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Steel (Natasha Irons), Supergirl, Superboy (Connor Kent), and Power Girl lounge poolside on deck chairs, wearing swimsuits reminiscent of their costumes in G’nort’s Illustrated Swimsuit Edition (2023). Image: Otto Schmidt/DC Comics

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DC Comics really gets the brief with its first-ever swimsuit special

Your move, Marvel

Susana Polo is an entertainment editor at Polygon, specializing in pop culture and genre fare, with a primary expertise in comic books. Previously, she founded The Mary Sue.

DC Comics will see out summer 2023 in fine form, with G’nort’s Illustrated Swimsuit Edition, a 48-page book collecting the best of the company’s swimsuit variant covers — alongside brand-new super-beach-bod material.

The superhero swimsuit special is something of an infamous idea, owing to Marvel Comics’ famous run of Sports Illustrated spoofs, which were filled with incredibly horny art of Marvel heroes as only the early 1990s could provide. If you haven’t seen the Punisher in a skull-shaped Speedo… Google it. Or Namor’s already skimpy costume reduced down to a scallop shell and some artfully draped strings of pearls — or Ghost Rider’s flaming skeleton lounging buck-naked in the surf…

For some reason, Marvel has never reprinted the swimsuit specials. They remain a legendary relic of back-issue boxes and nostalgia. The Hellfire Gala has become Marvel’s fancier answer to the swimsuit special: An excuse for artists to go ham while redesigning superhero costumes into high fashion.

Leave it to DC Comics, then, to pick up the campy torch where the distinguished competition has left it to lie for so many years. The company’s first swimsuit variants premiered on comics covers last year, and a new variant series was announced in March, and set to appear in this June’s titles, from Action Comics to Wonder Woman.

G’nort’s Illustrated Swimsuit Edition — named for the hapless, furry Green Lantern whose name rhymes with “sport” — will collect a selection of 2022 and 2023 DC Comics swimsuit variant covers in one volume, along with a Midnighter and Apollo story from the company’s 2020 summer special. But there will also be new material in the Edition: an eight-page story featuring the Penguin “clad in the tightest bathing trunks you can imagine,” according to DC’s news release, and one of three randomly chosen centerfolds featuring brand-new art and center-stapled into each issue. DC’s news release says the company plans to announce these new pin-ups throughout the summer.

Keep scrolling for a look at the book’s main cover, featuring G’nort himself, and a brand new swimsuit variant that will grace its covers.

G’nort looks surprised as he poofs his fur out with a hair dryer in a locker room filled with laughing DC superheroes getting into their swimming togs on the cover for G’nort’s Illustrated Swimsuit Edition (2023). Image: Vasco Georgiev/DC Comics
Batman and Catwoman lounge on a deck chair poolside in bathing suits. Batman is unmasked and smirking, but is holding a magazine with his mask on the cover so that it lines up with and covers his face in a variant cover for G’nort’s Illustrated Swimsuit Edition (2023). Image: J. Scott Campbell/DC Comics

DC also confirmed that the covers below — from the 2022 and 2023 variant cover series — are among those included in the one-shot. G’nort’s Illustrated Swimsuit Edition will hit shelves on Aug. 23, just in time to transform 2023 into hot supergirl summer.

Wonder Woman kneels holding a beach ball on the beach, wearing a bathing suit that resembles her costume. Image: Jenny Frison/DC Comics
Queen Nubia of the Amazons leaps up to spike a volleyball. Image: Derrick Chew/DC Comics
Nightwing shades his eyes from the sun as he looks over his shoulder at the viewer. He’s standing in glistening clear water up to his thighs, and his butt is very well highlighted by his tiny swimsuit. Image: Nicola Scott/DC Comics
Harley Quinn lounges on the beach holding a human skull as her hyenas gnaw on bones. Image: Hélène Lenoble/DC Comics
Catwoman holds a glass of champagne and lifts her sunglasses. She’s wearing a black bathing suit and standing on the deck of a yacht that’s littered with the unconscious bodies of dudes. Image: Terry and Rachel Dodson/DC Comics
Batman stands on the beach wearing a small set of swim trunks and his Batman cowl. Behind him, Catwoman plays with a beach ball. Image: Mikel Janín/DC Comics
Batman and Superman stand with their pockets in their swim trunks, they are super shirtless. Image: Babs Tarr/DC Comics
A shirtless Aquaman stands in the ocean up to his thighs, pushing his hair back and making serious eye contact with the viewer. Image: David Talaski/DC Comics
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