Monday, August 20, 2007

Comicbabe battle Round 2 - Avenger babes : the finalists

Another week begins another installment of everyone´s favorite theme : comicbabe battle.

Again the funnypage females go at it to prove who is the fairest of them all, the hottest of the hot, the ultimate avenging bombshell. Because who cares who´s stronger, the Hulk or Superman. The real question is who´s got more sex appeal : Catwoman or Black Cat ? And who has the biggest...personality : Wonder Woman, Big Barda or Power Girl ?

I wanted to post this earlier but like always in life on Saturday I was kind of tired. I had the chance to post but I did want to make it short. I had just reached the part before the actual finalists and it seemed like a good idea to leave the rest for Sunday. Because the people need to read the first part before I can post part two, right ? Easier said than done. In life you better take the chances you have and don´t wait for later. Because there is no later.

But let´s not moan and whine because I just lost a whole day. Sometimes it is frightening how dependent we have become of the internet. Anyway, we´re back on track, I managed to get to the computer first today and I have a little over an hour left before CHARMED is on. So let´s get right down to the finalists.

Avengers babe Number 5 : Spider - Woman

Oh yeah, baby. Now we´re talking spandex. You can criticise Bendis for a lot of stuff but one of the few good things he did was resurrect this arachnid awesomeness from comicbook limbo.

Ignored by comic writers throughout Marvel Jessica Drew is back with a vengeance. And it seems most artist were aching to draw her again. Also it helps to have pheromone powers to turn your Avenger teammates into drooling lapdogs. And she has great interaction with Spider - Man, the kind of little sister - big brother relationship. Not what you think - get your mind out of the gutter.

Now while her sexyness is without question there are some factors why she is not higher in the ranking. First of all she´s kind of a shady character. Is she with the Avengers ? Is she with S.H.I.E.L.D. ? Nick Fury ? Hydra ? Hare Krishnas ? Who knows it ? The class ? Anyone ?

And her backstory isn´t less confusing either. Additionally she has the baggage that Bendis went berserk on the Avengers killing them off left and right to build his new team that included her. Mostly totally unnecessary and in one instance even in the worst way I´ve ever seen in a comic book. So we had to get through a really rough time to get her.

Lastly being more of the new kid on the block Spider - Woman still has to prove if she has the staying power to remain one of the top Avenger babes. So while scoring mayor points for wearing red spandex like no one else and sheer ooomph she in the number five slot.

Avengers babe Number Four and a half : Tigra

Now why is there a number 4.5 position and not a tie between Spider - Woman and Tigra ? That was my first intention but while writing this post I realized that while both contestants are not in the top four Tigra definitely ranks higher than Spider - Woman. She was a member longer than her and if someone could teach Spider - Woman about wearing her sex appeal on the sleeve it´s Pam Grier.

Not only beloved by antropomorphic lovers Tigra is the Avengers wildcat that hasn´t been tamed yet. She even made the U.S.Agent blush and that´s no small accomplishment.

And she also has a better costume. I mean her costume is a friggin bikini. How cool is that ?

Okay, she´s basically covered from head to toe in fur but still - a bikini.

I´m still a little bit confused as to her back story that as far as I remembered had something to do with catpeople from outer space or dimension x. Which I think is the title of some 70s b - movie, right ? Anyway, Tigra is so erotic that even her old costumed identity of the Cat was so hot Marvel brought it back with Patsy Walker under the yellow spandex.

The reason why she´s not in the top 3 is that...yes, she was the traitor on Captain America´s team during CIVIL WAR. Damn, Pam, why did you do it ?

She still has a nice tail ( in more ways than one ) which I guess is the reason that Frank Cho put her on the cover of issue 3 of MIGHTY AVENGERS. Hmmm, I really should start reading it.

She alone sold probably 40 percent of of the entire print run. Now that I think of it there´s also another " tail " so to speak on the cover of issue 3 which leads us directly to the next Avengers babe finalist.

Avenger babe Number Four : Black Widow

Forget the whole BACK IN BLACK deal going on in the spidertitles at Marvel right now. The one character that really shows that black is beautiful is none other than Natasha Romanoff ( or how it was later revealed Natalia Alianovna Romanova - yeah that´s less complicated ) showing her tush on the left side of issue 3. For those of you who wonder who sold the other 40 percent of the print run. Another 10 percent bought it because of the Sentry ( guess which demographic group that was ) and the last ten percent are the die hard Avenger fans.

