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The Line it is Drawn #79 – Male Superheroes See How The Other Side Lives

Go follow Comics Should Be Good on Twitter (if you have Twitter, that is – if you don’t, you can go sign up). Here is our Twitter page… http://twitter.com/csbg. And here are the Comics Should Be Good writers who are on Twitter (the links go to the person’s Twitter account) – myself, Greg Hatcher, Chad Nevett, Kelly Thompson, Sonia Harris Danielle Leigh, Melinda Beasi, Michelle Smith, Bill Reed and Scott!

I update the blog’s Twitter account updates whenever a new post is put up on the blog, so it’s an easy way to keep up with the blog. In addition, I post new content on the blog’s Twitter account.

Now on to the bit!

So every week, I ask a question here. You reply to it on our Twitter page (just write @csbg with your reply) and our blog sketch artists will each pick one of your suggestions and I will post them here every week. So every week you will have a new question and you will see the choices picked from the previous week. Here is an archive of all the previous editions of The Line It Is Drawn!

To qualify, you have to be following us when you reply – so go follow us and then give your answer to the following question/challenge (All suggestions due by 6:00 AM Pacific, Friday, March 2nd).

The topic is…

Comic book characters playing sports! Batman shooting hoops, Captain America throwing a touchdown pass, etc.

Read on for the sketches that came about courtesy of the last question/challenge!

In honor of Kelly’s recent post, name a male superhero that you’d like to see wearing a female superhero’s costume. Green Arrow in Wonder Woman’s outfit, etc.

Enjoy!

I’ll put them in alphabetical order based on the name of the Twitter user who made the suggestion.

All copyright and trademarks of the following characters are held by their respective owners!

Aoide_Muse suggested:

Captain America in Caitlin Fairchilds costume!

Nick Perks is the artist for this one. Here is his website. This is the first of two pieces from Nick this week!

(click on the image to enlarge)

Aoide_Muse suggested:

Green Arrow in Black Canary’s classic fishnets look

John Trumbull drew this one. Here is his website.

(click on the image to enlarge)

Aoide_Muse suggested:

Superboy in the late 70’s/early 80’s Saturn Girl costume

Daniel Cox drew this one. Here is his website.

ArghantBigAxe suggested:

Marvel’s Hercules wearing Wonder Woman’s Thong cut outfit

Steve Howard is the artist for this one. Here is his website.

(click on the image to enlarge)

ArghantBigAxe suggested:

Starfox wearing Starfire’s outfit

Yukinori Xum drew this one.

(click on the image to enlarge)

BigMike20X6, dc2omniverse and pzukauskas suggested:

Cyclops in Emma Frost’s costume

Josh Gowdy drew this one. His website is here.

(click on the image to enlarge)

dangriffin598 suggested:

Batman in Huntress “belly window” Costume with Superman in Powergirl costume.

Nick Perks is also the artist for this one. Here is his website.

(click on the image to enlarge)

LeeHiley, sbotzakis and shurwitt suggested:

Hal Jordan in the modern Star Sapphire costume.

Michael “Mic?” Magtanong is the artist for this one. Here is his website.

sbotzakis suggested:

Marvel’s Dracula dressed as Vampirella

Bill Walko drew this one. His website is here.

sbotzakis suggested:

JLA with all the guys in a variation of WW’s swimsuit

Cynthia “Thea” Rodgers drew this one. Her website is here.

(click on the image to enlarge)

shurwitt suggested:

Wolverine in Emma Frost’s outfit.

Marco D’Alfonso drew this one. Here is his website.

Marco took two shots at this one. Here is his second one…

(click on the image to enlarge)

skippertommy suggested:

The Thing in the ’90s version of the Invisible Woman’s costume.

Brendan Tobin is the artist for this one. Here is his website.

(click on the image to enlarge)

therealAstrozac suggested:

Alfred the Butler in Zatanna’s costume

Phillip Sevy drew this one. Here is his website.

(click on the image to enlarge)

therealAstrozac suggested:

Catwoman and Batman accidentally put on one another costumes

Axel Medellin drew this one. His website is here.

(click on the image to enlarge)

Awesome stuff, folks! Now everyone – go make suggestions for next week!

109 Comments

haha, these all look great, and mine was picked. Way to go Nick Perks!

That was great!

Wow these are all hilarious but the execution on that last one by Medellin is brilliant! I admit I had to look up Caitlin Fairchild since I was never a fan of Gen13. She’s not a Marvel character like Steve Rogers, but whatevs. I think Nick Perks still got the point across.

This was my favorite theme so far, and as ridiculous and humorous as these illustrations are, I think they make a profound statement on the peculiar presentation of women in superhero comics. Take heed DC.

Great suggestion and great work!

Travis Pelkie

March 1, 2012 at 1:07 am

Oh man, that’s sweet. I suppose Kelly gets a pass for breaking the internet if we get this out of it :)

“The password is…Banana Hammock”

They’re all great, like usual. Axel’s Batman/Catwoman/Joker has a bit of an edge in my mind for being particularly clever.

I personally find John Trumbull’s rendition of Dinah in the Arrow costume quite attractive. DC oughta go for that if Dinah and Ollie get together in the DCnU.

