Friday, December 01, 2006

Legion Of Substitute Costumes: Polar Boy

blockadesantahead Brek "Polar Boy" Bannin didn't try out for the Legion of Super-Heroes on a whim. He was serious about joining, and he should have been a shoo-in. After all, his power of projecting super-cold was no less practical than the ability to project super-heat (Sun Boy), super-gravity (Star Boy) or super-weightlessness (Light Lass). And it's not like he couldn't control his powers (which is what sinks your typical Legion applicant)...


...which is what makes his rejection seem so cruel.


"So scram, Pee-wee!" This is exhibit "A" for my theory that the Legion is a bunch of clicque-y "cool kids" who use their try-outs to humiliate all the poindexters and wannabes. Er, not that I ever tried out myself, mind you. I'm too cool for that! (Ironic, no?)

Maybe the Legion would have cut him a break if he hadn't been a shrimpy kid in a stupid hat. Well, I can't help him with the "shrimpy" part but I bet I could devise a hipper costume for the determined l'il fella! Let's see... first we'll have to lose that hat... maybe brighten up the color scheme a bit... ditch the icicle motif... in fact, you know what? I'll even model it for you all! Why not? After all, both Brek and I have white hair (now). I'll have to shave my biker' stache, of course. But don't worry, I'll just grow it back and then use my time bubble to travel back to tomorrow so it'll be like nothing happened. Ready? *cues up techno music*


*struts into your home or office and strikes various "sexful" poses for a full minute in front of your desk or couch*

Who says super-folk with ice powers have to wear blue? Not me! I designed this look around a snowflake symbol, with a tantalizing cut-out on the chest... but see, the nipples are covered! I can be conservative! The only part where I used fur was the gloves. I think fur always contrasts nicely with geometric lines. To provide balance with the fur texture, I went with a bushy surfer haircut, which also looks kind of Scandanavian to me, so... bonus!

Thursday, November 30, 2006

Tweed Christmas!

blockadesantahead Yesterday, we looked at some of the gorgeous gowns from "Power Man & Iron Fist." Today it's the men's turn. Sure, we all know that the title characters' costumes look like finale outfits from "Dancing With The Stars." But what else do they like to wear?


Magnum, T.M.I.! Why, I'm enjoying watching you enjoying listening to Iron Fist enjoying himself, Power Man! I suppose the Hawaiian shirt looks okay, but to be honest I'm having trouble tearing my eyes away from his forearms. *Rrrowr!* The glasses add a hint of vulnerability. Although he'd look even more vulnerable if they were hornrims with tape on the bridge. And maybe the Hawaiian shirt should have a pocket protector. Still, well played, Power Man.


Uh-oh! Looks like some of these hooligans might have a little trouble Stayin' Alive! Iron Fist was just trying to drink A Fifth Of Beethoven but then some Jive Talkin' troublemaker had to go and ruin his good time. So Iron Fist put on his Boogie Shoes and Open Sesame! He goes all Calypso Breakdown on their asses.

...Sorry about that, but I didn't know any good Fantasy Island references.


Here, actor Bob "Dustin" Diamond gets his red-spandexed tail kicked by Colleen "Sometimes I Worry My Sleeves Aren't Voluminous Enough" Wing. Y'know, I want to like Bob, what with the sweet jade "tiger's foot" pendant and the lucious blonde VanDyke. The latter being kind of daring for 1981 -- I mean, who still wore a VanDyke back then? French Ambassadors and NASA technicians, that's who! In other words, LOSERS! So kudos for still rockin' it, Bob! Sadly, when those little touches are combined with the score from your hideous scarlet karate costume, you still end up with a negative total. My solution? Shirtlessness! (Of course, my solution is usually shirtlessness.)


As we've seen, the clothing budget for "Power Man & Iron Fist" is quite extravagant. In fact, they spent so much time and money on the fashions, the supporting cast was kind of hastily cobbled together. Case in point: these two guys. Toby is blind "but he sees more than most people." Oh, so he's like Daredevil. Got it. Toby also appears to be a shabbily-dressed jazz musician. Apparently his playing sucks. Honestly, why couldn't he have been a successful, well-dressed jazz musician? Would that have killed anybody? And then there's the weasel-faced hippie on the right, David Griffith. Nickname: "D.W." (Really? You want to go there, writers? Yikes.) Looks like Kamandi is all growed up! His clothes aren't worth my attention but I did notice something interesting. David is insanely muscular for a hippie film student from 1981. I presume that's because it's a comic book. Check out any TV show or movie from back then. Muscular guys were few and far between, and they were usually athletes or hired goons. Your typical 1981 protagonist had spindly little arms, sloped shoulders, and a belly like a pregnant lady in her second trimester. And a perm! But I digress. In real life, almost nobody from 1981 was in shape! Not even in the fantasy worlds created by Hollywood. But look in any comic book and every background character is built like Captain America. It is a puzzlement.


Excellent three-piece suit, D.A. Hao! Those things always make a man look like a million bucks. The only thing that would make him look better? Shirtlessness! (You knew that one was coming, right? No? C'mon, keep up!) Lieutenant Scarfe, however... wow. What is that outfit, a salute to the Mexican flag? Was this picture taken at the precinct Christmas party? Does the Lieutenant suffer from red-green color blindness and it all looked gray to him? And what's with the half-melted happy face button? What's that, you say? It's a badge? Yeah, I'm not buyin' it. And why is his hair bright blue? What is he smoking? What kind of crazy freaked-out universe did I wind up in? WHAT THE HELL IS GOING ON?!

Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Like A Thing Unto Cashmere

blockadesantahead Do you know the best part of any issue of "Power Man & Iron Fist"? It's not the non-stop action or the playful banter or the complex characterization. It's the gowns. The pretty, pretty gowns.


