In 1966 DC came up with a delightful series that poked fun at the popular media: The Inferior 5. One of the 5 was Dumb Bunny, a WW spoof who was the daughter of another WW spoof, Princess Power (that's her in the inset). Dumb Bunny's outfit was supposed to make fun of WW's (and other's) Playboy-esque costumes, and so I think it was supposed to have been strapless, too. The rabbit-ears joke in the first issue would have struck home stronger if it had been. But someone somewhere opted for sleeves, bless their heart. The ever-ept Princess Power of course was a complete knock-off of the Golden Age WW in all her patriotic glory.
In the future we'll be seeing Amazons who went to Man's World as Amazon champion and wore the WW suit. Here, though Tonia went to Man's World to prove she was as tough as Diana, but she wore a little green chiton thingie like everyone back home on Paradise Island was wearing. Hm. Come to think of it, hasn't EVERYONE who has dared to wear the Wondie Suit besides Diana come to an untimely end? Donna wore it briefly once. She kicked the bucket in 2003 (but has gotten better since). Hippolyta wore it (hisss!) and died during OWAW, coming back just in time for the abysmal Amazons Attack! And of course, Wondie's been dead a few times along the way.
Is the suit cursed?
In 1967 and the midst of his own Batmania, producer William Dozier came up with a (5-minute) pilot for a proposed Wonder Woman TV series, to be along the same silly lines as the Batman one. Ellie Wood Walker played Diana as an egomaniac who loved to admire herself in the mirror. However, the woman she saw as her own reflection was played by Linda Harrison, and, to complete the gag, their mirror-movements were quite out of synch. Ellie's outfit had baggy shorts and lace-up shoes, if you're interested. We can all thank Hera this series was never made.
Steve Trevor became the Patriot for one issue after Angle Man gave him some super pills, thinking that that way Wonder Woman would marry Steve and thus quit the business. (::shakes head sadly at a culture that would believe that::)
Note boots and hot pants on the right there.
I just put this in because of the transition ahead. Besides, when this issue first came out, Sekowsky's version of WW just looked terribly old-fashioned. Let's face it, for once the lady desperately needed a Daring New Direction!
Sekowsky's take on Diana Prince right before...
Diana went mod.
She gave up her powers, bought a boutique, and proceeded to set the comics world on its ear. (For a closer look, see the Diana Prince Index.) (No, really. Look at it. You'll LOVE mod Di!) Some of her outfits were lifted straight from The Avengers TV show with Diana Rigg as Emma Peel, but most were original and almost all quite stylish (except that many were in puke green, thankfully recolored in reprints). Long about issue #185 (that's the "To break the myth" panel there), DC decided that Diana needed something to make her stand out in the crowd -- as if she didn't already. So she began to dress all in white. Her favorite outfits were the top one: turtleneck sweater and leggings, and the #185 one: white jacket and white jeans. For only one story she adopted a real uniform: that's the Nehru-necked tunic on the left with the "W" belt, that the uninformed usually put her in these days when they're doing an homage to this era.
With the costumed WW out of action, this was DC's first chance to unveil the Earth-2 Wonder Woman in the now-annual JLA-JSA teamup. Earth-2, as you probably know, was the alternate dimension where Golden Age characters were still young and active... even though they didn't really act (or sometimes look) like their true Golden Age counterparts. I have a theory that Earth-Golden Age and Earth-2 were really two separate, though closely-linked, dimensions -- but all of that is moot now that Crisis has come and gone.
Anyway, note that the supposed "Golden Age" WW wears the modern briefs. Also note her poor eagle, who looks more like a strangled chicken.
After a few years Sekowsky bowed (or got thrown) out of the WW book. Without his drive the Di Prince era couldn't last, so Kanigher took over and it was back to the super-powered Wonder Woman -- but this time in a modern costume that would help her meld with the rest of the modern, superpowered DCU. Note the round boottops and the little thingies on the side of her belt (which is now part of the eagle emblem). Perhaps they were to hold her magic lasso in place?
With this new version of Diana came a new origin, one in which we discovered that she had a twin sister, Nubia! Nubia had been raised by evil Mars (or was it Ares?), who taught her that she should be the true Wonder Woman. Note that her armor has a bird motif, the same as the Wondie suit. For more info on Nubia, check out the Nubia Index.
The new Diana Prince was a meek little thing with a terrible self-ego. (::sigh::)
Alex Toth, one of the premiere graphic artists of our time (all hail!), designed the Wondie suit for the Super-Friends cartoon series. He simplified it gloriously for animation, combining belt and eagle, making the star pattern bolder and simpler, and giving her plain pointed boots. The only thing I have against this (besides the heels) is the star on her crotch. Some artists got off on putting a star on Wondie's crotch. Don't know if that's the case here or if it's just the pattern, but there it is.
In her own book WW took a giant step backwards with yet another "Return to the Golden Age" riff, this time concentrating on T&A and trying to keep one foot -- or a toe at least -- in the modern world while talking as far down to the audience as it could.
OF COURSE Wonder Woman would make for great TV! The creators of the ABC pilot for a Wonder Woman show must have been influenced by the Diana Prince era when they hired tennis pro Cathy Lee Crosby to play the Amazon. As I recall from seeing the pilot when it first aired, the costume looked ooky even back then. It was the tights. Something about the tights and the blonde hair. Let's not even start to discuss how outrageously bad the rest of the show was...
This is my favorite depiction of the Wondie suit. It's just so neat and modern-looking with all the angles. Of course you spotted that it was taken from the Super-Friends version, didn't you? This version has a white belt and NO crotch star. Ooh, just such an excellent shot! That's Bob Oksner at work.
With one panel (above) I can show you the 1974 Diana Prince (with her rose-colored aviator glasses that I adored) as well as how DC now had her changing into Wondie clothes: by twirling her lasso around her. Supposedly all Diana's clothing was chemically treated so that vibrations from the lasso could switch her stuff back and forth, and this way we also got a good visual of the lasso (unlike the spinning she'd do in the future). Note how the points have been rounded off in places on her costume.
(left) From now on she'd have a yellow belt.
Wonder Woman, Donna Troy et al are all trademarked and/or copyrighted by DC Comics, Inc. Buy their comics.