What Wonder Woman covers tell us about ourselves

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With Wonder Woman so much on people’s minds, a trip to Cover Browser’s Wonder Woman gallery reveals much about society, changing roles of women, and artistic styles. Let’s take a trip down memory lane, shall we?

1 1 What Wonder Woman covers tell us about ourselves

Let’s get this party started. In the words of Old Spice, “I’m riding a horse.”

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An H.G Peter classic, showing not only Wonder Woman’s arch nemesis the Cheetah but the Holiday Girls, including Etta “Woo! Woo!” Candy in all their glory. You’ll note that WW’s costume at this time consists of what would later be known as bike shorts, but at the time were probably more related to actual bathing suits.

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Is it any wonder Peter has gotten the Dan Nadel treatment? This cover could have been published by Buenaventura Press!

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Flash forward to 1955 and Irv Novick. Steve Trevor, WW’s now-forgotten love interest, appeared on surprisingly few covers and here he’s been transformed into a heavy gold paperweight, undoubtedly a huge influence on Lyle Waggoner’s portrayal.

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It was also, lest we forgot, the Monkey Era. Note that Wonder Woman’s assets here are completely downplayed — no cleavage or ass shadows. This is post Wertham but up to this point WW hasn’t been flaunting her charms as we would describe it today.

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Several covers from this era feature three Wonder Women — doubtless a nod to the “Triple Goddess.”

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1962. You had me at “Wonder Tot” although “Catch her while I battle the swordfish!” is a cry that covers many situations. Ross Andru drew sexy ladies, but this is still more of an action pose than a cheesecake shot. Also see…

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I wouldn’t doubt that many lads who viewed this cover thought it was quite fantasy worthy, but, in defiance of nature on so many levels, Wonder Woman’s flagrante debutto is almost shyly illustrated — the pose makes a strong composition, so the butt is shown but not emphasized.

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Mike Sekowsky. Times were changing, and so was the amount of blue eyeshadow being purchased.

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Mike Sekowsky, 1970. My god, what a fucking hero.

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Another Sekowsky gem. By now, cover styles had changed and seeing the hero triumphant — or confronted by problems like monkeys and turtles — wasn’t enough. Suffering and domination enter the picture. At least this time Wonder Woman is being menaced by another women — her mom, Hippolyta.

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Early Jeffrey Jones. A lovely drawing, but around this time, Wonder Woman’s breasts begin to become more of a focus of attention.

nick cardy205 1 What Wonder Woman covers tell us about ourselves

1973, Nick Cardy. I think this pose can be safely categorized under “You went full retard.”

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In this issue, Wonder Woman must face the menace of a phallic rocket! Around this time, Wonder Woman began to be tied up an awful lot. Jose Luis Garcia Lopez and renowned letter writer Vinnie Colletta do the honors.

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Only two issues later and an almost identical pose, this time by Mike Nasser. Editor Denny O’Neil, where were you!

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In this issue, Wonder Woman must face the menace of phallic snakes! Ross Andru is back.

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I put this one in just for Trish Mulvihill. Gene Colan!

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Frank Miller gets the call and goes full morbid.

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As Wonder Woman ended her first run, Garcia Lopez has given her a fully modern look, with an almost mannish physique and trunks rendered as sexlessly as any old Superman comic.

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Aaaaand she’s back, for George Perez’s classic, defining run. Anatomy is more defined, but there’s no question she’s in the heroic role.

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This one is just nice.

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Chained up yet again — btw, I don’t mean to suggest that male heroes of the time weren’t tied up and defeated on covers just as often. I haven’t done a similar comparison of Supes and Batman, but it would be interesting. Although this pose has many opportunities to sex it up, Perez thoughtfully throws her knee over her crotch to avoid even more unseemly connotations. Besides, Circe is plenty sexy enough.

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Although now wearing a skirt, Wonder Woman does not need to wear biker shorts because artists just don’t draw her crotch, even when she’s facing the menace of a giant phallic serpent. Again, a well-posed knee helps avoid showing too much.

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This HAD to be a very special issue.

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Ah. Jill Thompson. 1992.

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Brian Bolland, for my money, one of the best cover artists of his time, took over with the very next issue. Wonder Woman is now trim but soft-fleshed with no definition. Her bustier has been lowered several inches and her breast-shape is now a focal point of the composition.

