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BACK TO ARCHIVES

Bringing You Comic Book Outrage Since 1979

"I'm sure I can handle the Kid if he rises from some remote crypt and hangs out horrific super-hero shingles with a side dish of unusual origin process." --YELLOW BACK RADIO BROKE-DOWN, Ishmael Reed, p. 53, 1968

PARK AND BARB'S FASHION CLICHES

Barb: Why does Namor go shirtless, but Aquaman doesn't? (Park's snide answer number one: because as the king, he's just that civilized. He'd feel naked in just a speedo.) (Park's snide answer number two: unsightly hair he's too lazy to have waxed.)

Barb: How does Thor's hat stay on?

Park: Why does Tony Stark not sweat like a pig in that armor? and before you say it, explain to me how you air-condition a suit of armor. Also, how is that thing padded? Why does he not get banged around in there? How does he not get, just for example, his shoulders bruised to hell every time he crashes through a wall etc?

Barb: Why do superheroes wear fashions that women (if consulted) could explain are stupid and lame? (Park's answer: the key word here must be 'if')

Barb: When will Wonder Girl get a decent costume?

Barb: Women in comics always lead breasts-first. About 1/3rd of comic book women have bare midriffs. Superheroines never wear sensible shoes. I don't think anyone should be allowed to draw clothes on a comic book character that they haven't first spent the day in themselves. That would be the end of stupid superhero costumes right there.

Barb: Real Men know how to dress women-- why do all teenage schoolgirls in Young Justice and Impulse and various other comics dress like the movie Clueless, a movie that is the world's biggest holdover from the 1980s? Real writers DO bother to do research.

Park: Kyle Lantern: what the hell is with that Crabface Mask? If Ganthet wanted to give the ring to an artist, why didn't he give it to a _good_ artist? Or hey, a super-powered fashion designer. I want to see Issak Mizrahi or however his name is spelled shooting green energy beams at Bush and John Ashcroft the way that John Stewart piled up the limos of the members of Apartheid in South Africa.

Park: Doesn't Star-Spangled Girl's belt-buckle pinch her in the bare midriff when she bends over? Robin's got one too. But what's more, do you want a cosmic device that close to your abdomen, and all the organs contained in that area? Around your belt-buckular area?

Park: What would happen if that button holding down the front of Captain "Shazam" Marvel's front came open? For that matter, what if someone took hold of that drapery-cord that holds his towel-cape on and pulled real hard from behind? Martian Manhunter's kind of got one too, but not only can the man become intangible, but I frankly suspect that the costume is really just a part of him. Otherwise, when he shapechanged, wouldn't his costume (such as it is) fall on the floor or something? So that means... that's right. He's naked. The costume is a part of his body. Barb, are you buying this?

Barb: I am fascinated and apalled at your theory about MM. Actually, the shape shifting matter brings up two questions that have always bothered me about this ability. Question 1: Do shape shifters materialize their clothes in the shape shifting process? You know what I mean. One minute, she's Mystique, wearing that white dress. The next, she's turned into a man with a military uniform or whatever. Or, with MM, one minute, he's a half-naked green man. The next, he's a she, complete with a skirt. Is MM changing his body in such a way that the costume changes, too? If so, that can only mean, as this seems to be all matter that is intrinsic to him instead of material he's put on, that MM is all nude all the time.

Park: Yeah, I think so. He's naked. I don't think it should HURT him if you poked holes in his cape, any more than if you cut a lock of your hair. But... naked. Yes. And no I'm not entirely comfortable with it.

Barb: Question 2: When shape shifters shape shift, how do their voices change? For instance, take Mystique again. She changes into, say, Wolvie, complete with secondary sexual characteristics like beard stubble, and then she opens her mouth and she's now speaking in Wolvie's voice, too. How does she do that? Yet, if you look at the movie version of X Men, she can change every part of herself EXCEPT her own personal smell? Does that make sense?

Park: Uh... I see no reason not to buy what you're saying... if she's THAT good, why NOT be able to change her smell a little, too? This would also mean that Raven Darkholme would never wear perfume... otherwise, you'd smell it on her later when she looked like John Wayne.

Barb: So... she wouldn't need makeup, either! THAT'S how her hair always looks so good! What a fantastic power! She can change her eyeliner from blue to beige far more easily than she can change her skin from blue to caucasian...!

Barb: Anyway, speaking of Martian Manhunter, can't he shape shift himself a shirt once in awhile? Is it against his religion to wear a tee-shirt or something? Same thing with Hawkman. That's something I've often wondered, too---where's Hawkman's chest hair? It makes a bit of sense that MM doesn't have any, as they all seem to be bald as a billiard balls on Mars, but Hawkman's always had nice locks underneath that mask.

