Thursday, July 1, 2010

Throwback Thursday 07-01-10 Wonder Wardrobe

Well... that's quite a shit storm. Teh Internets is blowin' up over DC's announcement that they are overhauling Wonder Woman's look! Of course, as a WW fan and comic fan in general, I get that this is just a storyline and she'll go back to looking like a swim team hooker in a year or so, so I'm not worried. Also, I mean, I kinda GET it. How does her bustier stay up? Amazon magic? I read that awesome book The Supergirls and it mentioned the hub-bub over J.Lo's dress at the Grammy's that time and how EVERY website and magazine was going crazy over HOW she held it in place. All she was doing was standing, walking and smiling! She wasn't dodging bullets, climbing buildings or bringing the hurt to bad guys! And yet, the vast majority of female super heroes and villains parade around in far less fabric! So, I GET it!

But what better opportunity to look back on Wonder Woman's looks through the ages?!
In her origin story, her mother Queen Hippolyta, assigned her her America-centric costume, despite the Amazons being of Greek descent, because she was voyaging to America and wanted it clear that she was a friend coming to help them. In 1942, she had a slightly anachronistic look reflecting that of a flapper/silent movie star of the 20s. But the basics are there, her red bodice featured an ornate golden eagle image, red boots and in the earliest tales, she sported a pair of billowy star-spangled culottes. (NOT a skirt as is often inaccurately depicted/described.)
The culottes quickly went away and she adopted a pair of thigh-length "biker shorts." I know they didn't have biker shorts in the 40s, but that's the best description I could come up with.
As time went on, the shorts got slightly shorter and she rocked out the red knee-length "hooker boots" for several years, but in the 50s, she traded them in for a pair of lace up, gladiator sandals... high heels of course.
The biggest overhaul came in the late 60s, when she lost her super powers and became a kung-fu fighting secret agent type, based on Emma Peel on the TV show The Avengers. Diana ditched the star-spangled swimsuit and adopted a vast Mod wardrobe... this cover is a tad misleading though, as her Mod outfits were always colored... er, "colored" white in the comics.
Lazy-ass colorist.
Rock that fringe, gurl!
Legend has it that feminist leader Gloria Stienham complained about Wonder Woman being de-powered and DC came to their senses and returned Diana to her super powered form, this time bearing a more stylized eagle chest logo and trunks cut higher on the thigh, like a bathing suit.
And soon, she once again switched up her footwear, adding white piping.
All this was ignored... along with EVERYTHING ELSE ABOUT THE CHARACTER, when ABC filmed a TV movie called Wonder Woman starring Cathy Lee Crosby. Ahem, BLONDE Cathy Lee Crosby. This version of Wonder Woman rocked a jacket dress over leggings.
However, when they decided to make Wonder Woman a regular TV series, they returned to the source material and cast FLAWLESS brunette Lynda Carter and dressed her in a costume identical to the comic book heroine's.
The outfit was tweaked in the second season, with the eagle on her chest given more "finger like" feathers and her trunks now sporting fewer stars that formed a "V"-like pattern. She also switched her blue bracelets out for gold ones.
And, she took to accessorizing, donning a cape at times...
...and even adopting a completely different outfit when times called for it. This blue bodysuit served as her underwater scuba suit, her motorcycle-riding suit and even a skateboarding suit!
In the late 70s, DC attempted to copyright Wonder Woman's eagle logo and were informed that they couldn't copyright an eagle... so they concocted a new logo for her a stylized "WW."
In the mid-80s, DC revamped its entire comics line and Wonder Woman was among those overhauled. The biggest outward change was that her blue bracelets became silver.
Writer/artist George Perez also designed a special suit of armor for those extra tough missions!
In a dreadful 90s storyline, Queen Hippolyta had a vision that Wonder Woman would die in an upcoming battle and thus stripped Diana of her title and reassigned it to another Amazon, Artemis. (Hippolyta: "Fuck you, Artemis! Red-head=Red Shirt!) Diana refused to stop battling evil and adopted a new costume, navy/black biker shorts (by this time, biker shorts actually existed) a black bra, a blue jacket and motorcycle boots. She also wore a straight wig in this guise. All completely IMPRACTICAL! But it was the 90s, so I'm just glad she wasn't wearing a thong!
And "Wonder Woman" did die in combat... Artemis. Diana reclaimed her role as Wonder Woman and oh, look at that... Artemis got better!
Writer/artist John Byrne then took over the Wonder Woman book and made some drastic changes. He revamped Diana's costume once more, connecting her WW logo to her belt, emulating her older eagle emblem. He made her silver bracelets bigger and more gauntlet-like, as he similarly enlarged her tiara. He also simplified her trunks, depicting only two stars on the front and two on the back.
As part of the storyline, Diana died (and later got better) and her mother Hippolyta assumed the identity of Wonder Woman. The Hippolyta Wonder Woman wielded a sword and shield in addition to the magic bracelets, sported a star-spangled skirt, a modified tiara that only pointed down and assumed an eagle logo, moving the "WW" to her belt.
In the legendary 90s miniseries Kingdom Come, painter Alex Ross depicted a future Diana in a slightly altered costume. the point of her WW logo now curved to the right, to resemble her earlier eagle emblem. He also replaced her shorts with a loincloth.
Ross also designed a suit of golden eagle-style armor which has become a regularly donned look.
In the Kennedy-era miniseries The New Frontier, artist Darwin Cooke tweaked the classic Wonder Woman suit, adding shin-guards and a gladiator-style skirt. Also, humorously, THIS Amazon towered over her male counterparts like Superman!
Back in the modern DCU, Terry Dodson slightly altered Diana's suit, adding a downward point to the bottom of her WW logo, and made her belt more ornate, incorporating the WW into it as well.
And now... huh. I'm not opposed to her getting a more practical costume. I mean, seriously, how DO her boobs stay in place? I LOVE the gauntlets. I hate the tiara. At least she's wearing tights or leggings and not fucking jeans, like Superboy or Wonder Girl.I can live with the jacket. But... it's just kinda BORING! Boots in a contrasting color might have helped. But either way, WW is a struggling property, so if this stirs up some attention, I'm good with that. Y'know, as long as she returned to her swim team hooker costume at some point.

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