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B. Clay Moore on the history of female superhero costumes

spidergwen1[The following post appeared in its original form on the Facebook page of comic book writer B. Clay Moore, who provided CBR with a slightly expanded version of his text.]

Female superheroes and their costumes?

A lot of people arguing about this don’t seem to have a real understanding of the history of costume design in comics.

There’s this conventional wisdom in place that female superheroes were always designed with titillation in mind. Forget the strange psychosexual implications inherent in that idea, the fact is that most female superheroes up through the ’70s (maybe into the ’80s) were created to attract female readers, not to pander to boys. (Just as kid sidekicks were designed to appeal to kids… Robin didn’t wear short pants for kinky thrills.)

Sure, there were always notable exceptions (it’s hard to look at covers featuring Phantom Lady straining against ropes with “headlights” protruding and imagine them as an appeal to young girls), but the industry was trying to find something for everyone.

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For just $18 million, you can have your own Gotham Clock Tower


If you long for the days of Oracle and the Birds of Prey, here’s your chance to wax nostalgic — and, hey, maybe fight a little crime — from your very own Gotham Clock Tower. If you happen to have an extra $18 million lying around, that is.

The triplex penthouse atop Brooklyn’s iconic Clock Tower is on the market, boasting four 14-foot glass clocks, ceilings that range from 16 to 50 feet, three bedrooms, a private elevator, a sky roof cabana and deck, and a pretty spectacular view. If it helps in your decision-making process, the building is now Catwoman-free: The Dark Knight Rises star Anne Hathaway sold her $4 million loft in the building last year.

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Des Taylor shows DC superheroines in their downtime


Being a superhero may be a full-time job, but everyone’s got to have a life outside of work … right? Artist Des Taylor, creator of the upcoming series Scarlett Couture, answered that question recently with illustrations featuring the likes of Wonder Woman, Black Canary, Batgirl and Lois Lane, and they don’t disappoint.

“There are enough artists drawing them kicking the hell out of each other,” Taylor writes on his deviantART page. “I like to illustrate my favourite heroes doing everyday casual stuff.”

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Quote of the day | DC on Barbara Gordon, Batgirl and continuity

Batgirl #1

“Some yes, some no. But many of the great stories remain. For example — Batgirl. The Killing Joke still happened and she was Oracle. Now she will go through physical rehabilitation and become a more seasoned and nuanced character because she had these incredible and diverse experiences.”

– from DC Comics’ “The New 52 and You” email sent to retailers,
addressing whether the publisher’s September relaunch will “undo events or continuity”

DC D-Day Plus 7: What we know (and don’t) about the DC relaunch right now

Green Lantern #1, by Dave Johnson

1. For Batman and Green Lantern, if it ain’t broke, DC’s not fixing it. In 2010, you had to go all the way down to the Direct Markets #109 bestelling title, the debut of J. Michael Straczynski’s abortive tenure on Superman, before hitting a DC book that wasn’t part of the Batman line, the Green Lantern line, or the Green Lantern-spawned Blackest Night and Brightest Day events. DC has rewarded the creators behind these franchises’ success by keeping them more or less in place, albeit with some title-swapping and artist-shuffling. Geoff Johns, Tony Bedard, and Peter J. Tomasi are still writing the three main Green Lantern series (along with the previously announced Peter Milligan on Red Lantern), while Grant Morrison, Scott Snyder, Tony Daniel, David Finch, and Tomasi are still handling the books with “Batman” in the title (with long-time Gotham Citizens like J.H Williams III, Gail Simone, and Judd Winick filling out the line).

2. DC’s rolling the dice big-time on an I Can’t Believe It’s Not Vertigo-verse. Today’s big announcement of new “dark” titles features such Vertigo characters as Swamp Thing, Animal Man, Shade the Changing Man, John Constantine, Madame Xanadu, as written by such Vertigo creators Peter Milligan (Hellblazer), Jeff Lemire (Sweet Tooth), and Scott Snyder (American Vampire). That’s quite a vote of confidence in Vertigo’s taste in creators, characters, and tone, especially given that many industry observers saw the line as an afterthought for the new regime. Of course, how this will impact Vertigo itself has yet to be seen. It’s also worth considering that Vertigo’s biggest and most durable hits over the past decade or so have tended to be creator-owned titles existing in their own worlds and straying pretty far from the imprint’s horror-magic roots, so launching eight shared-universe horror-magic books — over one-sixth of the new DC Universe line — is a gamble in and of itself.

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