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Wonder Woman is in chains, with a black eye and she’s clearly in pain.

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Wonder Woman’s distressed period continues. Not all the Bolland covers feature themes of bondage and submission, but when they did, it was a home run.

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Down again.

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And again.

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Compare this 1994 ass shot to the 1962 ass shot. Women are working out more and wearing skimpier bottoms. She’s gotten her muscles back, as well as a subtle, defining shadow on her rumpus.

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Briefs are also way smaller in the front.

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John Byrne. We can only guess what was going on here.

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The great, great Jose Luis Garcia Lopez again. Although this is clearly a heroic pose, it’s way more pin-uppy than previous heroic pose covers.

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And now the Adam Hughes era. Although known as a cheesecake artist, Hughes’s incredible sense of design and fearless invention with poses make these covers totally entertaining. Nonetheless, as well executed as they are, we are very very far from the idea of Wonder Woman as a hero. Hughes will often draw a figure with a frontal crotch shot and a lot of space between the legs, unlike most of the previous covers, solidifying the feeling of a pin-up.

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This is sexy and playful, two words which pretty much define Hughes’ run.

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Karl Waller, whoever that is, from 2000. This is a pretty typical stylization from that period with a lot of emphasis on the angular crotches and butt hollows. In other words, the internet has happened and so has internet porn reference.

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If anyone else had drawn this, it would have been revolting.

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In case you haven’t noticed, Wonder Woman’s breasts shave been getting bigger and bigger over the years. The other Jeff Jones does a nice, realistic brokeback pose here as Wonder Woman is once again tied up.

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Ass shadows are now fully rendered.

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Once in a while, post steroids, the muscles get the spotlight. The era of the painted-on costume and six-packs on women has also arrived.

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And so, to today.

BONUS: Alex Ross

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I don’t buy that the swimsuit is always stupid as a fighting costume, to be honest. It depends on the character inside the swimsuit. Ross’s fierce, deadly Amazon would look fierce and deadly naked or in a muumuu. It’s all how you draw it.

Comments

  1. Great survey, Heidi!

    I should note that, in addition to the overarching bondage theme, there was a sort “humiliation sub-theme” featuring a tiny, shrunken Wonder Woman on covers…which I blogged about here a few years back.

    One of my absolute favorite WW covers has to be Wonder Woman #72 (1993) by Brian Bolland. Beauty, power, grace, determination and dignity in a single image….so good they made it into a statue.

  2. Regarding all of the “hidden sexual meanings” of the various costumes: sometimes a cigar is just a cigar.

  3. Joe S. Walker says:

    No room for the infamous “Women’s Lib Issue”?

  4. Carol Burrell says:

    The first issue of Wonder Woman I bought with my very own money as a kid is up there, but I’m afraid to point it out and date myself.

    I’m not surprised I didn’t realise at the time how sexy sexy the pose was. But I did get the message for my own fledgling art that one was supposed to draw superheroines in skimpy clothes with cleavage. Which, at the time, I drew as a straight line down the middle of a chest in a V-neck outfit. Sexy sexy.

  5. Great survey, Heidi, thanks for putting it together! And I’d recommend anyone looking for more great classic WW covers to head on over to Superdickery.com’s “Suffering Sappho!” gallery here:
    http://superdickery.com/index.php?option=com_content&view=category&layout=blog&id=34&Itemid=51

    One correction, though…

    “Steve Trevor, WW’s now-forgotten love interest”

    Forgotten? He was just in last month’s issue!

  6. While I think he’s a pretty good artist, I’m not a big Adam Hughes fanboy. His covers tend to be very simplistic, with not much in the way of backgrounds or additional figures. I find Bolland to be infinitely more interesting.

    It also seems curious to me that Hughes often gets a pass on his completely pin-up/cheesecake T-n-A covers. Folks will rag on everyone else for being sexist, but somehow it’s ok when he does it “because Adam Hughes is just awesome”. Just sayin’.

  7. Synsidar says:

    Forgotten? He was just in last month’s issue!

    Yes, but according to Trevor’s bio in the database you linked to, he’s a minor character in the series, nothing close to Wonder Woman’s love interest.

