47 comments on “P:R Redesign: Denis Medri’s Fantasy Avengers!
  1. Saw these somewhere before and loved them!!! Awesome. Wish they had finished Nick Fury. Love the Widow and the Hawk. Hulk as an Ogre is perfect and love the subtle differences between Cap and Iron Man.

  2. Anyone else see the D&D connection? Captain America is the paladin, Thor the fighter, Iron Man maybe a cleric or a wizard with armor proficiency. Hulks an orc, Black Widow a rouge and Hawkeye a ranger. Can’t see enough of Fury to make an analysis.

  3. They’re fairly cool designs, though I’d like to see some more diversion from the originals in some cases. Surely something interesting could be done with Iron Man’s helmet, for instance.

    It’s too bad that the group from the movie are now THE Avengers. I think that a pixieish Wasp and beanpolesque Giant Man would be more interesting in this setting than Black Widown and Ultimate Fury.

  4. It’s not a fantasy story without a woman dressed entirely inappropriately, but I do like it

  5. You could argue Hulk has less clothing than Black widow. But enough making jokes at the expensive of someone who spent time doing this– what do you think of the piece, Edwin?

  6. I really like the looks of the team in medieval gear, especially as they don’t just look like George Perez’ old designs. The idea of Black Widow as a rouge seems spot-on.

    I’ve been having fun thinking about what most of the analogous/anacrhonistic names for the characters might be, but I’m a little stuck on what Nick Fury’s title might be: General Fury? Warlord Fury? I’m kind of partial to “Warlord Fury.”

  7. I said I do like it. I wasn’t being vague. The characters are instantly recognizable, they fulfill fantasy tropes well, and little nods like Black Widow’s tattoo make me smile. Thank you for pointing out how the Hulk’s outfit is actually worse than BW’s (though considering the Hulk, I wonder if his clothes haven’t been torn off like most of his 616 counterparts).

    That said, stripperific outfits, especially in fantasy settings (if they’re going by Medieval Europe, long dresses and tunics for men and women were the norm for most of Western Europe) have always been railed on by me. However, I do accept it as a part of the genre. I’m sorry if it bothers, but I snarked on borrowed time when I wrote it.

    A hooded tunic and tights of cloth (as opposed to Hawkeye’s leather) would have been historically more appropriate and mildly less exploitative. Either that, or make her a dancer from the “exotic” east doubling as an assassin if they wanted to put her in fewer clothes, instead of the odd Celtic bend they’ve got her on. Then again, I give major props for remembering the Celtic Warrior Women.

    I have to reinforce that I like this piece. My issues with female costuming aside, there’s nothing wrong with it. I figured I could step back and let everyone else really give it the praise it deserves with my personal quibbles fading into the minor details

  8. While I love the designs, and even think Black Widow looks cool, I have to echo Edwin and Sharmie about the ridiculousness of Black Widow. Arguing that Hulk is equally ridiculous is a straw man argument. The character’s clothes rip off during his transformation for goodness sake. Honestly, he should be completely naked.

    But not even Celtic Warrior Women would be wearing such an outfit as this BW. (Besides, she’s Russian. It’s cold there.) It’s once again an example of over-sexualizing women. As a spy, she would be dressed either to fit in with society or at least be covered in light armor similar to Hawkeye’s. It’s not that it’s a bad drawing (it’s wonderful!) but it doesn’t make sense.

    Everything else in this group is so good and interesting, but the lone female is once again reduced to a pack of T & A, completely over-shadowing the fact that she’s a badass character with amazing talents and a great story.

  9. I’m calling bullshit on the Hulk being more inappropriately dressed than Widow. The Hulk wearing ripped clothing has a reason, where as exposing your midriff in a meleé combat based society is simply ridiculous. The Hulk has no need for clothing other than modesty, and last time I checked, Widow is far from invulnerable. Also, I doubt anyone would accept the argument that the Hulk is wearing little clothing specifically to make him more sexy. Widow on the other hand is there for eye-candy.

    The artwork is fine. Sorry to say that the sexist outfit ruined it for me.

  10. I’m not so sure that Fury isn’t finished as much as he is a ghost or a spirit, controlling things from the shadows and rarely ever seen. Otherwise, why would you be able to see the colored background behind him.

  11. Great designs on the whole, but I really hoped that we’d moved past the stripperific costumes for female characters.
    I especially like the brighter palette used for Hawkeye.

  12. Man oh man is this sweet…

    Stuff like this is EXACTLY what the Big Two need to do with their characters. They need to let artists and writers step outside of their respective continuity/cannon shackles and allow people to use these wonderful characters in new, fresh and unique ways.

    The ultimate failure of DC’s laughable relaunch is their absolute lack of imagination. After all the pomp and hoopla, Johns and Lee and Dido basically went back to how characters were 15 years ago (when they were young fanboys). Only they’re a little bloodier, a little grittier, and a little sluttier.

    In essence, the “New 52″ is nothing more than the most boring and pedantic fan-fic clogging the web.

