Look away

You rarely get honesty in comic covers, which is what makes the look of horror on the face in this background so refreshing:

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I like how she's drawn inspiration from so many different sources for her ensemble. And by "drawn" I mean "stolen", and then "changed to make even worse".

For instance, she's somehow ripped off Captain Marvel's cape and slapped gigantic lapels onto it. I defy you to name one piece of clothing ever improved by adding lapels.

Michael Jackson had the idea for wearing only one, glittery, glove, and had Looker stopped there all might have been forgiven. But no. Not content with just swiping the concept, she took it up a notch by wearing just one boot. One pink boot. The other foot looks to be clad in nothing but a sock and a floppy powder-blue towel. Whatever else you want to say about the unfortunate Mr. Jackson, dude never went out in terry cloth.

At least Captain Marvel and Michael Jackson were well-dressed, A-List type guys. You can't blame an up and coming super-hero for borrowing inspiration from them, but frankly there's no excuse for raiding the D-List. And by D I mean Dazzler, who is going to be hard-pressed to keep her secret ID secret without her powder blue faux-eye-makeup mask. Even then, she's not going to be nearly as pissed as Sailor Moon will be upon discovering her hair bow is now bedecking the lone orange legging on this unpleasant tramp's jaunty hip.

Given this bizarre melange of magpie-like thievery and eye-bleeding color choices, you're hard pressed to pick out just one element as "the worst". Luckily Looker has thought of that, and helped us out by thoughtfully having gigantic white nipples sewn to her breasts. That kind of altruism will go far in your heroic career, Ms. Briggs.

Regardless, you have to admit this costume would certainly make you look. Granted, you'd be looking in horror, but you'd be looking. And as Paris Hilton has proven to our dismay, that's pretty much all it takes nowadays to be a "success".

Reader Kate was nice enough to send this suggestion in, and I thank her both for the idea and for summing up this travesty so perfectly: "It looks like an explosion in the Good'n'Plenty factory." I could've saved us all several hundred words by just pasting that sentence, but then that wouldn't really be in the "obnoxious excess" spirit of "Looker" -- or all of DC in the Eighties, for that matter -- now would it?

(Image and character ©1986, DC Comics, Inc. Many thanks again to reader Kate for the contribution!)

23 Responses to Look away

  1. My thoughts:

    1) The last time I saw a smile like that on someone in the DC universe, it was a victim of the Joker.

    2) There’s something about that bared arm that’s disturbing me…maybe it’s just the way it’s crooked, but it looks almost masculine.

    3) Something about that black portion of the costume is putting me in mind of rubber – it almost looks like it belongs to a SCUBA diver, except I’d be willing to bet that no SCUBA enthusiast would be caught dead in something like that.

    4) Is there a high-heeled shoe -inside- that outfit, or is the whole pink section one gigantic shoe?

    5) Is that chain actually attached to anything?

  2. Worst costume ever!!! even worse then the Arnold Mr Freeze (is that right?) from the Batman movie

  3. Wow, she actually took the eighties and made them worse.

  4. @Ender: No, I don’t think the chain is attached to anything. It appears to just be a small length of chain, frozen in a straight line, sticking out from under her lapel…

  5. The thing that makes it a great cover is the word “Batman”, no matter the cover as long as it has Batman on it, it is a good cover.

  6. wow, I thought the white spots on her breast was just shiny because, I thought it was a badly done rubber suit.

    @Endrex 4)
    The whole thing is one suit except for a cut out for her left leg and her right arm. It also looks like she paints her skin or else is badly sun burned.

  7. William A. Peterson

    Of course, what’s great about that look of Horror is that the person wearing it is Looker’s OWN secret identity!
    She even KNOWS better than to wear an outfit like this, then does it anyway!
    And, of course, the character is essentially a rip-off of Marvel’s Psylocke, which was so bad they had to clone her as an Asian Psi-Ninja with a Psychic dagger…

  8. Wikipedia lists “Looker’s” abilities as “telepathy, telekinesis, psychometry, enhanced metabolism, superstrength, and enhanced healing, control over vermin as well as the ability to turn into vapor at night.”

    Holy Whiskey Tango Foxtrot, Batman!

  9. This look was trashed on Project Runway not too long ago!

  10. Maybe they misspelled her name…maybe they put a L in by accident…personally i think her name is really Hooker

  11. Wow, I just misspelled “Britain” as “Briton”, whoops…

  12. Somewhere, in a dusty box in a dusty storage unit, sitting there like the Ark at the end of Raiders, I have that issue of Batman & The Outsiders…

  13. I think the later powers were for a Vampired Looker, not the original one. She had the psychic stuff alright though.

  14. When I first saw this pic all I could think is she is doing a bad job at trying to look like a female Metamorpho

  15. @Ace: Good call, female Metamorpho is perfect!

    @Gero: Thanks for the Captain Britain link, that’s a great one. I’ll probably do that next week. Why do people keep tying scarves to their calves and pretending like they have boots on? It’s weird.

  16. One more thing: I sincerely hope that costume is NOT the work of one Mr. Alan Davis. ‘Cause Alan Davis is the bomb. Unlike that costume, which just bombs. Whatever. You get the idea.

  17. Alan Davis is a British Comedian, just a coincidence?

  18. Davis had to draw it, but I like to think he didn’t, all on his own, come up with the look. Then again…I’m trying to remember what the outfits were like for Clan Destine. He had control over that, so if they sucked, that might just be his style.

  19. I dunno, Metamorpho, hell even Ultra the Multi-Alien, had a more coherent look than this.

    (Also, there is a female Metamorpho in an issue of something from DC. I think it may have been Gaiman’s Sandman, if I’m not mistake.)

  20. @William A. Peterson:
    That’s it. That’s the solution. The costume is obviously some kind of sentient being in its own right – the look of horror is as the poor woman realizes she’s about to become this thing’s next (fashion) victim.

    That might also explain the Joker smile…

  21. I kinda like the wraparound look, if not the bow… there’s some bits that might be redeemable.

    But, dammit, am I the only one who thinks that the combination of the spots and the lapels makes it look like a rather sinister face?

  22. @Gero: Also, ironic caption is ironic.