    SRS

  8. Allie says:

    I’m shocked that you just skipped over all those gorgeous Dodson covers from Gail Simone’s run. For my money, they’re some of the best in Diana’s history: she looks powerful and gorgeous in all of them.

  9. Hmm…

    Batman and Superman get solo art books about their covers, but Wonder Woman shares one with other women from DC… And those little Abbeville cover books, enlarged for the bargain book market, except for WW.

    Here’s a nice one you missed…
    http://www.comics.org/issue/37295/cover/4/?style=default
    It even adds a bit of polish to that awful logo, and includes NYC in the background!
    (And check out the covers immediately after, by Gil Kane!)

    And the cover right before Frank Miller, by William Kaluta! (#297)

    The “Special! women’s lib issue” (#203)

    Wonder Woman #155 (“I Married A Monsster”)

    #159… almost all text!

    #53 (lie detector!)

    And of the second volume…
    #177 (A nice Norman Rockwell cover)

    Third (current) series
    #25

  10. I defense of all the bondage. Isn’t WW’s weakness that if you chain her wrist bands together she is powerless? Or was that Captain Marvel? So, it’s kind of like covers where Superpants is threatened by Kryptonite. Right? (Yeah, I know, I don’t really care either.) But hey! Those Harry Peter covers were gorgeous.

  11. I read and enjoyed the Wonder Woman mini series written by Kurt Busiek and drawn by Trina Robbins, 1986 I believe. And the golden age stuff is incredible. I think the new costume is nothing to get excited about from a design POV. Why not hire a real costume designer?? Hello IT’S New York!

  12. Thanks for the link to that site, Torsten. I found my favourite WW cover of all, an issue I have in a longbox somewhere. Well, a shortbox:

    http://www.comics.org/issue/26299/cover/4/?style=default

    #206 “War of the Wonder Women”

    Cover pencils & inks: Nick Cardy

    I was very little when someone gave me a box of 60s and 70s comics of all types, and out of all of them, I was immediately struck by (even if I couldn’t name it at the time) the composition of this image, including the logo: the tension, the movement, the strength, and TWO impressive women, and one of them isn’t even Caucasian! Bonus, they both get to look beautiful without looking porny. Even the leopard skin bathing suit and flippy skirt look good in such a nicely balanced piece of art. Floating Head of Mars in the background, meh.

    The art inside, as I recall, was mediocre, and nobody wore the leopard bathing suit with the flippy skirt. It was my first disappointing lesson that a gorgeous cover did not mean the inside would look the same.

    According to the site, interior pencils by Don Heck and inks by Vince Colletta.

  13. Wow, great job Heidi!

    I began reading Wonder Woman because of the classic Giordano / Andru covers, one that stands out in memory in particular is the #269 where she is tossing her tiara into a crowd behind her and the caption reads “I’ve had my fill of man’s world, I quit!”

    Best Wonder Woman cover ever: Wonder Woman #1 by master George Perez. His Wonder Woman was the best, rich in history and mythology. He brought the character to a level of respect and class that was never seen before and never seen again. He also gave her a few new outfits that were just eye popping and I wish DC Direct would do some WW figures in THOSE outfits. The Perez armor from the tryptic cover to #10? Powerful with great respect to the iconic original.

    The most funny Wonder Woman cover ever? The last time DC tried to do ‘urban’ Wonder Woman when Messner Loebs had her working at Taco Bell, I mean, Taco Whiz.

    Brian Bolland cover of Wonder Woman carrying a taco bell tray with the classic fast food hat. WW caption: “Hey, it’s a living.”

    Classic.

  14. Jeff — thanks for reminding us about that AWESOME great Legend of Wonder Woman mini-series by Kurt Busiek and Trina Robbins!

    Now that’s also a classic by two professionals that actually ‘get’ the character. It’s also a still a fun read, as I reread it about two years ago.

    Someone should have called Trina Robbins and had HER do a pin-up (or even a full story).

  15. WW’s not being threatened by Hippolyta on that Sekowsky cover. It’s just your basic evil queen character.

  16. You know, that first Bolland cover may highlight WW’s breasts, but nevertheless she looks like an actual, pre-surgery woman. Very pretty. No implants, no steroids, just what god[s] made. That’s looking pretty refreshing these days.

