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There are remarkable green dresses that linger in our pop culture memory. Scarlett O’Hara draped in mountains of velvet. Jennifer Lopez wearing Versace, her neckline plunging perilously low. Kiera Knightly in Atonement, her gown rippling over her body like water. There is one dress I want to add to that esteemed emerald list: the costume worn by mod, marvelous Marvel Girl of the Silver Age X-Men.
My tongue is only gently jabbing my cheek here, but Marvel Girl’s costume has been surprisingly long-lived, circulating in and out of her closet since its debut in X-Men #39, over 50 years ago. Looking at Jean Grey in Jonathan Hickman’s current X-Men run, the question lingers: what is it about this green dress that makes it so, well, evergreen? Is it a perfect example of what Hickman’s dubbed “mutant clothes” or do comic book artists just like drawing pretty girls in short skirts? What does Marvel Girl’s costume say about Jean Grey, then as well as today?