Posted by: Doc Comics | June 30, 2010

The latest Wonder Woman RetCon

Buzz’aplenty on the internet over DC’s new costume redesign for Wonder Woman #600 and the reactions to the Amazon Princess’ latest look (be sure to check out MoreFun Tim’s take).  Of course, this isn’t her first costume make-over (a more detailed history here) but, ever since Lynda Carter’s iconic 1970s series, those star-spangled hotpants have become a Halloween costume staple and  frequent target for Feminist criticism of how she is portrayed and drawn.  Despite her iconic status as a Feminist superheroine, a Wonder Woman movie has been notoriously difficult to launch despite rumors of a campaigning Beyoncé, dorkdom diva Olivia Munn, and even a reluctant Megan Fox (following a famous internet hoax, details here). We’ve already explored WW’s problematic legacy, but make no mistake, this Amazon is sacred ground for American sisterhood and some Feminists are unimpressed.

Personally, Jim Lee’s redesign strikes me as pretty uninspired compared to other imaginative offerings.  Honestly, the black jacket and stirrup pants are oh-so Image ’90s and detract from her more iconic elements.  Is Wonder Woman going to be fighting in a Whitesnake video, Hera help us?!?  Although MoreFun Tim largely chides naysayers with WW’s low sales, I suspect our favorite comics guru would agree that our Amazon Princess has endured a spotty track-record when it comes to solid storytelling and strong depiction (low point: Frank Miller’s man-hating Wonder Woman). Still, especially after Wonder Woman has very recently enjoyed some compelling re-interpretations in an animated movie and several strong comic treatments (like The New Frontier or The Hiketeia and Rucka’s run), I think the Xena-influenced interpretation strikes closest to her Amazonian roots (a look that influenced the costume sported by Smallville’s Lois Lane).  That said, the costume is only slightly less troubling than the pretty extensive RetCon that DC has planned along with this change in costume, but I’m willing to withhold judgment to see how it shakes out even if I wonder why there aren’t more wonderous women creators involved.


As we shall see, Superheroine Feminism in comic books owes a huge debt to Wonder Woman and her very kinky ambitious origins but gender inequities persist.


  1. I was just about to tell you about this! I guess your super powers far exceed that of teaching – RSS feeds aren’t even that fast! I was shocked when I saw this on the 5 o’clock news. It seems Motorcycle jackets are the new trend – or maybe an ultra feminist movement on the rise. Still whatever they draw on her makes her cup sizes dwarf realism…Girls at least had a chance with the classic costume. well here’s to Retcon


  2. I doubt the costume change will last past Straczynski’s storyline, but DC is no doubt hoping the attention will boost sales. But skinnypants do not a Feminist icon make.

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