Daniel Irizarri’s JLA

Note: Hot on the heels of DC’s own redesign of their flagship team, P:R regular Daniel Irizarri has brought his own ideas to the Justice League. Irizarri takes the Jim Lee designs and pushes them one step further, giving them a stylish symmetry and classic look. – Chris A.

Daniel Irizarri:

With all the hubbub and complaints about the DC relaunches I was seeing all these designs that frankly just weren’t aesthetically pleasing to me. they had some cool things i guess. but too much of it just looked like bad 90s EXTREME designs. shoulder pads, collars, chokers for the ladies etc. etc.

So as an exercise in design, I took it upon myself to imagine Some designs for a JLA team that A: I’d read and B: would provide a fresh new look to the characters while really highlighting the things that make these characters quintessential. So in essence, I didn’t want to completely overhaul Superman or the rest of the JLA, I just wanted them to look a bit more fresh. (i’m sure DC was trying this too, but its hard to make something look fresh when its being designed by 40 or 50 year olds.)

This is someone who just DOESN’T need kneepads. What’s he going to break? Other than that i feel like there was a classy-ness that was missing to him and red for his belt was just a bad idea.

I didn’t want to fix what wasn’t broken and I’m going to admit that the gloves were a completely arbitrary change. I made sure he looked padded, armored and ready to fight at any moment. this is my happy medium between current and Year 100 Batman.

I wanted her to be regal again. No chokers. I don’t get why DC insisted on making her more streetwise or whatever it is they did to her in the past year. My Wonder Woman is Greek, or inspired my Greek clothing. Everything about her should look more like that of a warrior.

Don’t ask me why but I just don’t like his white gloves; they throw me off. Jim Lee gave him these weird shoulder things that I immediately removed from my design. I removed his boots and gave him a more smooth look. black all the way down to the feet and some padding for protection in the soles.

Nothing really to fix except I’ve never enjoyed the concept of his costume magically coming out of a ring and and wrapping itself around him. I wanted him to wear something that looked wearable. something that breathed and shoes that could hold the use he gives them.

A blend between the animated series design and his more current get up from Flashpoint. I don’t enjoy bulky characters so I wanted to keep his silhouette as human as possible. I took some liberties but those were my own choices.

A blend of the current Aquaman and a designI had done for him previously. I insist that Aquaman should have bare feet since I’m sure its just annoying for him to swim any other way. Other than that, a slight trim there and a snip here. Removed that weird collar they gave him.

32 comments to “Daniel Irizarri’s JLA”
  1. That Superman is a total mess, man. Chest symbol’s pretty good, but could do with either being a LOT bigger to show the design off, or smaller and more badge-like to compliment that weird-ass tunic – which I’d severely cut back while we’re at it; that doesn’t say “classy” to me, it says “ren faire”. Shortening the bottom and perhaps adding a collar, making it basically look more like a Nehru-collared suit jacket, and losing the belt, at least as it stands – it looks kind of arbitrary there, like “well, Superman’s got a belt, so let’s put a belt over his jacket”. I like the notched sleeves though.

    Diana’s a marked improvement on the current outfit, though, and brilliantly incorporates the traditional star motif without the cheesy swimsuit aesthetic that the majority of earlier suits are guilty of. Cyborg is FANTASTIC, probably one of the best and most believable renditions of the character I’ve ever seen. But the rest sit somewhere between my aforementioned problems with the Superman design and, well, taking current versions and throwing some piping, seams and other greebles on there.

    I mean, other than Superman, these are probably all still better than Jim Lee’s changes-for-their-own-sake reboot designs, but I am pretty severely unimpressed.

  2. (Speaking of the Jim Lee designs: it should be painfully obvious by now that giving Lee free reign to redesign characters will inevitably lead to iconic figures looking like auxiliary WildCATS members.)

  3. I like them. Except WW sandals? I know that’s what Greek warriors wore, but they had little choice. WW is a modern greek warrior so I think her costume shuld refelct both modern and classic warrior looks.

  4. Superman- I’m sorry to say this, but I don’t like what you’ve done with him at all. This outfit has a Medieval look to it, like a knight’s squire, that just doesn’t work for me. I don’t like the way the shirt goes below the belt (not sure what you call that) because, aside from adding to the “squire look”, it reminds me too much of Robin, which brings to mind “sidekick”, and that’s the last thing I want to think when I see Superman. After that, it’s the little “V” slits in the cuffs and the boots with the wide top that add to the Medieval impression I got from it. I’m not a big fan of the way the cape connects to the shield either, but maybe on another costume I wouldn’t have a problem with it.