    But this art/re-imagining is visceral, imaginative and different, while still remaining instantly recognizable and respectful of the core characters. Wonderful!

    I wish DC and Marvel would do the same and let the characters breathe, just as the talented and visionary artists routinely allow them to do as showcased on this wonderful site.

    There are many, many different ways to use them.

  13. totally with you Edward, i believe they (marvel/dc) should keep their big selling titles ongoing, and start publishing off series work like these awesome pieces of work in paperback kinda books, one shots like the dark night returns (diff style, diff world, same characters) but sold only in this book format.

  14. I was so happy with this until I saw Black Widow. I’m glad I’m not the only one who noticed how out of sync her outfit is with the rest of the group. I thought I was going to be the lone woman saying “hey, what the heck?”

  15. I love the obvious D&D tie ins in the designs! Captain America would be a great paladin :) Might have to talk to my dungeon master about running a game with super hero adaptions lol
    I know a lot of people are irritated at BW’s design here, but if you’ve ever really looked at D&D you’ll see the design origin. It’s hard to find ladies in full dress in the guide books or elsewhere. So it doesn’t really bother me, and this is coming from a lady with a heavily clothed cleric character.

  16. Yeah, I’m with the others in not being a fan of Black Widow’s fanservice outfit. Sure, seduction is one of the tools in her arsenal — but one thing that made me really happy with the movie was the way in which it was only *one* tool, and not the most important one, either. I’d love a more subtle come-hither hint, while putting some actual clothes on her.

    Regarding the guys’ armor, I think it would have been interesting to give Captain America something more like a Roman (republic-era) cuirass, or something that hints at Greece — a marginally democratic society, anyway — to contrast with the high-medieval Iron Man look.

  17. Great designs, all of them. Well, except Black Widow. I too understand that it is somewhat common in the genre, but that’s no excuse. She just looks ridiculous. However, the role of rogue is very fitting for her, nonetheless.

  18. These are brilliant, although I’m not a massive fan of the Captain America simply because America as a county, and the American flag in particular, didn’t exist in the Middle Ages. I know it’s a silly thing to nitpick over, and that weather-controlling gods and giant green men didn’t exist either, and it’s only a very minor complaint, but still. I guess if it were a fantasy setting you could argue that it’s a fantasy version of the US that had knights etc.

  19. As EVER Denis Medri did a great job,the costumes totally fit for a fantasy world keeping perfectly recognizable the characters,a work much better than some similar works I’ve seen here.
    Thor and Black widow totally represent the spirit of heroic fantasy of drawers like Frank Frazetta and Boris Vallejo.
    As well Hakweye as fantasy rogue\assassin\snyper is very cool and Captain America wears star and stripes in a realistic way like a coat of amrs more than a flag,it totally fits for a middle age themed world.
    I just dislike Hulk and Iron Man,HUlk is too much normal,I would see it bigger and badder and I think Iron Man’s armor should be much weird,magical and fantasized to represent the unicity of Iron Man’s armor compared to normal armors,I say,an armored man in a world of knights and warriors is not so unique.

  20. To all people who claim Black Widow is inappropiately half naked,I have to say:
    Have you ever seen heroic fantasy illustrations?
    Have you ever seen illustrations by Frank Frazetta,Boris Vallejo and ESPECIALLY Luis Royo?
    Black Widow costume is a clear omage to classic heroic fantasy art of the 70′s-80′s.
    Everytime I read that a sexy costume is disrepectful for a gender or womanizer I laugh,it’s not covering a woman that you respect her,extremist muslim culture is a clear example(extremist,not normal that I respect).

  21. Pretty sure Black Knight is not the only thing missing. Black Widow seems to have misplaced at least half of her armor. Seriously, I was completely in love with the art until I scrolled down and saw her. Now I’m just upset.

  22. There’s nothing wrong with Black Widow’s outfit. I don’t think the artist’s goal was to be period accurate, but rather to pay homage to characters from fantasy stories and RPG’s. She looks like she belongs in an old Red Sonja comic or on a trading card for Magic: The Gathering. I’d say that’s pretty appropriate.

  23. I like most of these, especially Hawkeye. He looks very cool and mysterious. (Although has anyone else thought that making a “fantasy” version of Thor is redundant?)

    However, I will agree with the posters saying that Black Widow’s outfit is too ludicrously sexy for me to enjoy. Sexy outfits are not empowering on a female character who is supposed to be taken seriously as a warrior, no matter what Sucker Punch wanted us to think. Saying that the Hulk is wearing less clothing is a false equivalent: if he were meant to be sexualized the same way as Black Widow, he wouldn’t be wearing a loose loincloth. He’d be wearing a tight man-thong ala Sean Connery in Zardoz and strutting his stuff.

    …I think someone should draw that now, actually.

  24. Itlas, I respect your opinion, but just because BW is an “homage” to the history of fantasy drawings, well… that doesn’t make it reasonable. There’s a lot of sexism, racism and other kinds of exploitation in much of the history of our culture. That doesn’t make it right.

