I love Wonder Woman.
Definitely not as much as some people coughPhilJimenezcoughcough* but I love what she has stood for: equality, peace, strength, and love. Yeah, she’s kicked ass, but she’s not about terrorizing evil like Batman does, and while she and Superman are about par on compassion (well… traditionally. Mostly. It’s complicated.), Diana, in the right hands, has a complexity and depth about her that Kal can’t quite plumb.**
Which comes to the problem with David Finch’s and J Scott Campbell’s re-designs above for th current incarnation of Wonder Woman: who is this person?
Diana’s costume has been tied to her origins and purpose. The original “bathing suit” and/or skirt was an allegiance to the US during WWII and to make a statement on false female modesty/female power.
George Perez’s Diana came as a tribute to Diana Trevor’s uniform after she died defending Themyscira from the Hordes of Hades.
Even –Lord spare us!– in her I-Ching phase, Diana’s mod clothes were a reflection of her boutique fashionista identity.
But to the best of my knowledge, Nu52 Diana’s origin and mission has never been explained. We don’t know why she’s here and I don’t think we know how she got here. Given that appalling lack of information, in my mind, no costume will make sense for her. Why are designers married to those colors? Who made the costume? What material is it? Is there a connection to Amazon culture which ranges in tech and civilization somewhere between Lord of the Flies and Cannibal Women in the Avocado Jungle of Death? Diana is an enigma, a cipher no one has yet bothered to explore, so I’m calling on you to tell us who Diana is.
Here’s the challenge: come up with Diana’s backstory for the Nu-52 and design her a costume that matches that story. The color scheme, the symbols are all up to you. The only condition is that the tiara, lasso and bracelet have to stay. Regalia rules.
Give me a few hours, and I’ll have my submission up. In the meantime, Send me yours, and I’ll post it.
* No slight to Phil, of course. He is a bottomless font of knowledge and thoughtfulness on the subject of Diana.
** Again, this is my opinion, and I’m certainly open to hearing yours.
UPDATE: Michael Santana says, “I ‘drew’ this in MS Paint a while back. It’s fairly traditional, with a few tweaks–mostly notably, the shoulder armor. My reason for adding the armor was in anticipation for Wonder Woman’s appearance in a live-action venue. To me, Diana should have some muscle on her, but most actresses seem either to be unwilling to put on enough, or they’re encouraged not to. As a workaround, I thought the shoulder armor would add an appropriate appearance of size and strength. I know a lot of people hate the idea of additional armor, but I thought it could be a reasonable compromise.”
UPDATE II: Daniel emails us, “Okay, here is my thought. We know Steve Trevor discovered Themyscira and Diana brought him back. Previous origins like the animated movie depict Amazons in the colors of the nations they visit, and yet somehow they made a bathing suit. I posit that Diana was tasked with returning Steve and a set of armor based on Amazon culture in US colors so we wouldn’t be threatened was designed. We still don’t know the origin of bracelets or lasso, so I will go with the gods gifted them to the amazons and whoever acts as champion wields them.
My redesign is intended to look Greek and look like traditional Wonder Woman:
All accent colors are gold.
Tiara: more Greek looking
Cape: short and white with gold trim
Hair: mid length
Top: a hard linen red piece of atom with a stylized metal eagle breastplate to honor Zeus. Like Alexandrian era armor, it’s held on by shoulder straps instead of her breasts. The cape attaches to those straps.
Belt: a sword belt, with Athena’s owl on the belt buckle. Her thigh strap is stupid so that’s going. The lasso has a hook on the belt.
Bottom: white skirt to mid thigh. She wears whatever undergarments are appropriate. Over the skirt are blue leather kirtles with white stars and metal tips. Most of Diana’s armors over the years involved kirtles, but against bare skin which would hurt the wearer. These are shorter than the skirt.
Bracelets: larger, Byrne era.
Feet: Greek sandals (I suck at drawing feet). She wears red& white greaves to protect her shins in the traditional pattern