The other oddity I see is that in both of the Emma Frost cover homages, the males are… “packing less heat” than Emma in Quitely’s rendition. Hi-yo!

I love how people see Emma Frost’s costume and Storm’s and other Marvel female characters and complain about DC’s women. Marvel and DC are both guilty of it.

I also love how people make these images, like the popular one circulating around the interwebs, and then you have some of the same people making the argument that women usually look too much like men in comics. Did anyone happen to consider, perhaps, that the sexual nature of the costumes were in order to better easily identify the men in comics from the women? That maybe the cleavage and skin were to take away from the fact that the women just with huge muscles were criticized as looking too much like men.

Also, these arguments doesn’t really hold up anymore so much for DC as the new Power Girl costume indicates DC’s dedication to change. Haters gonna hate.

On the theme though, this was wonderfully hilarious. I particularly liked the Batman/Catwoman and the Hal Jordan as a Star Sapphire one. The Wolverine as Emma was brilliant too.

Did anyone happen to consider, perhaps, that the sexual nature of the costumes were in order to better easily identify the men in comics from the women? That maybe the cleavage and skin were to take away from the fact that the women just with huge muscles were criticized as looking too much like men.

There are plenty of (non-superhero) comics where women, even ones with muscles, look different from men without showing a lot of cleavage and skin. Drawing women who look different from men is not a huge artistic challenge, and it certainly isn’t the reason cheesecake exists.

Also, these arguments doesn’t really hold up anymore so much for DC as the new Power Girl costume indicates DC’s dedication to change.

Good for Power Girl, but one costume change among dozens of female characters still doesn’t indicate a sea change. If this happens to other high-profile female characters as well, then you can DC has a dedication to change.

Blah get over it.

I find Steve Rogers and Starfox strangely arousing.

Blah get over it.

Was that directed at me? What a witty retort, my mind is sure changed on the issue!

I find Steve Rogers and Starfox strangely arousing.

I find Starfox pretty hot too! I guess it proves how big a difference there is between sexualization of women and (straight) men that most of the artists didn’t even try to draw a sexy pic of the character, and chose the humor option instead. It seems to be quite hard even to imagine a man being objectified the same way women are.

Starfox is making me swoon.

happens to be International Women’s day on the 8th. ironicaly appropiate.

“I’ve worn worse.” Just for that bit of comedic genius, the JLA one wins in my book

Wow pathetic. CBR once again trying to garner attention from outside media sources by being ” controversial” and “shaking things up”. Yawn. You have your own heads so far up your own self
rightous asses, that I suppose you can’t help crap that falls from your lips.

“If don’t get pants nobody gets pants!” LOL
These are all awesome, and I am not even going to list my favorites because this week featured a murderer’s row of excellent.

ThatGuyWhoSaysStuff

March 1, 2012 at 6:11 am

Great pictures, dumb concept. Men look funny in clothes designed for women! Brilliant!

These were all quite humorous.

The Batman/Superman/Huntress/Powergirl one made me think. (from the front) Karen’s outfit didn’t look that bad on Kal-el.

Of course the bit with the Thing is funny, since most the time Sue’s costume is less revealing than his.

Hilarious how some people get mad at having to be faced with the obvious.

“At least I didn’t have to wear Robin’s costume!” Hah.

I second Travis Pelkie’s opinion about Dinah looking irresistible in Ollie’s costume, especially with the hat and the belt.

Excellent drawings all around!

OK, let’s try something new: For this week, I’m going to comment on each piece *as I see it* rather than wait after seeing them all (or reading other people’s comments.) Just so I can I preserve the shock/amusement that I know is coming! XD

-Captain America in Caitlin Fairchilds costume!: HAH! Though you know, heroines in the 40s didn’t wear that kind of costume. Much more conservative times. Maybe Wonder Woman’s would have been more fair. (Would still have been funny.)

-Green Arrow in Black Canary’s classic fishnets look: You know, other than the fishnets (and the heels) he doesn’t look that bad. And no fair that Canary’s GA costume isn’t tight!

-Superboy in the late 70?s/early 80?s Saturn Girl costume: Do we even need to point out how ridiculously sexualized the female legionaries costumes became in the 70s? It was there the trend started, I’d say. Though some of those still would look good on a guy eg. Light Lass’.

-Marvel’s Hercules wearing Wonder Woman’s Thong cut outfit: Ohh I saw this one coming! And yeah WTF is it with maker one of the most iconic superhero costumes even MORE revealing? Next they’ll be getting rid of Superman’s red trunks!

-Starfox wearing Starfire’s outfit: …Actually, this is kind of fitting, given he’s named after the God of Love. Hey, his Avengers teammate Hercules wore less! (and both were Casanovas!)

-Cyclops in Emma Frost’s costume: Another one I saw coming. And also, another one so absurd I even hate it on her.

-Batman in Huntress “belly window” Costume with Superman in Powergirl costume. Hmm, Boob window (and heels) aside I’d say this works for Supes. And aswith Wonder Woman’s costume, I’ve rejected the exposed buttcheeks as absurd for a long time now.

