“Storm: All-Weather Wear” Winners!

Note: She’s one of Marvel’s top heroes and one of the most popular women in superhero comics, and Project: Rooftop is proud to unveil our winner for her redesign contest. Storm: All-Weather Wear invited artists of all ilk and froma ll countries to submit their designs, to be judged by P:R panel of judges as well as guest judges Brian Wood, Kris Anka, as well as Erica Henderson and Kim Belair. Thanks to all of our judges — especially our four guest judges — and now on to the top 3! – Chris A.

First Place Winner: Kelly Smith!

Kelly Smith
87 out of 100

Rachel: 9. What I’ve learned from this contest is that I am a total sucker for sharply-tailored Storm.

If you had told me yesterday that I would be typing the phrase “tasteful boob window” wholly unironically, I would have laughed you out of the room. This works, though: it’s sharp and regal, I love the substitution of a swallowtail coat for the more traditional cape, and it’s both clearly X-branded and very much Storm. The lines and multiple shades of grey might be a little fiddly long-term but would be pretty easy to simplify without losing the shape and appeal of the costume.

Kris: 8, I really love this. The flat colours, the shape breaks, the piping, all of it works fantastically for me. Only thing, and it might entirely just be the drawing, is I wish the pieces of fabric hanging off her hips covered more in the back. It looks right now like its just two thin pieces on either side of her.

Chris: 9. I remember when this came into the P:R inbox, and I called it then as a top contender in the contest. A costume covering Ororo head to toe except for the practical opening for the ends of her feet and the proud opening to show off some cleavage respectably. That swallowtail coat is eye-opening, but I’m not completely sold on it — I’d need to see it in some turnarounds. And I love-love-love the high-necked collar, but I’d consider giving her a bolder hairstyle.

Vito: 9. Agreed on all parts. Where this wins is where Jordan’s does; it’s elegant. It’s simple and not overly accessorized. There’s not much else that needs to be said about this one.

Brian: 8  Everything’s here, and nothing’s here that doesn’t need to be, with one exception: the collar, which looks painful, is keeping me from giving it a 9.

Kim: 8. This is just a really cool costume; the piping is perfect, the Xs at the shoulders are striking and nothing feels superfluous. I’d be happier to pair this with the mohawk, I think, but everything else is really on point.

Erica: 9. Okay. Yes. All of it. The yellow piping is in the right place. The collar was a risk but with how structured everything is it gives authority. I’m even digging the shoulder pads and I wasn’t buying that in the 80’s. My only complaint is the one Kris had where I wish the strips were a single piece that connected in the back like a  long coat.

Joel: 10. Wow. This is so well considered, balanced yet distinctive, and seems so effortless in combining all the complexities of Ororo’s personality and various looks into one look. Storm is a character who is both guarded and open to the world around her. She’s regal and rebellious, elegant and punk by turns. And that’s all here. Amazing work, Kelly.

Jess: 8. Striking and gorgeous, though like everyone else, I’d like to see a bit more of the coat – until Rachel said “swallowtail” I thought the panels were attached to her thighs.

Glen: 9. The thing I realized from this contest is that Storm is always doing drag. And her drag persona is herself.  And here at least, she’s fierce.

Second Place Winner: Zhihuang Dong!

Zhihuang Dong
75 out of 100

Chris: 6. Designs like this make me wish P:R was an actual in-person contest where I could ask the artist their thoughts before I make my scoring, but on its own here Zhihuang’s design leaves me with more questions than answers. A fur cape? How would that do with Storm’s oft-use of rain?

Vito: 9. There is just two too many X logos on her, but that’s where the criticisms end. I am absolutely convinced that this is what Storm should look like. This is an awesome piece, an awesome design, and, if given the chance, would make a great character even moreso.

Brian: 9. I don’t mind the double (triple?) logos, and the furry details on the cape are interesting but not needed. A smartly cut cape would probably have made this a 10 for me. Its a great drawing as well. I want to write this Storm!

Rachel: 8. Yeah, I’m with Brian–the layered logos actually do a lot to balance the costume, and I really like the slightly armored look the rivets add. The fur is bewildering, and I’m still not sure I like the boots, but overall, this is lovely.

Kris: 9 While I love the drama of the fur cape, It would seem to be a bit cumbersome. The rest of the costume however is gold to me. The boots, exquisite. The way the triple logos play off each other to create a cohesive torso pattern, divine. I only wish a little more throat was given to the neck area. This really looks like it deserves an absolutely fierce collar.

Kim: 8.5. I love the 3-X design; it reminds me a bit of the really dramatic lines they’ve used in movieverse Asgardian armour (and some comicverse Asgardian armour). The boots are interesting in that I’m not even sure if they are independent objects or just the straps on the calves; I’d like to see them from another angle. As for the cape, I’m torn: immediately, I’d be happier with something a bit more traditional and angular to match the lines of the costume, but the weight of fur is an interesting contrast, as well. I’d love to see it in real life.

