“Batgirl Begins Again” Runner-Ups

Kris Anka
Kris Anka
88 out of 100

Dean: 9.5. In keeping with his usual M.O., Anka provides a completely cohesive, elegant redesign that looks immediately familiar with

Erica: I love the cut of that top. It has a clean military feel without look authoritarian. Really the minus 1 just goes to the over-the shoulders cape that would probably get in the way.

Rachel: 9.5. I had the same concerns about the cape, but the way it hangs from the attachment points at the shoulders makes me think that there’s enough there and it’s tailored such that it wouldn’t be a major hindrance. Are her kneepads supposed to be silhouettes of Batman’s head? Because that raises some questions.

Jon: 8. Really good balance on the boots and the gloves, the jacket seems to me like it might inhibit movement, but the buttons make for a nice accent piece across the field of dark blue.

Rachel: It would depend a lot on the material. For what it’s worth, fencing jackets, which are designed for a pretty wide range of movement, are cut pretty similarly, from heavy material.

Chris: 9. A callback to his Catwoman design in the posing and the background, but as for the design itself I feel Kris is onto something — but he hasn’t hit a home-run yet. This is a solid triple with a chance to steal, but I feel like it’s missing something — perhaps in the facemask or in the midrift — to get it over the hump.

Joel: 8. That is a well-tailored superhero. Beautifully designed jacket and slacks. I like the concept of the cape attachment, although it interferes with the bat-emblem in a way that makes it almost look like an angular moose head. I can’t quite decide on the armored gloves and boots. Do they contrast dynamically with the rest of the outfit, or do they look like they belong to a different design? I can’t decide. They look good in this pose, but when I imagine this costume in different poses in less dramatic situations, they start to seem out of place.

Glen: 9. Smart, put together. Maybe doesn’t go as far from the current design as it could, but extremely well done, and a great drawing. Dig the cape/emblem interplay, me.

Brett: 10. Everything about this screams Batgirl to me, while still being forward-thinking, new and exciting.I really love the no-frills, streamlined nature of the pants. The dress-uniform vibe makes so much sense with this character.

Jessica: 9. This is so sleek and elegant and lovely.  It immediately calls to mind Batgirl: Year One, but in the best possible way.  I share the concerns about mobility and what this would look like in another artist’s hands, but this is a solid enough design to make those minor concerns.

Vito: 10. I’m with Brett. It’s Batgirl. There’s no way of denying it.

Dani: 8 Colour scheme is great. Love that the snaps anchor the cape to the front of her chest but it would pose a movement problem. The double snap detailing on the collar and the belt area is good. Boots are basic and the gloves and arm details seem rushed.

Daniel Heard
Daniel Heard
85.5 out of 100

Dean: 10. So cohesive and well-designed. The neon, non-touching linework on the eyes and symbol are super rad. I love the belt, the shin-guards, and the kicks are flipping excellent. The armor looks great, and functional, and the O.R.A.C.L.E. drone-arangs seem like such an obvious thing for the Bat-Family to be using already, right?

Erica: One word: FRESH. Also, I can get those shoes somewhere, right? You’re not just teasing us with that? I like the functional armor on top of clothing look. And the Adam West bit on the nose? So choice.

Jon: 9. I’m giving the Oracle Drones a 10 because I admire anyone who’ll sit down and force a comic book acronym to happen. I love how playful this is for an armored superhero costume, with the Batman 66-stylee on the helmet, the cape-collar, the hip-slung belt and the shoes (little bat-wings, adorable). Also, I admire the design on the chest armor –  this outfit doesn’t lose a feminine silhouette but she gets away without boob-shaped armor plating, which is a rare combination in armor designs for superheroines…

Rachel: 7.5. I’m gonna be an outlier on this: there are a lot of individual elements I love about it, but the whole doesn’t quite coalesce.

Jamie: Very awesome. Don’t like the shoes though, the yellow in the cape or the eyes/nose thing. It does look like crime can be fought in it though which is awesome.

Chris: 8. The judges above encapsulate most of my comments, so the only thing I’ll add is that I like the Bat-symbol and the facial features as lines instead of shapes. At first I thought the eyes might be simply cosmetic — some kind of digital screen meant for subterfuge.

Joel: 7.5. I agree with Rachel. I like every single element of this design, but it doesn’t quite come together. The weight of the thing isn’t balanced, especially around the waist. But, man, those shoes, huh?

Glen: 9. The body armor is distinctive, stylized, and functional. The mask obscures her identity, but let’s her personality come through. And the shoes are fresh and funky, like the hip kids of today, with their phone booth stuffing and their goldfish swallowing and their flagpole sitting. I’m old.

Brett: 9.5. The more I look at this, the more I fall in love with it. The Adam West shout out is great, I love the color scheme, and those shoes are fun as hell. This is a design that mixes the heavy duty armor look with fun.

Jessica: 8. I want to play the Mario Kart-esque Batman game this costume is from for the rest of my life.

Vito: 9. It’s weird how separate all the elements seem, but it ties together so nicely. The colors are fantastic. The bat elements are whimsical, yet not out of left field…like those shoes. They’re fun and a little silly, but that’s ok. Then you see the subtleties like the shin guards with the bat-branding on the top of them. This could work for any era of Batgirl.

Dani: 8. I love the small little details like the multiple placement of bat ears on the shoes (which remind of a pair of Swear sneakers I wore in the late 90’s) and the nod to West. This cape makes sense: the closure is functional and the shape is classic.  My only complaints are the chest plate looks like the hood of a car and I think the helmet should cover the chin area. As is, it seems like the edges would poke and irritate her face.

Jordan Gibson
Jordan Gibson
81 out of 100

Dean: 8. This is so pretty, but it is a bit like the Batgirl equivalent of Starfleet dress uniforms, right? This Batgirl design is super wearable, but I don’t see her doing a lot of butt-kicking. I think she’s catching every Nightwing’s eye at the multiverse submit. That Batsymbol chain belt is beyond killer, though.

