We’re taking just a little off the top with this week’s “So You Want To Read Comics”. This is our weekly feature where we take a look at a single topic or genre, then give you two comic book recommendations, perfect for new readers, based on that topic or genre. This week, we’re looking at haircuts.
What do hawks, locks,pixies, caesars, and bobs all have in common? Assuming you didn’t read the intro or title to this article, if you said haircut names, you’d be correct. In today’s society, haircuts are primarily associated with fashion and aesthetics, but throughout history various hairstyles had significance beyond looks. Oral tellings of history claim that enslaved African people in Colombia would use designs braided into their hair to relay messages to each other and to hide seeds to be used after escape. In ancient Rome, hairstyles were used to denote everything from wealth to social status, to marital status. In the world of entertainment, hairstyles worn by prominent celebrities and characters would go on to create fashion trends adopted internationally, Think the prominence of “The Rachel” in the late 90s, or how Betty Boop assisted in creating the popularity of the pixie cut in the 1930s.
Believe it or not, there aren’t a ton of comic book storylines centered around getting a haircut, but there have been some famous hairstyles. So here are a couple of comic book series featuring some of the most famous haircuts in comics.
Black Panther & The Crew
Writer: Ta-Nehisi Coates & Yona Harvey
Artist: Butch Guice
Publisher: Marvel Comics
In the 1980s the character of Storm underwent a massive redesign and what came out of it was one of the most glorious mohawks ever put down on a comic book page (and there’s been quite a few). Beyond it being really cool looking, it was used to signify the characters new direction towards being a self-empowered and strong willed character. Fast forward a couple decades, and a plethora of hairstyles and Storm’s mohawk made a sort of reappearance. In Black Panther & The Crew, Storm sports a hairstyle that is reminiscent of her famous mohawk except modernized with a sense of regalness and high fashion. Beyond the hairstyles though, this series is a solid mostly self-contained story where Black Panther, Storm, Misty Knight, and Luke Cage investigate a murder and rising social tensions that reveals a dark and troubling history in the Marvel Universe.
Superman: The Reign of The Supermen
Writer: Dan Jurgens
Artist: Tom Grummett
Publisher: DC Comics
I have just two words for you, Super Mullet. Okay, I have a few more words. In 1993, DC Comics created one of the most famous storylines/marketing ploys in their history. They killed Superman. What resulted afterwards was The Reign of Supermen, where four others rose up to take the place of The Big Blue Boyscout. The story concluded with the return of Superman, but gone was his famous spit curl and in its place a mane of luxurious black locks. While not intentional, this hairstyle often was depicted as something closer to a mullet than anything else, which gave rise to the term “Super Mullet”. While Clark’s hair is the standout ‘do in this series, the hip partially shaved head of Superboy, Steel’s classy bald look, and The Eradicator’s tribute to Superman’s original hairstyle all deserve some mention.
Who has the best hair in comics? What did you think of these recommendations? Let us know in the comments section below.