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Saturday, September 06, 2008

Issues over Swimsuit Issues: What's the big deal?

Admit it. You've read one of these before.

Amazing Heroes did it first. Marvel then popularized and published them regularly during the early '90s, and soon other publishers followed suit. And by suit, I mean the kind that's so awesome it had to be named after a totally nuclear testing site.

Yes, that's supposed to be Rogue. Go figure.

They're comic book swimsuit issues. Magazines that had tongue-in-cheek renditions of your favorite comic book characters frolicking in the summer sun in, well, swimsuits. Totally irreverent, totally out of continuity, totally without any sort of educational value whatsoever.

So why do some people hate swimsuit issues so much?

Whenever a publisher announces they're putting out a swimsuit issue of some sort these days, some well-meaning comic fans heave a collective "le sigh" and argue about how gimmicks like these are undermining the supposed 'reputation' of comic books.

But why am I, as much a product of '90s comic books as they, totally okay with them?

Is it because I don't care about the image of the comic book industry in general either way, or is it because I don't find anything wrong with issues that, ehem, highlight how good-looking comic book characters are?

Honestly, if people think that these kinds of magazines undermine anything, or that it furthers the image of comic book fans as loveless, xenophobic fan-wankers still living with their moms, then they're seriously misrepresenting the comic book fanboy culture already. There's a comic book for any kind of reader out there. If ignorant people think swimsuit issues are representative of comic book culture as a whole, then might we direct them to some Watchmen or Marvel Adventures or Stray Bullets? Let's enlighten, not hide.


I mean, taking in the fact that Iron Man is wearing swimming trunks over his armor, what's not fun about this at all...?

Waitaminnit...is that Sersi topless?!

Man, swimsuit issues are teh most awesome idea ever!

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