Wednesday, July 07, 2010

Un-chic Wonder

Like many comic book readers, I’m not happy with Jim Lee’s redesign of Wonder Woman’s costume. DC’s most popular heroine looks like a generic ‘90s hero, thanks to the jacket, shoulder pads and unnecessary straps on her feet.

Lee designed good costumes that fit heroines’ personalities quite well back in the day: Psylocke’s scantily clad, Elektra-ish look was sexy and apt for her ninjafication; Rogue’s jacket-and-tights uniform was a logical phase; Void’s simple shiny look was the antithesis of the more accessory-heavy but bikini-wearing females of her generation.

Lee’s sexed-up version of the Huntress about six years ago, the hot pants-wearing one, was an odd departure from her more covered look. This new Wonder Woman costume is the opposite of that change; Diana becomes conservative and covers up her legs with black tights. And that jacket! How hopelessly retro.

Also, she doesn’t look very powerful in this sketch--I’ve seen a painting of WW in the new costume rendered by someone else, and it looked somewhat majestic. But it’s still like an Elseworlds version of the character--there’ve been really good ones like in the “Amazonia” and “Kingdom Come” realities. That said, this temporary change fits writer J. Michael Straczynski’s restructuring of WW history.

Yes, like Superman, who sported his “electric blue” look for a few years in the ‘90s, Wonder Woman will be back in her iconic, classic costume one day. For now, she’s wearing dated-looking, uninspired duds. It’s like bringing back the ‘90s too soon, but it feels more like the designer just didn’t leave the era behind.

No comments: