I know this may be a surprise for some people but I wasn’t an avid hater of Power Girl’s boob window. (It was the Huntress “Belly Window” that drew most of my wrath in costuming). Not that it wasn’t problematic at times, but that was mainly due to the artist who was drawing it. In the hands of Sami Basri or Amanda Conner? It was fine. In the hands of another artist? Grotesque.
True, it was not always her costume as seen in the image below. But it was her most popular one. (I wrote about the history of the window last year and it is still one of my most popular posts.)
So why the tolerance if not a bit of fondness for the boob window? I think because it fit her personality. From the day she first popped into comics, filled with, as my grandmother used to say, piss and vinegar Power Girl was one of the more direct, combative and pugilistic female characters in comics. Her boobs, like her, were in your face and pity the fool who mocked her.
Whenever I saw Power Girl show up with that window, I always felt there a little “here you go fan boys - nothing subtle for you.” That’s why Amanda Conner’s take on Power Girl made the character so popular (including winning the character/artist tournament I just ran). Conner got that the window was a way to take the sniggling and ogling that goes, for some, hand in hand with superhero comics and mocked it. Sure Empowered does that too, but this was DC with its bigger, ahem, audience. And again, that sense of mockery was only there with artists who got it. Not all did.
So now she has a new costume for Worlds’ Finest:
Last night I asked one of the book’s artist Kevin Maguire, who was discussing the new costume, who designed it:
“Connected to the Earth-2 Superman design.” That made me even a bit sadder to see it go. For all the problems of the boob window, it gave Power Girl her own iconic look. I’m a sucker for costume iconism. Sometimes it is the only continuity the character has. It’s one of the reasons I don’t totally hate Wonder Woman’s “bathing suit”. And while the Power Girl costume drew on the same colors as Superman’s, it was her own.
So like so many other things in the new 52, we have another thing disappear. The boob window has been boarded up. The view wasn’t always pretty, but I am, like many other things I’ve lost this year, sad to see it go.