Superman: Man of Style Honorable Mentions & Other Faves!

Editor’s Note: As previously announced over at Pulp Secret, the Superman: Man of Style winners have been decided! Congratulations to Grand Prize winner Ming Doyle, Second Place winner Kyle Latino, and Third Place winner Avi Bastermagian! We received nearly two hundred entries for this contest, so we’d like to show off a few more of ’em, including two alternate entries from finalist Jon Morris, a late entry from P:R regular, Joe Quinones, and a bunch of honorable mentions. Enjoy! – Dean Trippe

Jon Morris (Large Version)
Note: Check out Jon’s explanation of his Phantom Zone Superman here! -D.T.

Jon Morris
Note: Check out Jon’s explanation of his Authority Figure Superman here! – D.T.

Joe Quinones

Note: Honorable Mentions after the jump! – D.T.

Brodie Brockie

David Tomko

Drew Blom

Eric Shonborn

Evan Bryce Cranston

Flaviano Armentaro

Frankie Franco III

James Mason

John Green

Junko Yamaoka

Kurt Wood

Marcus Parcus

Marion Vitus

Matthew Smith

Meghan Murphy

Nathan Wiedemer

Otoniel Lopes de Oliveira, Jr.

Ryan Roman

Tyler Parker

Yasmin Liang

Zack Finfrock

Jay Sarmiento


Zedin Balthazar

David Lackey

Vincent Diga

41 comments to “Superman: Man of Style Honorable Mentions & Other Faves!”
  1. Heh, the similarities speak to how damn hard Superman is to redesign. I must’ve sat around for 4 hours trying to put together something only to end up with basically the same design as David Lackey and Zedin Balthazar. No offense, I actually like both of those designs.

    Something that’s been bugging me since I read it: Waid said Superman has a deep need to be embraced by humanity, right? That probably accounts for the big S with friendly serifs, the primary color palette, and the lack of the mask… but shouldn’t that preclude the cape? I’ve never known capes to do anything but make the wearer look imperious, intimidating, and larger than they truly are. (also, it’s kind of a liability for Supes, how many times has he been swung into something via his cape?)

  2. I dunno, Stig, at the time of Superman’s creation, I think it would’ve looked like a showman’s cape. Like a strongman or a magician would wear at the beginning of a performance? Perhaps the cape serves to disarm folks from the terror of what he’s actually doing and how powerful he really is, as though it’s almost just a show. Don’t worry, catching meteors over here. Haha.

    Of course, Superman is one of the most successful fictional creations of the 20th century (if not THE most, and if not one of the most successful EVER). The cape is now almost exclusively tied to superheroes. It’s meaning now is, well, Superman.

    That said, I really dig David Lackey’s de-caped Supes. Pretty sharp.

  3. It calls my attention that some entries made it to the top 21, whereas some of the entries above didn’t.

    There are some really, REALLY great designs here, better IMO than a couple of the dsigns that were finalists.

  4. david lackey’s is great!
    heres mine.
    I’ve spent about 2 – 5 years working on making the ultimate superman outfit, turns out it was similar to the original, maybe mine is “refined” than “redesigned”

    the “s” is actually a representaion of kal el’s ancestor’s [law caste – orig’ thinker caste] creation – the phantom zone holding rings [imagine those spinning hoops in superman, able to put people in the phantom zone]

    like wise, zod’s family crest is a lightning bolt, from a plasma weapon that zod’s ancestor’s [warrior caste] made.

  5. Also, is there a way to look at the rest of the submissions? the ones that weren’t published?

  6. Love Diga (Ashley Wood anyone?), love Quinones (prolly the toughest-looking Supe of the group), love Lackey (great desaturated blue). Sarmiento’s vagrant Supe could defn fit into continuity for a time. I’ve been a big fan of Sillof’s Supe since I first saw it.

    Really great costumes and really great execution on many of these. I agree with the apparent consensus that this batch is stronger than the finalists.

  7. I can’t get enough of Marcus Parcus’ Superman Emblem.
    It’s an amazing deviation from the traditional while being absolutely in tune with Superman. And every element has it’s own specific reason for being there. He tells all about it at length on his blog.
    In a perfect world Marcus would have donated this amazing logo design to Kyle Latino’s Amazing Pulp Superman. That would’ve been a sure fire 1st Place.

  8. As per the guidelines, the character should be recognizable without a label. I wouldn’t have guessed that that was Superman.

    There’s nothing iconic about the design as Superman. Granted, there were a couple finalists that I thought were unrecognizable as well, but that’s the challenge of keeping the character readable. I would venture to guess that that was the issue.

