Note: The following are the winners and runners up of our Invincible: Viltrumite Vogue contest! Thanks so much to everyone who participated, especially the professional comic artists that submitted who made this competition even more prestigious. The panel of judges included our regular P:R Contributors, frequent P:R artist Aaron Diaz as well as Invincible’s two primary artists — co-creator Cory Walker and current artist Ryan Ottley! And a special thanks to Lance Sells and the gang at Thwipster.com for providing the prizes! Congrats to the winners and runner-ups, and be sure to check back next week for the cavalcade of honorable mentions! – Chris A.
First Place Winner: Kris Anka!
Total: 67.5 (out of 80)
Dean: 8.5. Another very nice look from Anka, who’s been doing a lot of solid superhero design work lately. I dig a lot of the choices here, and the seams and shapes are cool, and very much in line with the designer’s style. I love the mask, in particular. But as I’ve noted with some of the other entries, I think brighter colors would’ve made it a bit stronger, at least to my eyes, especially the blues. I wonder if the center “I” emblem should’ve been blue, as well. Anyway, a totally rad entry.
Chris: 9. So close, so very close. I’d wager if Kris got to live with this design for a couple more weeks he would have done some revisions to make it even better. But for designing on a deadline, Kris excels!
Jon: 9. More than anything, I’m in love with the palette – would’ve loved to see the blue repeat somewhere besides the traps, lower on the body, just to unite it.
Dean: I have to say, while I am hardcore about brighter hues, it’s hard to argue with the specificity of Kris’s color choices. It really does hold up as a unique look, every time I see it.
Vito: 8.5. I’m with you, Jon. The palette is exquisite. I love the way those colors mesh. However, I would love a stronger i logo. As it is, the i looks undotted, unless Mark puts his head down…which is interesting, in and of itself.
Glen: 8. Really? No one’s going to mention the pointing-at-m’crotch nature of the design? It falls to me? Fine. And it’s not just the emblem, it’s the hip-darts, which I don’t think I’d miss if they were gone. The color choices are great (I can’t make up my mind about the gray on the neck, though) and I’ve never seen a mask quite like this, which is saying something.
Aaron: 7.5. This design has me excited. I like the shapes and colors, and how everything emphasizing speed and liveliness. This is a costume that conveys a theme and personality very well, something that’s frequently lacking in modern superhero design. I’d make only two changes: 1) The gray and black are too close together in tone, I’d drop the gray and incorporate more of the blue. 2) I’d change the shape of how the gloves meet the sleeves. Almost all the other color lines on the costume are coming at angles except for the gloves and it could be done a little sharper. Overall, though, this one is really nice.
Ryan: I really dig this, Kris is a great designer and I love a lot of the choices he’s made. The two tone grays is a nice touch. The way the mask fits, I like how he incorporated the blue there. Really different. The “I” could be a little less dagger like. But other than that it’s pretty nice.
Joel: 8. A very good design. The lines play very nicely with the figure, bringing a little unexpected complexity, but without clutter. I surprised how well the isolated blue works along the neck, given how often we cite people for not repeating colors. The pin-up rendition brings black shadows into the darker gray, which is a good choice. The two grays need that extra boost of contrast. The mask looks like a brilliant design for a hero with a bird-motif. It subtly looks like a beak in silhouette. But, once I noticed that, it became very distracting for an Invincible design.
Cory: 9. Kris is an amazing designer and 9 out of 10 things he does are flawless, but dang, you guys, I have to disagree about the placement of the blue. It seems like an afterthought. Would like to see the black body of the “i” a little broader inside the yellow border, but otherwise it’s a sharp design.
Editor’s Note: See The Rest After The Jump! – Chris A.
Second Place Winner: Vanni LoRiggio!
Total: 65 (out of 80)
Dean: 8.5. Man, I really like this look. LoRiggio’s weighted the design elements toward the chest and arms, which usually works for me, and the implication of the “I” without it being super slammed in your face. Might’ve benefited from a mask or some gloves, but generally, solid choices here. I really dig it.
Chris: 9. LoRiggio is on to something here, but when you’re so close to a “10” score it’s the small things that hold you back. A mask of some sort, in keeping with Invincible’s visual history, could have brought this over the top.
Jon: 8.5. Everything here works, but it really does look like he forgot or lost his mask. The goggles are a huge part of this character’s visual, you have to come up with a surrogate for them if you’re going to not use them.
Vito: 8. I, too, wish there was a mask, but it’s still a strong entry. If you showed this to me out of the blue, I’d immediately think it was Invincible, which means it wins in that respect.
Glen: 8.5. See, I don’t miss the mask overmuch. There’s a simplicity to this that I like – he’s basically distilled the classic Invincible super-suit and tweaked the elements, and I like what he’s done with the I-design.
Aaron: 6.5. I feel like this would be a really good outfit for an alternate reality Superman rather than Invincible. You know, the kind of setting where Clark Kent was raised by the government to be a super-soldier. There’s a sense of power here, but it lacks a lot of the pep that I’ve come to appreciate about the character. “Generic” is too harsh a term and it’s not what I think of when I see this, but the costume, to me, says “this is a super hero character” rather than “this is Invincible.”
Joel: 7. The dot of the “i” does take on the position and the proportions of Superman’s S-shield, which does move this design into more… well-trod territory. Still, it has a pared down, casual strength, with its lack of mask and kneepads.
Cory: 9. I really dig this one. Give him his mask or maybe the standalone eyepieces that are so popular in this contest and ditch those arbitrary lines or seams or whatever and I’d give this bad boy a 10. I really like the way LoRiggio handled the chest emblem and it seems to give a nod to Omni-man’s original costume which is a nice touch. Well done.
Third Place Winner: Evan Bryce!
Total: 64.5 (out of 80)
Dean: 9.5. Evan’s really knocked this out of the park, in my opinion. Subbing in the next generation of Invincible’s mantle is a bold choice, and the color scheme indication of that totally works for me. This look still says Invincible, but with a completely different color scheme and attitude. Great poses, too.
Chris: 8. This is really nice. Doing the red eye-pieces by themself is risky but Evan pulls it off. Carrying that over to the red knee-protectors is nice, and I wouldn’t liked to see even see a red knuckle-guard on it.
