Thursday, May 13, 2010

Crimes Against Fashion #1

This week, we bid farewell to Brian M. Bendis's current run on New Avengers.  For years and years, I was exclusively a follower of merry mutants in the X-Men.  However, Marvel's marketing machine worked.  House of M made me notice these other strange heroes, none of whom had an X-gene.  I was hooked.  I became an Avengers fan too.

I have all sorts of positive things to say about this special finale issue.  It wrapped up nearly every lose end, hit all the right notes, had great art and was just plain fun to read.  It was also especially gratifying to see my favorite Avenger, Ms. Marvel, take down Count Nefaria almost single-handedly and finally earn some spotlight time as a certified heavy-hitter.  However, what I really want to bring some attention to is Stuart Immonen's final two-page spread:

It was a breath of fresh air to see all of our favorite heroes taking a moment to enjoy their lives and go play in a park without having to deal with all of the stress and strife of the superlife.  What I truly appreciated, however, was the wardrobe choices.  Comics have a long history of putting many of their female heroes in positively atrocious civilian clothes.  The two most common sins are either outfits that are so revealing to the point of being trashy, or outfits that look like they've come off of a runway show that no real woman would actually ever wear.  And yet in this spread, all four of the Avengers ladies look casual, yet fashionable... and devastatingly normal.

In fact, the outfits that Immonen selected for Mockingbird (skinny jeans and ballet flats) and Jessica Jones (boot-cut with sandals) look remarkably like my own day-to-day wardrobe.  And that long-sleeved top with the extraneous drawstrings that Mockingbird is wearing?  I own that in purple.

I do have to pick on Ms. Marvel and Spider-Woman a bit, though.  A cute top and skirt is very normal for casual fashion nowadays.  I have tops like Carol is wearing in several colors and Jessica Drew's button-down will never go out of style.  There is still a rub (probably literally), though:

Who wears high heels for a walk in the park?!

They are very nice heels.  They're basic, practical and contemporary.  But seriously, there is not a pair of heels in existence that is ideal for a long walk. This did make me think a bit, however.  I've always imagined that there's all kinds of little side-effects to having super powers that most don't think about.  Carol Danvers is largely invulnerable.  This means that there probably isn't a shoe in the world that will give her blisters.  No little straps will cut her feet.  A rolled ankle won't do a bit of damage.  She can survive the experience of Count Nefaria AND any pair of cute, but normally torturous Jimmy Choos that you might throw at her.  Lucky girl.

Jessica Drew, what's YOUR excuse?