Erica: I like the mask and the boots a lot. The jacket is reading villain. Something about the lapel being so big and pointing up like that. It works as a set though. I would read this Elseworlds book in a second.

Rachel: 7. The jacket doesn’t read hero to me, but it also doesn’t read villain–like Dean, I got more of a cosmic / mystical vibe. This Batgirl chairs the Bat-family equivalent of the Marvel Captain-Britain meet-ups.

I can only think of a few superheroes who actually have formal versions of their costumes off the top of my head, which seems strange in retrospect: so many attend weddings, funerals, diplomatic events, &c. in costumes and masks that you’d think that would have become a thing by now.

Jon: 7. Y’know what this puts me in the mind of? Supergirl’s ultra-hip (and very often reader-suggested) wardrobe from the early 1970s. I imagine it’s the chain belt, lapels and knee-high boots that are evoking it, I can’t help but picture this as half of a just pre-disco-era World’s Finest, super-heroine edition.

Jamie: Very simple. Great use of colors. I don’t see her swinging through Gotham though. Maybe a villain in one of those mangas the kids are reading these days.

Chris: 9. Man oh man. This has got some Yvonne Craig vibes floating around it, and that’s a good thing. A well-dressed superhero, who wants to fight crime and look good doing it.Simple, functional but stylish. The coloring on here is especially top notch, and Jordan does an excellent job finding the color palette and knowing what needs what color to bring it together.

Joel: 7. Let’s pass a law that every superhero costume has to have a formal-dress variant! A lovely design, if just a smidge too vampirey.

Glen: 9. I love this, though I gotta shave off a point for giving me a bit of a brown-acid flashback to the TV Birds of Prey’s Selina Kyle Trenchcoat-of-Punching-and-Kicking. Never seemed practical there, but looked great.

Brett: 9. Oh, I love this. What I’m learning is, if you invoke the ’60s Batman series, I’m gonna give you points. The purple, the restrained flashiness, the style — I love all of this.

Jessica: 7. Gorgeous, but a little too high-fashion rather than combat-ready.

Vito: 10. This is…I’ll admit something right now. I don’t read Batgirl monthly. My wife does (and she waits until she has a stack before she reads them). It’s no slight to Gail or the creative team. I like Batgirl plenty, but I’m not a huge fan of the New 52 and I really am selective with what I read. This? Gets all my money. Colors work, the silhouette is evocative, and that belt!

Dani: 8 Stylish as hell but the only thing that doesn’t work for me is the belt design. It’s very 60’s and Mod but I don’t get that from the rest of the costume. I see the influence but it’s just not 100% there.

Daniel Fu
Daniel Fu
76 out of 100

Dean: 9.5. Oh god, why isn’t tech-future Batgirl Beyond Perfect on shelves?! The bat-symbol reminds me of one I did years ago, but is way cleaner and more distinctive. The design theme is so slick and implemented perfectly across the uniform. The arm and leg flaps are so clever and seem functional, and the cape and helmet are so distinctive. This is excellent. I think I’d like to see the bat-emblem shape brought into the eye-line on the visor, maybe? But this is dope as hell.

Erica: Cool shapes, although I’m reading more Batwoman than Batgirl. The ears are really far back on the head. I like the use of the heavy mesh in the joints and sides and the implied belt is nice since it would just make sense to build your belt right into the suit. I hope the belly button dot does something because if someone had a glowy circle on their belly I’d want to poke it so bad.

Rachel: 9. Does it really read as Batwoman, or is that more a byproduct of Kate Kane’s color scheme? Could you do a Beyond-inflected Batgirl that didn’t automatically read as Batwoman? Either way, this is sharp as hell–practical, sleek, and incredibly stylish; and its own thing while very clearly bat-family branded. Of the armored, futuristic designs I’ve seen–Batgirl or otherwise–it’s one of the hands-down best. The bright red, glowing implicit belt buckle is a little weird, but otherwise? This is pretty damn close to perfect.

Jamie: I’m with Dean on this. So awesome. Great colors and a cool cape. Looks workable too. My only critique is the bellybutton light. It’s weird.

Chris: 9. Daniel gets it. While the red color scheme does give off a vibe of Batwoman somewhat, I look at it similar to how Nightwing’s color scheme changed from yellow to blue to red from time to time. If there’s anything I’d recommend is doing more with the cape, and possibly showing a better view of the helmet — right now it looks a bit clunky but that may be the angle and the artist’s style.

Joel: 7.  It’s a great drawing, and a nice armor design, but I find myself resisting this one, for some reason. It might be a matter of personality. Looking through the entries for this contest, I keep being struck by how apparent the personalities of the different Batgirls are. A Babs costume won’t look right on Cassandra Cain, a Cass costume won’t look right on Stephanie Brown. This design has a Robocop deadpan thing going on, which makes it hard for me to fit it into the Continuum of Batgirls.

Glen: 8. Joel makes a good point. No matter who Batgirl is behind the mask, she’s not a stoic scary badass; we see the personality — and the person — shine through. I love the design, but it doesn’t read Batgirl.

Brett: 7. The color scheme does feel a little Batwoman-y, but I think the sleek design reads more “Batgirl.” To me, Batwoman takes charge of any room she crashes into; you would never notice Batgirl entering a room. This design feels super stealthy.

Jon: 6. Having the same problem reading this very nice design as Batgirl, it scans as “Batwoman Beyond” to my eyes. Design-wise, I actually feel like the cape detracts from the overall look of the outfit, it breaks up that sleek line and doesn’t share the texture or weights of the rest of the costume. You might even have more of a “Batgirl” look without it.

Jessica: 7. Change the red to yellow or purple and I want this Batgirl Beyond comic yesterday.

Vito: 6. I’m on board with everything here except for the helmet/cowl, and unfortunately, as an identifying element, it brings the entire thing down a bit. Yeah, I see the Batman Beyond influence, and that’s fine, but that helmet screams “2014 Robocop” to me. And it’s not that I don’t like it; I just don’t see it on a Bat-Family member, especially not a Batgirl. The emblem doesn’t do anything for me. It’s flat, and it reminds me of the current Red Hood-sorta Bat logo and as such, it seems like this character is trying her best to not be associated with Batman.