Joel: 8. Yeah, this is solid. Black, white and red is a classic dramatic color scheme, starker and more dangerous than Mark’s approachable blue and yellows. This really benefits from being just a smidge off the standard colors, with the red leaning into magenta, the white into cream, and the black into warm grey.
Jon: 9.5. Love this one, love the color scheme and the neat take on the goggles, great integration of the “i”, terrific energy all-around. Only criticism I can make is the arc of the black space on the lower back gives the impression of an Invincible Wedgie.
Vito: 8. I like the incorporation of Omni Man’s color scheme, and he has all the elements of an Invincible costume that, if he wore this in next month’s issue, I’d be able to recognize him. But I keep thinking this is Oliver, not Mark, and I’m really tied to the blue/yellow-gold colors (to my own discredit). It’s a solid design though, and I can’t see going lower in score. I’ll reiterate; if Kirkman/Ottley took this design and put it in tomorrow, I don’t think you’d miss a beat.
Glen: 6. Yeah, I don’t know. As a mash-up of Omni-Man fils and pere, it works great. And the poses and drawing style are magnificent. But as Invincible? I just think using this particular red on the chest makes it look … flayed. And there may come a day when I can get behind kneepads and skater-gloves on a superhero. But it is not this day.
Aaron: 6. I’m with Glen on the red design on the chest. There’s a lot that I like about it, especially the shape of the boots and gloves (as well as the shortened sleeves), but the torso design is a little too much and divides the upper body in an odd way. I’d also prefer it if the goggles were connected to something.
Ryan: This dude is dancing his heart out here! I think the only thing that doesn’t work for me on this design is the white part going down to his crotch. Looks too female swimsuit to me. Other than that though, everything else is a winner. I really like the black shoulders, knee pads and shoes. Great stuff!
Cory: 9.5. Yeah, I kinda love this with my whole heart. Even with the color scheme, it didn’t read as Oliver to me at all until someone else mentioned it. I think it works. I would agree that it would look better with a touch of red on the gloves, and like Ryan said, maybe bring the white up out of the crotch a little, but it’s not THAT big of an issue for me. I love it. Those red goggle bits look great.
James Q. Nguyen
Total: 64 (out of 80)
Dean: 8. A sketchier entry here than we usually see, but the drawing and design are just over the top fantastic. The simplification of the mask and chest shapes is so clean, and allows for the slightly more detailed bits on the arms and boots. Bold choices and still totally identifiable.
Chris: 9. This is a contrast to me, from simplifying the chest emblem but then elaborating on the arm designs — but I love both. The arm designs look slightly militaristic like Army stripes, and I would have liked to see that carry over to the boot design that seems begging for more costume continuity.
Joel: 9. This builds nicely on the existing costumes. We’re familiar enough with the central “i” motif that Nquyen can remove the dot from the “i” completely, and, as Dean mentions, get busier with the secondary elements, and still have the whole thing hang together. The result is a very light, streamlined look.
Jon: 8. It’s strong, the chevrons are a nice, dynamic touch. Mixing up the colors keeps the repetition of the “i” motif from becoming overwhelming. Very streamlined, very aware of the shape of the body, lovely.
Vito: 8. Everyone pretty much hits what I would say. It’s simple, streamlined, and very pleasing to the eye.
Joel: Any thoughts on the white lenses of the goggles? I tend to be wary of introducing a color into a design and then not using it again, unless it’s meant to really highlight that element. Any reason for the goggles not to be yellow?
Vito: It doesn’t distract me, Joel, but I can see what you mean. It’s not a terrible color choice, but it is slightly odd, when compared to the rest of the costume.
Glen: 7.5. I’ve said my piece about I-designs on the lower leg (they work in flight, but when he’s standing on the ground they look like his two kid-sidekicks) and I don’t think the arm-I’s would register very strongly. Also, I think the forearm-chevrons work better than the shoulder-ones (having both seems to say “CAUTION! ELBOW!”) But it’s clean and strong.
Aaron: 8. There’s not much more I can add that hasn’t already been said. It’s simple, but contains a high amount of energy when in motion. It suggests a youthful Peter Parker-ish vibe while being its own thing; I’m definitely a fan. The only thing I’d really change are the blue on the shoulders; it directs the eye to the elbow. They could be removed entirely without much of a problem or just reshaped in some way.
Cory: 6.5. Again, “i” overkill, and limiting the use of yellow to the extremities is kinda odd. I like the simplification of the “I” on the chest, but without a preexisting knowledge of the original costume, I don’t think it would really read as an “I.” I like the cut of the mask and the fact that it doesn’t go all the way up to his hairline.
Joe & Rob Sharp
Total: 62.5 (out of 80)
Dean: 9.5. I love this one. It’s a retro costume, but the cut out for the hair has some edge to it, and the “i” emblem is probably my favorite of all the entries, even though center costume stripes almost never work for me. This might be my favorite of the whole lot.
Chris: 7. The seamless I logo trailing down the body is refreshing — I could easily see artists using that for flight sequences with it being drawn out like Flash’s red ribbon of speed. I don’t get the blonde lock of hair nor the decision to go with a more standard eye look.
Jon: 6. I appreciate the streamlining and simplifying of the costume, although I’m not a big fan of how the blue area engages the boot-tops. Everything else aside, though, a hole in the forehead of your mask so your forelock ponytail can jut out is ridiculous.
Vito: 9. I think I love this one! I hesitate to say that it’s because of the hair in the front, but honestly, that’s pretty swell! I like how, in other entries, the i motif is either similar or over the top, but here, it’s one i, and it’s strong. I’m not sure where Dean sees the retro in this costume, but I’m all for it either way!
Joel: 7. Well, it looks to me like one of those alternative superheroes publishers like Eclipse put out in the Eighties. Those guys loved pulling their forelocks through their masks. And I loved them, so I love this. Not an objective assessment, but I’m going to stand by it.
Vito: And while we don’t score for artistic ability, I would give this a 10 for the pin-up. Gorgeous piece!
