Character Design – Wonder Woman

UPDATE: I’ve updated this design slightly, bit more sleek and more comic like.

New Wonder Woman Promo piece here.

Updated costume
Damaged costume

Since WB has decided to do a bunch of solo films for the DC characters, over the next few weeks I thought I’d do a series of character designs to go with the more darker and mature theme they’re going for. First one of 4, Wonder Woman.

I really want to see a serious Wonder woman film and too do that the costume has to be taken seriously, a more grounded fantasy as it were. The idea for this design is based off the idea I have for a WW film, one that’s loosely based off the whole George Perez reboot, the whole Ares trying to start World War 3 plot. My usual model Cobie Smulders is used mostly coz she was the last rumoured for the solo roll (call me lazy!). Body Stock imagery courtesy of http://mjranum-stock.deviantart.com/

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Posted in Manips, Wonder Woman
29 comments on “Character Design – Wonder Woman
  1. Danielle says:

    I really like the look of the whole thing.
    The greek pleaty of the skirt is a really nice touch. Goes back to when the amazons lived in that time era.
    The only thing that doesn’t seem wonder womanish is the sandals.
    She wore boots. And I think it would be nice to stick with that idea.
    that is my only critisism

    I love the idea you came up with for her.

    I also love your Harley Quinn idea. Goes very much with the new joker look

    you are really good

  2. JC Baron says:

    Great job, but it’s too dark. We need to get away from this “have to darken superhero costumes because we are embarrassed by the source material” mode in live-action films. The ancient Hellenes painted their buildings and statues in vividly bright blue and red. Leather probably can’t be dyed brighter, but there is not reason to use leather when she has preternaturally strong skin. And I’d hope somewhere along the line that she’d don the styles of her adopted society / time period.

  3. seta says:

    hey ..i think she needs to wear something which expose her midriff, navel etc

  4. dailypop says:

    Very nice job and I’m not surprised that Gail Simone likes it too!

  5. Dean says:

    This is fantastic. It does a great job balancing the superhero aspect with the ancient Greek warrior aspect of the character. I’d love to see it used somewher.

  6. izjusme says:

    I like this. I agree with the boots statement, but only because it would seem more practical in a battle situation. I’m not a WW follower, per se, but I am a designer and the conundrum of how to translate something so iconic, but obviously made for the 2D page, into something that will work on the screens of the 21st Century is a tough one. I’ve seen too many oversexed Daisy Dukes and Playboy centerfold concepts. This takes design cues from Greco-Roman culture and ancient female warriors. It’s perfect. I, for one, like the muted color palette. For me, it has less to do with embarassment about the source material, but rather what will “play” in a live action film. Saturated primaries are fine for something flat, when you need to give it some “oomph” to get off the page and express energy and catch the eye. In motion pictures, these may not always be desirable. You can do hypersaturated primaries, but you have to be smart about it (I’m thinking Speed Racer). And while we can remark that these ancient cultures may have used bright primaries, we have to look at it in a practical manner and that’s about selling a product to a paying audience. They need to respect and take the character seriously. A more straight-from-the-book look will remind them of Linda Carter and put them in a retro pastiche frame of mind.

  7. sketch says:

    Incredible piece of work. I must agree with izjusme. Anyone who thinks this is too “dark” or “serious” is out of there mind because some things just have to be that way on film. This isn’t Supes or Green Lantern guys. Diana is a tough as nails, feminist warrior, who happens to be a beautiful goddess. Not the other way around. Bright red and blue boots, midriff exposure and shiny metals is completely against her personality. If she was to wear that in normal society she’d look like a super hooker.

    While the sandals are a stretch, it’s more traditional to her culture than “big red boots” (Officer Mooney-Superman).
    And like JC Baron pointed out, she has strong skin so you got to imagine that practicality in a battle situation is irrelevant. Her toes will be just fine :P

    Anyway, excellent design, I have nothing bad to say about this except that I personally like Jessica Biel for the job.

  8. Lesia says:

    I like this one, no more barely there suits, that makes her
    look like the Amazon slut.

    She’ll probably be stuck with another Steve Trevor clone.

    Boots though.

  9. Anonymous Coward says:

    She doesn’t look American anymore. This is a good thing because the USA really isn’t as important as the USA think they are.

  10. PaulW says:

    Well it’s dark because it looks to be made of leather. I like the color, although a few more white stars on the pleated skirt would add some style.

    I do think the eagle chest-plate needs to be more… metallic. Can a plastic mold painted to look metallic brass/gold be made?

  11. jon haward says:

    hi just wanted to say i really like all your design work ,this is a great version of wonder woman and would work really well on the big screen ,i’ve enjoyed seeing your design paintings as well if you don’t get the WB gig on this movie you have some wonderful folio pieces

    all the very best

    jon

  12. Aakino says:

    I love the look, including the sandals (she does have incredibly tough skin, right?).

  13. EZFlash says:

    OMG this makes so much sense, and looks great. About time someone came up with a great looking wonder woman reboot.

  14. Vaportrail says:

    I’m trying to figure out how you make this so lifelike. I gather you used a body model, but for the outfit itself. Are you just sampling from images you find online and altering the colors, or is there more to it than that?

