Monday, November 30, 2009

On Jen Van Meter's Power Girl

Read here, here and especially here to understand the following.

From the Uncanny X-Men 80-Page Giant:

Armor: I never pictured you doing laundry. Aren't you a British Aristocrat?

Psylocke: Nobody else knows how to get the zombie ninja bits out of my costume.

I guess it is hard to clean a purple uniform made of unstable molecules that somehow always gets at least three large holes in it. What do you do about the oddly strategically placed holes?

Psylocke: They're called large cuts, you don't have to wash them. Look, don't you start with that. I'm trying to be nice here.

Armor: Oh, crap. No- I meant, the cuts from ninja throwing stars, kitanas and whatever. I would never joke about your costume. I love your costume.

Psylocke: Most women don't react quite that way.

Armor: Really? Because from a fighting point of view, it's perfect for who you are and what you do. It's all about contradictions.

Psylocke: Why, thank you, Armor! I've always-

Armor: See, the thong draws the eye precisely where everyone knows they're not supposed to look - putting anyone you're dealing with off-balance.

Psylocke: Ah. Yes, well, I just spent days fighting undead ninjas, so the, er, 'thong' didn't- you know, it's more of a bikini bottom, really-

Armor: See, the name says 'Psylocke', but the purple thong says 'Ninja Stripper'.

Psylocke: . . . excuse me, you cheeky little-

Armor: And not just "Ninja Stripper"! I mean it says "I'm tough enough to handle everything I am . . . including being an exhibitionist who's likely to die of exposure. Or maybe just from getting stabbed in an exposed thigh artery. Are you?"

Psylocke: . . . right. Emma Frost put you up to this, didn't she?

Armor: She gave me twenty dollars.

That bloody hypocrite.

Heh. Yeah . . . but seriously, what is up with that thong?


An Excerpt from the Tarot: Witch of the Black Rose 80-Page Giant

Tarot: . . . what is "Laundry"?

Raven Hex: I don't know. I think it's something you do when you actually wear clothes.


Anonymous said...

Many female superheroes have objectionable costumes, but I've never thought Psylocke's one of them. Ignoring the artist's conceit of unstable molecules, what she wears is essentially a combination of male and female gymnastics leotards. Leotards made for males ensure freedom of movement for the arms (upper-body events dominate men's gymnastics), those made for females the legs (lower-body-drive events dominate women's). Psylocke's costume ensures freedom of both.

Like Wonder Woman's outfit (which is very modest by Ancient Greek Standards, and was originally a patriotically-colored womens' exercise outfit of the period - complete with shorts!), Psylocke's isn't bizarre when drawn correctly. It should never, of course, be drawn as a thong, or without support in the chest.

Powergirl's, Supergirl's, and many other female superheroes' costumes, though, are certainly reproachable.

K. D. Bryan said...

Fair enough. My Sister and I always used to joke in the '90s that the thong was specifically designed to allow her better high kicks, so kudos. And I suppose, Land aside, people have drawn Psylocke's costume more believably as of late.

When the costume is actually drawn like a leotard, I agree that it's not the worst outfit out there. I was, however, satirically referencing the unfortunate tendency for artists to draw Psylocke's outfit as a thong for humorous effect (i.e. a "thong" vs. a "boob window"). Perhaps my satire muscles need a workout.

And they actually gave Supergirl red biker shorts recently, FWIW.