My own first reaction was "What the hell? Who the fuck designed this outfit?"
Because seriously, another superheroine who walks around with her belly exposed and those look like high heels. I cringed and raged, but now I've calmed down a bit. It's still a bare midriff, but the artist isn't the worst one ever. I hate that every superheroine is perfectly packaged to land as a sex bomb, and male writers expect us to find that empowering.
Of course, the more complex complaints are being overwhelmed by slutshaming and "that doesn't suit America" reactions that go beyond complaining about Marvel's artistic predictability to insulting women who actually dress like this.
This is a style that real women wear. It was popular when I grew up, and Cheryl Lynn and Joe both pointed out how true to life the outfit looks. That doesn't make it practical for crime-fighting, but it does mean that when you make a character judgement about this costume you're making a character judgement about real women so knock off the misogynistic trashtalk.
The other thing is, like Cheryl, I remember that style on women I wanted to be. I know, white girl from hillbilly country but I still took daytrips to NYC and had a TV in the 90s. It's sexy, outspoken, and unapologetic. The hair, the pants, the boots and the top were assumed to go with an attitude that was beautiful.
I think that's what the artist is trying to capture here.
I'm still unsettled, though. The artist interview didn't reassure me. I don't understand this emphasis on being able to "shake it like Shakira, but still kick your ass" over a substantial character hook, it sounds like empty marketing babble. And I'm deeply annoyed that Madelyne was last written as a "dead, out of touch racist" (I didn't read it, but I'm guessing they needed an old Golden Age hero to be a racist and had to use Miss America because all the Golden Age men are still alive) but at least someone's got the mantle and a later writer can do something that ties them both together.
I don't trust a male writer telling me she's a "new vision of American female empowerment" either. Show me.
I can't look at her yet without imagining her solo miniseries with covers by Greg Horn and shuddering.
Still, she is kind of intriguing. Marvel's reviving the Miss America name. A Hispanic woman (and Dragotta drops her name, Chavez, possibly America Chavez if I'm reading that interview right) wearing the flag, in this political climate. "Ego and indestructibility."
That last part would seem to take care of some of the impractical parts of her costume.
She reminds me of Power Girl. Modernized version of an older character, that pose, costume that the worst artists are going to go crazy with, already being judged based on that costume... "Ego and indestructibility."
And the mini also features Angel from New X-men.
Don't let me down, Casey.