Note: Late last week DC Comics unveiled the first look at the heroes of their new Earth-2 to headline the upcoming Earth 2 and World’s Finest series. With these two covers we got to see some interesting renditions of DC’s top Trinity as well as two of its top comic heroines who’ve both been in need of a makeover. Let’s see what our P:R panel has to say about them all. – Chris A.
Jess: It looks like Superman’s manties are gone from every universe. Sigh. I actually think this works better than the Earth 1 costume – fewer extraneous lines, and the yellow is carried through better – but I will mourn the shorts till the end of my days.
I’d like to get a better look at Batman. (Does he have a little Peter Pan collar a la Dick Grayson Robin? What is going on there?) I like the basic idea of Wonder Woman’s dress, though it looks like it’s about to fall off of her, but the boots/headpiece/left gauntlet seem like afterthoughts.
Joel: Superman: From this image, this costume looks pretty good to me, and a definite improvement on the Earth 1 costume. The S-shield looks an awful lot like the one that, uhm, well, I designed for Project:Rooftop’s own Superman redesign. Not to imply any influence, I only bring it up to cop to the fact that I, personally, have an affinity for this solution. They should drop the two negative space triangles at the the top, though, which look like jack-o-lantern eyes. The belt is really intriguing in this shot. It references the manties, as well as the S-shield’s chevron, while still distinctly being a belt. But I wonder how it plays with the legs, the boots, and, you know, the crotch. Is there a way to off-set the crotch-arrowness of that belt? And, boy, I sure do wish we could see the boots.
Batman: From the belt up, I like this costume. I don’t think the rendition of the bat is sufficiently iconic for the main-Universe Batman, but it works just fine for a secondary instantiation. The layering of dark-gray elements gives the costume a leathery/plasticy armored quality like what we’ve seen in the last few decades of cinematic Bats, without getting too heavy. The armor is balanced with a more dynamic spandex-look in way that probably wouldn’t work on screen, but is well suited for a drawn medium. The part I’m not crazy about is the little bit of the legs that we can see. It looks like the strong vertical element on the torso continues down, and becomes inner-thigh stripes. Two-tones legs show up in a lot of costume designs, but very few of them stick around long. It’s just a weird look. It’s hard to tell if Earth-2 Bats is sporting a short cape, or if it just showing battle damage, but I think this is a costume that could support a shorter cape than the ankle-dusting cloak I’ve become used to.
Wonder Woman: This, in my opinion, is the least successful of the three. Wondy’s very spotty approach to armoring herself results in a totally unbalanced look, and points to no logic other than making sure the bad-ass metal bits don’t obscure any of the lady-curves. The skirt itself looks nice, with the separated panels adding some nice movement and the little red overlapping flaps being kinda reminiscent of samurai armor. Either keep the skirt and design a costume that goes with it, or commit fully to the armored approach, but this is neither fish nor foul. Nice sword, I guess.
Vito: Sigh…it looks like in every dimension, the heroes are fighting Darkseid and his minions. I wonder if it’s a simultaneous attack? I have no problems with Batman, whether it’s Bruce, Dick, Ronnie, Bobby, Ricky or Mike. That costume looks fantastic…like a cross between Gotham by Gaslight and Kingdom Come. At least, from whatever myopic angle I’m looking at it from. Wonder Woman looks like Hippolyta by way of Donna. I don’t have any issues with that costume, other than it looks needlessly bulky. Too many extraneous elements like the scallops on the arm guard, tiara and, it looks like, the boots. I’m ok with Superman’s new look too, but I’m going to withhold full judgment…maybe one of you guys are going to show me something I missed.
Joel: You know what I hope? That Superman isn’t wearing boots. I’ve decided that the legs of this costume should end just like the arms do, with a little red cuff and then bare feet. It plays well with the generally more open aspects of this design, and the farmboy background, and, c’mon, It’s not like Superman needs boot soles to protect his feet. And while I’m joking, I’m still going to be at least half disappointed when it turns out that he is conventionally shod.
