Why I Hate Wonder Woman

Wonder Woman got a new costume a little while ago. She's got pants now, catching her up to every male superhero over the age of ten since 1933, so that's good. Progress. But, alas, she has made a cardinal mistake in the bolero jacket, which hasn't been in style in my adult life and makes her look even more dated than a dress made out of Uncle Sam's bedsheets. Why does she have rolled-up sleeves?! Her tailor added little metal stars to her shoulder pads; perhaps she blew her super-budget on those?
The suit suffers from 'nineties-itis', big time, and not even because of the silly jacket. The worst offenders are the glove/gauntlety things, which are typical of nineties superhero design in that I have no clue how the heck they are supposed to work. Can she move her wrists at all? Spoiler alert: you need to be able to move your wrists to throw a lasso.
The American flag aspect has been toned down a ton, which doesn't honestly bother me because I don't understand why Wonder Woman needs to wear the flag at all. Is it an immigrant parable, like Superman? I'm Canadian, so it looks uncomfortable and weird on Captain America but on WW it's just... Man, I don't know.

Disclaimer: I've read maybe twenty Wonder Woman comics and seen every episode of Justice League, so my upcoming confusion is completely honest and born out of equal parts curiosity and ignorance. Here's Why I Hate Wonder Woman (or, more accurately, just plain old don't get what her deal is):

1. The Star-Spangled Panties

She wears a bathing suit with the American flag on it, and some armored gauntlets, and has a magic glowing lasso. My spies (actually Wikipedia) tell me she's an Amazon princess. I know she had some pretty boss armor in New Frontier. Why not keep her in Amazonian armor? That's pretty cool. Plus, she wouldn't have to shave her bikini line every morning, which is a problem likely not faced by Speedball, Venom, and/or Firestorm. The idea that a superhero costume has to be sexy at all is pretty ridiculous, guys. You ever smell a hockey player? Those dudes aren't even saving the world and they smell like a terrarium.

I bet Iron Man's not out there going, "Man, wish I was fighting Fin Fang Foom in my Speedo."

BONUS: Why not make your whole suit out of the stuff your gauntlets are made out of? Somebody must have thought of that... John Byrne probably wrote a ten-part series on it in 1986.

2. A Boring Origin Story

If memory serves me, she was made out of clay on an Amazon island, which is still out there, home to dozens of ass-kicking Amazons, plus Wonder Woman's mom. Batman's parents were murdered. Superman lost his entire civilization. The Fantastic Four flew through cosmic radiation while seeking the secrets of the universe.

Wonder Woman is a super-tourist.

I'm not saying she needs to lose everyone she loves or have her Amazon Island nuked or be bathed in blood of babies... I'm just saying that being able to go visit your mom and your thousand identically strong sisters at Christmas is, well, really really boring. The Batcave isn't full of a thousand Batmen who are all Bruce's brothers and love him very much, it's full of pain and misery and Alfred, who is old.

3. The Worst Villains, Seriously

Seriously. Maxwell Lord? Psycho Pirate? Dr. Polaris? What is on your head, Polaris? Is it embarrassing when you clip your head on the door jam, Polaris? I bet it is.

The thing that kills me about Wonder Woman is that she has red-carpet access to the entire Greek pantheon, who are all still around in this day and age. I think an armor-clad superheroine battling a Hydra in, say, Detroit would be fantastic. Why does it need to be any more complex than that? Why not a bunch of stories about how the gods are anachronistic, don't fit in to the modern world? "I remember the good old days," Zeus says as WW stabs him in the solar plexus with a sword the size of a Pontiac Sunfire, "when you could just turn into a swan and get your groove on with any lady you liked."

4. The Invisible Plane


Nobody explain that to me. Your explanation will be unsatisfactory.


  1. I think her outfit makes a lot more sense when viewed in the context of her creator who was into bondage and always managed to get his heroine tied up in every issue.

  2. I Imagine that the very nature of the boring origin story is EXACTLY why they went the whole "Alternate time line where her whole civilization is murdered and she is a orphan/ refugee" along with this costume shift.

    What i don't get - is if she subsequently grew up in the city (as it goes in the new story arch) but with her amazon heritage - why wouldn't she just end up a cop?
    She doesn't have super powers.
    And her shtick - was always the big emphasis on Justice.
    Sooooo - why would not ground her in some sense of reality, and make her one of Gotham, or Metropolis's finest?

    Like what Brian said - context.
    The reality is that Wonder Woman was created by a man, and the comic market is dominated by men to this day.
    I sincerely think as long as that is the dynamic she will never make an ounce of sense.
    Female nerd would be best served to just give up on her.

  3. Definitely another missed opportunity for good storytelling. Oh wells. That one might be a little hard to salvage, though.

  4. Wonder Woman suffers worse than most characters from a convoluted origin story. As for the American flag inspired costume, as the story goes an American fighter pilot (Steve Trevor) crashed on Paradise Island. Wonder Woman (the greatest of the Amazons) was sent to "The Patriarch's World" (our world) as an ambassador for her nation. They fashioned a costume that referenced what they thought was our coat of arms (the flag) as a sign of peace, so that she would be more easily accepted. As for battling myhological beasts, arguing with gods, wearing armor, etc, check out Greg Rucka's run of comics...the only time I read and enjoyed WW.