By RazzaTazz 12 Comments
This likely not known to most people, but in my time at Comic Vine I have made the database here the "go-to" place on the internet for anyone researching the appearance of lipstick in comics, or the use of lipstick in comics. Maybe "go-to" is too self-aggrandizing but I couldn't find another single source on the internet where there is a mention of lipstick and comic together. Anyway, the above is not meant as a pat-on-the-back, but as an apology, as I am about to discuss lipstick.
Since the new 52 there has been a background character showing up in Superman and Supergirl books called Dr. Shay Veritas. She controls the Block, which acts as a training gym for Superman and a refuge for Supergirl. One of the bizarre aspects of the Block is that everyone there has taken on her specific DNA. Of course the background of the character has not been delved into very much, but one of the identifying features of her appearance is her purple hair and purple lips. Purples lips generally do not mean something good for the person bearing them unless they have been painted on, as they generally mean that the person is sick in some way.
Here the lips could be from one of a few explanations. One is that the scientific experiments which made everyone look the same caused them to develop purple pigments in their lips and hair. This could be the case, except other areas of their skin and their hair (like eyebrows) are not purple. If that is the case, then it would seem that it is a styling choice of the original character to wear purple lipstick and to dye her hair purple, in which case it would not be linked to her DNA, which the others have assumed. This is the more likely explanation but then it means either that the DNA of the character has a natural tendency towards purple, or that everyone simply chooses to copy her purple tendencies. The latter is the most interesting explanation from a fashion standpoint, as an aspect of fashion is self expression, which seems to be not present in this bizarre place, which is seemingly equally unrealistic. In my mind it makes the most sense, that Veritas just has hundreds of tubes of purple lipstick lying around, and that this is the only cosmetic (or lip balm) available and that is why there is so much uniformity, though I suppose mixing soft science with hard science with fashion will never work.