Glen: 9. Joel nails it with the Eclipse comparison – that’s exactly what I was thinking without knowing I was thinking it. It’s bold, and having such a wide I-dot 1. Makes it seem like its own chest-emblem while it 2. ties in with the “body” of the I to seem … friendly, somehow. Don’t mind the forelock — it’s weird, but works. And — shameful confession — I’ve never been a fan of the bug-eye goggles on Mark. I mean, I get that he’s lower-case-i invincible, and thus doesn’t have to worry about scratched corneas, but the damn things shatter to pieces in every fight scene! Granted it looks cool, but I’d love to see Mark working a more conventional cowl. I am ignoring the fingerless gloves, though I think they’ve never worked outside of a Pat Benatar video.
Aaron: 7. The simple blocking of the logo against black is really powerful. The mask, while not as daring, is practical for a superhero, especially with the exposed ears. I’m not all that put off by that bit of hair (lots of female superheroes seem to have bits of hair hanging out the back of their masks), but I think for this character it has too much of a punk rock vibe, which I don’t think fits. My biggest problem is that the yellow gloves stand out in a weird way.
Cory: 8. I dunno. It kinda looks like the foundation for a Youngblood costume, like he’s just waiting to get his pouches and shoulder pads. I do like it, though, it’s just maybe a little too basic in the wrong ways, if that makes sense.
Total: 61.5 (out of 80)
Dean: 9. Jordan’s got a real gift for simplifying and strengthening costume design elements in a direction that really appeals to me. This one is super sharp. Makes me long for a kid-friendly version of Invincible for Saturday mornings. The elements here are familiar, but it’s the balance of shapes and colors that really makes it gel. Love it.
Chris: 7. I’m really interested in the costume creep up to the cheekbones of Mark’s face.
Jon: 8. Yeah, this is terrific, one of the best implementations of the “i” motif, bare arms work really well for the character, great lines – the lower half could use a little accenting, but this overall is exceptional.
Vito: 7.5. I’m with Chris. That mask is really interesting. Jordan has a knack for short sleeved designs, and this is no different. It’s got the simplicity of James Nguyen’s, but this one is very much a modern teenager. You can’t really go much lower in terms of score when you have a design that is so instantly recognized as the character being redesigned.
Joel: 8. Invincible’s summer togs! The short sleeves are surprisingly effective, and balances the lack of mask. I’d like to see a bit more done with the feet; is he wearing shoes? Boots? Footie tights?
Glen: 7. See now, having the costume extend up to the cheeks but below the ears seems to me a more out-there choice than the Sharps’ forelock-hole, but that’s me. I’m okay with leaving the lower part of the costume solid black, because the upper half is so simple you don’t want to risk distracting from it. I’m not sure that having the yellow rise up to the cheekbones would really complete the I in a way that would visually register (and I have no idea how the poor guy would turn his head) but maybe merely suggesting it is enough. Short sleeves says Young Hero, so while I’m not usually a fan, I can see it, here.
Aaron: 6.5. This one’s a lot of fun. The sleeveless look and short gloves suggest a lot of fisticuffs to come, while the lower half shows someone comfortable in the air. That said, as a whole, I don’t feel it conveys a strong visual imprint like some of the others.
Cory: 8.5. Nice one. Lookin’ sharp with the bare arms. Not quite sure how I feel about what’s going one there with the face, though. Overall, I feel l like it’s maybe not different enough, with the major elements of the torso being virtually unchanged.
Total: 61 (out of 80)
Dean: 5.5. I like Barrett’s sketches here, but the finished version in the middle reveals a level of complexity I don’t fully enjoy. I think some of the extraneous blue and yellow elements could’ve been ditched in favor of highlighting the mask, which is a bold departure from the Invincible look we all know.
Chris: 7. I love the visor. It’d take some storyline reason for Mark to go that route (ala the symbiote Spider-Man costume), but it definitively gives off the Invincible vibe in a threatening new manner. The raised collar is a bit much, but overall I like what I see.
Jon: 9. Yow, I love so much about this. Great boots, the “i-mask” is terrific – the floppy sleeves give him an authoritarian air, which doesn’t necessarily suit the character – I’d like to have seen a little skin on the arms somewhere. Really love absolutely everything else about this costume, though.
Vito: 8. Yeah, Jon, this is totally Invincible as dictator with those sleeves, to me. The piping is pretty dang tight though and I love the contrasting elements against that black. But that visor is really tripping me up.
Joel: 9. One of my favorite designs. There would need to be a story behind Mark adopting a mask like that, but I’d be willing to swallow just about anything as an excuse to see this design flying around. Isn’t there a Viltrimite infectious disease plot line? Maybe this is the superhero equivalent of an N-95 mask.
Glen: 8. The regal, sinister air to this design is great, even though it doesn’t suit the character, which is one reason I’m not scoring it higher. The creepy mask and Chinese-silk-pajama jacket are really growing on me, but I wish the boots were cleaner and simpler, and the collar a bit less Bazooka Joe.
Aaron: 9. This has a strong Tron vibe to it, which I think can work for a younger character like this. The mask is just wonderful, and I love how its shape echoes the dagger design on the torso. This is expertly put together. However, I’d drop some of the extraneous details (like on the boots) and have the lower blue shapes resemble the blue on the shoulders. The open collar I think works, but the open sleeves may be too impractical for someone flying around. Maybe if he rolled them up…
Ryan: Really fun design! The collar and the sleeves, very nice touches. It would be hard to show any emotion from the character wearing a full mask though, well at least until a bad dude busts the glass to reveal one pissed off Invincible. Still very creative.
Cory: 5.5. What Dean said, basically. It’s a bit busy, but I can appreciate Barrett’s effort to try and do something really different with the mask and all.
Total: 59 (out of 80)
Dean: 7. A very handsome depiction here, and I enjoy the yellow piping and clean black look. I’m not sold on the emblem or the splash of blue there, but I like the overall effect of this look.
Chris: 5. I want to like this, but it feels like it’s someone wearing an Invincible shirt but not Invincible himself.
Jon: 7. Feels like this is close, but the blue and that curve in the insignia need to perform elsewhere on the costume, too…
Vito: 8. What a beautiful piece! But we’re judging design, not artistry. As a design, I really like the simplicity in this, and I think there is a contrasting gray in all that black (hard to see with my screen resolution, but I’m pretty sure it’s there). It’s close, really close. Black is a really hard color to pass off on a hero because it reads “villain” almost immediately. But in this case, it reads “maturity,” and that’s why I like it so much.
