Emma Frost (aka The White Dominatrix) has for whatever reason become one of the top five pinup characters in all of comics. Unfortunately that's put her in the line of fire for some of the most overly-sexualized costume designs the fevered brains of artists could conjure. I won't go into them all, but I will focus on this unfortunate approach:
You have to start with the ridiculous gravity-defying side-boob bra. One assumes she keeps it up either through dedicated TK or really strong double-sided tape, either of which exhibits a truly epic level of dedication to ... well, exhibitionism, I suppose. Unless that thing is made of stiff plastic and hides a virtual scaffold of underwires, she's going to bounce out of it the first time the Blackbird hits turbulence.
What really gets me, though, is the X-Diaper, now featuring gratuitous crotch bulging. Not only is it unflattering and not only does it share the same gravity-defying power as the top, but the all-the-way-down zipper hits an all new low. Literally. This is a piece of clothing designed by someone who has never actually worn pants. Or had lady parts. Can you imagine actually zipping this thing up? Any fashion accessory that requires a hand mirror under your butt to put on is a fashion accessory that has failed.
The topper (again, literally) is that dickey she's wearing. Seriously, if your costume involves the word "dickey", you've lost before you've started. I know they were going for the "stylish slut" look here, but between the diapers and the mid-century failed tuxedo shirt underlining, what they actually got was "Old Folks' Home Escapee".
(Image and character © Marvel Comics.)
I think the intent was to make a bare-skin “X.” The result was I keep thinking, “When was Emma retconned into a drag queen?”
I actually said ouch out loud when I opened this page up. Is it just me, or does her face look wrong? It looks like someone else in her clothes.
Well, it looks like the artist is Frank Quitely. Everybody he draws gains at least ten pounds of bloat, mostly in the face. Seriously, the man must use over-stuffed sausages for models. But he’s probably not to blame for the costume.
I think webpulp is right about the skin X. And I guess maybe it was worth trying? On scratch paper? But once the first sketch was drawn, somebody should have said, “Yeah…no. Let’s give her a belt buckle or something with an X instead.”
Let’s say for an imaginative fix, the “skin” X part is covered with nude panty hose material keeping together all of the parts. It also would keep her perfectly round boobs in their shape! Cheers!
No question the intent was for a negative-space “X”, which as X-stacy noted is a fantastic idea. It’s just, sometimes the idea is great until you actually do it, and then, not so much. It ends up making her look like an incontinent pre-teen street walker.
I love Quitely, he has a unique and interesting style (“All-Star Superman” is a tour-de-force of graphic novel illustration), but … yes, “doughy” isn’t an unfair word to use to describe his figures. It generally works great and, as I said, I’m a fan, but it takes some getting used to.
Same here. I like Frank Quietly’s artwork, although it took a little bit for me to get used to it when seeing it for the first time in the pages of Batman and Robin- to my mind, the way he draws figures kind of looks like they’re moulded from clay or play-doh or something. That look doesn’t exactly work for this costume.
The costume itself is just silly. It looks even more unlikely to stay on than most of her costumes. It’s taking the usual revealingness of her outfits and taking it to the (il)logical extreme. The negative-space x is a neat idea, a reversal of the huge x’s that the rest of the X-Men had on their jackets at the time, but yeah- it really doesn’t work on paper. At all.
I’ll give you All-Star Superman, but in this case he’s delivered us a Mega-Fail. The negative space “X” does NOT work, the rest of the costume design (which might not be his fault) is just plain ugly AND her face looks for one, matronly and also her head is about two sizes too big for the rest of her oversized-boob-teenage frame. At least as drawn here. AND I’m not even touching the grannie panties with a zipper…..
Thank you, I’m not the most familiar with comics and that cleared it up. I don’t mind it really, just looked a little strange. Poor Emma, I think all of her costumes could end up in bad costume Wednesday.
I always hated this costume. I thought it was ridiculous that at the time the rest of team was wearing black leather, but Emma wore this mess. I’m assuming that it’s supposed to be leather also, which I guess is suppose to explain the crotch bulge. The only other possible explanation is that webpulp is right, and Frank Quietly was under the impression that Emma was a transexual. Judging by the face he drew, I’d say that’s clearly what he was thinking.
