Monday, January 21, 2008

Wait, Janet Van Dyne is a fashion designer?

You know, I knew longtime Avenger Janet "The Wasp" Van Dyne was supposed to be a fashion designer when she wasn't being a superhero, but I never really thought about it until I read Mighty Avengers #7.

For some reason, writer Brian Michael Bendis follows a scene in which the various Republican Avengers engage in some paranoia about who's really a Skrull and who can be trusted by this scene, in which The Wasp informs Simon "Wonder Man" Williams that his costume totally sucks, and marches in some models wearing her costume redesigns for him:

Now I understand Wonder Man's current red jacket costume may not be every one's aesthetic cup of tea, but it's worth mentioning that it's a pretty good look for Wonder Man, perhaps the best of the many he's sported over the years.

I don't mind the jacket-less, sleeveless shirt look he wore in Civil War,Civil War: Frontline or Wonder Man: My Fair Superhero at all. You know, with the red "W" over the black shirt, and red sunglasses?

It's not the greatest superhero costume of all time or anything, but the red and black color combination is fine, and it's certainly not as incredibly stupid as some of his other looks, like, well, any of these featuring a hood and/or the color green:

But the thing about Janet's designs there? They are all much, much, much worse. We'll excuse the Superman one for being a Superman one, but come on, the all-black costume? That's practically Wonder Man's normal costume, sans his "W" icon and the contrasting red highlights. And those other three?

Good God, woman...the green one is biker shorts with a matching top!

Those costumes don't really seem the work of a professional fashion designer, you know?

And what's this?

Damn, Jan. First off, leg warmers totally did come back already. In fact, I think they may actually be going out of style again.

And what's this "leisure suit" business you're talking about?

While Simon's jacket does indeed look like it belongs to a leisure suit, he's clearly not wearing a leisure suit. I think for something to qualify as a "suit" in the most basic sense of the word, it needs to be more than one peice, you know?

Anyway, that got me thinking about Janet's costume design skills in general, and I don't think she's ever designed a not-terrible costume. Spend some time clicking around this site sometime; it chronicles every costume Wasp ever wore, and they're all pretty bad. I think her current look is probably her coolest, and there's really not much to it.

And her husband! Have you seen the things her husband has worn over the years? When your coolest costume has a big stupid yellowjacket in profile picture on the chest and huge, vibrating shoulderpads, you know you're in need of a serious fashion intervention.

So leave Wonder Man alone, Janet. People who get dressed in glass closets shouldn't throw stones.


Anonymous said...

That was a pretty worthless scene considering how much ground MA needs to make up. I wish those 5 pages would have went to something more fruitful.


Anonymous said...

Oh god, why did you have to link to Avengers Forever and make me long for when Avengers comics were good? Damn you, Caleb!

Regault said...

Somebody on another board recently posted scans from an Avengers issue where Wasp wouldn't let She-Hulk charge into battle to rescue Thor because she was wearing a "Dyne original". Said original consisted of a shapeless orange jumpsuit.

Of course, terrible terrible scenes are kind of Wasp's trademark. She's like the shallow evil girl from Sabrina the Teenage Witch tv show given superpowers.

Mory said...

I think we're supposed to suspend our disbelief and pretend that all Janet's designs are amazing. That's how I've always taken it.

adam-0oo said...

Yeah, that scene really took me out of the comic book. Not only are all of the costumes ugly, they are all increadibly boring and generic. I mean honestly, it is something of a comic book cliche to have a character try to choose a new costume and we get to see some designs, but none of those were interesting or memorable at all.

SallyP said...

All I can say, is that it's a good thing that Janet is rich, because she certainly fails as a fashion designer. Unless of course, it is all some post-modern commentary of a sort, and she designs terrible clothes on purpose!

But then, it may just be me, since Janet is probably my LEAST favorite Avenger. Ever.

Tracer Bullet said...

Worse than Triad? Yeesh?

DougieB said...

I'd have to speak up and say that i can't stand wm's current costume -- it does look to me like he's sporting a red smoking jacket over black yoga pants with red galoshes, but that said, it didn't seem like more than 5 minutes was spent on any of those costume designs, either.

And to top it all off... it doesn't even remotely help the story. Another reason i'm glad i'm not buying this book. heh.

Scott said...

I don't know why everyone hates Wonder Man's jacket. I mean, I understand hating Wonder Man because I've never seen him not acting like a jerk, but his red coat is one of the best articles of clothing in comics. Would you rag on Buddy Baker or Jack Knight's jacket?

I don't like his pants tucked into his jackboots, but the jacket looks great.

Regault said...

Wait a second, I've just made the connection.

Far behind on actual plot, yet wastes five pages describing clothing?

BMB has been possessed by the ghost of Robert Jordan!