Note: There’s more than just the Top 3 in P:R’s Storm: All-Weather Wear redesign contest. Today we release the rest of the Top 20 entries, our Runners Up. It’s interesting to take note in all the diversity the re-occurring elements that pop up and the wrangling some artists do to incorporate a lightning bolt as symbology for the character. An earlier version of this post included an entry by Daniel Agbodjo, but it has since been removed for uncredited swiping from another artist. – Chris A.
73.5 out of 100
Chris: 7. Taking cues from the frequent X-Men approach of a base design tinkered with for each character, Branch’s costume looks like Storm took an off-the-rack basic superhero leotard and added her own tribal effects. I love Branch’s coloring and his composition, but the design itself seems half of one thing and half of another, and not a single cohesive design.
Vito: 9. I could care less about a cohesive design. This is an incredible costume. If you took away the accoutrements, it’s still a strong design, but those extras make it special. I’d make this a 10 if it had one thing: an X logo.
Brian: 9 this is really strong, and the scarf/wrap thing is something that I’m sure I’ve never seen on Storm, or any other X-woman. I have no idea why I love it, but I do. It feels modern, and also medieval at the same time. The mohawk doesn’t match, though, she needs her long, flowing hair, here.
Rachel: 7. This is a really sharp design, but–and I’m going to beat this drum again and again over the course of these reviews–I’m concerned about the use of generic “tribal” visual motifs that ignore the differences between tribes and cultures. Storm has lived in Egypt and Kenya, but as far as I know (and I might be–in fact, hope I am–wrong), the bracelets and neck rings she’s in here are pretty exclusive to Malaysia and occasionally rural South Africa.
Kim: 8.5. Rachel! Yes! My knowledge is limited, but a bit of looking around suggests these would be worn by the Ndebele in South Africa. And if we take that to be the case, they represent a bond of matrimony and dedication to a husband. I don’t think Storm would incorporate such a thing into her costume, though they might be from a tribe with whom I’m totally unfamiliar and represent something entirely different. This is tough, though, because the aesthetic design is stunning and I think the mohawk is actually the perfect haircut to fit it– those earrings are great, the subtle patterns on the wrap and I love the bodysuit. If we could modify the rings into something else (without the same connotations) while keeping the gold colour, I think it would be perfect.
Kris: 8 the wrap is an inspired alternative to her cape. it allows for all the visual drama you can get when she is flying, while also working a duel role by being the “X” logo.
Erica: 7. The wrap isn’t doing it for me. It seems unnecessary when you’ve got a full body jumpsuit and she’ll probably have to ditch it when things get serious. I’m liking some of that jumpsuit though. The three quarter sleeve was an interesting addition. It’s a small thing but you really don’t see it a lot in superhero design.
Joel: 6. While we’re dissecting Storm’s pan-Africanism, I’m guessing that wrap is inspired by a Nigerian iborun. I’m in agreement with those who don’t feel the many parts are forming a cohesive whole. The various traditional motifs serve to accentuate the high-tech parts of the outfit, like the discreet little belly panels, making technology seem like an important part of this character.
Jess: 6. Joel, you just put your finger on why this didn’t gel for me – it’s a little too futuristic.
Glen: 6. Feels a little heavy to me, purely from a design perspective.
72 out of 100
Rachel: 6. This is elegant, and I love the X-clasp on the cloak, but it seems a lot more restrictive and covered-up than Storm usually goes. There are elements that work really well in isolation, and, again, the whole outfit together looks great, and I can see Storm wearing it casually; I’m just not 100% sure I buy it as a her costume.
Kris: 6, I really like the simplicity of the costume, but I feel it might just be a tad too difficult to get physical in that costume.
Chris: 5. Another great hair design, but for the costume itself the overcoat limits its practicality in the field. Some people (even comics writers) forget Ororo’s immense hand-to-hand capabilities, and Jordan’s design would hamper that significantly.
Vito: 9. Totally disagree. Here’s why: You’re always given a bit of belief suspension when it comes to superhero costumes. We get the “unstable molecules” or, “His healing factor keeps him from getting cold,” or whatever. Storm spends as much time in the upper atmosphere’s as she does on land. It’s cold. And just because it looks it, who says that overcoat is thick? This is an awesome design and I’d buy it on the character.
Brian: 6. With a lot of these designs, there are cloaks and capes that do the opposite of what I think they should. Capes should communicate movement, not stifle it, and all I see when I look at this is someone who can’t move her arms or have a full range of motion.
Kim: 8. Love this Ororo look for fall. The hair is amazing and I literally want to have this outfit in my home. I can admit that it doesn’t scream “action!” but if she’s teaching or off-duty, this would be so perfect. I don’t even know, though, because I like this one so much as an outfit that I feel you could sell me on her wearing it under whatever circumstances you want.
Erica: 8. YES. CAN WE BRING BACK THIS STYLE OF CAPE? I love it. It’s a clean shape and that silhouette would stand out in an x-men lineup. I don’t think she needs extra mobility because Storm’s powers means that she just sort of thinks about weather and it happens. She’s not a hand to hand combat sort of gal. The high waisted black pants with the tall black boots and puffy shirt makes me think Zorro. I don’t know if that’s a good or bad thing. It’s just what I thought of. The important thing though, is that the cape and gloves feel like Storm to me.
