Marvel Swimsuit Special
The folks over at io9.com have an amazing visual slideshow of the Marvel Swimsuit issues, which were published in the early 90s. They’re like Sports Illustrated‘s Swimsuit Issue. But with comic book heroes.
They’re also the gayest things I’ve ever seen. From io9.com:
The Marvel Swimsuit Specials were a unique breed of Nineties comic double-you-tee-effery. They took sober, serious superheroes and made them flaunt their décolletage and banana hammocks (more so than usual). Here’s the ripest cheesecake we could find.
Over at The Comics Journal, Richard Cook argues that the nigh nude heroes and heroines served an aspirational role for the ogling heterosexual male reader:
The juxtaposition of beefcake and cheesecake allowed the reader to shift from the fantasy of being the perfect male to the fantasy of acquiring the type of hottie that only perfect males can acquire.