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Stripperiffic / Comic Books

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Let's face it; if we had to list all the female superheroes and villains to whom this trope applied, we'd be here for most of the year. It's probably easier to list aversions and particularly notable examples. Heck, it overlaps into the dudes! The Creeper fights crime in just a speedo and a red boa! It’s also important to note that a lot of comic books, especially ones made by the big two, avert this trope nowadays, either because they realize how odd the concept is, or just because they don’t want to face the inevitable backlash from modern audiences.note 

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Marvel

  • Emma Frost is particularly notorious for this sort of outfit. As the White Queen, it was required attire for female members of the Hellfire Club, but she actually seemed to enjoy it, as it symbolized the power she could exert over men, using it for psychological warfare. (Not to mention that she admittedly does it for attention. Even after her Heel–Face Turn, she has worn outfits that have shown a lot of skin.
    • During her time with the Phoenix Force, she ends up more covered than her usual outfit, if arguably more risque. But her fellow Phoenix-er Namor somehow contrived to look like a male stripper. note 
  • The Invisible Woman of Fantastic Four fame is notable for being one of the relatively few comic book super-women who manages to avoid this trope, wearing for the most-part the same largely practical blue jumpsuit also worn by the male members of the team; however, Tom Defalco's run on the strip during The Dark Age of Comic Books was notable for reverting to trope and putting Sue in another, more revealing outfit. Which, by the way, she still wore while she was in mourning after her husband Reed Richards' Comic Book Death.
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  • There is one example of a (parody) female superhero that doesn't go for the skimpy outfits while on the job, despite her day job being a supermodel: Ashley Crawford of the Great Lakes Avengers. Then again, as a hero she's the super-strong, super-tough, super-fat Big Bertha. Seeing her in the skimpier Emma Frost uniform is likely not what the average comic fan is looking for. Of the remaining girls on the team, Squirrel Girl has a more modest costume setup (she's still a minor), while Tippy-Toe wears just a ribbon. And is a true squirrel, so it doesn't count.
  • Whiplash/Blacklash from Iron Man. His Blacklash costume frankly makes him look like a prostitute, being an entirely leather ensemble featuring lots of studs and a gimp mask! In all probability, the character himself didn't realize what that look implied, but his successors, a husband and wife who took on both the Whiplash and Blacklash identities, revelled in it.
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  • Carol Danvers of Ms. Marvel fame used to be one of the poster girls for this until she went all Captain Marvel and started wearing an all body covering suit.
  • The female Runaways are mostly an inversion, since they fight in civilian clothing and are supposed to be underage.
  • She-Hulk sometimes plays with this in her comics, especially the series where she spends more time on the Fourth Wall. In one memorable scene Venom randomly breaks in to the courtroom (she's a lawyer) and webs her up, and in ripping the webbing, she rips her suit. Someone notes the readers have just gotten more interested, wondering if it's a popular villain or the ripped clothing that excited them.
  • A male example is the Sub-Mariner, a superhero whose most common "uniform" consists of basically a speedo and wristbands.
  • Lampshaded when Firestar joined The Avengers. She was utterly mortified upon seeing the revealing new costume The Wasp designed for her, and stated that she could barely fit into it.
  • The Ultimate Marvel version of the Incredible Hulk, who is gray, not green, was originally depicted as wearing nothing at all! No ripped purple pants for that guy.
  • Considering that she's gone through well over a hundred costumes since she was created, Wasp has surprisingly few of these, sticking mostly to bodysuits that cover most of her from the neck down. The low-neckline ones or sleeveless ones are actually notable.
  • While most of the female X-Men fall victim here (even Jean Grey bares her midriff in the X-Men Legends games), Rogue averts this out of necessity. Which somehow doesn't stop her from dressing like Daisy Duke when she's out of uniform. The younger X-Woman Dust is a full-time inversion, being a devout Muslim.
  • X-23 wears many different revealing outfits, including a fanservice-y school uniform.

