February 23, 2011

The Ultimate in Dressing for Function

I don't want to go into too much detail, but I am currently in the process of (re)organizing my hard drive. That's 21.5 gigabytes of accumulated documents, digital photos, music, downloaded files, ebooks and whatnot. Oy.

While clicking through my folders and folders of accumulated electronic detritus, I found some possibly mind-boggling JPEGs from way back in June of 2010.

hard drive mystery leftovers?

This was from when I was addicted to HeroMachine 2.5, an unusually fun way to kill time and vicariously live out your inane superhero fantasies via drag-and-drop. I have much more faux-superpowered chopsuey get-ups saved on my hard drive, but these four in particular were made in the wake of a recurring pop-cultural dilemma I have noted for some time:

Superheroine costumes.

cover art to Marvel: Your Universe by Tom Raney

The main thing wrong with superheroine costumes seems to involve an overemphasis on, to quote A Chorus Line, "tits and ass" among other things. Much geek discourse had already been devoted to this topic everywhere from Cracked to TV Tropes. Hell, even Shortpacked! took a stab at addressing this embarrassing artifact of the formerly male-dominated world of comics. (Though video games aren't exactly blameless in this regard either. Consider Lara Croft or Bayonetta or the entire female lineup of Darkstalkers.)

But it's one thing to decry a phenomenon, and another thing to actually do something about it. So with the (probably ill-recommended) help of HeroMachine 2.5, I set out to see if I could do a better job of designing a practical, non-exploitative superheroine outfit myself.

I bet you can see where this is going.

Code name Pragma, my superheroine study
Code name Delta, my superheroine study
Code name Aria, my superheroine study

Guillermo del Toro once said that if you're the type who gets bored easily, then you are not a writer. I ended up creating not so much a superheroine but a whole cheesy paramilitary squadron, much like an all-girl A-Team if they consisted of Rambo, Jet Li and Samuel L. mother-effin' Jackson.

Look, they even have their own psychotic arch-nemesis/reluctant quasi-vigilante antihero ally!

The Raptor, my superheroine study

Okay, I know I said I wasn't going to perpetuate the whole "improbably fancy outfit" thing, but this character's wearing roller skates because for a time I was obsessed with Miho from Sin City. At least she's wearing knee pads!

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