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This essay is a very belated response to a " part 1 " published in February 2015. The gist of that essay was a response to a corre...

Friday, May 24, 2013


Though the earlier "DIFFERENT" essay was just a quick satire of Kelly Thompson's enthusiasm for certain superheroine costume redesigns, I would be remiss not to mention that she returned to the subject within a little less than a month.  The results were interesting, to say the least.  While some of the fan-reaction for the first set of redesigns-- either redesigns executed by the companies or proposed by artists whom Thompson liked-- seemed split over which designs were good or bad, the bulk of the response on the May essay was negative toward the redesigns by artists Kris Anka and Meredith McClaren.  There were a few scattered positive responses toward this or that costume, but remarks such as this were numerically representative:

'The simple problem with your redesigns is that they’re amazingly butt-ugly and boring. “Covered flesh” doesn’t always equal good, and “exposed flesh” doesn’t always equal bad.'

'Meredith McClaren’s “redesigns” are just her drawing the characters in street clothes'

'the Power Girl, Phantom Lady, and Cheshire costumes leave me scratching my head — they’re good drawings, but there’s nothing superheroic (or supervillanous) about them.'

Thompson received so much negative response that she first railed at her detractors for their "lack of respect," which in her opinion justified the "basement dwelling socially inept comic book fan stereotype."  She also criticized the respondents for "lack of imagination," which is certainly the pot calling the kettle black.  I would concur with the verdict that McClaren's costumes in particular look like nothing but modified "street clothes," and most of Anka's redesigns are no better.  Thompson made a lame apology for losing her temper and later closed the comments on this essay.

Most revealing is that though in "No, It's Not Fair" Thompson advocated an aesthetic in which women would be more athletic rather than have "pornstar" bodies, it's clear that even if Marvel and DC followed that aesthetic, they'd have to restrict themselves to burka-like coverings to fit her aesthetic, because athletic superheroines should wear exactly what real athletes wear:

'Professional athletes are the closest things we have to superheroes, and none of them run around in spandex, but any of them might be seen in Meredith’s Powergirl or Phantom Lady designs.'

This means that all of Thompson's blather about athletic bodies becomes meaningless.  If they're going to be covered up anyway, why can't all heroines have pornstar bodies?

The agenda is clear: the male gaze must be frustrated and defeated at all costs

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