Joel: 8. This is certainly to my taste—clean, graphic, minimal, elegant, and yet grounded in actual clothing construction. I don’t share some of my comrades views that the cape is too heavy. As Erica points out, Zorro gets in lots of physical action with a similar outfit, and we have no problem with The Shadow in his visually dramatic but weighty outfit. I do wonder about how the cloak will work when the arms are in other positions. If I understood how the arms emerged from the cloak and how they would move, this would be a straight 10.
Jess: 6. For me, it’s less whether it would impede her mobility and more that it feels like it would – maybe she can move her arms freely and maybe it doesn’t matter if she can, but I feel like superhero costumes need to convey freedom of movement regardless of power sets, and this is just too stiff. However, can we please have someone at Marvel stuff all these outfits in Storm’s closet for everyday wear?
Glen: 9. Really dig it. (The earrings, not so much). Again, Storm’s not a ninja or an acrobat, she’s a You-Stay-Right-There-I’ma-Lower-Your-Dumb-Ass’s-Barometric-Pressure sort. Hovers above you, zaps you with some lightning, and gets the hell on with her day. Does she even need to move her arms at all? Has that been established? I mean, I know she DOES, but does she have to?
72 out of 100
Kris: 6.5, I think this one is incredibly fun and does a lot of things right, I just feel its missing that one thing to make this a really distinguishing design.
Chris: 6. I like the use of the multiple X-amulets, but the color scheme seems very off for me for Storm.
Vito: 8. No way, these colors are great! It’s strikes me as something we’ve seen before, though, with maybe a slight variation (no shoes) and to me, the lack of footwear is what’s keeping this from going higher. Yeah, she can fly, but Storm never really struck me as the “above you” type. She’s been called a goddess, but she is always ready to acknowledge that she’s just a woman. Therefore, sorry, but she needs shoes.
Rachel: 8. I’m going to go rogue and say that I love the color scheme and the bare feet. It’s elegant and playful at once, and, while it’s a departure from what we’re used to, I think it fits an aspect of the character that, while downplayed recently, has always been very much present. And while I’ve complained about neck rings in other designs, here, they work as a functional costume component.
Points off for the butt-cape, though. Is this a Thing now?
Vito: I think it’s more of an extension of the top, less an accessory. I’ve seen tops like this (I think my wife has an outfit like this), so it’s not…I think the lack of a separation of the parts is what’s making it look like a “butt-cape.”
Brian: 7 I’m into the bare feet (why not?) but this color scheme isn’t working. Which is a shame because the design/fit of the thing works really well.
Kim: 8. I love the bare feet– I don’t think it’s necessarily showing off not to wear shoes (unless what you’re showing off is your disregard for shoes). I think that, paired with the art style and the vibrant colours, this is a ton of fun. I’d like to see a fun animated short or an all-ages comic starring Ororo and featuring this look. Love the face, took. It’s just all really enjoyable.
Erica: 7.5. Girl, put on some shoes. There’s a lot about this I like. The blue/white/yellow scheme feels like an all ages Storm, which I’m into. It’s a very sporty and fun variation. Having an x inside a disc on her head, shoulder and hip seems like a bit much. But I like the stripe down the middle (why does it end early?) and the yellow and white leg accents a lot. I’m confused by the sash and butt-cape. Is the sash part of the cape?
Joel: 7. I usually try to separate the costume from the art, but in this case I’ll take my cues from it and consider this as an all-ages design for a younger-skewing X-book. In that context, the brighter colors and cold, curvy shapes seem right on target. And I’m all for the bare feet. It makes the character seem lighter, more carefree, and more in touch with the world around her. Three X-medallions may be one too many, however.
Jess: 8. I would buy this all-ages book. I would muscle people away from the register to buy this all-ages book. But like Erica, I’m confused by the sash + butt cape. If the sash was gone and the top split into the butt cape it would clarify things and explain why the stripe doesn’t go all the way down (which I don’t mind even with the sash – I’m not big on stripes creating artificial camel toe).
Glen: 6. Great drawing, but the design’s a little TOO sportswear for me and ends up in a whole Stormy Spice place. Which is a place I’d visit, but I don’t see Storm there.
72 out of 100
Rachel: 9. Ray Mendoza knocks it out of the park. This incorporates a lot of elements from previous iterations of the character–the sleeves very much evoke Storm’s original costume; the collar (Are those supposed to be actual lapels? I can’t tell from the drawing.) and cut of the body, the Art Adams punk design. It’s a fusion of elegant, functional, and a hard-femme sort of sexy that I very, very much associate with Storm’s personal aesthetic, and it would look super dramatic in flight.
The lightning bolt/X combo, while clever, might be a little too subtle, and I’d probably either extend the pants into full boots or cut away the toes and leave her partly barefoot, but those are really minor quibbles with an otherwise superlative design.
Chris: 7. The tailoring on this costume is impeccable, but when it come some of the details of the costume it remains fuzzy. I’d love to see Ray play with this some more.
Vito: 7. I’m with Chris. It’s a little hard to make out a lot of the details, but it’s a strong strong piece of design. One thing I’m coming away from here is that our artists see Storm as an elegant woman, which is kind of in direct contrast with the way the character was introduced. It’s a refreshing change.
Brian: 8 Storm, for me, looks best in smart lines and dark colors, and so I love this, especially the jagged white line. I can’t get a good read on what’s happening around the chest, which is a shame because a better picture would have gotten a 9 from me. Actually, I really love the pencil sketch just to the right, with the open arms.
