Green Lantern’s New Duds Are a Dud

Another superhero, another costume controversy. Images from Entertainment Weekly of Ryan Reynolds in his CGI Green Lantern costume for the forthcoming Martin Campbell movie adaptation have hit the Internet thanks to sites like iFanboy and MTV Splash Page. My initial reaction: I hate the ringslinger’s uniform!

Upon further reflection, I loathe it.

I want the costume to die in a fire because it is way too different from the hero’s classic look. In my book, this qualifies as a completely different, brand-new uniform. One that belongs on a GL from some other sector, not Earth’s 2814; it is simply too alien-looking. Are those textured ridges supposed to mimic musculature? Why? Looking at the giant GL logo on the chest, it appears to me that the designer was trying to say, “See the logo, guys? Maybe nothing else looks the way it should, but this guy is Green Lantern because he’s got the frakkin’ logo! Oh, and because he’s green.” Yeah, he is green. All over. We cannot see the entire costume, but it appears to be completely green, with no black elements and no white gloves. The mask doesn’t even look like it’s actually on his face — which it apparently isn’t, since it’s a CGI element. The mask looks like graffiti on his mug. And giving GL pupils looks like an ill-fated attempt to make him appear blind.
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Wonder Woman’s Extreme Makeover

Wonder Woman 2010

DC Comics icon Wonder Woman has a brand-new look, and it is quite a radical change. Designed by DC co-publisher Jim Lee, the new uniform debuted in Wonder Woman #600, released on June 30. Jammed with stories and pin-ups, the anniversary issue saw the beginning of a new storyline by new regular writer J. Michael Straczynski (of TV’s BABYLON 5 fame) and artist Don Kramer. The story itself is not without controversy, as Straczynski reworks Wondy’s origin so that she was spirited off Themyscira as a child and raised in Man’s World. So all the traditional aspects of her story – such as being the champion of Paradise Island and encountering pilot Steve Trevor after he crashes on the isolated island – are gone, replaced by…well, we will have to see what replaces all that. (Changing origin stories is sort of JMS’ signature move. He reworked Spider-Man’s origin a few years back, when he took over that Marvel title. And who knows what JMS has planned for his other new regular series, Superman?)

Still, no one can deny that the extreme makeover is already a fanboy disaster unmitigated success. That’s because, love it or hate it, the new duds have people talking about Wonder Woman — and when was the last time that happened? The-powers-that-be at DC are saying all the right things about reinventing and reinvigorating a reliable old familiar character, and helping solidify her role as one of the so-called Trinity of top heroes, alongside Superman and Batman. And this more modest costume is far more likely to work on the silver screen in that movie project that is continually rumored. Certainly, as a corporate entity, DC cannot be averse to freshening an aging property that most people hardly ever think about anymore. But I think the truth of the matter is, DC just wants people talking because, as the saying goes, there’s no such thing as bad publicity.
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