Cro-Mags Singer Defends Anachronistic T-Shirt In Wonder Woman 1984
On Christmas day, the long-awaited superhero sequel Wonder Woman 1984 arrived on HBO Max, and this gave a whole lot of people a chance to snark about the movie online. In one particular corner of the internet, a lot of that snark was targeted at one specific moment of the movie: The appearance of a Cro-Mags shirt that could not have existed in 1984, the year that the movie (obviously) takes place.
Light spoilers here: Much of the plot of Wonder Woman 1984 is driven by the reappearance of Steve Trevor, the heroic-pilot love interest who Chris Pine played in the first Wonder Woman. At the end of that movie, Trevor dies in a fiery World War I plane crash. When he comes back from the dead in the new movie, he’s arriving in an unfamiliar world. In one mid-movie montage, Trevor is astonished to discover the wonders of a changing world: Metro trains, breakdancing, modern art, punk rockers. In a DC Metro station, Trevor walks past a pack of punks, one of whom is rocking a Cro-Mags Age Of Quarrel shirt. But that girl must be a time-traveler, too, since the iconic New York hardcore band didn’t release their classic debut album until 1986.
One person who is not worried about this goofy little timeline mistake is longtime Cro-Mags singer John Joseph. As Brooklyn Vegan points out, Joseph posted about the shirt on Instagram, claiming that he’s the one who gave Wonder Woman 1984 director Patty Jenkins the shirt: “I sent her this ‘Age of Quarrel’ tee-shirt. The original album (black cassette) was recorded in 1984. Me and Parris (guitarist) paid for the recording. His father owned a pressing plant in Nashville and pressed up the tapes.” Joseph also writes that he and Jenkins are old friends and that she has her own roots in New York hardcore: “I got Patty her first directing gig. It was for the band Leeway – Three Wishes video. She went to film school in NYC but grew up in DC – is a huge @badbrainsofficial fan too!”
When Superchunk/Mountain Goats drummer Jon Wurster also Instagrammed about that Cro-Mags shirt, Joseph popped up in his comments section: “The artwork may be different but the songs are the same I suggest people talk about things they know as opposed to what they think they know.”
On this one issue, Joseph’s former Cro-Mags bandmate Harley Flanagan seems to agree.
There are some other nods to early-’80s punk rock in Wonder Woman 1984. As Brooklyn Vegan points out, Kristen Wiig walks past a poster for a Minor Threat show. (Minor Threat broke up in 1983, and a Twitter sleuth has discovered that the poster would’ve been for a show at an American Legion Hall near Gainesville, Florida.) Also, one scene is set outside the DC punk store Commander Salamander, a real place that closed in 2010.