Saturday, July 3, 2010
Karen: OK, I bet you've all seen it, but here it is, in all its glory, the new Jim Lee-designed Wonder Woman outfit:
Karen: I don't know if I can adequately express just how much I don't like this outfit. What in the heck are they thinking? The outfit, and the direction outlined by JMS, sounds terrible to me. Wonder Woman (in my opinion) should be DC's Thor: a link to the tales and heroes of mythology, and a figure of grandeur. I'm not feeling that from this look. Now I know that WW sales have been poor -in fact, have been for most of her existence. But her costume was never the reason!
Doug: DC's Thor? What, you mean like George Perez was doing back in the post-Crisis reboot? Exactly right, and those were some mighty fine tales. Not only did he update her look and really improve the overall quality of the book, but he made it fun -- just as you said, a link to the immortal corners of the DCU. Although the book began to fade near the end of his run, I don't feel that's as much his fault as it was DC's in not finding comparable creators to step in and provide a smooth transition between creative teams.
Doug: I will fall in line with much of the rest of fandom and echo your sentiments about the costume. While I don't care for it and some of the story elements, I do understand from a marketing standpoint why this is being done. And, too, like many critics and bloggers have also suggested, this will all be undone in two years tops. In fact, I'll wager that while Diana is wearing this costume, we see some high-quality reprints of previous material -- Perez is probably due for the new DC Library hardcover treatment. After all, the tpbs of his WW material were out several years ago, and really that translates to a generation of comics fans. The suit we all know and love will live on, but just in places other than the main title.
Doug: When you think about the iconic characters, none are spared the occasional fashion reboot. Think about it: Superman, Batman, Wonder Woman, Green Lantern, Green Arrow, Atom, Hawkman, Aquaman, Robin, and J'onn J'onzz have all been retooled occasionally -- but they always come back to the classic. At Marvel, Spider-Man, the Hulk, Thor, Captain America, Iron Man, the FF, Dr. Strange, Namor, Daredevil, the Scarlet Witch... same story. In the end, it's all about attention-grabbing, and in these mass-media times, it's about hooking the non-comics fan (or latent comics fan) to get them into the shops or other comic outlets.
Doug: On a personal note, I'm just tickled that Don Kramer and Mike Babinski have been chosen to illustrate these now-high profile adventures. I've documented it here and elsewhere that Don and I worked together through high school and college (Redwood Inn, Kankakee, IL, baby!), and I had Mike as a student very early in my teaching career. Don paid his dues for a long time, dreaming since childhood to be in the business. After college, he sweated it out while working for his dad's trucking company, doing small press stuff and showing his portfolio to industry bigwigs (and some small wigs, too!) at every turn. Of course, his big break came when he landed a Startling Stories Starring the Thing for Marvel, and a Dr. Fate mini at DC shortly after. Since then, he's done JSA, Detective/Batman, some other DC minis, and now Wonder Woman. DC is certainly not afraid to put him out there.
Doug: So, while I am not in love with this particular outfit, and agree that sometimes telling a good story should be enough without busting out the dog-and-pony show every five years, I know that soon order will be restored in my comic-icon universe. We're just victims (constantly) of the big marketing machine.
NOTE: Read an outstanding retrospective of Wonder Woman's different looks throughout her history by clicking here.