Wednesday, March 29, 2006

Nuclear Bedhead

binary hair

See what happens when you forget to wear sunblock? I bet that smarts like the dickens!

But I kid. Because I love! To hate! This is "Binary," a.k.a. one of the many ways Ms. Marvel got totally jacked up by Chris Claremont (one of the most creatively bankrupt authors in comics but I shan't go into that here.) Sure, those energy spikes look very "rad" and "groovy" and "the bee's knees" and whatever else you 20th/21st century types say about edgy fashion. But they clash with the sleek sluttiness -- er, sexiness that is -- of her white super-togs. My prescription? A perm!

roxy perm

There we go!

Y'know, I'm suddenly hungry for macaroni and cheese, and I don't know why.


Steven said...

Ah, the lackluster ending to Karl Kesel-Tom Grummett's otherwise stellar Kirby-esque return to Superboy (including the only good Hypertime story).

I remember thinking that was terrible costume at the time, the perm especially. But the storyline did introduce the Superboy t-shirt. What's your opinion on that?

Anonymous said...

Ahhh, Binary. Another super-look I thought was just the bees knees circa 1983 or so. Ah well. It's a trifle clever, what with the boots and gloves flaming on and whatnot, and it's simple, but...ah, what the heck, I still like it. Sort of.

Word on Claremont though. Talk about love to hate. And yet I can't stop reading the stuff, even as I growl as every X-Man starts talking and acting like Wolverine, characters drop half the articles from their speech patterns ("there a law says I can't?"), and they get way to self-important about being "HEROES!" or "LEGENDS!"


Jeremy Rizza said...

Steven: I happen to like the Superboy t-shirt, now more than ever since they made him a "troubled teen." I think it's more of a contemporary look than the ol' red underpants and I assume it makes it easier for today's teenage comic book shoppers (I know, that's a mythological species, but still) to relate to him. And it's better than the strap-happy costume the Kesel Superboy wore at first. I don't know that I'd want all superheroes to adopt street clothes for their costumes. For one thing, I'd be out of a job! But for Superboy, I think it works.

Chawunky: Yeah, the Binary costume's still not bad. And for a Dave Cockrum design, it's positively spartan! It looks trampier, however, when Carol's not powered up and glowing red. And I do think the two itsy bitsy stars on the chest are a tad precious.

It took me nearly a hundred issues of "Uncanny X-Men" to finally stop buying Chris Claremont comics so I can't point fingers at anybody who's still doing it. Without going into a rant (like my Scott Kolins post, which was more hateful than funny and I do apologize for that) I'll just say that he needed to stop using the plot where a character is physically and/or mentally transformed, enslaved, made evil or elevated to a heavenly state, after about the 300th time. Which was back around '89.

Anonymous said...

Yeah, it lacks a lot of the flummery of classic Cockrum designs, and even with the "is it a one-piece or two-piece?" look it's practically spinsteresque next to his Legion stuff. They ain't got no body shame in the future!

Absolutely on Claremont. Exactly, in fact. To be precise, when I say I can't stop reading him I really should say I can't stop rereading his X-Men stuff up to '86-'87 or so. After that it's just too too. And attempts on my part to get into new Claremont is a lost cause: Sovereign Seven was inpenetrable when it wasn't eyeroll-inducing; Claremont as self-parody. My last actual X-Men purchase was Claremont's big return several years ago, and it wasn't too pretty.

Anonymous said...

>>I'll just say that he needed to stop using the plot where a character is physically and/or mentally...enslaved...after about the 300th time.<<

Refresh my memory,

Is that the one where the bad guy says: "You're mine, darlin'. Body and soul." Or the one where the bad guy says "The pleasure, and your life, is all mine, now and forever."

(If anyone tells me it's "my choice, my funeral" I will *get* you)

Seriously, I have to give him some props for Binary. He broke a perfectly good character for a crappy reason and he was mensch enough to try to fix her, even if his fix did involve the Brood. Was Carol Danvers the first in the almost unbroken line of characters with a 'secret history' with Wolverine, leading up until Peter Milligan finally started making fun of it with Doop?

But anyway, the costume. Not a fan. I like the "negative" Ms. Marvel starting point, but all the flames are just silly-looking. If they tried it again today, they'd do all those sundogs that always surround Apollo's head in Hitch's run on The Authority. That'd be okay. But the thigh high boots and opera gloves that scream 'sexy mama/kinky dominatrix' when they're black are just really sterile and forbidding when they're white. If they didn't try to suggest the Ms. Marvel sash and reworked the midriff, maybe gave her a minidress and some kicky gogo boots and shortened the gloves, she'd look like some far-out space mod superdoll. Maybe not suggestive of her cosmic power-levels (increased powers are always the consolation prize for bad writing, aren't they?) but I don't think what she ended up with was either, so it might still be worth a try.

Anonymous said...

Is it okay if "My choice" and "my funeral" aren't in seperate, linked word balloons?

Jeremy Rizza said...

Anonymous, to refresh your memory, it's the one where the climactic battle includes a caption stating, "No quarter asked; none given." And yup, increased power levels are a consolation prize for bad writing. They're also an excuse to get a beloved character out of a comic without killing them. "Wow, I can beat any supervillain using only my pinky toe! I guess I'll head out into deep space now, for some half-assed reason. Um. Bye."