Are there no fashion designers in LA?

I'm going to get grief from my friend Rob Rogers (author of the super-hero novel "Devil's Cape", which you should buy if you haven't already) over this, but I think the West Coast Avengers in this cover shot should win the award for Worst Dressed Team Ever:


Staring at the left, we have Iron Man, who in blatant violation of accepted fashion norms is wearing white after Easter. Or is it before Easter? Regardless, Iron Man should never wear white. First of all, white is the color of purity, and I think we can all agree that Tony Stark is anything but pure. And second, Iron Man in anything but gold and red is like Santa Claus in fuchsia. It just doesn't scan, daddy-o. If I recall correctly, that armor also featured the triangular chest blaster, which had the dubious distinction of sucking rather than blowing. This particular configuration was like the New Coke of super-hero fashion, something better left unremembered and buried as quickly as possible.

Then you've got the Poorly Dressed Super Couple, Mockingbird and Hawkeye. I never understood Mockingbird's enormous flappy sleeves. Combined with her big sweeping eye mask, she looks like she's right on the cusp of exploding somehow. It's not the worst outfit ever or anything, but it's not good. Especially when she stands next to her purple-clad husband with equally sweeping facial garb. Sometimes, putting two mediocre costumes side-by-side in a married-couple situation just makes each of them worse. Kind of like marriage itself! Thank you, thank you, I'll be here all night, please, tip your waitresses.

I'm going to skip Tigra altogether, because I don't want to cast aspersions on anyone who's into furries. But yeah, not my thing. And you know, having a mostly-naked furry chick with a tiger tail and claws and eyes and ears next to all these very heavily-garbed men, particularly one in armor, and it's just ... eww.

Luckily, the Gang Who Couldn't Dress Straight is being attacked by the equally fashion-challenged Graviton, featuring his specially designed nuclear jock strap. I bet he's a real hit at the League of Super Villains Con each year.

Finally, we come to the guy who may just be up for the Lifetime Achievement Award in Serial Bad Costuming, Wonder Man. This poor sap can't catch a break, despite spending his career in Los Angeles, which features more fashion designers per square foot than virgins at Dragon*Con. And that's saying something.

Look at the monstrosity he's sporting in this episode. You've got bright green and red, which shouldn't exist anywhere outside of a Macy's Christmas window display, broken up with a huge yellow diamond in his gut. Why? We in the West Coast Avengers Auxiliary Tailor's Corps like to ask rather, "Why not, we're all color blind here anyway, screw it." Granted that motto doesn't fit easily on a ball cap, but we like it.

But the colors aren't the worst part. Not even the awkward bulbous yellow jet pack is the worst part, despite the fact that Tony Stark (who's ON THE SAME TEAM) could have designed something cooler looking in the time it would take him to down his sixth martini of the morning.

No, the worst part is that the giant red stripes are supposed to form the joined letters "W" and "M" for "Wonder Man".

Yeah, I know. Think about that for a minute and sit back in awe.

Why don't they just let the poor bastard stay dead if they're going to treat him like this? Look, I'm not saying his original outfit, designed by "Three Blind Mice Fashions", was a high point in the garment industry. But I AM saying that it was better than this horrible monstrosity.

The best hope for this group is that Graviton finishes them off and puts them out of our misery, because they really should have been called "The Fashion Injustice League" rather than the West Coast Avengers. This is LA, people, have some respect!

18 Responses to Are there no fashion designers in LA?

  1. Niall Mor says:

    Wonder Man, huh? I guess they call him that ‘cuz you wonder about him. Not only does he have the wretched red and green costume, as you point out, he also looks like he’s having major digestive issues . . . or he just pulled a double hernia . . . or he just crushed the contact lens he was looking for . . . or something.

  2. William A. Peterson says:

    Jeff, the whole problem for this Group IS that they’re living in LA, and there’s plenty of Fashion Designers around…
    All of who are competing to be, not the most conservative, or the most tasteful, but to be the most OUTRAGEOUS!

  3. Tristan says:

    I hate it when they change the original costumes of heroes and make them look worse.

  4. Rob Rogers says:

    Grief! Grief!

