Heroes In Need: Villains Edition!

Note:There’s more to super-heroes than Batman and the X-Men, and from time to time we like to remind the artists who read and submit to us of some of the biggest fashion faux pas in comics. Last time we pointed out heroes like the Phantom, Martain Manhunter and Star Sapphire, and this time out we’re focusing exclusively on villains. If you’re an artist trying to find the perfect subject to re-invent for Project: Rooftop, look no further! – Chris A.

Ultra-Humanite: I stand by what I said before: his only costume is a girdle, a crotch-flap, and gold-studded red suspenders. That doesn’t say “original supervillain” to me, it says “Christmas at the Furry S&M Club.” – Jessica Plummer

Omega Red: Although Jim Lee’s contributions to the X-Men mythos are large and immutable, the visual aspects of Omega Red seemed dated even when he first debuted in 1992. His most recent appearances in Uncanny X-Force (as seen above) see some of the most agregious slights in his costume fixed, but it seems the best way to fix Omega Red is not by small details but by re-inventing the entire thing. – Chris Arrant

Deathstroke: What is even going on here? He’s an assassin/mercenary who’s supposed to be good at blending silently into the shadows. So he goes with floppy orange pirate boots and chain mail? Every step he takes must sound like a bag of change falling down the stairs. Plus with that mask he might as well be wearing a sign saying “Adversaries! Aim at my blind side!” And let’s not even mention the little half-shirt. I know he got something of a costume change with the reboot, but it just made him pouchier and added inexplicably sci-fi-looking lines to his costume. I’d love to see him in a costume that an assassin might actually wear. – Jessica Plummer

Count Nefaria: Created by Jack Kirby and Stan Lee as one of the Avengers’ earliest foes, Nefaria’s costume looks like he bought it off the rack at a second-rate superhero supply store. In comics he’s a wealthy European businessman — of Italian descent even — so why not splurge on some more original and evocative threads? – Chris Arrant

Cheshire: Not to pick on George Perez, but, well, I’m picking on George Perez. Cheshire, like Deathstroke, is an assassin in a brightly-colored, highly impractical costume, but she has the added bonus of her left boob risking popping out during every backflip. Her look has nothing to do with cats or assassinations – though I guess the green does evoke her poison trademark – but it sure is bogged down with fakey “Asian” details. Plus, between her headband, choker, armband, wrist cuff, and boots over thigh-highs, she’s like a pictorial representation of that old chestnut about looking in the mirror before you go out and taking off one accessory. Or seven. – Jessica Plummer

Deadshot: I realize comics come with the need for some suspension of disbelief in favor of cool-looking get-ups, but Deadshot’s single-eye gets me to no end. In animation he’s shown having a regular eye to go with his scope eye, so I think some brilliant artist should start there and go down and reinvent the entire costume. Maybe they can re-think the Black Widow-esque bracelets too? – Chris Arrant

18 comments to “Heroes In Need: Villains Edition!”
  1. while i agree on a few of these…have you seen the designs in Young Justice? Ultra Humanite, Cheshire and Deathstroke have all gotten some truly great redesigns that keep the integrity of the character while making them more plausible

  2. Great article; I particularly like the Deathstroke analysis. But as for Deadshot, one of my favourite comic gags ever is from his first appearance in that costume (Detective #474), where he randomly throws in, “I might add — I can SEE through the mask!”

  3. While Deadshot and surely Count Nefaria need a reedition for sure(Nefaria is italian,he HAS AS to dress with style for God’s sake!) I do not think the other need a redesign,expecially Omega Red and Ultra-Humanite,they’re both cool and unique with their look,expecially a big gorilla with an huge brain like ultra-humanite is very menacing.

  4. Ultra-Humanite is certainly goofy, but I don’t have a huge problem with his costume. I think it makes sense in character, because I defy anyone to look me in the eye and tell me that they wouldn’t just be strutting around in all their glory were they a gorillaman. I consider it a sign of the villain’s civility that he even wears the crotchflap.
    Deathstroke’s costume is kind of goofy, but I think it has some solid elements and is mostly just in need of being streamlined a bit. And as goofy as it is I really love his initial New 52 redesign, it makes him look like an awesome action figure. Some sort of mix of a He-Man character and one of the GI Joes.
    I like Deadshot’s costume, but logically he could use a slight redesign. The orange and everything is justified by his longstanding deathwish, but now that I actually like about it, his eyepiece makes very little sense. A slight adjustment is all he really needs, even just adding another eyehole would be enough for me.

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  6. I agree that it is totally wrong for the character… but I love, love LOVE that Nefaria costume. On a Superman villain, or an updated Silver Age character… it would work.

  7. YES! I’ve thought for sooo long that the Rooftop needs to tackle the bad guys. The line starts with most of Spidey’s villains and keeps going and going and going….

  8. If you’ve seen the Young Justice and Teen Titans versions of Cheshire, they’re much improved. Both actually look, y’know, Asian. Especially with the creepy smiling cat mask.

  9. Nightwing on Deathstroke: “So he is blind in one eye, a one-eyed mercenary, and good enough not to care if people know.”

    Not that his costume couldn’t use some updating, but it’s kinda central to the character.

  10. I’ve tinkered on and off with an Omega Red re-design for a while. Now I’ve just got to finish it up. Always liked his look, in any incarnation. But given his power set, it wasn’t a look that made an awful lot of sense to me…

  11. That’s not Omega Red in X-Force, it’s a clone don’t know what he’s called but collectively they are the Omega clan.

    Aside from Deadshot and Deathstroke I don’t know much about the rest

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  13. I really like the idea of redesigning the “bad guys”. It’s a good challenge.
    While I’m considering doing a Count Nefaria redesign, I believe his costume was a deliberate rip on Superman and as such is apt for the purposes of the original story.
    Even so, I am stoked and looking forward to doing a take on at least two of the mentioned characters (Nefaria included). Thanks for the ideas and the opportunity!

  14. Have you seen the redesign of Deadshot for Batman: Arkham City? No mask, and a lot of grunge. However, the swashbuckler ‘stache/goatee combo he sports in the game is still silly.

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