Dani: 7.5 This doesn’t feel as heavy as the previous entries that involve armour. I love the originality of the cape and the consistency throughout. It comes off as fresh and cohesive. Points off for perhaps being out of character and the previously mentioned “pubic beacon” .

74.5 out of 100

Dean: 9.

Jon: 8. I’m enjoying the designs we’re seeing which are most pared down, like this very simple bodysuit + hoodie ensemble. The lines on Babs’ bodysuit are visually interesting and they pop really well, but I dunno so much about the one line running right down the middle of her butt. Probably my favorite part is that, when she’s divested of the hoodie, she has no bat-symbols on her except for her mask. Nice to see that pulled back in at least one design.

Joel: 8. To be fair, Jon, most pants do have a seam running down the middle of the seat. Albeit, maybe not in contrast piping. This is a design that is obviously tailored for Xulm’s cute, linear cartoons, but would also translate really well into more “house style” art. The relaxed approach to the Bat-signifiers is refreshing. The only part I’m not sold on are the knee and elbow pads, which don’t seem quite integrated into the design.

Chris: 6. I like Xulm’s style here, but I keep getting caught up in some elements of it that weigh it down. The gold triangle strips on the shirt read to me as a Bat-bra — accentuated for some reason by Babs with the color.

Glen: 7.5. Gotta say, I prefer this without the sweatshirt (which, I note, is really living up to its name). I mean it goes to a Catwoman place, yeah, but I like how it suggests body armor while remaining sleek.

Brett: 8.5. Aside from the ears on the cowl, which seems really Catwoman-y to me, I think it is a solid design. The thin yellow lines really sell the Batgirl-vibe. I’d like to see a closer detail of the top, because it looks like something early ’90s Janet Jackson would wear — and that’s fantastic.

Jessica: 6. I’m not quite sure whether the costume-with-hoodie or costume-without-hoodie is supposed to be the “real” costume, but neither one quite works for me – with the hoodie it’s a little too workouty, and without it I’m missing the Bat iconography.  I’m not a big fan of the Bat-bra.

Vito: 7.

Dani: 7.5 I’m gonna agree that portions of this entry have a Catwoman vibe but the more I look at it the more it grows on me. I’ve been thinking about all the fabrics I’ve worked with and can actually piece together what I’d use to create these looks. I’d lose the pads on the hoodie and maybe even give her a “Bat Pack” to hold the hoodie instead of a shoulder bag. A couple of tweaks and this could be really great.

Rachel: 7. I’m getting a total Catwoman vibe, but the idea of something that changes from hero to villain costume just by switching a few key accessories has rad enough story implications that I’m going to treat that as a selling point.

74 out of 100

Dean: 8.

Erica: YES. I love teen Babs in her youth oriented silver age Batman inspired outfit. I think this is super fun. It feels homemade without feeling thrown together. The distribution of the yellow accents is just enough to make them really pop.

Jon: 8. I love pretty much everything about this, but I keep imagining what would happen to those bat-cutoffs in the hands of someone like Ed Benes. Still, incredibly fun, vibrant costume, l’m really fond of the Batman 66-style cowl-and-cape hitch and the homemade, bulky utility belt. I love that the cowl gets ditched in the Summer uniform – I’ve spent my share of Summers in assorted East Coast cities, and the idea of having something covering the back of my neck in that humidity *shudder*…

Rachel: 7. This is Bat-Mite’s answer to Misfit’s Batgirl. It’s fun, but, as Jessica wrote below, it reads more like makeshift cosplay than a costume.

Chris: 6. From the waist up this is some serious business, but below the beltline I crash and burn. Like Jon says, those cut-offs in the wrong hands could lead to some dire art.

Joel: 7. I would read this comic.

Glen: 8. Cute as All-Get-Out. Or, you know what? Cuter than All-Get-Out. In fact, now that I look again, All-Get-Out is a pile of puke compared to this. I like that JSM gives us a look at the Batman of this world (in the poster) to establish how far removed, how much lighter and brighter, this Batgirl is from him. That said, cut-offs over tights. Nooope.

Brett: 8. Mad props for giving us two designs in one. I really respect a hero with a costume that can roll with whatever Gotham’s weather throws their way. The cut-offs could be problematic in the wrong hands, but I’m having a hard time knockin’ it when it works so well here. I just wonder if the cut-offs should be more of a blue jeans color, as it seems like there’s a lot of yellow right there in the middle.

Jessica: 6. This is an adorable illustration, but the costume almost feels more like someone putting together the classic Batgirl costume with the clothing she has in her closet than a real reinvention.  That said, I want this miniseries as a sequel, then crossover with Supergirl: Cosmic Adventures in the Eighth Grade.

Vito: 8. This one, and the Barry Kelly one, should totally be a comic. The idea of Batgirl’s debut leads to interesting choices. Where I give this one the edge (and it’s slight) is that there’s already a few stories that pop into mind looking at this. The greatest compliment I’ve given with these contests is that the great designs inspire stories immediately. This one, along with my 10’s, do exactly that. But I think the tights and shirt should match.

Dani: 8 Why did cutoffs have to be involved here?? I’m guilty of wearing ’em and they never stay where you want them to. She would spend more time fixing her wedgie than saving Gotham. I wanted to love this so badly but between the shorts and the shoes that look like a new VW, I can’t give it a higher score. I adore the helmet and the illustration though. So cute!

Maris Wicks
Maris Wicks
74 out of 100

Dean: 8.

Erica: Maris. If I could steal your powers to be utterly charming I would do it in a heartbeat. I know I put down the fanny pack belt before but I think in the case of something this 80’s aerobics themed it’s perfect. Also, I hope that’s a sparkle costume. I’m going to assume that it is. I don’t know what sort of continuity this is for, but by god do I want it.

Rachel: 8. Why has no one given Maris the reins on a series of out-of-continuity backup strips–or, better yet, animated shorts–featuring all her redesigned superheroes?

