Costumes, Costumes, Costumes

Regular readers will probably have noticed it’s been a bit of a ghost town recently around here. My excuse is, holy shit my thesis. But I’m back (today, anyway) for the one-year anniversary post about (what else) comics!

Now, after giving up on AvsX, I haven’t been paying too much attention to what Marvel’s been doing lately. (Again, holy fucking thesis). I do know that Marvel is relaunching Uncanny X-Force, and the updated costumes rock. Storm’s mohawk is back, and Psylocke gave up the bathing suit!

Comics Alliance interviewed the writer and artist about the new costumes, and guess what? They thought about practicality and character personalities when designing the new costumes! I thought the day would never come. Artist Kris Anka had this to say: “I felt that every costume should not only highlight the personality of the character it is wrapped around, but also of the function that the costumes will serve towards.” For this reason, Psylocke was given an outfit she wouldn’t be “falling out” in, and they took away her heels. While I’m extremely supportive of this change, I wish it hadn’t just been made with Psylocke. The other female team members also, despite not being ninjas, need “mobility,” so those wedge shoes need to go. It’s disappointing that in a design so heavily focused on functionality, wedge heels still make the cut.

They look great on Storm’s new costume (which I love! someone cosplay it! immediately!), and emphasize her regal posture, but since realism was a factor in the design, it falls a little short. It’s also one of those moments where I wish someone asked a woman what she thought of the design. Aesthetically it’s wonderful, but, again, these costumes were supposed to be more than just pretty.

Interestingly, the female version of Fantomex has smaller wedge heels than Storm:

This means that they considered that two female characters might choose different heel heights, but still decided that they would both choose heels.

Still, there’s a lot to like about the new costumes and the new team, including the 4:2 female-to-male ratio. Kudos to Anka and Humphries for making my week better after it was ruined by seeing this gross chained-up Storm cover of Wolverine and the X-Men. Also, kudos to commenters on the Comics Alliance article for suggesting Storm’s hair be left natural, and even posting this cool picture of a natural mohawk.

And, in case reading about these costume changes is getting you in the mood for making your own costumes, there’s a great site called Take Back Halloween that catalogs really cool costume ideas and how-tos for women who aren’t interested in the generic Sexy Version of Whatever Men are Wearing style of Halloween costumes.

Til next time!

-Joanna

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4 thoughts on “Costumes, Costumes, Costumes

  1. I actually left that comment you mentioned, and like the heels. They communicate that she really doesn’t care about practicality, which is at least how I see Storm.

    • That’s a good point, actually. For me, being against heels in superheroine costumes tends to be a kneejerk reaction, but I see where you’re coming from. Of course, Storm doesn’t really have to walk anywhere unless she wants to, so she could wear heels pretty much without the negative consequences of wearing heels.

      (Also, that’s cool/weird that you were that commenter! Thanks for having good taste in mohawk/fauxhawk pictures?)

      • That’s part of why I think she doesn’t care. When you can blow stuff up with your mind and fly, why should you care. She could go around totally hogtied and still destroy us all. The other parts are the easily dirtied white costume (the one I grew up with), the royal heritage, and the history of media depictions casting her as disinterested that I’m starting to realize is just her history of bad to terrible acting.
        I actually spotted this a while back, but couldn’t remember my WordPress password. I’m going around checking for the old mohawk idea to use in an entry to Project Rooftop’s ” Storm: All-Weather Wear” contest. You should totally give it a shot, too. There’s no way your drawing can be worse than mine. A good start that I’ve stumbled over is this quote about Serengeti tribes (technically, they’re currently in the Manyara region because the Maasai [Storm obviously isn’t Maasai] pushed them out a bit over a century ago, and they were largely on the Tanzanian side while I leter learned that Storm’s supposed to be from the Maasai Mara side): “The Tatoga needed the grain of the Sukuma while the Sukuma needed the cattle and the highly regarded rainmaking diviners of the Tatoga. (Rainmaking experts of the Tatoga were considered the very best at this important and highly specialized activity.” I have no idea if the person who decided that she should be from the Serengeti did intensive research into East African ethnic groups before the invention of the internet or just got lucky.

      • That’s really interesting. I’d like to think that was by design, rather than coincidence, but who knows. Unfortunately my drawing abilities are non-existent, so I don’t think I’ll be entering anything. I look forward to seeing the results of that challenge, though. I love seeing redesigned Storm costumes!

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