Wolverine by Chad Townsend

Character: Wolverine
Publisher:Marvel Comics
Artist: Chad Townsend
Reviewer: Eric Stephenson

This isn’t a huge departure from Wolverine’s original costume, but I like it quite a bit. Wolverine looks appropriately short here and that’s good. An unnerving number of artists seem to forget that Wolverine really isn’t a big guy, and I think there’s something really cool about a little guy who can go toe-to-toe with the Hulk. I like the big eye thing here – I’m not sure if that’s intended to indicate that he’s wearing some kind of protective goggles or not, but if that’s the case, it’s a good idea and well-represented here. I also like the way Chad’s used the stripes as a motif in Wolverine’s gloves and boots and along his legs. They’re in keeping with the classic Wolverine design, but this somehow seems more contemporary. Overall, really nice stuff.

14 comments to “Wolverine by Chad Townsend”
  1. I love Townsend’s drawing style, but honestly, I’ve never been a fan of the blue & yellow on Wolvie (I’ve always liked the orange & brown better). It would have been nice to see this with some other colors that stray a little more from what we’re used to. Very cool drawing though. Like Eric said, I like that he looks short. Too many artists these days forget that Wolverine is short.

  2. I really dig this costume. I started reading comics when the orange and brown costume was out and I loved it when the comics went back to the blue and yellow combination.

    I like the throw-back to the smaller “ear” pieces, actually. I’ve always thought that I wasn’t a huge fan of them, but in this costume I think it looks great. He looks compact, sleek and very tough.

  3. It’s a great classic Wolverine. I’m not sure about the narrow waist, but the weightlifter’s belt is a good touch. I bet he needs the back support, healing factor or no healing factor.

    I tend to be more of a mufti Wolverine fan. The spandex is a bit too…clean for a character who probably prefers to poo in the forest (see Joe Quesada’s alt. cover to Wolverine Origins #1). That trademark snarl? Nettle rash.

    Just going through your sketchbook now, Chad. Some really nice stuff. Reminds me of DEATH-era Chris Bachalo, but with more clarity. Great. Love this mecha.


  4. The costume isn’t really groundbreaking, but it is a slight update.

    I do like: colors, gloves & boots
    I don’t like: The unbelievable physique. Those arms are HUGE, and the ligs are scrawny. If the bones in the forarm and hands are covered in adimantium he would be the slowest fighter in the world.

  5. It’s a nice drawing and all, but that’s not my Wolverine. First of all, where’s the hair? Wolverine ought to have hair all down his arms. Although it’s classic Wolvie, I’ve never liked the blue and yellow costume.

    If I was doing Wolverine, which I’m not because I’m a whiney fanboy who can barely draw so instead just complains about other peoples drawings, I would put him in the tan and brown suit, except I’d make the tan / orange color more of a goldenrod color to bring the classic Wolverine yellow in. I still can’t decide whether I like the big pointy mask or the smaller more sleek mask. You’ve made the smaller fins look really good in this picture though, so at the moment you’ve got me leaning that way.

  6. The color of Wolverine’s costume seems to be a generational dispute. Like many of the other people who have commented so far, I met Wolverine during the brown-and-tan days, and have always thought the yellow and blue costume looked clownish and inappropriate. But, even back then, there were a lot of people clamoring for the original costume’s return. I guess it all comes down to first impressions. Or different strokes, or something. Really, I’ve always thought Wolverine, of all supes, looked best in street clothes, be it a flannel shirt and jeans or a kimono.

    But, for those in the yellow and blue camp, this is a pretty slick design. The changes are subtle, but we like subtle, don’t we? The proportions, such as belt-to-torso and “ears”-to-mask, and the emphasis of the seams go a long way to convey the sense of a dimunitive powerhouse that so many people are happy to see. The blue-on-blue stripes on the boots are a nice continuation of the suits general motif, and I like the softened intensity of the color scheme.

    Generally, this looks like a design for animation, with it’s tendency towards simplified shapes (no hair on them arms!) and the exagerated expressiveness of the eyes. I wouldn’t mind a team of animated X-man built along these lines.

    Tangent: Seams. When did comics finally discover seams? They’re everywhere, all of a sudden. When used well, as in the above design, they can add a subtle dynamism to a costume. When used badly, they get awfully distracting. Powergirl is the showcase for both very good (Amanda Conner) and very bad (Jim Lee, Phil Jimenez, Ian Churchill… and, well, really everybody but Amanda Conner) seams.

  7. I was going to drop an “Evolutions” reference, but it seems I was beaten to the punch.
    I really like the exaggerated physique and expression, but I can chalk that up to personal taste, as I understand it is not everyone’s cup of tea. I as well prefer the Patch, street clothes Logan, but I do dig the pale colors here.

    As for seams, I too really like them when drawn well, I like the Milk ads for the Superman movie and you can see the seams on his arms and torso, highlighting physique and for Superman, and here on Wolvie, the streamlined nature of the costume. Doug Mahnke does some good work using seams on his recent Batman arc.

    Overall I like this design both for the character and the style of the artist. I’m not sure how it would be rendered by another hand however.

  8. I was first introduced to the brown and orange costume, too. But…sorry, I’ve always liked the blue and yellow motif better. Also, I don’t think we can take the lack of body hair or funny proportions into account when critiquing. These are artistic decisions that shouldn’t factor into the overall design. The costume/wardrobe should be striking enough that any artistic interpretations shouldn’t matter.

    Having said all that, I really like this design. It’s similar enough to his previous costumes that we can still recognize him, but different enough that it feels…how did Eric put it? Contemporary. So yeah, I agree with what he said. The only thing I’m not 100% crazy about is the collar area, but I’m sure I’d be able to get over it with time, if he were to wear this thing around. I like the X symbols on his shoulders in the sketch at the bottom, too. I think they could work out great if they were incorporated into the design. Thumbs up! Also, I’m digging the art style, too! So there you go. It’s cool!

  9. Blue and yellow has always felt off to me in the context of Wolverine. Blue is entirely to peaceful and calming a color to describe Wolvie Howlett Logan III, and yellow is entirely too cheery. All in all I think his color scheme barely works, and it barely works because of familiarity.

    The Shi’ar orange and brown probably remains so popular because they more closely evoke the emotions we associate with Wolverine. With such a positive fan response (I used to have a friend in elementary school who SWORE the orange and brown was his “new” costume and it was coming out any day now) I’m starting to think the only reason the blues and yellows get a stay of execution is because of lingering fanboy nostalgia.

    Bleh, I hate us sometimes.

  10. In response to Kevin Green’s comment….

    I was actually trying out for character designer on The Batman at the time I drew this so…I can see how Matsuda’s influence leaked out. I was really trying hard to draw like him for the job. I didnt get it by the way.

Comments are closed.