Note: Hey guys, sorry for going dark for a few weeks. I had some deadlines hit and then headed out to the East coast to visit family before HeroesCon. But I’m back! Black Canary runners up should be up Monday. While I was gone, mostly checking the internet on my phone, I saw the new Cap and Thor movie redesigns. Here are my thoughts. – Dean
First off, as cosplay costumes, these look incredible. They’re sharp, recognizable, and they’ve got that clean superhero shine you know I love.
On the other hand, as the big picture “real” versions of these classic characters, the versions the wider audience is going to see and talk about, I think both of these designs have missed an opportunity for period realism. They’ve instead chosen to aim for modern bad-assery, which, I HAVE TO TELL YOU hardly ever works in color. Put these uniforms in black and gray, and yeah, they’re tough guys. But brightly colored leading men in masks and capes are ALWAYS going to look like silly superheroes. And the line between getting it right (Spider-Man, The Dark Knight, Iron Man) and looking like a kid’s show reject (Fantastic Four, The Phantom, Batman & Robin) is a thin one.
Yes, the designers here have successfully avoided putting their heroes in tights, which seems to be a big deal in modern supermovies, but the overcomplication and modernization of elements here is pretty troubling. My feeling is that the Thor suit would look way better with the same armor on his legs as his arms, like the current in-continuity uniform it’s based on. On Captain America, the suspender straps and shoulder pads combo is so weird and cumbersome. I know these shots are heavily dependent on digital rendering, but don’t they both look really stiff to you? How’s Cap going to even twist his torso to throw his mighty shield with all that armor and padding? And anyone who’s drawn Captain America knows the middle stripe on his torso is always red.
But as I mentioned earlier, the modern feel of these uniforms is what bugs me the most. I would’ve gone more Lord of the Rings on Thor and more Saving Private Ryan on Cap. If you’re going to try for realism, and the detailing here suggests they have, you’ve got to go went with it. Both designs feel trapped in some horrible middleground between the Saturday morning adaptations and professional football uniforms. As upgrades for their Avengers appearance, maybe I’d buy these. But Thor just in from Asgard or Cap in WWII? Nope nope nope.
ALL OF THAT SAID, these are first impressions based on digitally enhanced pics, not film. And anything out of context is going to suffer. The first time I saw how Batman was going to look in The Dark Knight, I didn’t think it’d work. But it ultimately did…to the tune of a billion dollars. So, see you in theaters, Thor and Cap.
Best Elements: Thor’s cape and tunic, Captain America’s helmet shape and star emblem.
Worst Elements: Thor’s rocker pants and boot tread, the under-designed “A” on Cap’s head and his weird suspenders.
P:R Grade: 8 for Thor, 6.5 for Captain America