Kris: 7, this works in a lot of aspects for me. the elegance, the lines of the form, where it cuts to skin, all fantastic. I’d love to see it taken just a step further maybe, and really play with what these shapes could be; an example being the white x, as it is now it almost looks to be a bit of an afterthought.
Kim: 8. That lightning bolt running down the body and ending with the X is phenomenal. I love that about it; it’s somehow understated and striking all at once. The boots/shoes are great, too, though I’m not able to fully understand the chest piece or how it hangs open. I’m torn on the sleeves; in some of the sketches, I love it, but in others I’m not quite sold. The bodysuit is great.
Erica: 6. The kimono sleeves are interesting and I like that it’s going simple and sleek but the x is driving me nuts. The lightning bolt itself was working with the rest of the form. It’s minimal and thin but then it just turns into an x mid-thigh. It seems a bit much to loosen the fabric at the bust and open it up there. It just seems like there’s nothing holding her chest in anymore.
Jess: 6. Yeah, I don’t understand how she’s not falling out of that top.
Joel: 8. Clever, elegant, and dynamic. I’m intrigued by what’s going on in the back. Is that more corset or obi?
Glen: 6. Elegant, but the boob window seems incongruent with the rest of the design.
70.5 out of 100
Rachel: 8. One of the things I really like about Anjin’s entry is how carefully and deliberately it combines punk aesthetics with recognizably Masai motifs, from the beads to the cut of the top and patterns in the skirt. (Whether Storm’s actually got Masai roots or connections is a whole other conversation, but if you’re looking to tie the character’s history to a real-life Kenyan tribe, then geographically, the Masai are probably your best bet.) This design isn’t something that would ever work as an ongoing, primary costume–there’s too much texture, subtle detail, and pattern going on–but it looks awesome, and it speaks uniquely to Storm’s history.
Kris: 6.5, I love a lot of the elements in there are perfect: the boots, the beads, the make up & hair, but I feel this gets a little too far away from Super for someone who I see as a highly qualified leader of the X-men. I feel this would be an excellent design for an update for her original punk outfit, but as an overall look for Ororo, I’m not quite there.
Chris: 6. One of my favorite eras for Storm was when she took over as leader of the Morlocks, and Anjin’s costume seems ideal for that time period — but Ororo’s gone past that by now and doesn’t fit into current continuity. If things were to change and Storm were to break away from the X-Men and re-establish the Morlocks, I’d be all for it. (Hey Marvel, hire me to write that!) The lightning conductor tattoo is a great added element, but takes the entry past the point of a redesign and into a change of character itself.
Vito: 8. Tribal and punk and absolutely functional. It’s feminine without being sexist. It’s a great look, but I see this as more “dress down” than “costume.” It’s still a wonderful piece.
Brian: 8. Pretty cool. Not at all a practical or commercial Storm, but who cares in this case? It seethes with attitude and personality and character. The color of the mardi gras beads bothers me though… or perhaps the fact she’s looking at them, it just makes me wonder what the significance is.
Kim: 7. This is really cool as something she happens to be wearing when the fighting breaks out, but I can’t see her putting all the beads on just-so when she’s getting ready to go into battle. This is like some awesome, evocative street style. I dig it.
Erica: 6 This works as an outfit- it has nice, simple lines and the beads add a burst of color to a monochrome outfit. However, it’s not a superhero costume. It’s all store bought elements with no iconography that says who she is.
Joel: 6. A well put-together outfit, and I’m onboard with superhero togs being influenced by street clothes. The contrasting corral and acid green colors of the beads are very specific, and pretty well dominate the design. They draw so much attention that it seems like they must have an intended meaning, but I can’t think of any associations between those colors and Storm.
Jess: 8. I love this gorgeous and well-thought-out design so much, but it just doesn’t say “super” to me.
Glen: 7. Looks great, for when they all hop in the quinjet to hit CBGB. But not quite ready for battle, as noted.
70.5 out of 100
Rachel: 5. Every time we do one of these, absolutely without fail, someone decides to take a cue from Star Trek: The Motion Picture, and it never, ever goes well. It looks comfortable, I guess, so, points for that.
Jess: 7. Points for that adorable last panel, though.
Kris: 6, While the idea of this suit I like, and the actual design of the body suit I really enjoy, it feels far too young for Ororo.
Chris: 5. Randy Bishop is a master when it comes to body language, as you can see by the panels. But as for the design itself if feels like it’s missing something. The color scheme doesn’t seem natural to Ororo, but I like the lines on the piece.
Vito: 9. I think I like it because of the unfamiliar color scheme. It’s got a similar elegance to Jordan’s, and I can’t think of anything particularly wrong with it. She seems regal here, and that is befitting of a woman who was called “goddess.”
Brian: 6 It looks amazing when the cape is open, sort of awkward when its not. Very static. I’m getting a Clone Wars vibe off the colors, which I agree don’t fit Storm. But what a gorgeous drawing.
Kim: 9. I can’t believe I love this. If it were described to me, I would probably say “No, certainly not” but man does it work here. As woman/goddess, the closed/open cape is a really cool contrast. There’s this darkness associated with Storm because of the black clouds and rain, but picturing her soaring skyward in the storm and then opening this shocking yellow cape is just incredible. Love it, love the hair, love the earrings.
