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Author Topic: Wonder woman gets a new look  (Read 612 times)

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Offline BrandonTopic starter

Wonder woman gets a new look
« on: July 01, 2010, 12:48:04 AM »
http://buzz.yahoo.com/buzzlog/93808?fp=1

Quote
Attention all obsessive comic fans! Set your mood dials to "outraged." Wonder Woman, one of the most popular superheroes of all time, is getting a new look.

Even casual fans of the Amazon Princess can spot her famous threads a mile away. Blue shorts with white stars, a bold bustier, and bright red boots that make Superman's look downright tasteful. All that's about to change, though. Starting with this month's comic, Wonder Woman starts wearing pants.

You can almost hear the fanboys screaming. But, according to a popular blog from CNN, there is a reason for the switch. Writer J. Michael Straczynski, who is taking over writing the comic, commented on a DC Comics blog post, "I wanted to toughen her up, and give her a modern sensibility." She's been saving the world for 69 years. If you ask us, it's only fair that she finally treat herself to some new threads.

So, what are the specifics? The biggest news is that she'll lose the hot pants, and wear tight blue pants instead. The famous bracelets are still around, but, according to Straczynski, they'll be more colorful, "with a script W on each of them that form WW when she holds them side by side…and if you get hit by one of them, it leaves a W mark." As Straczynski puts it, "this is a Wonder Woman who signs her work."

But it's not just Wonder Woman's appearance that's been changed. Her back story is different, too. The New York Times explains: "In the reimagining of her story, Wonder Woman, instead of growing up on Paradise Island with her mother, Queen Hippolyta, and her Amazon sisters, is smuggled out as a baby when unknown forces destroy her home and slaughter its inhabitants." Clearly, this is a darker version for a more dangerous world.

Not surprisingly, the news of Wonder Woman's new look and history inspired huge searches on Yahoo!. Lookups for "wonder woman changes," "new wonder woman," and "wonder woman outfit" all roared to life. Others wanted to know more about Wonder Woman's alter ego.  (FYI, she goes by the name Diana Price when she's not kicking criminal butt.) And lest you think her classic look will simply fade away, consider this: Searches on  "sexy wonder woman outfit" have already started their ascent in preparation for Halloween.

Interesting, Ive never been a big DC comics fan. In fact I know next to nothing about their characters besides superman and their best hero Batman. That said, I didnt know anything about wonder woman before, I still dont now, but Im cuious how her new story will effect fans, attract new fans, and effect those of us who didnt know anything about her in the first place besides her look and that she was some kind of hero in the same universe as Superman. Discuss.

Offline Kunoichi

Re: Wonder woman gets a new look
« Reply #1 on: July 01, 2010, 05:15:10 AM »
Huh.  That's not a bad new look, actually.

Plus, at least it's not like back in the 70s where the costume change came with her losing all her powers...

Offline BrandonTopic starter

Re: Wonder woman gets a new look
« Reply #2 on: July 01, 2010, 05:43:32 AM »
What I find interesting about wonder womans costume and recent costume change is that its very closely tied to the attitudes of feminism for the cultural time periods. WOnder woman first appeared in the 1940s which was about the same time that women started working real jobs and becoming independant. In this era and through the 50s and early 60s feminism was about being proud of sex appeal as well as being aware and in control of its power over men. My grandmother once told me that it was women saying "Let me be as free with my sexuality as a man is". Wonder woman's costume, for the 1940s to early 1960s reflects that, showing enough skin to be considered sexy and could have some power over men but not so much that it became erotic or pornographic.

With the rise of the 80s, 90s, and now feminism has changed a great deal, now being focused on "take me as seriously as any man in any job." and "treat me as a true equal." What once empowered women (sex) changed from being empowerment to something akin to exploitation. To reflect that her costume is changing once again to be more akin to what general feminism see's as its ideal. A woman who isnt empowered by sex but by personality and "normalness" or at least as normal as you can get for a magical Super heroine. While considering those lines DC comics might be behind the curve by a few decades but I suppose its possible that they were just trying to hold onto that old thought process (I mean lets face it almost all female super heroines and villains are highly fetishized) or as a third option, maybe they did see the change and were waiting to see if it would stick or if it was just a cultural phase

Thoughts?

Offline Kunoichi

Re: Wonder woman gets a new look
« Reply #3 on: July 01, 2010, 06:30:15 AM »
*shrugs*

I'd say they were probably just trying to hold onto that old thought process.  Which isn't necessarily a bad thing, mind you.  I mean, Wonder Woman's original costume has become pretty iconic...

Offline rick957

Re: Wonder woman gets a new look
« Reply #4 on: July 01, 2010, 10:01:34 AM »
The new outfit is nothing more than a temporary marketing ploy to draw attention to a character whose merchandising and "intellectual property" still has universal appeal, but whose comic book title sells far worse than any other with comparable "brand awareness."  It's a particularly odd paradox in that the character is still so familiar and well-thought-of in huge swaths of American society, while her comic has limped along as a major or minor failure ever since her first heyday in the 40s.  Sales on all comics are dismal these days -- the publishing arms of the two major companies have been slowly dying for about 15 years now -- but with very rare exceptions, WW has always sold far worse than most.

