36 comments to “P:R Invitational: Sophie Campbell’s Superman”
  1. First and foremost. I LOVE that “S”! That right there says all you need to know about Superman. Y’know its strange. As often as you associate the Kryptonian with Blue and Red, the absence of the latter actually works really well and the use of white for the interior of the cape is spectacular. Kinda miss the sleeves though. A (inter)stellar design!

    I am curious though. Dean were the artist that were chosen for the great P:R Invitational assigned their respective subjects or were they allowed to choose?

  2. I cant wait for the entire cast of Leaguers to Assemble!!!
    Wait! this ain’t the Avengers… haha Justice League Assemble!

    Ross’s Supe costume shows his kansas upbringing(blue overall) with a tint of krypton heritage(black cape). Do correct me if i got it wrong.
    Although i miss the distinctive red color in Supe’s costume, it grows on me.
    Could be a great costume before Clark becomes Superman.

  3. I like it, but as much as I miss red as a contrasting color, Ross uses the black very well.

    I was wondering out loud the other day…do short sleeves automatically equal sidekick? Looking at Ross’ Superman, I immediately think it’s Superboy (which isn’t a bad thing, but probably not what he intended).

  4. I agree, it’s awfully young. Still, it’s very cute and hits all the essential points of a Superman costume: Big S on the chest, cape, implied undies, and colored boots. Very “Roswell”, and I can dig it.

  5. Adam Bescos:
    Vito- I wouldn’t say that. Aqualad and Bucky had some longs sleeves going for them. Heck even Jimmy Olsen was wearing them.

    True. All I was saying is that my first thought goes to sidekick. There are exceptions on both sides, I’m sure.

  6. I’m surprised at all the ‘it needs red!’ comments. Maybe because I’m looking at the Invitational as less of a regular P:R redesign and more of a ‘what if the JLA were indie characters?’ type thing.

    This one is my favourite thus far. Ditch the belt and have the suit closer to his neck and it’d be perfect. Love the simplicity of it.

  7. I would like this costume if continuity somehow put Captain Marvel Junior in the role of superman. The sleeves, haircut, and color scheme make me think of a younger hero attempting to fill the shoes of a mentor.

    I do like the S.

    Pockets? hmmm… The key to the fortress of solitude is gigantic! Maybe they are there to hold treats for krypto?

  8. I totally love this costume. I love the collar; the black detailing in the costume is tastefully done; it’s really modern but not in that over-designed and unimaginative utilitarian-military way. I feel like this would have some iconic staying power. I’m a big fan of the red absence.

    The thing that I like the most, which is something I find oddly missing from the costumes of male super heroes, is how (bear with me) ultra-sexy it makes Superman look. Everything about it puts on display his most sexually appealing features: the short sleeves that show off his arms, the neckline that exposes his linebacker traps, and big black v that emphasizes the intimidating shape of his torso. It all lends very nicely to a general sex appeal, and it does it in a tasteful way. In a world where super heroines’ costumes are designed for maximum arousal, it’s nice to see a Superman redesign that does the same (consciously or not) in a way that isn’t so overt.

  9. Almost perfect! Just replace the blue with white. Always thought Supes was almost angelic in his ideals, he should look the part.

  10. Is that not a semi-transparent panel on his chest? That’s how I interpreted it, but maybe I’m a weirdo.

    Speaking of which, this is my favorite costume of the Invitational so far.

    (or is the “S” just supposed to be white? that’s not nearly as appealingly weird)

  11. i hope me showing up here won’t throw a wrench in the thread. ;)

    a note on the pockets i gave him: i think everybody needs to carry things sometimes, but particularly for a phone so he can call his mom or Lois or the Daily Planet or whoever, and if he’s got an iphone he can access bing.com/maps so he can figure out where he’s going on the fly! XD

    @Jim Gitman: the “S” is supposed to be white, yeah, but your idea of it being transparent is pretty awesome, i should have done that. totally in line with the great stuff Dylan said up-thread, too, which was all intentional on my part. not sure if the transparency is what Dean was going for with his color alteration or not… anyway here’s my original if anyone’s interested: http://mooncalfe.livejournal.com/120010.html

    it was a great opportunity getting to do this! thanks, Dean! :)

  12. Thanks for the LJ links Jim & Ross! It’s always awesome to hear what the artists have to say about their design choices.

