Ahh, the nineties. Like many decades before and after, it was quite dichotomous. There was grunge rock and bubblegum pop, which would probably be the most far-reaching example of this kind of cultural divide. In comic books as well, there was momentous divides, all to try and make the industry more appealing to newer fans and to grab casual fans as well. The Death of Superman, the Breaking of Batman, Hal Jordan going insane, the growing popularity of Venom, Carnage debuting, the creation of Image Comics; the industry was doing as much as it could to save its then fledgling hide.
One egregious and salacious thing some artists did was draw comicdom’s greatest female characters with several new traits: 1) Breasts that either defied gravity or proof that said females truly had super strength to be able to stand upright, 2) Derrieres that had zero interest in quitting, 3) Outfits that looked like body paint or as little clothing as possible.
In other words, femme fatales that grossly informed young boys what a girl should look like – you know that impossible standard no one could ever fulfill. At least the men also were drawn with the same ridiculous standards, except they had a lot more clothes on!
Whether they were created during the decade and a product of the time, or they were created years earlier and got a makeover to match the decade of excess, here are 15 comic book females who were smoking hot during the 1990s.
15. Lady Death
A lot of lovely ladies on this list will evoke the classic line Kathleen Turner as Jessica Rabbit uttered in the film, Who Framed Roger Rabbit? — “I’m not bad; I’m just drawn that way.” Probably no girl on this list can that be applied to more so than Chaos Comics’ Diva of Destruction, Lady Death. Created by Brian Pulido in Evil Ernie # 1, Lady Death is one of the famous “Bad Girl Heroines” that were drawn rather tawdry in an event to sell even more issues. For those of you who only gazed upon Ms. Death’s beauty and never looked inside the books, she was once a mortal woman named Hope, whose father Matthias was considered by the town an evil man. Secretly, he was a practitioner of the dark arts and engaged in a bloody war with Lucifer for control of Hell. Hope was put on trial for his crimes and uttered a phrase that she heard her father chant before. She wound up becoming an agent for the devil. As ridiculous as all of that sounds it was her ridiculous proportions and the proportions of other fem-demons that she faced, like Vampire she-demon Purgatori were the books’ real selling points – blood, guts, and tremendous busts. Unfortunately, this wasn’t enough to keep Chaos afloat and the company filed for bankruptcy. But there was an animated movie that featured a slightly more clothed Lady in a flick that albeit poorly, evoked the old animated Heavy Metal movie.
14. Emma Frost, The White Queen
She’s a blonde bombshell who walks around in lingerie, corsets, and high heels dressed in all white to not only highlight how dynamite looking she is, but also the duality of appearing pure while being a treacherous villain screwing with the lives of the X-Men. The White Queen, Emma Frost is the quintessential femme fatale – a vivacious vixen able to steal your soul with just a come hither stare, and none of the above has anything to with mutant powers – that’s just how hot she is! Debuting in the early eighties and created by the classic X–creative team of Byrne and Claremont. Inspired by the Touch of Brimstone episode of the Avengers TV series is what gave her the all-white pro-domme look. In the nineties, she would take her ‘dom attitude and sex appeal and added it to being the harsh taskmaster teacher fantasy, as she would become headmistress at Xavier’s School, training a new group of mutants. One of the hottest images of the telepath is this one, painted by world renowned artist, Julie Bell as part of the Marvel Masterpiece cards, which is exactly what Frost’s beauty is – masterful!
Making her debut in 1969, Vampirella already looked like a deadly succubus ready to tempt comic fan’s hearts and minds. Created by Forrest Ackerman and Trina Robbins, she was definitely as precursor to the feminine changes that the nineties brought. From the dying planet Drakulon, Vampirella piloted a crashed spaceship from Earth back to our planet and decided that she would be a good vampire and do her best to fight off the evil ones. Later, she was ret-conned as the Lilith’s daughter. So, how exactly do you make an already sultry drawing even more so? Clearly, thinner straps on her already uber–thin singlet attire. Thigh–high boots are always a plus too. Her collar got smaller as well to showcase her never ending plunging neckline and of course the 1990s triple G-cup chest that defies every single law Sir Isaac Newton every came up with. In 1996, model/actress Talisa Soto slid into Vampirella’s slinky singlet for a direct–to–video B–movie.
12. Harley Quinn
On the now classic Batman: The Animated Series, Poison Ivy (more on her later) would occasionally hang around the Joker’s main squeeze, Harley Quinn and the two villainous vixens would go on Thelma and Louise inspired adventures. Having debuted on the same show, Harley instantly became a smash hit with fans young and old and was able to give the Clown Prince of Crime someone to direct his psychopathic lust towards – the pair more or less instantly became an alt-symbol of mad love. In recent years, the former Dr. Harleen Quinzel’s popularity had skyrocketed even further due to being a major part of the Arkham Asylum video games and last summer’s Suicide Squad flick. Her character look has deviated slightly over the past few years, putting her in sexier, sluttier outfits. The funny thing is that, for many, Harley is attractive more for her psychotic neuroses and sense of humor than for how slutty she’s drawn. A lot of people just like crazy chicks. Considering she is also some sort of alt-rock feminist icon and a role model for that sect of young girls, it’s actually a great thing that her original form fitting body suit is still considered her most attractive, even if not her hottest.
