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X-Rated X-Men Costume Critique

I saw this one on the Comic Book Resources’ X-Men forum (CBR member nikbackm posted it) and I just thought that I had to share it with you folks.

Back in 2005, Terry Dodson did a cute little critique of the costume that Frank Quitely designed for Emma Frost (if this appeared in a comic, it would be a great Meta-Message!).

Here is Quitely’s Emma Frost outfit…

And read on to see Dodson’s X-rated critique of Quitely’s costume design (Not Safe For Work!)…

Pretty darn funny.

62 Comments

It’s a funny bit, but… “X-rated”?

Where? In South Carolina?

Tracer Bullet

March 2, 2010 at 4:05 am

On the one hand, the new threads mean she’s not wandering around in lingerie, which is a mixed blessing at best. On the other hand, in those shorts, it appears Emma is really Emmit. I didn’t know Summers was so kinky.

Well…. Dodson’s Emma is a heck of a lot sexier than Mr Quitely’s …

Even just from the neck up!

I thought The “Inverted-X” costume was a very clever idea… I actually wondered at the time if that was a case of Morrison and Quitely seeing just what they would be allowed to get away with on “the other X-book” that (at the time) was almost being ignored in favour of “Uncanny”…

All I can say is that I really liked Quitely’s costumes, specially Emma’s. It my opinion, it stepped up from previous outfits she had wore, and keeps influencing current artists. It gives a strong visual of the character and makes a clever use of blank spaces.

Tom Fitzpatrick

March 2, 2010 at 4:53 am

At least it’s not a wardrobe malfunction! ;-)

Jeph Loeb's Nonexistent Professional Ethics

March 2, 2010 at 6:44 am

I’m fairly certain Quitely wasn’t going for “sexy”, at least not in the Dodsonian hyper voluptuous mode. Quitely’s design for Frost’s costume was appropriate for Morrison’s take on the character as a jaded ex-socialite ex supervillain who directs cab drivers to van cleef and arples and appears to have immaculately concieved (collected?) a fancy new British affect.

Sexless Teenage Nerd

March 2, 2010 at 6:53 am

Hee hee! Nipples!

Maybe I’m going to blow everyone away here since I hate costumes that are impractical and bring the sexy to a ridiculous degree as Quitely’s does, but I love the Quitely costume. I doubt I’d like it on anyone except Emma Frost (as she’s a character I tend to give a pass to slutty ridiculous looking costumes) but at least Quitely’s costume, like most of those he did for the X-Men has real design to it…it’s fashion forward if you will. I mean I would be freaking delighted to never see Emma in a white corset for the rest of my days. That just feels SO old and tired at this point. But in Quitely’s design you’ve got all these X-Men running around in fully covered dark colors and then Emma just refusing to toe the line and going, “nope, I wear white, bottomline…it’s my signature.” Plus and inverted X OF FLESH? That’s like the most badass thing you could do as a superhero and what is Emma if not badass?

Also, though the Dodson sketch is funny enough, you could really do the same bit about TONS of female costumes out there, so I’m not sure why we should pick on one that’s actually pretty well designed instead of the millions of others that also wouldn’t hold in some giant boobs. Don’t make me do a list. :)

I do hope that Dodson wakes up every morning and thanks the universe for Adam Hughes.

It’sobvious that Emma has learned one of the many uses of WD-40

I never noticed the Quitely Emma Frost costume was supposed to have an “X.” Huh.

ugh gross

Cheesecake artist sees a design that’s interesting and different and thinks “BOOBS NIPPLES BOOBS SHOCKED LOOK BOOBS”

I agree with Kelly that the cut-out X was really cool, and it did fit Emma’s character (it would work for very few others). But I never could figure out how she got it to stay in place, so Dodson’s joke is pretty funny.

I could see Emma showing her boobs completely in public just to shock people. I bet she would love reading all their thoughts about her. Her ego is like that.

JoJangles the Lizard Monster

March 2, 2010 at 1:17 pm

It hugs around her like it’s a really small, tight cape clinging to her breasts, and without the corset, she can let her gut naturally hang out like it aught to. But those zippers would invite trouble in combat if someone got close enough to snag them. But she probably wouldn’t care, because when you can turn into a diamond colossus, its impossible to get raped by villains immune to telepathy.

