For those of us who are annually bummed out that we can’t afford to go to San Diego Comic Con, and those lucky folks who did go, the topic of the new Wonder Woman costume for Batman vs. Superman: Dawn of Justice has been on the tips of our tongues. This movie, due out May 6, 2016, has already spurred a whole heck of a lot of conversation, most notably with the reveal of Ben Affleck as the new Batman, which is a controversial but definitely interesting choice. But I’m not here to talk about Ben Affleck. I’m here to talk about Wonder Woman, portrayed by Gal Gadot.
Now, Wonder Woman is the superhero I hold closest to my heart. In short, she’s just so cool. She’s an Amazonian princess, she kicks major butt, and she takes no shit from the patriarchy. She knows what’s up. Unfortunately, she has been criminally ignored on the big screen time and time again; her last live action incarnation was Lynda Carter on her show in the ’70s. Carter’s costume is the one we all associate with Wonder Woman. It has the brightly colored strapless leotard which closely resembles the American flag for some inexplicable reason (as she is Amazonian), the metal arm cuffs, and the red boots with kitten heels. It’s iconic and instantly recognizable as Wonder Woman.
Her new costume is still identifiable as Wonder Woman, but it definitely has a darker edge to it. This makes sense, as we are in the age of the gritty reboot, and I think it works well. The new Wonder Woman looks like she’s going to kick ass. I mean, she has a sword! She still has the cool tiara, the strapless leotard with the eagle symbol, the arm gauntlets, the lasso of truth, but everything looks more militarized — it all has the metallic look of armor. Most controversial, is, of course, the shoe choice. She is wearing over the knee wedge boots. I suppose if you have to put a superhero in heels, wedges are the way to go, but I still don’t understand why they have to wear heels in the first place. She’s there to fight crime! To kick ass and take names! They just don’t seem terribly practical, in my opinion, though they are more practical than a stiletto.
This costume, in my opinion, is a step in the right direction when it comes to the hypersexualization of superheroines. While not modest, per say, it is definitely less overtly sexual. Thankfully there is no “boob window” for example, which is a trend that exists solely to sell comic books, though in doing so they are dismissing half the population by essentially showing that the character of the heroine doesn’t matter, so long as her boobs defy gravity. This extends from comic book art through superhero films and television, where, as a rule, the female hero is always dressed in skin tight clothing and, regardless of her skill set, and is more often than not the object of lust rather than a serious player in the game. Take Catwoman or Black Widow for example, from DC and Marvel respectively. Both are pretty cool and interesting characters, but we see more of their asses in spandex than we hear about their backstory. This new costume is taking strides in the right direction, as far as I can tell. I know nothing of the story yet, so hopefully we won’t be let down by Wonder Woman’s role in the film, but her costume strikes me as one that befits a warrior, not just a sex object.
The costume has been compared to “Xena: Warrior Princess” and I must admit I do see the resemblance, particularly in the color scheme and the use of the sword. But as far as costumes for gritty reboots go, that makes sense as inspiration. Both women fit into the same mold of badass women of science-fiction/fantasy. Both are, after all, warrior princesses. I am definitely a fan of the new costume. Gal Gadot looks fierce. It fits in with the gritty reboot look, while still remaining true to the source material. Plus, she gets a sword!
Here’s hoping she gets to keep her Invisible Plane.