Worst. Underoos. Ever?

Okay, here’s the thing — those of us who grew up in the 1970s remember Underoos, i.e. “The underwear that’s fun to wear,” which has made a comeback of sorts in recent years. So, the concept of super-hero themed coverings for your naughty bits is, really, no big deal.

Unless . . . it’s stupid. As in, a clear case of DC’s corporate parent simply smiling and cashing the check. After all, just because something can be merchandised doesn’t mean it should.

Case in point: The cover to Detective Comics #880, which hit comics shops on July 27, 2011. The cover to the penultimate issue of the original series, with its impressionistic take on the Heath Ledger version of the Joker by way, the famous bat-swarm scene from Batman Begins was created by artist Mark Simpson, better known as “Jock.” It was an instantly iconic image and the issue sells today for upwards of $65 or more. In a CGC slab, it can draw hundreds.

So, it makes sense that DC would sign off on almost any chance it gets to cash in on the famous cover image? But women’s panties?

As Beth Elderkin wrote in a piece for Gizmodo.com, filed under “HOLY CRAP WTF,” the product offered by Spain-based Geek Skin, is most likely pirated. After all, Geek Skin claims the briefs are “underwear inspired by Deadpool” that is “printed with original designs.”

Well, no, not so much, as any casual comics fan examining the panties can certainly call. But, even if DC may be off the hook for this one, we still have to ask who in their right mind approved this product? And who would want it? After all, as Elderkin writes with only thinly-veiled shock and awe:

” . . . it’s the Joker’s face on your crotch. Like, right there. In the heart of the battlefield. I can’t think of anything less sexy or appealing than having Joker’s chompy, red-stained teeth inches away from my no-no zone.”

Elderkin noted that a male version also was available, sporting Ledger’s famous “Why SO serious?” link — which seems appropriate. I mean, I don’t know about you, but I take my junk pretty seriously. However, Elderkin’s article seems to have had some impact. Though her article just went online two days ago, on Thursday, March 10, Geek Skin appears to have already responded by removing both Joker-wear undies from its catalog. Searching for either not brings the error code, “This product is no longer available.”

That’s not the last of the bottom-based head scratchers, though.

The George clothing brand of British supermarket retailer Asda has a “DC Comics Superhero Short Briefs” item in its lingerie collection, which is reportedly available in the U.S. at Walmart stores.

The questionable clothing item — at least from a DC marketing standpoint — features a blue-haired Barbara Gordon, along with oudated images of Wonder Woman and Supergirl, both of which appear to my eye to come from a 1980s-era Jose Luis Garcia-Lopez model sheet. You’d think with a hit show on the CW starring Supergirl, DC would want to bury that old cringe-inducing headband costume variant.

Of course, fanboy that I am, I’d probably fold faster than Dr. Light at the sight of a pair of panties coming at me emblazoned with the declaration, “HERE COME THE GIRLS.” I mean, I’m all for female empowerment, but to paraphrase Elderkin, “WTF!?”

But that’s just my opinion. Your mileage may vary.


Duke Harrington

A newspaper reporter since 2004, Duke Harrington currently writes for the Kennebunk Post and the South Portland Sentry. He lives in Western Maine with one wife, one dog, two cats, and 19,237 comic books.