    Batman- This design is OK. It doesn’t deviate too much from the classic look, which is always a good thing. I like the shorter gloves a lot; they’re a nice homage to his original costume, if that’s what you were going for. I’ve never cared for the whole boot/kneepad combo, but I suppose it makes sense for Batman. However, with the smaller gloves and bigger boots, he feels a little uneven. I can’t decide how I feel about the added lines on his arms and torso.

    Wonder Woman- This one I like. You managed to keep the stars in her design and change the positioning without making her look cheesy, like someone dressed up for the local 4th of July parade. WW in shorts has never appealed to me, yet I actually don’t mind them the way you’ve layered the skirt on top. Finally, the cape is great and something I think Diana deserves. In my eyes, it gives her that superheroine quality that, with so much Amazonian warrior influence in her design, she always seems to be lacking.

    Green Lantern- The only costume I can really say I love. I agree with you 100% about the white gloves, and it’s a pleasure to see their omission. Although it looks a little strange to see his ring worn over these looser-fitting gloves, I like the gloves. The soles on his feet have a nice, futuristic feel, and the rest stays true enough to Hal’s classic costume. Great job!

    The Flash- Nothing unexpected here, which unfortunatley for me, is exactly what I want for The Flash. This is just his usual outfit with a few extra lines added on. They don’t really add to the character. I like the direction you were going with the boots, but I don’t think you went far enough. Personally, because he’s all about running, I think the boots should be the main focus of his design. They should scream “THE FLASH” when you see them, apart from the rest of his costume even, but these look like they could belong to anybody. I understand you didn’t want to deviate too far from his established look though, and I respect that.

    Cyborg- It’s just a little too plain. I do like that you made him an average-sized man. After all, the only black man on the team shouldn’t look too inhuman. But this look just isn’t very memorable at all. I’ve never followed the Cyborg character though, so it could just be me.

    Aquaman- I’m pretty sure it wasn’t your intention, but the way his shirt is drawn looks more like orange fur than scales; like he skinned Gossamer from Looney Tunes! While I do agree Aquaman would probably prefer to swim barefoot, I wonder how well this would work out when he’s running around on land. Are the soles of his feet super strong? I hated the belt at first, but it’s kind of growing on me now. Overall, this one is just so-so.

    Thanks a lot for posting your re-designs! Even though I wasn’t a huge fan of some, they certainly beat the heck out of what Jim Lee is giving us. He was great in the 90’s but his recent stuff just seems dated. Either way, it’s always a pleasure to see new interpretations of these characters. Thanks again, and I hope I wasn’t too harsh!

  5. Anyone younger than 40 tends to use the flavor of the month when doing redesigns. For example using 2 tones of the same color where a solid works just fine or having a lot of meaningless piping. On behalf of all the 40+ PR readers out there I’d like to take these one at a time.

    Superman: The worst of the lot. Not iconic at all. The jacket doesn’t work, especially the V cuffs and the very asymmetrical S shield. Also the cape isn’t long enough, looks like something a sidekick would wear.

    Batman: The best of the lot. Just lose the “fresh” outer underpants.

    Wonder Woman: OK, not bad. All of the required aspects are accounted for. Lose the 80’s biker shorts.

    Green Lantern: Really missing the tight white gloves and the soles-only shoes fad is over, right? Oh wait, the new Spiderman (movie) is sporting them.

    Flash: OK, nothing special or new here.

    Cyborg: Kind of generic looking. I’ve seen many dollar store action figures that looked like this.

    Aquaman: For some reason his shirt appears to be furry and he just looks silly in bare feet with a full bodysuit.

    To all you young whipper-snappers out there, don’t give up. Time will improve your design skills.

  6. Lots of goodness here: Green Lantern costume looks really good, and I’m always up for a greek warrior-inspired Wonder Woman. Batman looks great as well: I wish they’d given Dick Grayson something this modern and distinctive when he’d taken over the mantle.

    My only nitpick is that the Superman design just looks too busy: maybe its the two shades of blue, plus red and yellow?

  7. Question, then comments.

    In the big JLA relaunch, is that Dick or Bruce under the cowl?
    Ok. I really love these, with a couple of exceptions.

    First, Cyborg is just a terrible character and can’t be fixed no matter what anyone does.