-Hal Jordan in the modern Star Sapphire costume. Another obvious one. You know the REALLY sad part? There’s no male Star Sapphires because apparently, Men can’t love as much as women. I HATE that implication even more than the costumes. -_-

-Marvel’s Dracula dressed as Vampirella: OK, this surprised me. I laughed, I liked the art style, and the dialog made it even funnier! (And I HATE Marvel’s Dracula with a passion!)

-JLA with all the guys in a variation of WW’s swimsuit: LOL Aquaman, so true. XD Also, this could have made for a fun Silver Age JLA story: “Day of the Wonder Men!”

-Wolverine in Emma Frost’s outfit: Again, do we even need to point out how whorish Emma’s costume is? IT’S INTENTIONAL!! Even Miss Thompson said it!

-The Thing in the ’90s version of the Invisible Woman’s costume: Meh, he’s had worse costumes. And his body type doesn’t make it as funny as the other heroes’. You should have had REED wear it!

-Alfred the Butler in Zatanna’s costume: Alfred? Why? He doesn’t wear costumes! Anyway again it’ s just the nets and heels that look bad.

-Catwoman and Batman accidentally put on one another costumes: No fair, they STILL had Catwoman half-naked! Kinda missing the point no? Though I must say, being caught like this is EXACTLY why I thought their screwing-on-a-rooftop thing was so STUPID.

Overall, pretty funny week, and it made the point of how unfairly designed female heroines’ costumes are. Congratulations both to the suggestions and the artists. Hey to balance things out, how about a week of FEMALE heroes wearing male costumes that look bad on them? I don’t think even a shapely body can save Cable’s, for example.

For next week: Captain America using his shield for snow surfing! (pass it along!)

I say this tongue in cheek, but I think it’s the best argument for garbing female characters in cheesecake dress because the men can not pull that look off. Although most of the women look good if not great in the guys costumes, especially Dinah in the Green Arrow costume.

Also, no brokeback poses? Men don’t bend like that?

The pictures were all pretty funny, but I particularly admire (and laughed at) the story rationales given for the Legion and Superman/Batman/Power Girl/Huntress panels. That Legion idea would not have been that out of place in the 70s! (Nice job on the logo there, too.) And yes, many of those Mike Grell costumes were horrible, especially Saturn Girl’s.

I would like to thank Brian soooo much for putting in my submission even though I was late! Thanks, dude. Great work here guys! Always a pleasure to see the creativity blossom here!

Very funny certainly, but also reflects a wider issue in society: it’s totally possible for women to cross-dress in male clothing in a way that couldn’t happen the other way round (even what would be defined “stereotypically” male clothes.) In fact, could it even be described as cross-dressing? Is it possible to have a female transvestite? Men’s clothing has become universal to both genders. Even incredibly formal male-wear like top-hat and tails look intriguing on a woman, but not ridiculous.

When female Dr Who fans cross-play as the Doctor, they only look as “silly” as the character they’ve based their look on. Dress any female superhero in a costume designed for a male superhero and they’d all look perfectly fine. (A good example of this was when Jim Lee first started drawing X-Men and they were all wearing the same blue & yellow uniform – it suited them all, male or female. I never understood the fetish for belt buckles though…)

But (in wider society as well as in comics) take it the other way and men are (mostly) deemed to look ridiculous in clothing designed for women, unless they’re particularly confident transvestites. The always awesome Eddie Izzard being a rare example. Sadly, apart from kilt-wearing (which I have often partaken in at social occasions) society has decided that men don’t have the same outlets of sartorial self-expression as women. :-(

Mike Loughlin

March 1, 2012 at 7:45 am

Bonus points to everyone for the dialogue! It’s the same joke over and over yet each one is funny.

Better than any, the Captain America one highlights the absurdity of many super-heroines costumes. Would you want to fight crime (or Nazis!) with your butt checks hanging out?

Oh, and WW saying “If I don’t get pants, nobody gets pants” is wonderful, and it reminds of my favorite Cartoon Network commercial (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eGQEAiZJMco). “I just want some pants, a decent pair of pants.”

This is the greatest thing I’ve seen in a month. Thanks to Kelly’s great article for inspiring it, and thanks to all the great artists for cracking me up and making the point so efficiently. Awesome.

In fact, could it even be described as cross-dressing? Is it possible to have a female transvestite?

There are women who imitate men called drag kings (i.e. a female version of drag queens), but usually they do more than just put on men’s clothing; they often apply fake facial hair, make their body language and mannerisms more masculine, etc.

The reason why men dressing up as women looks funny to us whereas the inverse doesn’t is because masculinity is considered to place higher than femininity in the general social hierarchy. A man dressing up as a woman feels odd and funny, because he intentionally “lowers” himself to a feminine position, something a man “shouldn’t” do. A woman dressing up as a man looks more admirable than funny, because she’s aspires to “elevate” herself into a higher position, the masculine one. Masculinity equates with power, femininity with the lack of it. That is why female politicians and other female professionals tend to speak in a lower voice and dress up in a more masculine manner than average women; it gives them more authority.