Erica: 6.5. I like the cut of the outfit and the colors but for some reason I’m not reading it as Storm. I think the tan is reading earth instead of sky.
Joel: 9. Looks good, to me. I appreciate the color shift, it evokes clouds and sky, and the lines of the outfit still keep this very much in line with Storm’s past outfits. The contrast between the open-cape and closed-cape poses strikes me as both intentional and effective. The closed-cape pose speaks to reserve and restraint, and this makes for a dramatic contrast when Storm let’s loose with the open-cape.
Glen: 8. Love everything about the cape, not sold on the minidress, which feels like it could’ve been pushed a bit further. (And a bit longer.)
68 out of 100
Kris: 6.5, With Colin’s, this is almost the opposite of Anjin’s; this has tremendous Superhero Tights appeal, but a lot of the street feeling is lost to me. Also, while there are a lot of graphic elements I generally like in the design overall, I feel there isn’t a particular focal point to the costume; all the limbs have an equal amount of graphic pull on my eyes and it’s hard for me to really settle anywhere.
Chris: 8. When Marvel announced Storm was joining the Avengers in 2011 I had high hopes, and while that was nipped in the bud once Avengers vs. X-Men came along I think Colin Alexander’s design here puts the weather witch squarely into the straight-superheroics of the team. Taking queues from her original Dave Cockrum design, I like the choices Colin made her in regards to the cut of the midriff and not making the shorts so high-cut as some artists do. The waist-cape is interesting, but I feel like some work needs to be done there to make it look less like a stylish afterthought and to be used more to catch air currents for Ororo. Also,it looks like she’s wearing tights under boots — maybe go for just boots, albeit ones reaching higher up?
Rachel: 6. I love the clean lines and striking black-and-white of the neck and shoulders, and the white rims on the boots; I’m less fond of the rest. Is that a butt-cape? Why would you do that? Also, I realized that the Os and arrows on the boots look like surprised eyes, and now I can’t unsee it.
Vito: 8. This, to me, is a superhero costume. It’s very bold; the crisscrossing lightning motif on the torso is really appealing to me. No idea why those O’s on the knees are necessary (is it O for Ororo? That’s entirely too obvious, if so) and you can do without one or two sets of the stripes, but overall, a strong piece.
Brian: 6. Parts of this I love, like the head and shoulders. The whole area around the hips, not so much. I suspect its the drawing more than the design, as it just looks like its made out of stiff rubber and would be really hard to move around in. LOVE the hair as energy, though, it looks amazing.
Kim: 7. If I had seen this as a bust, with just the collar and headpiece, I would love it. I also really love the shocking white at the hem of the cape. The rest of it, though, while really well cut, is just a bit too busy for me; could do without the bits on the bracers and the Os on the knees for sure. That hair is rad.
Erica: 6.5 Again. There are a lot of elements here that I really like. I LOVE doing her traditional cape as a coat tail and having the white stripe. I like the darker black shoulder/neck accent that hearkens back to her 90’s white outfit. I’m also a big fan of lower cut 50’s swimsuit bottoms with tall boots, the cut of it just works for me. However, each part of this outfit has it’s own thing going on and they work against each other. If the white elements were consolidated a bit this would be great.
P.S. Is she wearing shorter boots underneath longer roll-up boots or are those tall socks in shorter boots?
Joel: 6. That headdress is really nice. It calls back the original, but with a sleek update. The neck and shoulders have a military look that seems out of place for my understanding of Storm’s character (which, admittedly, is a few decades out of date). And the high-waisted placement of the criss-cross thunderbolts creates a granny-panties effect, which is unfortunate. I’d say, overall, that the basic structure of this costume is strong, and that it’s just the superficial decorative elements that need more consideration.
Jess: 7. Man, I gotta comment on these earlier, because you guys have said it all! I really like the overall shapes of this, but the details are just a bit too fiddly and contradictory.
Glen: 7. Nice and clean, but loses me on the details, like the lighting bolts and the knee-Os, which make me think of the hijinks we used to get up to with Land O’ Lakes lady, as I am twelve.
66.5 out of 100
Kris: 7, This does a lot of fun new elements in terms of a full on superhero outfit. I feel something more can be done with the cape-wings, but overall how the suit is broken up and cut, I really like.
Chris: 6. The hair! I love the hair! Hey Dean, should we do a redesign contest just for superhero hairdos at some point? Anyway, as for the costume itself there’s certain elements I like such as the bracelets as anchors for her cape but otherwise it really doesn’t add up.
Rachel: 6. Oh, man, I love the hair. Not fond of the shorts-and-thigh-high-boots combo or the cutouts, but I do like the angular economy of the design, and the grey-and-black blocks with yellow piping is really sharp.
Vito: 7. It’s really good, but it seems really familiar to me. Like a mix of her X-Treme X-men costume and her Jim Lee X-men Era costume. Love the cut-out X logo on her shoulders…that’s a real nice touch.
Brian: 7, I agree that something remains undefined with the cape wings, but I can see its the start of something interesting. The hair is great. I’m not loving the exposed thighs and the cleavage, as in this instance it really seems like a deliberate move was made to cut windows out only to show flesh. It’s sexy, sure, but in the context of this overall bodysuit, it feels like an add-on that doesn’t actually add anything. It would be every bit as striking without those.
