Wonder Woman Throughout The Years

Thu, July 1st, 2010 at 12:58pm PDT

Comic Books
Brian Cronin, Staff Writer
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With the introduction of Wonder Woman's brand-new costume making headlines worldwide, CBR felt that it would be worthwhile to explore the many costume changes that Wonder Woman has had over her almost seventy year history! To help us with this endeavor, we enlisted COMICS SHOULD BE GOOD's head honcho Brian Cronin to provide us with a rundown of the Amazonian princess' various looks throughout the decades. So, without further ado, here's Brian's Wonder Woman Fashion Retrospective!

When Wonder Woman made her debut in the pages of "All-Star Comics" #8 in late 1941, this is how her costume appeared.

Some people seem to think that her original costume featured a skirt, but if you notice, even in the beginning she wore a split skirt (shorts that look like a skirt).

Later in 1942, when Wonder Woman gained her own title, she adopted the costume that she would wear for over a decade – basically the same as her original costume, only with more defined shorts as opposed to skirt/shorts.

Nearly a decade later, in the beginning of the 1950s, Wonder Woman's only change to her outfit came in her footwear as she began wearing sandals (seemingly different types every other issue, but sandals still the same).

After the institution of the Comics Code in the mid-1950s, Wonder Woman's outfit was altered so that her back was no longer exposed...

But by the early 1960s (after a short flirtation in the late 1950s with a pointed back design), the character's back went back to being exposed...

This remained Wonder Woman's outfit for the rest of the 1960s until late in the decade, when writer/artist Mike Sekowsky debuted the new Wonder Woman in 1968's "Wonder Woman" #178.

Now without her powers, Wonder Woman fought crime just as Diana. Her "costume" during this period was nothing more than a series of different jumpsuits. Here is a sampling of her many outfits during this period...

The white jumpsuit seemed to be the most popular of her various outfits, appearing more than once towards the end of this period in Wonder Woman's history.

In the early 1970s, soon after "Wonder Woman" #200, DC dropped Sekowsky's new take on the character and she was back to her traditional garbs, albeit with a few slight changes...

As the 1970s went by, the outfit evolved slightly, with some changes in the belt and the boots (you'll notice that the shorts of the 1940s-1960s now look more like hot pants)...

The next big change for Wonder Woman took place in 1982 when Roy Thomas and Gene Colan took over as the creative team. Along with the new creative team came a new halter top for Wonder Woman, now working in the newly designed Wonder Woman "Double-W" logo...

Even when George Perez rebooted Wonder Woman in 1987 (with a brand-new #1), the costume was basically the same as her 1982 one, with perhaps a larger belt.

The Perez design lasted throughout the 1980s and into the 1990s, as well. Here's Lee Moder's take on the costume when he took over as the artist on "Wonder Woman" in 1993 (notice the change in earrings)...

In 1994, Mike Deodato began drawing the book, and while Wonder Woman's costume was not technically changed, you can see that Deodato had a slightly different take on how much skin her costume covered...

Soon afterwards, Diana lost the title of Wonder Woman. She had to once again fight crime just as "Diana" – and Brian Bolland designed a new costume, which was drawn by Deodato...

After Deodato's run (with writer Bill Loebs), writer/artist John Byrne came aboard, and he had his own re-design of the Wonder Woman costume.

In the midst of Byrne's run on the title, "Kingdom Come" was released. I am not going to point out all of the alternate universe Wonder Woman costume designs that there have been, but Alex Ross' Wonder Woman armor has been used so many times in the comics since its appearance here that I feel it has to be referenced.

When Byrne left "Wonder Woman," his costume design went with him, and the book reverted to Perez's design for the rest of the 1990s and into the 21st Century.

While different artists left their distinct marks during their runs (Phil Jimenez and Matthew Clark each tweaked the Perez design with their respective takes on the costume), Drew Johnson was the next artist to substantially change the outfit, as he dramatically altered her chest logo during his run on the book with writer Greg Rucka.

When the third volume of "Wonder Woman" began in 2006, written by Allan Heinberg, artist Terry Dodson first gave us the return (of sorts) of one of the costumes from Mike Sekowsky's run, for Wonder Woman's new civilian identity, Agent Diana Prince...

…and then Dodson debuted his new design of Wonder Woman's costume.


The Dodson version of Diana's costume lasted throughout the current series (with very slight tweaks here and there) all the way through until yesterday's landmark "Wonder Woman" #600, which featured the debut of the Jim Lee-designed, Don Kramer-drawn new Wonder Woman costume!

We don't know what the future will hold for Wonder Woman exactly, but one thing certainly seems to be certain – some sort of costume change will eventually occur!

For an extremely, extremely detailed look at all of the various costumes Wonder Woman has worn (including her costumes in cartoons, the Wonder Woman TV series, various Elseworlds and even costumes worn by characters based on Wonder Woman!), check out Carol A. Strickland's great Wonder Woman costume guide here.

Discuss this story in CBR's Wonder Woman forum.  |  15 Comments

TAGS:  dc comics, wonder woman, jim lee, jms, j michael straczynski, don kramer, terry dodson

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