The new costume will be part of a multi-year storyline rebooting the character in the able hands of writer J. Michael Straczynski, best known for his Babylon 5 science fiction television series and his critically-acclaimed and best-selling Amazing Spider-man comic run. Artist Don Kramer does a fine job making the legendary heroine look great in her new duds.
The new Wonder Woman design is much more conservative. Gone are the bikini briefs, the knee-high red boots, the bare shoulders, arms, and thighs. She still has a golden tiara, bulletproof gauntlets, her trusty magic lasso, and a low-cut, form-fitting, red shirt with a gilded eagle emblazened beneath her cleavage. Most dramatically, she now sports black leather pants and a stylish jacket.
Is this a legitimate attempt to address the often sexist depictions of female superheroes who run around in their underwear, or is it just an attention-grabbing gimmick? (If the latter, it is already working, with stories in the mainstream press, such as the New York Daily News, and on the Internet, via popular blogs like Bleeding Cool.)
Wonder Woman's primary colored, skimpy costume has been one of the things about the character that has often been criticized, even though Wonder Woman has also served as a feminist icon. Maybe the redesign is an early attempt by DC Entertainment to test what a new outfit might look like and sample fan reaction before making a long-anticipated, live-action movie. But they should remember that the bland, red jumpsuit worn by Cathy Lee Crosby in the 1974 TV-movie is nowhere near as popular as the more traditional version immortalized by Lynda Carter in the hit television show. Sometimes modernizing a classic costume may not be the best move.
Will the new costume eventually fade away and become a footnote in the history of the character, like some of the drastic costume changes for Superman, Batman, Spider-man, and others? Or will it be a lasting part of how people envision Wonder Woman from now on? Only time will tell.