Kim: 6. I’m not sure how I feel about the hair (it’s a bit ‘party in the back’) for me, but I think the outfit is pretty solid, if not remarkable. I don’t think that the minidress works in this case, but I’m torn between “Do I like this costume?” and “Do I think Marvel would like this costume?” where it’s “Kind of” and “YES”. I wouldn’t be surprised to see it in the comics, but I’m just not really a fan of it. The cape is interesting, though.
Erica: 6.5. Man. I love me some short shorts and tall boots. I also added half a point for the sensible heels. This girl knows what it’s like to wear those tall shoes all day. Not fun. That’s what it’s like. The other cutouts are where this costume gets too fussy for me. The back bit is confusing as are the shoulder exes and the boob window feels unnecessary.
Joel: 7. Each individual instance of cut-out in this design is visually clever, but there’s so many of them that the effect is one of breaking up the visual flow of the costume as a whole. It becomes a matter of too many accents fighting for attention. I’d suggest choosing two, and finding something else to do with the rest.
Jess: 6. I’m with Kim on the mullethawk – it’s a little too much for me, as are the cutouts. Love the gray and black color blocking, though. I wish we could see more of that, sans cutouts.
Glen: 8. Love me some cape-wings. They’re very Studio 54, in a good, non-Allan-Carr-passed-out-on-top-of-Liza-Minelli kind of way. Hell, they even make Black Condor look cool, and that dude’s just rocking a speedo (NOT A COMPLAINT). I do agree, though, that costume itself, broken up as it is, tips over into fussiness. Just needs some light editing, I think.
65 out of 100
Kris: 7, There’s honestly a lot about this I really like; the headdress, the patterning, the hair. I just feel when all combined this suit it gets a little too clunky. Not that there is anything I can put my finger one, but I just have the feeling that if she gets into a knife fight, she may too weighed down.
Chris: 7. Andy Frederick has really thought things through with this redesign of Ororo Munroe — from the three-ringed belt to the blouse/robe piece. And the headrress — I love that pin she has it it as a callback to her earlier costume. But while I like all of the elements, they don’t seem to add up as a complementary ensemble. I can imagine Ororo having all these things in her closet, but I don’t see her putting them all on at once.
Vito: 6. This is an absolutely beautiful design. It calls to mind Storm’s African roots, and yet looks like a superhero costume…except for the cape. I get what Andy was trying to do here; the cape acts as a callback to her elemental powers, but it seems a touch…not unnecessary, but just extraneous. I think without it, you still have a strong design. Stronger, even.
Rachel: 6. There are a lot of really cool individual elements in this costume, but they never quite come together. I love the hair and headwrap–as Chris wrote, the pin is a great callback–but the billowy parachute cape and high-water bellbottoms are really not working for me.
Brian: 8. That head and shoulders shot is an alternate reality Storm I’d love to write. Overall, it feels clever and different and despite its lack of traditional superhero stylings, it looks cool as hell. But Storm looks so short! I’d love to see how this looks on a six-foot tall Storm.
Kim: 7. I would absolutely love to read about the retro adventures of this Storm. I think the head wrap is really great, too, and I would love love love to know more about where Andy drew from for the cape design. I don’t think it would make a good costume for today (except for the hair), but I would love a thorough explanation of its elements and inspirations.
Erica: 5. I agree with Rachel about the elements not coming together. I love the flowy dolman coat, I love the neckpiece, I kind of want those boots, but the stripes draw my eye to the crotch and thigh area.
Joel: 7. I think the issue people are having has to do with the size of some of the visual elements in relation to the whole costume. Those zig-zag stripes with their positive/negative overlaps looks great in the close-up of Storm’s head and neck, but in the full-body images they become these tense little moments of minute detail that pulls the eye away from the overall design. There’s a lot of nice work here, however. I’m especially fond of the subtle cool-on-warm stripes of her cape.
Jess: 6. Like everyone else, this is just too much going on for me.
Glen: 6. Like the colors, and the silhouette (in non-flying mode, anyway); seems fittingly regal. But the lightning-effect stripe seems too on-the-nose, which I realize sounds odd for a critique of a superhero costume, which is all about emblematic design. But it takes the whole look to a very 70s place — say, a roller disco — and leaves it there.
63.5 out of 100
Rachel: 7. The bodysuit is a stylish and exceptionally well-designed take on an X-Men team costume, but there’s nothing that speaks specifically to Storm–which is a shame, because one of the particular strengths of the suit design is that it’s got a lot of potential for individual customization.
I’m curious about the etymology of the tattoos–whether they have a specific cultural origin or are wholly Toks’ invention. Also, I totally want that haircut.
Chris: 8. I’m not an expert on body art, but those body paint designs look positively righteous. I’d need to consult with experts in the field to see if they’re true to African culture — but do they need to be? Ororo’s roots in Africa aren’t her only roots, and as a character’s she’s constantly been written as incorporating styles from around the world to her look. Toks’ hairstyle for Ororo is top notch too. The only failing I see with the design comes with the costume itself; I wouldn’t want it to overpower everything else going on, but I feel like the suit needs to be something more than an an off-the-rack X-Men suit.
Rachel: Chris, one of my ongoing worries about the designs we’ve seen–which reflects the same problem in the official treatment of the character–is the assumption of some kind of monolithic “African culture.” Africa is an entire continent, with an incredibly wide range of regional cultures and aesthetics.
