For over 80 years, Wonder Woman has been one of DC Comics’ most prominent superheroes, with a vast roster of villains, a compelling cast of supporting characters and, like all superheroes, a vast array of costumes. Wonder Woman’s primary outfit has changed significantly over the decades, often reflecting both the lore of the universe and the real-world sensibilities of her respective era, though consistent elements unite them. From her revolutionary debut as a feminist icon and protector of democracy to her modern reimagining as part of Greek mythology, Wonder Woman has a storied history whose evolution is demonstrated by her iconic superhero costume.
The superhero comic book genre began in 1938 with the debut of Superman, which – among other things – established defining elements of superhero costumes. Superhero outfits are meant to visually convey strength and athleticism, so naturally, the costumes of characters like Superman, Batman, and Robin originally resembled those of circus strongmen or aerialists, while also adhering to their respective outfits. themes. Wonder Woman’s costume is no exception and combines elements of the Amazons of Greek mythology with the colors of the American flag.
The comic book genre itself (and the mainstream DC Comics universe in particular) changes regularly over the decades, and while Wonder Woman maintains consistent core traits, her acquaintance and dynamics with other characters are often altered with each new era. This story is often represented visually by his iconic superhero outfit, which maintains consistent details despite changing over time. Wonder Woman’s rich history, both in the comics and in her adaptations, has made her status as one of DC’s greatest heroes well-earned and the history of her quintessential superhero outfit reflects that.
Wonder Woman’s Golden Age Original Costume
The Golden Age of the superhero comic book genre, which ran from 1938 to the early 1950s, is defined by World War II. Golden Age superheroes were often defined by their patriotism and opposition to the existential threat of fascist regimes. Wonder Woman is easily one of the best examples of this in DC, representing 1940s American feminism and anti-fascist sentiment. Wonder Woman’s first costume is an overtly patriotic red, white, and blue outfit with a knee-length skirt, her famously durable wristbands of submission, and a royal tiara that could be used as a throwing weapon. Like most superheroes, Wonder Woman’s outfit includes a logo on her chest, which initially was a golden bald eagle. While this is obviously a bit of an addition to American patriotic iconography, it also represents Wonder Woman’s ancient Greek origins, with the golden eagle being a symbol of Zeus (who, in many DC continuities, is Wonder Woman’s father).
As the Golden Age continued, Wonder Woman’s costume underwent some minor changes. Her skirt has been replaced by star-laden blue shorts, which may have been easier to illustrate for action scenes, but certainly look more practical for a hero who predominantly fought the Axis forces. Additionally, Wonder Woman’s boots were eventually replaced with sandals and leg straps, possibly as a way to further juxtapose her Greek mythology roots with her American patriotism.
Wonder Woman’s Silver Age Costumes
Although the popularity of the superhero comic book genre declined in the early to mid-1950s, in part due to the success of Fredric Wertham Seduction of the innocent (an alarmist and homophobic attempt to censor comics), DC Comics rebounded into what is now known as the Silver Age, and Wonder Woman stories became less violent. While initially retaining the leg straps and shorts, Silver Age artists such as Ross Andru significantly shortened their shorts and brought back their Golden Age high boots, gradually simplifying their eagle emblem.
Wonder Woman’s own adventures have also delved into stranger territory, with Diana Prince on adventures with earlier versions of herself as teenage Wonder Girl. When DC’s creators released Teen Titans, a miscommunication resulted in Wonder Girl becoming a separate character entirely. Donna Troy, the younger sister of Diana Prince, wore almost the same outfit that Wonder Woman wore in the early Silver Age. In the late 1960s, Wonder Woman underwent a drastic change, losing her superpowers and using only her civilian Diana Prince identity. She normally wore elegant civilian clothes and went on adventures inspired by spy thrillers, relying on her martial arts skills and weapons to defeat her opponents.
Wonder Woman Costumes Go Back to Basics in the Bronze Age
With the Bronze Age of the superhero genre in the early 1970s came a return to classic Wonder Woman clothing. After having her powers restored (and gaining a greater understanding of humanity in the process), Diana Price began wearing her Wonder Woman moniker and classic attire once more, albeit with more tweaks. Wonder Woman’s Bronze Age outfit now has a golden belt and her eagle logo has been simplified even further. At the end of the Bronze Age AD (immediately before the Crisis on Infinite Earths multiversal crossover event), Wonder Woman’s costume got an all-new chest logo, with the golden eagle emblem now replaced by a pair of W’s stacked on top of each other.