Glen: 9. Invincible: The Next Generation. I can see Mark tugging at this tunic, Picard-style, every time he stands up. But points for taking the challenge in a new direction and running with it, yet keeping the basic elements of the character. I love, for example, that the I is still there, but iterated in a way that seems fresh, but consistent with the other design elements.
Aaron: 7.5. It’s a very attractive design. I especially like the shape of the gloves and boots, but overall I think it’s too simple. If the shape of the “I” were a bit more dynamic or involved, that would do wonders. However, like Dean, I’m also not sold on the blue bar for the I. If the central logo shapes were less square it would help a lot.
Joel: 8. If Mark ever needs a stealth suit, I think this should be it. Or if he ever attends a black-tie affair. This is a very elegant, even dignified design, with its clean emphasis on the vertical. But the black is awfully heavy for Mark’s standard look.
Cory: 7.5 It’s sleek and it’s different, but I agree that it just may be too plain. Also gotta agree with Dean on the emblem/splash of blue.
Total: 58 (out of 80)
Dean: 7.5. Really nice drawing style from Stuelpner, here, and I like that he’s changed it up a bit and gone for a crossbar capital “I” for the major emblem of his redesign, even though I feel like that area of this costume is the weakest. The mask has a striking quality in its uniqueness. I have a feeling that mask would become instantly identifiable, which is difficult to do in this well-trodden area of superhero costume design. I love the black areas around the knees and elbows, and the thick black lines around all the yellow elements. Overall, a strong, cohesive look.
Chris: 8. I really enjoy the angular elements that switching from the lower-case “i” to the cross-bar I brings to this design. Carrying it through to the mask is an inspired design, and conjures up a more hard-edge battle-ready hero.
Joel: 6. I didn’t pick up on the capital-I element at first. Perhaps because the top serifs of the “I” are so much heavier and stubbier than the lower ones. As Dean says, the mask is quite a nice bit of design, and Stuelpner could have relied on it more to carry the iconography of the costume, freeing up his decisions for the torso. The lower case “i” boots work nicely. I like the way the stem of the “i” breaks the top of the blue boot, and then crooks at the bottom with the top of the foot. It just makes for some pleasing shapes and shape-relationships. The “i” on the elbows, however, is not quite as worked out.
Jon: 8. Love a lot of the shape and cut on this one, neat to see the capital-I employed here and the mask is fantastic. We’re treading the too-many-i’s territory again, though, and I think I’d like to have seen the yellow elements on the shins extend all the way up through the leg, to tie in the lower body elements.
Vito: 7.5. Oh, but that’s clever! Using the capital i over the lower case (which still appears on the boots). Really like those goggles/visor and how it’s incorporated into the design of the i, but a little goes a long way. As much as I like the visor, it didn’t have to be in the shape of a i, with all of the other i elements in the costume. But seriously? A capital i is so freakin’ smart!
Glen: 7. I also like the capital I design, because it visually underscores that Mark isn’t a kid anymore, and has grown into his super-identity. For that very same reason, I’m not sold on the lower-case i’s on the boots. There really aren’t a lot of right-angles in super-hero costume design, because they suggest stolidity, not dynamism and speed – but stolidity isn’t a bad thing for a character whose central power is not getting hurt. The mask IS different, sort of aggressive and (relatively) practical (more practical than bug-eyes, anyway), but I wish those cheekbone elements looked a bit more militaristic and bit less …. yellow.
Aaron: 7.5. It’s nice to see such a complete adherence to a visual theme. This design’s much more deliberately blocky than what we’re used to seeing, but it’s consistent and is follows through the right way. The incorporation of the uppercase “I” is nice without hitting you over the head with it, and the boots and gloves are downright clever.
Cory: 6.5. I really like Stuelpner’s capitol “I” on the torso and subtle use of it again on the face works for me, but the repeaded lowercase “i” on the arms and legs is just too much. The large black areas on the arms and legs are a bit jarring to me with how little black is used on the torso and it feels off balance. I don’t know. Another costume that could really sing with a few adjustments.
Total: 56.5 (out of 80)
Dean: 8.5. Man, this looks good. We received several entries using the three i’s logo, but this one really stands out. This look is clean and straightforward, and while I’d have preferred a mask of some sort, I really like it.
Chris: 6.5. That triple “i” logo is interesting, but I think it’s a little outside the bounds of where the character is at currently. The turnaround really shows off elements I like, elements that unfortunately you can’t see in the pin-up. I like the super-high neckline of the costume, plus those padded gloves.
Joel: 5. I’m not sure what to make of the “iii” emblem. Does Invincible develop a stutter? The majority of the costume is a black blank, just barely activated by the blue elements on the gloves and shoes. I think those blue elements are enough to hold the design together, but I wouldn’t mind seeing a tiny repetition of the yellow lower in the costume.
Jon: 7. Not a big fan of the three-i logo, although it’s a nice design – it has so much going on that it more resembles a sponsor’s patch, particularly when you compare it to how strong Invincible’s current “i” logo is. Everything else is lovely, well-balanced, I like the minimalist gloves and shoes. I like the way the collar is built up around the neck and jawline. Thing is – and I’ll say this again down below – the goggles are so intrinsically tied into Invincible’s design that, if you take them out of the costume, you need to replace them with something. Otherwise they leave a void …
Vito: 8. I don’t understand the concept of the three i’s. Does that mean something? Past that, it’s a pretty good costume. It has a very regal look…looking more like a uniform than costume, and I say that as a plus, not a minus. It doesn’t strike me as something Mark would wear voluntarily, but I love the colors and the way they contrast. The explanation for no mask made me giggle.
Dean: I think the three i’s logo is an indication of teamwork with the Mark’s dad and brother. Like a team/family emblem.
Vito: Oh! Now I’m wishing we could see their costumes too! Team Invincible, hastagged.
Glen: 8. I like moving from the I-logo to a team logo, and I don’t know what could be done to make that team logo look a bit less … Fisher-Price Little People, if you follow me … but I like it. That said, I think the military vibe is strong enough with just the chest insignia — adding one on the shoulder seems too much, to me. Everyone’s doing the high military collar, nowadays — and why shouldn’t the super-set be immune to the vagaries of fashion?
