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Committed: Porn & Wonder Woman’s Pants

by  in Comic News Comment

In a move which disappoints everyone, (but surprises no one), the first promo pic from the upcoming Vivid Entertainment Wonder Woman porn parody reveals that her costume is significantly closer to her comic book counterpart than any the hero has worn in other screen adaptations.

Unless you’re a fan of the high-waist and clunky heels of Lynda Carter (whose awkward run did hold a certain charm, even if it wasn’t particularly Amazonian), or you can make do with some pretty nifty animation adaptations, there really hasn’t been a decent Wonder Woman costume on TV in decades. Women who find out I read comic books often ask me why there isn’t a new Wonder Woman TV show or movie (because while they may not read the comic books anymore, she’s arguably the most instantly recognizable female hero around). When I reply that they tried with David E. Kelly, with Joss Whedon, with others… but it seems like there are always too many questions about her pants, they think I’m joking. How could something as basic as pants be the problem?

Adapting female superheroes from comic books to the screen is a complex task for a slew of reasons, but sexy clothing is a much bigger issue than it seems on the surface. While her 70 year old costume has generally managed to maintain a consistent brand over the years, on a human being it is always difficult to believe that a strong woman would fight battles in what is essentially a star-spangled swim suit. In real life it just isn’t plausible, and in the current climate of gritty, realistic superheroes, it is a tricky adaptation. Specifically, the problem is that television and movie makers are assuming that we need to find it believable, which gets a bit strange when you question whether a man could design and build his own Iron Man suit, or a kid could sew his own web-slinger costume… why aren’t male superheroes being held up to the same standard of realism?

What we seem to forget (but porn producers haven’t) is that it doesn’t matter if Wonder Woman’s costume is feasible, fashionable, or even plausible. What matters is that she is iconic, she is an instantly recognizable brand which has been firmly planted in our brains from infancy (well, for some of us more recently, but I grew up with her). What is a stumbling block for television networks and movie companies is actually a bonus to porn companies, who need only put a strong looking woman into an accurate costume in order to have viewers instantly buy into the fantasy. In the world of porn there is an awareness that what they are selling is sex and fantasy, this is an accepted fact known by all. This pragmatism frees porn to more accurately depict Wonder Woman’s costume, which is great. It is a shame that they rest of television can’t just admit that they’re basically in the same business of selling a fantasy, and give us a powerful, established icon in the costume which is her brand identity. I have no interest in porn parodies of superheroes, but I welcome the attention to detail and lack of self-consciousness with which they are approaching these characters and I think we can learn a thing or two from it.