The Bronze Age also included the live-action Wonder Woman debuts, with Cathy Lee Crosby playing her in the 1974 TV movie and Lynda Carter becoming a definitive iteration of the heroine in the film. Wonder Woman television series, which ran from 1975 to 1979. Crosby’s depiction had no superpowers and wore an attire that blended the patriotic color scheme of classic clothing with the more modern sensibilities of the late Silver Age. Lynda Carter’s version of Wonder Woman wore a comic-accurate Bronze Age-style outfit whose eagle logo was notably simplified in later seasons.
Iconic post-Crisis Wonder Woman costumes
The Modern Era of DC began in the late 1980s, following the completion of the game changer. Crisis on Infinite Earths. With the DC Universe now restarted, Wonder Woman – as well as many other DC heroes – has had her history rewritten. Having started her superhero career well after World War II, Wonder Woman’s post-Crisis stories now had a much stronger focus on Greek mythology than before, and Wonder Woman’s iconic love interest Steve Trevor now was a platonic supporting character. Featuring stunning artwork by the late George Pérez, Wonder Woman’s Modern Age costume looked a lot like her early Bronze Age outfit, with only a subtly larger belt and tiara separating it from the previous era.
Throughout the 1990s, DC made major changes to the status quo of its most famous heroes, with Superman dying, Batman having his back broken, and Green Lantern becoming the villainous Parallax. Wonder Woman was replaced by the Amazon warrior Artemis, and although Diana Prince no longer wore the Wonder Woman moniker and costume, she still fought crime, now using her infamous “biker”, consisting of black boots, gloves, shorts and a blue jacket. The outfit was vocally hated by many readers and even DC Comics artists, and Diana Prince eventually regained the Wonder Woman title.
following the Infinite Crisis Continuity change, Wonder Woman’s Modern Age costume was altered yet again, with the classic eagle logo returning, though the stacked W’s also remained, albeit taking the place of her belt. Wonder Woman’s eagle motif was brought back by enchanted golden Amazon eagle armor. The armor debuted in the alternate universe future kingdom miniseries, but soon entered the mainstream universe along with silver and bronze variations for Donna Troy and Cassie Sandsmark (the second Wonder Girl), respectively. Wonder Woman’s final costume before Flash point rebooted the DC Universe once again featured a blue jacket and leggings, though this outfit was also not liked by many readers as it was a significant change from Diana’s classic attire.
The New 52 & DC Rebirth: Wonder Woman’s New Costumes
the post-Flash point DC Universe, marketed under the brand name “New 52” gave Wonder Woman yet another update on her mythos, establishing her as the daughter of Hippolyta and Zeus, as well as giving her a new costume for the new DC continuity. Wonder Woman’s New 52 costume was fundamentally similar to her post-Infinite Crisis clothing, but her gold belt, chest emblem, and tiara were changed to a silver hue. The belt itself became a train of thought while the chest emblem was once again stacked in a W instead of an eagle. The costume’s color scheme was also changed, with much darker shades of red and blue. The New 52 also gave Wonder Woman short-lived armor that covered her entire body except her hands and head.
Wonder Woman made her first film appearance in 2016 Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, and while her film debut was long overdue, Gal Gadot’s performances as Diana Prince were met with significant and widespread approval. The DCEU notably gave Wonder Woman a new costume, which brought back the stacked golden W belt and golden eagle chest logo, along with a leather skirt and a set of battle-ready boots and knee pads. The new costume has been well-received, and Diana’s comedic outfit has been updated to reflect this.
DC’s continuity was shaken once again by the DC Renaissance event. post-rebirth Wonder Woman The stories combine the best elements from all previous eras, undoing the controversial changes made to Amazon lore by the New 52 and finally making Diana Prince and Steve Trevor a romantic couple again. Post-Renaissance Influences Wonder Woman the mythos aren’t limited to earlier comic book eras, and Wonder Woman’s most recent and current costume is essentially a variation of her DCEU outfit, with a much brighter color scheme and white stars on her blue skirt. This change followed her brief status as a god dressed in white after her ‘death’ in Dark Nights: Death Metal – a status she rejected in order to return to Earth and aid her allies. Meanwhile, the future state The event portrayed current Wonder Girl Yara Flor as the Wonder Woman of DC’s future, with a long-sleeved, armored look and a connection to the lost Bana-Mighdall tribe of the Amazons.
Wonder WomanDiana’s current costume is easily her best look, as it combines the aesthetics of Greek mythology with the American WWII aesthetic while retaining Diana’s eagle motif and stacked W logo, giving one of DC’s greatest superheroes an outfit worthy of its 80s. story.