Even though Wonder Woman’s outfit has evolved over the years, everyone knows her classic costume is the red, white, and blue one piece swimsuit that she adopted during the Silver Age. It is admittedly not the most practical costume, but is has still become iconic and usually looks pretty good in the comics.
All the same, it’s understandable why some alterations were made to that look when it came for Wonder Woman’s cinematic debut since nobody would want Diana to look silly. Though to be fair, Diana has worn a lot worse in the comics that could have made her look downright ridiculous.
Wonder Woman’s Silver Age one piece has long struck a good balance between theatricality and credibility. But of course new comic teams want to try and stake out their own mark on the heroine by contributing another memorable look for her. And these looks have certainly been memorable, though usually for the wrong reasons.
Most of these outfits show why the saying is “it’s not broken, don’t fix it,” because these are Wonder Woman’s 15 Craziest Costume Changes.
15. WHITE JUMPSUIT MOD WONDER WOMAN
This was Wonder Woman’s first major departure from her American-themed costume, and honestly it did not look terrible or impractical. It was just jarring to see such a change from what had come before. We expect superheroes to be flashy and have a distinctive look, but this outfit just looks like something anyone walking down the street during the ‘60s might wear. Admittedly, that was the point during this storyline, but that makes it a lot harder for a character to be memorable.
Diana switched to this downplayed wardrobe because she had agreed to relinquish her powers, and that sent her on more investigative adventures. In particular she was trying to clear the name of Steve Trevor after he was framed for a crime.
Diana was still effective, but this outfit and story just felt like taking the “super” out of superheroes. A good costume should be fashionable regardless of the decade, and there’s no way Mod Wonder Woman would fly today.
14. ‘90S LEATHER BIKER DIANA AFTER ARTEMIS BECOMES WONDER WOMAN
Wonder Woman has undoubtedly had worse short-lived costumes, but of outfits that she actually wore for a lengthy amount of time, this is one that a lot of people would agree is her worst. Diana wore this eyesore during the ‘90s after Artemis took up the mantle of Wonder Woman.
Hippolyta had a premonition that Wonder Woman would be killed, so she set up a contest to relieve Diana of the superhero title so that Diana would not receive that fate. It worked, and Artemis became Wonder Woman and ultimately died, but Diana’s foes were also dying… of laughter after seeing her in this.
At least Mod Wonder Woman just looked boring, but here she looks like a Russian spy. All the leather just betrays how big of a product this look is from the ‘90s. The biker shorts are bad enough, but who would want to wear a leather bra? This isn’t Diana’s craziest look, but it’s the worst one she wore consistently.
13. WAR WONDER WOMAN
The New 52 iteration of Wonder Woman featured some big changes to her storyline, including her longtime nemesis Ares. The New 52 really shook up the dynamic between the two characters by having Ares (or War, as he was known here) be a mentor to Diana. Ares wanted Diana to take his place as the God of War, but that could only happen if she killed him. At first Diana refused, but in a climactic battle with the First Born, she had to take Ares’ life to win the fight. This gave Wonder Woman new powers, and a new look.
We see this aspect of Diana’s personality with her costume largely unchanged, but gaining a few new additions. The God of War fashion line included a large furry cloak to keep the wearer warm while creating bloodshed, plus a sleek golden helmet with horns that could be sure to impress regardless of the occasion. And apparently Ares’ glowing eyes go with the title because this version of Diana had them as well.
12. FULL BODY SUIT/ CATHY LEE CROSBY WONDER WOMAN
Before DC’s whole Rebirth event, Wonder Woman caused a stir in publications for a new outfit she had unveiled. Diana made some waves by suddenly sporting her most covered up look to date, effectively wearing full body armor. Most of the focus from fans was simply on how drastically different this new look was rather than how good it was, but the body suit looked very practical for a warrior, and was not even too shabby looking thanks to retaining the core colors of her classic outfit.
Perhaps part of the lack of enthusiasm for the body suit was because it bore an unfortunate resemblance to Cathy Lee Crosby’s Wonder Woman of the ’70s. It’s uncertain where Crosby’s version of the costume stemmed from since Diana was sporting nothing of the sort in the comics at the time. The star spangled sleeves were an odd choice, but what sticks out the most is that Crosby didn’t even have the prerequisite black hair.
