Friday, April 3, 2009

The Blackest Night - Corps Wardrobe Malfunction

I spotted some nice artwork for the upcoming The Blackest Night: Tales of the Corps miniseries, which partially makes up the banner and a full version can be found after the jump, over at Major Spoilers today and the discussions found in the comments there brought up something I had found odd about the Star Sapphires from the start - their costumes are absolutely ridiculous.

In fact, commenter Salieri brought to my attention that the only two corps members showing off absurd amounts of flesh in the image were females, one from the Star Sapphires and the other from the Indigo Corps. More after the jump.



Just take a look at this image for a second and look past the beautiful colouring and artwork and focus on the various corps uniforms. Every single one of the male uniforms features the colour of the corps intermixed with standard issue black covering the rest of the body.

Ignoring the absurd proportions of the Star Sapphire pictured here, why is her uniform, and I use the term lightly, worse than your average stripper? Even the more subdued Indigo Lantern's uniform features a midriff and loincloth that shows off a ridiculous amount of skin.

I know comics have always been pretty male dominant and females typically get the thong and go-go boots treatment, but, honestly, does no one else see a problem with how these different corps are represented?

Take a look at this image of a modified Star Sapphire costume based on the DCU animated cartoons. She's still a buxom beauty, but I dare you to tell me that is not a more appropriate and classy looking costume than having her tits hanging out in the one featured above.

I don't mean this post to be an attack on DC or Green Lantern or even the artist that drew the picture above. The above image and discussions about it just sparked something that had always bothered me and is a topic I typically ignore. So, what say you? Do you think these "costumes" are over the top in comparison to the more uniform-like other corps? Do you feel there should have been some kind of oversight before rushing these over sexed costumes to print? Would you be opposed to a more toned down version, like the one pictured above? Feel free to answer these or post your own thoughts or critiques in the comments below.


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30 comments:

Eric Rupe said...

I was going to set this as my desktop wallpaper but that Sapphire costume is beyond...well, can't think of word but moronic fits. What's even worse is the way Benes has her posing. Who ever came up with this needs a slap upside the head. Grow up already.

Also, if you look at the two page War of Light spread from SCW, the Indigo Lantern is wearing more clothes that the male Indigo Lanterns who only have a loin cloth and an upside triangle piece of cloth covering part of their chest. And the Star Sapphires had pants and were actually presentable.

Andrenn said...

Nowadays I've gotten pretty used to that scantily clad women are something to expect in comics, it doesn't bug me as much as it used to when I get a comic that has a half naked woman (one example I guess is Witchblade) on the cover. But you're certainly right, and we all know it's just because DC and really, just anyone with a business, sells sex to an extent. They want to boost an image and that's one way to do it. It's certainly unfair and over the top but, as much as I hate to say it, that is the accepted tone of how women can be seen in comics nowadays. It's not really fair, but that's what it is.

Darin said...

How hard would it be to fill in the "stripper" bits with black like, I don't know every other corps. It would even make sense in story since the love lanterns are revamping themselves. I can't wait to see a photoshop of Hal Jordon with the black parts recolored to look like skin- wait I never want to see that. Barring that, the Justice League Unlimited version of the Star Sapphire costumes are a nice alternative.

Anonymous said...

Couldn't have said it better myself. How does DC still get away with this?

Kirk Warren said...

@Eric - If you look at the shopped animated version above, all the women are wearing pants in that one. Not sure why her pants are missing and the crotch stretching apart in the newest wallpaper piece.


@Andrenn - It is kind of a sad realization, isn't it? Some newer female characters I like are Faiza (doctor/excalibur user over in Captain Britain), Runaways girls and most of the New X-Men females (Surge, Laura X at times, Mercury, Cuckoos, etc). Cant think of any from DC aside from Blue Beetle's supporting cast. Supergirl and Wonder Girl go around in freaking midriffs still.

@Darin - Oh god, don't give anyone any ideas to YMCA-up Hal's costume. I dont think I could take the mental scarring.