    For my money, the Wonder Family cover is most notable for expecting WW to do her fighting in stiletto heels. I’ll take fighting in a swimsuit over fighting in pumps any day of the week. Although I *am* going to begin using “while I battle the swordfish” as my dependent clause of choice.

  17. Ok, one more comment and I’ll scuttle back into a cobwebby corner. I’ve had covers on the mind a lot lately–what makes a good comic book cover as opposed to what makes a good “graphic novel” cover, what works for which target audiences. Would the Trina Robbins sort of look work today, for any of the potential audiences?

    Cover Browser made it easy to see all the Nick Cardy covers at once (and possibly succumb to ebay). None of the others strikes me as powerfully as WW #206. I wonder if it’s because the iconography of WW means more to me on a personal level than the other superheroes. Will there still be a sense of superheroine with a different goofy costume? I think so. Someone in ordinary street clothes on, say, a Strangers In Paradise cover can look just as formidable. Or in a muumuu. As long as we know who she is and what she is capable of. I don’t like what I’ve seen in the new (cover) look for WW, but that’s probably more me not happening to be inspired by the skinny+bigbusty style of art.

    Thanks for this post, Heidi. Apparently it has scrambled my brain by making me Think about Stuff.

  18. Synsidar:
    “Yes, but according to Trevor’s bio in the database you linked to, he’s a minor character in the series, nothing close to Wonder Woman’s love interest.”

    Well, yeah, he’s not a central character any more, but the fact that he was just used as a supporting character for 5 issues in a row makes it sound to me like he hasn’t been “forgotten.”

    Looking through the Wonder Woman cover browser myself…so many great images. For the ultimate Adam Hughes cover, I would have gone with WW #150, although the old-meets-new cover to WW #184 is also a favorite. And Heidi, I’m surprised you didn’t even mention Diana’s brief short-haired look along with that cover to #193…I think that’s probably the last time there was this much fanboy outrage about a change to Wonder Woman. (I kinda liked that change myself, but was glad it was brief.)

  19. Tommy Raiko says:

    “Isn’t WW’s weakness that if you chain her wrist bands together she is powerless?”

    Yes, but only if it’s a man who binds her wristbands. (Another Martson-ism, I’m sure…)

    With tangential regard to other Wonder Woman covers of note, I gotta mention Wonder Woman #159 from 1966. Not necessarily because its depiction of Wonder Woman is very instructive as to the evolution of artistic representations of the character, but rather becase it is often cited as among the worst designed covers in history. (Too much copy too differently styled, a poor illustration shunted off to the side, etc.)

  20. Christian says:

    I personally think that more comic books should be created by creepy old scam artists as a means of encouraging young girls to become bondage fetishists. That’s the message I think children need.

    That and there’s nothing more empowering than fighting men with your boobs hanging out. Pants are for dummies. Dummies and house-wives.

  21. >> Dick Giordano. Times were changing, and so was the amount of blue eyeshadow being purchased. >>

    Great cover gallery. But that’s Sekowsky/Giordano, as are the next two.

    And thanks to those who had kind words for THE LEGEND OF WONDER WOMAN!

    kdb

  22. Brendan T says:

    Great article.

    “I don’t buy that the swimsuit is always stupid as a fighting costume, to be honest. It depends on the character inside the swimsuit.”

    Truthfully, it made a lot of sense. The breastplate covered the vitals while the arms and legs were free to move. Given the Amazons seemed to fight more with quickness and leverage, having a broad range of motion and freedom to move would seem essential. Of course, the new costume with the leather jacket and tight pants would actually be quite restrictive in comparison and altogether less practical in a throwdown. Especially since she’s nigh-invulnerable anyway and doesn’t even really need heavy armor (though she has it for when she does)

    I still think if you want a design that looks both effective and respectful while still having an iconic feel, Donna Troy’s WW costume is the ideal solution.

    http://www.angelfire.com/planet/dcu/wonderdonna.jpg

    A good amount of coverage, but leaves her arms and legs free to move and keeps the essential bits heavily armored. It has a bonus of looking like what you’d imagine an Amazon to wear into battle.

