Pick a random issue of “Witchblade” prior to the last year or so of its run and you’d be hard-pressed to find a cover that didn’t feature the main character sexualized. Obviously, the biggest reason for the sexual nature of the covers is the fact that the character’s costume is basically the most unrealistic armor ever seen. Basically just enough armor to cover her arm, her nipples and only the bare minimum below the belt, Sara Pezzini’s costume is pretty ridiculous. It’s no surprise when most people would define the character based on her appearance than on her actual heroics.
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Characters like Tony Stark and Diana Prince are more than just good looks, however. When you read the adventures of Captain America, you don’t think about how sexy Steve Rogers is. Well, maybe you do, but that’s not all you care about. Unfortunately, for some characters, their appearance trumps most everything else about them. Let’s take a look at eight male and eight female characters in comics who are viewed as being more “hot” than “hero.”
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Lynda Carter is an American actress and singer, best known for being Miss World USA 1972 and as the star of the 1970s television series The New Original Wonder Woman (1975–77) and The New Adventures of Wonder Woman (1977–79). She fight with her magic belt and lasso, a tiara which she uses like a weapon and a bracelet that can stop bullets, in The New Adventures of Wonder Woman.
Artist Dave Cockrum had already famously re-designed most of the members of the Legion of Super-Heroes, giving them modern revamps to their rather staid older costumes. His Lightning Lad re-design was particularly good, as while many of the character got later revamps over the years, Cockrum's Lightning Lad look became a standard one for the character for decades. Essentially, Cockrum was so far ahead of the game that when the team was revamped in the 1990s, his early 1970s design fit right in. While working on the Legion, Cockrum designed a new team of heroes called the Outsiders who were set to team up with the Legion. DC passed on the concept.
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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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.
There were some slight changes from Ditko's armor to the one featured here, mostly with the face mask, but since those changes were made, that basic design has been fairly consistent. Now, Iron Man's armor has obviously been altered in other ways as technology has changed, but the basic yellow and gold design has been used almost exclusively since then. No matter how fancy the armor gets otherwise, the yellow and gold set-up is a catchy design.
Created by Brian Pulido as a fantasy of Evil Ernie in “Evil Ernie” #1, Lady Death has evolved over the years into a much more nuanced character. She went on to gain popularity due to her over-the-top sexuality. Now, this isn’t to say that the character is a joke and shouldn’t be treated seriously. If she weren’t an interesting character, then she wouldn’t have survived over 25 years in comics. However, that being said, she is still known for her looks above anything else. The moral of the story is to go out and buy some Lady Death books and learn a couple facts!
Harry George Peter was already 61 years old when he came up with the design for the new female superhero that William Marston was planning for All-American Comics, then called Suprema. This was 1941, when patriotic characters were a big hit in comics, so Wonder Woman definitely had a strong Star Spangled Banner take on her design. In the early 1980s, DC Comics helped create a short-lived Wonder Woman charity, the logo of which was the double W's, which led to Wonder Woman adapting the "WW" on her chest emblem. Other than the emblem, the only thing different from her classic look than in Peter's original design is that he had Wonder Woman wearing a skirt instead of short pants.
Over the years, though, in an attempt to lighten the character up, the black of Batman's costume became bluer and bluer and during the 1960s, DC even added a yellow oval behind Batman's bat symbol on his chest. In the 21st Century, however, artists have re-embraced that classic design and gone in the direction that Jim Lee took the costume during "Hush," which is to make it dark and have the chest symbol return to just a black one without the yellow oval, which brought a little too much lightness to the design. Frank Miller famously was initially stuck with the yellow oval look in Dark Knight Returns, but then had Batman shot in the chest. When he fixed the costume, the yellow oval was gone for the rest of the series!
It’s a good thing Wonder Woman is here to watch the little ones, because we’re not sure The Riddler is going to best the best guardian over the young superheroes in training. Batman, Robin , and Catwoman can team up to hit the neighborhood in search of the best treats, but while The Riddler is busy trying to vex the neighbors with tricks and riddles, Wonder Woman can provide a watchful eye over her superheroes in training. When it comes to taking the yearly photo of the group, just let each member bust out their signature moves. Batman and Robin can look like stoic Gotham City residents, even while Catwoman throws her claws up in anticipation of a brand new heist. The Riddler is sure to be laughing, but as for Wonder Woman? Well, she’s the one that holds the group together. (Be it with her motherly instincts or just by keeping the Golden Lasso of Truth handy!)
Mike Zeck came up with the actual look and it is a stunning piece of design. All black except for the prominent white spider. Rick Leonardi also did some tweaks to the costume and it soon became the most controversial, yet surprisingly popular costume change in comic book history. Fans were aghast at first but then really started to enjoy the new look. Eventually, the design was adapted for the villain Venom, with Spider-Man returning to his classic look. It is popular enough, though, that it still makes occasional comebacks.