Friday, March 24, 2006

Kara's incredible Super-Skirt

One thing that's puzzled me since the new Supergirl first appeared in costume is how she manages to keep her skirt from flying up and giving us a flash of her super knickers.

The thing is that it is a short skirt. A very short skirt. As drawn by Micheal Turner and Ian Churchill it barely covers her bottom anyway, and it is a loose pleated design. And yet it remains modestly glued to as much of her ass as it ever covers even when her cape is cheerfully being blown upwards.

Now I know there is a long tradition of superhero underwear defying physics, generally in the whole area of not getting destroyed. They should build tanks out of the material Bruce Banner uses for pants - it might turn them purple but this would be a small price to pay for something that could withstand the direct blast of an atom bomb.

But I digress. The difference is that not only are these panties are intended to be seen, but they are often clearly visible to people around her. Any cheerleader can tell you that there's a difference between what you wear while doing cartwheels in a short skirt in front of 100,000 people and underwear that you don't plan to share with an audience. Silver age Supergirl was flashing her panties all the time - particularly after she started trying out different costume designs in the 70's.

They were usually blue, if you're interested.

When it was just Turner and Churchill it might be a personal choice of the artist, but now Supergirl is all over the DC universe and being drawn by many different artists. They may not be able to agree on what age she is supposed to be, but the skirt remains stapled to her thighs, so I can only assume it's an editorial decision.

So the question is if the sight of a bikini bottom is so terrifying, why permit this costume design in the first place? Why have this absurd situation where the art has to be carefully arranged so reader can't see the super thong even though characters in the comics are constantly getting an eyeful? Why not give her some shorts like Stargirl? Why not give her any other damn costume design but one where you have to keep coyly hiding bits of it that are clearly visible to anyone behind/below her?



Chance said...

I don't think it's a case of censoring anything ("a terrifying" bekini bottom), since other heroines prance around in what is basically a Victoria's secret bra and panty set. I think what we have here is the idea that the "almost caught a glimpse there" coy dwirls of skirt is somehow supposed to be even sexier than just showing what's underneath.

Gah indeed. I feel dirty just trying to explain that.

Marionette said...

Which would be a fair argument if it were only one or two artists, but she's now been drawn by most of the current DCU artists and they are all doing it.

And it's an odd attention to detail when half of them are drawing her as though she were in her mid-20's when she's supposed to be 16, and drawing the skirt itself inaccurately - eg. in Superman #650 it is waist cut, not hip cut (which makes it look far too long), and in LSH #16 it's not pleated.

Sleestak said...

Superman is Super-Nasty.

Anonymous said...

I think the original artist decided whatever the reader imagines would be sexier than anything they draw. And maybe the reader imagines there's no underwear there at all. The editors have the other artists follow suit.

It would be much nicer to think about if she was actually 25 insead of 16.

I haven't actually read any of this; are we sure that's not 16 Kryptonian years, which could be 25 Earth years?

Anonymous said...

Under 18 is under 18, no matter what planet the girl is from. That excuse didn't work for Hal either.

joncormier said...

Maybe it's got little weights in the front and back like drapes?

Anonymous said...

Wait, you don't see Supergirl's panties all the time? I don't read it, but I just assumed...
Anyway, isn't it just a dream anyway (Supergirl in Legion)? Now you can justify her skirt staying down AND staring at her ass!

Marionette said...

I just caught the Legion episode of JLU and I was surprised to find that version of Supergirl has now turned 21.

Marc Burkhardt said...

I'm just glad to see the girl's put on a little weight by the time she met the Legion.

The Turner/Churchill version is scary thin.