    Yeah, well, there was something lovable about some of those stories, but it wasn’t the art. I don’t think Wonder Man has ever had a decent costume. I like Hawkeye’s, but then I liked it when I was six, so there’s a kind of continuity there. And if I remember correctly, the jet pack wasn’t like a regular jet pack. Instead it somehow just fueled itself from Wonder Man’s own ionic energy. Freaky.

    Have you seen the issue where they fight the cactus man?

  5. Jeff Hebert says:

    I think you’re right about the jet pack Rob. Man, that was a character in source of a raison d’etre if ever I saw one. And then to die and come back again, STILL without any reason for being around … rough stuff.

    He has consistently had the worst outfits, too. And his girl got stolen by an android. All in all, not a great existence for one of the world’s strongest men. Maybe if he’d dressed better, Wanda would’ve stuck around. Pity.

  6. DJ says:

    I have always had a deep love for West Coast Avengers. It’s one of my favorite comic books. But…my god Wonder Man is horrible! I like his black outfit he had with red W/M and the jet pack belt he had.

    I love Hawkeyes and Mockinbirds costumes though. To me, they work. I’m not a fan of the red and white Iron Man though. Just seems…odd.

    Funny store, I bought all of my WCA comics from this one little store that sold them for a like a quarter each (this was in 2000s) and actually owned the 1st issue. Most of them are gone/destroyed by now though.

  7. Jose Inoa says:

    But, I thought that outfit was a Magoo’s Retro Sport Collection exclusive! Makes me wonder, man…

  8. Gene says:

    Devils Cape was a good read – anyone have any other suggestions for good Superhero books?

    (Yeah, slightly off topic, but you brought it up Jeff πŸ™‚ )

  9. Jeff Hebert says:

    Henceforth, ALL random panel posts are considered Open Threads, talk about whatever you like!

  10. Jeff Hebert says:

    Oops, this isn’t the random panel thread. Oh well, any talk about super hero stuff is fair game!

  11. kingmonkey says:

    Can I offer an opinion? I think Iron Man’s Silver Centurion armour didn’t work for a very specific reason– the backpack. Any time you see a hero with a backpack (that’s not a jet pack, or an actually useful backpack full of stuff) it just throws off the physique. He may as well be a hunchback, or worse yet, wearing a fannypack!

    Try looking at him without the backpack and he’ll look fine.

  12. Jeff Hebert says:

    The backpack isn’t good, I agree, but it’s more than that. It was the shape of the helmet, the general chunkiness of the whole thing, making him look more like a tank (which I don’t like), the colors, and the styling of the glove and boots and belt … it was all just overwrought and awkward looking. I always like the armor for how it combined athleticism and toughness, and the silver armor just was totally off, for me at least.

  13. Gero says:

    It reminds me of the clunkier, slower armor worn by War Machine, without the benefit of inconcievibly vasts amounts of weapons…

  14. I’m always amused at the random, perhaps unintentional sexual suggestions in comic books. Granted that superheros with costumes that have been painted onto their taught rippling bodies are going to be somewhat in near the community of LEWD, but in this scene the two crouching figures, the husband and wife in opposite directions, Iron Man in the throws of some sort of ecstatic release – I mean, please. Could they create something that didn’t look like a massive West Coast orgy of crystal meth?

  15. Bael says:

    This is what happens when you let the Wasp play dress up with your team. The real biggest problem with that Iron Man armor is that silver and red simply don’t go together. Ask anyone who works in a good body shop. A little chrome is okay, but two tone red and silver? No.
    Wonder Man is just staying in character. He’s always had horrible managers, wardrobe, and the like. It’s part of his schtick as a third string Hollywood wannabe.

  16. kingmonkey says:

    Why does the M part of Wondy’s outfit nt have any muscle tone/definition? The W has ripples aplenty, but the M seems curiously flat.

  17. Frankie says:

    @Kingmonkey: Laziness. Right Mr. Liefeld?

    Mr. Liefeld: “You betcha.”

  18. J says:

    Red and silver can go together if done right. Comparing iron man to a car is just silly. But in this instance it doesnt really work. The only costumes here i have a problem with are WM and he bad guy. WM’s black and red costume looked good, why they changed it is beyond me. I’m not even going to say anything about that villian.