Saturday, July 03, 2010

You know what other DC Comics character the new Wonder Woman costume reminds me of?

Lynx. She was a fairly minor Batman comics character, first appearing in Chuck Dixon and Tom Lyle's 1991 Robin series. A member of the French branch of a Chinese-based crime gang called The Ghost Dragons, she eventually became King Snake's lieutenant and was positioned as something of a Catwoman to Robin Tim Drake's Batman.

She outlived King Snake, but was eventually somewhat randomly killed off in a big Batman crossover (War Games), then randomly came back to life in the first issue of Adam Beechen's run on Robin only to be immediately killed again. She would seemingly be brought back to life a second time, as there's a masked character named Lynx running around the Bat-books now and then, although I don't think it was ever clarified if it was the same Lynx or a new girl using the name.

At any rate, Lynx's look—presumably designed by Lyle—can be used as Example #56 by anyone making the case that Jim Lee's (presumably temporary and single storyline specific) redesign of Wonder Woman's costume isn't all that unique or distinctive.

(Note: This obviously isn't the best shot of the new costume, but I am so goddam sick of the one where she's standing there either holding an invisible cigarette or doing a very casual "bring it on" kung-fu fight wave that I'm posting one of her flying-kicking a dude instead)

The short jacket with rolled up sleeves are the most obvious similarities, but they share the same color scheme as well...right down to the gold belt and other accessories. It's also Example #567 that maybe the Lee design is a little more '90s than 2010; the Lynx costume first appeared in publication in 1991, remember.


On the subject of Wonder Woman's new clothes, a commenter on my previous post on the subject on EDILW noted that he was a bit surprised that I hadn't commented more on the subject and was curious about where I came down on the issue. I didn't really have much to say on it here, because I had previously discussed it on Blog@Newsarama. If you missed that post, you can see it here (It's probably well over a thousand words, but I should note it's more of a eight random thoughts about Wonder Woman's new costume than anything all that thoughtful or opinionated).

Also on Blog@, those interested in the subject of Wonder Woman's costumes may be interested in Alan Kistler's latest "Agents of STYLE" column detailing the histories of superhero costumes. It focuses on Wondy's many (often somewhat subtle) costume changes over the years, and features commentary from Wonder Woman fan and EDILW favorite Phil Jimenez.

As for where I come down on it, I don't know that it's terribly important. I think it's great for DC that they've got this much attention, and I think it shows the world at large cares a lot more about Wonder Woman than the sales charts indicate, meaning there's probably a lot of opportunity for DC to play around with different versions of the character in the way they do with Batman and Superman in attempts to reach that potential audience.

The new direction—and costume—almost certainly has to be temporary. The timing seems unfortunate, given how recently her history was messed around with (and the fact that the Amazons and Paradise Island seem to get decimated at least once every two or three years).

I'm not crazy about the design, and have seen dozens of better ones over the years, but most of those are very much plays on either Wonder Woman-as-American-iconography or Wonder Woman-as-ancient-Greek-warrior, and if the idea of the new direction is to divorce her form both and lead to some sort of non-superhero, non-Amazon warrior, modern-ish, urban Ultimate Wonder Woman character, then perhaps those restrictions dictated the direction of Lee's redesign.

I can't imagine the new design will ever show up in a movie, although I have heard repeatedly that some think that is the intention, even going so far as to suggest it was the sole reason for the redesign.

I like it better than this
but maybe not so much as this

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