Last week, a variant cover for Dennis Hopeless and Greg Land's upcoming <b>Spider-Woman</b> series, drawn by legendary Italian artist Milo Manara, launched a new conversation about the portrayal of female characters in comics. <p>While Manara's cover was controversial because of Spider-Woman's sexualized pose and painted-on costume, one of the biggest ways female characters suffer in comics is through their wardrobe. A lot of the outfits on this list aren't bad; some of them are classic designs. However, they are all impractical for a multitude of reasons. After all, why wear an armored power-suit into battle when you could just thrown on a thong and call it a day? Here are the ten least practical outfits worn by female characters!
Never in comics has there ever been a more confusing, yet apt term as "boob window.” Confusing in the terms of why it exists in the first place, apt in that it is literally just a porthole to Power Girl's ample cleavage. Originally what started as slightly extended cleavage somehow moved to the middle of Peej's chest, giving readers a view that honestly doesn't do her any favors while slugging it out with the likes of Despero. Her first New 52 costume was the first time she was completely covered, but she soon reverted back to her more famous (and impractical) look.
<p>New 52 Harley Quinn is a few Faygo bottles short of being ready for this year’s Gathering of the Juggalos. This outfit looks like a “sexy clown” Halloween costume that someone pulled off a bargain rack. To be fair, this get up does leave plenty of room for activities, allowing her acrobatic potential to fully take hold. However, her original costume had that too, without the tone-deaf lingerie look.
Invisible Woman has always had one of the most conservative uniforms, basically wearing the exact same thing as her male teammates. But sometimes, mama’s gotta sow them wild oats. <p>Who designed this? Did Sue sit down with an artist, and go bit by bit, carefully poring over the designs? Or did she just give someone a list of the big picture ideas? “It definitely needs a 4-shaped hole in the chest. And no pants. I’m so sick of pants.” This costume is perfectly fitting as a utility suit for a woman who explores potentially hostile environments, not to mention how well it fits Sue Storm’s personality.
Starfire has managed to constantly avoid being fully clothed throughout her entire career. True, members of her species aren’t known for their modesty, but you’d think a warrior culture might consider something less revealing for the heat of battle. <p>It’s not entirely clear if cleavage is a requirement on her planet, but judging by her outfit, Starfire’s people may just be reaping the benefits of lesser gravity.
You'd think being gifted the power of creation, you'd be able to craft a better costume. In the decades since her creation, Carol Ferris, aka Star Sapphire, has gone from wearing a colorful one-piece bathing suit, to wearing what looks like the remains of the Pink Panther. Apparently being enabled by the Power of Love only gets you so far and doesn't allow for full body protection. You might not need no credit card to ride this train, but no shirt, no service, no thanks.
Not many characters can brag that they sport a top hat in battle, much less fishnets and heels. Then again, the tux is in Zee's blood as her father, Zatara, also fought crime in coat tails. But is “tradition” really a smart reason to wear heels and a bow tie to your Justice League meetings? While her current costume is more sorceress than showgirl, it’s hard not to imagine bad guys snickering when she appeared on the battlefield dressed like David Copperfield.
Note to cosplayers: if you do it right, you can make Moondragon’s entire costume out of a single piece of fabric. Honestly, you could probably use a napkin for most of it. Just be sure to invest in plenty of double-sided tape.
Emma Frost, as the White Queen, made the bold super-villain choice to forego a costume entirely, in favor of simply wearing something that most female characters wouldn’t even wear underneath their actual clothes. Now, Emma Frost is one of the openly sexual female characters in comics – and there’s absolutely nothing wrong with that. But considering her proclivity for getting into fights with guys like Wolverine, she might be better served dressing for the job she has more than the job she wants.
Borat wore it better. <p>But seriously, who, when preparing to take on hordes of bloodthirsty monsters, wouldn’t suit up in a mono-kini made of red floss? What this outfit lacks in coverage, it makes up for in abject nudity. Thank goodness vampires don’t have some method of piercing bare flesh, like, I dunno, fangs or something.
The bikini that launched a thousand groans. While her brutality and sensuality usually go hand in hand, Red Sonja's battle "armor" is actually quite the opposite. Nothing says “warrior” like medieval club wear. While the look is iconic, it's hardly practical in her sword and sorcery universe and for somebody who is constantly immersed in close-quarter combat. At least it’s technically made of chainmail…