Aaron: 7. This is a well executed example of simplicity, and I like the color focus mostly being on the chest, with only the smallest bit of detail on the hands and feet. That said, I find the triple-i logo to be distracting on an otherwise sleek outfit. I understand the reasoning and it’s clear that this is more of a team-looking uniform, but there are better ways to incorporate that. Personally, I’d go with a single-i circle and have it just on either one shoulder or both. I also do miss the mask, but again, I get the reasoning and won’t rate against it.
Cory: 6.5. I don’t really understand what’s going on with the logo either. I’m guessing Ekiss was trying to incorporate the Viltrumite logo into the design and if that’s the case, that’s a cool idea, but it didn’t quite work and so there’s not much about this costume that says “Invincible,” y’know? You can probably guess that I’m fond of top-heavy designs, and that aspect of this costume is really working for me, but I think it could be better if Jake had worked some yellow into the hands or feetsies or even if he had left the feet completely black.
Total: 56 (out of 80)
Dean: 7. I like this look, but since the only real indication that it’s Invincible comes from the back of the design (which is kind of a cool choice), it doesn’t fully work for me. It’s cool, and I like the style of the drawing, but I think the color choices could’ve sold the overall design a bit better with a little adjustment. As it is, it feels a little too armory for me, especially since Superman’s rocking those shoulder pads these days. The simplified turnarounds at the top are what sold me on some of the design ideas.
Chris: 7. Kevin shows some real professionalism by giving us those turnarounds on the design for the judges and readers to better understand his proposal here, but like Dean said the back looks better than the front. What if he switched those around completely like Kriss Kross? I do like the armored look in the shoulders and arms, but would’ve opted for a sleeker look from the waist down to emphasize speed. Kevin’s has all the elements here for a 10 design, but it’s just a matter of organizing it.
Dean: Kevin earns a hundred extra points for generating a Kriss Kross ref.
Jon: 7. How long has P:R been around and we’ve only just made a Kriss Kross reference? Anyway, in the simplified turnaround, I love this costume – when the padding and armor are added, I like it less. Padding and armor can work with this design, but it seems both too bulky and defiant of the lines of the body. The bulky gloves, though, are a nice element, they add a lot of upper-body mass to the character, just not loving the lower body.
Vito: 8. Strong piece, and I’m with switching the design around from front to back. Logos rarely identify the character solely from the back (when they do, they are pretty much the same on the front anyway). It’s a pretty utilitarian design, though. Take out any armored piece (shoulders, kneepads) and I think you have something there.
Joel: 6. I’m following the general consensus, here. Slim it down, flip it around, and you’d have a strong contender.
Glen: 9. Goin’ against the grainnnn. Look, armor on an invincible hero makes no damn sense, we can all agree on that. And yes, Mark has always been a thin-bodysuit kind of hero, which underscores his speed. But hear me out: I’ve mentioned that I’d like to see Mark adopt a capital-I design, to signify his coming-of-age. And as we saw with Stuelpner’s take, it’s challenging to incorporate the right-angles of a capital I’s serifs into superhero design. This more militaristic approach provides the perfect cover. I also like that the lower-case i is on his back, signifying that, while he’ll always CARRY it with him, that phase of his life is literally BEHIND him. Yeah. I just blew your minds.
Dean: PERSUASIVE, Glen.
Aaron: 6. It has too much of a Jim Lee Justice League vibe for my tastes. It’s very blocky and filled with a lot of details that I don’t think communicate anything about the character or what he does. It kind of reminds me of what they might do if they were to make an Invincible movie and were afraid he looked too much like a superhero. There are some interesting elements here like the yellow along the arms, but they’re not organized in the best way.
Joel: Sorry, Invincible, you can’t join the Jim Lee Justice League until you cut a little V-shaped notch out of your collar.
Cory: 6. I really like how Kevin switched the yellow and blue elements from the original design. All of the extra lines and weight to the costume really ruin it for me, though. If the costume had been as simple as the little turnarounds, I would’ve scored it higher. There’s nothing wrong with keeping it simple.
Total: 52.5 (out of 80)
Dean: 8.5. Whoa, this is strong. Great drawing, cool design. Feels innovative and identifiable. I assume the right arm is gloveless and all yellow? Man I like these shapes. I’d ditch the chin-guard on the mask, but otherwise I dig it.
Chris: 7.The face design is near perfect, and Toks really gets experimental with the asymmetrical design in the chest. I would have liked to see him elaborate more on that — it seems the angular swoosh and the “i” aren’t working together as well as they should.
Jon: 5. I’m distracted by the angular lines across the chest. I see where they’re meant to evoke some motion and sleekness, but they look pretty bulky. Also, they’re alone on that field, all the attention is on the upper body.
Vito: 8.5. This is a really amazing design that is almost perfect. At first, I wanted the i to be in the middle of his chest, but if you do that, you get an Animal Man motif. I have no idea why he doesn’t have the same glove on both hands, and that’s where I start to get tripped up. That is a lot of yellow. And for once, I don’t hate it. And Toks’ use of the i logo on the boots and on the gloves are really subtle…I almost missed those!
Glen: 7.5. I really, really like the idea of an asymmetrical insignia, but I agree that this doesn’t quite get there — the I element and the diagonal lines are fighting with each other, and the diagonal stripes tilt the outfit from superhero to figure skater. But Vito’s right – the subtlety of the I-design in the boots and gloves work — great idea to use the negative space.
Aaron: 6.5. The approach toward asymmetry is fine in principle, but I feel like it’s not quite there yet here. The diagonals leading to the “i” in the corner come off as a little off. The sharp chest shape is good, but it’s not echoed anywhere else in the suit, clashing especially with the gloves and boots. This is an issue where I’d like to see it after a few more passes, because at its core there’s a good, novel approach.
Joel: 4. The torso design reminds me of an off-the-shoulder one-sleeved evening dress, like some sort of Donnatella Versace number. And, well, that is not a good association for me. I have a whole tirade about fashion’s cyclical stabs at asymmetrical formal wear, which really isn’t relevant here, but it keeps ringing through my head when I look at this. The little bit of forehead showing through is distracting. That should either be eliminated or enlarged. And I wonder what the yellow-arm’s glove looks like under all that blood, since it doesn’t appear to match the blue-arm’s glove.