Many comics and print superhero stories have come up with rationalizations for revealing costumes. These range from simple exhibitionism (face it, given the garish colors used in most costumes they are intended for showing off) to presenting a “distinct uniform” to freedom of movement. (That was used in the old live-action Spider-Man TV series.) In the _Wildcards_ books there was a character who could go desolid but couldn’t take much with her. So she dieted stringently and wore a string bikini and mask.

I suspect that many people if suddenly gifted with a superhuman physique would want to flaunt it. However, there’s a difference between showing off and being sexually blatant. In the real world people who wear outfits like those being criticized and pose like that are generally considered fetishists.

Have any of these discussions included circus costumes? Many super costumes are inspired or overtly based on those, at least for early characters.

These are all great; the LSH/Superboy one is the best.

tobin for the win

Tuomas – good points about equating masculinity with power. I hadn’t thought about it like that. Sad but true, it seems.

Stickmaker – Interesting point about circus costumes – I always thought that some superhero costumes were based on those (or gymnasts’s outfits). Is that the origin of Superman and Batman wearing their undies on the ouside, back in the old days?

To a certain extent, I can understand the confusion in the minds of comics creators when they try to update old costumes. Their first instinct is to make more practical outfits with less revealed skin, but they will then face complaints (from male and female fans) that they’re acting prudish and Taliban-like. Or that by giving Wonder Woman pants or filling Powergirl’s cleavage window, they’re taking away some of their iconic status.

It’s a veritable minefield. Probably one that will only be solved by having more women at all levels in comic companies, writers, artists and editors.

That Dude says

March 1, 2012 at 8:58 am

Props to Axel Medellin for NOT trying to make a point and just giving us a good illustration. And for the rest, is it just me or are Captain America, Ollie, Starfox, Cyclops, and Hal Jordan all kinda delicious in those costumes?

Props to Axel Medellin for NOT trying to make a point and just giving us a good illustration.

From my perspective, “making a point” was kind of part & parcel of this week’s assignment.

I personally find John Trumbull’s rendition of Dinah in the Arrow costume quite attractive. DC oughta go for that if Dinah and Ollie get together in the DCnU.

Aw, thanks, Travis! I suppose it’s a similiar effect to an attractive woman wearing a man’s button-down shirt — You put a pretty lady in practically ANY outfit, and someone will like it.

You know, other than the fishnets (and the heels) he doesn’t look that bad. And no fair that Canary’s GA costume isn’t tight!

It seemed kind of self-contradictory to put the Canary in a cheescake pose & tight outfit at the same time as putting GA in her outfit. :)

…But did NOBODY get the inspiration I used for GA’s pose in my piece? Shucks!
http://s1.torbit.com/img/f49775b96c35bee8f51ef6bfa65e81372bebd4dc-Angelina-Jolie-Leg-Slip-2012-Academy-Awards-Oscars.jpg

BTW, our own Axel Medellin is up for “Favourite Newcomer Artist” in the UK Eagle Awards. You can vote for him here: http://www.eagleawards.co.uk/nominations/

[…] comic book resources column The Line It Is Drawn has a fantastic feature of male comic superheroes dressed in the costume of female superheroes. The […]

One other thought: Has anyone ever done a graphic comparison of period Greek warrior outfits and any of those worn by Wonder Woman?

Well, let’s see, Greek warriors were wearing army green fatigues in 1941…

These are all wonderful. So…so wonderful. And yes, I do love the one with Hal as a Star Sapphire, because Hal makes it WORK!

Sorry, but the cut on Superboy’s bikini trunks needs to be much higher so that his buttcheeks are showing.

And why do so few artists include the men’s leg hairs? That would make the absurdity even greater!

@ Travis: I don’t think Kelly needs a “pass” — she needs to be thanked, congratulated and even given a raise for her fine essay, even without this fun visual response.

Wow, these costumes look surprisingly good switched around.

Yet again, this batch just keeps raising the bar, these were all so awesome.
My new background, photo of Catwoman and Batman, by Joker.

and of course wolvy and slim in emma’s abomination (in a good way) of a costume….lol

The artwork is really good on these, and they are funny. But there are male superheroes whose costumes are much worse than these. And they’re not even pretending to cross-dress.

Well some of the male legionnaires in the 70s had revealing outfits: Tyroc, Cosmic Boy… and too me, as a young gay reader, I was really happy with that!

But I don’t really see the point of having men wearing female costumes. Of course some of the female costumes are stupid (Fairchild, etc), and some artists are going too far with the cheesecake poses, but to me me these characters look ridiculous because they are dressed like women, not because they are showing skins. It’s like having Clark Kent dressed as Lois Lane: what’s the point? And it is the same with the pics of the super-heroes posing like super-heroines: they are ridiculous because they are posing like women, not because the women poses is ridiculous.

What I think would be more interesting: Having Superman or a Batman posing like a gay porn actor on a cover, with a costume designed to exploit the hotness of the male body, and let see how the straight readers will react.

Just brilliant, all.

The soldiers reactions/expressions in Nicks crack me up.

MarsHottentot

March 1, 2012 at 2:29 pm

The funny thing to me is – in the Golden Age – there WERE male characters dressed like that Captain America!

Michael Howey

March 1, 2012 at 2:31 pm

I have nothing new to add. Just need to repeat that Dinah looks great, Starfox looks like it ain’t no thang and generally, the women in mens costume designs look great so why not run with it.