Like Captain Marvel she once was the leader of the Avengers but what really puts her so high on the list is her training as a KGB spy. Don´t underestimate the kommunist angle in this ranking. Just ask Katharina Witt how much of an impact that can have.

When she was ice skating for the communist part of Germany she was one of the top ten hotties of the world. But she lost big part of her sex appeal when Germany was reunited because there was nothing exotic about her anymore.

Don´t get me wrong. She´s still very hot and I still like to see her tv appearances but it´s just not the same.

But back to the Black Widow. What I meant with special training is the fact that female spies are specially instructed to seduce men - in every way possible. Just ask James Bond about it. If there´s any dirty trick in the book to wrap a guy around her finger than she knows it. I mean her debut was using her superior sex vibes to turn Hawkeye into a lovesick puppy. He was totally pussywhipped.

And who could blame him ? No judge on earth would normally put him in prison for that.

So let´s see the score so far :

Skintight black leather ? Check.
Supersexy russian spy ? Check.
Experience points ? Off the scale.
Deadly hand to hand combatant ? Definitely.
Redhead ? Oh yeah, forgot about that.

I don´t know how Marvel had the idea to replace her with a blonde. Where´s the sense in that ? Who needs a dumb superspy ? A blonde´s not even half as sexy. I mean you only have to put them next to each other.

The original.

The copycat.

See what I mean ? They´re not even in the same league.

Now you may ask yourself if even a megahottie like Black Widow is not in the top three than who is ? So let´s find out.

Avenger babe Number 3 : Scarlett Witch

Well, we all knew an android can cry but it seems he can also get other....urges. Some say it´s because of Simon Williams´ brain patterns were used to give the Vision a personality but nevertheless you can´t deny the facts. It´s not everyday that a mechanical construct forgets it´s programming and gets the hots for the woman in red.

Magneto´s daughter has gone from helpless damsel in distress to team powerhouse over the course of her career. It really took her a while and when I began reading Marvel comics ( back in the Jack Kirby and Stan Lee days ) it seemed that there were only two women in the Marvel universe : Susan Storm and Wanda Maximoff. And one of them was always captured or used as a hostage. Not that veteran artists like George Perez don´t manage to sneak the ocassional bondage picture ( or even bondage variant cover ) into the series now and then.

But what really puts her on the list is that every guy seems to fall for her : Wonder Man, Vision, Arkon....even the slimy Toad ( and we´re talking here pre - movie retcon Brotherhood of Evil Mutants henchman Toad ) was always trying to score with her. I guess that was the realistic part.

And like I said she even made the Vision loose his servos for her.

Sadly both the Vision and Wanda had to suffer at the hands of the writers. First Byrne had the Vision disassembled storyline ( you see Bendis ? someone did it first ) in which they had to rebuild the Vision from scratch and Wonder Man refused to donate a copy of his brain patterns because he wanted her for himself. Than it turned out that her two babies were just soul shards of Master Pandemonium ( or Master P ) and then she went cookoo.

She went over to Magneto and hurt Wonder Man really bad. Not that it stopped him from returning from the dead to save her.

But the final nail in her coffin was when Bendis suddenly decided to have Doctor Strange appear and proclaim that there never existed such a thing as chaos magic. Nevermind the fact that in one storyarc in his own series he had lost his magic powers. And to gain new magical powers he had to turn to new sponsors and use an unpredictable and dangerous new kind of magic called.....yes, chaos magic.

So suddenly Doc Strange comes to the rescue saying that there never was any chaos magic after risking his own life to gain the ability to use it. Doesn´t really make any sense but hey, at least we get to kill off a whole bunch of Avengers and that has to count for something, right ?

The Avengers have to go up against Wanda, she turns most mutants normal ( except the one who have their own books ) and gets an instant lobotomy for that. Now if that´s not good writing than I don´t know what is.

Anyway, let´s not dwell too long on that horrible storyline. She has since than reappeared and it remains to be seen if she has her old magical powers or the new ability to change reality. All said and done she can still put a spell on anyone.

This ranking turns more and more into an episode of SESAME STREET. Today we learn about the letter W. W is for Widow like in Black Widow. W is for Witch like in Scarlett Witch. And W is also for Wasp who is our penultimate finalist.

Avenger babe Number 2 : Wasp

Founding member Janet Van Dyne is not only the original Avengers partygirl she also shows that good things do come in small packages.