DC

  • Any heroine or villainess featured in any of the Ame-Comi Girls books. Special shout-out to Steel, who somehow manages to have a Stripperiffic suit of high-tech battle armor.
  • Mostly averted in the case of the Batfamily:
    • Stephanie Brown/Spoiler. The first iteration of her costume (relatively loose-fitting catsuit, cloak, hood, gloves, and full face mask) had nothing exposed anywhere, not even her hair. Later on she loosened up to the extent of allowing her ponytail and the lower half of her face to be seen. This is more notable in that she was a teenaged girl, and one who spent considerable time in her early appearances trying to catch the attention of a teenaged boy. Apparently she felt that showing skin was for amateurs, and since she did eventually catch him, one can admit she had a point.
    • Cassandra Cain/Batgirl II. Her costume is more scary than sexy: head-to-toe black leather, a stitched up mouth opening, and black-tinted eyelenses (this combined with the black suit gives the appearance that she doesn't have eyes). In essence, Batgirl's costume looks more like something you'd expect a male villain to wear.
    • Barbara Gordon. As the original Batgirl, she wore a sensible costume that covered everything except for the lower part of her face; the high heels weren't present in every version of her costume. As Oracle, she sat behind her computers in a wheelchair and dresses in comfortable, often casual clothes.
    • Male example: the original Robin costume, with its green panties/short shorts, was for a long time the most stripperiffic costume of the Batman family.
    • Huntress' costumes either offer good protection and cover her from the neck down, or have been designed by Jim Lee. Especially jarring since Huntress is a Badass Normal and very much the Combat Pragmatist you can expect a Batfamily member to be, and showing her midriff when she once took four bullets in the stomach seems like a very, very bad idea.
      Black Canary: By the way, what's with the new outfit?
      Huntress: Seven-hundred sit-ups a day.
      Black Canary: Say no more.
    • The pre-Crisis Huntress — the Earth-2 Batman's daughter — wore a much better example of this trope, particularly for its time. Essentially a one-piece bathing suit with a low neck, sometimes with thigh-high boots, long before such things were anywhere near as common as they are now.
    • Played with in her live action incarnation on Arrow. When she needs to go undercover at an actual strip club she dresses in a version of her comic book costume. Her target takes a look and immediately believes she works there.
    • Catwoman wears a Spy Catsuit. The amount of skin showing is very, very little. However, that Depends On The Artist. She's often shown with a good amount of cleavage exposed, despite the otherwise practical nature of her costume. Especially noticeable in Arkham City and Mortal Kombat vs. DC Universe.
    • Kate Kane as Batwoman goes on the list too, with a full-body suit that leaves just the lower half of her face uncovered. It looks like her hair is exposed, but that's actually part of the costume - it's a wig that pulls away with minimal effort, perfect for throwing off a villain who tries to grab it.
  • Harley Quinn of Batman is an inversion of this as her costume covers her body to the point that her pigtails, hands, and feet are covered. In the New 52 however, her original costume involved a pair of short shorts, stockings, a small cape, and a corset. She eventually switched to another one that was somewhat more modest, but still more risqué than her old one with short shorts and a midriff-bearing top with some cleavage exposed. As Harley herself put it:
    "Nothing says l'chaim like a girl dressed in a stripper clown outfit wielding a hundred-pound mallet."
  • One of the running complaints about the Star Sapphire Corps. Their origins lie in a race of warrior women and their place on the emotional spectrum is "love". Their costumes involve bare midriffs and nothing to cover their chest.
  • A Stripperiffic male outfit is the costume Cosmic Boy wore in the Legion of Super-Heroes back in the '70s. His costume was actually held on by his magnetic powers. There are reasons that period of the comic is referred to as the Naked Legion. The costume was basically a black leather corset with matching gloves, booty shorts, and boots.
  • Power Girl's infamous Cleavage Window was actually deconstructed (or Hand Waved) once; she wanted to put a symbol there, like Superman, but could never figure out what to add. In the New 52, she now wore a more modest outfit for a while. Critics and fans remarked that the creators were obviously not happy with this, and thus subjected PG to gratuitous amounts of Clothing Damage in order to compensate. She eventually returned to a variant of her old costume.
