Thursday, July 01, 2010
Wonder Woman's Make Over
In yesterday's new Wonder Woman #600 she gets a new look, as seen on the left. It's an OK outfit, not necessarily one I'd have designed, but not horrible. More practical, that's for sure. How she fought baddies in a strapless halter and heels (on right) is beyond me. Now I don't think this outfit will last because one can't mess with a classic like this for long. She now looks like a hip teen from the late 1980's rather than the Amazon warrior we know. But it's about time she added a few different outfits to her wardrobe. Any real woman would!
The new outfit is just a portion of the "recreation" of a classic super hero icon. In this issue Straczynski also remakes her past. This is more troubling to me. An outfit is just fashion, which changes over time. But changing the history of this character makes her a different character completely--not just a make-over but a re-creation. Granted it's just another one of Straczynski's "time line alterations" and, like the outfit, won't last (yes, this is also the writer who broke up the Spider-Man Mary Jane marriage). But I don't like it. One could make Diana more grounded without having to completely re-invent her. If Straczynski wants to write the story of a woman stolen from her home and raised in an urban jungle who becomes a hero in her own right, pitch THAT story to DC - create your own new character. Heck, she could even be a sister Diana didn't know she had. But why mess with the original? Straczynski says because the sales numbers on the title were low and "it was long overdue." He also said in an interview with Vaneta Rogers from Newsarama.com, "Putting the timeline back in order doesn't mean that some changes don't stick, especially if some of those changes end up being popular or well accepted. It'd be a shame to reboot a character and make her popular only to later throw it all away and go back to what wasn't working as well as it should've."
Sometimes characters do need a reboot, to have something different done to get people talking and reading again. Straczynski's "One More Day" did that, until people stopped buying Spider-Man in retaliation. Time will tell if his re-imagining of the Princess of Themyscara does anything to change the readership of the title. I know that We've seen ebbs and flows in the sales of the title at Neptune. There was even a time when we'd sell 2 or 3 issues at most. But when DC would have a good story or artist or writer on the title we'd see readership increase. Personally I think there have been some great Wonder Woman stories out there recently, and it doesn't hurt her to test out a new outfit or two. But I'm pretty unsure about this total revamp. Straczynski in the newsarama.com interview compares her to a Ferrari that doesn't get taken out of the garage because it's owner doesn't want to damage the beautiful car. Using that analogy this change is like owning a Ferrari but coming home one day and finding a Corvette in it's place. Still a cool car, but a completely different car, inside and out. What happened to the Ferrari? Will the Corvette eventually get a Ferrari engine, or will the Ferrari return with a new paint job and spoilers? Time will tell.
A closing statement--once again this has people talking about comic books. It was even in the New York Times. Publicity is good for the medium weather you like the outfit or not.