@Anonymous - While this is a bad example of it, Marvel and many other smaller publishers are just as guilty. Ms Marvel is probably the highest profile female in the Marvel U right now and her costume consisted of a g-string you could go spelunking in and a red scarf around her waist to account for modesty I guess.

Anonymous said...

True that, and obviously it is a norm, but when the difference between the treatment of men and women is as obvious as it is here, I just don't understand who would OK this... this picture is akin to if you had Batman standing next to a Batgirl in a bra and panties. It just doesn't make any visual sense!! It's as if they're TRYING to make themselves look like sexist pigs.
Sex may sell, but this is just too much.

Andrenn said...

It is a sad realization, no one wants to accept it. I can't blame people who ignore this problem but it's something that just about anyone can recognize and understand. No one likes to say there is a different standard, but there is. Though complaining about it and pointing out this flaw, as seen in this post, shows not everyone will just blindly ignore it which I thank you for.

Klep said...

I think such a costume could be appropriate depending on the values and nature of the person or organization being represented, but I'm guessing (I don't read DC stuff) hedonism is not a core principle of the Star Sapphires.

The Indigo Corps outfit seems like it could fit an organization that is sort of ultra-luddite naturalist and shamanistic, but again I don't know if that's the case.

Overall, based on the fact that they're all Ring corps (I assume) and supposed to be related to each other, I would say that there needs to be some sort of unifying theme to the various corps costumes. I mean, what is there about that Star Sapphire costume that suggests a Ring corps? Absolutely nothing. To someone like me who isn't at all familiar with the mythos, she stands out like a sore thumb. At least the Indigo one has a ring symbol thing on her shirt.

Also, the starburst on the crotch? WTF?

Eric Rupe said...

Klep - The Indigo Lanterns, from what very little has been revealed, do seem to have a shamanistic bent but nothing has been confirmed. Blackest Night is supposed to be their first major appearance in the books, unlike all of the other Corps who have been pretty well profiled or, as in the case of the Orange Lanterns, will be shortly.

othermarlo said...

Well, what can one expect when the most recognizable female superhero walks around in a bustier.

Steven said...

The costume complaint is old and worn out. Scantily clad female characters are a staple in super-hero comics. Why it's been almost 30 years since my mom expressed displeasure in my reading that awful New Teen Titans with those covers. Damn that George Perez and his nearly nude Starfire covers.

Hoylus said...

I agree the complaint is old - but it's not worn out. Why do we objectify females in comics? Why is it acceptable? It's not enough to say 'they're a staple'. Why are they?

Matt Ampersand said...

That's Ed Benes? I could have sworn it was either Van Sciver or Reis.

ArianPoe said...

Come on people.. are you kidding me? Not one post was from a female.. I'm not objectifying women but damn it's a comic book. I'm a guys guy, I like ass and titties. It's ok, really. My girlfriend, I want her to look good, ass out? no, but my entertainment? hell yeah. Um, did anyone notice everyones body is perfect..? It's a freakin comic book, lighten up! The art is great, we don't need a subservient womens lib movement by men on media.. you guys are killing me...lol

Kirk Warren said...

@ArianPoe - It's not a 'subservient womens lib movement' (I'm not even sure what that is supposed to mean) we're talking about. I'm not even trying to push any kind of agenda here. That Star Sapphire costume, in particular, just looks absolutely ridiculous by any standard and you'd still get your 'ass and titties' if the costume was a little more in line with the rest of the corps designs.

You bring up the 'men are perfect looking, too' fallacy. Do you see any men showing off skin? Any out there jutting their pelvis out or doing deep thigh squats or waving their ass at the readers for some beefcake for the women? Is anyone else in the image looking like they broke their back so they could stick their 'ass and titties' out like the Star Sapphire is? Is anyone else's costume tearing apart at the crotch like the Star Sapphires?