Jon: 8. Adorable, and I’m sure someone in comments is gonna yell at us for complimenting Maris’ design since it really isn’t a viable redesign for the mainstream iteration of the character. Oh well.

Chris: 5. Art Baltazar and Franco Aureliani have made a mint with their stylings from Tiny Titans to runs at Dark Horse and Dynamite, and I see Maris here as one-upping them in costume design and in body language with his Batgirl. In a normal P:R contest I’d be rougher on this as you have to take in mind how this would be interpreted by other artists (imagine Jim Lee doing this), but on its own this is a fun piece for an Elseworlds style story.

Joel: 6. Okay, it’s the Internet, and we say “OH! You should totally do this!” all the time. But! Seriously! I can’t for the life of me imagine why DC hasn’t begged Maris for the all-ages book that we daydream about every time she graces P:R with a drawing. She is completely awesome and everyone should buy her wonderful non-superhero comics.

Glen: 7. Why don’t more superheroes rock tube socks? Lord knows we all did, when we dressed up as superheroes in our tow-headed youths? Or sport sparkle-leos for interpretive dance numbers in front of the mirror, like we all did in our I’ve said too much abort abort anyway this is cool also football metalshop kickboxing beef jerky.

Brett: 9. Just looking at this design immediately made me smile. It screams Batgirl without using any of the classic Batgirl colors, and the design is so original and so Maris. I could really see this character on pencils, thermoses, folders, t-shirts, sneakers, everything. This is the kind of Batgirl that kids would freak out about!

Jessica: 6. So freaking cute.  It’s a bit <I>too</I> out there for a proper Batgirl redesign, but in the big Batgirl crossoverpalooza all of these entries are clearly leading up to, I would give a lot to see this Batgirl skipping through the crowd and sprinkling daisies on all the bemused militaristic Oracles and Batgirls Beyond.

Vito: 9.5. I’m at a loss for words because I just…I can see this working on any number of titles. Batgirl, Batman ‘66, Elseworlds, kid’s comics…it’s fantastic.

Dani: 7.5 My background is in dance and gymnastic costume design, so I automatically wanna make it and put it on the nearest 8 year old. Not a conventional Batgirl but could work for a kids book or cartoon.

Randy Bishop
Randy Bishop
73.5 out of 100

Dean: 8.5.

Chris: 8. Sleek, stylist and super. It’s gender neutral, which surprisingly is rare for Batgirl costumes of the past. What really makes it is the little things Randy does here, from the practica chin strap, the scalloped cape, and then down to the darkened stripes running down the arms and legs. I also like the simplified Bat-design, although it might be a bit too simplified — is the bat ears on it? It’s too small to tell, but if so that’d make it right.

Rachel: 8. Not blowing my mind, but solid, recognizable, and well done. As Joel writes below, it’s a little Rule 63 Batman if you’re thinking about the DCAU color scheme, but if you plunked it down in comics, I think it’d be a pretty good Batgirl.

Joel: 5. In the convoluted world of Batgender, we have totally different sets of signifiers for 1) Batman, 2) Batgirl, 2) Batwoman, and 4) Rule 63 Batman. This design emphasizes the contrast between Batman signifiers and a female physique, which puts it in Rule 63 territory.  It needs some visual elements that belong to this individual.

Glen: 7. Sleek, solid. Could be a bit more distinctive.

Jon: 6. Not quite seeing what the dark gray patches lend to the costume in motif or practicality. It’s a very sleek costume, but it appears to be elements not particularly united by a strong central design – a little streamlining of the elements so they felt cohesive and some strong central uniting design, and this one would really be in business.

Brett: 7. This is a design that I could see a wide variety of artists, from Jim Lee to Cliff Chiang, handling.

Jessica: 8. I really like this design, but honestly, practicality issues aside, I’m really missing that hair spilling out of the back of the cowl.  I think that would bring in a stronger Batgirl identity to this.2

Vito: 9. Love this one, but Jess is right…that one small hole with a ponytail out of the back of the cowl…that makes this a lock.

Dani: 7. Hair would be nice but is impractical. I wouldn’t have put blue on both sides of the cape, perhaps the darker grey shown on the legs would have been a better choice. Since this entry is so stylized, it’s a little hard to navigate what parts are protective gear and what would be spandex, etc.

Anjin Anhut
Anjin Anjut
72.5 out of 100

Dean: 6.5. A nice mix of sweet and badass in this Black, Gray, and Golden Girls take on Barbara Gordon returning to some street-level crime-fighting. I always wanted Babs to get some kinda limited mobility back, but get out of the superhero game and do some detective work, following in her father’s footsteps, obviously leading towards her role as commissioner in Batman Beyond. This looks like a cool mid-level step, though, returning to the street one last time before taking the big job. I like the nod to police gear with the chest plate and baton, and the reference to the Oracle network obviously fits perfectly. It’s a little clunky, but I’d read this story.

Erica: I like this a lot. The swat team feel is great. I love the leg bracers. The mask feels a little clunky. It might be the chin strap and that I can’t tell if her eye are covered or not. Other than that though, I think it’s a nice mix of traditional Bat family and police.

Rachel: 8. This is hitting every single one of my Lin Beifong buttons, and that is never, ever a bad thing: they’re both Batman AND Commissioner Gordon rolled into one perfect badass.

Jon: 8. Exceptionally well put together, thematically consistent, looks functional but still fantastic. She is, um … she is kinda reading that “Oracle Network” screen backwards, tho.

Jamie: Love the taser bat and mask. I think she is showing someone the Oracle Network

Chris: 6. I get behind this from the idea that this is costume is a progression of Barbara after Batman: The Killing Joke and coming back from her spinal injury. She’s built for fighting, but Anjin’s pointed use of the pop-up screen from her arm thinks of her more as a field commander who can fight rather than a fighter by itself. My big negative is the exacting detail shown here, which I feel is a bit egregious. Also, the use of the yellow on the boots is a bit overboard to me; I like the use of yellow, but doing it over such a large area seems much.