11. THE WONDER WEDGIE
So many female comic book characters have been placed in incredibly sexualized outfits, so a lot of superheroines could share an entry when looking at their ridiculous costumes of the past. It’s not that a female superhero being attractive is a bad thing, since plenty of characters can look good even when wearing the most modest outfits. But there’s a difference between a character being attractive, and their costume becoming a gimmick to try and get attention. Female superheroes fighting in visible thongs tends to fall into the latter category.
Wonder Woman’s Silver Age swimsuit outfit is already a bit iffy for fighting crime as is, but she’s managed to make it work. But when her artists began portraying the outfit as a thong it’s hard to imagine any reason someone would choose that as their combat outfit. For a day at the beach, fine, but when knives and bullets are coming out a wedgie isn’t going to offer the best defense.
10. 1994 SUPERBOY ANNUAL LEATHER OUTFIT
This outfit from Superboy Annual really seems like a mish mash of other Wonder Woman outfits that we have already discussed, and it does not make for the prettiest picture. Though to be fair, all the heroes received new looks in this story, and it basically tampered with classic looks for the worse. Everyone got arbitrary and off-putting amounts of leather added to their costumes, making it seem like the Justice League had fallen into the Matrix movies.
The leather on Wonder Woman’s outfit calls to mind her ’90s biker look, and that’s definitely something best left forgotten. There are also some huge knee pads that add some functional protection, but also clash pretty hard with the star-spangled one piece.
9. ODYSSEY’S PANTS AND JACKET
Not all of the costume changes Wonder Woman has undergone have been crazy as in terrible or hideous. This particular outfit is actually rather divisive among fans. Some consider it a bad attempt at a revamp, but others found it a bold and effective change. Diana finally had pants! That alone got people talking, and this casual look wound up becoming a favorite among some fans. Though given how it has fallen by the wayside at this point, evidently it wasn’t enough fans.
The outfit was introduced during the “Odyssey” storyline in Wonder Woman # 600 which played out looking like it was going to be a reboot. Diana no longer remembered her past, and was now involved in a totally new world where she battled against a trio of death goddesses known as the Morrigan.
8. GOLDEN AMAZON BATTLE ARMOR
In theory this outfit is actually pretty good. Even the Amazons eventually encounter foes that become a huge challenge for them, so why not upgrade their defense? Lots of heroes have done this when gearing up for big battles, and it has led to some pretty cool designs. So the issue here is not the premise, but the execution, which leaves Wonder Woman and the Amazons looking like the new mascots for Kentucky Fried Chicken.
It’s meant to be armor that encompasses the signature golden eagle symbol that Wonder Woman once wore, but the armor is overdesigned. The wings are totally unnecessary since Wonder Woman can already fly, so they’re just a huge obstructive decoration. And giving the armor a helmet or a face mask could have been cool, but not when it’s giving the Amazon’s face a huge bird beak.
7. PRISON PLANET OUTFIT
This story arc might have been channeling a bit of Star Wars for inspiration, because we have Diana going into space and getting enslaved by an alien race who force her to put on a new costume. Fortunately for Diana, the Star Wars comparisons end there and she does not wind up in the Princess Leia slave bikini. Instead, she gets this skintight black outfit that feels very ’80s sci-fi, which is fitting since she fought in this to free other slaves from a planet of space pirates.
The outfit allowed her to have some comradery with the other slaves since this seemed to be their official uniform for the rebellion. Apparently Diana kind of liked wearing pants for a change, though, because she actually kept them for a little bit once this conflict concluded and she had switched back to her red, white, and blue top.
6. WHITE LANTERN WONDER WOMAN
DC’s “Blackest Night” event is known for featuring lots of formerly dead characters being brought back to life as Black Lanterns. For a while it was just cool to see all of DC battling against these zombies and those corrupted by the Black Lantern Corps, but eventually it came time for the heroes to fight back. Of course as the most well-known Lantern around Earth, Hal Jordan led the charge, bringing in the counter to the Black Lanterns.
To combat the darkness the heroes filled the world with light— the light brought by White Lanterns. Wonder Woman was one of many heroes transformed, and admittedly the costume change it brought was pretty simple, just recoloring their existing outfits as white. Simple can still be effective, though, and it made for a really cool image to see the newly-formed White Lantern Corps all converge to take down the Black Hand.