    Next, WW’s boots have always seemed odd to me and I don’t think sandals are ever the answer. I’ve always been interested in a barefoot Diana with ankle bracers to match her bracelets… I mean she’s not worried about stepping on broken glass, right?

    Finally, that Superman rocks… from the waist up. That two-tone blue, with the Prince Valiant jacket? That’s not it.

  8. GD: It’s Bruce back under the cowl. Nightwing has his own series.

    I think Wonder Woman here is spot-on, save for the biker short things.

    Superman, however, and I get what Daniel was going for here, I just think there is NOTHING anyone can or should do to “improve” upon Superman’s costume. As weird and tacky as it should be, it’s always been perfect as it is, because it is less a costume and more an icon.

    All the rest are cool, though Aquaman can never be helped so long as he’s in orange and green. ;)

  9. frankly i’m loving everyone’s responses to these. i prefer more impassioned responses to my designs. Even if its all out hate like my take on superman has gotten. For the record the belt over his jacket was my little nod to Mon-El, whose design i feel goes really under appreciated. I will not defend or undermine any of your opinions, it was just that that was the general concept. His cape was kept shorter to look more like a Curt Swan’s superman, that didn’t need the really long cape to impress.

    As for the rest of designs not deviating, and just having ‘mindless piping’ for the most part, those are there to make the costumes look like they can breath. I remembered Christian Bale complaining that he almost suffocated while wearing the Batman begins costume, so when they made the second suit, they gave it a lot more space between it to breath. I just applied it to Flash and Wonder Woman too. Thankfully functionality is one of those flavors of the month that i managed to be in to as the kid i am.

  10. The Superman costume is really Mon-El inspired and thus it fits Mon-El better.
    Batman would look better without the underwear.

    I like Wonder Woman, but like others said, the sandals. I’d like to see this one with the Lasso of Truth.

  11. @ G.D.
    I disagree with you about Cyborg; while a bit rough he has hope. I think where DC (and most others) go wrong with him is that they focus on the clunky mechanical aspect. Mechanical tech with a lot of moving parts seems low tech by today’s standards. He needs to be sleek. He needs to be futuristic. I’d steer away from all of the metal plates and protruding weapons and focus more on nano-tech, this way he could appear more human and have unlimited power potential. Besides just being strong and shoot things, maybe he could temporarily fuse with weapons and control machines as well. make him less Borg/Steam Punk/Iron Man and more like She-Terminator in T3. Also a cool, iconic insignia is a must, has he ever had one?

  12. @Daniel,
    It’s refreshing to hear your level headed (and entertainingly passive aggressive) response to the negative comments here. Most artists would get overly defensive and possibly offensive when their work was criticized. Truth be told many of my comments were fueled by your harmless remark about us older folks being unable to create fresh designs…I’m a bit sensitive as I just turned 40. Bravo for putting your work out there, maybe when I’m brave enough I’ll post a link to some of mine and let people tear me apart. Till then, get off my grass!

  13. I particularly like the Superman and Wonder Woman. Superman’s outfit makes him look more alien to me, which I think is neat, but he might look like an alien because his outfit reminds me of Star Trek: TOS. I actually like how his cape extends out of the red of his logo. Perhaps it reminds me of Batwoman. I think the only thing I don’t care for is the color of his pants is pretty dang close to jeans. Superman in skinny jeans?

    I don’t mind the Wonder Woman sandals. I like that she has a real Greek theme going on which is really appropriate. And I don’t think has a real worry about getting blisters from her shoes. I am not a big fan of the shorts though. Maybe if they weren’t shiny or if they were the same length as the skirt, in which case I don’t think you would see them here. Or perhaps those funny littler cheerleader shorts that are just meant to cover your underwear when flipping around. And I think all her metal should be gold instead of highlighting her bust as the only part of her smothered in gold. I think I would say everything but the wrist bands in gold to match. Or maybe her brooch for her cape would be okay silver/steel, too.

    I would like Batman better without the underoos. Othewise pretty nice.

  14. @Dedpool Perhaps Wonder Woman could have boots with the red sandals instead being decoration. That way she could have the modern boots but still reference the sandals. However, you’d have to get the boot colour right. Blue proably.

