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Sunday, March 20, 2011

Superhero Sunday: All Our Hopes Are Pinned On You

Okay. I would be remiss if I did not at least acknowledge this week's bombshell (in multiple senses of the word) news release of Adrianne Palicki in costume as Wonder Woman for the upcoming NBC TV reboot. Before I go any further, here's the photo in question:
Okay. Wow.

Already there has been some controversy stirred up by the omission of the patriotic "stars and stripes" of the original Wonder Woman costume.
Okay, two things: first, there never were any stripes. Stars, yes, but no stripes. That's Captain America who has the stripes. The "patriotic" elements of the costume were the white stars on the blue skirt (which later became briefs) and the eagle. The eagle, as you can see, is still there. 
Second, this costume is partly based upon the recent Wonder Woman revamp in the comic books, which I wrote about last summer.
Basically, it looks to me like the costume designers took this:
The classic look

Combined it with this:
The new look

And came up with this:
I said "Wow" already, right?
If I have any gripe with the costume, it's that the colors look maybe just a little too bright and cheesy for a modern television incarnation of the character, and I have already seen one slight, but effective re-coloring of the photo by a fan on the web.
I have two hopes when I see the costume. First, this is a "rough draft" deliberately leaked to elicit fan feedback.
Second, the colors are a deliberate plot element. Basically, here's my favorite take on the Wonder Woman story (among the many ret-cons out there): Diana, princess of the Amazons is charged with returning crashed American fighter pilot Steve Trevor to his country. In the interest of diplomacy, the Amazons fashion a costume that resembles the American flag patch and wings on Trevor's uniform. In other words, the patriotic look of Wonder Woman's costume was no coincidence.
In the case of this new TV revamp, the producers may be going for a bit of a fish-out-of water story to create comic undertones and perhaps even social commentary, which, if done well, could be quite effective. If that's the case, then the brighter, cheesier color scheme actually works better than a grittier, but cooler look. 
Whatever the case, I have high hopes for the new TV series, and I offer only one piece of advice for the parties involved:
Shiny costumes, explosive special effects, and beautiful women are all well and good, but, if I don't care about the characters, I won't watch for very long.
Good luck, everyone.

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