  23. Synsidar says:

    I’ve been struck by the amount of criticism devoted to the new costume, analyzing its various faults, real or perceived, as if it’s something the heroine will be wearing 16 hours per day. The story’s about the person, not the inhabitant of the costume. How many people react viscerally or much at all to the description of someone in a prose story? The reader just accepts that the lead is an attractive woman and goes on reading.

    SRS

  24. Micah says:

    The top of my stack this week was Wonder Woman #600. And I loved it. Great anniversary issue. Good bang for the buck. And the JMS era looks great, where the story is radically different, designed to be short-lived, and a fresh approach to present who Wonder Woman is. I’m on board.

    Too bad he didn’t do the same thing for Superman.

  25. Kid Kyoto says:

    One thing to keep in mind is she is supposed to look like a Columbia/Britania/Liberty alegorical figure.

    http://cigarlabelblog.files.wordpress.com/2010/01/1890greater-columbia1.jpg

    I know the new look will last about as long as the biker shorts sports bra did but I really think it is moving too far from her intentended image.

  26. Christian says:

    My interest is genuinely piqued for this new run. I’ve added WW to my pull list and DCBS orders from here on out just to see where this crazy story goes.

  27. Christian says:

    Oh, PS- I don’t care what you do to the halter top or the jacket or whatever. But please for the love of god, please keep her in pants. The star-spangled one piece bathing suit or granny panties looked ridiculous and while “iconic” (in the sense that it’s older than dirt) it’s also an eyesore.

  28. @Micah: WW #600 was on the top of my stack this week, too, but I didn’t like it nearly as much as you did. Well, more specifically, I was completely underwhelmed by the JMS/Kramer story. I thought that the other stories did a good job of opening with action, closing with the human element, and summing up why Wonder Woman is a great character. I loved the Simone/Perez and Conner stories, and enjoyed the Simonson one almost as much. But the JMS story didn’t make much sense: it was all just random ominous portents that don’t mean anything. And yeah, it’s just a prologue and that’s kind of the point, but I didn’t connect with it in any meaningful way….it didn’t make me eager to read more. Also, while I thought Kramer’s cover that was revealed yesterday looked fine, I didn’t like his art at ALL…just way to stiff and lifeless for my taste.

    I’ll give the team one full issue to prove me wrong, but I really think they got off on the wrong foot with the story in #600. It was especially glaring that they introduced their brand new Diana in the same pages of a comic full of stories showing why the old Diana didn’t need fixing in the first place.

  29. “The story’s about the person, not the inhabitant of the costume.”

    I agree…but then, if that’s the case, why the need for a new (retro) costume?

    I think what many people are responding to (including myself) is the feeling that the costume wasn’t designed so much to fit the demands of a particular story’s environment (in this case an “urban” setting) as it was to impress the “cool kids”.

    Sorry to use such a “high school” term, but in a sense, that’s what alot of this boils down to at a base psychological level. Now that the collective “we” (in the world of comics professionals/fandom) have had a taste of mass public approval with the recent Batman and Iron-Man films, elements of superhero comic books that were time-tested and generally accepted (in this case Wonder Woman’s costume) are now suddenly too silly to even contemplate presenting to a mass audience.

    I suppose it reminds me a bit of those “Hey, son, show Uncle Jim your comic book collection!” moments all comic fans have experienced at one time or another, where the comics you love suddenly become a source of self-consciousness or even embarrassment when they’re suddenly exposed to an apathetic (or even hostile) audience.

    In much the same way, the visuals and origin of the historic Wonder Woman are suddenly just too goofy, and unthinkable to present in the context of a big budget movie, which (I believe) could be the whole point of the JMS Wonder Woman. Like someone frantically picking up their house before company arrives, DC seems to be desperately re-jiggering the character for a mass-media rollout…not to mention making it easier to sign a top actress (i.e. “a cool kid”) to play the roll.

    There’s always been an element of self-loathing in the kingdom of superhero comics (whether it be the people who make them, report on them, or read/collect them), but the superhero’s elevation to Summer Blockbuster status seems to have triggered a flurry of extreme makeovers and second-guessing to make our beloved, endearingly wonky characters into acceptable offerings for the pop cultural glitterati.