And yeah, they do need to be culturally specific–or, if invented, invented from a point of awareness of the surrounding context. The homogenization and mix-and-match appropriation of the cultures and trappings of individual tribes is a significant part of the legacy of colonialism in Africa, and something I think it’s important for artists to be aware of and sensitive to, especially given how horribly this stuff has historically been handled in superhero comics in general and with Storm in particular.
Vito: 6.5. Unfortunately, I think the only thing that bears talking about are the tattoos/body paint (not sure which one it is). Everything else seems so…standard and by the numbers. And that’s not to say it’s not a good uniform design; it is. It’s just the tats really stand out and are really stunning.
Brian: 6. I like a superhero costume that also feels athletic, and this one does, but I would have scored it much higher without the tattoos. Nice to see a version without a cape or anything cape-like.
Kris: 6 One of the X costumes I’ve loved in the past were their super basic blue and yellow training uniforms that everyone would wear in the Danger Room, and this looks to me as an excellent modern interpretation of that. I could see this outfit on many of the team and it looking great.
Kim: 5. I love the designs on the arms. The idea of tattoos is something I’d love to see explored in other designs; I think that it would be a great way to tell her story in a visual shorthand if, as Chris and Rachel have said, they speak for a specific culture (or an amalgam of some cultures, in accordance with her varying plotlines or origins– she’s travelled a lot and I’m sure a variety of people have influenced and inspired her). Some of the white dot and line elements are similar to Karo body art or Masai designs, but I’m definitely not an authority, so I’d be curious as to where the artist drew from! Super striking. The rest of the outfit, though, feels too plain for my tastes; I’ve never been fond of the X-men “uniform” and would rather see something made specifically for each character. Genuinely jealous of her haircut.
Erica: 5. There are a lot of lines on her arms and on her body that conflict with each other. It makes a relatively simple costume seem very busy. The suit is pretty standard but I like that the x almost feels like a military award. I’m confused by the front though. The end of that zipper stops mid bust- you can see the piping go underneath it- but then there’s a second non-functioning zipper under it that goes down to where you would need a zipper to go to get out of a catsuit.
Joel: 7. A great all-purpose X-uniform that would be nice to see applied to the whole team, or at least to the new recruits. And the hair, tattoos, and jewelry play off the function suit in an exciting way. If I saw this design on a comics cover, I’d want to know more about this character. However, nothing here says “weather” or seems designed to take advantage of the visual drama of Storm’s powers, like, say, a flowing element that can flap in the wind.
Jess: 6. The suit doesn’t strike me as Storm-like either. I’d love to see it on a speedster, though.
Glen: 6. Yeah, a little too UnderArmour for me.
61.6 out of 100
Chris: 6. Zoe wins my vote for “Best Use of Lightning Bolt” in this contest, and the shirt with the low-waisted X-design is great. But the jacket itself needs to go.
Rachel: 6. We’ve talked a lot on P:R about designs that are dependent on specific art styles, and I think this is one of those. It’s cute, and interesting, and, while a little on-the-nose with the weather motifs, a generally good fit to the character, but it’s hard to imagine it working from a different artist.
Brian: 7. I have to give a lot of credit to these designs that go out there and do something interesting and creative and fun to look at. Which is what this certainly is. There’s nothing actually wrong with this from a design standpoint, and I can imagine an X-Statix version of Storm looking something like this. But its not the Storm I know, unfortunately.
Kris: 7.5 I’m with Brian, If there were ever a time in which the X-men’s lives were a positive place, I’d love to see this as her teacher clothes or something. This looks like an incredibly fun day outfit for her. I would make the cape a little less on the noise, personally.
Kim: 5. I absolutely love the art here and there’s something really interesting about having the X accentuate her hips; thinking on it now, I think I’d like to see Ororo rock a peplum dress. Though a lot of fun and something I would like to see in a children’s book interpretation of Storm, I’m not a big fan of the cloud shapes or the lightning leggings. I could also do without the jacket.
Vito: 7. In my head, this design suffers from a little too much, like Rachel said, “On the nose weather motifs,” but I think that if you ace the cape, this is incredibly functional. I love the contrasting colors (light up top, dark below) and it’s even in the hair. The jacket can stay or go, which is fine, but it doesn’t stand out. I think I’d like to see Kris take this on…I think it works better than we think.
Erica: 5. Is she wearing a bolero over a jacket? The flare of the bolero combined with the flare of the jacket(?) disrupts the shape of her body one too many times. The cloud is a little too on point. I know that we’ve been looking at a lot of lightning bolts but I think lightning bolts are part of visual iconography in a way that clouds just aren’t yet. For example, you know not to touch metal boxes with lightning bolts on them because you will probably die. I love a good lazy-hawk though. I also like that Storm decided to wear blue earrings and matching nail polish to add another color into the mix. They’ll match her eyes.
Joel: 6. The curlicues on the cloud-cape put me in mind of Greek motifs and mythology (or, at least, the Disney Hercules), which in turn makes this design seem very weathery but not very Storm-y.
Jess: 6. I want to see this with either the bolero or the cape, but not both.
Glen: 6. Ororo in the boardroom. Hiring and firing (let’s be real: mostly firing), ripping some fatuous blowhard account manager a new one. Ororo as Oprah. Would’ve scored higher, but man, that lightning bolt really undercuts the rest of the outfit’s authority.
61 out of 100
Kris: 8, The headdress, the hair, all the jewelry in general actually, i really love. This has a really nice blend of royalty and practical body suit. I feel however the purple is one too many colours, it sort of muddies up the design to me a little.