Joel: 8. There’s a lot of solid storytelling built into this design. The degree of detail is a tad busy for a comics design generally, but would work really well as a movie or TV design.

Glen: 8. I think this walks the line between tactical, which is to say “chunky,” and cluttered, which is to say “clunky.” I also like the way the traditional, if terrible-for-nightime-urban-combat, yellow of her accessories becomes functional/practical gold plating. Woulda loved it more without the thigh-straps, which I get go with the braces, but also serve to send the look back a couple decades.

Brett: 7. I could definitely see this look translating really well to the big screen, like Joel said. This looks like a Batgirl that will not mess around, as evidenced by that big taser stick she’s holding.

Jessica: 7. The yellow-on-yellow doesn’t really work for me, and the drawing on the left means I can’t help wondering how the mask fits over the glasses, but holy cow would I read this Elseworld.

Vito: 7. I’m definitely seeing this as a post-Killing Joke Babs. Maybe immediately, maybe some years down the road. Glen uses the word “clunky,” but I think I see it as “(over)protective.” This is someone who was hurt, violated even, and for her to get “back in the game,” she would probably want this kind of security.

Dani: 7 While there is quite a bit going on here, it all makes sense. Nothing seems out of place. The glasses need to go and I would get rid of the shorts and carry that fabric all the way down the legs and also omit the braces. I really enjoy the hinges on the cape. I think that’s a great little detail.

Ron Weaver
Ron Weaver
71.5 out of 100

Dean: 7.5.

Joel: 8. The Batgirl of Mega-City One! Or maybe Camazotz, the Mayan Batgirl! The buckle-straps in the boots and jacket sleeves are lovely echoes of Batman’s… uh, glove-thingies. The blue piping in the gloves echoes the Bat-emblem without repeating it. The utility belt fits right in. But, obviously, the star of the show is that awesome helmet.

Glen: 8. I would read this book, which has a grubby, Paul-Pope-ish (Paul Papal?) feel to me. Point off for the belt-pouches, because belt-pouches.

Joel: Glen, I’m putting that point back on for the belt pouches, because utility belt.

Chris: 6. Glen hit the nail on the head, but I’m slamming the hammer down — this is Batgirl to Paul Pope’s Batman Year 100. The helmet reminds me of a character from Alejandro Jodorowsky’s Dune film, but in a good way.

Jon: 8. That helmet is a super bad-ass design, and I like that the elements play a role in the insignia (off the shelf or not) and in the gloves – nice that the jacket sleeves unite with the boots, too, really well realized outfit. Clearly, tho, there’s a motorcycle here somewhere and I would have loved to have seen it …

Brett: 8. The helmet is great, but I also love that it looks like she’s wearing the t-shirt from the 1989 Batman movie that we all had. I also love the hidden Bat emblem on the gloves.

Jessica: 5.5. It’s a bit too Wolveriney for me – I’d like to see a stronger sense of Batgirl in this.

Rachel: 6.5. Yeah. If this is Batgirl, it’s not a character we’ve seen.

Vito: 7. It reminds me of Denis Medri’s Rockabilly Batman series of illustrations, which is fine. The helmet is fine without those teeth hanging down. They look bothersome.

Dani: 7. The mask/helmet just isn’t working for me here.  I would imagine all of the pointed edges would be extremely uncomfortable and jab into her face.  I agree that it looks Wolverine-esque. I like everything else about this and I love the detailing on the gloves. Boots are stylish and practical. I’m already creating a story for this Batgirl in my head.

Stefan Tosheff
Stefan Tosheff
71.5 out of 100

Dean: 8.

Chris: 8.5. This weathered design reminds me of Cassandra Cain’s Batgirl here, but taking Damion Scott’s design and putting it into the world of the Nolan Dark Knight trilogy. The lack of a cape is shocking, but the more I think about it the more it fits with the rest of the costume and it’s pessimistic but practical view of crime-fighting.

Joel: 7. This is a pretty austere Batgirl. No color, minimal ornament, and armor plate that looks more Kelly Gang than Iron Man. This is a Batgirl for hard times. Given the minimalist approach, I think there’s one too many grey stripes on the forearms, and I’d like to see a bit more practical detailing in the boots. Of the armored Batgirls we’ve seen in this round-up, this has the best balance between armor-plating and freedom of movement.

Glen: 7. It’s spare, efficient, but could use something to give it a bit of personality/distinctiveness.

Jon: 7. I’m distracted by just how pink her face is considering the grim treatment of the outfit – it’s a perfectly fine skin tone, but a different palette would’ve suited the costume more. Glen hit on the big issue, this is a solid foundation for a striking costume, but it needs a ZOTZ! somewhere to make it really sing – some signature weapon, a bat-shield, a strong insignia, something unique to build off the distinct solidity of the framework.

Brett: 7. Chris said it first; my initial reaction was “Nolan-verse Batgirl.” This definitely would have worked there.

Jessica: 6. It definitely needs some zotz, agreed.

Vito: 8. Sleek and powerful. It’s just evocative of power to me.

Rachel: 7. Needs more cape.

Dani: 6. I like where this is going but it feels unfinished.  I’m having a hard time judging it because of that. I agree that it would fit well in the Nolan universe, though. The belt should go all the way around, it looks like it’s just floating there.

Tyler Swank
Tyler Swank
71.5 out of 100

Dean: 7.

Chris: 5. Those eyes give off emotion, but unless there’s some complex technology going on I don’t know that those half-moon eyes would look great in the heat of a battle.Other than that, I like the scalloped mini-cape, especially that it carries that to the front meeting with the bat-symbol. And I also appreciate the althetic footgear — and the avoidance of putting a bat-logo on it.

Glen: 8. Plenty of personality in such a spare design. The teensy cape’s doing a hell of a lot of work, and it ensures that it doesn’t look like “Girl Batman” but a separate, clearly defined character.