  15. joshmc says:

    Sorta. It’s a bit like doing a collage except you’re trying to make a specific shape. There’s a lot of using bits and piece from various photographs and joining them together, and painting in anything else that needs filling, very rarely is only one image used for a single piece of costume, my recent Catwoman Still 2.0 is a rare example of the later, the stock image just so happened to have a woman in a skin tight black outfit so it took a lot of the hard work away. The trick is to find images that all have light coming from the same direction as the body model, it sells the illusion better.

  16. KnottimusPrime says:

    to Anonymous Coward, of course she doesnt look american, shes not supposed to. she’s GREEK. Duh. great pic though. perfect balance between source material, and acual functionallity

  17. ed2962 says:

    I just stumbled on this site. I just want to say GREAT! I really love the concept!

  18. artman says:

    Amazing art!!!! Finally a Wonder Woman that is true to the comic orgins and updated to be realistic. I love Wonder Woman and a huge fan of Lynda Carters incarnation of her! But I dont believe that the red white and blue bathing suit outfit is realistic at all. Just not something a amazon would wear and doesnt work for even me a hard core die hard WW fan!! This image is almost perfect!

    The Sandals got to go!!!! Just doesnt work. Simple as that. Also the model doesnt show Wonder Womans intense exotic beauty! She’s pretty but to much like the girl next door or the babysitter.I feel that Megan Gale has that exotic stunning shock beauty the character needs. Carmen Electra would be nice if she was taller and less penthouse looking.

    Extra touch,…..a glowing lasso!!!!

    Good Job Artist!!!!!!

  19. ChristinaC. says:

    Love it. Nothing beats the classic look but the sandals give her more of a gladiator feel which looks more believable.
    This would be a great costume to make!

    oh, love the detail on the headband and arm braces. Cant really see the detail but its just enough. Very nice.

  20. Porkkchopp says:

    Okay just wanted to comment on the costume and the whole skin is tough thing. First i think the suit is practical more so then the new one there making for the show. Second her skin isn’t that tough its the armor she wears. It was crafted by Hephestus the Greek god of black smithing. It gives her super strength the ability to fly, super speed, and endurance. The rest is from combat training on Paradise Island. By comic book standards she is almost as strong and fast as superman. She was created to be the female version of superman.

  21. MarkA says:

    overall an A-
    Love the direction …
    Just a quick critique
    on the updated undamaged; the head is slightly out of proportion hence why Emily thought the straps were too small

    the colour palette is spot on but mjranum shoots against gray to help with selection in photoshop by mounting on a suitable back ground then applying lens blur (shortening the depth of field)
    it helps naturalize the whole look and adds realism

    effect displayed somewhat poorly here;-

    http://mark-anthony.deviantart.com/gallery/#/d2hrn8v

    chime with the comments on gauntlets and bootie sandles

  22. joshmc says:

    It’s only a concept mate. ;)

  23. dan says:

    really the best idea for her costume that i’ve seen out there. Marvel and DC should start listening to there fans…

  24. Shan says:

    I love all of it but… the sandal (not that I don’t think it should be a sandal because it fits the perfectly.) I think it should be a less orthopedic looking sandal. A sexier looking gladiator sandal. She can have more foot showing because of her skin. Make it look less like a man’s sandal.

  25. Hermes Terceiro says:

    I tried to post here, but apparently I had to log in, so I logged in via Facebook :)

    Again, I would like to tell you that I TRULY loved your work, and inspired by it, I come to you presenting it to you in a new light, hopefully you like it as much as some people did. Therefore, presenting to you your own suit, here it is – [IMG]https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-GnK_bKOIWhE/T15VXFE01lI/AAAAAAAAJYQ/hGMOWYNvwgo/s512/2012-03-12%252016.23.28.jpg[/IMG]

    and also this one taken in a wider angle – [IMG]https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-lGaztbC9IHY/T15VmfNLGFI/AAAAAAAAJV0/W3bUTeEctfc/s512/2012-03-12%252016.22.49.jpg[/IMG]

    I really hope this does justice to your astounding artwork :)
    :) Hermes!

  26. josh says:

    That’s some great work! Thanks for sharing! :)

  27. Linda says:

    IMO, this is much, much better than anything we’ve seen on the screen, large or small. Love the Greco-Roman look to remind us she’s an Amazon, but keeping the red white and blue because that is part of her original backstory as well, coming off of her island to protect the USA. Still sexy with lots of skin showing but without looking like she’s running around in a bathing suit, which is to me, the silly bit. Regardless of whether you have super-skin or not, there is just no sense in wearing a top that you need to be glued into before the fight. A strapless bustier is fine so long as you’re in a comic book, but real-world curves should have realistic support!

  28. Anonymous says:

    This is on target my friend and I am a woman that appreciates a polished and classical feel to Wonder Woman as she is a polished and classic and Amazon. The sandals are PERFECT too. She is staying true to her origins and can go barefoot if she wants and still prevail.

  29. Anonymous says:

    It looks wonderful. You can see the Greek influence. The colors are darker which keeps the costume from looking too cheesy.

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