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Thursday, May 28, 2020 

Invisible Woman's bathing suit-like costume was not the worst thing the 90s could offer

CBR wrote a list of 10 worst moments from the 1990s. Some of the examples are certainly shoddy, like Magneto yanking Wolverine's adamantium skeleton out of his body, the Clone Saga, DC forcibly replacing anybody they thought could result in sale spikes, and the gimmicky covers for pamphlet issues, but I'm decidedly going to take issue with what they say about Sue Storm's costume from the early 90s:
Possibly the most horrifying of all the attempts that were made to copy the Image style was Invisible Woman's costume change. Sue Storm Richards, the mother of Marvel Comics, had always been drawn to be attractive, but this new costume that was little more than a bathing suit was too much for readers.

Along with the bare legs and midriff, Invisible Woman's new costume, for reasons no one can really give a good explanation for, had a "boob window". Here was one of the most respected female characters in all of comics, one who had never been pushed as a sex symbol before, and suddenly she was wearing a costume that looked like it was taken out of Vampirella's closet.
Seriously, Sue was never touted as a sex symbol before? I dispute that, and while it may not be the most perfect design of its sort, I most definitely dispute the notion Sue's outfit of the time was "horrifying". What's more, look who's talking about "respect" when they've never defended the Marvel universe from all the terrible steps Joe Quesada and Axel Alonso inflicted upon it in nearly 2 decades. Where were the people writing PC-advocating articles like these when Mary Jane Watson was still kicked to the curb? If they've never called for putting a stop to those who would destroy the MCU for the sake of their petty politics, they have no business lecturing us. And coming from Vampirella's closet?!? It doesn't even look close.

Also, notice how the picture they featured was a combination of 3 images from different issues. The way it's set up, the first one confusingly makes it look like Sue told the gang she doesn't want to hear a word about her new costume. Umm, that scene was from shortly after her son Franklin Richards went into the future during 1993, and came back at least a decade older. Sue just couldn't bring herself to accept, and that's what the scene was all about. (And Franklin, if it matters, was back to his kiddie self by the end of the original volume in 1996, before they made a mess of everything with the Heroes Reborn controversy.) How strange they didn't see fit to comment on a certain somebody wearing a helmet in the background, namely, The Thing, at a time when he got his face accidentally damaged by Wolverine in FF #374, and took to masking his head for about 30 more issues until it healed. Why doesn't that warrant some commentary? If Sue had suffered such a fate, would that be overlookable by contrast?

IMO, it sounds like this dopey list was written by somebody who didn't have what it takes to say Sue looked hot in that outfit. Or wish he had a wife who could say, dress in a bikini and be the beauty he's proud to have married. That seems to be what today's would-be college graduates have come down to. Instead of having the courage to say you think a girl looks hot in a bikini, we're being taught to tiptoe around everything in shame. We can probably guess what the columnist thought of the Marvel Swimsuit Specials too, for that matter, 2 of them being edited by a woman (Bobbie Chase) notwithstanding.

The bottom line: it may not have been the best costume design Invisible Woman ever had in her Fantastic Four history, but it's not the worst either, and certainly not worse than a horror thriller like Friday the 13th or Nightmare on Elm Street. All this anti-sex propaganda being spread around is unhelpful, and makes all who take that position look jelly-spined.

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You should point out some of the other anti-sex costume changes in the Marvel universe.

Where is the indignation over taking Namor out of his Speedo swimsuit and putting him first into a full body green suit and now into a weird look that still shows off his pecs but covers up everything else?

Iron Fist has covered up his chest, getting rid of his plunging neckline so you can no longer even see the dragon tattoo.

Luke Cage buttons up his shirts these days.

Ben Grimm's trunks have been lengthened down to mid-thigh.

Shang-Chi used to use every excuse under the sun for stripping off his pajama tops and fighting bare-chested; no longer.

Clearly a conspiracy to deny male sexuality.

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