The ComicsAlliance Roundtable: Wonder Woman's Costume Change - ComicsAlliance | Comics culture, news, humor, commentary, and reviews
“There’s nothing more daunting than re-designing an icon, but what was refreshing and novel in Joe Straczynski’s directive to be bold in our choices was that we were starting with no preconceptions. This was no mere tweaking, no change of half-measures like haircuts or alterations of color schemes. We decided to go for broke, take no prisoners and let me tell you—it was difficult. Wonder Woman’s costume is so infused into our understanding of the identity of the character that it took many numerous back and forths ’til we broke down what existed, got back metaphorically to the clay from which Wonder Woman started and something new started to form. A design worthy of the mantle of Wonder Woman but one that didn’t scream classic superhero! So we played down and scaled back the iconic elements—the stars, the eagles, the double WW’s, lightened up the motifs and added armor which could pass as street gear. Visually, the character seems edgier than before but stylish enough to warrant a second, albeit cautious, glance. The jacket and boots confirm the costume’s functionality and the open, thinner tiara and shaped bracelets reveal a lighter, even youthful, bent to the Amazonian Princess. All in all, a difficult but rewarding reworking of an iconic costume to usher in a new age; a fresh look worthy of the character defining journey JMS has in store for her ultimate rebirth!”
“Did you bring your Lasso of Truth?” people ask me, and I have to laugh.
But it’s true—Wonder Woman accessorizes. She is, after all, a very savvy woman. But as we all know, form follows function. Everything she wears has a purpose: Her golden bracelets deflect bullets, her Venus Girdle endows her with superhuman strength, her tiara boomerangs and her lasso holds others to the truth that she, herself, lives by. And that’s just what we can see. Wonder Woman’s intellect is her real power. She’s honest and disarming, and she kicks butt.
I was like every other little girl who loved to read Wonder Woman comics. At the time, there weren’t many strong female role models. There was Archie’s Betty and Veronica, and then there was Wonder Woman. And they actually offered to pay me to play her on television. Imagine that! I would have done it for free. I’d been in Hollywood studying acting and was a fresh-faced innocent in that town. I was just 24, and putting on that costume—the American flag high-cut bathing suit—was the thrill of a lifetime.
That said, her costume and accessories don’t define the essence of Wonder Woman. She is the “Secret Self” inside every woman—the beautiful, unafraid, tenacious and powerful woman we know resides within us. She is the antithesis of “victim.” She is the single mother working multiple jobs, the unsung heroine, the supportive sister, the devoted daughter, the loving wife. She is the archetype of the Liberated Feminine, and that part of us is not confined by any societal role.
Wonder Woman stood apart from every woman of her time. She was always looking for—yearning for—a connection to others in this new world. To whom could she turn? Not only was she separated from her family and her roots, but she also had her alias to protect. It’s this need to connect that, in my mind, has always made her a human, likeable and complex character.
I never tried to dumb her down or treat her as a two-dimensional comic book character; I had too much respect for her to do that. I played her for real. She had two faces she showed the world, but she’s one person. Diana Prince is Wonder Woman. They’re different aspects of the same individual.
In truth, I never played “Wonder Woman”—I played Princess Diana (Diana, a.k.a. Artemis, goddess of the hunt and of wild things). She came from an island of women where she wasn’t necessarily the prettiest or the strongest. She wasn’t overly impressed with herself. She was intrigued by Steve Trevor and fought for the chance to be the one to take him home. When she found herself in this other world, the America of the 1940s, her heroic reactions flowed naturally from her values and her powers.
While I am forever indentified with the role, Wonder Woman belongs to us all. She lives inside us. She’s the symbol of the extraordinary possibilities that inhabit us, hidden though they may be—that, I think, is the important gift Wonder Woman offers women. Perhaps our real challenge in the 21st century is to strive to reach our potential while embracing her values. Wonder Woman is fearless. She sees the good in everyone, convinced they are capable of change, compassion and generosity. She’s kindhearted and hopeful, and she has a great sense of humor. These are just some of the important gifts the Adaptable Empowered Feminine has to offer. In an age when femininity is casting off restraints around the world, Wonder Woman remains an important archetype.
I loved Wonder Woman as a kid, I loved Wonder Woman when I played the role, and I love Wonder Woman to this day. She is the goddess within us all.
If Einstein is right, and imagination is more important than knowledge, then maybe what we need is to “wonder”…to open our minds and our hearts, to believe in what we cannot see.
Who knows? Maybe Wonder Woman can save the world.
Cover artwork has debuted for "Superman/Batman: Apocalypse," the latest entry in the DC Universe Animated series, joining the ranks of projects such as "Batman: Gotham Knight," "Superman: Doomsday" and "Superman/Batman: Public Enemies." Featuring a bonus "Green Arrow" short, "Superman/Batman: Apocalypse" is expected to hit Blu-ray and DVD on September 28, 2010. Pre-order details are currently unavailable.This will be a great. I can't wait. I didn't read the original story but I can't wait to see what it looks like animated.