Note: As the DC turns, we come to the second of our three-part series looking at DC’s recent redesigns. Today we cover Firestorm, Mr. Terrific and Nightwing. – Chris A.
Vito: I prefer the two separated Firestorms to the combined one. I get what he was going for there; Ronnie and Jason are their own men, their own hero, but when they combine, they are super SUPER Firestorm. I just think the individual designs are stronger. It’s like Superman Blue and Superman Red.
Jon: When Ketchup and Mustard mix, they get Mayostorm, the Condiment Man!
Joel: I’m sorry, but I’ve seen Stefan Gambert’s redesign, and now, no other Firestorm is remotely acceptable.
Jon: What bugs me about this is that Firestorm – of all the DC properties not created by Jack Kirby – would be the one to most benefit from a Kirby-esque design. Broader stripes rather than thinner, shapes rather than delineations – there are so many strong elements in the Firestorm costume that could have been made much more bold.
Vito: I would say that of all the DCU Properties, the JSA is probably my favorite after the Batman family. So, with the news that the JSA is being “retired for now,” it’s kind of odd that Mr. T here gets the go around over, say, Power Girl. But this is about the redesign, not the politics of publishing. As a costume, I’m always reticent to accept bare arms on a character that is not invulnerable. Sure, you can’t really die of a gun shot wound to the arm, but it could get hacked off but good (see how that worked out for Arsenal?). I’d be more comfortable if he had short sleeves, or better yet, sleeves to his forearms (half-sleeves?). It looks like he just took off his jacket. It’s not a redesign as much as it is a rethink. My short sleeve/no sleeve annoyance aside, it appears as if the whole point of taking the costume to this step is to show off the tattoos. Now, we can argue whether Michael Holt would have tattoos (if it’s in character or not), but forget that for a second…if there is no JSA (and they’re saying that Superman is the FIRST hero of the modern age), then why does he a have “Fair Play” tattoo? It’s an odd choice.
Jess: This is another costume that doesn’t seem to have had a lot of thought put into it. Why the bare arms? Why the fussy little gloves? Why the red line around his waist? And generally speaking, any mask/makeup job (???) that makes it look like your hero has been drinking blood is not a good look.
Joel: The costume itself seems okay, and I rather like the shoes. The tattoos strike me as out of character, but are visually acceptable. But that red stem on the T-mask is whackadoodle.
Jon: I couldn’t place what was going on with the T-Mask over the nose and mouth, I was hoping it was only a lighting effect. I don’t think the mask is as strong a design element two-toned. Outside of that, though, I largely like this costume – good lines and shapes on the body, very sleek and athletic. I would have preferred that the gloves either go in the trash or be styled to accessorize with the boots, belt and neckline, and superhero tattoos are already showing their age, design-wise, so that wasn’t my favorite choice. It’s dynamic though, and I appreciate that.
Vito: Whackadoodle is now entering the official Project: Rooftop dictionary.
Chris: Honestly, this is one of my favorite super-hero redesigns from DC’s slate of announcements. I especially like the pitted part of the suit where Mr. Terrific’s robots come from.
Vito: The one I’m the most in love with. While I love Dick as a Batman, I was sorely missing some Nightwing in my life. Looking at this, I see Nightwing…and Batman Beyond! He keeps the Batman gloves/gauntlets and he’s more armored. A+.
Jon: I saw a lot of angst online with regards to Nightwing’s costume – “Why is it RED instead of BLUE???” – but, yeah, it’s a nod to Batman Beyond, and that’s great, because Dick Grayson is the original “Next Generation of the Bat-Dynasty”. Happy to see him back in the Nightwing togs in general – I enjoyed his time under the cowl in Morrison’s run, but I preferred him to be his own character – and the update to his previous costume is both elegant and reasonable; same sleek lines as before, now with some very sleek armor plating. I like!
Jess: I dunno, I feel like the classic Nightwing costume and the Batman Beyond costume both work because they’re so simple, and this misses the mark with all the textural effects. Plus, the scary red eyes seem fairly out of character to me. Dick’s a lover, not a fighter! (Well, except for all the fighting he does.)
Joel: You’d think they’d want to get that blue in there to distinguish him from the Red Hood, and Red Robin… and Batwoman, now that I think about it. Man, these guys are going to be embarrassed when they show up at the same alley, all wearing the same thing.
Jon: They’re gonna look like Batman’s backup singers.
I like to imagine that this is intentional branding on behalf of DC – Batman is black and gray and yellow or whatever the scheme is these days, the second-tier Bat-Family is some variation of black-and-red with highlights as needed. I may be giving them too much credit, though.
Joel: I think Batgirl may crack that theory.
Jon: Good point. Too much credit: officially given.
Chris: I’m with Vito on this. I think the red helps Nightwing get out of the shadow of Batman, and is a neat throwback to both Batman Beyond as well as the character’s time working with Deathstroke a few years back. I’d still love to have Dick grow out the long hair as he was seen briefly in the his futuristic self in Teen Titans Go!.