Of all the superhero costumes out there, the most vexing may well be that of Wonder Woman.
When we decided on the theme of this issue, not that many months ago, there was supposedly a new show about to air, and all anyone could talk about was the new costume. In one way it was pretty neat, finally putting the Amazon in trousers. On the other hand, it looked as though it was made from PVC, cheap and shiny and barely a step above a Halloween Store costume.
As it turns out, the show died without ever broadcasting the pilot-and just as well apparently, those who saw it said it was a bit of a mess. Like the big screen version floating around in development hell for the past few years, and like the costume itself, no one seems to know quite how to make it work.
While the ‘one-piece swimsuit’ version is iconic and familiar, it is hard to take seriously in live-action and I can only assume a nightmare to wear even casually much less while trying to perform superheroic feats. From a cinematic angle, I would guess it’s hard to shoot, with many risky and unflattering angles.
I personally am in favor of the trousers. Yes, I’ve seen the argument that WW should not particularly care about the dress standards of Man’s World, but at the point where she’s basically wearing an American flag, we’ll clearly she’s done some basic research. Does she care what men think of her? Of course not. But she’s not the one in the audience, so I find that argument a bit silly. There’s a reason so many comic heroes have their outfits changed when they hit the screen; what works on the page is often absurd in a more realistic setting.
The pre-60s skirts were cute, but even more anachronistic looking, like a circus performer or a patriotic marching band baton twirler. The Kingdom Come armour, much as I love it, is probably too bulky to use except maybe in Themyscyra-set pieces. The less said about her 80s bike shorts the better.
So please, dear studios, assuming you ever do get it together and produce a Wonder Woman film or TV show, please give the woman some pants already and hey, while you’re at it put some damned shoulder straps for her top. If you’re fretting about losing the coveted teen male demographic, well don’t be silly… we all know pants or no pants there’s no way a Hollywood designer is going to fail to make a superheroine outfit sexy, I don’t think they’re even capable of such a thing. Anyway, it’s not about how much skin you show, just ask any of the Catwoman fans out there.
Yipe! Volume 3, Issue 7, July 2011