Chris: 7. Like Kris says, the purple is one step beyond what’s needed for this costume. Otherwise it’s a great design, especially with the jewelry and the hairstyle.
Vito: 7. Maybe it’s the purple (which is a nice eye catching color, but…) or maybe it’s the way your eye is immediately drawn to her chest, but I feel like this is just…slightly over the top. I like it, I really do, but…its like Rachel was saying about the “tasteful boob window.” This isn’t that and I know that the character has a history of walking around naked and stuff, but I feel like she’s grown from that and that she would be…not modest, but a touch more conservative. She is a teacher, after all.
Rachel: 6. Too much. Too fussy. I adore the hair, though.
Brian: 6. I love the muscles and the brawler look to her, and I like seeing a different body type applied to Storm. It would be a cool look for an alternate universe Storm or something like that, but feels a bit off for 616.
Kim: 6. I’m not into this headdress and hair combined with the lightning earings– there’s just a bit too much going on up there and I find it distracts from what would otherwise be a pretty solid costume. There’s a lot of power in her post and the design of the costume for the incredible body type she has here, but I just don’t think it all comes together. As Brian says, though, alternate universe Storm would kill it with this. A one-off appearance would work for me, but not day to day.
Erica: 5. There’s a LOT going on here. It looks like there’s a double window going on with the purple framing her cleavage and the grey framing the purple and cleavage. There’s the gold choker under her collar and the gold bracers/wraps and gold three jewel headress, three gold hoop earrings and lighting bolt earrings. Her hair has a structured pompadour with braids and chelsea fringe. I really want to like this but each element goes one too far.
Joel: 6. There are enough ideas for three or four solid costume designs, here. They’re kinda getting in each others’ way, here, though.
Jess: 5. Too much bling, too much cleavage, too much heel. I’d love to see this pared down.
Glen: 5. Agree, there’s too much going on in the torso. Shut up, you know what I mean.
60 out of 100
Rachel: 5. The combination of the cape’s cut and the way it hangs would literally tie her arms down. And if you’re going to pick one nod to the original costume, the side cut-outs are probably not the way to go. That said, it’s otherwise a clean and pretty serviceable design.
Chris: 5. This seems like a throwback to the standard X-Men togs of old, with Ororo’s flair to it. Like Rachel said, the cape seems ornamentally-nice but very restrictive when it comes to action.
Vito: 7. I’m struck by the simplicity of this, but yet two things make me hesitant to go higher: the McFarlane length cape and the hip cut outs. I just don’t get why either are necessary. I love the colors and the shape of the costume, but just…tiny tweaks.
Brian: 7 It feels very classic to the point where I feel like I’ve seen it before. This, out of all of them, is probably the design I could see Marvel actually adopting for something. Which I know isn’t really the point of this contest, but I just mean it in the sense that this is commercial and polished.
Kris: 7 I agree with Brian on this one in that this works a lot in the respect that it plays off the most classic of X-men attire, which personally I really like cause I’m a huge sucker for legacy. But I would like the cape and throat area to be a little more thought out, as it is now it just appears heavy on her.
Kim: 5. Not a big fan of the cape or the cut-outs on this one; there’s something very 90s about it and while I kind of dig that, I don’t know how well it would work today. Thirding Brian’s comment about it being the most likely to be seen in an actual Marvel comic, though. Clean, solid costume, but not really speaking to me.
Erica: 5. This reminds me of brown/yellow wolverine. I’m with Rachel on the cape. She can’t move her arms in that. The rest of it is pretty clean but the zipper line leading to the belly button x feels awkward.
Joel: 6.My first impulse is to say this looks too uniformy, but that’s a valid look for someone on the X-Men. So the question is, does this look like Storm’s version of the uniform? Although the waist-windows call back to Storm’s original costume, I think Emma Frost may own the X-midriff, now. The negative space created by the very low drape of the cape also calls back, and is visually appealing, but would, as others have pointed out, cause visual and practical problems in other situations. That leaves only the headdress to speak specifically to Storm’s visual identity.
Jess: 5. Gotta agree with the comments on the cape and the cutouts. Also, are those kitten heels?
Glen: 6. For the reasons cited above.
58 out of 100
Rachel: 5. ‘90s Psylocke called. She wants her costume back. This isn’t bad, but it really doesn’t work for me as Storm–especially those asymmetrical garters. The headdress is neat.
Kris: 5, Yeah this one gets a little too fussy for me. While elements like the headdress and the arm coverings are nice, overall this feels very flat and just missing a few more graphic elements. I can’t help and think that a bunch of shredding to her body suit isn’t going to be very helpful.
Chris: 4. When I first saw this it made me recall the time in which she was under the spell of Dracula. Unfortunately, this looks like her dressing up for a special event rather than something natural to the character itself.
Vito: 7. It’s not that bad, actually. Bring the headdress down, minimize it, just a little, and you have something. There’s a lot of…Kris calls it “fussy” but I think I’d call it, “competing lines” going on here. Slashes that only make sense after a fight with Wolverine or Black Panther. I don’t know why those are necessary as a part of the look of her costume. But I’d be lying if I said I didn’t like it. Those gloves are something else, man.