5. TRINITY GOD FORM
The word “trinity” conjures up different things to different people. Many religious people no doubt associate the word with the divine trinity. But in the context of DC comics, the word conjures up three of the most popular and longest running heroes in comics: Batman, Superman, and Wonder Woman. The “Trinity” storyline touched on both interpretations of that word by making DC’s iconic trio a little more super.
During this plot, the three heroes appeared beaten after a group of villains banished them to an alternate universe. But this only enhanced the powers of the heroes, who wound up becoming gods in this new world and eventually gained the power to return home and confront their antagonists.
4. PIRATE WONDER WOMAN
Justice League 80 Page Giant was a series that was exactly what it sounded like, focusing on the classic DC team in a huge comic book issue. The stories in these comics would usually take advantage of the size available to them to tell more sprawling adventures featuring multiple characters involved in their own sub plots. In issue # 1, the focus was on several members of the Justice League getting strewn throughout different time periods.
Wonder Woman wound up getting thrown into the time when pirates were still roaming the seas. To fit in with their surroundings, the heroes also got wardrobe changes depending on what time they were transported to. So Wonder Woman became a pirate princess, which entailed her gaining a bandana, and also having to wear the puffy shirt from Seinfeld. Diana’s worn worse, but it doesn’t seem like a pirate’s life is for her.
3. STAR SAPPHIRE WONDER WOMAN
The Star Sapphire Corps operates in a pretty similar fashion to how the many Lantern Corps do. They receive powers through special rings that unite them under the banner of a specific color (in this case pink) and they become someone you generally don’t want to mess with. What makes the Star Sapphires unique is that for the most part they are all women since their background has a strong connection to femininity (though a few men have temporarily received the powers, like Guy Gardner).
Just as the different colors of the Lantern Corps connect with an emotion, so do the rings of the Star Sapphires— love. And since Wonder Woman is an Amazon, a race created by the goddess of love Aphrodite, it’s easy to see why Diana qualified to become a member.
Wonder Woman had been under control of a Black Lantern ring at the time, since this took place during “Blackest Night,” but the Star Sapphire ring freed her and made her an honorary member of the Corps of love. That came complete with a skimpy pink outfit that the members had to wear (though suspiciously not the male members, like Guy Gardner).
2. WONDER WOMAN AND THE FURIES OUTFIT
Wonder Woman has had lots of revamped origin stories over the years, but the one in “Wonder Woman and the Furies” is actually pretty plausible. Here, it is Aquaman who comes across the Amazons rather than Steve Trevor. Arthur saves Diana from a kraken and takes her to meet his people in Atlantis. This eventually leads to the two deciding that they should get married as a way to create unity between the Atlanteans and the Amazons. But each hero’s people have other plans.
The Atlantians and the Amazons don’t want this union, and war breaks out after Hippolyta winds up being killed in a move to disrupt the wedding plans. It falls to the heroes to try and patch things up, and Diana gains a pretty unique costume during the journey.
Looking to represent her time spent in Atlantis, Diana dons armor inspired by their people, including a golden helmet that totally changes her look. It’s a fine outfit for a one-off story, but the style of Atlantis really just doesn’t suit her as well as classic Themysciran fashion.
1. VICTORIAN ERA WONDER WOMAN
Everyone thinks of Diana as a feminist icon for being a female superhero in an era where that was rare and for pushing the boundaries of how women were perceived when she was introduced 75 years ago. But women have experienced inequality a lot longer than that, so Wonder Woman could have been a revolutionary hero in just about any era. The storyline of “Amazonia” seems to suggest as much at least, giving us a 19th century Victorian era Wonder Woman.
In this story Jack the Ripper has become a king, and it’s up to Diana to stop him. However, she, of course, has to dress for the times, so she looks significantly different. Her hair is shorter and curlier, she gains some elbow length gloves, and she has a bodice with lots of frills decorating it.
If you ever thought Wonder Woman’s original outfit looked antiquated by today’s standards, you should definitely give her Victorian era a read to be grateful for how far the times have come.
Can you think of any outfits you would add to this list? Tell us what costume changes Wonder Woman has had that have surprised you the most in the comments!
Wonder Woman is in theaters now, and Justice League arrives November 17, 2017.