Erica: 7.5. This reads as high fashion- which I’m into. I really enjoy looking at it, but I don’t know if it’s right for Storm all the time. This would look great coming down a superhero inspired runway though. P.S. I thought it was a feather cape.

Joel: 6. I dig those sleeves, and I love this drawing, but the three X’s really dominate the whole design. If this character were called Triple X, or had triplicate powers, or something, that would work fine, but as it is, it’s distracting.

Jess: 6. The triple X doesn’t work for me, but I love those shoulders.

Glen: 6. A great approach, just needs some editing to take from XXXXXXXXX to XX.

Third Place Winner: Xulm!


74.5 out of 100

Chris: 7. This is the kind of design that seems to carry with it an untold story to take Storm from where she is now in comics continuity to a place where this design would work. It’s a great design, and I’d love to read that story but right now it seems like a jump to take it in. I like the idea of Storm wearing an all-white uniform over a sleek black (with gold trim!) cloak, but Xulm doesn’t show how the cloak would stay on her.

Rachel: 7. The contrast of the black and white is interesting, but, yeah, it’s a leap, and I’m not sure how well it would work in lighter skies. I like how much artists in this contest have done with contrasting cape lining, and this is one of my favorites–I love the idea of her opening her cape to reveal a literal storm.

Brian: 6. I also like the white – I guess I like Storm in black and white pretty much exclusively – but the cape is more like a shroud and to me that is a very static thing, it seems to suggest slow movement or no movement at all. Its an interesting X-Men costume, but perhaps not for Storm.

Kris: 7 If storm ever became the headmistress of the school full time, this is the costume I’d want her in. I absolutely love the regal minimalism to the look when the cape is down over her shoulders.

Kim: 6.5.The gold highlights!! The earrings, the X emblem, the piping and those bracelets? Love. I have to agree with Brian, though, that the cape is a bit too shroud-y for me. It’s almost too old for her and, to me, gives the impression of a blanket worn about the shoulders rather than a cape. I know there’s a certain austere quality to a lot of Storm’s poses, but it’s usually paired with an air of power that I don’t quite get here. Loving the rings and the hair, though.

Vito: 7. Strong design. Great contrast. But I think I have to agree with Kris…this seems less of a superhero uniform/costume than an outfit Ororo would wear at the school. It’s incredibly formal, like a Starfleet ceremony uniform. But it’s gorgeous as all get out.

Erica: 9. I love it. Can we get Janelle Monae in this for the movie reboot? I love the thin little exes on her shoulders in the white. The coloring on that paper thin piping makes it really look like gold thread instead of yellow which is just so choice. I love the one where the cape is bursting and the solemn cape down- the only problem being that they look like two different garments. The cape when it’s down wears like a robe, but then it’s a straight up Superman style cape in the middle. If you tell me that in that middle one it’s still a robe but she just throws it off before every fight for a dramatic reveal I’d be okay with that.

Joel: 9. A lovely example of contrast, minimalism, and just enough detail to keep things active. My only concerns are the shoes, which look too visually heavy for a wind-swept character, and the shoulder-pads, which look… shoulder-paddy.

Jess: 9. I was going to say, is this Janelle Monae as Storm?! I love it. I think the shroudiness of the cape has a lot to do with how she’s posed, and wouldn’t be as prevalent when she’s in motion.

Glen: 7. Well, Erica got to the Janelle Monae joke before I did, so I’m just gonna be over here sulking for a while. Okay, fine: I like the approach, but the white pantsuit seems too simple/generic — it needs something to punch it up and bring it in line with the cloak.

26 comments to ““Storm: All-Weather Wear” Winners!”
  1. I think it’s very telling that all three winners drew mohawk-Storm.
    It says that both the judges and the artists have impeccable taste.

  2. Kelly Smith outfit is awesome,regal,erotic and gives a sense of leadership,I like that is not full balck but has shades of grey,it’s something new for Ororo.
    I just dislike the naked feet,I don’t get why she should have her feet naked while in costume.

  3. I knew Kelly would be in the top three when I noticed her Tumblr a few weeks back! Her design was everything I would wish for Storm. I had hoped to convey something similar with my entry … but I was, embarrassingly, nowhere close. (╥︿╥)

    Congrats to Kelly on that well-deserved win!

  4. I like the style, pose and choice of colours in Kelly’s piece, but it strikes me as rather too villainous. Plus for some reason I feel it could benefit from some more imaginative changes.
    I really really like Zhihuang’s design – my favourite out of the top three – even with the impractical (and possibly unethical?) fur cape. The colour scheme is just different enough and – even though there are a lot of them and they make the top very busy – the X symbols are brilliantly designed and interconnected.
    Xulm’s is certainly stark and imposing, but a little too bland for my taste. It doesn’t really seem that new or interesting to me: I get the decision towards simplicity, but perhaps it ended up too simple?
    All this being said, great offerings and I cannot wait to see the runners-up/honorable mentions!

