One of her redeeming qualities during Days of Future Past however, was that she had become the leader of the X-men. I found this inspiring and empowering. She asserted her leadership, reminding Wolverine to trust her, as she was the leader now, not Cyclops. She was the alpha-FEmale, empowering women and girls with her role. Not only this, but she was one of the first prominent black characters in comic history, the first female black character too.
This made me want to do more research on Storm, to find out more about her later role in the X-men. While she does remain leader of the X-men, and even stands up to Cyclops when he finally returns, I have to say I was disappointed with what I saw. I'm not talking about her character change, I'm talking about her costume change. Now, I know in the Dark Phoenix Saga Storm's outfit is already skin tight, revealing, and has much sex appeal. And even after she's captured by the White Queen, she is tied up in a very provocative way, but as discussed in class, there was something special about Storm. She never seemed to be overly sexy, or objectified. She had an air of royalty and charisma that made me look past the costume and see a genuine character.
The images I found were disappointing. Yes, some of them still show her as a strong, independent woman, but again the costumes are too much. They made me take a step back and reevaluate the inspiring woman I thought she was. Costumes are supposed to be a symbol of the superheroine. They are supposed to be the first thing you see, and tell you exactly who you're looking at. What they're not supposed to do is take away good qualities from a character. They aren't supposed to make me appreciate Storm less than before. What I'm referring to is the difference between these two images.
These differences, though subtle, make a big impact in my opinion. The high cut leotard, and the massive amount of cleavage, detract from her appeal in my eyes. Yes, it has more sex appeal, but that's not the point for comic books. The point is to show the characters as strong and powerful, not as the next playboy bunny. It troubles me that as time goes on, a superheroine's costume becomes more and more revealing. This along with other female role models and images only fuels society's pressure for young women. If we keep on the path of fashion trends that we are on already, in 20 years we'll all be walking around naked, or very close to it. There comes a point when costume updates go too far for superheroines, and sadly, for many that point has long been reached.
Images take from: