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What's with the name?

Allow us to explain.

Great Hera!

DC Inexplicably, Quietly Changes Wonder Woman’s Costume… Again


So, its been more than a month since DC Comics announced the DCnU relaunch, which has been a known quantity, internally, for them since… at least March, which is when Batwoman #1 was pushed to September to coincide with it, although they couldn’t at the time say why. Likely, it has been in the planning stages for much longer, considering that it involved a single, busy artist and co-executive of DC Comics (Jim Lee) personally overseeing the costume rehaul of more than fifty different characters. Finding writers and artists for projects while keeping the true importance of what they’re going to be working on a secret when you ask them to apply; planning out which which characters will be what superheroes and in which titles; and deciding what the major plot arcs of the relaunch are going to be while at the same time concluding in some way the plot arcs that have been going on in all of your other comics in the same month are large tasks.

So I guess what I am trying to say is that deciding whether Wonder Woman will have pants seems like a decision that should have been made, with some confidence, fairly early on, and followed through on.

In fact, Wondy’s costume was featured in the very first image we got out of the reboot, of the seven core members of the Justice League, which, as the first image to represent the relaunch, should have had a ton of thought poured into it.

And everybody went, “Ok, we’re going with the Wonder Woman #600 costume change, the one with pants, but sans jacket. Fair enough.” Rumors surfaced immediately that pants had become an edict at DC for all of its female characters, and as the new 52 were rolled out, there was a lot of supporting evidence (with some glaring exceptions).

A day later, DC announced that one of the 52 would be Wonder Woman #1, with this cover:

So, again, pants. Prominently displayed, alongside noticeable changes to the costumes of Superman, Hawkman, Green Arrow and others. Wonder Woman wasn’t the only Justice League level hero who was getting a different look. Fans have given a lot of thought and attention and words and blogging to the pants. I’m… I’m actually going to leave it at that. Personally, I think she looks great and I don’t feel like fighting against the lovers of the classic costume because I, too, have moments where I choose nostalgia over practicality.

However, I will start talking about Wonder Woman’s costume when things like the following happen. This morning DC announced a free New 52 preview comic will be given out at comic shops on July 20th. They also published its cover, which has a great big picture of the cover of Superman #1 on the right, and four smaller pictures of the covers of Wonder Woman #1, Batman #1, The Flash #1, and a Green Lantern spoiler (which is why I’m not posting it here, if you want you can go look for yourself).

And in that cover for Wonder Woman #1, the image has been edited so that she has a bikini bottom instead of pants. (See the first image in this post for the comparison.) Viewers were understandably confused. Was this some kind of marketing move just for the cover of the preview? Was this supposed to be the “real” cover? Newsarama quickly reached out to DC and received this in response:

We can confirm that the actual cover to issue 1 has now been revealed.

So Yeah, That’s the Lengthy Preamble to The Following Question

Why on earth wasn’t this costume in use from June 1st, the day of the New 52 announcement, on?

It isn’t as if this is the only thing that people have complained about in the New 52. Oracle getting reverted to Batgirl garnered an in-depth interview with Gail Simone on Newsarama (which Gail Simone and Newsarama had to ask you for, DC, since having your writers talk to comics journalists about the controversial changes to their characters wasn’t an intended part of your PR campaign). It’s not even the only costume that garnered some complaints. People flipped over Superman wearing kneepads. Look at Harley Quinn.

It isn’t even the first time people have objected to Wonder Woman wearing pants! Or were you just not paying attention when Wonder Woman almost became a greenlit show on NBC this spring?

But I digress. Overall, DC, if this is really the only place in which you are changing your mind about the 52, it creates the illusion of one of two possibilities.

A) It makes you look like you don’t know what you are doing. Possibly in general, specifically with Wonder Woman. You had months and months to decide something as basic as “should we keep the pants? They’ve been kind of controversial.” The alternative, that somebody made a decision and then was overruled a month after the costume went public in a tiny corner picture that makes it look like you were hoping no one would notice, makes it look like you were trying to cover a mistake.

B) It makes you look like you don’t really care what you do with Wonder Woman anyway. Like you have no one on staff who is willing to make creative and artistic decisions for the character and then stand by them. Which is a problem when a lot of what you have done with the DCnU so far would lend itself to a reading of your actions as being explainable by not caring about your female characters or audience. Like when you said that you will not be shifting your focus from “the target audience [of] men age 18 to 34 though they do realize that they have readers in other demographics.” Like when you said that three Batgirls would be too confusing for readers, while making sure that all four of the boys who have been Robin have a place in the new continuity (but not the one girl).

I don’t think that you don’t care about your female characters, DC. And I’m sorry about the double negative, but it is very hard to say that I think you do care about your female characters in the face of all this. I don’t think you don’t care. Please stop making it look like you don’t care.

