P:R Redesign: Corey Lewis’ Sailor Batgirl!

Note: We’ve seen artists do super-hero mash-up costumes from years, from fan-driven ones to offical ones like the DC/Marvel Amalgam books and the more recent Phoenix Five heroes in Avengers Vs. X-Men. And now, the energetic artist Corey Lewis has turned into us a mash-up that leaves them all in the dust — Sailor Moon meets Batgirl. Lewis has really made this more than just a quick wardrobe changing, putting alot of thinking to make this a cohesive design that’s faithful to both characters. The only question I have is… does this make Batman Tuxedo Mask? – Chris A.

23 comments on “P:R Redesign: Corey Lewis’ Sailor Batgirl!
  1. The standard “artwork is great” disclaimer applies of course and I know I’ve been reprimanded in the past for being a bit harsh but I don’t like this. Maybe it’s true to the Sailor Moon aspects – I don’t know because it’s not my thing – but nothing about this says Batgirl to me.

    A few questions as I’m not familiar with this style … Is her face painted or is that a mask? What’s the deal with that pink bat shape behind her hip area? Is it like a cape or a rigid armor piece? How could this be drawn in any action type pose without showing her underwear? Or is that the point?

  2. Jay: We appreciate you not being personal with your judgements. For looking for Batgirl in this, I think the horns on the head and the Bat elements in the staff, belt, emblem and waist-piece are pretty good at giving that away. The cape doesn’t look rigid, but more like the original Batgirl’s flowing cape. As for the skirt, maybe it’s a decorative piece over a high-cropped bottom to the suit like Ms. Marvel or Power Girl. Just because there’s a skirt there doesn’t mean there’s nothing but underwear underneath. Then again, many people say Superman’s costume proudly displays his underwear.

  3. I think a Sailor Moon-Superman amagalman would be better,and an amalgam with Shadow Lady would fit better for batgirl,also I don’t understand why she hasn’t eye holes in her mask,in all anime when there is drawn a superhero mask the eyes are not drawed directly on the mask but there are holes that show a bit of skin and the eyes

  4. I think Lewis’ decision to draw the eyes without showing any skin surrounding the eyes is a stylistic choice. This is a mash-up of manga and American-style comics, Itlas, not just manga.

  5. Chris- I disagree about the skirt not having “underwear” beneath. Obviously anything worn under there will invoke the idea of underwear thus making it very titillating, and most likely by design. A bikini covers the same area as a bra & panties but seeing a woman in her undergarments, or even parts of her undergarments (low buttoned shirt, skirt blown by wind, etc) is more…erotic (is that the appropriate word) because it’s something hidden from plain sight. Not saying that there’s anything wrong with that but lets not be dishonest about the situation.

    Also, I know the blue cape isn’t rigid, my question was about the pink part.

  6. Chris I disagree,this is a mash-up between a manga and a comic characters but the style is 100% manga,drawing huge eye manga style on the mask like comic book characters gives a weird result.

  7. Corey’s been published extensively in American comics, even doing Captain Marvel and Longshot. He’s clearly inspired by both American and Japanese comics styles.

  8. Gotta side with Chris here, but in terms of the style and where it fits, I’ve got to ask, “who cares?” Artists take liberties ALL THE TIME in their work. Pop Mhan’s work evolved into a manga/American-style hybrid, and Humberto Ramos’ work is rather cartoony with many elements infused in it, but it doesn’t matter because those are their styles and their artistic choices.

    Whether you like it or not is up to you, but to me it’s clear that whether it’s Japanese- or American-style, or a hybrid, he’s clearly playing to what he wants to do and taking liberties like we all do.

  9. Chris everytime one makes a critic on a piece you reply,I preferred the old times when P:R staff was judges and then they leave people the freedom to comment about the piece in peace.
    I have my opinion and I expressed it,if you don’t respect other people opinions I wonder why you take the disturb to have a comments section on this site.

  10. Jay- I’d say the pink part on her bum is supposed to mimic/replace an enormous and completely impractical bow that Sailor Moon often has in the same place (I’m ashamed that I know the sailor moon design enough to pick that) – imagine some cloth with the magical ability to both hold its shape rigidly and flow in the wind for dramatic flair.

    Also, this design, like that for Sailor Moon, could NOT be drawn in any kind of action pose without showing her underwear. As a ‘Magical Girl’ titillation’s basically the whole point (in my understanding).

    In terms of the mask, Sailor Moon’s costume is formed on her body by a ridiculous naked magical transformation sequence. Sailor Batgirl’s mask, in this case, needn’t have any logical way to be applied. Nor does it really need any explanation about it’s nature as paint or material.

    In terms of a mash-up I think this design gets it so right! This could easily be an official ‘Elseworlds’ version of Batgirl. In my opinion the art is spot-on and the styling is perfect for a bat-themed Sailor Scout.

  11. Itlas: Should I not be free to reply to comments about something I posted on a site I co-own? I respect your opinion, but I can also disagree with it constructively and correct you sometimes when you are in error. Likewise, other people have frequently corrected me here on Project: Rooftop. I’m sorry you feel like P:R’s comment section should adhere to YOUR vision of what a comments section should be.

    The only time I’ve not posted someone’s comments is if it’s derogatory to the artist on a personal level. You can critique and comment on a piece without making personal attacks or inflammatory language.

  12. Itlas, it was never like that. If anything, moderation was much more heavy-handed before Chris took over. I don’t always agree with his taste or choices, but I think he’s pretty fair.

    I don’t care for this piece at all, though I will admit that the Photoshop remnants (or whatever that haze around the figure is) are so distracting that I may be missing something. I do like Corey Lewis’ ninja turtles pretty well, though.