More so than any femme fatale on this list, Selina Kyle aka Catwoman has more mainstream crossover appeal and more male devotees both in real life and on the printed page. Created by Bob Kane and debuting over 75 years ago, Catwoman has been tormenting, tantalizing, mystifying, and attracting Batman’s heart and mind for decades, especially every time she is portrayed on screen by the likes of Lee Meriwether, Julie Newmar, and Eartha Kitt. Always portrayed as a sultry, sexy thief, but she was never sexier than when Michelle Pfeiffer squeezed her seductively svelte frame into the black later body suit for Tim Burton’s Batman Returns in 1992. The comics soon followed suit. Gone was her frilly purple costume and little green cape. In its place was a hyper tight purple suit which looked like it provided no support (but was probably tight enough to support the Grand Canyon if need be), coupled with black thigh high boots and her patented whip, Selina looked like a sub’s dream come true, which knowing how Selina is portrayed, wouldn’t be a problem at all.
In the 1990s, there was certainly an abundance of Double-D mountains running around comics books and one of the best artists rendering the beautiful women of the day was the late Michael Turner. Turner, was discovered by another artist, Marc Silvestri and was put to work on his book, Witchblade. Turner would eventually go on to work on DC Comics’ Justice League of America but before that, he created the beautiful Fathom in 1998. Fathom, real name Apsen Matthews was an aspiring marine biologist and an expert near Olympian level swimmer, but she didn’t remember a lot about her youth. As it turns out, she was a member of the Blue — a race of aquatic underwater creatures who can also manipulate water to their will. So she’s basically a mermaid who can form tsunamis with a thought. Fathom is a smoking hot alien with a body that doesn’t quit and plenty of male readers signed up and like most scantily clad heroine comics of the day, Fathom sold real well for Top Cow and Image comics.
9. Poison Ivy
Many of Batman’s beloved Rogues Gallery got their start very early in Batman’s history. Pamela Isley, aka Poison Ivy is no different. Way back in 1966, Ivy debuted and looked like a female version of Peter Pan, without the hat. She has always been the comic book equivalent to an Eco-terrorist, trying to protect plant life and coming after those she believes is a threat to it. She has also been portrayed as a temptress who can control hearts and minds with her toxic pheromones. The villainous temptress has more or less always run around with some sort of green leotard on and was portrayed by a vivacious and playful Zumba Thurman in the godawful Batman and Robin. The plant life that forms around her awesome curves has shifted around over the years, carefully covering all that one might want to deflower on Ivy. No matter how much or how little she’s wearing, the fact that Ivy can bend men to her will, will always appeal to a certain sect of male fans everywhere.
Marc Silvestri had a major hand in creating the supernatural artifact, the Witchblade, and the woman who wielded its power, New York City detective, Sara Pezzini. The magical gauntlet imbues its female wearer with the power to fight the supernatural. Silvestri, Turner, and fellow creators, David Wohl and Brian Haberlin created a storyline reason for the little amount of clothes Pezzini wears. Among the many features and powers the Witchblade grants its female wearer – armor, healing factor, flight, super strength, one of its drawbacks (for the wearer, certainly not the reader), is that the magical glove tends to tear away at the wearer’s clothes. While it’s probably not very practical, the armor that the artifact creates for Detective Pezzini tends to be very revealing. Sadly, this trait was not added to the short-lived but critically acclaimed Witchblade TV series, starring the very yummy Yancy Butler.
Recently realized on the big screen by real life hottie and geek goddess, Olivia Munn in X-Men Apocalypse only makes Betsy Braddock, aka Psylocke about a bajillion times hotter than she already was. For every manic-pixie-dream-girl paradigm out there, Psylocke shatters that mold by being a smoking hot ninja assassin instead. She might look like a purple pallet swap for Daredevil’s lady in red — Elektra Nachios, but there is far more to Psylocke storyline wise and slightly less skin (slightly). Once she began going on adventures as on of the X-Men, it was eventually revealed that another mutant, Kwanon had been impersonating her. Even though the character was supposedly created as a British bombshell, over the years, she has fulfilled the Asian girl fantasy for plenty of readers and wore a form fitting body suit singlet that had a thong revealing assets of Betsy’s that were also accented by the sash that she wore. Like other X-ladies of the day, artists would also feature the mutant assassin in very revealing swimwear for the Marvel Swimsuit specials.