Cory: 5.5. Yeah, they’re subtle, but I still feel like having so many “i’s” around is just too much. His knuckles even have “i’s.” I feel like the chest emblem could have gone with the flow of the diagonal stripe instead of breaking it just to be straight up and down. I like the headgear, though I do agree that it would benefit from dropping that chin piece.
Total: 52 (out of 80)
Dean: 7. I like a lot of what Sean’s doing here, even though it’s not to my usual tastes. The complexity here is balanced against the large swaths of simplified areas on the legs and arms. I feel like this look would be a bit of a pain to draw regularly, and I’d ditch the knee-pad shapes outright, but I love the torso and shoulders. Nice job.
Chris: 7. Sean has all the pieces for a great design, and then some. That’s the detriment to this — too many points of interest and visual flairs which ends up making the costume overcomplicated.
Jon. 7. Piping is so popular in this challenge. I like the knee designs in the side view more than the front, love the diamond-angle motif, and this is possibly the best sleeve design in the whole competition.
Vito: 8. Even though Sean uses the i dot motif a few times in this design, I don’t feel like it’s over the top. They make for interesting pieces. I’ll go ahead and say that the entire torso is a 10, but New 52 Booster Gold headpiece/cowl is hard to look at. I’d love to see this with black sleeves under what’s here, but it’s fine the way it is here.
Joel: 5. The piping is really cluttering things up, at present. But if I imagine the piping deleted, this costume starts to come together. I’m not crazy about the split mask, but I like this better than Booster’s.
Glen: 6. I like the overall silhouette, but I agree that the extraneous detailing never gives your eyes a chance to settle.
Aaron: 6. The cut of the suit is really nice along with the gloves; it gives a sporty, cyclist look that’s appropriate for a youthful hero. However, the forehead of the mask should really be closed because you’re left wondering how it’s staying on his noggin. There’s also just too much going on with the details. The white piping isn’t necessary and many of the smaller shapes could be cut without losing anything.
Cory: 6. What they said. Would like to see it without the piping.
Total: 51.5 (out of 80)
Dean: 7. I love the style here, but I think including lines around the yellow and white elements would’ve helped a lot here. The boots are flipping gorgeous, and I like the simplified mask. As usual, I think the blue could’ve been a bit brighter. I understand why Getty used a semi-circle for the upper torso, but I’m not sure it totally works with the rest of the costume. Overall, a cool look, though.
Chris: 6.5. Moving the “i” logo to the arms is an intriguing choice, and then mirroring that color in the goggles is genius.
Jon: 6. Boots are great, arm highlights are great, but they don’t share anything in common so they feel like two different designs. Could also use a unifying element at some point to make it feel more of a piece.
Vito: 8. I’ll be honest, I can’t put a finger on why I like this one so much. The white i logos on the arm are brilliant. The goggles trouble me a little, but I’m drawn to them. It’s a strong piece, and a strong design.
Glen: 7. I like this approach, but I get distracted by the gold details. The hip-accents seem extraneous, the footbands like shower-sandals. And again, I just don’t think arm-Is would register strongly enough to justify their presence.
Aaron: 5. I like the shortened sleeves for a character like this, as well as the bands on the sandals, but overall I feel like there are too many elements going on that are there for design’s sake. The white and yellow on top are fighting for dominance, and I think the arm patterns don’t read well. There are just too many colors of almost the same tone (flesh, white, yellow) segmented by lines that, in my opinion, don’t really need to be there. I’m also distracted by wondering why he has little gold bands on his hips. If some of the details were stripped this could be very strong- making the arm sleeves just dark blue/black would do wonders.
Joel: 7. I’ve always wondered if the lower-case “i” in Invincible’s design was, in part, a nod to the book’s publisher. Sort of an undercover way of declaring Mark as the house-superhero. Dropping the arm-”i”’s out in white brings up that association for me all over again. That’s either good (a layered read) or bad ( a distracting read), depending on the intention. Not sure what the deal is with the hip-arches. Otherwise, I like this design pretty well. I’m in favor of the lack of holding lines around the colors. This combined with the openness of the mask emphasizes the concept of super-suit and super-skin. And that works particularly well with Mark, a character whose most prominent heroic attribute (invulnerability) lies in his skin, but whose prominent personality trait (emotional vulnerability) can also be represented by ungurded skin.
Cory: 5. Not really sure what to make of this one. I actually like Handsome Getty’s use of white for the “i” elements on the arms, but the “i’s” themselves, being on the arms in that way aren’t really working for me. Without some central focus it falls short of being the iconic costume it needs to be. Would like to see a version of this with the more Invincible-traditional central “i” with the same white treatment, yellow border and all. I don’t understand the bumpers on his hips and I feel like his boots are over-designed compared to the rest of the costume.
Total: 50.5 (out of 80)
Dean: 6 This one feels a little overly complicated, to me, but the colors are really working for me. I think the chest emblem and shapes are pretty rad, but the boots, gloves, and mask, all feel too complex for my taste. It’s still identifiable as Invincible, but I think it could’ve been a bit stronger.
Chris: 7. If I’m reading Nathan’s design right, he has a good idea to change the yellow in Invincible’s costume to gold. That in itself makes for an interesting proposition.What loses out on this though is the poor definition of the “i” on his chest. I would’ve reinforced that straight line design down to the waistline at least, possibly more.
Jon: 7. The gold-for-yellow works beautifully, the insignia doesn’t – it just reads “O”.
Vito: 6.5. I see what you mean, Jon. At first, I wanted to defend the logo, because I thought it was a bold choice for the better, but you’re right. The dot makes it look too much like an o. Too bad because I really like the use of black and blue in this one.
Glen: 7. Yeah, the I-dot reads as an O — if Mark ever assumes the Omni-Man identity, this’d be a great way to do that while staying true to his past. I’m not sold on the gold – I think it reads more regal and self-serious than Mark. Gold as highlights? Sure. Gold as costume? If you’re Aquaman. Gold as a major element? I dunno.