  9. Don,

    Take a look at Lackey’s piece above. It is a very unique look for Supe, but it retains the icons of the original design. I don’t think the “re-envisioning” of something to the degree of Age of Apocalypse or something is what is being sought.

    Your design and many others go the way of “rebirth” as opposed to a “redesign.” Like Dean said in a previous comment, it has to fit into continuity of a Superman story for a time.
    Check out #3 in the guidelines for more clarity.

    Not that there’s anything wrong with re-imagining, it just doesn’t seem to be what the contest is about.

  10. I think it’s partially the mask, Don. I don’t think any masked entries made it past the first round of cuts. There MIGHT be a way to make a masked Superman work, but it’d take some serious thought, not just a featureless white head-covering (historically not a good look).

    Also, the drawing looks to me like it was based on another artist’s work, given that the proportions are fairly accurate, but the musculature is all wrong. This is also against P:R guidelines. I can’t quite place the original piece on this one, but I’m pretty positive it’s at least a partial swipe. Maybe from Jim Lee. Even just skimming your art blog reveals a dramatically different style and capability level from what we’re seeing in this submission…though looking back further now, I see a few more recognizable swipes. From Jim Lee.

    And as Drew said, there’s really no need for all the trade dress, except that without it, we’d have no idea this was Superman. So that’s three reasons we didn’t spotlight it here, Don. Best of luck next time.

  11. the creativity is there.. but i think it does violate most of the guidelines here & there… or at least the rules should be “recreate/redesign a most RADICAL costume for the 70 year old icon… o well.. whats a guidelines for if it were to be broken or ignored….

    congrats to all who made it..

  12. Wow. The fact that many of these are just honorable mentions speaks to the incredible high quality of the entries.

    I myself am particularly enamored with James Mason’s clean and beautiful design. It’d be what Supes wears when he meditates or does yoga.

    Jay Sarmiento’s makes me want to read the story that this particular version of Superman would live in. He’s still recognizable, but you can tell at once he is different somehow.

    And I have to say that Tyler Parker’s style is just fantastic! Exaggerated and simplified down to the core elements, and rendered in a way we usually don’t see comic book characters. I love it.

    For an impossible challenge, quite a few possibilities were found.

  13. Congrats to the finalists, and it is awesome to see all of these takes on boy blue. Some of us seemed to have a hive mind on how to re-negotiate Supermans look. Dave, Dean, Nathan, Junko, James, Mehgan, Joe and I all had similar design elements in common. Marcus, I just love everything about your image. Thanks Dean for the honorable mention. See you all next contest.

  14. Some really cool stuff here. I concur that Ming deserved the win for this one. Hers is far and away the most well thought-out and aesthetically pleasing of the entries I’ve seen. It’s different enough that it’s an obviously new take on the costume but it still retains the best of the Superman flavour.
    Glad to see Flaviano, Mase, and Nathan’s takes are included in the honourable mentions.
    I thought about submitting one of my old redesigns myself when you first sent out your cattle call but decided against it.

  15. As different as they are, I love Yasmin Lang’s and Vincent Diga’s entries. Marcus Parcus’ is really nice too.

  16. Dean-

    I can draw differently and in somewhat different styles, man…so,whatever. My drawing was referenced from a Mike Wieringo sketch, not Jim Lee.

    Thanks for calling me a rip off artist in front of millions of people, though!! Really swell of you. Now when I go home and look in the mirror, I have one more reason to pull trigger.


  17. Whoa there, Don. Let’s get a couple things straight. First, it’s THOUSANDS of people, not millions. Trust me.

    And secondly, I didn’t call you a rip-off artist. That’d be sending in Electric Superman or the Eradicator and trying to pass that off as your designs. Basing your artwork on another’s work is against our guidelines, but swiping can apparently lead to very successful careers at major comics publishers, so don’t fret too much.

    Next time just stick to your own style. Btw, a ‘Ringo sketch, really? Link?

  18. Well, I’m a long time reader, first time commenter…

    I am really iimpressed by even the also-rans in this contest! I really like James Mason’s idea of a sort of equatorial Superman. If Superman could get tattoos, he looks like he’d have some.

    As far as Don’s points… My main concern is that without the word “Superman” on the cover image, nobody would be able to guess the character.

  19. Also worth noting: This is a benevolent oligarchy, not a democracy, and the reviews aren’t and never will be an objective process. To an extent, they will always swing to the subjective tastes of the board; that we don’t pick a costume doesn’t mean it’s not good, just that it’s not one of our favorites.