Brian: 9 It’s incredibly striking and feels epic and important. There’s a good deal of “swimsuit” to the costume but in the context of the overall, I think it a positive, not a negative. This may not be the most practical costume of the bunch, but it appeals to my eye more than the others. I’,m going out on a limb just a little bit and giving this a 10, even though the points on the shoulders probably could go.
Kim: 7. I could definitely do without the slashes throughout and the bikini cut is super weird paired with the thigh-high pieces (how does she put those on? Are they just tubes?) but all my points are going to the headdress and cape. So powerful and I’d love to see them reworked into something else.
Erica: 5. There are a lot of superfluous lines in this. She’s got the cuts and seams(?) in the fabric and then loose strings and wraps on her legs. The horns read “bad guy” to me. It makes me think of Maleficent.
Joel: 5. My first impression was of something Storm would wear in the Wakandian Court, because of the headdress and the voluminous cape. The basic silhouette makes a strong impact, but, looking past that, there are a lot of details that don’t seem to serve a unified purpose, either practically, aesthetically, or expressively.
Vito: Ooh, yeah…that’s something I didn’t even notice until you said it. This look screams royalty.
Jess: 5. It’s a gorgeous illustration, but I don’t understand the shredding. A court outfit makes sense, otherwise – it’s an outfit for posing, not fighting.
Glen: 6. Like the silhouette, not crazy about the detailing.
57 out of 100
Erica: 5. It’s cute, but I don’t think this outfit carries with it the sort of authority that Storm commands. The TRON embellishments don’t seem to work with the punk embellishments and at the torso just feels empty. Kudos on the natural hair though.
Chris: 4. The I like the jacket and the bracelets, but the torso outfit seems perfunctory. The piping seems unnecessary and not leading to any larger ideal for design.
Vito: 6. Punk Storm is a favorite among a lot of us. I was around 10 or 11 when that happened in the comics and I remember how…stunning it was. Literally. It wasn’t the Storm I knew. But she grew into the role and she stayed that way for a long time. As a result, I’m overly nostalgic for the look and attitude that came with it, but it had it’s time and place. Stefan updates that look, somewhat, but take away the piping and change the hair, and I don’t think you have anything new to look at. It’s good, but…
Rachel: 6. As Vito wrote, this is basically Paul Smith storm with natural hair and some piping. If you’re gonna take Storm cyberpunk, you have to go further than that.
Brian: 6. Much prefer the “Tron” piping on the bottom to the street punk spikes up top. Feels like two different things going on at once. The hair, though! I kinda love the hair.
Kris: 6 if the lines on the legs were simplified, I’d love this as a look for a teenage Ororo.
Kim: 6. Agree with Kris. Love this look for a teenage Storm, but it doesn’t quite speak to me as a design for the Storm we know today. The hair, though, is fabulous. Definitely a good look and one I’d like to see incorporated into another design.
Jess: 6. I feel like this is a great costume for Ororo’s niece or other related young ‘un and rebels against Ororo’s authority, but not for Storm herself. But, um, can someone make that comic a thing now?
Glen: 6. Yeah, works for Li’l Storm (Squall? Shower?), but seems too Punk Junior Miss.
Joel: 6. The piping on the body stocking has too distinct a character. It’s drawing a lot of attention to itself, but without adding any significance to the design. With her wonderful thundercloud hair style, some interesting things could be done by subtly rhyming the piping with lightning strikes.
54 out of 100
Rachel: 5. Of the visual motifs that are hard to incorporate gracefully into a costume, I think long lightning bolts have to be among the most difficult.
Chris: 6. If Storm were to have been introduced on her own as opposed to being part of the X-Men, this is how I’d imagine it going. I like some of the ideas Tony is playing with here, but I think some further iterations playing with shape vs. line and with the practicality of the cape would’ve seen some magic happen.
Vito: 5. I think it might be too simple and too elegant. The color scheme, especially under her cape, is really nice, and lends itself to some great visuals, but that’s kind of where it ends for me. Everything else is too…on the nose, you know?
Brian: 6. Too many bolts, too many lines, yeah. In this specific drawing I think a sleek, all-black costume looks cool and the energy of the drawing adds a lot to this design, but if she isn’t using her powers, its probably too simple a costume.
Kris: 6 I think a lot of the Ideas are there, the non-symmetrical lines on the cap, the bolt motif throughout the suit, I just think they need to be greatly simplified to create an overall package.
Kim: 5. Digging the lines on the shoes and the shoulder, but I could do without the lightning bolts on the chest and legs. It’s funny; I think I like the idea of the bolt design in theory, but less so in practice. I think one of the things that speaks to me about Storm’s character is the way she’s able to be measured and regal in her control of something so chaotic and unpredictable. Seeing the wild crackle of lightning as something static and conventional just doesn’t fit her. The Flash is working it, though.
Erica: 6. I think if you took out the bolts on her chest and legs this could be really something. I love the cape piping but when you’re going to add that many lines up top you need to give some breathing room. It needs something bolder and less fiddly on the body.
Joel: 6. By forgoing any color but black, this design loses the rhythm and dynamism that the interplay of color and value could have brought. The result is perhaps starker and more depressed than I’m used to thinking of Storm.
Jess: 5. I can’t picture this in a regular Marvel comic, which isn’t going to have those crisp, almost cel-shaded areas of black and white. I think it would get muddied with modern comics coloring.
Glen: 5. As discussed, a lightning bolt emblem, however well designed, just doesn’t feel right for this character. Doesn’t signify her, it … reduces her, somehow.