NPR talks with Superman editor Matt Idelson.

Supergirl #42 cover by Joshua Middleton
Supergirl #42 cover by Joshua Middleton

In a story with NPR, “Superman” group editor Matt Idelson declared that Supergirl would begin wearing bike shorts under her signature skirt.

From the copy:

The man in question: DC Comics editor Matt Idleson. The pronouncement he issued was just eight words long, but such is its paradigm-shattering power that it will surely stand one day in the annals of comic book history, alongside “With great power comes great responsibility,” “Truth, Justice and the American Way,” and “Shazam!”

Thus spake Idleson:

“I never want to see Supergirl’s panties again.”

And with that, the character of Supergirl — in a stark departure from many years of institutionalized cheesecakery — started wearing red shorts under her skirt.

It’s not a big deal, but it’s a pretty big deal, and here’s why:

1. The decision suggests that superhero comics may at long last stand ready to evolve beyond the adolescent objectification of the female form in which they have so gleefully wallowed for long decades; and

2. Supergirl flies, duh. She hovers over people’s heads. In a skirt.

After the jump: Hot pants, headbands, belly-shirts and other petty indignities foisted upon the Maid of Might over her long and storied career.

With this, as with many history making moments, we must rely on a second-hand account: Current Supergirl artist Jamal Igle cites Idleson‘s super-panties ban in this nifty — and niftily titled — interview with Matt Brady, on the comic news site

Interesting story there, NPR. Seriously, but before you start pulling out the very NPRish phrase: “Can someone not hook this young woman up with something in a nice athletic pant, already?” can you try to get the subject’s name spelled correctly? It’s Idelson, not Idleson.

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