Sunday, May 22, 2011


We've all seen the costume design for the forthcoming Wonder Woman NBC TV pilot. And there are even videos floating on the Web by amateur photographers who have stealthily captured scenes from the ongoing production set in the city of Los Angeles.

Late last year, Co-publisher of DC Comics / Pro-artist Jim Lee was the one who produced a sketch, which was utilized for the show pitch... and the pitch that was rejected by every major TV network. But eventually it was accepted by NBC.

But as can be seen from the side-by-side comparison on the left, there is a huge difference between a drafted costume idea on a comic page, and the interpretation of that idea by a live-action model.

I'll start with the drawing:
The drawn pic by Jim Lee on the left looks sleek and rather fluent. Yet I would have made the jacket black as well, while changing all of the gold items to shiny platinum trims. The half-gauntlets on her wrists are acceptable, but the rope dangling from her right hip just seems to be... pointless. Just pause and think of all the hand-to-hand combat scenes you've beheld in classic action movies, and consider how many times you've seen a rope expertly utilized for battle.
[Forget about Indiana Jones, his item was a whip].
Oh wait. its not a rope. Its a truth lasso, that instantly forces honest confessions from the lips of those that are bound by its unbreakable grip.

During the classic age of comics, that was a cool thing. But in modern times, it just doesn't have the same appeal. I think the coolest "lasso wielding" characters that I can remember just in a quick thought are Ivy from Soul Caliber and Scorpion from Mortal Combat. Yet both of their rope-like weapons have sharp serrations along the length or on the tip, which actually make them lethal snaking tools.

Now for the costume:
Frankly, it just sucks.
Adrianne Palicki [the actress playing Wonder Woman in the TV pilot] can't really be blamed in this case. The overly artificial look of the WW costume is not her fault. But the interpreted patriotic color scheme coupled with the enduring effort to preserve the iconic look of the original WW costume [from the old TV series dating back to the late 1970s] appear to have forced a meshed look, which makes it hard to take the portrayed character seriously. According to an article posted in, the forthcoming pilot's Executive Producer David E. Kelley, approved of the new Wonder Woman outfit. And I'm guessing he must be a fan of the classic TV show - which almost depicted her as an iconic World War II hero, probably designed to rival Marvel's Captain America character.

The two pics below, which I believe were released on March 30th 2010, are from the set of the forthcoming television show pilot. Its obvious that the pants were darkened and her boots were changed to match her red top:

Now consider this comparison on Batman [aka the Dark Knight] shown below, which also includes some classic comic art by Jim Lee:


I believe the costume shown in the image on the left was actually a prototype, while the one in the image with the Joker on the right was the final version. The eventual costume utilized by Christian Bale in the 2008 Dark Knight movie was actually cool. And despite the slightly rigid bulges on the suit, it was clear that the menacing persona of the caped avenger was fluently translated onto the big screen.

Perhaps it boils down to the fact that some characters are easier to interpret from one form of media to the other, per their blueprint design and timeless appeals. Personally, I have nothing against Wonder Woman. But I strongly feel that more thought ought to have gone into the costume redesign process.


EDIT: As of May 13 2011, the new Wonder Woman TV series pilot has been Cancelled by NBC.


Initial Wonder Woman article with artwork:

Superman and Supergirl poster:

Spiderman Poster:

Cool view of the DSNG sci fi blog, for Mozilla Firefox and Google Chrome users: