Hi folks! Hey, sorry the bonus update I’d promised is a day late. What started as a Sunday-morning brunch with a group of friends from graduate school turned into a Sunday-afternoon brewery crawl with said group of awesome friends. At any rate, thanks for your patience, everyone, and please enjoy the bonus blog post and art from the always-amazing Stjepan Sejic!
So I was kind of stoked to hear back from Stjepan with permission to use his art on Sartorially Smart Heroines. I’ve followed his galleries for a while now, and I admire his ability to keep up with so many projects at once, as well as his willingness to make fun of himself and other artists for certain stories and portrayals in comic book lore.
I enjoy depictions of Wonder Woman in armor, and found several excellent concept pieces in Stjepan’s galleries. Diana’s armor here fits into a category I refer to as “brawler armor.” I tend to think of brawler armor as protection for a combatant who fights mainly unarmed and/or using improvised weapons (chairs, tables, I-beams, Buicks). While we tend to think of unarmed fighters like monks, martial artists, and boxers as ones who forgo armor for flexibility, there’s no reason similar characters couldn’t wear light, flexible, punch-absorbing armor. (D&D monk being an exception, of course, armor interfering with class abilities and all that, but… bleah never mind, not important.)
I’ll admit that it’s kind of hard to tell what material our awesome Amazon’s armor is made from, but from Di’s stance and posture, it looks like it offers plenty of spinal and rotational flexibility for throwing punches or kicking teeth in. Front and back plates offer absorption from bludgeoning attacks and deflection from knives (or even bullets for all we know). Underneath, Diana wears some manner of scale mesh, visible at her waist and beneath her arms. Likely this offers additional absorption in heavy melee. I like the attention to joint protection as well, with sculpted, segmented spaulders to protect Di’s shoulders from disabling blows. Bulletproof, her metal vambraces remain an iconic part of the Wonder Woman costume.
As well as protecting her upper legs, the skirt of leather(?) straps hearkens back to Di’s Amazonian origins. Her flanks are covered by segmented plates for flexibility, and sculpted greaves keep her legs safe from slashing or bludgeoning attacks. Lastly, her boots look to be light and flexible for solid combat stances and quick movement around the battlefield.
I have just one maintenance-related concern with Diana’s armor: on her leg plates, leather straps against bare skin is generally a bad idea. While Di won’t have the chafing problems mere mortals would have from the leather, sweat and skin oils tend to weaken the integrity of leather, causing them to need replaced more frequently. I’d recommend a layer of material between her armor and skin.
I love the stylized Greco/Roman look and the gladiatrix feel to Diana’s armor. It’s smart and practical, and manages to retain the classic Wonder Woman look. Though, given that she has the blacksmith god, Hephaestus, as her armorer, I have to wonder why she’s bothered with the star-spangled bathing suit all these years, beyond that it can be worn underneath other clothing if she needs to go in disguise.
Countless thanks to Stjepan for letting me borrow Diana for the blog. Feel free to check out his updates on Tumblr as well. Thanks so much for reading, folks! Take care and stay awesome!