So I've been kind of saying the same thing in a few different places now, and I figured I'd just throw together a quick blog for future reference, because this actually does irk me quite a bit. After all the good will I've been throwing towards Red Hood and the Outlaws and in particular its ability to make Starfire a lot more respectable than it looked like she would be in that infamous beach panel, I find myself almost openly mocked by the series' regression. Consider below:
The image on the left is from RHatO Issue #8, which is the last issue before the Starfire-centric arc (barring the Night of the Owls tie-in). It features the first New 52 outfit for Kori, a wonder of alien design insomuch as chest support is concerned. This outfit has been routinely criticized for being unnecessarily sexual and demeaning to the character, and is used as the argument for both believing that Starfire is just fanservice and refusing to read the book in which she's featured.
Happily, Lobdell took the Outlaws to space, threw Kori into the position of leadership she was born for, and gave her the awesome suit which is featured in the second image This outfit featured in issues #10-#14, and the image is actually a screenshot of 14's cover. It's worth noting that Starfire sports this look after leaving her ship and crew behind. It's a sexy, form-fitting suit, but it's also practical armor and affords her a respectability that was much needed and much appreciated.
Which is why it completely baffles me that in the next issue (#15), Kori is inexplicably back in her skimpy purple slut suit. She begins the issue in a bikini -- which, I guess, is because she's back on the beach -- but when she and Roy rush off to Gotham, she dons the original outfit. There's no explanation given, no practical reason why she would revert to an older, less useful attire, but there you have it: back to the old costume.
As far as I can tell, the respectable outfit is simply gone, disposed of by the artist for no apparent reason (beyond fanservice). With a new creative team coming following the conclusion of Death of the Family and Lobdell's departure, I may have hoped for that respectability to have been brought back, but based on the covers (and now I'm talking about the last image there) it seems that hope was misplaced. Admittedly, upon consideration, this new look affords a little bit more coverage than her original outfit (I erroneously suggested otherwise in a prior post). But comparatively, it is still vastly more revealing than the suit.
Frankly, this saddens me. After all the flack DC got for its portrayal of Kori in the beginning of this run, I thought the Blackfire arc did her a lot of good and actually recognized that Kori could be an awesome, likeable, sexy character without showing off her entire body. Now she's back to flaunting everything, and I can't help but see it as a major regression for the book, DC, and comics in general. Are we in this much of a rut that even progress made since the reboot needs to be retconned to make way for more T&A?
Anyway, yeah...this probably didn't really say a whole lot but I just wanted to look at the images side-by-side, revisit the issues to make sure the disappearance of her suit hadn't been explained, and, well...rant, I guess. Thanks for reading.