Star Sapphire, More Naked Than Ever

New Rule: if you would not allow your favorite 16-year-old female relative (daughter, cousin, niece) to wear it, don’t draw it.

And what is it with cover artists loving the boot?

Green Lantern #18 cover Superman #261 cover Recolored Green Latern #18 cover
In Green Lantern #18, Star Sapphire returns after having raided Witchblade’s closet. (via) For comparison, the 70s version. (via) Thanks to Ryan H, this color-reversed version gives us a bodysuit-covered Star Sapphire and a tasty almost-naked Hal. I think she looks a lot more menacing in pink and black.

22 Responses to “Star Sapphire, More Naked Than Ever”

  1. bnjammin Says:

    Is that Star Sapphire even anatomically possible?

    And you can tell Supes is having a great time there. “Yeah baby, tell me what to do — that’s what I like”

  2. James Schee Says:

    Ha, okay this is in poor taste I know. Yet when I first glance at that cover I thought there was smoke coming out of her butt.

    Anyway, I can’t get too outraged as this stuff just doesn’t surprise me anymore. Not that it makes it right or that I approve I’ve just come to expect it which is a little sad. (sad too as the recent GL HC was a fairly decent read on loan from the library)

  3. J. Kevin Carrier Says:

    Ha! Yes, that ’70s Superman cover was the first thing I thought of too. I’m guessing it’s a deliberate homage? If not, it’s a funny coincidence.

    The costume is pretty silly, but in a way it’s kind of thematically appropriate. I don’t know what they’re doing with her these days, but originally Star Sapphire’s whole shtick was to coerce/seduce GL into becoming her “consort”, so the kinky subtext was built right in from the beginning.

  4. Tommy Raiko Says:

    Yeah, that ol’ Superman cover is so popular/infamous I gotta believe that the new GL cover is a deliberate reference to it.

    Of course, for another boot-centric comics cover, one has to mention the Wonder Woman: The Hiketeia graphic novel. Even more amusing/disturbing is the Making of the Cover feature that includes the actual reference photo for the picture.

    Who knows? Maybe someday, fetishy boot comics covers will be as common as Pieta-esque poses…

  5. Lisa Lopacinski Says:

    bnjammin is right – those are IMPOSSIBLY long legs when compared to the tiny torso. At least the one on the Superman cover looks human.

  6. ~chris Says:

    RE: loving the boot

    She is an empowered woman in control of a man! Nope, no sexism here!

  7. one diverse comic book nation » THE SHORT STACK: Diversity On The ‘Net - December 13, 2006 Says:

    […] Star Sapphire, More Naked Than Ever – Johanna from Comics Worth Reading compares the startling almost naked Star Sapphire to make her reappearance in Green Lantern #18 with the 1970s version (from Comics Worth Reading) […]

  8. Jer Says:

    Wow – with the black-on-pink coloration instead of the skin, that costume looks – good. I still wonder about the need for the star over the crotch (it’s not a belt buckle or anything – why does it need to be there?), but the rest of the costume works.

    Thanks for the link, Johanna. I enjoyed the “role-reversal” cover quite a bit.

  9. Johanna Says:

    Yeah, I’d love to know where Lisa found it so I could credit the artist.

  10. Lyle Says:

    I have to agree, the bodysuit-covered Star Sapphire costume looks pretty good. Compared to the original costume, though, isn’t Hal a tad over-dressed in the parody cover… or, rather, shouldn’t he have fabric covering up odd spots to emphasize the exposed muscles?

    BTW, the first time I saw the original cover, I wondered what the problem was… there was so much exposed flesh it took me a few glances to realize it was flesh.

  11. [i:rrhoblog] » links for 2006-12-14 Says:

    […] New Rule: if you would not allow your favorite 16-year-old female relative (daughter, cousin, niece) to wear it, don’t draw it. (Oder invertieren. Geht auch.) (tags: comics frauenbild genderblog gender) […]

  12. Jer Says:

    Johanna –

    FYI: I think that the second picture came from a commenter on Ragnell’s post about this cover image. I found it after I saw your posting about it:

    http://www.blogger.com/comment.g?blogID=16538843&postID=116592167821996675&isPopup=true

    The link is down near the bottom in a posting by “ryan h”

  13. Johanna Says:

    Thanks very much! I’ve updated the post to reflect the credit.

  14. mike Says:

    i think star saphire should be drawn naked… it would add tot he readership.

  15. Jacob Says:

    I am sorry, I understand where you are coming from. I think the degradation of females is to be apalled.