Joel: 7. Yeah, that orange-lined capelet is pretty great. It add distinctiveness to the costume while paying unexpected tribute to the character’s classic look. The generally sleek, uncluttered lines and the running shoes make this look like a particularly athletic approach to vigilantism. The blue is a little too dark to really stand out against the black. And the mask is missing something. Maybe a more traditional Batgirl mask shape, with curved lower edge and wider eyeholes?

Brett: 8.5. The cowl’s eyes are very “Batman ’66,” and that wins major points with me. I’m so down with the sleek design, and I love the shape the capelet makes on her shoulders. I do wonder if the orange doesn’t fit in with the rest of the design, but yellow might have been too much. Still, this is a Batgirl that I could see artists really taking to and not minding drawing for 20 pages a month.

Jon: 7. Nice, strong, sleek design, and the use of the bright orange on the interior of the capelet makes for nice contrast to the rest of the suit. Usually I’m perturbed by costumes which leave large blank swaths of color from the waist downward, but the lines here are mirrored well enough in the upper body and then broken up nicely with the bat-sneakers that it works well.

Jessica: 6. The capelet actually doesn’t work for me – I kind of feel like, why have a cape, then?  Like the shoes, though.

Rachel: 7. Can’t get into the capelet, but I love the palette.

Vito: 9. We’ve had a few short capes (Kirstie, Maris) in this contest, but I think I like this one the most. However, it needs to be just a touch longer. Not much, but a touch. It looks like an afterthought here, and it’s way too strong an element (especially in the colors) to be an afterthought. Really love how bold the orange and yellows are…really makes the piece sing.

Dani: 7. Simple, clean and I’m a fan of the illustration. I like what I’m assuming is the cape as a nod to her hair (although it could’ve been a little longer). I have a problem with the fact that there is a belt buckle but no actual belt and there is absolutely no detailing on the lower half of the costume. The shoes look unfinished and I’m not sure that a regular sneaker is the best option for going into battle.

Kelly Smith
Kelly Smith
70.5 out of 100

Dean: 8.5.

Erica: OH. Nice biker look with the helmet and cropped jacket. The long gloves under her little gloves bother me. Is that just on one finger? And I wish the bat logo were just a little higher. Right now it’s just riiiiiight over the crotch. I really love the idea of this one. It’s just that glove and logo placement for me.

Rachel: 6.5. Erica, the official P:R approved term for crotchbat, as established during the Vampirella contest, is “swimsuit-area fledermaus.”

Jon: 7. Lots of interesting pieces on this one, although I feel that the legs get less attention than the upper body, design-wise. Is there a mask under that helmet? It would be nice to see the crotchbat element reincorporated elsewhere – maybe in a mask, or as part of the helmet – to tie the whole outfit together a little more.

Chris: 7. Kelly has some great new ideas for Batgirl accoutrements here, including the crotchbat and the helmet but I feel it loses something when it comes together for the whole package.

Joel: 6.5. I’m so worried about her neck! It just looks so vulnerable in contrast to that expressionless helmet. Someone please get her a gorget!

Glen: 8. Really dig the slim design, and for once the piping, which is restrained enough to do what it needs to do without pulling focus. Don’t mind the crotchbat, but the pointy knee-thingies (and all the aqua-accents, actually) seem to take it a step into over-designed.

Brett: 7. I think the best parts of this design — the helmet, jacket, and the awesome crotchbat — get a bit lost in all the other elements. A black or dark blue bodysuit with those elements would be fantastic, and it would let the best parts of this look shine. That jacket piping is on point.

Jessica: 6.5.  Yeah, I don’t quite understand what’s happening around the pelvic area: there’s a crotchbat, there’s a crotch arrow, there’s panties, there’s piping.  It’s both a bit too dark to see clearly and also a bit too busy.  Adore the jacket, though.

Vito: 7. This one says “female Nightwing” to me more than it says Batgirl. Love that jacket, but everything else comes across as too simple or too streamlined. It’s ok to have shapes, guys and gals. That jacket, though…that’s a 10.

Dani: 6.5 Don’t have much to say about this one. I do agree with Joel in regards to her neck being exposed.

Mark Bello
Mark Bello
70.5 out of 100

Dean: 8.5.

Erica: Nice shape. The colors blend together a bit too much though. The Yvonne Craig style black shape on the front of the mask is a nice homage.

Rachel: 6. How much of that is the design vs. the art style? Speaking of which: there’s something about the way the bat symbol interacts with the hollow of her ribcage that makes it look like a dolphin with arms and a cape.

It’s weird to me that this is clearly Babs, because that purple–eggplant–seems like such a direct reference to Spoiler’s palette.

Jon: 6. Much of what was done with individual shapes on the costume is interesting, but the palette makes it hard to distinguish the individual components. The legs don’t seem to unite into the overall design. Could just use some more going on, it’s a very solid foundation.

Rachel: I think it’s the capri-pants-over-tights effect–if you extend either the black to cover the boots or the purple to cover the shins, it reads a lot better.

Chris: 7. Crap. Those eyes Mark Bello has given Batgirl bore into my heart. Trying to avoid that piercing gaze and look into the design itself, I feel some of the best parts of Kelly Jones’ Batman work from the 1990s in here with his own original elements. Like others have said however, the palette does make it somewhat amorphous and takes away from the overal design.

Joel: 6. Is it just me, does this look like how Steve Ditko would have designed Batgirl for a crossover with Doctor Strange?

Glen: 8. Elsewhere, I’ve noted that Batgirl (Cassandra Cain excepted) is closer to Robin than Batman, in that she lets more of herself show through the costume, instead of going all grim laconic avenger of the night. This look, though. This is what I imagine she’d rock if she inherited the role of Gotham’s protector from Batman.

Brett: 7. This design is dark without being drab and intimidating without being joyless. That’s a hard line to walk, and it does it well.

Jessica: 7. Just a little bit too dark to really see the design, but when I squint at it and tilt it towards the lamp, I like it a lot!

Vito: 8.5. It’s probably my monitor, but I can’t really see the emblem that well. Still what I can see, I like. The cowl reminds me a lot of Yvonne Craig.