Brandon, I'd be curious to hear from others if they agree with your remarks characterizing broad historical trends in feminism.  You sound fairly knowledgeable and cite some personal anecdotal evidence, but your generalizations still struck me as suspect, or at least heavily oversimplified.  I've forgotten everything I ever learned about history, however, so I can't provide any kind of evidence or even anecdotal support for those criticisms.  Maybe someone else can.  (Any feminists lurking around Elliquiy?  Does anyone even claim the title for themselves openly, anymore?)

The costume change is sure to be rescinded as soon as a little time has passed.  The return to the classic look is a sure thing because after a short while, that change will promise another brief boost in attention and sales -- the same goals that inspired the current change.  (There's one rumor going around that, if true, may give the new outfit a bit more longevity, but not much:  some people have speculated that the costume is part of a secret scheme to test public response for using a similarly non-traditional outfit in a big WW movie.  Seems unlikely to me.)

Superhero writers have been trying this kind of gimmick forever.  Temporary, dramatic changes to well-known superheroes are the only thing other than media tie-ins that gets anyone in the general public talking about those characters anymore.  For just that reason, all the familiar characters have gone through multiple storyline reboots, outfit redesigns, and silly death sequences, none of which ever become permanent or register long with anyone outside the remaining comic-book readership, which now includes only a small fraction of society.

The astonishing thing to me about the costume change is how successful it's been in generating mainstream media coverage, far beyond the wildest hopes of DC Comics' marketing department, I suspect.  Why does anyone suddenly care about this cynical corporate publicity stunt masquerading as a news item?  My guess is it has something to do with the high representation of nerdy former- or current-comics fans at many internet sites, combined with the nonstop modern news cycle's voracious appetite for something new to report about every few seconds.  (Senseless, but interesting, I say.)

By the way, Lynda Carter gave the new duds the thumbs-up, and I'll gladly defer to her about fashion choices -- or anything else, for that matter.  *pant pant*  :)

Offline Cherry Bloodrayne

Re: Wonder woman gets a new look
« Reply #5 on: July 01, 2010, 02:35:52 PM »
The new Wonder Woman I think is just fine. I honestly know nothing of her character as I do Batman and Superman. This new look shouldn't make others get too angry about the change.

Offline BrandonTopic starter

Re: Wonder woman gets a new look
« Reply #6 on: July 01, 2010, 04:43:53 PM »
Brandon, I'd be curious to hear from others if they agree with your remarks characterizing broad historical trends in feminism.  You sound fairly knowledgeable and cite some personal anecdotal evidence, but your generalizations still struck me as suspect, or at least heavily oversimplified.  I've forgotten everything I ever learned about history, however, so I can't provide any kind of evidence or even anecdotal support for those criticisms.  Maybe someone else can.  (Any feminists lurking around Elliquiy?  Does anyone even claim the title for themselves openly, anymore?)

I have to admit my knowledge about the history of feminism all comes from one source, my late grandmother. She was what I would consider a hardcore feminist (though thankfully not one of the rare man hating ones). The divide between men and women is pretty much done (the only thing we dont have true equality bewteen men and women is the military and even then it falls only to serving in combat), requiring less of a movement that was needed over the last 70-80 years so I dont expect many women to consider themselves "feminists" but yes there are some older ones out there and I've dated a few in recent memory too

Offline Heaven Sent Blossom

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Re: Wonder woman gets a new look
« Reply #7 on: July 02, 2010, 05:37:18 PM »
If Gael Simone can't make Wonder Woman interesting then I'm pretty sure a costume change isn't going to help anything.
However this is DC, so the thought process must go through to it's logical conclusion; "rape pages".

Offline Callie Del Noire

Re: Wonder woman gets a new look
« Reply #8 on: July 02, 2010, 05:43:04 PM »
I don't know..the outfit MOSTLY looks good but the jacket clashes to me.

And the idea of a 'retcon' of Wonder Woman's history seems.. unneeded.

Offline Chikannochichi

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Re: Wonder woman gets a new look
« Reply #9 on: July 02, 2010, 07:51:17 PM »
Another Wonder Woman retcon, and an outfit that looks like Anita Blake. I cannot say I am looking forward to this in any degree. I hope it turns out to just be a different character who thinks she's Wonder Woman, or something.

Offline Falanor

Re: Wonder woman gets a new look
« Reply #10 on: July 02, 2010, 11:48:19 PM »
Personally I'm glad to see an update to her outfit.  Other supes have gone through many iterations of outfits and few have ever stayed as stagnant as Wonder Woman.  The only one that really never needed change is Superman, and they went through five or six new outfits for him in a desperate attempt to gain ground on their competitor, only to find out it was pissing off his fan base.  As WW has no real fan base to speak of, it is something that they are trying to give her one.  Personally I stopped caring for the character after they dropped Gail Simone from the writing, though with JMS I might actually be considering a return to it as he was really the only reason I was willing to eagerly pick up Thor's return after a very long departure from the comic book world.