Monday, May 24, 2010

Top 5 Gypsy Covers

I have a great deal of affection for Gypsy, the smart-mouthed teen runaway turned tragic figure turned Gen-X slacker. I never forgave the '90s Martian Manhunter series for not using her more, but it does seem like the lack of long-lived DC heroines not directly tied to pre-existing male heroic franchises has helped bring Gypsy to the fore. However, like Vibe, there's a lot to be embarrassed about with regards to this heroine. From her slanderous m.o. to her ill-defined powers to her vague-to-dreadful costumes to her bare feet to her sleeping with a best friend's much older ex... not to mention her general lack of traction with regard to a super-hero career over the last 26 years. Still, I dig her, and despite a slew of not too appealing covers I'll be linking to, there are some bright spots.

Honorable Mentions: Justice League Task Force #24 & 33.

Dishonorable Mentions: Justice League Task Force #20, Justice League of America #236, Justice League of America #249, Justice League Task Force #32

5) Justice League Unlimited #22 (August, 2006)

Only at Johnny Dc could this happen, but still, it's terrible-original-costume Gypsy hiding behind a wall. It managed to land on the right side of the honorable/dishonorable divide, but still...

4) Birds of Prey #93 (June, 2006)

On the one hand, here's a solo Gypsy on a BoP cover. On the other, everyone, even Gypsy fans, wondered what the hell she was doing on a BoP cover. Further, she's in a stripped down version of her JSA: Classified costume, which was vague to begin with. Taking away the more eccentric aspects, Gypsy is barely recognizable, and even then not as a proper super-heroine.

3) Justice League Task Force #1 (June, 1993)

On a cover with a contorted, howling Martian Manhunter and the Flash racing away, your eyes go directly to Gypsy's exposed caramel-colored skin. God bless colorist Glenn Whitmore for sustaining the heat begun by Sal Velluto!

2) Justice League of America #259 (February, 1987)

Yes, it's Gypsy being gut shot from a sniper's bullet, but you've got to admit it's striking, and ultimately her own fault for wearing those rags.

1) Justice League Task Force #4 (September, 1993)

Not only do I love this cover, but Gypsy fights Lady Shiva inside. How's that for moving up in the world? Also, while still leaving something to be desired, this is my favorite of her many bad costumes.


LissBirds said...

I kinda like the original. I think someone named "Gypsy" should dress like a gypsy. But the bare feet makes no sense. And wearing all those bangles and your hair down and big hoop earrings are just asking for a villain to rip your earlobes off.

The last one? But it's got shoulder pads! UGGGGGH. Shoulder pads are the most ridiculous women's fashion item of the 80's. I'll take a sideways ponytail over soulder pads any day. Even Vic Sage's suit was pushing my shoulder pad limits. And to paraphrase Seinfeld, it's a bra, not a top.

Poor girl. She needs a costume redesign badly. But, since she's invisible a lot of the time, does it really matter what she wears? She doesn't need an official costume per se, just whatever she happens to be wearing at the time.

Diabolu Frank said...

I'm conflicted, because there are actual Gypsies out there, so it bugs me to represent them as raggedy barefoot thieves, ala Sarkozy. On the other hand, anything that doesn't evoke Esméralda falls short of the mark. I expect we can agree that in 2010 Gypsy shouldn't look like she's touring with Wilson Phillips/Exposé, but her BoP "costume" is nondescript to the point of her being unrecognizable. Hell, even her "Tomb Raider" phase would be laughably retro at this point. I think maybe Gypsy needs to be one of those characters with an insanely ornate costume, since she only appears a few times a decade anyway.

Cornelius said...

In my mind, Gypsy was always more of a girl who had powers than a "superhero". Not that she wasn't heroic, just that she was more of a "regular person" doing heroic things. I actually liked the idea of a regular person hanging with Leaguers. She was never flashy to begin with, which was kind of cool. We'll see what happens with the 52 Gypsy...

Diabolu Frank said...

Agreed. Gypsy's just cool and natural, hanging with the heroes whenever someone gives her the nod.