A couple of comments/retorts:

@ThatGuyWhoSaysStuff: Tell you what. Let’s put the male heroes’ costumes on female characters and see how “funny” it looks. (Putting aside any societal requirements–for instance, if you see a picture of a typical female bodybuilder naked, most of the ladies DON’T need to be wearing the tops because their breasts are not really all that sexually provocative. The breasts themselves are primarily composed of fatty tissue and the weight training that’s involved in bodybuilding significantly reduces the entire body’s fat content. You could just as easily take a look at images of women who survived the WWII death camps–most of them were so emaciated, they barely resembled women except for their clothing.) A couple of decades ago, there was an issue of either Superman where Mr Mxyzptlk altered Superman’s reality by gender-switching all the characters. Lois Lane became Louis Lane, Perry White became Penny White, Supergirl became Superboy, and Clark Kent became Clara Kent (this was key to Superman’s figuring out Mxyz’s plot since Clara Kent didn’t transform to Superwoman; Mxyz didn’t know Superman’s secret ID so the game was up). Now, the Superwoman character wore a female version of Superman’s traditional outfit, long sleeves, the red trunks (though being a bit more bikini-like, instead of briefs) and long tights. The Superboy character was wearing a variation on Supergirl’s outfit at the time (the puffy-shirt top and the pixie boots) but the outfit didn’t really come off looking any more feminine than Robin’s traditional suit (have to remember that, in the 70s, men’s shorts were generally shorter than boxer shorts). Also, the cover also showed a “Wonder Warrior” who wore Diana’s traditional outfit BUT the eagle and star-spangled briefs were either worn over a full-length white bodysuit or part of an otherwise white bodysuit. (Image at http://www.comicbookdb.com/graphics/comic_graphics/1/73/40673_20060511233911_large.jpg )

@Sijo: Regarding the lack of male Star Sapphires, unless the “New 52″ altered things, the Predator Entity is the embodiment of love and passion and took over a man named Abraham Pointe who became the “new” Predator (the previous one in the older GL comics was simply Carol Ferris in a transformed guise). His look is at http://www.comicbookdb.com/graphics/comic_graphics/1/419/210723_20100909161049_large.jpg Apparently, when the Predator charges a woman, she wears a revealing outfit that wouldn’t be out of place in a Victoria’s Secret or Frederick’s of Hollywood catalog; when the Predator charges a man, he wears something that wouldn’t be out of place in “Bondage Monthly.

As to the Emma Frost outfit, consider this: She was, at one time, a QUEEN of the Hellfire Club. NONE of the male Hellfire members, much less their leaders, dressed in boudoir-type outfits. Yes, they did dress in 18th Century attire but why did the QUEENS dress like the maids? Why weren’t the Queens (either Emma, the White Queen, or Jean Grey, the Black Queen) dressed in appropriate LADYLIKE clothing? Take a look at any fashion history book and look at what women of the English Georgian or French aristocracy wore. At MOST, they wore gowns that had some definite cleavage showing but what Emma wore at the Club was actually less than the average upper class woman wore as undergarments. (The only type of “ladies of the evening” who would wear something as minimal as the Hellfire Queens were the ones who spent their time inside a brothel, never venturing outside–and rarely spending much time outside their rooms. The highest class brothels would still expect the women to wear more when lounging in the parlors or greeting rooms.) Let’s imagine Donald Pierce or Sebastian Shaw in something resembling men’s swimwear or athletic gear of the 18th century–basically, union suits or longjohns. Would anyone think they held any sort of power in the Club dressed like that? Maybe Emma deliberately chose to wear a corset and panties to gain a psychological advantage but if you were a new male recruit to the Club and you spent a couple of hours with women dressed as French maids waiting on your every need and suddenly Emma walked by, what would your first reaction be to her? Would you think “This is the Club’s most powerful woman” or “Hey, you–I need another drink”? (I’m trying to remember any stories featuring other Hellfire Queens that were set before Emma became the White Queen but none come to mind that have women who were more modestly–and era-appropriately–attired.)

It always nice of people to remember that Marvel are just as bad as DC in thier depiction of women, yet its always DC that gets thrown under the bus, perhaps since they have a more vocal female audience, I dunno.

Glenn simpson

March 1, 2012 at 2:58 pm

Just because I feel it needs saying again: Men always look funny in women’s clothing, not because there’s something wrong with women’s clothing, but because women wear a different kind of clothing than men do.

And while I don’t disagree with the masculine/feminine theory above, I would also posit that men are the “chasers” and women the “chased” in our fundamental makeup. So seeing a man in women’s clothing looks silly because it’s so different, but women in men’s clothing looks attractive because it suggests she is so “caught” by her man that she wants to dress like him. That’s why the woman in a man’s shirt is so sexy – it indicates that he has “got” her. It’s like she’s wearing the jersey of her favorite team.

Just to say, anticipating some of the complaints which followed, I made a point of NOT making the male characters I drew look effeminate (as fas as that is possible in high-heels). Instead I just concentrated on the overly revealing nature of the women’s costumes. I specifically did not choose distinctly feminine outfits – those involving skirts or dresses – so that the basic message wouldn’t be lost in an argument about cross-dressing and how men dressed as women look ‘silly’.
The point is that a super-heroine’s costume is often ridiculously revealing when a male superhero’s isn’t.