Here's Colleen Wing, enjoying a formal dress freakout in "Power Man & Iron Fist" #70 (June 1981). Colleen's gown has the elegance required for an evening at the opera, with just a hint of wanton sluttiness that's just perfect for an intimate night at the local sex dungeon. Everyone who's anyone wants this gown! Top-knotted immortal sorcerors, tattooed male ballerinas, dirty hippies (with utterly gorgeous biker 'staches... er, but I digress) and of course, Angela Bassett. In fact, the only one who isn't interested is Captain Kangaroo, and that's only because Colleen just put a stiletto heel in his left eye. Yeeeowwch! But it was too late for him anyway, because Clint Eastwood just used his lasso skills to rope hisself a prize filly! Thar'll be some tender cuts o' veal fer his vittles tonight! Yeeee-haw!


Baubles, bangles, and BAZOOMBAS!!! Here's busty Harmony Young, who's so enchanted with her gown that she doesn't mind at all that the giant disembodied head of her lover's old girlfriend floats above her noggin at all times. (Although why the old girlfriend is wearing little packets of allergy medicine for earrings is beyond me.) Harmony's gown has a generous slit (just like Harmony!) that gives her an unprecedented freedom of movement and 24- hour E-Z access to her cooter. Harmony has accessorized the look with a selection of rubber bands, Lance Armstrong "Live Strong" bracelets, the beaded chain from a pen at the bank, and some of those little zippy plastic deals that come off the lids to milk cartons.

Tomorrow: menswear!

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

A Battle Of Gastronomical Proportions!

headshotjeremy On "Top Chef" most of the drama comes from the clash of contenders Betty and Marcel. Marcel is a boyish twenty-six-year-old with elaborate supervillain hair. Betty is an ostensibly perky forty-something gal with slathered-on makeup that looks fine indoors but transforms her into Baby Jane Hudson when exposed to direct sunlight. Marcel came onto the show with the self-fulfilling attitude that the other contestants were out to get him because he was so much more talented than they were -- his arrogance did indeed alienate him from almost everybody there (with the exception of one chef who had known him before the show) but in terms of talent he's firmly in the middle. The lower middle. Betty immediately charmed most of the chefs when she arrived. ("We're like sisters!" she chirped to the hapless first-eliminatee Suyai, who was at least twenty years her junior.) But soon enough she revealed herself to be prone to unwarranted, shrieky freak-outs... directed mainly at Marcel.

I started out liking Betty and hating Marcel. Now I think Betty is an unstable, paranoid, phony-ass bitch, while Marcel didn't turn out to be much of a villain. In fact, he helped Betty with her crappy desserts in the last episode, and when the judges criticized the desserts Betty pretty much accused Marcel of sabotage and called him "selfish." Whuh--?! However, Marcel is still far from a hero in my eyes. For one thing, he is far less mature, emotionally, than an educated, well-traveled twenty-six-year-old should be, as witnessed by his pathetic attempt to "stare down" Betty after her initial freak-out. And here's what I really despise about him: he tends to respond to any kind of confrontation with a goggle-eyed, smirking, infantile "Who, me?" look. That shit? Makes me want to punch him in the balls. So right now I can't stand either one of them. On the Television Without Pity boards, however, most people loooove Marcel. They've keyed into his self-imposed victimhood with the force of a thousand overprotective moms. They love his "adorkableness" (ew) and his wounded-puppydog eyes and his spindly, hairy body. "More shirtlessness, please!" they cry. I thank you, no. (Like I should talk--! But still.)

Thanks to his three-part bouffant hair-do and his convoluted facial hair, Marcel often draws comparisons to Wolverine. If you ask me, he's more like the Destructor, from "Ms. Marvel" #2 (February, 1977).


"Hat head" ahoy! Now, this is a more accurate representation of Marcel's hair than I've seen in any panel featuring Wolverine that was ever drawn. Or painted!


Arrogance? Check! Even though Wolverine often claims to be "the best he is at what he does" he never really comes off as arrogant about it. And unlike Marcel, Wolverine can actually back that statement up. Marcel consistently makes mediocre or even downright terrible food but he acts like he's the most talented chef in the competition. I guess that explains the hair. He's never encountered a reflective surface in his life!


Never jeer; the underdog is here! This is the kind of background detail a Marcel booster would pounce on in a nanosecond. "WHY do those jerks at L.A.M.E. always have to show up the Destructor? D. just wanted to relax in his comfy green chair and then that one guy plops his ass down in a freakin' THRONE! HATE!! I hope that L.A.M.E. scientist guy's kid reads this comic book and then he stabs his dad in the leg with a butcher knife." ...And I wish I was exaggerating. I once read a TWoP posting about Project Runway's resident jerk Jeffrey Sebelia (after he made Angela's mom cry) wishing for his own child to "claw that ugly tattoo off his neck." That's not "bombastically stating an opinion for humorous effect." That's psychotic. And please, let's leave the children out of this, okay? Christ almighty.


Inappropriate cuteness! Huge gaping mouth plus happy eyes minus nose equals "anime face." Marcel also looks like an anime character, what with his huge, pretty eyes and his goofball hair. And he has the exact same bodily proportions as Cloud Strife.


Conflict with a duplicitous blonde lady with a split-personality? Bingo.


And just like Ms. Marvel and the Destructor at the end of "Ms. Marvel" #2, Betty and Marcel are still hanging in there, their respective awfulness colliding like matter and anti-matter, leaving neither one as the victor. Of course, Ms. Marvel is sure to win the day. It's her book, after all! But Betty and Marcel? Which one of them will be sent home first? It's anybody's guess at this point. ( I can only say: TO BE CONTINUED!)

*Updated 12:17 PM with links to pictures of Marcel and Betty. Thy will be done, cozmic!