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The new Wonder Woman television show: Is this really the best they could come up with?

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Entertainment Weekly has a photo of the costume to be featured in the new Wonder Woman television pilot, written by David E. Kelley.

For a tightly-controlled character with a lot of licensing on the line, it actually doesn’t look that bad — although, it doesn’t top this fan designed outfit:

But it’s certainly better than the “bold new look” with which she’s been saddled in the comic books:

Can anything top Ms. Lynda Carter’s example?

That is bold. Especially today, when filmmakers are trying desperately to appeal to international markets. Here is an attractive woman showing lots of skin. Well, actually, she appears to be wearing skin-toned hose in that shot. Why would an Amazon need to wear pantyhose?

Late last year, Wonder Woman got the “porn parody” treatment, and was portrayed by the famous film actress Tori Black. She looked pretty good, too.

The new, non-pornographic, television version of Wonder Woman is portrayed by an actress called Adrianne Palicki. She apparently got her start in a television drama program about high school football. That would explain why I had never heard of her before.

But one must admit that Ms. Palicki fills out the Wonder Woman costume quite well. She is an elegantly constructed human. Given the fact that no human woman could ever adequately embody all of the physical, spiritual, and emotional aspects of the character, Wonder Woman is a tough role. After all, she has “perfect ‘modern Venus’ measurements! Amazing!”:

In fact, the only human who could have portrayed her does not and has never existed. However, using cutting edge computer technology, not unlike that utilized by the famous motion pictures “Avatar,” and “Machete,” I have created an image of the only woman who could have portrayed the character:

That is an actress created by placing the head of the delightful Ms. Myrna Loy on the supple body of the beautiful Ms. Esther Williams. I am calling this actress Myrna Williams. Or, if you prefer, Esther Loy. I prefer Myrna Williams.

Regardless of what you call her, I think you will agree that she perfectly embodies everything you want in a Wonder Woman.

But this is all beside the point. What can we expect from Mr. Kelley’s version of Wonder Woman? Not too long ago, Mr. Kelley was downplaying expectations about the program. And NBC, which is now the home of the pilot, actually passed on the script back in January.

Along with the new photo of Ms. Palicki in full Wonder Woman regalia, Entertainment Weekly gives us a bit of information on the direction of the new program:

Along with Palicki, Elizabeth Hurley (Austin Powers: The Spy Who Shagged Me) and Cary Elwes (Saw, The Princess Bride) have joined the cast. Hurley’s character runs a pharmaceutical company that is creating a drug that makes people stronger while Elwes plays the CEO of Diana’s company, Themyscira Industries.

The villain runs a pharmaceutical company that is creating a drug that makes people stronger.

The villain. Is creating a drug. That helps people. The villain.

What exactly makes her villainous in this scenario? I would give part of my brain to be stronger. Most of us would. Wouldn’t you like to be stronger?

That was the whole point of Captain America. He was given a drug that made him stronger. And he’s a symbol of American-ness!

Actually, Wonder Woman taking on a capitalist who sells a beneficial product isn’t exactly novel. If we go way back into the Wonder Woman archives we find that in “Sensation Comics” issue number 7, cover dated July 1942, Wonder Woman actually took on a milk company:

Wonder Woman didn’t like the fact that the milk distributor was charging what she felt was an unfair price for milk. There were poor people in America at that time, and she felt that milk was a precious resource that should be available to everyone, regardless of their income. So she led a massive demonstration, complete with college students, signs, and chants. She was sort of like Michael Moore, only more aspirational.

Perhaps what so irks this modern Wonder Woman is not that the pharmaceutical company is making the drug, but that it is being offered at what the superhero believes in an unfair price. There is a recession going on, and if everyone were just a little bit stronger, they might be able to pull themselves out of it. Think of what would happen to the GDP if we could all work harder!

But, if the villain makes drugs, what does the hero do? According to an early script review, the hero in this program… sells licensed products:

Primarily, she is Wonder Woman, superhero crime fighter in Los Angeles. In a world (and a town) that worships celebrities, she’s the biggest one there is. She is also Diana Themyscira (her “secret identity” is not a secret to the world), the head of Themyscira Industries, whose primary function is to make money to fund Wonder Woman’s super heroics. They do this primarily through selling Wonder Woman merchandise.

Just so we’re clear, the early reports are that the villains sell a drug that makes people stronger, and the heroes sell toys.

The villain in this case is a character called Veronica Cale. Ms. Cale was created by writer Greg Rucka, supposedly as a Lex Luthor for Wonder Woman.

That tells you a lot about the sensibilities of modern comic book creators and fans. How is that not a diminishing of the character? Wonder Woman doesn’t need a “Lex Luthor.” She’s got Cheetah.

She’s got Dr. Psycho!

She’s got all of mythology for crying out loud!

And of course she’s got bondage:

But, no, what she really needs is a Lex Luthor.

If the people currently creating comic books and television shows can’t come up with something more to do with Wonder Woman than to have her fight an evil pharmaceutical company by selling dolls and T-shirts of herself, we are in serious trouble, and it doesn’t really matter what the actress who portrays her looks like.

Not even reasonably-priced milk can save us.

Ricky Sprague occasionally writes and/or draws things. He sometimes animates things. He has a Twitter account and he has a blog. He scripted this graphic novel about Kolchak The Night Stalker. He is really, really good at putting links in bios.
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