Ant-Man And The Wasp, the second solo(ish) outing for Paul Rudd as Ant-Man, hits screens this summer – but fans are already a-buzz about the film. The first Ant-Man was another surprise success for Marvel, and was soon followed by the Scott Land’s appearance in Captain America: Civil War, where the hero revealed a new power – the ability to grow, not just shrink. Fans are excited to see more of Ant-Man when he returns, but are also getting keen to see more of his new super-teammate: The Wasp.
Played by Evangeline Lilly, Hope van Dyne was a major part of the first Ant-Man, where she was a no-nonsense foil to Rudd’s charming thief, frustrated at being kept on the sidelines when she already knew the tech like the back of her hand. Fans were thrilled at the end of the film, when Hope’s mother’s suit was revealed, along with a promise that Hope herself could step up to become The Wasp.
The first trailer for Ant-Man And The Wasp has shown that Hope is going to be front and center in the upcoming film, along with some cool tech that Ant-Man doesn’t have (wings! blasters!). It seems that Hope is finally getting the credit she deserves as a superhero… but there is one major issue that has been at the forefront of fans’ minds since we first saw Lilly suited up earlier this month: why on earth does the Wasp have boob armor?
The Problem With The Wasp’s Suit: Boob Armor
There’s a lot to love about this new suit, of course: the helmet looks amazing, the wings are perfect, and the colors (while not as bright as those in the comics) suit the style of Ant-Man’s suit. However, the problem emerges when considering the Wasp’s torso. Fans immediately noticed that the center panel and cups look very much like a certain part of the male anatomy (and once you see it, that giant chest-penis can never be un-seen), but this is only part of the problem. Despite the past decade of superhero movies under Marvel’s belt, the women’s costumes keep having the same issue (one that has long plagued female superheroes and warriors): Boob Armor.
There is absolutely no practical reason for the Wasp’s suit to have two distinct cups on the chest, yet there they are, looking like Hope Van Dyne took some inspiration from early Madonna when creating her suit. Assuming that the suit is a stiffer material in the same vein as Kevlar, neoprene, or any other thick fabric, the most practical design would be similar to a wetsuit or sports bra – that is, flat across the chest. The cups aren’t just impractical, but look incredibly uncomfortable; what woman wants her breasts bouncing around in a rigid cup while doing anything athletic? But of course, this suit is not designed to be comfortable or practical, but to make sure that no viewer can forget, even for a second, that the Wasp is a woman.
Isn’t This Just Paying Homage To Marvel Comics?
Of course, there is precedent for this kind of costume that plays up the female form. Comic books are notorious for portraying female characters in impractically sexy outfits that often mean our heroes are fighting crime in little more than a swimsuit and a smile. It’s not just the costumes, either – female heroes are often drawn in poses that range from the unrealistically sexy to the anatomically impossible.
Yet the original Wasp costume from the comics is actually relatively restrained, in comparison; Wasp hasn’t been one of the worst offenders when it comes to the impossibly sexy. She is mostly covered up, and while she is still routinely sexed-up in drawings, she’s downright tame compared to many others. So isn’t this new on-screen costume simply an accurate adaptation of the comics? Fans are notoriously vocal when it comes to comic accuracy in adaptations, and there’s no denying that many artists have drawn Wasp in costumes that draw attention to her breasts.
The issue with this is that adaptations have a responsibility to pay homage to the original works, without carrying over problematic elements. There are plenty of ways to take the original costume from page to screen in a way that is still recognizable, but that doesn’t include elements like boob armor that just look silly in real life.
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