  • Pre-Crisis Supergirl's costumes were -usually- relatively modest, but once she wore this costume. Remarkably, it was designed by a female fan. The post-Crisis pre-Flashpoint version of Kara Zor-El was also notorious during the early portion of her career for her skimpy crop-top and super-low-rise microskirt with constant panty shots, which was one of the several issues which contributed to the period being widely seen as a Dork Age.
  • Taken to its natural conclusion in Secret Six, which has an actual strip club where the dancers dress up as scantily-clad versions of DC superheroes and supervillains. In what may be a subtle lampshading of the trope, several of them aren't actually that different to the costumes they were originally based on.
  • Teen Titans
    • Ravager is an inversion; she dresses in revealing clothes as Rose Wilson, but her Ravager costume is neck-to-ankles chainmail.
    • Starfire, on the other hand, plays this completely straight as the resident Gold-Skinned Space Babe. Most versions of her costume are swimsuits with boots. Starfire's already-revealing costume went Up to Eleven in Red Hood and the Outlaws. She effectively had only a pair of pasties covering her nipples, and the bikini she wears late in the first issue actually manages to be more modest than her default costume. Word of God also said that they intended for the bikini scene to have her swimsuit be semi-transparent until DC issued an Executive Veto on it. The re-appearance of Blackfire also has her wearing less clothes compare to her pre-52 days. Funny enough, Starfire was wearing a bodysuit that cover her entire body sans her face when they face off.
  • Watchmen
    • An odd Lampshade Hanging occurs in the graphic novel, in which a character uses it as a warped justification for Attempted Rape. It's also noticeable that the costume was only very Stripperiffic by 1940 standards.
    • And Dr. Manhattan, whose progressively-diminished costume provides a Stripperiffic clue as to how far back in his personal timeline each of his flashback appearances lies. The fact that he's first seen buck-naked, and is only later seen in skin-tight bodysuits or Speedos, may be a bit of a joke on this trope. The clothes are also used to show how disconnected from humanity he became over the years. He goes from full body suit, to what looks like a one-piece, then a speedo, then nothing at all. Each change in clothing represents a loss in his sense of humanity, with nudity showing his disconnect with traditional human values, such as modesty.
  • Considering her stature (in both the comic book and real worlds), it can be a little jarring to really look at Wonder Woman and realize that her costume uses less actual cloth than practically every other superheroine's out there. There was a period in the 90's where the bottom of her suit basically became a thong, which was followed by a mercifully short-lived stint where she wore a new costume that was even skimpier.
  • Parodied, as with all things, in Young Justice on a few occasions. First was when Arrowette lamented that she'd have to become a super-villain and would have to start showing off her cleavage... then whining that she'd have to get cleavage (In a much later issue showcasing an alternate universe, semi-evil YJ, she is, indeed, wearing a cleavage-revealing outfit). Note that her costume was already kinda stripperiffic to begin with, combining Bare Your Midriff and Zettai Ryouiki. Which itself was parodied when she complained about ANOTHER archer in a similar outfit, wondering how that other archer was supposed to be taken seriously in such a get-up. She realized the hypocrisy and grumbled.
  • Zatanna's and Black Canary's costumes both consist of fishnets and something with all the covering of a swimsuit (generally with a jacket on top). Zatanna is, admittedly, a Squishy Wizard (with more squish than average) so it doesn't much matter what she puts on, but Black Canary is a martial artist. Justified in Zatanna's case because she is a Stage Magician who can do real magic, and as such her outfit wouldn't be out of place onstage. The New 52 Black Canary gives a similar explanation: Dinah Lance is the lead singer of a famous rock band in the new continuity, so her Black Canary costume is designed to look like something that could be worn onstage.
  • Nobody, male or female, wears much in the way of clothing in The Warlord. Somewhat justified given the tropical climate of most of Skartaris but, even so, you'd think the warriors would go for something a little more protective.
  • Folding in the Quality Comics characters as the Freedom Fighters into the DCU had DC inherit Phantom Lady. Infamous for being a "good girl" pin up from the 40s, no version of the character had anything resembling a modest costume. In one case aside from the cape, gloves and boots, Phantom Lady fought crime in a pair of panties and a pair of vertical straps to cover her top.

