Monday, August 22, 2016

The Legacy of Superwoman

While most people know Supergirl, Superwoman isn't as well known. And there have been quite a few of them. A side note, this post will focus on the Superman-related Superwomen and not the Earth-3 evil counterpart of Wonder Woman known as Superwoman. The first Superwoman appeared in a dream where Lois Lane gained the powers of Superman. The first official Superwoman to appear was Luma Lynai, Superwoman from the planet Staryl. She possessed powers similar to a Kryptonian, but only under an orange sun. She tried to live on Earth with Superman but found that yellow sunlight was toxic to her. Later, Kristin Wells, a time-traveling descendant of Jimmy Olsen, would take on the mantle of Superwoman, using futuristic technology to emulate superhuman powers. Dana Dearden was the the next to take on the identity of Superwoman, however the public called her Obsession. Dana was an obsessed Superman fan who used stolen magic artifacts to obtain the powers of gods and goddesses so she would be his perfect match. While not officially called Superwoman, Sharon Vance was the female version of Superman's electric blue phase. A childhood friend of Clark Kent from Smallville, Sharon became Strange Visitor (a being of living electromagnetic energy) and had to wear Superman's old electric containment suit to control her powers. Lois Lane's little sister Lucy became the next Superwoman, after the military gave her a costume that allowed her to mimic Kryptonian abilities until the suit was taken from her. Lisa Jennings was a school teacher who became the next Superwoman after gaining Superman-like powers from exposure to radiation from a Kryptonian sunstone. In the new 52 continuity, Lois Lane and Lana Lang both became Superwoman when the two women gained superhuman powers after they absorbed energy released from the dying body of the New 52 Superman. Lois developed Kryptonian-like powers similar to those of Superman while Lana developed solar-fueled electromagnetic powers similar to those Superman possessed during his electric powers phase. In another reality, Lois Lane became Superwoman for a day when Superman gave her a serum that gave her his power for 24 hours. In a reality where every DC character was the opposite gender, Laurel Kent was Superwoman, a gender-reversed version of Superman. In the 31st century, Elna Kent is the descendant of Superman and Lois Lane and the Superwoman of her timeline.

Sunday, August 14, 2016

Harley Quinn Costume History

After Harley's Quinn big screen debut in Suicide Squad, some people were less than thrilled with Harley's "costume" of a red jacket and short-shorts. Let's look at the actual costumes Harley has worn in the comics and video-games. Harley Quinn began her career as a cartoon character in the Batman animated series in the 90's. A criminal psychiatrist turned villainous sidekick, Harleen Quinzel's love for the Joker led her to don the now iconic red-and-black jester costume of Harley Quinn. Her popularity resulted in Harley being added to the pages of DC comics. In the New 52 continuity, the Joker threw Dr. Harleen Quinzel into the same vat of acid that Batman threw him into. The chemicals bleached her skin and gave her two-toned red-and-blue hair. Donning a skimpy red-and-blue bodice with matching stockings, Harley Quinn was the Joker's girlfriend. However, his increasingly sadistic behavior drove Harley away from Gotham city. Harley strove to create her own identity and redesigned her look into a roller-derby uniform with elements of the original Harley Quinn jester costume. She also died the blue parts of her hair black. Later, Harley was made part of the Suicide Squad and sported a more militaristic version of her roller-derby costume. She also died her hair back to blonde. In the Injustice video game/tie-in comic continuity, Harley's look is a combination of her classic and new 52 costumes. Harley first sports red-and-black hair along with a jester themed red-and-black vest over two-toned stockings. Later she dies her hair back to blonde and dons a two-toned red-and-black jacket and with matching leather pants. In the Arkham Asylum/City/Knight games Harley first wears a modified nurse's uniform. Then she wears a red-and-black leather halter top with matching pants. Finally Harley wears a black Gothic Lolita-style dress over what appears to be the leggings of her classic jester costume.

Friday, August 5, 2016

May "Mayday" Parker Spider-Girl/Woman costume history

Like her father, Spider-Man, May Parker has also worn quite a few costumes. May's first Spider-Girl costume was the Spider-Man costume worn by her "uncle" Ben Reilly. When her costume was badly damaged, May bought a black-and white version of her Spider-Girl uniform from a costume shop. After the death of her father, May wore his classic Spider-Man costume as Spider-Woman. Realizing the costume made her dwell her father's death, May designed a new Spider-Woman costume that embodied both the Ben Reilly and Peter Parker Spider-Man costume with a few new elements thrown in, such as large webs under her arms. In the Earth-X reality, May is Venom, and the symbiotic costume she wears is black with red web/vein patterns and a large red spider-symbol. In the year 2020 AD, May wears a Spider-Girl costume that combines the costume of Spider-Woman (Jessica Drew) with that of Spider-Man.