Dani: 6.5  Simple and cohesive. Doesn’t move me or inspire any particular reaction. Due to the wide cuff on the boot I would imagine they may fling off when she gave a swift kick to her attackers.

Jemma Salume
Jemma Salume
69.5 out of 100

Dean: 8.

Erica: Overall it’s a very cool look. Purple and green are a great color combo that you don’t see together very often. However, if I were in Gotham and seeing this person for the first time I’d think she was part of the rogues gallery. Also, putting a hood over pointy head gear may not work so well.

Rachel: 7. Yeah, the secondary/tertiary palette, claws, and filter mask all broadcast “villain,” and the logo might be just a bit too stylized to really read as a bat. It’s a great design–of course it is, it’s Jemma–but I’m not sure I buy it as Batgirl.

Jon: 8. Points for going weird. This definitely feels like a Batgirl we hadn’t seen before (or perhaps it’s Cassandra Cain? One of your off-brand Batgirls), but it’s also interesting because it’s entirely a new identity – this isn’t a Batman spinoff, this is a whole new invention which still recalls enough bat-elements to tie it into the motif.

Chris: 8.5. This would be a 10 except for the fact that I don’t recognize who this Batgirl is under the mask. Other than that, nothing I would change. In fact, I’d love to see this kind of thing as depicted by other artists of different styles.

Joel: 7. I’d buy this as an update of the Sandman (either of them). It’s an evocative, nightmarish design. That very high-waisted belt and tunic-hem are going to look odd in other poses, though.

Glen: 7. Unsettling, in a Cassandra Cain way, but the rebreather feels more Ratcatcher than anything else.

Brett: 6. I agree that this seems more like a bad guy than a Bat Girl. I think this is a killer design for a creepy, nightmare-inducing villain, but it doesn’t line up with my probably-too-narrow definition of Batgirl.

Jessica: 6.5.  Agreed.  Gorgeous design, but it doesn’t say “Batgirl” to me at all.

Vito: 8. Totally works for Batgirl. Bats don’t necessarily have talons (birds do), but it gives a sense of danger, and that, along with the colors and overall shape, work.

Dani: 5. Not into this at all. If this was to pop up anywhere, I could see it being part of a Saturday morning cartoon and that’s about it.  There isn’t anything wrong with giving us a fresh take on what Batgirl should look and feel like but I’m just not digging this particular suggestion.

Barry J. Kelly
Barry J. Kelly
68.5 out of 100

Dean: 6. Barry’s Budget Batgirls, 2 for $20! The hooded cape is cute and the painted symbol is oddly endearing, but I think I personally want to see a more put-together Batgirl.

Erica: The poncho look is interesting but overall it feels a little too thrown together. I get that it’s her first time out but that just makes the very professional cape/cowl and almost-batarangs more confusing.

Rachel: 5. It’s cool as a story-specific costume, but it’s so story-specific that I have trouble accepting it as a more global redesign.

Jon: 7.The mask and the poncho seem like the most coherent concepts relevant to the redesign, they could easily lead the evolution of the costume into more and more refined versions.

Jamie: DIY Batgurl. Just looking at this a story comes from it. The hood cap rules.

Chris: 8. As Barry says, this isn’t a redesign of Batgirl as she is now in comics but in her earliest adventures, showing in essence the “missing link” costume before her official debut as a superhero. Reminds of of Mazzuchelli’s early Daredevil designs along with John Romita Jr.’s Kick-Ass. This is a costume you could make on your own, at the same time idolizing Batman but making it her own homegrown costume.

Joel: 7. This is a pretty perfect evocation of what Barry was going for. If anything, I’d like the boots and gloves to look even more off-the-shelf.

Glen: 7. Yeah, this works perfectly for the very specific parameters laid out by Barry, if a bit less for the more broad “redesign” challenge of the contest. Dig the poncho, which goes to a whole Nite Owl in Antarctica place.

Brett: 8. I am always on board for costumes that seem practical and a bit thrown together, so I love the details in this one like the sewn in knee pads. The poncho-cowl is great too; the silhouette manages to conjure up a Little Bat Riding Hood vibe while somehow still being intimidating.

Jessica: 7. I’m actually getting a Misfit vibe from this, which is always a good thing.  There are a lot of disparate elements here, though, and while some of them add up to that cute homemade look – the kneepads, the hoodie, the paint – others, like the cape and the hood with ears over what looks like an oddly inflexible mask/helmet with ears, just seem a bit disjointed.

Vito: 7. If we took the “First Time Out…on a Budget” descriptor away from this image, I think it would still be a valid piece. It’s practical, storebought and, unfortunately, not very sturdy. It totally works for the girl who took out Killer Moth at a costume party, however. As a “first” costume, it’s totally rad.

Dani: 6.5 If it’s a put together costume then the cowl is a little too pristine for my taste. I would have liked to see the clasp or snap on the front of the poncho. There are a lot of inconsistencies here. Parts of the costume are tactical and well done and others are rough and man made.  I feel like the edges on the cape would be rougher than shown here. I  do however adore the way the hood sits over the ears of the cowl.

Chris Saunders
Chris Saunders
68 out of 100

Dean: 8.5. Armor-Bat! I dig the future styling, all of which seems pretty realistic for the modern DCU. I’m a sucker for details like the cape and the boot holsters, heck, even the hairstyle is distinctive.

Erica: There are things about this I like, but it’s a bit sterile for my taste. I like the little pockets in her boots and turning the domino mask into goggles, but the shapes just feel bulky and stiff. I generally picture Batgirl as being faster and lighter as opposed to Batman’s heavy hitting.

Rachel: 6. I have exactly the same problems with this as I do with the most recent in-universe Stephanie Brown Batgirl costume: It’s overly elaborate and clunky, and it trades function for gimmicks.

Jon: 6. It feels a little action figurey to me, that the components are separate pieces attached at joints rather than elements of a cohesive piece. With all that heavy padding and protective armor, I don’t think the cloak does much for the costume, it works better with the cape pinned to the shoulder.

