATHAN GLAPION
THE JOKER Variant cover by BRIAN BOLLAND
On sale JUNE 17 • 32 pg, FC, $3.99 US
RATED T
Source: HitFix

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