  15. Excellent!
    I especially like your Wonder Woman – it’s my favourite out of all the re-designs I’ve seen this year. I like the shorts! Cyborg looks very military – alert and tough. I also dig Flash’s boots. Aquaman’s leg fins look great – I don’t know how fuctional they’d be.
    Batman: I don’t like the shoulders, and the shorts look superfluous.
    Superman: the tights/trousers need more contrast, and I’d like to see how the cape attaches to the logo. The logo could be bolder.
    One day I might be brave enough to submity my own…

  16. I was unaware that the Greeks wore bike shorts. Honestly, the whole WW costume definitely looks like something someone would make as a Greek outfit without actually looking up what the Greeks wore.

  17. I have no clue what these other guys are seeing but Superman is amazingly classy and I love the way the cape connects to the shield. I personally think GL is the weakest because it looks too much like cosplayer but I would rather see these designs than the terrible Jim Lee designs.

  18. That 40 to 50 year olds remark is way off base. I like the Batman and Wonder Woman designs. The Aquaman is awkward and ugly. “Fresh”? Maybe. A move toward less bulky characters, in my opinion, is fresh. It reflects the sleekness and usability of 21st century “futuristic” design, that I see all around me here in New York. As I hobble down the street on my 45 year old legs, hopelessly “out of touch”.

  19. @ Jay,
    I keep my cool because i realize that aesthetics is probably the most arbitrary subjects in existence, so i went into these knowing that there would be people disagreeing with me. My comments about 40 or 50 year olds were actually from comments on my blog (i didn’t really write them with a broad audience in mind) and when i said it is was more in reference to the absurd imposing of 90 tendencies that were so clearly visible in the relaunch. I’d let Mignola re-design absolutely anything and he hit 50 not too long ago.

    @Everyone else,
    yeah, batman’s underpants were just one of my nods to Pope’s year100, since he just made them look amazing. Honestly these designs are just a collection of the ideas i most enjoyed and hand picked from the different characters. I appreciate the sincerity and its much better than just plain ol’ ambiguity. I can at least say that these designs were deemed good enough to appear on Project Rooftop. : )

  20. I have to agree with Jay, it’s refreshing to see such a cool, calm response to the critique.

    Superman’s taken the biggest beating, but let’s be honest, it’s an interesting take. Personally, it’s not how I envision Superman, but props to Daniel for trying something different. I’d read this Superman over the *ahem* rebooted version.

    Batman seems practical and doesn’t deviate much from the norm, but he doesn’t need to. The shorts are the only thing I’d ditch, but I’ve never been a fan of them, so it has nothing to do with this redesign.

    I honestly don’t get the Wonder Woman complaints. Compare it to the recent WW redesigns DC has “passed” into the public consciousness — heads above them both. Heads! I’m not 100% sold on the shorts either, but at least I don’t feel like we’d constantly be “teased” by artists with her body with the shorts. (For an example of this, see pretty much anything with Supergirl in a skirt.)

    The Green Lantern one is actually my favorite of the bunch, I think. It’s simple, but it’s almost perfect in my opinion.

    Flash – This is what most of the DC “redesigns” (and I’m using that term lightly) should have done. It’s not that different, no; I’m not even sure I’d strictly label this as a redesign, but it’s a solid, SOLID update. This looks modern and functional, and it doesn’t have too many add-ons that make no sense, a la the official new Superman.

    Cyborg – I’m not really familiar with this character, so I’ll just say I like it. :)

    Aquaman – We saw a lot of fun Aquaman redesigns with the P:R/Superhero Coco/Whitechapel/SHotM crossover, but I think this one, like the P:R winner, are shining examples of redesigns that could take over in the comics tomorrow and still instantly be recognizable.

    Overall, these are well done. They may not all be everyone’s cup of tea, but it’s clear Daniel put a lot of thought behind them, and he executed them well!

  21. In defense of Batman’s trunks.
    Take a look at Bob Kane’s original designs from 1939. Go back to the roots. All Batman is, is a guy in a suit- he has no powers, all he can do is stand up and fight, so as a matter of practicality: he’s basically dressed like a boxer or wrestler, with a cape and cowl added.
    That simplicity is what has always worked for the character, it’s what’s so compelling about him. Now, over the years there’s a very noisy lobby of folks who’ve wanted to armor Bruce up because they claim “it doesn’t make sense” that he’s wearing essentially a sweatshirt.
    When I was a kid and Frank Miller came up with that nonsense about the yellow oval being an armored target, I thought, “Uh oh”, because I saw where that was going.
    So over the years, designers have either made him a walking tank (Christopher Nolan) or layered him with a bunch of bulky sports-like padding (Arkham video game), or fans have been seduced by the first round film reboots with a slick, seemless rubber bodysuit– most of which has thankfully stayed out of of the books.

