DC Comics has unveiled a new-look superheroine with a costume closer to streetwear. The change coincides with a rewritten history for Wonder Woman's alter ego Diana Prince, who now no longer grew up on the mythical Amazon island of Themyscira (the story goes that mysterious forces, perhaps a cadre of evil fashion stylists, have somehow managed to change the past).
But critics may find the Amazing Amazon's look has been updated all the way to 1985.
What's modern is that her skin-tight separates have reinforced seams that suggest Kevlar or some other high-tech material.
But the cropped jacket with sleeves rolled up (she has to show off those famous cuff bracelets) gives her a silhouette that suggests she's waiting in line outside some Lower East Side, NYC, nightclub to hear a new act called Debbie Harry.
The star-spangled shoulder pads both reinforce the '80s look and seem like they might have been influenced by another icon who recently got a new costume, Captain America.
De-emphasizing her signature headband, the new ensemble perhaps acknowledges that a tiara is a difficult look to pull off with day wear. But the artist has added a kittenish choker -- a vintage touch which is new for Wonder Woman and further undermines the sense that we're looking at an outfit from Spring/Summer '10.
(Also, if you're wrestling with your arch-nemesis, the Cheetah, on the wing of an invisible plane, are you going to want to be wearing a choker? Seems like you're asking for trouble.)
DC Comics has changed Wonder Woman's look before, almost destroying the character in the process. For a couple of years in the '60s, she adopted changing Mod fashions in an effort to emulate the catlike Emma Peel from the British spy series, "The Avengers." But after that, and a brief foray into black leather in the '90s, she went back to her familiar, flag-inspired costume.
A recently published book on Wonder Woman explored how much her original costume owed to the fetish fantasies of her psychologist creator. So it remains to be seen whether the Amazon will get to keep her Kevlar jeans, or like other attempts to change her wardrobe, it's only a matter of time before she gets back into high-heel boots and a swimsuit.
Speaking of wardrobe changes, read StyleList's take on whether teen queen Miley Cyrus's style is too sexy.