  13. I didn’t want my first comment on this site to be a negative reaction, especially another “needs more red” comment, but I had such very strong visceral reaction to the design that I thought it would be interesting to work it out. The component I reacted strongest to was Dean’s decision to not include any red on the costume at all. I honestly thought this was a redesign of Superboy when I first saw the design, not of Superman–not because of the short sleeves either, as other posters might suggest, but because there isn’t any red on the costume. Without the red, you’re losing all the iconography at the core of the character. Paraphrasing Tim Gunn’s critique of the 90’s Superman Blue costume, Classic Superman’s costume looks like it could have been made from the American flag–where’s the red?
    (Crazy Sexy Geeks – Tim Strikes! Pt 2: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6FxMcEZA-9k#t=0m57s)

    And I think Tim Gunn’s reaction to the lack of red strikes both at the heart of the matter and at the core of the character: although Superman is not as explicitly representative of America as say Captain America, he embodies the best of what the country stands for. As Grant Morrison recently noted at SDCC:
    “From outside, we kind of see Superman as the very best of what you guys can do, so I think the outsider’s perspective helps in a lot of ways. I’ve thought a lot of American writers are kind of embarrassed by him, and it’s an embarrassment or being ashamed of your greatest myth….we find that quite weird as an outsider.”

    In this respect, leaving the red out of the costume can’t only be seen as an aesthetic choice, but a semiological one as well. In hindsight, a black Superman with a red and blue costume would have been much less of a departure from Superman’s roots than a white one with no red.

  14. Correction: I had misinterpreted what Ross meant when he wrote “i did a bunch of color schemes on this (Dean did one as well, whose version was much more traditional than mine, with the red/yellow/blue, which looked great but wasn’t what i was going for)”–what I thought I read was, Ross meant that his original color scheme was red/yellow/blue and that Dean changed it, instead of the other way around; I attributed the color scheme to Dean when it should be to Ross–SORRY DEAN!

  15. I think it would make a great costume for Kon-El. Rao knows he needs a new one, but it just doesnt feel like a Clark look. Maybe if it had been in red and he’d had a spitcurl it would have been a little better. It is neat to see him standing with Batman and Wonderwoman tho, makes for an interesting trio, I’d love to see someone write THAT group.

  16. And straight away the traditional colour scheme says more superman to me. I’m finding the comments section of this entry really interesting, especially the no sleeves= sidekick thing.

    I think because Superboy had the t-shirt and jeans costume I totally thought of Superboy too.

  17. Really like the look of the cape/emblem combo and the inclusion of black. The use of the pink hue and the sleeveless-ness detract a bit to me.

  18. I love Ross’ art but that much bright blue just keeps bring to mind the bad old days of Superman Blue from the late 90s.

  19. I love this. The S emblem and the blue/white/black color choice as well. I’m never really a fan of the red in there as much as I’d like to be, so this looks much more streamlined and cool to me. And I love the way the boot color works into the pant stripe. I’m also a fan of the pockets as it really humanizes supes a bit…I think even Superman would have to carry things sometimes. Directions to the batcave, cell phone, you know…stuff!

    Love it!

  20. This is my fave redesign so far, though I’m on the “looks like a grown-up Superboy” bandwagon. I don’t miss the red at all. I think that may be due to the fact that the Wonder Woman that was first revealed was so drastically different, it set the tone that this is a “REdesign” project, and not merely an “UPDATE the design” project.

    I think that if the haircut was more conservative, the pockets vanished, and the heavy mountain-boot tread were lost, this wouldn’t feel as “young” to me. I’m really digging on the neckline and the sleeve length.

  21. I like this a lot. I don’t miss the red at all; I like that it takes chances. To me, this outfit says “Superman” far more strongly than many I’ve seen with a more traditional color scheme.

    That big, bold, stylized S-Shield is a big chunk of that. This is an even cleaner and more stylized shield than the one Supes wears in Kingdom Come, which doesn’t even look like an “S” anymore.

    Another big factor is that the costume and character design reflects Superman’s core power set (Flight, Invulnerability, Super-Strength, as they call it in P.S. 238), and that’s tricky to pull off. You can’t resort to obvious stuff like lighting bolts or flame-shaped trim for that, but like Dylan pointed out, this design emphasizes those powerful arms, those “linebacker traps”, and that Greek God wedge-shaped torso.

    Why NOT wear short sleeves when you can’t be hurt?

    (Note that the classic costume has a low, wide neckline, too. Some artists emphasize it more than others, but the ones that DO are the guys like John Byrne and Joe Shuster.)

    I think the reason this reads as “young” to so many people isn’t the costume itself: it’s that Ross drew a very baby-faced Clark — and, again, THAT’S part of a “redesign”.

    In fact, that reinforces the “subtly reflects the power set”: Clark is wholly invulnerable, so many of the simple weathering effects that contribute to an “older” appearance just don’t happen to him. In his blog, Ross mentions that in the original coloring, he gave Clark very pale skin, since tanning is a response to damaging solar radiation that, well, just doesn’t damage him. Alas, Dean’s recolor gave him a “healthier” complexion.

  22. Wow, you know I really like this a lot! It’s something I would never have come up with myself or even thought would work (short sleeves!) but I like it!

  23. I looooove this! I only think that he needs laced up black and cyan wrist bands. and maybe cyan ingerless gloves. But other than that awesome!!! Blue is his main color after all!

    Everone wants red on it so maybe red on the “S”.


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