Wednesday, June 30, 2010

...the less said the better.

There it is, guys and dolls...the picture that launched ten thousand (and counting) comments, tweets, and such: the controversial redesign and reboot of Wonder Woman which was announced yesterday, causing the Internet to explode.

In the course of the interview, new writer J.M. Straczynski was quoted as saying:

"What we also haven’t seen before is her new look, the first significant change in her appearance since the character debuted in 1941 (not counting the mod look used briefly in the sixties, about which the less said the better)."

Put aside that he's conveniently forgetting the black and gold biker shorts and jacket look Wondy sported in the 90's, it was the backhanded dis to the Mike Sekowsky-era Wonder Woman run that irritated me. What a cheapjack, unnecessary swipe at a decades-old run, and oh, how brave and bold (see what I did there?) it is to knock a man's work who's kinda dead now and unable to respond.

But it did set me thinking- even though I recently read all of the Emma Peel-era Wondy stories recently thanks to the trade paperback reprints, am I letting my rose-colored memories of my childhood interfere with my objectiveness and common sense (and yes, I realize that I didn't actually read many of those stories until the TPBs came out- work with me here, OK?)?

So whaddaya say that we go back in time, and take a look at a fashion show- specifically, a display of the hideous and kitschy clothes that the de-powered Diana Prince wore under Mr. Sekowsky's tenure, shall we? And these are taken from Wonder Woman #'s 178-193 (1968-1971):

After issue #184, the experiments with color pretty much stopped, and she wore various outfits of white for the rest of the run, when she wasn't in disguise. Editorial must have decided that she needed some kind of costume-like motif, for identification if nothing else. Her Brave & the Bold appearances at around this time featured her in white outfits as well.

Those are some godawful hideous outfits, aren't they. Heaven forbid that anyone would ever look back to that era for inspiration.

Anyway. What do I think about the new outfit and direction? I said most of what I think on Twitter yesterday:

I've seen worse redesigns, and Wondy is difficult, I'll concede, but that outfit is SO 1993.

Which is approximately when Lee stopped growing as an artist, come to think of it...

There were a dozen better Wondy revamps to be found at Project: Rooftop. Just sayin'.

So, they're going in a "Cougar Town" direction with Wondy, then. That's what the outfit suggests...

Well, let's face it- I wasn't buying Wonder Woman anyway, I've never really been a big fan although there were periods (like the one above, as well as the brief Kanigher/Andru stab at doing a WWII retro style Wondy, as well as Gail Simone's recent arc that brought back DC's version of Beowulf) when I found her interesting, by and large I am quite happy not being all that invested in whatever direction they choose to take her. And even though I've kinda liked some of his recent Brave and the Bold stories, JMS can go eat one as far as I'm concerned. Mr. Hipster Funny Man.


RAB said...

I know, right?

Also, JMS should only wish he could write a comic script the equal of Wonder Woman #183-184. Read that story and then read his Thor, and make up your own mind about which one deserves the less said the better. To be fair, that WW story doesn't really feature the mod look…but even with the mythological trappings, it stands up as a contemporary-yet-timeless take on the character.

Roger Owen Green said...

I actually liked the "contemporary" WW in the day. I mean it used terms such as "Women's Lib", but it tried.

'Fraid I haven't been collecting anuything recently, so the new costume - whatever.