P:R Approved: Ed McGuinness’ Power Man!

Note: One of the best places to see top-notch costume design in comics these days has been on the Disney XD show Ultimate Spider-Man, and again we turn to an Ed McGuinness design used in the show — this time for Luke Cage, Power Man. In comics, Cage has seemingly been at odds, design-wise, with his “Power Man” moniker, but this design takes the name and the codename and blends them into one nice, understated design — both in the clothing as well as the haircut. – Chris A.

13 comments on “P:R Approved: Ed McGuinness’ Power Man!
  1. Although, why the nuclear symbol? I understand that it’s a way to represent “power” but Luke doesn’t get his powers from radiation or anything like that.

  2. Took me a minute to get the nuke symbol bits off the shirt, might work better in color, but it came across “rising sun” at first glance.

  3. The nuclear power symbol is really well executed. Will be interesting to see in color with the yellow. Too bad he never had this in the 616 comics.

  4. Wow get me an action figure for this guy pronto ! It’s so crisp and clean,I like the chain belt connecting to the nuclear logo.That’s whole design is nice !

  5. Is this the same design used on the show or concept art? All of the other images I find online are of an alternate version. I can’t say I prefer one over the other, but the second costume is slightly more streamlined. I understand chains are somewhat of a trademark for Luke Cage, but the chain belt seems out of place in the design shown. And though a little color would likely help, the deep collar coupled with the atomic symbol makes his outfit resemble the Rising Sun Flag. However, it does work to bring uniformity. Honestly, I like both designs, but I’m not in love with either one.

  6. You can love his work or hate it, but it’s hard to deny that Ed McGuinness has the concept of “superhero” art locked down tight. This is a great design. It’s actually a reversal of the nuclear power symbol – the yellow and the black are swapped out. Took a second for me to realize it, as I was wondering why this reminded me of Damage from DC, but didn’t seem to be a ripoff. It reads to me as “power”, but not blatantly nuclear.

  7. I like the idea of Luke Cage back in a costume, but I think Ed McG missed the mark on this one. It’s busy and uninteresting at the same time.

  8. Agree about the radiation symbol(s) and the chain. Both make it look busy and feel out of place. It would work great as a the Simpsons’ Radioactive Man redesign.
    For the ‘Power’ element, why not a simple explosion symbol or even no symbol at all? Just broad colours and a sleeveless, updated strong-man type of outfit?
    The design that’s actually used on the show (which thankfully I have only seen small clips of) is more on the mark than this one.

  9. And here I was sure I’d find criticism in PRAISE of McGuinness’ ability to find a symbology that works with Power Man’s name, as well as incorporate long-standing symbols in subtle and appropriate ways. The deep neckline, the chains, the assumed gold and navy elements, the shades in place of headband… All WORK.

    And Superheroes NEED icons. The more relevant the hero in popculture, the more their icons can stand in as shorthand. Batman leads the pack, in that regard. And for Power Man to gain ground, he’s going to need an emblem that stands the weaknesses of less skilled illustrators: namely, his fans.

  10. Seeing it in color really does mitigate the “rising sun” comments. I really like this and feel like the motif is really understated

  11. Reminds me a lot of the sort of designs being used on Invincible, shame the good work goes to waste on a terrible show.

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