6. Power Girl
Even if you’ve never read a DC Comic before but watch the CW Arrowverse shows, then you know how sordid the multiverse can be. It gives DC creators a bevy of opportunities for new takes on old characters without aggravating fans. Speaking of bevy, submitted for your approval — the bevy of beautiful breasts that generally fill the page whenever Power Girl is around. Debuting as part of the Justice Society of America in the mid-seventies. She is Earth Two’s version of Supergirl. While she exhibits the same powers as any other Kryptonian, her outfit must be made of some sort of Nth metal to be able to holster and cradle her greatest assets. Generally depicted as wearing a body-hugging white leotard, but instead of an ‘S’ symbol on her chest, there is a gaping hole revealing some serious super cleavage. The original Power Girl artist, Wally Wood, was convinced no one was paying attention and decided to draw Power Girl with this uniquely attractive character trait to see if anyone was paying attention. They must have because she would continue to be rendered with bigger and bigger breasts and an opening to her top that somehow never gets ripped up in combat, much to the chagrin of fanboys. Writers and artists have taken this pair of fun and worked it into her origin story over the years, making Power Girl a bit of an icon for femininity and a hit at conventions for years now.
Now thanks to a legal dispute between original creator Neil Gaiman and Todd McFarlane, the angelic bounty hunter, Angela is firmly part of the Marvel Universe (Gaiman won the rights and sold her to the Mouse House of Ideas), but having debuted back in 1993’s Spawn # 9 places the red headed warrior woman firmly in the age of big breasted bad girls of comics. It was a big trend during the nineties – girls wearing as little as possible having some sort of connection to both heaven and hell, or having some sort of religious based name (Lady Death and Magdalena come to mind along with Angela). As one of Spawn’s earlier villains, she also came close to killing the demonic hero. Luckily, salivating fans haven’t seen her look change much since joining the Guardians of the Galaxy – big headdress, long flowing red hair and of course what warrior woman wouldn’t be complete without her golden armor bikini top, rock hard abs and big leather belt revealing a very short bikini bottom. How do these women fight evil when they’re too busy staving off gravity?
4. Black Cat
Debuting in 1979’s Amazing Spider-Man 194, Felicia Hardy’s father was a world class cat burglar. She would eventually train herself and wound up donning a costume herself, becoming the Black Cat. Her look was simple but sexy for the time – the flowing hair, the form-fitting black costume with a plunging neckline, and all of the feminine wiles to try and win Spidey over throughout the years. Black Cat would be both friend and foe, working for hire to try and stop Spidey. Their relationship could be akin to the Batman/Catwoman dynamic. She is not only one of Spider-Man’s most enduring characters but she’s also one of the few ladies in his life. That isn’t dead! The vixen becomes more of a minx in the nineties as her black leotard becomes more of a black latex bodysuit with a zipper that barely keeps her umm…kittens contained inside her top, perhaps Victoria knows how Felicia keeps her chest covered while fighting crimes or committing them.
Storm (Ororo Munroe) had humble beginnings. She started out as a beggar living in the streets of Africa. When her mutant weather manipulation powers manifested, she was brought to Rochester, New York and Xavier’s School for Gifted Youngsters. Here, Ororo would blossom into an expert tactician worthy of leading the X-Men, even when she temporarily lost her powers. Originally created by Len Wein and David Cockrum and debuting in 1975’s Giant Sized X-Men, her look eventually blossomed as well. During the eighties she would look like she walked out of a Sex Pistols with a bright white Mohawk and biker jacket (which some guys nit be into), she adopted a much more contemporary look to match her fellow X-ladies. Outfits that were more or less body paint (depending on your imagination), along with some sort of accessory — in Storm’s case, a cape. Nevertheless, the nineties was when the weather witch became a Nubian goddess.
2. Invisible Woman
In most comic books, the characters are pretty much the same age for their entire lives. How long has Archie been in high school? Time moves awfully slow in comics which aids to their timeless quality. Every now and again though our favorite heroes do get to age. Robin became Nightwing, Peter Parker graduated college and became a professor, and Sue Storm, the Invisible Girl grew up to be a vivacious vixen, the Invisible Woman. Susan can play coy and pretend to be the girl next door all she wants, but the fairest member of Marvel’s first family, the Fantastic Four has constantly cheated on her husband, Reed Richards over the past fifty years with the first mutant, Namor the Sub-Mariner. In the nineties, she ditched the all covering blue bodysuit leotard get-up to reveal plenty of hips that never lie, plenty of thighs, and a 4 on her chest that revealed a hefty and sexy amount of cleavage that was certainly visible to readers.
Villain, hero, super strong, super sweet, Southern Belle — all of these attributes and more describe the sultry Southern X-babe, a Rogue. Even though she is hot in her own right, get the thought of Anna Paquin from the X-Movies out of your head, because she’s a dog compared to what Rogue looks like in the comics. Debuting as a villain being tricked by her own mother, Mystique into doing bad. Her biggest crime also gives her the super strength that she is famous for. Using her mutant absorption powers, Rogue zapped all of the powers from Ms. Marvel permanently. While that provides some drama for her, Rogue’s biggest drama is her life-draining power itself — she can’t touch anyone or more importantly, no one can touch her, which is pretty tragic for anyone much less a smoldering hottie like Rogue; who in the nineties came into her own as the hottest X-babe of them all. Even fully clothed, her too tight body suit revealed plenty, not to mention her own Marvel swimsuit shots. Much like Mary, there’s just something about Rogue!