In the dangerous world of super-crime, where enemies can melt your face off with a ray gun or cause your bones to pop out of your body with only a thought, the super-hero trend towards dealing with these unique challenges has been to avoid the use of body armor or other protective gear altogether and simply strip down to the bare minimum before going into battle. Whether it’s a spandex suit sporting under-roos on the outside or just a swimsuit modified to be extra tiny, super-fashion definitely takes a risk or two by showing off as much flesh as possible.
Originally, this was merely a stylistic element. Back in the old days, when folks like Superman and Batman were just getting started in their careers, the artists that portrayed them decided that a onesie just wasn’t super enough. So they had their super-heroes get dressed in the dark and the underwear ended up on the outside. Ladies choice back then was the skirt for the most part, excepting those women (such as Wonder Woman) who decided that the skirt was an unnecessary addition to their one-piece bathing suit image.
Now, I can see this in certain circumstance or within the context of character. Wonder Woman, for example, was an Amazon lady, tough as all-hell, and didn’t really need any sort of protection. Men like the Sub-Mariner or Aquaman were naturally going to be cruising around in their Speedos since they spent the majority of their time having a swim. Heck, maybe even Colossus liked his pro-wrestler image and so decided that he’d stick with the tighties when brawling against the Brotherhood of Evil Mutants.
The real question comes in when you look at ladies such as the Scarlet Witch or Emma Frost. Unless the costume is designed to distract their opponent with lust, I just don’t see the practicality of it. How comfortable can it be to be running around, doing super-hero (or super-villain) things while you have a thong riding up your gitch? Not to mention many of the tops these ladies wore had to have been super-glued (I guess that’s the glue they would use) to their chests in order to keep from slipping every time they dodged a death-beam or a hurled car.
As time passed the extravagance of these costumes grew while the amount of material used to sew them shrank. Many of the costumes that female super-heroes wear in today’s comics look like they made a brief stop at the body-painting salon. Gravity is defied and the ladies seem more like they’re heading to the local S&M club as opposed to going out to bust some heads and kick some butts.
The obvious reason for all this “minimalism” is the primarily male fan base for comic books. This is the reason that ladies seem to be wearing less and less while their male super-counterparts are looking more tooled up, losing the underwear image and strapping on stylistic body armor. Don’t get me wrong, I’m as much of a fan-boy as the next guy and appreciate the hard (ahem) work that artists put in to designing super-costumes. But there comes a point where the suspension of disbelief is compromised and one finds themselves at a loss to understand why the bad guy just got trounced by a Victoria’s Secret model.
Please, super-hero creator people, as a favor to me: If you’re gonna make your ladies sexy, at least make them look like they put some thought into what they’re wearing. I may lose man-points among the geek hordes for saying it, but thong-clad vixens are no longer realistic enough to hold my attention (at least not in the literary sense).