She´s hot, she´s rich, she´s her own woman and she has broken quite a few hearts. She´s like the supercelebrity of the Marvel universe. Imagine Paris Hilton if she had like brains....or style....or class...or sex appeal. If I think about it it´s better not to compare the two.

And to top it all off she has designed more costumes than Paris Hilton. She has worn a gazillion outfits from which my favorite one has to be the " follow the sign " outfit.

Now if that skintight black spandex doesn´t scream : " This way to fun ! " than I don´t know. It´s like an open invitation, dude. That´s what I called reassured. Even Tigra is not that straight forward to her fellow team mates.

The Wasp is so hardcore they had to censor two pages where she and her hubby demonstrated the private use of shrinking powers in the trade version. So don´t wait for the trade kids or you miss the best parts ( like Sentry ripping Venom in half ).

And that´s why the Avengers leading lady could only be in the number two position.

Number One Avengers babe : She Hulk

The hottest Avenger babe of all is Jennifer Walters the jade giantess who shows that sometimes size DOES matter.

The poster child for a better life through gamma rays Jen got a blood transfusion from her cousin the Hulk that had a nice side effect aside from saving her life. It turned her from bookworm to centerfold material. Not that you would know it by reading the actual series but when John Byrne was drawing and writing her book ( that was one of Marvel´s bestselling books at that time ) his reference was Playboy´s Miss December 1989 Petra Verkaik.

I hope they emphasize that a little more with the next art team.

She Hulk had her own title as the SAVAGE SHE HULK but it never gained much popularity despite of art by John Buscema ( at least in the first issue ). It kind of settled into the status of also - ran and never had the same success as her cousin.

But that all changed when John Byrne took her under his wing and transformed her into the SENSATIONAL SHE HULK.

He showed her sexy side and was alway two inches away from censorship which he always eluded through careful panel layout.

He also did other risky things like having She hulk skipping rope in the nude in one of the issues that had started as kind of a running gag in the book.

Of course in the end it turned out to be nothing more than a visual gag. But John knew how to use the conventions and machinations of comic books.

John Byrne laid the foundation for the character of She Hulk who became a fun loving, independent, self confident and sexy character. And he cemented her status as the premier Avengers ├╝berbabe. But not everything was fun and games. In one issue of Fantastic Four she was caught on camera while sunbathing topless. Even as a lawyer she couldn´t prevent the magazine from printing it. Luckily the publisher of the magazine was not that professional so he did not go to the printing company and look at the proofs before it was printed. So the printers thought the color was all wrong and corrected it to look like a brunette with normal skin.

So let that be a lesson to you : always get a good look at the proofs.

And in her graphic novel the word " graphic " took on a whole different meaning when she had to strip in front of a bunch of S.H.I.E.L.D. agents and later on she had to undergo a medical " check up " with a full cavity search that was taped. And you think S.H.I.E.L.D. is a pain in the ass now. I think the story the acronym S.H.I.E.L.D. stood ( no pun intended ) for Sexual Hyperactives Investigating Erotic Love Doll.

Not that she fares any better in her current series. Writer Dan Slott has turned her from an emancipated character that had no problems with her sexuality but still a lot of problems finding the right guy ( remember how long she was thinking about going on a date with Herkules till it turned out that the fantasy was much better than the reality ) into an irresponsible, man - eating vamp who drags the first guy she finds into her bed.

And when is she going to get a good costume ? Are jumpsuits and bodystockings really the best the artists at Marvel can come up with ?

You know what I think ? They should just take Tigra as an example and make her costume a bikini.

It´s really hard to believe that Marvel has so much trouble finding a good artist and a good writer for a character that´s not only a fan favorite among reades but also among artists. Whenever artists are asked who their favorite female superheroine is She Hulk is always in the top three.

Honorary mention : Moondragon

Now this ranking would not be complete without mentioning Moondragon. While she´s not often an active Avenger I just have to include her because not only does she represent the bald sexy look. One of her costumes ( that´s more of a bathing suit ) has the mother of all cleavages.

She´s got the curves, she´s got the costume and big....powers. All she needs is to have a little more screen time.

Before closing I wanted to add to the x - babe post that I don´t think the pic for Psylocke was the right one. When I look at her pictures by Jim Lee I have to confess that her bodytype has more of an Tera Patrick vibe to it.

As for Boom Boom I´m thinking Allison Mack could play that role.

And that´s the end of todays post as we wrap up the Avenger babe finalist. I´m not sure which category comes next but I will think of something.

Todays clip is in honor to She Hulk. It´s Petra Verkaik on the beach. Enjoy.

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