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Female superhero costumes are the comic industry's "No Cooties" signs: They prove that the people who designed them think about girls (a lot) but don't really know how they work and are making sure it stays that way. I am not an enlightened man. I consider the wipe-clean cheerleader costume a greater advance in clothing technology than the spacesuit. But the only "strong" in many "strong female comic book characters" are the oblique muscles required to point their ass and boobs in the same direction.

Marvel
Psylocke's buttocks are like the Mona Lisa's eyes, they follow you no matter what angle you're looking from.

Behold five characters whose costumes are so impossibly, illogically sexual that they look like they were designed by M.C. Escher after he didn't get laid for 20 years.

5
Power Girl

Charged with making a female Superman, Power Girl's costume designer's only thoughts were "breasts" and "done." They'd already given Supergirl a miniskirt (and, as a consequence, the entire population of Metropolis got a panty shot). With Power Girl, they upped the ante and opened a tit-window. Most spandex heroes have a symbol on their chest summarizing their character, and so does Power Girl: an empty hole full of cleavage.

DC
Check out the empowerment on that!

There is no counterargument. Fans and writers have tried to explain Power Girl's breast-viewing port several times, and each theory is more ridiculously unsupported than the breasts they're attempting to justify.

DC
And why doesn't her costume inflate when she flies?

The most common (and ridiculous) explanation is, "I am strong and empowered and therefore love being naked and stared at." You know, the same reason Superman flies around in a thong. One writer claims it's to show that she's healthy, so we can only be grateful that Krypton never discovered gynecology. Another is the idea of distracting villains, because when you mainly fight robots and aliens and can punch through a tank, your best weapon is nudity. Oh, and the absolute best explanation:

DC
"I show off my tits because I'm such a dumb blonde I can't even finish my own clothes. I also cry. Girls do that, right?"

DC have made it very clear that they consider the rest of Power Girl a superpowered breast-delivery service ("Faster than a speeding bullet! Bigger than a human head!"). They once changed her entire back story from solar superpowered alien to magical Atlantean and back again, and the only thing that stayed constant was the hole in the costume.

DC
Even on-panel you have another disappointed girl.

4
Starfire's Reboot

Starfire has always been the Captain Kirkiest character, a brightly colored alien demanding to be shown "more of this Earth thing called love," but her latest iteration is about as sexy as a speculum. It's certainly going for the right place, but it's so cold and clinically aimed that only those who've given up on regular sex could enjoy it.

DC
I'm not saying the designers view women as sexual targets, but she has big glowing red weak points to help you aim at her throat and crotch.

Of course, in the story that revealed her costume, she spent most of her time nude and bikini-clad, presumably because that was the only way to make her costume look reasonable.

DC
This is basically her new costume. And personality. And motivation.

Note the character actually telling you, "If you have a problem with this, you're totally a prude." In 2011, DC rebooted their universe to attract a new market*, and their rebooted Starfire made sure the new demographic wouldn't contain ovaries. *Because their existing one is famous for hating change and not multiplying.

DC
The site isn't playing saxophone music. You're just hearing it anyway.

Critics have pointed out that the original Starfire was always polyamorous, but that's like saying the original Superman could only jump really high. Starfire is now best known for the Teen Titans cartoon, which had 2 million viewers, aka 20 times more people than were buying her comics. So many of her biggest fans were young schoolgirls, the market demographic least likely to read comics and most likely to be warned to stay away from people who do. The TV show's version of Starfire was an awkward-but-hopeful shy girl who wanted to be cool and make friends. She was a positive character who allowed awkward-but-hopeful shy fans to insert themselves into the show. The comic's decision to take the same character in a much creepier "I'd like to insert myself" direction couldn't have been more poorly timed.

DC
The new direction is "Literally break your own spine to aim breasts at male eyes."

Her rewritten back story apparently had her coming from the planet Penthouse Letter. Her ignorance of human conversation manifested itself via thinking it's unnecessary to know someone's name before having sex. The rest of the team are already bragging about who's ridden the interplanetary bicycle in the first issue, in the middle of a firefight in which she's saving them. I understand the direction they're going for, but come on, guys, we already have the Internet for porn.
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3
Wonder Woman's "Compassion"

Wonder Woman preserves 1940s sexism like a chunk of amber in a bustier, exploited by modern artists to reanimate terrible extinct ideas in some sort of Chauvinist Park. Her weapon AND weakness are both bondage --she has a magic lasso and can be kept hostage if she's tied up, but only if it's by a man. Ninety years after women were allowed to vote, she wasn't allowed to wear a jacket because the fans complained too much. That happened in 2010, and the general consensus was that she should consider herself lucky she's allowed to wear pants in public (and that the "fans" are actual cavemen).

DC
Damn those feminazis, we can only barely see that the breasts are bigger than her head!