@Andrew – “Did anyone happen to consider, perhaps, that the sexual nature of the costumes were in order to better easily identify the men in comics from the women?” I don’t know…If an artist has to exaggerate the female curves to avoid the figure looking masculine they need a better artist and the boobs and butt still don’t need to be half naked. Interesting idea though.

I like that Starfox is 100% cool with his new costume. Totally fits the character.

[…] part of a regular Twitter survey feature, Comics Should Be Good has posted a set of fan images showing male superheroes wearing the outfits of female heroes. […]

[…] part of a regular Twitter survey feature, Comics Should Be Good has posted a set of fan images showing male superheroes wearing the outfits of female heroes. […]

Love, love, love this week’s theme. My fave is John’s GA/ Black Canary mash-up (since BC is my fave female superheroine). Sorry that I missed the Angelina homage in your piece!

“It seemed kind of self-contradictory to put the Canary in a cheescake pose & tight outfit at the same time as putting GA in her outfit. :)”

My point is that GA’s costume IS skintight, as are most male superheroes’. They are just not as revealing as the heroines’. And note Arrow’s costume DOES show more skin the the average heroes’ as well. Still, Canary did look cute in the oversized clothing, I admit. ;)

@JosephW: The Predator is not a male member of the Sapphires, he’s the Entity that powers them. Also his costume was designed way back when he was a supervillain in the 80s. (And that’s another thing I hate about the Sapphires- the entity that embodies Love is- a PREDATOR? Basically, they’re saying love is innately evil. Screw you, DC comics.)

Oh, and you forgot to mention one thing about the Hellfire Club: they are based on the REAL Hellfire Club, which was a- “Gentlemen’s Club”. Read: Brothel. So yes, the women there would have dressed like that. I was in fact quite surprised that Marvel let Claremont get away with that. Note I never liked the idea, but there you have it.

This page made my day, if not my whole week!

Axel, Josh, and Cynthia brought it home for me this week!
I loved Cynthia’s extra touch of having Batman be 90s WW.

Great job everyone!

[…] IMPLORE YOU to go over to CBR and check out this week’s The Line it is Drawn.  It is awesome and hilarious and points out how ridiculous female costumes are, and there’s […]

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_AuDBYGMkDo

That is all I have to say for this edition of TLIID.

My point is that GA’s costume IS skintight, as are most male superheroes’. They are just not as revealing as the heroines’. And note Arrow’s costume DOES show more skin the the average heroes’ as well.

Well, yeah. As far as I’m concerned, skintight costumes on idealized human forms are a basic convention of the superhero genre, the same way that western characters wear cowboy hats & ride horses or 1940s private detectives wear trenchcoats & fedoras.

…GA showing his shoulders and bits of his arms is considered “more skin” than the average superheroes’? I could see you making a case like that for Hawkman or the 90s Aquaman, but GA? Really?

Still, Canary did look cute in the oversized clothing, I admit.

Well, thanks. Always a fun challenge to draw a pretty girl –I pulled out some John Romita Sr. and Dave Stevens reference to learn from the best!

This week worked out even better than I’d hoped. I think it would be neat to have an edition of females in male costumes, but the poInt has largely been made.

I’ve never thought that swimsuits on the ladies was a bad idea for a costume. Where I started getting leary was when the swimsuits turned in to bikinis or thongs. Dignity in a garish costume is hard enough to come by so why make it harder?

The Mad Monkey

March 2, 2012 at 5:28 am

I really could have gone my entire life without having to see Cyclops’ “package”.

“Well, yeah. As far as I’m concerned, skintight costumes on idealized human forms are a basic convention of the superhero genre, the same way that western characters wear cowboy hats & ride horses or 1940s private detectives wear trenchcoats & fedoras.”

Agreed! I’m just saying that superhero comics cannot be accused of sexism just for that reason. There ARE plenty of others, though…

“…GA showing his shoulders and bits of his arms is considered “more skin” than the average superheroes’? I could see you making a case like that for Hawkman or the 90s Aquaman, but GA? Really?”

I said a LITTLE. How many male sleeveless costumes can you name? As opposed to female heroes’? Also, you’re forgetting his visible chest hair (on some versions, just as Canary’s fishnets aren’t always see-through.) Overall, Arrow-Canary aren’t that good of an example of “Look how the girl’s costume is the more sexist!”

Also, since nobody has pointed it out, I will: There’s been PLENTY of female heroes with costumes that WOULD look good on a male: Katana’s, Halo’s, Phoenix’s, Hellcat’s, and many more. Just being fair here.

The reason this does not work is because Men and Women judge each other differently.

Men judge Women on their looks so women will dress in a way that shows off their best features so exposure of skin makes sense.

But Women do not judge Men on looks as much as Men think they do. Sure looks and cleanliness do count but Women take into account more how much the man has accomplished in his life and how he rates or dominates other Men. One way to judge whether a man is successful is to look at his clothes. Expensive clothes on a Man is a sign he is doing well for himself and can support a family. Women look for High Status Males (likeable personality) and avoid Low Status Males (bitterness, toxic personality). The more physically attractive a woman is, the more she has her choice of Men. The more successful and charming a Man is, the more the beautiful woman will choose him.

