As the post-“Convergence” landscape of DC Comics starts to make itself clear, the publisher recently garnered attention with the reveal of new looks for their iconic trinity of heroes: Batman, Superman and Wonder Woman. In addition to launching a couple dozen all-new series, all three of DC’s classic headliners will be sporting new duds when the two-month “Convergence” event runs its course and the next phase of DC Comics begins.
Wonder Woman will trade in her comparatively revealing outfit for a more armored look, complete with gauntlet spikes, shoulder pads and thigh-high leather boots. Superman’s new suit — or rather lack of a suit — harkens back to the look he wore in the early days of the New 52 in the run by Grant Morrison and Rags Morales. The only difference this time around is the lack of yellow in his Superman shield, a cape and cuffs on his jeans. Lastly, Batman will undergo the biggest makeover when the caped crusader slides into a hulking blue mech suit.
If you think these costume changes are drastic, though, perhaps you need a refresher course in where these three have been in years past.
Originally introduced in a Silver Age “Batman” story as an alien named Tlano from the planet Zur-En-Arrh, Grant Morrison gave this Technicolor crusader a serious makeover 50 years after his debut. The Zur-En-Arrh Bats was revealed to be one of Bruce Wayne’s defense mechanisms against psychological trauma, which led to Batman donning the purple, red and yellow tights for a stretch of issues. Listen, Batman’s arguably — or definitely — the toughest hero in the DC Universe. If anyone is going to make looking like a Crayola nightmare intimidating, it’s Batman.
Mod Wonder Woman
In a misguided attempt to tap into the political climate of the late ’60s as well as the popularity of Emma Peel in the British “Avengers” series, Wonder Woman was reimagined as a depowered mod boutique owner with a Chinese marital arts mentor. This version of Diana Prince also apparently had a very big walk-in closet, because she changed between a number of groovy body suits, jackets and miniskirts starting with 1968’s “Wonder Woman” #178. At times “Wonder Woman” looked like a much more aggressive comic adaptation of “The Mary Tyler Moore Show.”
Following his demise at the hands of Doomsday in 1992’s “Death of Superman” storyline, the one true Supes re-emerged from a regeneration matrix to reclaim the Super mantle from a quartet of imposters. He did this while rocking a solid black bodysuit and big metal “S” shield. As the costume itself is more bland than downright goofy, it’s the hair that really kicks this look up — or down — a few notches. Never forget the period of time when Superman had Bon Jovi hair.
With Bruce Wayne out of action after having his back broken by Bane, a computer science graduate student named Jean-Paul Valley stepped in to fill Batman’s shoes — and added about two hundred pounds of armor to the suit. Batman’s iconic frame was filled out with even more spikes, padding and pouches because, well, it was the ’90s. Once Wayne recovered, Valley applied his garishly colorful sense of gothic fashion to his own superhero identity, Azrael.
MTV Wonder Woman
The ’90s weren’t kind to super hero fashion, specifically where Wonder Woman is concerned. Much like in the late ’60s, Diana Prince distanced herself from her Amazonian heritage and began tackling more street-level crime. Wonder Woman started raiding Janet Jackson’s closet and began pairing bike shorts with a superhero style jacket and strap-tastic bustier. This is a Wonder Woman that changed her home address from Paradise Island to the Rhythm Nation.
Electric Blue Superman
As the ’90s came to a close, they decided to get one last dig in at DC’s Trinity. In 1998, Superman underwent not just a costume change but a total power change. During this storyline, Superman gained energy-based powers and had to wear a containment suit to keep his body from dissipating. This energetic new approach to the character gave his a crackling new look complete with zigzags, cool blue skin and stray lightning bolts.
Jason Todd Batman
This proves that any time someone other than Bruce Wayne or Dick Grayson gets behind the cowl, things start to go really wrong for Batman aesthetically. When the second Robin, Jason Todd, tried to take over the mantle during “Battle for the Cowl,” he did away with any level of subtlety and went straight for terrifying. Glowing red eyes, a metallic mouthpiece, horns and twin guns really played into Todd’s overly edgy nature and somehow made the “Knightfall” suit seem quaint by comparison. At least Jean-Paul put a few splashes of color on his overly macho set of Bat-armor.
Hip Wonder Woman
Unlike Batman and Superman, all of Wonder Woman’s biggest costume missteps stem from attempts to distance the character from her Amazonian roots. She lost her powers in the ’60s, she lost the title of Wonder Woman in the ’90s and she lost her memories in the early ’10s — and each time she started wearing jackets and contemporary-ish fashion. The most recent version of this trope saw an amnesiac Diana wearing a leather jacket and super tight pants. Compared to all of her Forever 21 make-unders, her new armored-up look is actually a refreshing change of pace.
New 52 Superman
The jury’s still out as to whether or not the New 52’s Superman suit will go down as a failure, but a contingent of fans were quite vocal in their distaste for the look upon its arrival in late 2011. With its high collar and endless seam lines, the suit was emblematic of everything some fans thought was wrong with the New 52’s designs. Some fans were most up in arms about the loss of Supes’ red trunks, a design element that previously broke up his blue bodysuit and one that had been in place since the character’s creation. It’s telling that when artists for the digital-first series “Adventures of Superman” drew the character, they almost always chose his classic suit — briefs and all.
Stay tuned to CBR News for more on the future — and future fashion choices — of DC’s Trinity.