BABD Recommends (Special Collector’s First Edition)

We’ve received a few requests for information regarding bikini armor free media that people may enjoy and while the main focus of the blog is to bring critical attention to products that embrace bikini armor – we’re certainly not against celebrating people who do it right.

For PC games we already have the Curator section of the Steam Group, but we’re now going to start a new section of BABD Recommends to promote things that are available by other means.

Print Comics

We highly recommend that you consider buying your comics at your local comic shop – not just to support local business but also to encourage them to get in more awesome stuff.  In case your local comic shop isn’t a pleasant place to be or isn’t local, we’ve included links to where you can get the comics online:

Help Us! Great Warrior (Comixology | Tumblr)
The hilarious adventures of the great warrior who’d really rather not be out saving the world today.  A fun and inclusive breath of fresh air.

Princeless (Comixology)
As well as providing this masterpiece commentary on fantasy armor for women, this comic is a brilliant deconstruction of so many fantasy tropes that have gone relatively unchallenged for so long.

Princess Ugg (Comixology)
The daughter of a barbarian tribal chief is sent to a Princess Academy in order to learn the ways of “civilized” kingdoms and gain allies for her people.  It goes about as well as you expect. 

The Rat Queens (Comixology | Free Sample Comic)
Sword and sorcery the way it should be, a fantastic mix of irreverent escapism, important commentary and heart warming affirmation.  Current artist is Stejpan Sejic ( nebezial-asheri )  – who we know and love for his snarky commentary comics.

Tomb Raider (Dark Horse Digital)
Follows on from the 2014 reboot of the video game.  With her inner action hero now thoroughly awakened, Lara’s ordeals continue and take her all around the world to face all kinds of ruthless opponents.  Written by Gail Simone ( gailsimone ) and Rhianna Pratchett.

Video Games

As mentioned above, we have a Steam Group with a Curator page, however since not all games are available on Steam, here are a few you may want to check out if the group isn’t much good to you.

Assassins Creed III: Liberation HD ( Steam | PlayStation | X-Box )
Set in 18th century New Orleans.  By means of agility and disguises

Aveline de Grandpré

moves between the worlds of privileged nobility, impoverished slavery and a war between secret societies. The console and PC re-releases of this game have been amazingly under marketed by Ubisoft (the company that said female assassins are too much work).

Dragon Age: Inquisition ( Origin | X-Box  | PlayStation )
Not only did this game provide us glorious representation of women in a fantasy setting, it also inflicted glorious snark upon the bikini armor trope and the boobplate.

Commentary

Not focused on bikini armor itself but on in related issues.

Escher Girls ( Tumblr )
Part catalog of terrifying trends in comic art, part delicious snark at these trends – also partially the inspiration for this blog.  The perfect response to anyone who tries to tell you it’s “just Liefeld” or “just some comics”.

Killscreen Daily ( E-Zine )
This is a unique video games site in that it aspires to discuss video games as part of our larger culture and humanity.  Aspects such as gender, violence, sexuality, race and advertising

PBS Games/Show ( YouTube )
A weekly show that asks important questions of what’s currently the biggest media market on Earth. Questions such as why are video game bodies so extreme, why can’t Link be a girl, and what is a game and why does it matter? Inclusiveness and the value of representation are topics that are regularly raised.

– wincenworks

MKX

Anonymous submitted:

What are your thoughts on the latest Mortal Kombat game? It’s giving me lots of mixed signals; many of its character designs seem to have improved, even though some of them remain problematic.

What stood out to me was Frost’s cameo in the story. Here’s her outfit in Mortal Kombat Deadly Alliance:

Eugh, it’s some kind of awful cleavage suit that has somehow been superglued to her sternum. But here’s her outfit in her cameo appearance in Mortal Kombat X:

Even when her lack of sleeves in a cold environment is explained by her having ice powers, I’m really glad they didn’t use that as an excuse to make her outfit even skimpier. Her costume is more or less exactly the same as Sub-Zero, her closest male counterpart. It’s a really simple design choice that more designers could go with.

The story also introduces some new main characters:

It’s not all the way yet – Cassie’s catsuit and Jacqui’s armour are still vaguely boob-shaped for no good reason – but in my opinion it’s remarkably non-sexualized compared to the previous games.
Still, we get cases like Kitana and Mileena; in the back are their appearances in the previous game, and in the front are their new outfits:

While neither of them are doing the boobs-and-butt pose while wearing a square foot of cloth any more, their new outfits are still bingo-worthy – Kitana’s weird metal boob clasps look really painful and seem like they’re bolted right onto her skin, for example, and neither of these outfits would offer any kind of breast support in a fight.

The juxtaposition of relatively reasonable outfits for the new characters combined with strange halfway measures for the major returning ones gives me the impression that the designers wanted to move in the right direction, but were seriously held back by their legacy or by fan expectations. What do you think?

I feel that the problem is not with fan expectations, but rather .  At this point, the Mortal Kombat universe has a lot of characters:

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But the vast majority of the female characters are derivative. Some examples:

  • Frost is Sub Zero’s distaff apprentice
  • Jacqui Briggs is the daughter of Jackson “Jax” Briggs
  • Cassie Cage is the daughter of Sonja Blade and Johnny Cage
  • Mileena, Jade and Kitana were all color swaps on the same sprites (Tanya was so similar people thought she was a clone of Jade)
  • Sheeva was distaff Goro
  • Sareena was Quan Chi’s distaff apprentice (who borrows bits and pieces from pretty much everyone)

Even when they do introduce totally new characters who have an interesting concept – like horrific insect attacks – they go out of their way to make her look like a generic sexy lady. (x)

Basically just like Blizzard and many other developers, they don’t want to leave their comfort zone.  The franchise has been making a lot of money for twenty-three years by focusing on a variety of male characters first then on sexy female characters as an after thought.

Trivia: Sonya Blade was only added during beta testing due to an overwhelming demand for at least one female character.  This is what she looked like in 1993:

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It wasn’t until Mortal Kombat 3 that Elizabeth Malecki (professional dancer, aerobic instructor, actress) was replaced with Kerri Hoskin Branson (glamor model and actress with some martial arts experience).

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The real problem is that key figures like Ed Boon, the man who has had the most to do with the shaping of the Mortal Kombat franchise, believes that so long as the female characters are “empowered” (ie not completely helpless all the time) then there’s nothing to criticize:

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I really believe that Mortal Kombat represents empowered women more than almost any game, I hold that up against almost any franchise at all.

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Sorry Ed, I disagree. I really do.  Also, is this an awkward time to mention you only got as far as Mortal Kombat 2 before using Sonya Blade as a damsel in distress?

– wincenworks