When asked for the reasons behind the shorts, Supergirl artist, Jamal Igle, had this to say:
“One of the reason why I went with the shorts rather than just draw the skirt in a way where it was either longer, or I never showed it flying up was that I wanted freedom of movement,” Igle said. “With the fight between her and Reactron on the rooftop in issue #40, she’s doing martial arts and moving around. It makes sense that if you’re doing martial arts, you’re going to have something that’s going to cover you a little, especially if you’re wearing a skirt.”
Hit the jump for more on Supergirl's costume, what I feel is wrong with it and some thoughts on how I'd fix it.
While I like the change over to the shorts (it's practical and makes more sense than fighting crime in a mini-skirt, especially when you can fly), it doesn't fix the underlying problem that this costume is just plain bad. I'm not the type of person that gets all worked up over gratuitous T&A or makes a big to do about how women are generally objectified in comics all that often, but Supergirl's costume just plain does not work for me. It's trashy and deliberately sexed up for an underaged, teenage girl. To fight crime in it is just plain ridiculous and I shake my head everytime I see her in a comic.
I don't think I have to explain just how wrong this looks to anyone. Those saddle bags on her sides are actually her hips. While Igle has been doing wonders with lengthening the skirt, adding shorts and various other minor touch ups and fixes to the character, it doesn't fix the fact that this above image is the standard appearance of Supergirl by just about every other artist in DC's stable.
Blue Diaper Syndrome
Here, we see why the skirt is just plain impractical from both a functional and artistic standpoint. No, that isn't a blue diaper Supergirl is wearing. It is, in fact, her skirt magically flying up to cover her panties. Having her in a micro skirt forces artists to do just what Igle wanted to avoid and used as his reasons for adding the shorts to the costume. While the red shorts help fix this problem, it's just a bandaid for the bad costume design.
JLA: Cry For Skin
In the same interview, Igle made mention of a new costume in the works for Supergirl and I had hoped it was to line up with this promo shot of JLA: Cry for Justice where Supergirl is shown in the classic, midriff-less Supergirl costume:
However, that was not meant to be as DC went back and forced the artist or colourist to fix the piece, as evidenced by the newest previews for the issue:
Yes, as you can see, the midriff is back again. Disappointing, to say the least.
How to Fix Supergirl's Costume
A recent preview from DC's The Source featuring Supergirl's mom shows off a costume change I'd like to see Supergirl adapt:
While it could use a little work for Supergirl, making the switch to the classic Supergirl costume and using the pantyhose/leotard pants for the legs, similar to her mother here, would look good while still resembling a costume someone would actually wear in public. It would line up with what other Kryptonians are wearing as well and just generally look better than the current Penthouse pin-up costume she's been wearing.
Red Shorts - Yay or Nay?
While I've outlined many of the problems I have with Supergirl's costume and what I think of the shorts, I want to know what you think. Do you like the current costume? Did you know about the shorts before this? Are the shorts a good addition to the costume or just a temporary fix? How would you fix her costume? Sound off in the comments below.