So by mid-2009 I'd gotten tired of hearing message boarders complain about how if the book would just return to its original numbering, we'd be nearing issue #600. I sat everyone down (metaphorically), told them they had a weekend to decide which issue should be #600 (by Monday morning we'd settled on #45, though I still think #44 would have been the right one), and started an official postcard campaign in time for DC to do something special if they wanted to.

Wonder Woman in pants and jacketThe campaign didn't really get that much participation until Dan DiDio mentioned these postcards that he'd started receiving on his "DC Nation" pages, those promotional comic book pages that few people usually read. After that the campaign heated up. (I'm still curious as to how many cards they actually got, or if the few postcards triggered an idea for a publicity stunt that meshed well with DC's 75th Anniversary. Didio said he'd give a follow-up report but never did.) On June 30, 2010, instead of issue #45, Wonder Woman got her 600th issue—and pulled off a huge publicity stunt of her own, publicity that DC not only timed right for once, but got significant mention around the world.

Wonder Woman's outfit shows straps and not cap sleevesDC changed her costume radically with a fairly generic Urban Fantasy Chick design by Jim Lee, aka "Walmart Woman" (Christie Marston says she thinks WW fan Chris Hayes came up with the term), because you can outfit yourself there for Halloween in this suit without having to search for a WW-specific set.

The story was basically an Elseworlds/Imaginary setup, though it sometimes interacted with the regular DCU. DC has no continuity these days. I've termed this violent character who bears pretty much no relation to the previous versions of WW as "not Wonder Woman."

The pic to the right is the publicity shot of the final version, including a retrieved lasso. The pic above is how she appeared in this first chapter. The cap sleeves (which Lynda Carter mentioned in publicity quotes) are missing and the gold piping turned out to be loose straps that twined down the arms. Which is better than no straps at all, I suppose. Or not. Yeah, let me say a definite "not." The tiara was half upside-down (and the story artist refers to it in interviews as a "headband"). The "spurs," as readers called them, as well as the choker, were sometimes absent as well due to what can only be sloppy art/editing, so who knows what this was really supposed to look like?

Adding pants, Gloria Steinem commented, “gives us the idea that only pants can be powerful—tell that to Greek warriors and Sumo wrestlers.” Besides, she added, “in fact, they’re so tight that they’ve just painted her legs blue; hardly a cover-up.” (We did indeed get an awful lot of butt and cleavage shots.)

According to Lee, they were after a more youthful, street feel with the implication of being darker. (Yet Wonder Woman, Superman and Captain Marvel have always been the "bright" DC characters. DC managed to completely destroy Capt. Marvel by making him dark; perhaps now they were working to do the same for Diana?)

A man's forehead is left with a scrolly "W" imprintMake note that we get a closeup of one of the guys Diana knocks out. The bracelets, when used together to bash someone with Amazon strength, will leave a "W" mark. Think about this a while. Look at how the bracelets' design go around her wrist. Figure out what kind of move she'd have had to make to leave a tattoo of this kind on someone. Then go to Mythbusters to check their test of the old "Phantom ring imprint" trick, and then check out a viewer's reply about a more temporary result. Either way, this move takes deliberate maliciousness and a LOT of power behind it.

If you don't want to use the link, Mythbusters showed that if you hit hard enough to leave a mark, you'd shatter the underlying skeletal structure. WW fans pointed out that when worn, the bracelets have "M's" on them instead of "W's"; since when is Diana's ego so big that she feels she has to mark her victims?; and Diana's name begins with a "D," not a "W" or "M."

Jacket-less, Diana reveals bondage straps that cover her arms

 

 

Diana took off the jacket in issue #602. Accckkk!

This awful run lasted for 14 loooooong issues.

DC Universe Online

 

2010's "DC Universe Online" violent videogame featured a costume and hair redo for Diana.

 

 

 

Wonder Woman flies through the air

In an attempt to organize "New Earth," DC finally got around to giving us a timeline of things in Legends. Gone was Hippolyta during World War II. No sign of Diana back there either. Instead she makes her debut after Superman and Batman, wearing this outfit.

Note the nods to the Silver Age: the one-pointed tiara, the traditional manacle-looking bracelets (albeit silver now). Her eagle has wings that look like how the =W= would be, her belt was gold, and her shorts... Where are her shorts? Hotpants? Daisy Dukes? They've got her in briefs. Well, at least the interior artist didn't put her in four-inch heels like the cover artist of this particular issue did.