    But you can’t run it all down. Part of it is just fun campy artworkd. And men have been naked or near it in comics too – look at Namor in Marvel, or the fact that ALL the characters are wearing skintight clothing, so it doesn’t really matter if part of its gone – you can see it all anyway.

    It just odd that some people can’t have a little fun with it, especially since this is an adult comic – not meant for kids, and some times not even meant for teens. And part of the natural adult human life involves things that are jus there – especially sex-driven dominatrix power wielding goddesses from outerspace. :)

  16. Johanna Says:

    Your post relies on some mistaken assumptions:
    1. Lots of people don’t consider sexist exploitation “fun”. Aside from those concerned about the message sent regarding objectification of women, there are parents who object to exposing their kids to “suggestive situations”. Which leads me to
    2. While I agree that few superhero comics are suitable for non-adults these days, their producers disagree with you. DC will never come out and say that their Justice League hero titles are only suitable for 18 and up, because they’d lose much too much money from licensing. They propagate the idea that the books are just fine for teens.
    3. I’d be more agreeable to the “men get drawn sexy too” if it were true — the men that wear skintight costumes aren’t exposed the way women are, and they’re mostly strangely neuter in terms of their sexual organs.
    4. Male characters also aren’t posed to be looked at and ogled the way women are. There’s a double standard.

  17. Jacob Says:

    First of all, let me start by saying that you have twisted my words: I never said sexist exploitation was fun, and it was clear that I was referring to the campy play back and forth in comics. Its one of the reasons we love pirate movies or tales of medieval times, etc. Natural sexual exploration without having to actually go out and do it – the play or tease of an idea. I don’t agree with the fact that its mostly done to women, but you are wrong to say that men aren’t becoming objectified as such, too. Its not to that point with men yet, and it shouldn’t be that way with either sex, but it does exist, and its growing.
    And if a comic is adult themed, just because Marvel or DC won’t come out and say it doesn’t mean that you aren’t responsible for keeping your own kids away from that – there are other comics in the companies with the same loveable characters that aren’t on that level, that aren’t the cheesy free comic books.
    And please… pick up a comic book these days, and the cod piece sticks out for all to see. Of course they won’t show it. Just like they won’t show the nudity underneath women’s clothing.
    In the very comic you refer to, well the next one actually, Hal is made to be an object and is straddled – and told that of course he sleeps around.

  18. Johanna Says:

    Please post a list of superhero comics that objectify men, because I don’t believe they exist. Your visions of “cod pieces” aside, the only example of suggested genitalia is in some of Alex Ross’ paintings, and the most recent one (Steel) was so unusual that it created a blog-wide brouhaha.

    If you think Star Sapphire “straddling” Green Lantern is objectification, you aren’t using the word the same way most people do.

    I don’t want to be rude, but it sounds like we have a way to go before we reach any kind of common ground.

  19. Deadmond Says:

    i only read marvel generally but you asked for a list. . .
    1. incredible Hercules
    2.wolverine winds up naked a lot
    3.namor, but that’s been said
    4.the human torch often appears very exposed while on fire.
    5.the silver surfer is also very exposed
    need i go on? i can

  20. Johanna Says:

    There’s a big difference between nudity and objectification. Are those men posed so that they display their butts and crotches to the viewer regardless of what the story calls for? Are they there to be ogled and thought of sexually as their primary purposes? No, they’re not. And that’s the difference between the portrayal of male and female exposed characters.

  21. Lyle Says:

    I’d add that male superheros in ‘barely there’ costumes are rarely drawn so their physique emphasizes their sexual attractiveness instead of the power suggested by their muscles. You don’t see people playing spot-the-photoreference connecting male superheroes to 2Xist underwear ads while people are constantly finding drawings of female characters that can be sourced back to magazines like Maxim or lingerie catalogues.

    Plus, there’s also the numbers game. It’s a challenge to come up with a large number of male superheroes in minimal-fabric costumes (as seen in picking a hero who, by default, isn’t barely-dressed but instead frequently has gets his costume ripped up), much less ones whose bodies are exposed to highlight their sexiness, something that’s very common with superheroines.

    Things have gotten a *little* more equal, as I understand this week’s Titans demonstrates, but just a smidge.

  22. Gender-Swapped Costumes — Never Not Funny » Comics Worth Reading Says:

    […] done by competent artist, this topic — which pops up every so often — makes a point while providing plenty of humor. Like Captain America flashing his butt to […]




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