Designing Women

After nearly 40 years sporting the same threads, this week Marvel rolled out a <a href=>Kris Anka redesign of Spider-Woman’s costume</a>. Although Jessica Drew’s old costume featured complete full head-to-toe coverage, in recent years it took on something of a <i>Sports Illustrated</i> Swimsuit Issue body-painted quality. <p>It may not have featured strategic cut-outs, a gravity-defying bustier, or a loosely-laced corset, but it couldn’t have offered much in the way of skin protection. <p>(And no folks, we’re not going <a href=>here</a> … say what you will, that had less to do with the costume and more to do with ... ah, forget it.) <p>A lot of Spider-Woman’s fellow female heroes have or are still rockin’ the ‘naughty’ Halloween costume look, however, which can’t do anyone any favors in a real superhero-supervillain battle-to-save-the-known-universe dogfight. <p>So with Jessica Drew getting a more practical makeover, it’s time to check back with our look at the most impractical female superhero costumes of all time. <p>Some of these looks are still current, so maybe Anka can work his magic for them too?

Power Girl

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.

Harley Quinn

<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. <p>Amanda Conner and Jimmy Palmiotti's recent <I>Harley Quinn</I> has done an admirable job in steering this back on the road, but many fans still see the original design from <I>Batman: The Animated Series</I> and the pre-"New 52" as the quintessential Harley Quinn look.

Invisible Woman

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. <P>Richards reverted rather quickly back to a more uniform FF look, but this costume continues to live (in infamy, some would say) as what not to do as a superhero.


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.

Star Sapphire

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 "New 52" 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.

White Queen

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.

Red Sonja

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…

The 10 Most Impractical FEMALE SUPERHERO Costumes

Date: 18 December 2014 Time: 09:00 PM ET