June 30, 2010

Embracing my inner geek: New Wonder Woman costume & Spidey casting

Lately I’ve been letting my freak flag fly. Tweeting about gaming, and writing at least 4 geek related blog posts that never made it past my drafts folder.

Today, however, has been a big day for all of us geeks. (Yes, I wear the label with pride) DC unveiled the Wonder Woman costume for an upcoming storyline, and it’s been rumored that Josh Hutcherson has been cast as Peter Parker in the upcoming Spiderman reboot.

First, the Spiderman reboot. This has been a tricky thing, but it’s understandable. There are only so many interesting things you can do to poor Peter Parker cinematically. And in the Raimi series- he got his powers, tried to come to terms with balancing his life, and ultimately got the girl. Beyond that, he could get married and try to balance kids and Spidey… but I can see why Marvel wanted to reboot it. It’s fun to root along with someone just getting the hang of things. (I still don’t think it’s the smartest move, but that’s another story)

The search for Spiderman has been tricky. How do you recast a part that Tobey Maguire is so known for? Do you try to find another serious and fairly well known actor, or do you find someone who has experience, but is relatively well known. According to the latest rumor, Marvel went with the latter. Josh Hutcherson has been a name that most people have responded to with a “who?” Yet, he’s been in a fair amount of movies – Zathura, Journey to the Center of the Earth, Cirque du Freak: The Vampire’s Assistant, Bridge to Terabithia and has been cast in the upcoming Red Dawn remake.

I liked Journey to the Center of the Earth. Not a brilliant movie, but not as bad as I was expecting. Though, Brendan Frasier does pretty much just shout and yell through the whole movie. But it’s Hutcherson’s wide-eyed, yet glib reactions to the trip to the center of the Earth that sells the movie.

Considering that most of the front runners were British, it’s nice to have an American name be the one to get the nod. Well, rumored nod. For those my age, try not to think too much that he was just 10 when the first Spiderman film came out.

Update: Apparently it was just a rumor, because Spider-Man has found it’s Peter Parker and it’s Andrew Garfield. I’m not familiar with his work at all, so I can’t comment on whether or not I think he’ll be a good fit. I was excited at the prospect of Hutcherson, who seemed a bit more like the Parker of the comic books.

Now, Wonder Woman. DC’s next big storyline Diana is that something happened that drastically altered Diana’s past as we knew it. The Gods have changed her life. Paradise Island was attacked and Diana was spirited away by Amazons and has been raised in the modern world. Knowing what the few remaining Amazons have told her, she does all she can to survive. The whole point seems to be for Diana to discover who is after the Amazons, why they destroyed Paradise Island and see if she can set things back as they were originally.

To go with the storyline, Jim Lee developed a new look for her. Something to reflect that she lives in our world, and is a little more rough and tumble than she used to be.

(Click the thumbnail for the whole look)

Most of the comics loving community seems to say that they don’t like it. And honestly, there are things that I like and things that I don’t. Given her new “fight for her life” background, the red and gold gauntlets are appropriate branding for her. I like the red tanktop (though from some sample images, the regular artist has simplified it into a lower cut camisole full o’ cleavage) and the WW at the center. I like the new belt, and the idea of the pants.

However, like most Jim Lee designs, this screams “I’m from the 90’s” – there isn’t much that’s modern about this Wonder Woman. Her jacket? Who wears cropped leather jackets with big shoulders? Nobody. I wore chokers in the 90’s, but nobody wears them today. Diana’s iconic tiara now looks like it’s meant for a formal event, not durable enough to stand up to a fight. And those gold anklet/spur type thing? What’s wrong with giving Diana pants and some kick ass boots? Even if it had been just a simple pair of knee high boots with some gold detailing, I think it would have looked better. Instead, we’re left with some strange footed leggings. Not only that, her pants clearly have more details. Seams, and what not. But because of all the other details, in the actual artwork- it turns into plain jane black pants. Nothing of interest there.

So, imagining that Jim Lee’s costume was the first take on where they wanted Wonder Woman’s costume to go, what would I have done? Good question. I’m already working on a sketch, which I’ll try to find a way to scan and post on Friday. Wish me luck! (Update: As much as it pains me to say this, I never got around to it. Sorry!)

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