Park: Yeah well let's all remember, he's in DC and so can't claim the miracle of Unstable Molecules...

Barb: As to Captain Marvel: his costume looks a lot like boys' sleepwear, but for the cape. You expect little buttons on the rear end of that cute little red costume of his. Yes, that's the ticket: Billy Batson is really wearing his underoos!

Barb: How DID Barbara Gordon go from near/farsighted enough to need glasses to 20/20 vision as Batgirl? If it's contacts, why didn't they fall out when she fought villains? Were/are they prop glasses, like Clark's?

Park: Remember when Superman kept his Clark Kent clothes super-compressed and in a special secret pocket in his cape? Why didn't his clothes ever fall out? Didn't his glasses ever break? Did he help Barry invent boots that would fit into a ring? No, wait, his glasses wouldn't ever break, because the fake lenses were made from the super-Kryptonian windshield of his baby rocket. But what if he lost them? I guess this is why we never see him in shades. But hey, that would be a cool use of heat vision... if he needed a disguise, he could instantly smoke the glass of normal glasses and turn them into instant shades (would this work? Why not, it's no more stupid than any other super-stunt, like Iceman making icing for his dessert without the mutant power to draw sugar from the ambient atmosphere too...)

Barb: You can update everything else about sexual mores and fashions, yet Clark Kent's glasses are here to stay. Same stupid dorky frames, etc.

Park: Bad taste never goes out of style. Except on Lois and Clark.

Barb: And remember his MOM sewed his original costume. Out of his invulnerable baby blankets.

Park: That's a subject for a whole day's worth of therapy.

Barb: You know, you'd think Superman would spring for some self-defense classes for Lois.

Park: Screw that, just drop her off at the damn Batcave for training every Thursday evening. I mean, this woman needs martial arts, lock-picking, escapeology, alarm disabling courses...

Barb: Just get her a dam' cattle prod. The only letter to the editor I ever write as a kid was to Superman. I complained about continuity when I was 8. They didn't publish it... Something Superman did was out of character or something.

Park: The Park and Barb show-- bringing you outrage since 1979!

Barb: I used to love reading Silver Age letters to the editor. One girl wrote and said if Superman and Supergirl are both super-strong and super-invulnerable, why aren't they equal? And the editor replied, "Well, just as an Earth boy is stronger than an Earth-girl..."

Park: ARRRRRGH!

Barb: I threw the comic across the room. And why does Lana get to go to the 30th century and be Insect Queen and Lois doesn't get to be anything? I always like Lana better after the Golden Age.

Park: And speaking of the Golden Age, it's time for me to--

Barb: Y'ever notice how in comics, overweight people are either evil or laughable? You can't just be a little chunky, you have to be really obese? And in the comic book world, people are always about the same height? Women are always about a head shorter than all the men, super-heroines are about half-a-head shorter?

Park: Yeah. For me to review an item that we're slowly listening to in the car-- Golden Age radio shows of Superman guest-starring Batman and Robin.

1. Perry White actually has a purpose in this world. He's like the Jimmy James/Mayor on Spin City to Lois and Clark. Clark he treated like a dim step-child, but it's great to see how paternal he gets towards Lois.

2. Batman and Robin do NOT even TRY to act like a family in these shows. Batman is really short with Robin-- you can tell he finds him annoying. Robin keeps saying "Christopher Columbus!" for a swear-phrase or even just "Christopher!" like we don't know it's a stand in for "Christ!!"

3. Jimmy Olsen and Dick Grayson are not only friends, but they enjoy hanging around each other as little playmates. Lois and Clark are like a benevolent Uncle and Aunt to both of them.

4. Superman hardly has to do anything... it's more of a suspense thriller with Clark saving people's butts only at the last moment of the whole thing, Kryptonian-ex-machina. Even Batman isn't very active as a puncher-- the emphasis is that he's a detective in a costume.

5. Superman and Robin are, I guess for the benefit of the kids in the audience, CONSTANTLY forgetting the whole secret identity thing. Dick forgets he doesn't know Batman. Clark forgets that everyone doesn't naturally know he has X-Ray vision and super-senses. Clark forgets that Dick shouldn't know how to get in touch with Batman. It's a laught riot watching their weak, weak, weak, weak, weak attempts to cover it up-- best of all is when Dick and Clark are both trying to cover for the Dick/Robin thing at the same time, lamely trying to help each other.

6. If that's not enough, keep in mind that it was this show that created Kryptonite. No, NOT the comic, it was the radio show first. And this box set has some green in it. So feel free to revel in their creativity.



"This will indeed be the super-hero hype to end them all, Loop thought." --YELLOW BACK RADIO BROKE-DOWN, Ishmael Reed, p. 64, 1968