Warner Brothers recently released a photograph of Adrianne Palicki in costume as the lead character in the upcoming television revival of Wonder Woman. Predictably, message boards were full of nerd rage at the changes to the superheroine’s look, but I agree with original actress Lynda Carter, who said that viewers should give the new show a chance.
Palicki’s costume is similar to the redesign found in current DC Comics issues, which I’ve been reading. Jim Lee and JMS’s alterations were also controversial when unveiled, but they may be only temporary. I think that leggings are more modern than a bikini bottom, and I’m surprised that the TV version doesn’t have shoulder straps rather than a probably uncomfortable corset.
The blue and red color scheme is mostly unchanged, although I would have gone with a darker blue for the pants and red or black for the boots. The bullet-deflecting bracelets, tiara, stars and eagle motif, and Lasso of Truth are still present.
Fox News wags promptly declared the Princess of Themiscyra‘s new togs as “unpatriotic,” but that’s an overreaction. If Dick Grayson can wear Batman’s cape and cowl alongside Bruce Wayne or Bucky Barnes can fill in for Steve Rogers in a modified Captain America uniform, why can’t Wonder Woman tweak her wardrobe after 70 years?
I’m more concerned with the writing and direction of the new TV show. Ally McBeal‘s David E. Kelly and the leaked script excerpts and auditions haven’t inspired confidence, and NBC’s track record isn’t much better. I didn’t mind camp in the 1960s Batman or 1970s Wonder Woman, and not every metahuman series should be an angst fest like the X-Men or Spider-Man, but a balance of tones, villains, and action would be nice.
To be fair, the network has at least tried to launch superhero shows, such as Heroes and The Cape, but weak writing and weaker ratings did them in (ABC’s No Ordinary Family might be next). For each surprise hit like Smallville, there have been short-lived shows like The Flash, M.A.N.T.I.S., and Birds of Prey.
As I’ve noted before, DC Comics has been more successful than Marvel lately with adaptations from print to animation. Despite their cinematic blockbusters, neither has been lucky with live-action TV. Let’s hope that Wonder Woman and The Incredible Hulk not only bring back fond memories from 30+ years ago, but also earn a new generation of fans!