Jon: Wonder Woman’s costume just doesn’t look like it was put-together by one person – thigh-high armor bootlets, but a skirt and exposed upper body? Armor for armor’s sake – surely if you have armor, you want it to protect your vitals. Red and blue in the trunk, silver on the limbs, low-cut sides – this is three costumes at once, it needs focus.
– I’m entranced by Superman’s belt, that’s a really nice treatment which is evocative of the S-Shield without just being an s-shield.The cuffs seem unnecessary but otherwise fine. It was inevitable that we’d eventually get the cape to wrap over the shoulders and form the insignia – during Man of Style, we must’ve seen a dozen designs utilizing that idea – but is the “S” just a flap on the front? It must make a ridiculous sound when he’s descending feet-first, slap-slap-slap-slap-slap … Also, I too kind of want Superman to be bare-footed, now that Joel’s mentioned it.
Batman – easily my favorite of this batch, I love the gauntlets and the shoulder pieces. I think it resembles his Flashpoint costume, but I didn’t read Flashpoint and only know it from the ads, so I may be mistaken. Reminds me a little of his Liberty Files costume, too. ANYWAY it’s the best of the three, definitely not iconic enough for a mainstream Batman but it’s great as an alternate universe Bats…
Rachel: Superman – This looks kind of like it was collaged together from pieces of other Superman costumes. The cropped “S” logo is super awkward; it looks like sloppy cutting lines instead of a deliberate design decision, and the cuffs make me think of kids’ thermal pajamas. I guess the belt is nice.
Batman – Is there a straight-on view of this anywhere? I like most of what I can see, but I can’t see very much. In general, I dig Batman costumes that more clearly reference the “knight” part of “dark knight,” and I love the shoulders and the gloves here–they’re spiky without getting too fiddly, which is a delicate balance. The bulky, bulging belt ruins the line of an otherwise sharp costume, and there’s something weird about the logo, but in general, this works well. It’s definitely the best of the three.
Wonder Woman – Ugh. This is like a diagram of every way you can do a superhero costume wrong: too busy, nonsensical armor, and no visual continuity. It’s like they went “Oh, tits! Let’s just slap some things on the other parts and call it a day!”
Dean: I don’t really have a lot to say about these. A whole new multiverse and nobody’s wearing underwear over tights? 70 years of globally recognizable iconography not cool enough for ya, DC?
Chris: Manties or no, I really enjoy the design here for Superman. The streamlined version of the “S” emblem is something I’ve been campaigning for for years, but I agree that the two yellow areas above the “S” are a bit jack o’ lantern-esque; maybe they could join the two in a shape over the “S’ that would give it a big more definition. The belt to me seems alright on first glance, but I’d need to think about it more.
For Wonder Woman, the design seems a bit feckless. I like the idea of a more armored Wonder Woman, but the placement of it (and lack thereof) make it seem ornamental rather than useful.
For Batman, this reminds me of those period piece costumes from Batman: The Return of Bruce Wayne, but the pouches on the belt throw off the design. I understand he needs some storage there, but there has to be a better solution than those style of pouches.
Jess: I actually really like Power Girl’s classic costume (when drawn reasonably), so it’s remarkable that I like this updated version as much as I do. But I think it works! It’s still very sleek and elegant, with a slight otherworldly touch. I’m not entirely sure how those thigh seams work, and I’m on the fence about the boots and gauntlets (especially when Amanda Conner’s take on her boots was so perfect), but overall I think Mystery Designer did a good job making a DCnU costume less instead of more ridiculous. I’m thrilled to see Helena in a full bodysuit version of her costume, too – her bellywindow always bothered me way more than Peej’s boobwindow.
Important question: does Robin-Helena have a mullet?
Vito: I’ll take them one at a time because this might be the most controversial of the two images…
Huntress – Nothing we haven’t seen…next!
Supergirl – Shares E2 Superman’s emblem, which is fine for me…I enjoy it when there’s a uniform look with a “family” of superheroes (like Ming’s awesome Superman Family).