  20. Speaking for millions of women (and some men), I vote for James Mason’s :-> NO PADDING!!!

    My other fave is the Scottish version. Gotta wonder whether I want him flying overhead in that one, though…

  21. Well apart from a few egos I see we have a new batch of Supe’s. Gotta say this batch is great!

    Special mention’s go to Joe Quinones and his brilliant re-invention of the classic suit. Though the red faux trunks seem a bit too prolific what I really like about this is the modest shield and his face which bares a remarkable resemblance to Clark Gable, who of course was the namesake of Superman’s earthly identity for those of you not in the know.

    Again everyone who tackled the Last son of Krypton is a champ and a big congrats go to Ming, Kyle and Avi. Two out of three aint bad eh guys?

  22. Congratulations to everyone who made it: finalists and honorable mentions.
    My entry didn’t make it, but it was my first entry in anything like this, so I’ll just keep trying.
    Thank you, Dean Trippe and company for the opportunity.

  23. Hey Dean (and the rest of the P:R team),
    Thanks for posting my very late Superman submission. I anxiously look forward to your next superhero redesign challenge.
    Great all in all seeing the various redesign takes. So many of these are directions I never would have thought of, but are such solid and intriguing ideas.
    Anyway, great stuff as always.


  24. I have no idea how any of you judges were able to decide on what you liked! I usually don’t comment but I’m just blown away by how much everyone was able to do with such an iconic design. Love all around! :)

  25. All of the work I saw posted here either selected as a finalist or as an honorable mention was very impressive.

    While I think some of the designs “drifted” slightly away from “Rule# 3”, they were chosen because they made an obvious impact on the judges. I won’t fret about it…

    My design didn’t get a mention either and I am cool with that, some other poster mentioned a “hive mind” with the similaries of approach to how they redesigned Superman..I think I too became a victim of “the hive mind” and a lot of aspects to my costume were like how others approached thier versions..

    Here was my submission

    I really enjoyed the challenege and a chance to sit down and draw something cool, I am going to try and be a regular participant here at “Project: Rooftop”..thanks to the crew for hosting such a neat website and to everybody else who contributed such great work.

  26. I have to agree with Tony Cranfield, this is a very neat site and I too will probably participate in the future. It was great looking at all the artwork/designs! I thought it was cool that some people posted links to their designs that were not displayed on the site so I did the same. I’d love to know what my fellow comic book fans think of my Redesign-check it out at:


  27. Well Geogre its certainly unique. I like the use of white for the hands and feet but perhaps you should have chosen either white or yellow for the shield and not mix em up. I like the cape/tunic thing you got going on to. It looks alien, multifunctional perfect for beating up Brainiac, performing some experiments at the Fortress or getting dressed up for some big event. The one thing I really dont like is the mask wether you go complete or you show the hair it really doesn’t say Superman. No only do we have to remember that Superman hides his identity through a pair of thick glasses but he does so for a reason. The face he goes into battle with is the face he wants people to relate too and he to them. Like Dean said there MIGHT be a way to make it work but this aint it. Other than the mask issue it really is a neat little diddy of a piece

  28. I’m really into Frankie Franco III’s entry. It’s so practical and cool-looking. And Superman looks like he knows how good he looks wearing it.

  29. Thanks for your input Adam! I totally see what you’re saying about the mask. I guess it was my answer to the age old question- Why doesn’t anyone recognize him? I mean he’s only waring glasses.
    But there has to be that suspension of disbelief when it comes to superman and at times superheroes in general as much as I love the genre. The alternating colors on the crest was actually one of my favorite bits, meant to illustrate the negatives as a positive/ series of alien symbols. we only see the S because we are an earth culture-hence the name Superman is born.
    I imagined this is one of Jor-El’s important outfits he packed into the craft as a keepsake for his son. I have an email link at the URL where my pic is posted if anyone else would like to leave comments, post them there so we don’t clutter the board. Thanks! And thank you again Adam!


    Here is the URL again for anyone who wants to check it out!


  30. Dear Dean (and the rest of the P:R team),

    It was great taking part in this contest. What a level!. I´m waiting for the next contest.

    Congratulations to the winners

  31. I really liked Yasmin Liang’s version of superman. It’s cool, streamlined, and I could easily see it being a part of the normal comic. Reminds me of Electric Superman, except much better.

  32. Innocently typed Brockie into google images and found Brodie Brockie’s superscot! Fantastic. Im loving all the redesigns :P

  33. Krypto the West Highland Terrier pushes Brockie’s Scottish Superman (Cameron Kerr?) into awesomeness. I’m also intrigued by Jay Sarmiento’s, which seems to combine an imperious Superman with a down-on-his-luck Clark.

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