  30. Synsidar says:

    I suppose it reminds me a bit of those “Hey, son, show Uncle Jim your comic book collection!” moments all comic fans have experienced at one time or another, where the comics you love suddenly become a source of self-consciousness or even embarrassment when they’re suddenly exposed to an apathetic (or even hostile) audience.

    I think your assessment of much of the audience for superhero comics is accurate. I read dozens of adult novels before I began reading comics regularly. I was drawn to the series that most strongly resembled genre fiction stories (’70s AVENGERS and Dr. STRANGE), and I have an abiding interest only in characters who could support genre fiction stories.

    What Wonder Woman wears makes no difference to me, as long as it’s not silly and/or visually offensive. Her classic costume is silly, if not offensive, so my thought about it is “Good riddance.” I don’t see any reason to bring it back, regardless of how Straczynski’s revamped version does, because it contributes nothing to the character per se. Insisting that Wonder Woman has to wear that costume is, to me, like insisting that a dominatrix has to wear black leather and carry a whip because she wouldn’t be a dominatrix without the stuff. The clothing doesn’t make the person.

    SRS

  31. charles foster kane says:

    One of the first comics I ever read as a kid was the Wonder Woman comic where she fought Egg Fu.

    So, she was sartorially splendid by comparison to me.

  32. “The clothing doesn’t make the person.”

    Not when the recognition of said person (in this case a fictional person) sells licensed merchandise! Part of the fine line DC needs to walk in their “extreme makeover” of Wonder Woman (like the Electric-Blue Superman before her) is balancing it with the need (or…even stronger…the corporate responsibility) to sell products featuring the traditional/recognizable imagery of the character.

    Sure, we (as living, breathing human beings) have the luxury of believing (correctly) that clothes don’t make the person…but when you’re a 70 year-old institution whose visual image IS what makes them them, it’s not quite that cut and dry. Fictional, commercialized characters have their own unique set of “values” that don’t easily mirror those in “authentic humanity”.

  33. Of course, Jim Lee had already redesigned Wonder Woman’s costume once before, in 2001’s Just Imagine Stan Lee With Jim Lee Creating Wonder Woman:

    http://www.comics.org/issue/104789/cover/4/?style=default

    And she’s wearing invisible pants! Well, more like white-void-of-nothingness pants ;-)

  34. “Only two issues later and an almost identical pose, this time by Mike Nasser. Editor Denny O’Neil, where were you!”

    Almost identical because they were laid out with strict instruction by the same art director of DC at the time, inker Vinnie Colletta.

    Policy at DC had it that the art director’s authority on art overrode the editor’s. Hence, Denny’s acquiescence.

    Certainly I agree with the disregard for this cover, but a little background might place it in a better perspective. At barely 20, and still first year rookie artist, I flowed with instruction from editors and art directors without applying much personal judgment to the work. Certainly not the type of judgment forged through a minimal life experience. I simply didn’t have it.

    I was a new kid playing ball with seasoned legends. Not yet on any footing to argue anything. A month earlier I’d drawn Hawkwoman holding her breath in outer space as written also by Denny, without making an issue about the fact that she should have exploded, and that holding her breath wasn’t enough. How could I? Certainly Denny knows about outer space and has his reasons for writing the scene that way.

    It took me a couple of years to come out of that shell and begin making choices about what I drew, which ultimately led to stepping away from it all. So this cover is in a sense more representative of the editorial/production policy at DC than it is of mine. It’s also crudely constructed and drawn because I was asked apply an unrealistic contortion which I simply didn’t have the skill to pull off.

    I remember how happy Vinnie was with it at the time. Not because it was a good cover but because it became a talked about item exactly for the same reason it’s included here.

    In effect, it became a somewhat gross caricature of the covers more proficiently drawn by others in that era. But the same idea.

    What’s done is done and we can’t change it. This is a good presentation but perhaps there’s no need to jump to conclusions about who we ARE from it. At best, It’s maybe representative of what we WERE like sometimes. Other times we were better and sometimes even worse. Generally, we seem to be striving for better.

  35. Hey Mike, many thanks for sharing the background. Vinnie Colletta strikes again!

  36. And he struck like Mjolnir on crack. But even Vinnie is ultimately balanced by the classic early romance art and mythic Thor inking. Great retrospective and pulse of fandom in the comments, Heidi.