A man dressing like an idiot is not what Women want to see and that’s why this art does not work.

Brian, you should check out issues where heroes encounter gender-swapped versions of themselves and teammates. Just yesterday I read Uncanny X-Men #462 by Chris Claremont & Alan Davis with the X-Men meeting male versions of the female X-Men. Curiously enough the male version of Psylocke had long pants added to her usual swimsuit-style costume. Didn’t make it any less disturbing, mind. Still, it occured to me that the male Rogue (with yellow/green onesie and flight jacket) would be more clothed than a female Colossus or Iceman.
Also, read Jeph Loeb/Ed McGuinness’ run on Superman/Batman where Batman meets female analogues of Superman and Batman. Their costumes look more form-fitting but they’re not really, it’s just the way a male eye perceives the form the costume is fitting, IYKWIM!
All I can say is, in the real world when I wear jeans and a t-shirt I always look like I’m wearing a lot more than a girl wearing the same combination, whether it be the low cut of the jeans or the style of t-shirt, I don’t know what it is, I’m just a man trying to get by, you know what I’m saying!

This is fantastic – so fun. Wonderful work everyone!

@Holmes: I think it has a lot to do with a man’s figure being more rectangular/straight (unless you’ve got crazy lats or something) rather than curvy. I dunno, just an idea. Or it could just be women’s t-shirts tend to have shorter sleeves and tend to be a slimmer cut.

How many male sleeveless costumes can you name? As opposed to female heroes’?

Off the top of my head:
-The Dave Cockrum Colossus costume
-Thunderbird
-Hawkeye’s original outfit
-The Neal Adams Green Arrow costume
-Several Wonder Man costumes
-Hawkman
-90s hook-handed Aquaman
-Wolverine
-Puck
-The Golden Age Atom
-The Thing
-The Falcon
-Robin
-Martian Manhunter

Also, you’re forgetting his visible chest hair.

I doubt it, since I’m the one who drew it there in the first place. :)

[…] Speaking of comics and gender swaps, I know these “superhero in female attire” drawings are all the rage, but I hadn’t seen this particular set yet. And, well, holy exposed thigh, Batman. (CBR) […]

In The Watchmen, Dr. Manhattan was naked. In 300, all of the Spartans were naked. So the point of this article is what?

Dr Manhattan was naked because he had transcended his humanity and didn’t see the need for clothing, the Spartans were naked because those folks didn’t wear much clothing anyway. Dr M and the Spartans were not sexualized in their depictions.

The thing I find most amusing about the Legion one is that the idea actually has happened before. In one of the Action Comics backups in the seventies two of the male Legionnaires disguised themselves as Saturn Boy and Prince Projectra for some psychological testing reason for the female characters. They were wearing the female versions of the costumes.

@brainypirate: I was trying to make a bit of a joke with the “Kelly gets a pass” comment (that’s why I put in the smiley). I don’t think she needs one either, and I think/hope she knows I think that.

@Sijo and John: I would assume that the GA outfit isn’t skintight on her because she’s not as large as Ollie is, therefore it’s a bit baggy.

As to the Hellfire Club: not that it’s that much of a “justification”, but as we can see from this Legend:

http://goodcomics.comicbookresources.com/2006/03/30/comic-book-urban-legends-revealed-44/

the XMen Hellfire Club is visually modeled off the depiction in the British Avengers show. It’s still strange, as JosephW pointed out above.

To be fair, I think Power Girl and Huntress both have better costumes now.

@Sijo and John: I would assume that the GA outfit isn’t skintight on her because she’s not as large as Ollie is, therefore it’s a bit baggy.

That was my thinking when I was drawing it, yes.

Gerardo Tejada

March 3, 2012 at 5:32 pm

Starfox on Starfire’s costume doesnt look bad but Hal Jordan on Star Saphire’s costume looks creepy, the fishnets dont look strange on Ollie cause he always wear tights but for that top He should have shaved his chest. Hercules forgot that that costume wasnt designed for people with an extra limb, the “nobody gets pants” is funny cause actually the fans of wonder woman are the most oposed to a change of outfit.

Maybe the lesson is no man looks good with woman’s clothes/costumes/outfits/suits, and thats pretty ofensive toward Tranvestites

@John Trumbull
I said ‘As opposed to how many female heroes?’ I’m sure that list is much bigger. Especially female versions of male heroes ex. Captain Marvel (both Marvel’s and DC’s.)

And I mentioned Green Arrow’s chest hair because OTHER artists have exposed it, in the same way that sometimes Canary is drawn with see-through fishnets and sometimes not.

And yes, I realize that Ollie’s costume would be loose on Canary’s body. My point is that you can’t say “Oh Man, Black Canary’s costume is SO sexist when compared to her male partner’s!” because its not- both are skintight and (occasionally) expose a BIT of flesh. Again: hardly a good example for the point tried to be made here.