  13. “Also, this design, like that for Sailor Moon, could NOT be drawn in any kind of action pose without showing her underwear. As a ‘Magical Girl’ titillation’s basically the whole point (in my understanding). ”

    Hahaha no go away. The original artist, Naoko Takeuchi, was drawing from fashion design and decided to put the Sailor Scouts in school uniforms because they are, you know, 14 or so, and her main audience was young girls. The fact that Magical Girls are considered to be “mostly” for titillation is a misnomer made by western audiences, particularly men.

    I really like this actually. Yeah, the pink part is a reflection of Sailor Moon’s Star’s outfit. She’s got impractical white wings that go there. I much preferred her R outfit myself.

  14. I love this way more than I logically should, but I’m a huge Sailor Moon fan. It changed the Magical Girl genre in ways that are still being felt.

    I find it interesting that the artist went with the Eternal Sailor Moon design for Batgirl (Her last costume evolution in the series canon). Because of that design, the pink bat is actually from a pair of wings in the Eternal Sailor Moon costume (http://www.freewebs.com/silvermoonangel/serena_e33.gif), which WERE derived from a bow on the lower back common in pretty girl illustrations in Japanese media, usually with fluffy dresses or aprons (http://twilight.mahoro-net.org/~aterizak/meido.jpeg).

    Interestingly enough, as far as I can tell the bow is very likely derived from the Obi of traditional Japanese wear AND bows in the back of western outfits back in the day, as a way of cinching a dress in at the waist and creating a womanly figure.

    The skirts (Three of them folks, count ‘em) are no more exploitative in this case than a typical ice dancing outfit. There might be panty shots, but if the artist stays true to the Sailor Moon half of the feel, then any panty shots would be played more for laughs than titillation.

    I love the little bat spikes on her hair buns. Those are inspired.

    I’m gonna have to take technical points because of the ankles and the bent forearm. Those are detracting from what is a pretty well done drawing.

    I think that covers anything I wanted to impart here

  15. @Lorien: thanks for the lesson. I was endeavouring to be a bit tongue in cheek (and disdainful) but, yeah, as a ‘Western’ male influenced by society’s view of the work I have tended to treat the entire ‘magical girl’ thing as being specifically designed with titillation in mind. Good to know that that wasn’t the original intent for ‘Sailor Moon’; I’ve never really bothered to do any research into it before, so now I know (and knowing is half the battle).

    While I know that titillation isn’t really “basically the whole point” of Magical Girl anime (after all there are all those fine examples of female empowerment and stuff in ‘Sailor Moon’ that pop up in all the pink and glitter and rainbows and shopping and fawning over Tuxedo Mask that Sailor Moon does, too) titillation is – or has become, at the least – undeniably associated with the genre.

    Intended or not, seeing girls in such short skirts and undergoing naked transformation sequences is titillating to many males (shocking, right?) and I find it impossible to believe that that is something peculiar to ‘Western’ males and missing from the ‘Eastern’ psyche as you implied. When creating a commercial series, this sort of thing must be, and would have been, taken into account in the process of designing a character’s costume.

    Jay was right when he said that we shouldn’t be dishonest about the fact that that design is going to be titillating. While it may have been marketed to young girls, the creators must have been aware that it would hold this sort of appeal to many males – after all, the creators were presumably adults possessing an adult understanding of sexuality. Despite this (or because of it) they proceeded to clothe the characters as they did. Simply put, because of this choice you can’t immediately laugh and dismiss the idea that the genre is about titillation.

    The series was about femininity as a source of power, so it stands to reason that an attractive female’s ability to flaunt her femininity in a way that would titillate a male should be depicted intentionally as a part of that power and this is done through costuming – when she wears her tiny skirts, Sailor Moon is able to win the day! Hopefully, however, the series was able to subvert the idea that a girl *needs* to be titillating to have power.

    @Edwin – Playing panty shots for laughs rather than for titillation? That’s an enormous can of worms right there!

  16. Yes, yes it is. Mind you, playing sexuality for laughs isn’t anything new in the world of entertainment. There are quite a few scenes of the girls actively trying to keep their skirts down because of one situation or another. In one episode, a character blatantly says she should play Snow White because she has the biggest breasts of the group. One of the girls two times a pair of guys (who were the villains of that series).

    Another thing you should note about the series and most of the genre (before increasing attention was paid to male audiences) is that for the longest time, Sailor Moon was the oldest magical girl at 14 years old. She ends the series at 16. Most magical girls are grade schoolers to middle schoolers.

  17. Jay: Chris- I disagree about the skirt not having “underwear” beneath. Obviously anything worn under there will invoke the idea of underwear thus making it very titillating, and most likely by design. A bikini covers the same area as a bra & panties but seeing a woman in her undergarments, or even parts of her undergarments (low buttoned shirt, skirt blown by wind, etc)is more…erotic (is that the appropriate word) because it’s something hidden from plain sight. Not saying that there’s anything wrong with that but lets not be dishonest about the situation.Also, I know the blue cape isn’t rigid, my question was about the pink part.

    I don’t know if anyone has said this yet, but judging by how the rest of the costume is, the artist was most likely going off of Sailor Moon’s Eternal outfit, which had a pair of wings, which stemmed off from around where the pink bat wings are coming from.

  18. I realize this is a bit on the argument necromancy side, but I’d like to point out the hilarity of speaking of this design with disdain because of “panty shots” when the vast majority of super heroine look… The way they do.. Especially considering how tongue in cheek this obviously is. It’s like a punk rock cover of a cheesy girly song, lighten up! :-)

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