I just never got the whole Emma Frost thing anyway. I know about the whole Hellfire Club-women dressing as dominatrices, but after a while, enough is enough. Yeah, okay, Emma dressed as a tramp sells books to fifteen year old boys, but at some point you’d have to think, “Stop it Emma, people are equating you to Paris Hilton.”
And this outfit has to be her least attractive.
After reading the other comments, every time I look at that picture I think ‘transsexual.’ It explains the bulge, the dickey, and the odd hip/waist ratio.
Plus I’ve seen transsexuals looking hotter than Emma Frost is here. What does that say about the art work? Or about me?
If I can get through this without blushing, the “bulge” is proper for a human female. It’s the mons pubis.
hmm. must have your hideous skimpy costumes & model face? all the judgement… looks fine… don’t like it fair enough but standards for ladies in comics are ridiculous. and granny pants will always be more believable than thongs. i love your idea that tk holds it together. i don’t see drag queen – showing how used to “perfect” pin up faces you all are. and with the eyeful that emma always is … she needs to have an attractive face too? really? villains get the whole sexy bad treatment too… why can’t the ladies look competent and cool? this isn’t a “cool” costume. gratuitous. ah. well. ranting. venting. design something classy if you can forget boobs and crotch long enough while designing. seems like that’s impossible with ms. frost. why? too powerful?
I agree with all of your assessments Jeff, but what really bugs me is that somehow she turning Japanese, I really think so!
I would completely agree with everything you said, if it wasn’t in reference to Emma. It’s been well established that Emma’s supposed to be beautiful, to the point where they’ve said she’s had plastic surgery to improve her looks. Emma’s ego is an essencial part of her character, and is supposed to explain why she wears what she wears. There was an issue of Classic X-Men where she explained that dressing like that gives her power over men. But I do agree that this costume was a set back for her, because it came out after she was the headmaster in Generation X, where she was fully clothed the whole time.
I don’t think that’s a zipper on her bottom. Just a vertical line than matches the dickey. I don’t think this is a great costume, but I think people are over reacting.
Then what’s the pull thing at the top for? Or are you saying it’s a button? I sure hope you’re right …
And of COURSE we’re over-reacting, that’s the POINT of these Bad Costume Wednesdays!
EVERY bad design is a a chance to try to make a better version.
Redesign step 1 Minimize the negative space X
Step 2 Give reason for negative space X to stay up (fish nets are sexy I should have added them to the legs too!)
Step 3 Loose the dickie
Step 4 Loose the Briefs
Step 5 add something Regal. (She is the “White Queen”)
Step 6 Sexier Haircut!
In 5 minutes 90% better!
I always figured her bra was connected in the middle but her boobs were so huge they dangled down and covered up the center part.
And let’s not forget that the rest of the X-Men at the time chose to wear ugly leather jackets and pants. This was not a good time for X-Fashion.
I saw this and totally thought, “Snooki from Jersey Shore was a model for comics?!?” Then I thought that she deserves better than this glue-on cosplay outfit.
It should also be said that, as drawn here, Emma Frost does not have breasts. She has bowling balls. They look as if they’re detachable.
Most grown men would be ashamed to admit they’ve never seen a real woman naked. These artists are shouting it to the world.
(grrrrr 5th time trying to write this >.<) This entire outfit IS NOT Sexy, it's just plain disgusting. I literally wanted to puke when i first saw it. I mean there's a fine line between sexy and skanky and she's pole vaulted over to the latter side (Based on her outfit I KNOW she's had experience with poles). Around where I live somebody dressed like this is metophorically Lynched or burned alive. But this is just my personal Opinion on the whole thing so if you don't agree with me then that's fine, but I wouldn't touch this woman EVER in fear I might catch something aweful. Now a little cleavage or skin showing is one thing, but an entire outfit where its pretty much nothing BUT skin is another.
Speaking as someone who’s helped partners with awkward clothing, an upside-down ‘T’ made of flesh-colored stretchy ribbon would be invisible on that figure and join the ‘dickey’ to the sides. It would probably still be more comfortable and stable than some bras and less restricting than a corset.
New pop quiz idea Jeff, desighn the most impractical costume. The winner gets a lifesize standee of this outfit!