  37. Thanks, Heidi. Entertaining survey!

    Wow. For all those who were eager to see Wonder Woman disrobed, Frank Miller certainly went the extra mile.

  38. I’ve done my own random sampling of WW covers, with a cross-comparison to FLASH covers of the same intervening period.

    http://arche-arc.blogspot.com/2010/07/cover-stories.html

  39. LOVE this post, I’d love to see (as mentioned) a post like this for supers and the bat-man.

  40. Re: gene phillips

    Yes, I was posting to state the same regarding the cover listing the Amazon queen. IIRC, Hippolyta had blonde hair at that point.

  41. Regarding the new costume, I think it shares certain similarities to the 90’s reworking:

    http://img1.fantasticfiction.co.uk/images/n2/n10117.jpg

  42. Say what you will about Hughes’ cheesecake style, that cover to #600 is STRIKING. I would buy a print of that in a heartbeat.

    Lance Roger Axt
    The AudioComics Company

  43. As a red-blooded American male who has followed the adventures of Wonder Woman almost since she began, I wish to register my disgust at what is being done to her costume. From what I can tell, her former cheesecakey costume is now to give way to a “butch” outfit that covers her legs, covers her cleavage, and makes her look like… well, like a MALE superhero!

    After looking at your various WW covers, I have to say I like the one by Jose Luis Garcia Lopez the best. Wonder Woman is great because she battles evil and always wins; and she does it while looking sexy. WHY is DC Comics taking that away from us?

    As I said, I’m a longtime fan of WW. But I refuse to buy a copy of any comic that presents her in that “butch” black outfit and leaves out the familiar red, white, and blue “swimsuit” costume.

  44. Sometimes a cigar is indeed just a cigar.

    DC heroes like Superman and Wonder Woman, for all the changes they have undergone in the years since, are products of the Roosevelt Era. They were invented to entertain audiences of ten-year-olds.

    A 10-year-old circa 1940 didn’t parse all the ways a costume would work or not work as combat gear. They just needed a look that was credible for a person performing heroic stunts.

    The artists drew upon images of athleticism and showmanship from the surrounding culture. Superman dressed like a strong man at a circus. Supergirl dressed like a skater. Wonder Woman dressed like Esther Williams on the Fourth of July. The kids got it right away.

  45. Eddie Ooo says:

    Sexiest Wonder Woman cover was WW 234, Jose Garcia-Lopez and Vince Colletta. True, she’s dead, but alluring nonetheless.

  46. Karl Waller says:

    I approached Mark Chiarello at the Dc offices and he was kind enough to offer me a couple of covers in the middle of Adam’s run, mainly to give him a break.
    Butt Hollows (and internet porn references) aside It can sometimes be difficult to pull off an action pose with a female character without insulting someone. As far as the cover to issue 163 I was never really happy with it and I much prefer the my cover for 162
    Quite honestly I find some of the commentary beneath many of these covers to be almost Wertham-esque. For a counterpoint, doesn’t anyone find it odd that Male Heroes can be imperiled by nearly anything and there’s nary a problem with it? You can coil snakes around them, strap them to bombs, wrap them in chains. Tie them to a stake or clamp them to a table facing a crotch laser and no one so much as yawns. No one would flinch if the Frank Miller “Full Morbid” cover posted here were Conan (or Daredevil).
    Do anything of the sort with a female character and its all hackles. You can double the Flash over preparing for a full on sprint and no one cares. Draw Bat Girls posterior up in the air and you are a Neanderthal.
    Are some of the poses on these covers exploitive? Yep. There are some poses that make me wince(even on the old stuff).
    While there is a lot of praise here for Brian Bolland (one of my most favorite cover guys of all time) he still pulls a distant second to Adam when it comes to capturing Wonder Woman. Adam’s Wonder Woman is fit, tough, alluring, self confident, sexual and charming all at once.
    I have talked to many female friends about the way Hughes draws women and nearly all of them find his portrayals to be empowering without being exploitive. He possesses a rare gift. Unfortunately it keeps it him on covers when he should be storytelling. He’s a MASTER storyteller. Oh and when he really wants to draw something naughty, he can be seriously so……………………………………….Karl

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