Robin – Ok, now we’re getting to some meat. Without the benefits of seeing this in color, I only have one thing to go on, and that’s the R-symbol in the middle of the neck. I don’t really care for that idea because in my head, Bruce designs all of the costumes (or Alfred), and as such, he puts the emblem in a spot where it is heavily armored, ie, over the chest, to draw projectile fire. While I’m sure the costume would still be armored, I have a real problem with it being so close to her face…her unarmored face. Not even a hair above the top of the emblem, an enemy would have a clear shot at her throat. It strikes me as irresponsible designing. Sure, you could aim at these uncovered elements regardless of where the emblem is, but in that position, you’re asking for trouble.
Power Girl – I guess the first question I have to ask is why? I can see the connect to the Superman S-emblem, but why no sleeves? Why leggings? Why the closed…I hate saying it…boobie window? This just looks lazy; this is exactly what you get when you say, “Hey, we want a new Power Girl design, but we want the exact opposite of what she is on Earth 1.” The armored gauntlets and boots just look awkward and out of place. It’s times like these that I wish the Powers That Be at DC/Warner Bros. would literally raid the Project: Rooftop closet because we had the perfect Power Girl redesign when Joel Carrol did it. They’re not too far apart when you look at them, but Joel’s just speaks volumes compared to this one. Pardon the pun, but this Power Girl is just flat.
Thematically, if I were to guess, E2 Supergirl became Power Girl and E2 Robin became Huntress? Is that accurate?
Joel: Based on this image, Vito, I’m pretty sure it’s the Earth 2 Princess Di who becomes Power Girl.
Supergirl (Superwoman? Nah, probably not): Looks a little busy, what with tiny little yellow chevrons on her gloves and the stripey belt, but given that I assume this design is just there as character background, it seems fine, and I like that it plays off the Superman design.
Robin: Can’t see much, but I like what I do see. Boy, I sure do hope that’s not a mullet, but it would be a pretty hilarious call back to some of Nightwing’s less advisable stylistic choices if it were,
Huntress: For the most part, this looks like a solid reworking of the old Earth One costumes. The parts that were working have been kept, and the silly bits, like the bare mid-drift have been ditched. It’s a bit much with the accessories (nice shin guards, guy), and the mask is kinda heavy, but this is generally A-OK.
Power Girl: I agree with Vito that this would be improved by being a xerox of Joel Carroll’s PG design. Simple designs are the hardest because there’s nothing to distract from the weak points. And while I like the general direction of this costume, it has a number of weak points. The boots and braces just look overwrought and fiddly. The thigh-seams might actually pass the reality-test (I’ve seen shapes like that on high-performance athletic gear) but I still think they’re kinda odd. And the “P” is a noble effort that very nearly ties the costume into the Earth-2 Superman’s visual legacy while speaking it’s own individual identity, but needs about a hundred more thumbnails sketches before it will be resolved.
Jon: The Huntress’ costume doesn’t seem much different from her most recent costume, except they finally gave her all the parts that were missing – the upper thighs, the upper arms, the belly panel – so that’s nice. She must be much warmer.
As for Power Girl, her kerchief-cape-collar looks like a lobster bib, she’s got 1980’s anchorwoman hair, like all the other seamed costumes in the New DCU those seams make no sense as anything other than a map of South American canals and tributaries, AND her gauntlets make it look like she’s been punching and kicking her way through bowling trophies.
Supergirl and Robin, I can’t tell much about them except that they look like they were designed in a rush. Does that cover everybody?
Jess: You’re right, Jon, that hair is terrible.
Rachel: I actually really, really like this Power Girl. The gauntlets and boots are way overworked, but the rest of the costume looks like something an alien warrior might actually choose to wear. That said, as Vito and Joel have both mentioned, Joel Carroll did it first and better. Take note, DC.
Huntress’s costume doesn’t seem to have changed significantly, nor has Supergirl’s. Can’t see much of Robin, but that cape looks like it’d significantly restrict shoulder movement.
Dean: Chris pointed out Power Girl’s Supreme-ishness the day these hit, and now it’s all I can see. Huntress looks fine, but I’m not too invested in the character.
Chris: Yes, Power Girl is totally borrowing this from Supreme‘s closet, or rather Suprema, his sister. To be blunt… try harder. For the Huntress, it seems like a very slight redesign of what she’s already wearing in her recent mini. The Supergirl and Robin in the background are enticing, but simply not enough to look at to make any formidable comment.