Friday, August 12, 2011

Gypsy: Her Best Covers

This one here? Not one of them...

I have a great deal of affection for Gypsy, the smart-mouthed teen runaway turned tragic figure turned Gen-X slacker. I never forgave the '90s Martian Manhunter series for not using her more, but it does seem like the lack of long-lived DC heroines not directly tied to pre-existing male heroic franchises has helped bring Gypsy to the fore. Yet, despite running three blogs that could serve as her home, Gypsy coverage always seems to fall between the cracks.

In my defense, like Vibe, there's a lot to be embarrassed about with regards to this heroine. From her slanderous m.o. to her ill-defined powers to her vague-to-dreadful costumes to her bare feet to her sleeping with a best friend's much older ex... not to mention her general lack of traction with regard to a super-hero career over the last 26 years. Still, I dig her, and despite a slew of not too appealing covers I'll be linking to, there are some bright spots.

7) Justice League Task Force #33 (March, 1996)

For some reason, I always think of Please Hammer, Don't Hurt 'Em when I see this cover. I could see M.C. Hammer wearing that JLTF uniform. Gypsy was stuck in Kitty Pryde mode by joining the "Young Adult JLA" after having served at the grown-ups table, including the crappy '90s school uniforms. Unlike Kitty Pryde, puberty seemed to punch her in the chest mighty damned hard, and the ridiculousness of them torpedos nearkly sent this cover into the dishonorables.

6) Justice League Task Force #20 (June, 1995)

This one misses the mark of a top 5 favorite because Gypsy is out of costume (which some would mark as being in her favor.) Also, it was kind of a drag that one of the most important storylines devoted to expanding Gypsy's backstory was a swipe/parody of Bram Stoker's Dracula (as in the amusingly awful Francis Ford Coppola movie, not the book.)

5) Justice League Unlimited #22 (August, 2006)

Only at Johnny DC could this happen, but still, it's terrible-original-costume Gypsy hiding behind a wall. It managed to land on the right side of the honorable/dishonorable divide, but still...

4) Birds of Prey #93 (June, 2006)

On the one hand, here's a solo Gypsy on a BoP cover. On the other, everyone, even Gypsy fans, wondered what the hell she was doing on a BoP cover. Further, she's in a stripped down version of her JSA: Classified costume, which was vague to begin with. Taking away the more eccentric aspects, Gypsy is barely recognizable, and even then not as a proper super-heroine.

3) Justice League Task Force #1 (June, 1993)

On a cover with a contorted, howling Martian Manhunter and the Flash racing away, your eyes go directly to Gypsy's exposed caramel-colored skin. God bless colorist Glenn Whitmore for sustaining the heat begun by Sal Velluto!

2) Justice League of America #259 (February, 1987)

Yes, it's Gypsy being gut shot from a sniper's bullet, but you've got to admit it's striking, and ultimately her own fault for wearing those rags.

1) Justice League Task Force #4 (September, 1993)

Not only do I love this cover, but Gypsy fights Lady Shiva inside. How's that for moving up in the world? Also, while still leaving something to be desired, this is my favorite of her many bad costumes.

Dishonorable Mentions: Justice League Task Force #20, Justice League of America #249, Justice League Task Force #32


mathematicscore said...

I rather like the BoP cover since it looks like Gypsy is growing up in it. Also, Dodson.

I will grant you there is a definite lack of "super" about it, but she's never been that super, has she? She is more a tough "normal" person with an added edge of the invisibility.

Diabolu Frank said...

Yes and no. She was being built up for more, but now is the invisible chick that shows up at random girl power fests. What happened to the illusions and the mysterious heritage? What happened to tangling with Despero?

mathematicscore said...

The Martian connection via renegades is not a bad one, and my theory of Martian power mechanics allows for fluctuation due to disuse. Until someone uses her for a longer run (which I don't think has happened since JLTF) I don't see much expansion on that idea.

Also, is it just me or is J'onn smiling paternally in the first one?

Diabolu Frank said...

That cover was pure mess, so if you can get something positive out of it, go to town.

will_in_chicago said...

I like the character of Gypsy, and her story. However, her costumes leave much to be desired. Maybe go a little bit away from the skirts to something sleeker, but colorful. Also, defining her powers would be a good idea. I wonder if she will even be around in the DCnU?

Anonymous said...

Always liked Cindy Reynolds Gypsy. I do believe she could use a new codename because I really like this character who has these abilities that could make her the ultimate spy.