Today's comic books are descendants of 19th-century "penny dreadful" serials. They were multi-part sensational stories printed on cheap paper and sold for, what else, a penny each. These stories became popular among the lower and working classes. They couldn't afford and weren't interested in, the "important" literary novels of the day. Penny dreadfuls and the "dime novels" that followed them had clear-cut good-vs.-evil themes. And they weren't short on action or melodrama, either! By the early 20th century, we had such enduring characters as Tarzan and Zorro in "pulp" fiction. (So-called because of the inexpensive paper on which it was printed.) The first of the modern superheroes was Superman, who launched the Golden Age of Comics in 1938.
Depending on when you read this article, you might be waiting to watch the Wonder Woman film, or you may have just watched it, and therefore you know how amazing this woman is. Adrianne Curry is wearing Wonder Woman's traditional costume here and, because she is a gorgeous woman, her representation is amazing. Curry is a model, famous for winning the first series of America's Next Top Model.
It didn't innovate, and it didn't try to, but the original film's Superman costume faithfully and lovingly recreated the colorful, larger than life look that every kid - and most adults - love about Superman, from his shameless trunks, to his flowing, flying red cape, to his perfect spit curl, this was Superman given life, and it paved the way for every superhero film since. Recently, Man of Steel saw a much more stylized take on DC's Krytptonian hero, and while that look had its merits, Reeve's original look is still the definitive take on Superman on film.
That said, like some other cliches, the sashes kept being used because they really do work. When Chris Claremont and Dave Cockrum took over X-Men, one of their goals was to revamp Marvel Girl, Jean Grey, and make her a bigger character. One of the ways they were going to do this was to give her a new costume and a new codename to replace the outdated "Marvel Girl" one. Cockrum went through a wide variety of looks for Jean before coming up with this excellent costume that also worked well when John Byrne changed the color scheme to make her Dark Phoenix. Cockrum's design for Ms. Marvel deserves a note here. It didn't make the list as it was a bit too skimpy of a costume, but otherwise, it was a great look (and of course, it also had a sash).
Having played Buffy Summers to an entire generation, Sarah Michelle Gellar is a high school cheerleader (in Buffy the Vampire Slayer ) who is gifted and can fight demons and vampires. For which she won six Teen Choice Awards and the Saturn Award for Best Genre TV Actress and received a Golden Globe Award nomination for Best Actress – Television Series Drama.
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Not only are they unnecessarily sexualised, they are also extremely impractical in most cases. For instance, why would a female character with no superhuman durability to speak of go into battle with heavily armoured and massively powered opponents wearing what is essentially a bikini? It shouldn't happen, but it does happen in comic books - and it happens a lot. Of course, there are characters whose durability is such that they don't necessarily need to wear full body armour in battle but, even so, revealing 90% of their body is still unnecessary.
Starfox is actually Eros of Titan, a member of the Eternals and brother to none other than Thanos. Unlike his cranky brother, Eros is much more of a free spirit. He is more concerned with the hedonistic side to life. Thus, when readers think of Starfox, pretty much all you can think about is his sexual history. In one story, in an issue of “She-Hulk,” Starfox is actually put on trial for sexual assault because it’s alleged that he used his powers of seduction to entice a happily married woman. More than any other character on this list, Starfox is rightfully, and admittedly, more of a sexual being than a hero.
Bald-headed Moondragon AKA Heather Douglas - who first appeared in 1973 - is a Marvel character with a complex backstory that involves Thanos, Drax the Destroyer, Mentor and the monks of Shao-Lom. She is an incredibly powerful telepath, a telekinetic, a superb martial artist and is highly skilled in genetics and engineering. She doesn't possess any superhuman durability, however, and often goes up against some of the most powerful beings in Marvel's cosmic hierarchy - and yet she barely wears any clothes.
Originally what started as slightly extended cleavage somehow moved to the middle of Peej's chest, giving readers a view that honestly doesn't do her any favors while slugging it out with the likes of Despero. Her first "New 52" costume was the first time she was completely covered, but she soon reverted back to her more famous (and impractical) look.
However, when Wolverine was then chosen as one of the main characters in the All-New, All-Different X-Men to debut in Giant Size X-Men #1, Marvel turned to Gil Kane, who had become a go-to cover artist for Marvel in the mid-1970s, to draw their cover debut. Kane looked at Wolverine's costume and decided to add a cowl to his face mask rather than the whisker look that Romita had on the original costume. Dave Cockrum had drawn the original costume throughout the issue, but after he saw the Kane re-design, he liked it so much that he went back and re-drew it all the way throughout the issue. Almost five decades later, that Romita/Kane design still stands out as Wolverine's most commonly used costume.