P:R Approved: Adi Granov’s WWII Captain America

UPDATE: Several commenters have noted that most of the new elements in this redesign are actually from Bryan Hitch‘s Captain America: Reborn version of the 616 WWII costume. That series, written by writer Ed Brubaker, is a blindspot in my costuming knowledge, because I decided to save the issues until they were all out so I could read it all together, and I still haven’t, despite my pal Chris Roberson‘s insistence that I hurry up and do so already. Credit where credit’s due, hats of to Mr. Hitch, whose two Ultimate variants were also noted as exceptional redesigns in the article below. That dude’s totally racking up some rad Cap suits. Great drawing by Adi Granov, great design by Bryan Hitch. – D.T.

Note: This art by Adi Granov was released by Marvel this weekend at the New York Comic Con with the announcement of the new series Astonishing Captain America, written by Andy Diggle. My thoughts below. – Dean Trippe

As usual, Adi Granov knows what he’s doing. Clearly pulling a few cues from the upcoming film’s redesign, Granov’s made a lot of stronger choices here, investing far more period-accurate elements into the mix.

The leather straps around the shoulders no longer merge suspender-like into the red stripes, which are centered accurately to Cap’s familiar Marvel U. version. The pants are pleated and seamed in an era-specific manner. The boot covers and boot-tucked pantlegs are clever details we’ve seen a couple of times before. And the utility belt and grenade all add a clear wartime quality. The Soviet allies help, a bit, too. I don’t care for the gun (not appropriate for the Cap I grew up with, but super common these days), but I really dig the decal-style wings on the helmet, a detail I think the film is using as well.

This is an excellent example of a redesign, pulling from various prior variants: Classic Cap, both of Bryan Hitch’s WWII Captains America (Ultimate & 616), and the previously noted film incarnation, and adding several new sensible touches. It’s strong, recognizable, functional, and doesn’t try to fix anything that ain’t broken.

Adi’s been on my shortlist of top superhero redesigners for quite a while, since his Iron Man and Nova redesigns. This is an unsurprising but welcome new winner. For new fans excited about the movie–and for old fans who know the center of Cap’s bellystripes should always be red–this is a buyer friendly look. And it really doesn’t hurt that Adi Granov rocks the drawing part too.

11 comments to “P:R Approved: Adi Granov’s WWII Captain America”
  1. The arm holding the gun looks a bit stiff and out of place but over all I really love it. And I’m enjoying how artists keep adding stuff to Cap rather than keeping him looking like a streamlined generic superhero. He’s also a soldier so he’s gotta have his utilities handy!
    The boot covers remind me of the super popular kick pads wrestlers are wearing ^__^

  2. I love the illustration, most of the design elements that appeal to me I attribute to Bryan Hitch though.

  3. dnwilliams: I love the illustration, most of the design elements that appeal to me I attribute to Bryan Hitch though.

    Agreed. Great image, but the only major difference I can see between this and the Captain America: Reborn design is that he ditched the scale-mail in favour of an Ultimates-style top.

  4. THE PANTS! The one thing that really bugs me about the movie costume are those damned octagonal seams. Nobody has ever made pants like that, and for good reason. These have taken actual parachuter pants of ww2 and incorporated the paneling form the movie without looking anachronistic. YAY!

    Also: Those soldiers in the foreground look unfinished. I love when solicitation copy gives us insight into an artists process. I have a slew of Dave Johnson layout roughs from DC solicitations somewhere.

  5. “The boot covers remind me of the super popular kick pads wrestlers are wearing ^__^”

    The leggings/puttees were worn by infantry soldiers/Marines who wore field shoes. They were phased out for the Marines during Korea and replaced by high-top lace-up boots. I don’t know how the leggings would work with a 21st century costume.

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