As Seanbaby will tell you, Wonder Woman's classic outfit makes her look like a cross between a stripper and a stripper who can't afford enough clothes to get to work. And that's not the outfit we're looking at. A recent comic story line featured an "emotional spectrum" of Green Lantern rings based on different colors: red rings use rage, yellow rings use fear and violet rings use weaponized male relationship anxiety. The all-female Star Sapphires use the rings to steal superheroes, encasing them in the wonderful brainwashing power of love until they don't want to hang out with their old friends anymore. And while every color ring puts the kidnapped character in the same "skintight with highlights" look, the Sapphires decided to forgo that "tight" bit and just paint their bodies in a few places:

DC
DC's website makes Total Recall's stance on gratuitous boobs look conservative.

The costumes were so ridiculously naked that Wonder Woman's had to use her iconic WW logo to hold her boobs, facing toward the camera. This shows that at least her designer's subconscious is good at making clothes suitable for their intended purpose.

DC

If you're thinking near-total nudity is just the Star Sapphires' thing, here's their gender politics with a male Star Sapphire.

DC
I've had dreams like this, too, but I don't draw and sell them in public.

In a climactic battle in the recent Blackest Night event, the Sapphire ring lets Wonder Woman triumph over the black ring of death itself because of her feelings of love for Batman. Even in a life-or-death struggle, the most famous female comic character in history is only allowed to live because she wants to bang a man. Though in fairness, wanting to sleep with Batman isn't sexist.

Warner Bros Pictures, DC Comics, Polygram Filmed Entertainment, though we're not 100% those guys actually want credit for this

He knows everyone wants to touch them.

2
Sue Storm 4-kini

Sue Storm endured the most blatant sexism in comics at a time when marriage was a form of property insurance. They only dared to give a woman superpowers because both her husband and her brother were on the team to keep her in line.

Marvel

Her only original power was to literally disappear and let the menfolk get on with things. Later, she could also make other objects disappear or move them around with force fields, meaning Marvel's first female superhero had the inhuman power to tidy up. And then the only woman who could prevent men from staring at her went at her own clothes with a pair of scissors and madness.

Marvel
She destroyed one costume and several laws of Euclidean geometry.

She's hanging out with a living torch, a mobile orange rock slide and a 50-foot-long man, but she knows it's up to her tits to tell people it's the Fantastic Four. This is a woman who knows her audience, even if her costume is everything wrong with the '50s dream woman (white but also black and blue and showing her breasts on demand).

Marvel
"I don't know, when your breasts aren't a perfectly flat mass because curved fours are hard to draw?"

It's the shaped window that elevates this above all the other "Here are my mammaries!" costumes. They'd cut so many holes in powerful women's clothing that they needed new shapes just to feel something. If you're thinking, "This doesn't work unless I can see her boobs," you're not writing comics, you're masturbating. Especially when characters wear such skintight Spandexium that the only difference between "fully clothed" and "complete nudity" is coloring.

DC
This is Acheronian soft-core with face paint.

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1
Namor

Behold the most ridiculously sexy costume in comics!

Marvel
Manties!

But it's not ridiculous because he's wearing a superpowered Speedo: That's how any man would react to being well-built, usually glistening and most often found on the beach. The ridiculousness comes from people who justify the superpowered strippers by pointing out that men are just as unreasonably objectified in comics.

Marvel
Look at the poor victimized boy, one inch from boning on the cover.

Near-naked superhorny women is a male fantasy. Being a hulking Adonis who can punch through tanks is also a male fantasy. This ... this isn't hard, guys, unlike many things when you're considering those issues. If you ever find a woman sexually excited by men with the approximate dimensions of a semi truck, it's either Tila Tequila or Optimus Prime's number one fan.

Marvel
See, women, we have improbable male anatomy for you, too!

This "equally idealized" bullshit is actually used by people. People paid to sell comics despite their first decision being "We'll only target half the population." We know you're in the comics industry, fellas, but that argument is the wrong type of comical. Namor is the ultimate exemplar: He's exactly what any guy would wear if he thought he could get away with it. Even when Namor puts on more clothes, they're ridiculous and show off more chest than Tom Jones during heart surgery.

Marvel
FEAR MY PECTORAL SIX-PACK!

His most common plot point is banging another character's wife (Sue Storm from above). He's not just included for the 10 percent of guys who got this far despite not liking girls, but to make a point. (And not just in their trousers.) It's stupid to say that the art is equally unfair because the average man can't be used as a teaching model in medical college. That's like Bond claiming it's fair that henchmen can't hit him with machine guns because he also has a ridiculous level of accuracy. It's a lot of fun, and we all go to see it, just don't claim that it's equality.

Marvel
A posing pouch and dressing gown. His whole wardrobe says "I get laid too often to bother with clothing."

If I were offering a carved beef buffet above a pork sausage special, that's how I'd dress. Mere physical strength would be enough superpower to make me go full Doctor Manhattan.

Luke McKinney scientifically proves that Die Hard is the ultimate party. He also tumbles and has a website.

Want more comic lunacy, true believers? Behold the astonishing incompetence of The 8 Worst X-Men Ever! Gasp at the ridiculous visibility of The 8 Shittiest Transformer Disguises!

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