Other

  • In the short-lived Beatrix comic, the eponymous heroine is given an armless, strapless, backless super suit in order to make her invulnerable — even to things like fatigue, hunger, strong flavors, and more than small amounts of friction. Of course, the trope is mooted a bit in that the suit cannot be removed, since if that were possible, it would defeat the purpose of being invulnerable.
  • Edaniel of Bizenghast often wears some very low waist-ed pants.
  • Several of the Daughters of the Amazon are similarly underdressed, but between the ritual mastectomies and overall attitude the effect is rather more feral/psychotic.
  • Empowered has no shame about this. It is not the eponymous D-List Superheroine's fault that she has to wear the costume voted the most "Skanktastic"/"Do-Me-Riffic" of all the Superhomies' in a (fictional) webpoll, but neither Sistah Spooky nor Ninjette have such an excuse.
  • Despite constantly fighting superpowerful and psychotic undead monsters Badass Normal (and goth-styled) Cassie Hack of Hack/Slash only ever seems to wear tank tops, Badass Longcoats, miniskirts, stockings and occasionally other things, like really long leather gloves and boots. Lampshaded at one point in a one-shot set in a Comic Con where a character thinks she's wearing some kind of costume.
  • Being a sort of softcore-Dark Fantasy / Science Fiction blend, the stories in Heavy Metal magazine (and the film based on it) generally tend to employ liberal use of this trope.
  • Brazilian Animesque comic Holy Avenger is full of these. The most striking example is Niele, that wears a clothing composed of... leather strips.
  • Wu Wang, the wife of Deathfist in Judge Dredd, wears what looks like a swimsuit with no back or sides, and a very low neckline. At one point, PJ Maybe had a girlfriend with similar fashion sense. The trope is partly averted by the Judges themselves. Female Judges were exactly the same uniform as the men, however since the uniform is basically a skin tight body suit and most female Judges seem to have a problem getting their zipper to fasten up to the neck, just how averted is open to question.
  • Lady Death: When most of your outfits are a bra, garter belt, thong and thigh-high spike-heeled boots, what do you expect? To be fair, it was justified in the original backstory that the costume was intended for one of Satan's concubines.
  • Darth Talon from Star Wars: Legacy wears little more than a few strategically-placed strips of leather. Not unexpected, considering that most females of her race seem to be dancers or slave girls.
  • Phantom Lady as drawn by Matt Baker in the late 1940s wore an outfit that barely covered her assets and looked like it would come off in a strong wind. One famous cover was featured in "Seduction of the Innocent" (the even more famous book by Fredric Wertham condemning comic books) as an example of "headlights".
  • Lampooned in Princeless. When shown several suits of skimpy female armor (two of which resemble those of Red Sonja and Wonder Woman), Princess Adrienne quickly points out how impractical they would be in a real a battle, especially when you consider how little protection they actually offer.
  • Red Sonja, the She-Devil with a Sword, whose standard outfit is little more than a scale mail bikini.
  • Requiem Vampire Knight: Pretty much all the women dress provocatively, but Mother Venus is the only one who gets called out on it by one of her minions, as she's also a gendercidal Straw Feminist. She argues that she dresses like a prostitute to punish men.
  • Most of the female characters in Sin City... including the stripper. (Most females in positions of power in the city are prostitutes or leaders of groups of them, so it fits.)
  • In Tank Vixens stripper outfits are literally required for the 101st Tank Crushing Battalion, given that their main battle strategy is to give male opponents aneurysms.
  • Tarot's 'armour' in Tarot: Witch of the Black Rose is extremely stripperiffic (her usual outfit is made of floss and hope!), as are most of the clothes that the other women wear in that book. When they're actually wearing clothes, that is.
  • Entirely averted in The 99, a comic book for Muslim audiences. The heroes channel power from the 99 Names of Allah; their female contingent are likewise practicing Muslims, and would rather be caught dead than in a Stripperiffic outfit. Covering is full-body and often includes anything from a head scarf to a full-face veil.
  • Julie Winters, the main female character in The Maxx wears buttock-baring denim cutoffs to her job as a social worker. She's trying to make a statement that women should be able to wear skimpy outfits without it being assumed they're pursuing sex (that is, a stand against the "You wouldn't have dressed like that unless you wanted it" defense).
  • Another male superhero example is Golden Age character the Green Turtle, revived in The Shadow Hero. His costume consists solely of a cowl, cape, underpants and boots.
  • Sheena, Queen of the Jungle, being a jungle warrior, is very scantily clad.
  • Yet another male example is Frank Miller's 300. In the comic, the Spartan warriors are as often as not buck naked, except for helmet, greaves, shield, and long red cape. This does highlight, however, how Stripperiffic outfits are actually Older Than Feudalism: Miller is imitating the "heroic nude" of classical Greek art, where warriors, heroes, and gods are commonly shown parading around (and even fighting) largely naked. The film version gives all of the Spartans little leather panties, which only amplifies the Stripperiffic and homoerotic nature of the costume.
  • Cobweb from Tomorrow Stories wears a see-through costume and no underwear.
  • Channon Yarrow often wore very Stripperiffic outfits throughout Transmetropolitan's run, both in casual and professional situations. Then again, she was introduced as a stripper working her way through journalism school.
  • Vampirella. Her signature outfit is a red sling suit, complete with Absolute Cleavage and Thong of Shielding, with a white collar and wearing shiny black knee-high boots. Notably, while provocative to begin with, it was actually possible as a swimsuit-like outfit, but Harris Comics made it more so. Averted with the 2016 reboot where she wears clothes which are almost (but not quite) practical.
  • Most wielders of the Witchblade are quite stripperiffic, at least until they gain enough experience to control it. Justified in that the eponymous witchblade is sentient, male, and a perv, so it shreds its hosts' clothing when it activates; when the wielder is skilled enough, they can override this tendency. Averted in the Spin-Off, Switch (2015), because the wielder of the Witchblade is a teenage girl in that continuity.
  • Unlike most of the women in Y: The Last Man, the supermodel Yorrick meets is wearing a halter top, not really practical for her new job: disposing of bodies left by the Gendercide. Much later, she wears the same thing while walking though a sewer.
  • Lady Rawhide from Topps Zorro comic series. Especially blatant as the series takes place in Colonial Spanish California. Lampshaded as various characters wonder how she can leap about in that outfit without anything showing.
  • In the original Grell issues of Starslayer, Tamara was usually running around in an outfit best described as 3 large black diamonds linked by string. During the Ostrander/Truman era, she started wearing mildly more modest Space Pirate garb.
  • Raptors: Drago and Camilla's "outfits" usually consist of a leather trenchcoat and leather pants at best. Camilla in particular resembles a dominatrix much of the time.

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