John Trumbull

March 2, 2010 at 2:38 pm

I agree with Kelly that the cut-out X was really cool, and it did fit Emma’s character (it would work for very few others). But I never could figure out how she got it to stay in place…

Double-sided tape would be my guess.

God Damn, I love boobies! Quitely’s camel toe is much better than Dodson’s , whose is the all-around better picture.

re: Chad
Of course he does

I guess Emma is the type who would tolerate tape on her skin, but I can’t even stand to think about it.

I thought it was quite funny myself, and at least Dodson can draw faces.

While he usually has these, it seems Joe Rice’s humor and understanding that others have their own opinions on things have gone on vacation.

I seriously doubt Dodson was thinking, “Yay, I get to draw boobs!” More like he was just showing why he thought the Quitely costume sucked. He even emulated the bizarre boob overlap thing that Quitely did on the cover to help show why it’s a bad costume design.

I seriously doubt Dodson was thinking, “Yay, I get to draw boobs!”

His oeuvre suggests otherwise.

1. Yep, and that means he can draw boobs anytime he wants.
2. A fondness for drawing curvy women doesn’t in any way make him a bad artist.
3. None of that negates his ability to critique, especially since his critique was that it showed too much skin.
4. You use fancy words like oeuvre. Fancy.

@Kelly Thompson

DO A LIST! DO A LIST!

Who said he didn’t draw boobs, that he was a bad artist, or that he had no right to critique?

I was simply grossed out by the cartoon, moreso than even the rest of his work.

It really says something about the caliber of Quitely’s design work and Morrison’s characterization that people don’t immediately laugh it off as ridiculous.

As clothing the flesh X is even more ludicrous than Invisible Woman’s flesh “4″ from the mid 90s, but it works because it fits the character.

I should add that my squicked-out-ed-ness about this sort of thing is no reflection on the artist or those that like it. Just a longstanding issue I have with a certain style of art.

FunkyGreenJerusalem

March 2, 2010 at 5:01 pm

I actually wondered at the time if that was a case of Morrison and Quitely seeing just what they would be allowed to get away with on “the other X-book” that (at the time) was almost being ignored in favour of “Uncanny”…

At what time?

I don’t think at any point Casey’s X-book was meant to be the flag ship.
He followed Morrison’s lead, like all the x-books did.

I was simply grossed out by the cartoon, moreso than even the rest of his work.

Settle down grandpa, it’s just pencil on paper.

If anything, it’s more honest that the cover.

Also, I’m not clear whether Dodson is trying to say that HE thinks the costume design sucks, or that Emma Frost (or anyone who needs to wear a costume) would think that having to wear it sucks.

I assumed the latter, because I don’t imagine Dodson would complain about the immodesty of the design or take issue with a heroine showing skin . . .

I really liked Quitely’s Emma Frost design. However, it’s one of those designs that really only looked good when drawn by Quietly (Although Jean-Paul Leon’s Emma Frost looked pretty good).

I love Frank Quitely, but it’s times like this that I realize he draws some of the unsexiest (is that a word?) women in comics.

His women look like hermaphrodite aliens or something.

But maybe that only adds to his very personal style.

4. You use fancy words like oeuvre. Fancy.

Oeuvre is an awesome word. Why do people criticize others for using appropriate, intelligent vocabulary?

FunkyGreenJerusalem

March 2, 2010 at 6:38 pm

Oeuvre is an awesome word. Why do people criticize others for using appropriate, intelligent vocabulary?

Because he’s a patriot!

Nice idea in theory, but the execution shows how ludicrous that idea was. I kinda liked the grey/yellow pants/jacket combos they wore back then — but Emma’s outfit was ridiculous — and as drawn by Quitely — Emma was fugly.

You’re right, Joe. You didn’t say those things, but did say:

“ugh gross

Cheesecake artist sees a design that’s interesting and different and thinks ‘BOOBS NIPPLES BOOBS SHOCKED LOOK BOOBS’”

which comes off as obviously dismissive to the artist.

Bill, I wasn’t criticizing Joe for using oeuvre. I was making a joke. No criticism at all there. That would be odd, especially from me.

