There is nothing wrong with creating new costumes for the movie versions of our favorite superheros. In fact, it's necessary! Can you imagine watching [Man of Steel](movie:15593) if he was still wearing his underwear outside his pants?
However, updated costumes are a tricky subject; many of the most famous comic book characters have been around since the 40's and 50's, and their original outfits are laughably camp. But they are also iconic, and if designers stray too far, viewers are left disappointed at not seeing the look that they associate with the name.
Wonder Woman's costume in the upcoming [Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice](movie:711870) is especially difficult, because not only is she likely to be the first of the latest crop of superheroines to get a solo movie, but she is the first that we have seen in a while with a traditionally ridiculously skimpy outfit. Who wouldn't fight crime in a swimsuit?!
So of course, the assumption was that with the first appearance of DC's leading lady, the designers would be careful to balance out her signature style with a little less skin, maybe something that looks like what a superheroine in 2016 would choose as practical to do battle in. Some elements would change, obviously, but the majority would remain.
What did we end up with? Well, according to JoBlo, we get a skirt and a tiara. The stars are gone, along with (possibly) the Wonder Woman logo, and out of all the options available in the comic books and graphic novels, Michael Wilkinson went with a freaking SKIRT.
I had been excited when I first heard Wilkinson talking about his plans for Diana in Dawn of Justice. He was referencing the history, the comic books, and the need to make her "relevant".
It’s so important to get her right. She really deserves to be presented onscreen in her full glory, so what I do is look at the history of the character has been presented on the big screen, small screen, comic books, and graphic novels; we process it all.Then we kind of put that aside and work out what is right for our film, for the cinematic universe that our director Zack Snyder is putting together. We try to create a Wonder Woman relevant for today’s audiences.
Sounds fantastic, right? And maybe it would have been, if the he actually did this. What we have instead seems to me a poor excuse to make a female character's costume "feminine", and to try and emulate the looks of other popular "warrior women" in film and tv.
Here's the full description from JoBlo:
A “traditional, yet sleeker” costume that’s “battle ready.” She’ll have a blue leather skirt, silver-armored cuffs that reach to her elbows, golden tiara (with a design of some sort in the center, possibly the red star) and a variation of the traditional-looking red top (no word on additional armor on it). Her overall appearance is described as “Amazon warrior princess” and definitely not an urban reimagining.
Courtesy of fan art/cosplay, we can see what that might look like.
Look familiar to anyone? Maybe Wilkinson's concept of a female warrior was shaped just a little by too much time watching tv in the 90s.
Or maybe he just really liked Thor. Did I mention that she gets a sword and shield, too?
We get it, we get it. Putting a woman in a leather skirt and gauntlets and giving her some weapons means that she is a "strong woman". God forbid you dig a little deeper.
Yes, I understand that the idea is to connect with her Amazonian roots, but that doesn't quite line up for me. For one thing, the same sources that released this info also said that her backstory/origin would be intentionally left vague. So he isn't intending to play up, or even mention, her history as an Amazon. But he is going to base the costume on it. Logical.
It also doesn't make sense for those of us who enjoy the dynamic of Diana Prince finding her feet in the city, taking on different careers, relationships, finding out who she is besides Wonder Woman. It's not like she's commuting to Paradise Island after a hard day's work! It has also been said that in the film we will be introduced to her as Diana before she appears as Wonder Woman. So if our first impression of her will be as a city girl, why wouldn't you do an urban re-imagining?
It feels to me that this choice has less to do with the character herself and more to do with refusing to stray from stereotypical female warriors. Throw the word "badass" in with "Amazonian princess", and it's almost a no-brainer. Sigh.
The other option that has been rumored (and that makes far more sense) is from the image above. Her recent incarnations in the books give her a much more subdued and practical version of the famous one-piece. She's wearing black pants and her WW logo doesn't cover her entire chest. Her top also has (gasp) straps! Shocking concept: clothing for fighting that can't fall off!
This version keeps the gauntlets and the tiara, and gives her a jacket too. Because occasionally she may want to fight somewhere that where a bathing suit isn't weather appropriate.
I love this option, and it makes so much more sense that some silly skirt (even if it is leather). Not only does it suit a Diana Price who has adapted and is thriving in North America, it is actually a practical outfit for a superheroine.
Brett Walters created this amazing piece showing the transition from the classic look to a sleeker, darker version, and it is just the kind of thing that I would love to see in the movie.
Just look at the final outfit! It has a similar color scheme and sleek simplicity as that famous one-piece, it's recognizable as Wonder Woman (though I would keep a tiara of some sort), and best of all, it matches well with the newer Superman and Batman suits. She looks like she belongs with the two DC/Warner Brothers powerhouses, rather than looking like she's meant to be somewhere else, but has dropped in to help for a bit (a la Sif).
Much as I want to see her in more than just a skirt, it seems like it may not be happening. It may not be a cheerleader style like Supergirl's, but this was such an amazing opportunity to show a different kind of "warrior princess". One that has a career, a love life and a lot of sass; not just a fighter with a figure.
I'll wait and see if Dawn of Justice can prove me wrong, and maybe I will learn to love this Spartan-style Wonder Woman, but my hopes aren't high.
What do you think? Comment and let me know!