Suspension of disbelief is a fragile thing. Sometimes it can be broken by an action, sometimes by a word… Sometimes, it can be broken by laundry. Welcome to Ten Things: Ten Impossible-To-Keep-Clean Costumes!

Whooshman-Bicarbonate Films, in conjunction with An Amateur Comics Historian and Jefferson Cleaners, Five Locations Near You, Presents:

TEN THINGS: TEN IMPOSSIBLE-TO-KEEP-CLEAN COSTUMES!

10) MOONDRAGON

TEN IMPOSSIBLE-TO-KEEP-CLEAN COSTUMES

After a near-fatal encounter with Thanos, Heather Douglas was left for dead, only to be found and adopted by Mentor of Titan, Thanos’ father. Raised by psychic monks in space (like ya do), Heather unlocked her latent psionic powers and returned to Earth to muster forces to destroy the man who killed her family, only to find that a more complicated job than she had expected. After years of wearing a green bathing suit/cape combo, she transitioned to this (gorgeous) white leather ensemble, the kind of clothes you can only get away with wearing when you can telekinetically repel dirt.

9) QUEEN CAT

TEN IMPOSSIBLE-TO-KEEP-CLEAN COSTUMES

The former fiancee of Harry Osborn who was accidentally transformed into the monster called Menace, thanks to Norman Osborn’s Green Goblin formula, Lily Hollister was driven made by the experience. After an accident caused her to lose her memory, Roderick Kingsley transformed her into a photo-negative version of the Black Cat with enhanced agility powers, causing Lily to wonder if she wasn’t being given a new non-Goblin lease on life and embracing a superhero role.

Just as long as she doesn’t want to eat anything with mustard, it might work!

8) GHOST PANTHER 2099

TEN IMPOSSIBLE-TO-KEEP-CLEAN COSTUMES

In order to save the world within the Soul Gem, Gamora absorbed every soul in the universe into it’s strange parallel reality, disabling the heroes of the world by “folding” everything in half, mashing the heroes of the Marvel U into merged heroic forms. King T’Challa was merged with Ghost Rider to make the hero Ghost Panther, who then traveled into the future to meet his own successor, Ava Cochrane, who combines one of the White Tigers with Ghost Rider 2099.

On the one hand, I love the idea of Secret Warps, but when things keep combining and recombining, it can get a little overwhelming… This one is pretty awesome, though.

7) WHITE WIDOW

TEN IMPOSSIBLE-TO-KEEP-CLEAN COSTUMES

Just your average college girl, Gabrielle Garcia’s life got turned entirely inside out when her dying father injected her with a special symbiotic fluid that gave her super-powers and covered her with a strange spidery coating. Thrust into a strange world of spies and wall-crawling, Gabrielle has to put together her shattered life and figure out what she’s going to do with her new powers.

I wonder if she’s considered professional wrestling? Or perhaps news photography?

6) GEMINI

TEN IMPOSSIBLE-TO-KEEP-CLEAN COSTUMES

Thanks to experimentation while still in her mother’s womb, Aria Campbell was somehow split into two separate entities and was born as twins, with her brother Coda. Years later, she was captured by Darkseid, who deemed her the next step in human evolution. Thanks to a MacGuffin called the Gemini Matrix, the twins were combined into one being, who (with the help of the Legion of Super-Heroes) escaped the lord of Apokalips. She traveled first to the 20th Century, then exited the DC Universe entirely to appear in Image Comics.

Godlike power doesn’t care about the boundaries of reality… or spills.

5) THE FIRST ELEVEN

TEN IMPOSSIBLE-TO-KEEP-CLEAN COSTUMES

A powerful worldwide crime cartel, The First Eleven patterns themselves after a cricket team, right down to the traditional cricket whites. While incredibly dangerous, the team’s members are regulars at the ‘Time In A Bottle’ pub, where they peacefully drink and socialize with superheroes and supervillains alike, protected by ancient British magicks.

I love the bit about how the “never caught on in America”, a joke that even *I* refuse to explain for fear of ruining it.

4) MOON BIRD

One of the “real-life” superheroes inspired by Kick-Ass in-universe, Moon Bird’s identity is unknown, but her mission is both understandable and admirable. Not everybody can take on world-beaters and cosmic demagogues, but it’s no less heroic helping women get home safely, one careful walk at a time.

I like her more than Kick-Ass, to be honest.

3) GRAVITY GIRL

Not unexpectedly for a young woman created to serve as a teenage Lois Lane, Lana Lang got super-powers a LOT. For instance, when her dad returned from a trip abroad with strange relics, a glowing belt caught her eye. When she put it on, it gave her super-powers comparable to Superboy himself, which caused some friendly competition. When a weakness in the belt-induced super-powers was discovered, Superboy and her dad decided to destroy it rather than let her learn to wield it properly, which tells you all you need to know about Silver Age Superboy stories.

The lead mask is to keep him from seeing her face, by the way.

2) THE VISION

After he attempted to wrest control of the entire world in the name of protecting humanity, the synthezoid Vision was seized by the U.S. government and disassembled. Upon reassembly by The Avengers, it was discovered that the brain patterns copied from Wonder Man to create his emotions needed to be rescanned. Wonder Man refused, leaving Vision as an emotionless android and leading to a series of retcons that culminated in the revelation that he both IS and IS NOT rebuilt from the remains of the android Human Torch.

Since he doesn’t eat, he doesn’t worry about gravy.

1) ZEPHYR

The most moral person in the Valiant Universe, Faith Herman was the ability to levitate herself, as well as force fields and aerokinetic powers. Once a member of Peter Stanchek’s renegade band of Harbingers, she is now a superhero celebrity, dating fellow super Obadiah Archer. Of course, since she’s a huge fan of comics, she has a secret identity as reporter Summer Smith, wearing a wig and glasses, no matter how hard or unsuccessful that facade might be. She’s awesome, and don’t let anybody tell ya different.

Thanks to Faithful Spoilerite TJ Kendon for this week’s topic, Ten Impossible-To-Keep-Clean Costumes!  Feel free to follow along @MightyKingCobra for more Ten Things madness on Twitter or check out the full Twitter archive here! As with any set of like items, these aren’t meant to be hard and fast or absolutely complete, if only because modern printing means that the problems that kept Phoenix from having a white costume are no longer relevant. Either way, the comments section is below for just such an emergency, but, as always: Please, no wagering!


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Once upon a time, there was a young nerd from the Midwest, who loved Matter-Eater Lad and the McKenzie Brothers... If pop culture were a maze, Matthew would be the Minotaur at its center. Were it a mall, he'd be the Food Court. Were it a parking lot, he’d be the distant Cart Corral where the weird kids gather to smoke, but that’s not important right now... Matthew enjoys body surfing (so long as the bodies are fresh), writing in the third person, and dark-eyed women. Amongst his weaponry are such diverse elements as: Fear! Surprise! Ruthless efficiency! An almost fanatical devotion to pop culture! And a nice red uniform.

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