Thinking about it a nanosecond more, I think Dodson was making fun of the costume not because it shows a lot of skin but because it’s so poorly structured. I love Quitely’s work, but that costume just doesn’t hold up (no pun intended) for me. Good intention and you can see the thought process behind it for the character and the book at the time, but it just doesn’t seem like a feasible costume. Not just in a fight, but walking around period would likely cause a few unfortunate slips.

Even great artists (actors/singers/musicians/whatever) have off moments. JG Jones is another great artist, but his recent “War of the Supermen” cover is far from what I call good.

My point is not that I really care about what people think of this costume from years ago. It’s more that I open up CSBG without fully reading the title and find myself a person that has to see drawn boobies. Blech.

I thought Quitley’s designs for NEW X-MEN were generally pretty awesome. He did a great job of expressing the individual personalities of the cast visually. Emma Frost was no exception.

That said, it was utterly absurd from a practical perspective. I tend to think that was part of the point. It was over-the-top that it kind of dares you to say something. That, of course, is exactly Emma Frost’s personality.

Terry Dodson’s drawing is a clever visual version of the same joke everyone that saw the costume made. It is really just a pretty way of saying “OMG! She would totally pop out!” Funny, but hardly genius.

The irony is that Quitley gives Emma Frost a much more distinctive personality than Dodson. Dodson’s Emma is a much more generic “pretty girl” image. Quitely manages to convey a haughtiness that Dodson is not capable of acheiving.

FunkyGreenJerusalem

March 2, 2010 at 8:35 pm

Did Emma wear that costume in any issues?

I don’t even remember Quietly drawing her in it after that cover.

These boobie artists tend to give their boobie girls that stupid blow up doll face.

Is it a sin to wank off after seeing the second picture? LOL =D

Isn’t the “Not Safe For Work” warning supposed to come BEFORE the image is loaded onto a computer? It’s not like a “Spoiler Warning,” when a person can simply stop scrolling and no-harm-done.

Isn’t the “Not Safe For Work” warning supposed to come BEFORE the image is loaded onto a computer?

It’s above the fold, so it does.

I find the image hilarious. Especially since all of the X-men uniforms in New X-men seemed borderline fetish-fantasy at the time anyway.

Respectfully, Bill, “above the fold” doesn’t help someone clicking on a link on the right of some other entry under “Recent Posts”. NSFW normally goes in the title of an article to prevent a significant misunderstanding on the job.

Respectfully, Bill, “above the fold” doesn’t help someone clicking on a link on the right of some other entry under “Recent Posts”. NSFW normally goes in the title of an article to prevent a significant misunderstanding on the job.

And yet the title does clearly say, even on the right, ‘X-Rated’, which I would have thought to be a good hint that the post was, you know, X-Rated.

Because he’s a patriot!

Ha!

I think critique is a bit strong a word – unless Terry Dodson really thought that Frank Quitely intended tit to be a serious practical costume.

As someone else pointed out I think it only ever appeared on the cover, and is funny as hell. I loved Morrison + Quitely’s prima donna drag queen version of Emma.

[...] X-Rated X-Men Costume Critique | Comics Should Be Good! @ Comic … [...]

[...] X-Rated X-Men Costume Critique | Comics Should Be Good! @ Comic Book Resources [...]

intended tit to be a

Oops – nice Freudian typo there!

At what time?

I don’t think at any point Casey’s X-book was meant to be the flag ship.
He followed Morrison’s lead, like all the x-books did.

Sorry, Funky, but I’ve always understood it that the Flagshig X-Title is “Uncanny X-Men”… X-Men/New X-Men, X-Factor, X-Force, etc.. were the “second tier” of X-Titles…

Similarly, for Spider-Man, “Amazing” is/was the Premier title, “Web of” and “Spectacular” were the “other titles”…

I guess you weren’t reading the x-books at the time, blackjak. While they were being published, there was no doubt that new x-men was the flagship x-book.

I was, Jake. I was.

