The Marvel Swimsuit Specials were a unique breed of Nineties comic double-you-tee-effery. They took sober, serious superheroes and made them flaunt their décolletage and banana hammocks (more so than usual). Here's the ripest cheesecake we could find.
Over at The Comics Journal, Richard Cook argues that the nigh nude heroes and heroines served an aspirational role for the ogling heterosexual male reader:
The juxtaposition of beefcake and cheesecake allowed the reader to shift from the fantasy of being the perfect male to the fantasy of acquiring the type of hottie that only perfect males can acquire.
You can read Cook's thoughts at the Hooded Utilitarian. And for your viewing pleasure, here are the best moments of the Marvel Swimsuit Specials throughout the years. Hat tip to the exhaustive galleries of Shirtless Superheroes.
Northstar, one of the comicdom's first gay mainstream superheroes, is also one of the most prim and priggish superheroes around. A Fire Island spring breaker he is not.