Aaron: 6. This is competently put together and I have no particular issue with any of the components, but it feels a little too safe for a protagonist design. If this were a side character in a book, it would be fine, but there’s nothing really distinctive that makes me want to pick up a comic with this guy on the cover.
Joel: 5. Clearly, horrifingly graphic battle-damage is a design element that must be considered for any Invincible design, and one which not nearly enough participants took into account. We should have put it in the competition rules.
Cory: 6. Gotta agree with everyone that this is the first entry that just doesn’t have ENOUGH “I” on it. Would like to see that addressed, as well as bringing the blue lower down on the torso. Going gold was a pretty cool choice. I like that.
Total: 47 (out of 80)
Dean: 8. A strong, simple look from Mase. Great illustrative style here. I dig the colors, which have a kind of sculpted feel. The boots are a cool touch, and I like the high placement of the line where the blue meets the black on the torso. I think something a little more unique on the gloves or mask would’ve kicked this into high gear, but it’s great to see a strong showing from an artist deserving of the wider recognition P:R contests tend to provide.
Chris: 4. I don’t see Mark as the type to design his costume to show off his muscled arms (although spandex does the same thing), but the sleeveless design really irks me. I also question the validity of knee pads on the side of the knee.
Jon: 5. Showing off the character’s arms is a good way to import the idea of “youth”, so I’m all in favor of short sleeves and bare arms and all, but the cut on this shirt combined with a full face mask looks awkward. If he were showing more of his face than just his hair , nose and mouth, then I think this would work a lot better (shorter gloves would be welcome, too). I like the idea behind the shape of the boots, but clearly from the way the side disappears behind the back of the right leg, he wouldn’t be able to bend his knee.
Vito: 5. I like the way the i logo almost forms a belt at the bottom, but the bare arms are distracting. Short sleeves would make an interesting contrast with the gloves being so high (the contrast being his skin).
Glen: 8. I like the simple treatment of the I-logo, and I agree with Vito that suggesting a belt is a nice touch. The cut of the costume reads “gymnast leotard” to me, which is by no means a complaint, even if it doesn’t quite jibe with Mark, somehow.
Aaron: 4. Individually, some of these elements could work, but they’re not coming together well. The color blocking is simple enough, but it’s been done in such a way that his body is divided up into unnecessary blocks. This isn’t a good approach for action characters in particular.
Joel: 6. So, why did bare arms look so refreshing on Jordan Gibson’s design, but rub people the wrong way here? I think it’s the closer crop of the sleeveless top, which, combined with this more bulked out rendition of Mark, makes him look more like a jock in a muscle-T than the everylad we all so readily connect to.
Cory: 7. I really like how Mase handled the lower cut of the blue on the torso, and I’m with Jon on the boots and the shorter gloves. Bare arms like this with high gloves come across pretty feminine to me. Other than that, there’s not much to complain about.
Dean: 6. I really like Murray’s illustration style and his take on the Invincible emblem, and I don’t have a problem with any of the shapes here, though they aren’t particularly innovative, but I think this look would’ve really benefited from a reversal of the blue and black areas. Brighter blues and yellows would’ve made the character more identifiable, in my opinion.
Chris: 6. I love the revised “I” logo on the chest with the angled line, but I think the sectioned design for the rest of the suit isn’t unified to the character itself. If you take off the “I” on the chest or the goggled headgarb, you wouldn’t know it was Invincible at all.
Joel: 5. The gray areas with the orange piping are nice and dynamic, but too much so. They overwhelm the chest-emblem “i”. This messes up the negative space relationship in the “i” so that one reads the the “i” as a single rectangle with a diagonal line interrupting it instead of a letter. The result: Guillotine Man.
Jon: 5. Love the experimentation with the “I”, I think the cut-outs seem a little too arbitrary – would be nice to see it follow the shape of the body a little more. The insignia is such a dominant color, it needs to be repeated in a larger area elsewhere on the body – the piping doesn’t bring the color out enough, and dominates the relationship between the blue and the gray, so there’s little cohesion in the shapes. Also, long gloves and short boots make the costume look top-heavy – not a bad start, but not taking enough chances, I think.
Vito: 6. I like it, but it reads darker to me…like a villain. I think it’s the shade of blue, but I can’t be sure. The thing I like about Invincible is the contrast of how we perceive the character (teen superhero) versus the surroundings (very violent!). I’m just not sure how much I’d trust this character if he were real.
Glen: 6.5. I really like the completely new take on the chest insignia, but I agree that it needs to be more fully incorporated into the design of the suit. Not sure the cut-outs are working — I think they kind of force you (well, me) to see the blue elements jumping out from the black background — and look sort of like an big-headed alien. (Mark’s chest = head, Mark’s waist = neck, Mark’s hips = Arms going “whoopie!”… No? … Just me? Cough.)
Aaron: 5. I feel like the upper body isn’t so bad, but it doesn’t mesh well with the legs. This is an issue where the body isn’t going to read well from a lot of angles because the “cut out” shapes don’t, for the most part, emphasize elements of his form.
Cory: 5.5. I like the cut of the mask and the “I,” but I agree that a shift in the color scheme would go a long way in improving this one.
Total: 44.5 (out of 80)
Dean: 5. I like the torso here, but the snaps on the boots and gloves belong back in 1994.
Chris: 6. Dean’s spotted it – it looks like Invincible joined X-Men Team Gold, Jim Lee era. I would’ve scored this lower, but I see hints that Stefan has the idea for the Invincible top to be a jacket of sorts given the seam, which would be awesome to see elaborated on.
Jon: 5. I never understand what straps like that are supposed to accomplish – they’re not really going to help keep those things on. Torso is good, but the palette is pretty muddy and there’s no integration of the design – the one thing I like is something I may be misreading, but he appears to have buttoned jeans pockets, which is a great idea.
Vito: 6. I might be wrong, but if Invincible has a mustache here, it’s a winner. I like the texture used on the blue elements…looks very padded, which is kind of cool, but I’m not sure if that’s intentional or not, because it looks like it’s in the hair too. You guys nailed it with the 90’s X-Men comment.
Joel: 6. A solid but slightly indistinct costume. This could be Invincible, but it could be a lot of other folks, as well.