Erica Durance as Warrior AngelIn season nine of Smallville, a series I didn't really watch, Lois Lane attends a comic book convention as "Warrior Angel," an Amazon princess. (The producers weren't allowed to use WW on the show.) Here's series regular Erica Durance in the costume, which is a cross between Wondie's and Xena. Feb. 12, 2010. at right

Adrianne Palicki in the TV outfit

On March 18, 2011, we got the first uncomfortable-looking publicity shot of Adrianne Palicki dressed up as Wonder Woman for the NBC pilot, to be aired in September. (It never was, but it sure made the rounds of illegal Internet sharing!) I was surprised that they used the cheesy Not-Wonder Woman tiara, and the layered details around the hips look rather odd. They did change the boots to red, though. (Due to outrage from the leaked publicity shots.) The pilot remained slightly unfinished and the screen notation of "Pants to be darkened" became a rallying sneer at it all. At least they didn't go with the comics' glovelets and arm straps. (But still she needs straps. And some more room to breathe.)

the brief version of the costume from the pilotcloseup of the abbreviated costumeAccording to the (quite illegally-distributed) script I read, there originally was a scene in which the iconic costume hangs in Diana's closet, and she sniffs derisively at it. Sacrilege! Luckily, that didn't make it into the final version. For the closing action sequence, she ditches the pants and puts on her spangled briefs. at right

FYI: Linkara posted a hilarious but accurate review of the mostly-awful movie, and you can see this version of Wondie in action.

 

Erica Durance in Harry's Law

at right Okay, we'll stay on TV for a while since we're there already. On Jan. 11, 2012, Erica Durance, formerly of Smallville, again appears in a Wondie costume, but this time she swiped it from the pilot to use as "a psychologically damaged woman who takes on the persona of the popular DC Comics character to exact vigilante-style justice" on an episode of NBC's Harry's Law.

Diana in loose tank top with eagle, a skirt, and tie-up sandals

 

 

at right Just weeks before DC switched to the Nottaboot (vol. 4 as regards Wondie), they ran a series of one-shots, a look back at three eras of Wondie. The last, RetroActive 1990s, the issue that made its way to my "best of WW" list, was written by Bill Messner-Loebs and, as in his actual WW era, Diana donned one final "Wonder civilian" outfit.

 

 

Diana in armor, wearing Mera's helmet

 

Of completely opposite quality, DC was running the Flashpoint series, which was supposed to lead up to the Nottaboot and give a reason for its existence. An unfortunate spin-off of this ghastly title was Wonder Woman and the Furies, which posited an alternate-universe Diana. Needless to say in this new era of DC, unbridled violence ensues. So we get Diana in armor, not only brandishing but utilizing a sword. As concerns this index, said sword beheaded Queen Mera of Atlantis, and Diana took her ugly, alternate-universe helm (still bloody from the beheading) as her own.

 

Classy.

 

two versions of the cover to Justice League #1: pants or no pants for Wondie?

Justice League Dark #1: she wears a scabbardHow she appeared in the first issue of Volume 4: sword in hand, blood flying.at right As sales began to fall again, DC decided to reboot... or not... its entire line, making the "Nu 52" and definitely rebooting Wonder Woman. Everyone got new costume designs, and when Wondie's was showcased in PR articles, we saw that once again she was wearing pants. As well as a lot of other stuff that was definitely not Wondie. But many fans objected to the pants and, though covers had already been drawn with the pants, they were erased and the spangled panties returned. There's no gold, too much arm jewelry, blue boots, and though Diana almost always carries a sword, no scabbard for it. Some artists would begin to show her with one, and others would not.

Justice League late 2011original version of the cover to issue #1, with pants

 

Note above and right: red boots and scabbard over in Justice League Dark.

at left Now, over in the nu Justice League, the story happened 5 years before the rest of the DC timeline for a while, and we saw Diana in a different costume. Jim Lee had her hanging out of her duds as much as possible, and his design seemed to change every time he drew her. This particular shot has an interesting take on her =W= (can we even call it that anymore?), and an unfortunate emphasis on the central seam on her briefs to suggest that fanboy favorite, the camel toe.

headband turns into tiaraHere's a cute little throwaway: Out of uniform, Diana wears her tiara as a head ornament of some kind. It's too far back in the first panel to be called a headband, isn't it? When she prepares to suit up for action, she brings it down to be a tiara. Reminds me of how Barbara Gordon used her beret to become her cowl during her first two (?) adventures as Batgirl. At the time, I felt sorry for how Babs had to wear the same civilian clothing day in and day out, just because the one outfit was reversible.

 

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