Wonder Woman's Costume Problem


Wonder Woman will get a new look in the upcoming Justice League: War animated feature film, while artist Yanick Paquette teased a new look for the heroine in the upcoming Wonder Woman: The Trial of Diana Prince original graphic novel.

And, predictably, nobody's too happy about it because...well, fans tend not to be happy whenever anything changes, but particularly as it pertains to female superheroes, any attempt to make their costumes more practical and to put them more in line with what their male counterparts wear is tagged by detractors as "politically correct."

DC tried to give Wonder Woman pants when they relaunched their universe two years ago, and fan response was so vitriolic that the plan got scrapped, leaving her once again bare-legged. Not surprisingly, many self-described feminists, who had been excited by the prospect of DC's most recognizable female hero wearing something more practical into battle, didn't take the reversion well, proving that you can't possibly please everyone.


Here's the thing, though; as comic books from the Big Two become more and more bound to their big-screen counterparts and no female superhero has yet managed to get a solo movie since the disastrous outings for Elektra and Catwoman, we have to wonder if the look of female superheroes are a liability to their overall marketability.


As superhero costumes become more functional in the movies and realism takes precedence over fidelity to the source material, is it more difficult to make superheroine movies where the lead wears hilariously impractical clothing pretty much all the time?

There are a lot of issues facing female characters, including a perceived lack of marketability, both of films with female leads in general and in specific with comic book movies which are aimed squarely at young men. You've got characters who have not generally had long runs of great comics to fall back on in the same way that the top male heroes do. But the discernible outrage fans have to every tiny tweak made to Wonder Woman's costume makes it easy to see why the character would have a hard time getting beyond even the concept art stage.