Is He Warm Enough?

Often time, female characters get to wear tiny clothing to show off their figure, while the men have to keep their muscular bulk covered up. Comics are rife with displays of reverse sexism like this, but every now and then, we get moments, or even entire characters, who get to break the mould. But skimpy attire often elicits the question, “is he warm enough?” Here, Emile von Manner and Wendall La Manburg III have the answer!

The Fantastic Four greet people in a wintery climate, all wearing winter attire, except for Johnny, who is wearing shorts and cowboy boots with flames on them
Johnny Storm is indeed warm enough, in Fantastic Four #576 (February 2010)

Emile: Everyone in this picture is warm enough and I commend them. This seems to me to be a family where each person knows how to dress appropriately for the weather and their comfort. For instance, Johnny doesn’t need the boots for warmth, obviously, but he DOES need the boots for his psychological comfort, and that’s just as valid. I’m surprised Ben needs all the insulation of that blue snowsuit, honestly, but I feel like he knows best what level of coverage he is comfortable in, and who am I to deny him?

Wendall: It almost seems like the others are showing off with their winter attire. Johnny is clearly warm enough to keep all of them warm, so why waste energy and funds on fancy Four winter wear that just distracts from the situation at hand?

Cover of Archie Comics #157 (August 1965) featuring Betty and Veronica wearing boots with their bikinis on the beach
These boots are made for overheating in Archie Comics #157 (August 1965)

Wendall: Jughead and Archie clearly understand that foot fashion has no place on the beach and that there is such a thing as being too warm!

Emile: I would say that with their minimalist beach attire, Archie and Jughead are here rejecting the superhero style Betty and Veronica are evoking. Their bare feet assert: “We are here for leisure, not action.”

Dr Manhattan sits blue and naked on the moon
It’s cold and lonely on the moon, but Dr. Manhattan is bigger than warmth. Watchmen (DC Comics, 1986)

Emile: Dr. Manhattan is definitely warm enough for his own comfort, but I would bet he is cold to the touch like metal in a shadow.

Wendall: Why would a god-like being ever need pants to keep him warm? Which begs the question, why do we continue to have the undies on top or underneath question with Superman when he doesn’t need pants either?

Emile: Wendall, you truly think outside the box. I can only assume Superman wears clothes as a courtesy to the humans he loves and protects, to avoid distracting the ladies. And probably some gentlemen as well. [Editor’s Note: Definitely not gentleman like us here at MMAC though. Just want to make that very clear.]

John Carter and Dejah Thoris stand back to back with a Green Man of Mars beside them
John Carter keeps his cool in John Carter: Warlord of Mars #1 (Dynamite Entertainment, November 2014)

Emile: John Carter is warm enough FOR NOW, but he clearly has an active lifestyle and a very fast metabolism and should have a protein-rich diet in order to facilitate his overall health.

Wendall: As has been pointed out by our female contributors, Barsoom, aka Mars, is a very hot planet, what with its proximity to the sun. This is why everyone on the planet foregoes the need for significant clothing. The metal that they wear probably helps channel some of the heat from the desert planet. He’s warm enough because of science!

Are you warm enough, dear reader?