    And yeah, I get it. Times have changed, and a costumed billionaire vigilante in 2011 could protect himself more effectively, than he could in 1939– a simple look at football players then and now makes that clear. But that’s not the point to me–

    For my money, the greatest iconic look for Bats is the Alex Ross version…which truthfully isn’t too far from the Adam West costume, both of which aren’t too far from Kane’s vision.
    Just a guy in a grey body suit, with satin (yes, SATIN) trunks, and a cape/cowl.
    No armor, no built in tech on the suit, no radio in the cowl, no photo-synaptic relay lenses blah blah blah– Just a flesh and blood man in a simple suit.
    (take a look at David Mazzucchelli’s work in Batman: Year One, or anytime Matt Wagner, or Darwyn Cooke draw him– then tell me it’s not stunning)

    That’s what I like so much about Daniel’s design. It accomplishes padding him up a bit, while still maintaining respect for the simple iconography (trunks, guys) , and retaining the beautiful sleekness of the costume. That’s a truly modern Batman for a new era. Certainly better than that non-starter DC came up with for Dick (two fins on the gloves, and an ugly impractical belt…..hooray?)

  22. Well I may be the only person in the “under 40” crowd who agrees with the “over 40” crowd. These designs don’t do a lot for me, and outside of the seams, piping, and soles-only shoes, feel like the exact opposite of fresh, modern costumes. Almost all of them feel like period piece costumes in one way or another.

    Superman – I do like the shield/cape setup, and wholeheartedly agree that Supes has no use for kneepads. But the belt-over-tunic looks both medieval and uncomfortable.

    Batman – The underpants are a thing of the past. I get that they’re classic, and that Alex Ross likes them, but they serve no purpose and just feel awkward. I also miss the longer gloves. The short gloves feel unbalanced, especially in light of the new, bulky boots.

    Wonder Woman – I may be one of the only people that -hate- the notion of dressing WW up in a semblance of Ancient Greek clothing, for the same argument that folks have against the sandals. It was a product of its time. If she originated in the crusades, would we insist that she still wear full plate and chain mail? Jim Lee has made some missteps in his designs, but I think his new WW is the best she’s looked in a long time.

    Green Lantern and Flash – I’m lumping these two together because of their extreme sci-fi element. The reasoning on seaming and segmenting costumes on heroes like Batman make perfect sense to me. But GL doesn’t have a suit, does he? Doesn’t he just change instantly using his ring? (I’m not a big GL fan, so correct me if I’m wrong.) And Flash has had the whole “ring” costume thing, and the whole “speed force” costume thing – I don’t think of their costumes as a reinforced spandex/cotton blend.

    Cyborg – I think of Cyborg the same way I think of Chamber – outside of one or two elements, I can’t think of a definitive look for them, so redesigns are kind of lost on me. Chamber – pants, black jacket with some sort of rivets, x’s, and maybe yellow piping. Also his face is on fire. Cyborg – African American, 1/4 of his face is metal with a red eye, and the rest is just how the artist feels like drawing a robots that week. I always wondered why he bothered with his hair on the right half of his head. I think I liked his Young Justice cartoon look best.

    Aquaman – my fave of the bunch. I’m a believer that Aquaman should be barefoot as well. (He can handle the pressures of the ocean floor, he can probably step on some broken glass and be fine.

  23. I love the designs, espically the Cyborg one. Unless it’s the Perez designed one, very few people can “redo” Cyborg without it looking a mess. THIS is AMAZING, I’d follow this comic and I don’t read monthlies anymore….

  24. Your designs make me feel so angry, they are so much better than what Jim Lee did. Although Diana really needs to loose the shors

  25. I really like the superman one. Although i aint a die hard fan, i have always thought of superman’s costume as being a bit out of date. I think this one is a really good update, which is stylish and sort of alien ambassador.
    I also love Batman’s because it is recognisable but also a bit more different, i think i may be the only person who likes the pants over armour look, though it is out of date, whenever he dosent have them, he looks rather plain and like he is naked, so i like how you have kept them. Although maybe they could of been tighter as they look flabby.
    As for the rest, they all recognisable still, with Wonder Woman being the best as she seems fresh and in my opinion, should have that greek feeling. Green Lantern is great and simple, and Cyborge,Flash and Aquaman are all good, while still being very similer to original designs.

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