Sure, there was plenty of big news coming out of Comic-Con last weekend. But, as usual, the coolest stuff tends to hide somewhere under the radar — or in this case, somewhere over the rainbow. Combining the fine art of gender bending with the convention-favorite performance art that is cosplaying (dressing — and often playacting — as a favorite character), San Diego Comic-Con was visited by a band of marvelously non-traditional characters.
Behold, the Gender Bent Justice League, a hardy bunch of cosplayers who portray their favorite superheroes with a little twist. Check out Superma’am and Batma’am here for a taste of their wonderfully playful power.
Photo by Shannon Cottrell for LA Weekly
“A couple of us like to do female versions of preexisting male characters. One of our friends, Psykitten Pow, she had a female Flash,” says Tallest Silver, who organized the group and who dresses as Batma’am. “One night, we were all hanging out and I said how funny it would be if we had a whole Justice League with swapped sexes.”
Aside from pure fun, they also have a point to make:
Gender Bent Justice League became more than a group cosplay. It’s also a comment on the differences between the costumes associated with male and female superheroes in comic books.
“We try to keep it pretty scantily clad for [the men] because that’s how women are portrayed,” says Silver. “We weren’t scantily clad for ourselves because that’s not the point. We’re showing that girls can be clothed and be superheroes because, most of the time, they aren’t.”
I’m not sure why I hadn’t heard about this operation when they debuted at Wondercon, but I’m glad that these cross-dressing superheroes are now on my radar. Both the boys and the girls are absolutely selling it – and making a statement about gender in the world of comics.
Gender Bent Justice League, you are true heroes in a sea of pretenders.