    If there were a character in blackface, would we dismiss that as “Oh, well it’s just an homage to early 20th century minstrel shows?” Maybe that’s a little extreme, and I’m definitely not saying what’s done with BW here is equivalent to blackface. I’m trying to illustrate that claiming something exploitative is okay because we used to do it all the time is not a good excuse.

    Noxen, I think the argument you’re making is similar. Just because Wizards of the Coast puts lots of half-naked women in the books to sell more to teenage fanboys, it’s still not appropriate.

    There are plenty of places to exploit and sexualize characters. Black Widow in this “story” or in any BW story would have many points where she would use her sexuality and her body to manipulate others. But these are clearly meant to represent battle uniforms of some type or other, and a half-naked woman exposing some of her most vulnerable body parts makes no sense.

  25. I love this site and I love that Thor and ESPECIALLY Hulk! Loving Cap’s Bordeaux Tapestry-style gear and Tony’s rocking neckguards, too! (couldn’t stop staring at them)

    But add me to the number of people whose heart sank when I scrolled down and saw Black Widow. As to the commenter who said ‘hard to find ladies in full dress in the guide books or elsewhere’, I submit this: http://womenfighters.tumblr.com/

  26. Black widow is much dressed than some teenager girls you can meet on the street and noone draw them or force them to dress that way.
    You can like or dislike it,it’s your personal taste,but you can’t use excusations like “it’s not a practical and realistic dress” because fantasy armors have nothing of practical and realistic,both female and male,as Warhammer teachs http://www.blogcdn.com/massively.joystiq.com/media/2008/09/bg235gr3.jpg
    http://whfb.lexicanum.com/mediawiki/images/4/41/Knight_of_the_Gold_Lion.jpg
    http://cf.mp-cdn.net/41/fd/f4936fc36a698f5e9527496154be.jpg
    As well it fits totally for the character because Black Widow is not a fighter but a spy(a russian spy chasing Iron Man at her beginning in comics) and one of the best weapons for female spies is their beauty so it’s normal she hangs out uncovered to distract and seduce the enemy.
    Exploitation and fan services are a part of comic book and (especially)manga industry since ever,it’not disrepectful for women as to pretend all men in comics have underwear male models bodies.
    Today fanservices exists for both males and females,one of the recent examples that come in my mind is the totally unnecessary Chris Hemsworth naked chest scene in THOR movie.

  27. Design is function given form.
    Moral choices always end up reducing the field of exploration with dos and don’ts.
    If any moral code should be followed, it should be the one from the story world. Since this example doesn’t have a background story, let’s leave morals aside.

    Black Widow should wear some sort of light leather armor (like her modern counterpart duh) , also the rogue stereotype is one of stealing and hidden weapons, not easy to do when you have nowhere to hide anything.

    Had she been a spell caster of any kind, full nudity would be a possible choice.

  28. Tattooed body for spell casting? Actually, I’d have gone with dancer/assassin/spy. That way her outfit can be small and flowy, and it gives her an “in” to places a rouge can’t go. She performs for kings and lords, then kills, robs, or extracts information. It uses her background much more efficiently. I would totally see her using a veil to strangle someone or hair sticks as stabbing implements. It’s still sexy as all get out, but now it has a valid reason for being sexy

  29. hi Guys!
    thank u so much for the comments!
    about Black Widow, I’m sorry if someone felt that my re-design seems sexist,wasn’t my intention..

  30. Denis — From my perspective, there’s no need to apologize; it’s just something to think about for the future, rather than going with the defaults of the genre.

  31. DENIS there’s no need to apologize with femophobic people.
    A sexy girl is not offensive for anyone except than for people who see racism and sexism everywhere even when there is none,probably racism and sexism is only inside their hearts.
    Sexy girls in comics exist since ever and will always be,comics are comics,not an historical reconstruction nor an imitation of reality,superheroes costumes are made to be cool and catchy not to be practical.

    I TUOI DISEGNI SONO PERFETTI|

  32. It’s hard to step outside the established tropes of a genre. We’re not exactly calling for your head and some of us are even trying to help you figure out how to maintain the sexy and it make sense. It’s a great drawing, you have nothing to be ashamed or apologetic about

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  34. Denis, as one of the biggest critics of the BW design here I want to also say that there’s no reason to apologize. It’s just a healthy debate about the state of sexism in our culture. Art is a great way to create questions, not necessarily answers.

    Edwin, I like your idea about her being a dancer/assassin/spy, which makes the costume much more appropriate. With the lack of story, my assumption was to interpret the characters roles as closely as possible to the established stories. A little bit of change in background information changes what is appropriate and what isn’t.

  35. This is my favorite work of Denis’, although the Spider-man redesign is a very close second. I really like the idea of medieval Avengers / X-men / JLA / etc and it would be nice if there were more alternate world / Elseworld stories in that type of setting.**

    I love that the Hulk looks like a goblin or troll or what have you. It’s a seamless way to fit a character like him into a fantasy world. Not sure what’s up with the ghost of Nick Fury, but he looks cool too.

    **If anyone knows any stories of this type, please drop them in the comments.

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