Maybe perception was different over here in the UK, but then again, I skipped a lot of the 90s…

I started picking up both X-Men and Uncanny just before Morrison’s run started (and became New X-Men)…

I just thought that the older (longer-running) title was always seen more as the lead title. Despite the fact the Morrison was writing stories that interested me more… I thought it was just a case of the “second-tier” book being a lot better than the “flagship” and the “flagship” giving in and following along meekly behind…

I wasn’t aware of any huge announcement that “New X-Men” was “leading the way” in any way, shape or form… I honestly thought that this was Marvel trying out another British writer on one of their big team books, without risking the “flagship”…

That was my perception. I didn’t realise that there were so many American readers who realised how good Morrison or Quitely were, at the time. To me, it was the writer of “Doom Patrol” and the artist of “Missionary Man”, who had been lured over to Marvel at the expense of 2000AD and DC…

So, hey, I guess you learn something new every day…

Alvin (locomambo)

March 3, 2010 at 11:27 am

I always thought the costume was impossible to wear so it must be a mental projection and Emma was actually nude. I liked Dodsons cartoon play on Frank Quitely’s name, “Quite Frankly” Hee-heh! Funny Stuff. Its an “X” Holy Crap Batman! Later!

How does Emma wear a costume like that? Telekinesis.

Also, I’m with the other guy in saying that Kelly Thompson should totally do a list.

[...] X-Rated X-Men Costume Critique | Comics Should Be Good! @ Comic Book Resources [...]

Sorry, Funky, but I’ve always understood it that the Flagshig X-Title is “Uncanny X-Men”

When Claremont was writing it, sure. But when X-Men #1 sold eight bajillion copies, it became the “flagship.” The flagship is whichever book has the highest profile creators and most sales.

FunkyGreenJerusalem

March 3, 2010 at 5:57 pm

I looked through my New X-Men issues last night – that costume for Emma barely appear… even Quietly only does one or two issues with it, and even he doesn’t make it look that good.

I think he must have designed it whilst doing that cover, because from any other angle, it really doesn’t work.

When Claremont was writing it, sure. But when X-Men #1 sold eight bajillion copies, it became the “flagship.” The flagship is whichever book has the highest profile creators and most sales.

And in this case, Marvel editorial wanted Morrison to revamp the X-Men, and so whichever title he was on became the flagship.

Alain Champagne

March 4, 2010 at 2:11 am

Lame.

Frank Quitely’s real name is Vincent Deighan, and he made up the name as a spoonerism of Quite Frankly. How clever do you have to be to make a joke out of that?

Quitely’s artwork is phenomenal, and his Emma Frost is iconic. I don’t think he was going for practical, and to call him out for failing to do something he wasn’t trying to do seems kinda dumb. To pick on the physics of a costume design when the physics of just about every page of comics are far worse… ?

I’m pretty sure he wasn’t going for drag queen. I think it’s clear what Emma’s packing, and I’d say there’s good reason for it.

And why does everyone want every woman in comics to be ‘sexy’? Quitely’s women actually have some character. How are flaws a bad thing? Would you want their personalities to be stock as well? Sometimes people are just a little ugly for a reason.

And why does everyone want every woman in comics to be ‘sexy’? Quitely’s women actually have some character. How are flaws a bad thing? Would you want their personalities to be stock as well? Sometimes people are just a little ugly for a reason.

Exactly.

Kind of like Paul Pope. (stir, stir, stir)

And why does everyone want every woman in comics to be ‘sexy’? Quitely’s women actually have some character. How are flaws a bad thing? Would you want their personalities to be stock as well? Sometimes people are just a little ugly for a reason.

Okay, I agree that we shouldn’t expect every depiction of women to be sexy and it’s good for some characters to look flawed and realistic. But in the case of Emma Frost, being gorgeous is an integral part of the character. Even in the view of the writer at the time Grant Morrison, who explained in an Emma Frost story that she had extensive plastic surgery to look prettier and used sex appeal to worm her way into the Hellfire Club.

So I think someone wanting to criticize Quitely for specifically drawing Emma ugly is valid.

That is actually a fair point (and why I hate John Cassiday’s rendition of Emma).

That said, I really like Frank Quitely’s Emma. She does look a bit like a transexual, but at the same time she still has that air of “I know I’m gorgeous” so she can pull it off.

FunkyGreenJerusalem

March 7, 2010 at 4:39 pm

That said, I really like Frank Quitely’s Emma. She does look a bit like a transexual, but at the same time she still has that air of “I know I’m gorgeous” so she can pull it off.

What’s with you loving artists whose women, in your opinion, look like transexuals?

Ha!

I think those are the only two

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