Glen: 6. Again, the divided-I – which is necessary part of this jacket-design – doesn’t read Mark for me, and I’m on board with everyone who says X-Men. Bryan Singer’s Wolverine, in my case.
Aaron: 5. I actually don’t have much of a problem with this design, other than the aforementioned X-Men clasps. I just don’t think this communicates much about Invincible. I’m with Vito on the mustache. Give him a big handlebar, call him Distant Future Wolverine 2010 and I’d read that book in a heartbeat.
Cory: 5.5 I’m with Joel on this one. I like Tosheff’s take on the “I,” but at the same time, with the accents on the sides my brain sorta wants to read that as the negative space of a double “M.”
Total: 44 (out of 80)
Dean: 7. I dig the energy of Huerta’s style, but all extraneous elements of the illustration make it harder to focus on the design, which isn’t half bad. I’m not sold on the serious reduction of blue from Invincible’s uniform, and I’m not sure what the deal is with the giant boots here, but I from the front and back shots of Andrew’s redesign, I’d have to say the overall look is a success.
Chris: 6. Andrew has an immense amount of ideas here, and his illustration talent is being showcased here but, like Dean said, it makes judging the redesign of the costume more difficult. Based on the redesign of Invincible shown I give it points for the visor and the costume color scheme. Doing the yellow-on-grey-on-black is evocative, but the design is weighed down (figuratively and literally) by those boots. I think the hood, as its shown here, is extraneous as well.
Joel: 5. There are a lot of interesting elements here, with the crazy trash-bag boots particularly catching my eye. the hood plays well with the costumes I-dot. The secondary use of yellow in the legs adds a little dynamism to the area, while adding contrast with those boots. Man, where did those boots come from? Are leg warmers coming back, or something? Anyway, This seems like an interesting costume that could fit somewhere in the Invincible universe. I’m not sure it fits Mark Grayson as we know him (or at least as I know him, I’m a few volumes behind). The general floppy layered look of this costume speaks to a character who is more closed off from the world, less willing to reveal his feelings.
Jon: 5. As a guy who has only read a handful of Invincible, one of the things I’m looking for in these redesigns is to be informed about the character. This is a great illustration, but I’m getting aggression, intimidation and brute force from it, visually, where I understand Invincible to be largely about youth. It strikes me as a good design for a “Dark Invincible” costume, or an Invincible villain, but it doesn’t read “Invincible” to me.
Vito: 5. It’s a great illustration, but I’m with the rest when I say that I can’t really see what the design is. From what I can ascertain, from the mini drawing on the left, it looks unnecessarily bulky. I like the colors and the hood, but that’s really all.
Glen: 6. Torn, here. I agree with a lot of my colleagues that the charming thing about the Invincible costume is the playfulness of the “I” chest insignia, which both Walker and Ottley had some fun with, in their respective designs. So that’s where I tend to start, with these redesigns. From what I can make out, the decision to add a vertical gray element bisecting the I seems to work at cross (snerk) purposes to the cleanness of the design. We’ve seen plenty of alternate-universe Marks, and this outift would look great on a brooding Invincible who’s constantly struggling with himself, (an “I” divided, enh? Ennnh?), but I’m not sure it works for OG MG. Visually, the boots only work to root him to the ground -which is odd for a flying hero. I do like the hood a lot.
Aaron: 4. I very much like the notion of the hood and gloves, but compositionally it’s just not coming together for me. I’m not as put off by the legwarmers as some of the others, but they do feel out of place, only because there’s no other shape like that on his body. The rest of the costume’s fairly skintight, and then you have these giant boot things. If this type of shape were present somewhere else on the costume, it might work. The biggest problbem, though, is character. He feels very raw and aggressive, and many of the key personality elements of the character I believe are missing. There’s really nothing connecting this design to Mark Grayson. I wouldn’t even think it was an Evil Invincible or something like that unless someone told me.
Cory: 6. I like it, particularly the hood and visor in place of goggles, but it really doesn’t suit the character as we know him. Could totally be an alternate reality future-Invincible, though, and for all I know that’s exactly what Huerta was going for, but I don’t really think that’s really in the spirit of the contest.
Dean: 6.5. Kilian’s look here feels a bit complex, but it’s clearly identifiable as Invincible, and the colors look sharp and clean. The blue crotch-area seems like an odd choice, and I’m not sure the knee and elbow circle patches suit the rest of the look, but I dig the torso elements a lot.
Chris: 6. I’m getting a classic Speedball vibe off of this one. I like how Andrew reinforced the dot in the “i” not only on the chest but on the knees and elbows, but I think the goggles need some work.
Joel: 5. I appreciate the attempt really just go whole hog with the “i” motif, but with each repetition the central “i” loses focus, and, thus, iconic value. This might still work with a different color scheme: leave the central “i” yellow, but drop the others way back in the visual hierarchy.
Jon: 5 The other thing I’m looking for in these designs is the use of the iconic “i” in Invincible’s costume, his strongest visual element. I agree with Joel, there’s too much use of the “i” here, it starts to become slightly satirical to see it used too often – pushed a little further, you’ve got a Kevin O’Neill/Marshall Law effect.
Vito: 6. I’m with you, Jon. I feel like the “i” is the most important element of the Invincible costume, but you can clearly overdo it. This is definitely Invincible, but it might be a little too Invincible for it’s own good. Chris’ Speedball comment is 100% on the money.
Glen: 5. Not much to add here. Clean, but the knee-Is are a scosh too much; when he’s standing still they’ll look like two stick-figures, and the elbow-Is won’t even register, most of the time.
Aaron: 5. I’ll echo Joel about the “i.” Repetition is a central part of good design, but not everything should be repeated, especially if you want that element to be a focal point. There are also too many shapes for their own sake, I think. The unusual shaping of black under the arms and above the shoulders, for example, aren’t needed. Also, his lower body is completely divided right now with the way the colors are presented, and it comes off as a little jarring. I like how friendly Invincible looks here, but there needs to be a more coherent approach to laying out the costume patterns.
Cory: 5. Yeah, definitely too much “i” action. Aaron makes a lot of good points above, and maybe yellow isn’t the best look for the eyepieces. With some tweaks, it could be a pretty smooth costume.