  5. Anonymous: The first-place Storm isn’t sporting a mohawk. It’s all gathered in the back by the small gold clips. But that doesn’t discount the truth that Storm with a mohawk is always better than Storm without.

    That being said, non-mohawk aside, I’m really, really digging the first place entry. Great lines, love the shades of grey, love the split coat, and the lightning-bolt earring at the top of the ear is just the icing on the cake. It’s the tiniest touch of punk-rock sensibility on top of the otherwise authoritative look.

    Sad to say I really think there’s a drop-off in design quality from first place to second and third. In second place, I do kind of like the three overlapping x’s in the chest piece – as one of the judges said, it reminded of the Asgardian armor details from the Thor film. But overall, I’m counting 11 bloody X’s on the full costume, counting the negative space patterns on the hips. That’s usually about as unforgivable as a crotch arrow around here, so I’m surprised by this. And while the fur cape is an interesting visual, I’m also not keen on how practical it would be for her. Combine that with boots that seem incongruous with the rest of the design, and billowy forearm sleeves, and you’ve lost me.

    Third place is a matter of design vs. execution. Gold accents on an all-white clad Storm with a black cloak? Totally on board. But the style in which it’s executed makes it all seem rather bland and not thoroughly thought out. As one of the judges pointed out, it’s a great cape, just not sure how it’s supposed to actually work in this context.

  6. I’m digging the work of these artists, I love Storm, but I come to Project Rooftop to see some truly innovative design and these just seem all the same! The same colors, the same hair, it’s just not quite what I was expecting, still love it though.

  7. Loved all of these! While the first design feels like an amalgamation of familiar ingredients it is a very successful and welcome one. The second one was a great surprise due to the bold design and skillful art. The 3rd is probably my favorite since it seems like Storm is older and wiser but still cool. The necklace or collar highlights I assume is meant to be evocative of part of her heritage. Correct me if I am wrong but I don’t think anybody has used that (what about in her first appearance? In the John Byrne X-Men “The lost years” comics, I think I recall she had a black crown and skirt and no top… But not sure about necklace).Regardless, I think its great.

  8. Smith’s Storm wears her hair up in a fauxhawk, pinned with small gold barrettes, it seems. Smart move, allowing the mohawk attitude some versatility outside of battle.

  9. YUP YES that Kelly Smith piece. Saw it on tumblr a couple weeks ago and pretty much lost it- it has shadows of Anka’s design, but still manages to come across as completely unique and ownable. Killer hairstyle, as well.


  10. I love the silhouette of the first and the third entries and I do love the idea of a white costume with gold and black detailing!

    The second entry has more of a suggestion of Storms street level aspect, it’s a little edgier which Storm should always be.

    She’s a tough dame to design for but I think each of these captured a part of her. Bold leadership mixed with rebellion and elegance.

    Great job all round!

  11. i’d love to seen an entire x-team decked out in Zhihuang Dong’s style.

    good stuff all the way around.

  12. DannyIndeed: But the style in which it’s executed makes it all seem rather bland and not thoroughly thought out.

    How can a drawing style make the actual design less thought out? For me, third one is a charm, more witch AND more super punk in a minimal design.

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  14. Mario Silva:
    How can a drawing style make the actual design less thought out? For me, third one is a charm, more witch AND more super punk in a minimal design.

    Because an overly simplistic design allows for more liberties taken with the costume in regards to its functionality. As Erica, one of the judges, pointed out – the cloak when down and when spread look like two different garments. The simplicity of design makes me wonder what makes the cloak stay in place at all in either position. I’m not sure if the boots are meant to be part of the bodysuit, or a separate part? Is she wearing a variation of the 90s Jim Lee shoulderpads in the open cape version, or is that just an idiosyncratic anatomical choice made by the artist?

    I do enjoy it as a piece of stylized art, but as a result it feels like a minimalist version of a more developed costume that I haven’t seen yet. As in – if this were considered the “master design”, and then given to another artist like Greg Capullo or John Cassaday, these follow-up artists would likely have to add so much more detail that they might as well be credited for the redesign. That’s just my opinion, of course.

    For the record, I love the regal silhouette she cuts in the standing picture with the cloak down. It’s just that, for my money, I wouldn’t consider it developed enough to call it a finished design template.

  15. The third place design reminds me of lightning in a cloud. Like she’s a dark stormcloud most of the time, all covered in black but then she opens the cape and it’s like KAZANG lightning! and you know it’s on. She keeps a regal bearing in her charcoal shroud until it’s time to throw down and once you see the white you better run. I really like the idea of that.

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  17. Anonymous: I think it’s very telling that all three winners drew mohawk-Storm.
    It says that both the judges and the artists have impeccable taste.

    The first place winner featured no mohawk.

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