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  • http://twitter.com/Menshevixen DH

    Yeah, I don’t mind Wonder Woman’s costume with pants or without, but the way they tossed this off bothers me. I’m inclined (as a WW fan) to lean more toward your option #2, but #1 makes plenty of sense as well, unfortunately.

  • http://twitter.com/thegeekery The Geekery

    I am going to take a more positive spin on this and believe that DC is listening to fans and critics. It is impossible to set a course like this and nail everything down on the first go. Especially without test marketing things like costumes (Harley Quinn, you are dead to me!). I encourage DC to be more involved with their fans and allow some more in front of the scenes collaboration to go on.

  • http://www.extremelydissatisfied.wordpress.com Adam R. Charpentier

    How many artists complained, “But if she has pants, an ass shot won’t be nearly as revealing!”

    I’d assume that were they to go with the pants, she’d end up with ass holes during every fight.

  • Francesca M

    Is anyone else thinking that this reboot is going to be an epic fail? I mean like HUGE.

  • http://catystorm.livejournal.com/ Catie

    “Going” to be? I think it already is. :/

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/James-William-Medina/1112146525 James William Medina

    God dammit can’t DC stick with anything.

  • http://twitter.com/forgetful_man Christopher Libby

    They don’t care about this character, they don’t really care that much about their women readers, and this reboot is quickly spinning out of control. When you’ve got WW’s pants inexplicably coming on and off and Jason Todd’s wang hanging out, I’d say nobody’s paying any attention to the quality or consistency of the artwork. God help us on the storylines; let’s hope that’s where they put all their attention.

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Kristin-Frederickson/852880113 Kristin Frederickson

    I think it’s funny that they made such a big deal about pants, but then in that second picture her boobs are falling out of her top. Not that I don’t like the pants, it just seems a bit humorous.

    Also I imagine even some the heterosexual male readers could agree that Harley Quinn looks ridiculous.

  • Anonymous

    pant? PANTS? Wonder Boobies doesn’t need pants! she fights crime! and aliens! let her be NAKID! (and fight robotic slime monsters with tentacles….preferably Nazi ones.)

  • http://www.facebook.com/Christopher.Scott.Holden Christopher Holden

     I’m thinking/hoping that they changed the cover, because the cover shot is possibly depicting Diana during her training on Themyscira, before she journeyed to “Man’s land,” and that she wore her more traditional costume while there, which keeps it in continuity. But this would only be seen in flashbacks, and in the stories set in the modern day, she is seen wearing pants. Thus, they would be taking a page from the proposed TV pilot, and giving a nod to Wonder Woman’s most well known look, while still introducing a more modern, and Practical costume (aka pants)

  • http://profiles.google.com/idgarad Idgarad Lyracant

    The regime demands politically correct comic books and DC will comply…. And just when I thought the Comic Book Code had finally been done away with…

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100000132443742 Eric Bazilio

    I liker her better with pants actually. Just an aesthetic thing, as she is one woman who have little practical reasons to cover up her body.

    I mean, Jesus, she can handle a fist fight with Superman.

    But yeah, this reboot is gradually looking like a bad move.

  • http://twitter.com/AbelUndercity Abel Undercity

    Sing the praises of pants!

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=741755026 Alexander Lorenzen

    Once I’m done catching up with the titles I’m reading, I’m officially done with DC until they fix all this crap they’re pulling. And I agree, I don’t think they don’t care about their female characters, they’re just failing at a miserable attempt at doing so. How could they do that to Harley?! There is absolutely no excuse. She’s been my favorite Gotham character since the early nineties when I would throw my toys on the floor and fly toward the tv when Batman: The Animated Series would come on. The first few notes of that theme are deeply rooted fond memories that Harley are attached to. DC has ruined that for me with her Whoriffic new look. I’m done with them.

  • http://twitter.com/ltdementis Stanley Kramer

    Hah, and supposedly she’s wearing the pants again on the cover of issue 2 http://j.mp/qHPBUo  

    At this rate she’ll be topless in #3, wearing a parka in #4, pasties in #5, samurai armor in #6, and cosplaying as Chewbacca in #7.

    DC certainly knows what it’s doing!

  • http://www.facebook.com/DickieHearts Dickie Hearts

    I really wish that she had pants on.  It’s COMPLETELY SEXIST.  It offends me BIG TIME.  I don’t appreciate Azzarello’s comments “I like my women pants-less” followed by a laugh?!  Act like a jackass, won’t you?

    (Interview with Azzarello & Chiang)
    http://www.comicbookresources.com/?page=article&id=34089

  • PhredofMars

    The problem is entirely that the pants they had her wear were the wrong color. Should have been the traditional shade of blue with very bright white stars. Otherwise it’s like a different character that nobody would recognize.