Wonder Woman and Her Evolving Look
In a trailer for “Wonder Woman 1984”, the title character is dressed in gold armor. This picture got the impulses of the fans racing, because in comics the metal suit is what the heroine wears for big battles. Wonder Woman, which was introduced in 1941, is part of DC’s Holy Trinity of Heroes, which includes Superman, which debuted in 1938, and Batman, which premiered in 1939. Like the outfits of her fellow heroes, Wonder Woman’s costume has evolved over time and even received a complete makeover from time to time. Here are some notable looks from Amazing Amazon over the years.
Sensation Comics No. 1
The very first picture of Wonder Woman (who debuted in All-Star Comics before starring in Sensation and then her self-titled series) shows her in her original costume with a golden eagle emblem on her chest and a flowing, starry skirt. Diana – as Wonder Woman is called on Paradise Island, the home of her Amazon sisters – takes part in a competition to bring the marooned pilot Steve Trevor back to America. Spoiler: she wins! And she got the costume as designed by her mother, Queen Hippolyta. The outfit has changed over the years. Her skirt got shorter until it resembled the bottom half of a bikini. Sometimes she also avoided red boots for red sandals that were secured with straps to the knees.
During a visit to Paradise Island in 1968, Wonder Woman learns that her sisters are venturing into another dimension. Diana stays behind and performs the “great Amazon rite of renunciation”, giving up her strength. She returns to earth, is modified and, under the guidance of her blind mentor, I-Ching, learns martial arts in order to continue her fight for justice. This status quo lasted until 1972. It was lifted in part thanks to an intervention by Gloria Steinem, who protested the depowering of Wonder Woman. Steinem went on to put the traditionally dressed heroine on the cover of the first issue of Ms. magazine that year.
Wonder Woman No. 288
After an adventure in Washington, DC, where Wonder Woman was based, representatives of a new charity approach her. They want the heroine to support their organization – the Wonder Woman Foundation – and consider wearing a new breastplate with a stylized double W. She hesitates, but after discussing the idea with her mother, who encourages her to wear it, she comes to a realization: “The cause will make the ‘W’ stand for not just ‘Wonder Woman’ – but women everywhere . ” She puts it on and explains, “That doesn’t look bad. Who knows? It could grow on me. “
Wonder Woman No. 1
A fresh start in 1986 resulted in a retelling of Wonder Woman’s origins and her trip to America. This version of the heroine was younger and a little naive, but an even wilder warrior. Her revamped look equipped her with more weapons, including a battle ax, shield, and spear. Even her tiara was armed and razor sharp. She once used it to behead Deimos, the Greek god of terror who threatened the world.
In 1994, Queen Hippolyta had a vision of Wonder Woman’s death and held a new competition for the title. (She also made sure that her daughter lost.) Diana showed up with shorter hair and a uniform that showed even more skin thanks to matching black cycling shorts and sports bra. By 1995, she had reverted to a modified version of her familiar look, with fewer white stars in the lower half of her costume, but a giant tiara and a larger WW emblem that stretched to a wider belt. The 90s were tough for DC’s trinity: Superman died in 1992, Batman had a serious spinal injury in 1993, and Wonder Woman died in 1997. Ah, comics.
Wonder Woman No. 173
Wonder Woman’s golden armor has its roots in Kingdom Come, a 1996 story set in a future where new heroes run amok in the absence of Superman. In this story, Wonder Woman uses the armor after tensions boil over in a prison for runaway, overpowering beings. The armor was later introduced in their today’s adventures. In a 2001 story, an alien threat named Imperiex targets Earth. Wonder Woman and Queen Hippolyta answer the call to arms, but only Diana survives – for a while. As comics taught fans, almost every character death is undone, and Hippolyta was later revived.
Wonder Woman No. 600
In 2010, Wonder Woman reached issue # 600 thanks to a creative comic math that combined three volumes of their series to arrive at this mostly solemn issue. “Mostly” because one of those stories revealed that Wonder Woman’s timeline had been changed. In this new reality, Diana had been sent away as a child to escape the destruction of Paradise Island and had only retained vague visions of her life as a Wonder Woman. On the plus side, this new world order resulted in a new uniform – one that completely covered her legs! Other changes: Their red and gold gauntlets made a W-shaped impression on those unfortunate enough to be hit by them.
In 2011, DC restarted its entire line. The heroes were portrayed as younger, obliterating some long-standing relationships, and many of them were clad in overly crafted, armor-like costumes. Wonder Woman’s new look included additions to previous uniforms (collar and matching armband) and prints from those looks (goodbye, pants). The color palette was also more restrained: a deep red breastplate (with covered stars), dark blue shorts and boots, and silver accessories (except for the golden lasso of truth).