Friday, July 2, 2010

Wonder Woman #600

Yes, yes, it's been AGES since I've written anything, and I apologize. It's been a busy summer so far, but I just HAD to make time to talk about the NEW Wonder Woman costume that has been getting so much attention in the various media outlets.

The above image is the redesign that Jim Lee came up with, and boy has there been a lot of talk about it. Give it a rest folks, she HAS changed costume before. Granted this is a more radical change, less skin on display, which really isn't a bad thing if you ask me. The only thing I don't really like are the shoulder pads, what's up with that, they just scream 1980's to me. Personally, my all time favorite version of WW's costume is her very first costume as seen in her early appearances in Sensation Comics (see pic above). She had a very pretty skirt on, which looked really nice. Way more tasteful than the variations that came after, her pants/swimsuit kept getting smaller and smaller, higher and higher-cut legs, and more and more cleavage over the years, lol.

I think the costume looks better in the issue itself, no offense to the immensely talented Jim Lee, but Don Kramer and Mike Babinski outdid themselves with the art in the last half of Wonder Woman #600. These two artists together are a force to be reckoned with, beautiful, just beautiful I tell you. Now before you get your panties in a bunch over the whole costume change and the whole timeline shift in that JMS and company have brought to us, the humble readers, I want to say the first half of this double-sized issue features some great little short stories featuring everyone's favorite gal of the moment.

Sprinkled throughout the issue, there are many great WW pin-ups by a variety of artists, such as Adam Hughes, Ivan Reis, Gullem March, Greg Horn and more. Nice little touch. I would much rather see the pin-ups peppered throughout the issue rather than lumped together at the end of the issue. The issue itself begins with a nice little intro by TV's Wonder Woman, Lynda Carter. For many folks, Lynda will always be Wonder Woman. I can't go back and rewatch those episodes, they are too cheesy and painful, but when I was a young girl, I truly enjoyed them. The short stories include a nice little girl-power piece by Gail Simone and George Perez, an absolutely adorable story by Amanda Conner (which is my favorite story in the issue because it's all about Power Girl's cat, and I'm a cat person, so too cute!), a fun tale of Superman and Wonder Woman by Louise Simoson and Eduardo Pansica, and a super short mini-tale by Geoff Johns and Scott Kolins. The issue wraps up with the prologue to the new Wonder Woman storyline by JMS, Don Kramer, Mike Babinski, Alex Sinclair, and Travis Lanham. 10 pages of story by the new crew, which is just enough to make people outraged or intrigued to pick up the first issue of their new arc next month, Wonder Woman #601.

What do I think of the timeline shift? Well, it's hard to say in only a 10 page tease, BUT it could be interesting. I'm going to give JMS the benefit of the doubt, FOR NOW. Knowing the art team on the book, there is no doubt that Wonder Woman will be well worth the price for those beautiful pages alone. Honest to God, these have to be the prettiest pages I've seen from these two dynamos. How long will this timeline shift be going on? I have no idea. Will it somehow be Incorporated into current continuity? Again, I have no idea. I will be back month after month to see how it all plays out. Will I be pissed off with JMS by the end of his run? God only knows. I hope not, but I haven't ruled it out just yet.

As far as the other costume changes go, besides the Totally 80's shoulder pads, it's not all that bad. I like the new tiara, the new choker, the new jacket, and the new bustier. I think her new gauntlets/bracelets LOOK cool, but does she really leave a "W" when she punches something or someone? (This is according to JMS). What is she, the Phantom for God's sake? And her pants I don't mind, I don't LOVE them, like I loved her old skirt, but from a practicality perspective it makes sense. I mean come on, who would fight crime in a bathing suit? What woman on Earth would elect to do so of their own free will? NO ONE I tell you, no one. Hell, I won't even wear a bathing suit in public and I know many other women who share that very same opinion with me. No woman WANTS to be seen in a bathing suit, talk about feeling vulnerable. When you are attempting any type of physical feat, you want, hell NEED to be comfortable. Why was she in a swimsuit for SO long? Sure, I got used to her completely ridiculous costume, but I think it's time for a change. And of course I'm betting we will see her back in her original costume before too long anyway. Anyone else remember the failed attempt to change Superman's costume back in the 90's? Did not last very long at all if I'm not mistaken. So everyone just needs to calm down. Let's not forget that her snazzy new costume is much easier on the eyes if DC manages to make a live-action Wonder Woman movie, because I think everyone knows that her old costume would look absolutely ridiculous on the big screen. Lynda Carter looked fine as WW in the old costume, but times have changed and there is no way any movie go-er today would take a WW movie seriously if there weren't some changes made to her costume.

All of this excitement around Wonder Woman gives me hope that the numbers will pick up for her monthly title. All I can say is, it's about damn time things are shaken up to get people buzzing. Without the buzz, people are less likely to shell out a few extra bucks a month for the continuing tales of, imo, the most important and oldest female icon in print today.

1 comment:

  1. All in all, I generally don't like to see radical costume changes for the most iconic characters. I don't especially care if new costumes are more practical or fashionable or whatever, I just think the most iconic heros should have costumes close enough to the original that they are familiar and instantly recognizable. However, I don't necessarily begrudge DC an attempt to try and spark some new interest in Wonder Woman with some radical changes. Wonder Woman comics I think are in desperate need of a real shot in the arm. Let's face it, whether the writing has been of good quality or not, the book has been a bit dull since George Perez left it. The character in my opinion deserves more recognition and if a new costume and story direction helps to draw more attention to a great character, then so be it. Of course, big risk often turns out to be big failure, and I'm sure the fans will eventually demand a more traditional costume to come back, but for now I'm inclined to give JMS a shot at this for a while. Actually the costume doesn't look so bad, although I think I would have liked to have seen it on Donna try instead of Wonder Woman. And although I prefer the iconic costume, I think it might be nice to see more costume variations like we've seen in the past for combat, ceremonial events etc.

    The 10 page taste of the upcoming direction was intriguing but not really enough to judge the work quite yet, and Don Kramer's art never looked better, so I plan to hang on for a while at least. I really hope these guys succeed in bringing this great heroine up a few pegs. I've been away from the book for a while and I'm coming back in the hopes seeing something a little different, I just hope it's something that is true to core concept of the character. I have a feeling we're going to see something interesting.