Friday, August 15, 2008

Fashion! Turn To The Left! (watch out for the dog...oops)

On top of Final Crisis #3 being a life-draining vortex of suckitude AND seriously fucking over Mary Marvel in favor of some fetish stereotype from O Magazine circa 1990, spontaneously catalyzing over 290 comments of almost uniform abject hatred over on scans_daily for Morrison's writing in Final Crisis - seriously, Grant, if you think you're being edgy and provocative, you're more deluded than a schizophrenic with late stage syphilis - as well as being insulting to every single female currently reading superhero comics, that's it. I'm so done with DC.

Oh, and by the way, Final Crisis #3: gratuitous animal abuse, fucking over of Mary Marvel - did I mention the fucking over of Mary Marvel part? - AND "Title X," which, hey, why does that sound familiar?

By the way, in Grant Morrison's world, you can unplug the internet the world over with a single mystical e-mail. Or something. An e-mail that Oracle can't hack, of course.

[in comments, later] Because, of course, if a girl turns bad, she must automatically morph into a shiny black vinyl-wearing tart.

I gotta say... I do sympathize with the whole Hawkman thing. I've got similar issues with Donna Troy (MY ORIGIN IS NOTHING BUT RETCON DO I EVEN EXIST HELP ME PLEASE), but it's hard to equate Final Crisis comments as anything more than "Michael Bay, I mean, Grant Morrison raped my childhood!"

Oh noes, magic email is too stupid! Really? In a world where the Spectre and Dr. Fate waltz around, wizards are somehow passe? Did everyone miss the part where the world is being humped by the spirits of the evil New Gods? Are these new improved New Gods, with no supernatural components whatsoever? "Sanitized and de-magified for your protection!"

Oracle can't hack the email! This is so not like her! Yeah. The email appears, there's a few moments of confusion, and it opens itself in those mere moments, and somehow Barbara Gordon should have been able to analyze said email and defend against it, outperforming a million 2Ghz processors across the world. Oracle's good, I'm sure, but not part of the Flash Family.

What a cad to make Mary Marvel evil! And give Wonder Woman a beast face and spread the Anti-Life clap across peoples' icons! It's a complete surprise that things should be this awful and horrible, smack in the middle of a series that's been hyped as "THE DAY EVIL WON" since for-freaking-ever.

Ah, but soft you now, mine is not merely to mock fannish complaints (though it's fun), but to ponder yon Mary Marvel's wardrobe.

Because I wonder how well the scene would have been received had she been wearing her original costume. Either classic red or post-revamp white; the white would have been particularly striking spattered with Atomic Knight and giant dog blood. Would that have been more or less chilling? More or less of an outrage?

Do clothes make the heroine? There were squawks enough as is when Mary Marvel adopted the glossy black variation of her original costume.

It's interesting to note that the original Mary Marvel outfit obviously derives from classic skating outfits, or perhaps athletic/acrobatic costumes. Just a little while ago I saw a bit of the Olympics, womens' gymnastics, and there's an interesting parallel there. Leotards were once colorful but at best satiny spandex, but recently the materials have gotten more exotic, in appearance at least.

I mean, I'm sure nobody's dressing up the gymnasts in actual latex or PVC, but when someone sticks a landing and pokes her butt out (omg she's presenting omg) and there's a shine off that butt rivaling a polished sports car, having Mary Marvel take up a similar look isn't that much of a stretch.

But okay. We've gone from bright and airy, to black and troubled, to black and whacked out on absinthe and meth. But if you don't agree that the wardrobe change properly reflects one superheroine's slide from virtue to decadence, the question is: How would you dress, if you were Evil Mary Marvel?

You know what I would do, if I were an artist, or had a blog more suitable to the task? I'd try to start one of those art-memes that were the rage not too long ago. Remember the "Batgirl Meme"? Or the shorter-lived Supergirl redesign thing? Where everyone drew their own version of said superheroines, sometimes faithfully, sometimes wildly re-imagining them from the ground up? That's what I'd do.

And if I were going to do it, here's how I'd present it:

Draw Evil Mary Marvel. Once a paragon of virtue and goodness, poor Mary has succumbed to the lure of the Dark Side, Darkseid, whatever, and become evil. Your task: choose her wardrobe. Remember, we've had a few variations on this already: the black variation of her costume as she became, not wholly evil, but "darker", the current fetish gear seen in Final Crisis, and another fetish-y look seen on an alternate-universe version of Mary Marvel (from the Justice Buddies JLA story).

Don't be sentimental about Good Mary Marvel. Whinging about lost innocence misses the point. Must a heroine turned evil dress provocatively? Or perhaps a subtler "Devil Wears Prada" power-fashion approach? You can't change her mind, but what she wears while she betrays all the ideals you once loved her for, that you can tinker with.

That's what I'd do. And if I couldn't do that, I'd openly offer the idea to anyone willing to run with it.

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