(Still, fun piece. ;) )

…is it wrong that I actually like half of these? *I am a girl*
By the way,Alfred looks ok from the waist up.He’ll look ridicolous in Poison Ivy’s outfit XD
And last picture is somehow adorable.

Although I do agree female characters should probably have more practical and less salacious costumes, there is a difference between the sexes and emphasizing gender doesn’t always equate with sexism.

Spooky Catwoman

March 22, 2012 at 4:29 pm

ROTFLMAO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

[…] colega mío me ha puesto en la pista de este jocoso e hiriente post denunciador del machismo del género superherico. Gracias a ello acabo de descubrir que es un pervertido ya que no le gustan los superhéroes. Así […]

That was just brilliant.

[…] Illu-Contest von Comicbook Resources, in dem die Leute Superhelden in den Kostümen von Superheldinnen zeichnen sollten, im Bild oben trägt Green Lantern den Dress von Star Sapphire. Nicht sehr subtile […]

[…] wear the costume of a female superhero. See fifteen of them in a roundup at Comic Book Resources. Link -via […]

The crazy thing is as modern artists try to upgrade the women’s outfits, the backlash is always ridiculous from the nerd-male-(chauvinist)-centric culture of comic readers. People almost had a conniption when they put pants and a leather jacket on wonder woman.

[…] The Line it is Drawn #79 – Male Superheroes See How The Other Side Lives | Comics Should Be Good! … Comics Should Be Good @ Comic Book Resources […]

[…] Themen; im März hatten sie ein interessantes Thema, über das ich vor kurzem gestolpert bin: name a male superhero that you’d like to see wearing a female superhero’s costume. Ein erstmal lustig anmutendes Thema, das aber ziemlich genau auf das vorherrschend sexistische […]

[…] Superhéroes un poco…como decirlo…raros. […]

[…] of things that fill me with happies: this. Especially once you get to the Wonder Woman […]

“A man dressing like an idiot is not what Women want to see and that’s why this art does not work.”

Wow. You couldn’t have missed the point more if you tried. Wait. Were you trying? Because that would explain a lot.

The problem is that a lot of men I know wouldn’t mind wearing the sort of skin tight, revealing, peekaboo clothes worn by superheroines (except the thong, but then, they don’t really find it hot when their girlfriends wear thongs, either, since it looks too damn uncomfortable).

Instead, this seems to be more a homophobic and feminophobic mockery of men in general, since the key idea seems to be that women can dress sexy and be applauded but men who dress sexy must be ridiculed.

You messed up on the point you were trying to make.

Well, thank GOD we had you to come along and tell us this; otherwise, all these creative, intelligent, sensitive sophisticated people would have kept blundering along thinking they had said something.

And that other people got what they said and appreciated it… how did we ever get along without such superior insight?

I know I’ve seen the light, Becca.

[…] *Theamat for this contest on Comics Should Be Good/comicbookresources.com […]

[…] the boob-window wasn’t just for cleavage.  It doesn’t work.  Along those lines, see this website as well.  I actually kind of like the rendition of Green Arrow’s costume for Black […]

[…] des genres est un moyen très efficace de démontrer le double standard et les internautes s’en donnent à cœur joie. Les résultats sont…édifiants […]

This is funny and everything but the reverse would be more amusing. If any ladies wore Hulk, thing, Colossus or Beasts costumes from the eighties…comics would be rated R!

This is so funny! Great collection, Brian ! The old saying could be ‘walk a mile in their costumes.’ I liked best “Feared for being different” and the Wolverine ones.

[…] (via The Line it is Drawn #79 – Male Superheroes See How The Other Side Lives | Comics Should Be Good! …) […]

I’ve seen the whole men dressed as superheroines thing before, and while it is kind of initially funny, it doesn’t really make the social point that some people think it does because the crux of the humour is that it’s men in clothing designed to be appealing to the fantasies of straight men (with extremely idealized women wearing them).
So it doesn’t really say anything about the state of the woman’s outfits because we all know they’re designed to be fantasies for (straight) men.

Like other posters/readers have said, the only substance to the joke is: men dressed in women’s clothing is funny, which I agree about to a certain extent, but didn’t think about how transvestites might digest that notion.

But to be clear, it doesn’t say anything about sexism or the impracticality of these costumes, we all already know that. It just says that that men look funny wearing clothes designed for a very specific female body type.

When superman wears a skirt, which flutters in the wind more while flying, his cape or his skirt?

Personally, I think most of the male superheroes look pretty hawt in these costumes!

I particularly like Green Arrow in Black Canary’s classic fishnets look, Superboy in the late 70?s/early 80?s Saturn Girl costume, Starfox wearing Starfire’s outfit, and Hal Jordan in the modern Star Sapphire costume (although Kyle Raynor would have been cuter and, being younger and more modern in thinking, would not have been embarrassed by it at all!).

The idea that today’s highly sexualized male superhero costumes are less sexualized than female superhero costumes is a dead horse for most titles that do not come from Image or the DC New52.

And if you fail to recognize that male superhero costumes are just as highly sexy as female superhero costumes (unless from Image or the DC New52), ask any gay man.

Wait, you’re commenting on a year-old post to say other people are beating a dead horse?

(Two-year-old post, I mean.)

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