I'm not going to lose sleep over the image nor go start some protests or drop any comics over it, but that doesn't mean I can't talk about something I found as absurd as this image. Sex sells, obviously, but that doesn't mean it you have to turn the books into softcore porn either.

Hoylus said...

"I'm not objectifying women but damn it's a comic book. I'm a guys guy, I like ass and titties."

Where to begin?

The Dangster said...

I think this whole thing is blown waaay out of proportion. Also, Star Sapphire was meant to be sexy as past story lines had them try to seduce Jordan. Perhaps the costumes are to entice or lure various members of the various corps. Perhaps Carol Ferris's star sapphire is for Hal.

Also, the ring would protect them from damage regardless what the uniform is.

Anonymous said...

You know what i'm really looking forward to, Hal Jordan seems to be getting the all-corps-tour with appropriate uniform alterations for each. I can't wait until we get Hal spending an issue in the standard issue Star Sapphire outfit, just to point out the absurdity of the one piece space bikini.

Sky_of_Blue said...

Ah, so you'd like a female perspective, huh? Well, I can't speak for ALL females, obviously, but I have to admit, the new Star Sapphire costume (designed by Ivan Reis a few years ago, who DOES have a history of drawing Bad Girl/Good Girl art) doesn't bother me in the slightest.

Part of it has to do with the fact that, yes, Star Sapphires are supposed to be desirable to Green Lanterns (per a recent GL storyline). The only thing that bothers me about THAT is, I'd like to see some MALE Sapphires for the female Lanterns. So far we haven't seen any.

Another part has to do with the fact that I personally have worn BIKINIS more revealing than that Star Sapphire outfit. How can I complain about what a fictional character wears when I've been guilty of wearing worse? The only think that bugs me about it is that I'm wondering what holds it up. Star Sapphire energy? Glue? Prayer? Believe me, a lot of girls and woman spend an awful lot of time silently praying that their bathing suits won't fall off. ("Oh, PLEASE, don't let this thing fall off of me!") Why do we wear the stupid things? Who knows. Partly it's because we KNOW we look good in them. It's nice if other people think we look good in them, too -- but we primarily wear them for OURSELVES. Why should we be ashamed of our bodies?

JenniferRuth said...

I think the problem with the "sex sells" line is that the word sex often means "half-naked woman"

Women and sex are not interchangeable.

Anonymous said...

I hate Ed Benes. Well, I'm sick of his art at least.
The second image is AWESOME. Looks much better!

Nataniel Costard said...

"Women and sex are not interchangeable."

Excelent point, and I think the actual escence of the matter.

Anonymous said...

Geez, Louise. Who cares? They are comic book characters, not real people. Make them sexy and luscious and the owners of giant hoo has. No big deal.

Anonymous said...

I'm so sick of almost all women in comics being pretty much naked. It's so dumb and not cool at all. But most men enjoy that right? Like Vampirella for example, it's supposed to be a nice horror comic but it's next to impossible to take it seriously when there's some half-naked bimbo on almost every page. And it appears pretty much all women have to have huge boobs as well. Not very realistic. Every comic I've read (and I've read a lot of comics) has a half-naked women in it. Or heck even for X-Men, this one part I found completely pointless was when they were in the middle of war and on the next page a woman was randomly BUTT NAKED! What the hell kind of bullshit is this?

Anonymous said...

Star Sapphire outfit is really too much.

But at least with the Indigo Lanterns, the guys actually wear a little less than the females. They generally don't have a shirt! Just pants and a loincloth. It's possible some of them only have the loincloth.

Of course, they need to show more Indigo Lanterns. And a few male Star Sapphires wouldn't go amiss, either.

Robb said...

DCD figure re-paint based off this look, thanks for the idea.

http://www.zia-art.com/web/carol_01.jpg
http://www.zia-art.com/web/carol_02.jpg
http://www.zia-art.com/web/carol_03.jpg
http://www.zia-art.com/web/carol_04.jpg

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