Jamie: Great ideas but there is a few things that I don’t get. The one ear, Shoulder spikes and the utility belt is kinda clunky compared to the sleek armour suit. I do like the cape though. Also has a action figure feel.

Chris: 6. I enjoy this, but unlike other designs that seem to go a step too far in the customizing of battle armor I feel Babs, in this case, would do more. I’d consider adding more color to some of the pieces of this, and consider giving her head some protection since the rest of her body is so protected.

Joel: 7.5. I’m not terribly familiar with Stephanie Brown past the whole Robin-or-not kerfuffle, but I assume that the tank approach is more appropriate for her than it would have been for Barbara Gordon? This is a solidly realised take on the armored bat. The danger with armor is a loss of distinctiveness, but the cape keeps it well within the Bat Family’s visual identity. I really enjoy the clasping of the cape, and the slanting hem that is created when it is open. There are so many well-considered details, like the glove that slides of the left hand gauntlet. There is a police-state authoritarianism to the look, which may be setting some reviewer’s teeth on edge, but is also a legitimate and even important aspect of the vigilante fantasy to explore.

Glen: 7. Yeah, I’d like to see a more personalized take on the body armor; right now the accessories are doing all the work. Really love the Bat-bluetooth.

Brett: 7.5. There are elements to this that are really dynamite — the hair style, the innovative take on the bat ears silhouette, that cape. But I do think there’s a lot going on in this design once you get below Batgirl’s bustline.

Jessica: 7. There are a lot of really considered elements to this, but the heaviness just doesn’t match the character. Steph is spritely!  The single Bat-ear isn’t working for me either.  But man, this contest is giving us a great lineup of Elseworld Batgirls for what would be the best crossover ever.

Vito: 6. It seems overly armoured to me. I love the overall shape of it, and the very first image, with the cape draped over, is appropriately dramatic. This one could stand a bit of streamlining, but it’s pretty good…I hope this doesn’t come across as snarky, because I mean this as a compliment, but this looks like a fun action figure that would be a great addition to my collection.

Dani: 6.5. A fairly cohesive job here. Armour seems pretty generic though. I think the one ear, while cute paired with that hairstyle, isn’t necessary. The cape/bat snuggie is just too much. If worn as shown, the cape would be a hinderance and she couldn’t jump into action. The slits should be on both sides and it should be shorter.

Thomas Perkins
Thomas Perkins
68 out of 100

Dean: 7.

Chris: 7. Perkins is being bold here, and being bold can either be really good or really bad. This one is really good. Reorienting the bat-ears backward instead of straight up really puts Batgirl on a new trajectory from her Bat-friends, and those exaggerated eyes evoke Ditko’s classic Spider-Man design without being overbearing. The bigger the eyes, the better for the would-be Oracle to see you by, yes?I have some slight issues with the overall color palette, but other than that this is great.

Joel: 6.5. In this pose, I love the helmet. I’m less sure how I’d feel about when the cape isn’t streaming out behind it, mirroring it’s elongated points. I’m always a fan of jodhpurs and calf-high boots. Always. And the color scheme is lovely: distinctly Bat-Family, but not a copy of any pre-existing costume. The shirt is just a bit too longjohnny, and needs something to break it up, somewhere around the shoulders. In a standing pose, the drape of the cape might serve that function.

Glen: 7. Love how the helmet soars past cute into creepy, and I get that you don’t want to throw focus from it, but all of the interest is above the neck.

Brett: 7. This costume evokes a real Indiana Jones, adventuring style — and then you get to that helmet! The helmet feels a little out of place, but I also think the juxtaposition of down and dirty adventure gear and high concept sci-fi could really take the character into a new place. Is that helmet an alien artifact Barbara found? Is it its own character? This one image has already got my brain going.

Jon: 7. Very much in love with Thomas’ illustrations, but he’s done four or five radically inventive Batman concepts – The Bat-Man of Gotham, Batman of the Future, his red-suited “knockoff” Batman – and I have high expectations for his Batgirl design. Love the helmet, love the illustration and the feel, but it seems to want to be more wild…

Jessica: 6.5. This has a similar feel to those pulpy Superman redesigns, which are a lot of fun. I’ve said this a lot with these designs, but while I couldn’t see this in the comics today, I’d love to read this Elseworld.

Vito: 8.

Rachel: 6. Love the helmet. The costume, significantly less so: it’s cute, but it’s a little too much street-clothes and not quite enough costume.

Dani: 6. It’s fun and I like the colour palette. What I don’t dig is that it looks like she’s wearing a thermal long sleeve shirt and that doesn’t match the jodhpurs she’s sporting. The top half and bottom half feel like separate costumes. Another solid all ages look.

Victor Newman
Victor Newman
66.5 out of 100

Dean: 8.5.

Rachel: 6. Return of the contrast-bra boob-bat. Look, there are characters I will buy in ridiculous boob armor, but Batgirl is not one of them. She’s too smart and too practical for that.

Chris: 5. This reads as very practical, almost to the point of being militaristic, but I can’t get away from thinking it feels more like the Huntress than Batgirl. The mask very closely resembles the Jim Lee design for Huntress, and the purple color scheme only reinforces that. Tweak those too, and you’d be onto something — but right now, if you were to take the batlogo off the front would people assume this is Huntress or Batgirl?

Glen: 7. Practical, but a little overworked for me. I do like the helmet. As for the bat-tail: Practical, schmactical. It adds a punch of style that’d be otherwise lacking.

Joel: 6. With a bat on the chest and cat on the forehead, this is surely a Huntress design, isn’t it? The cape-as-coattails element is really fun, but the armor on her torso looks like it would restrict movement. If you told me that this was intended to be a Batgirl whose spinal injury took place at a much higher vertebra, I’d totally believe that the armor was a prosthetic device to keep her mobile, like Anhut’s leg braces. Assuming that that’s not the case, then it’s a sign that the armored piece is calling too much attention to itself.

Rachel: Yeah, this read as Huntress to me, too.

Jon: 6. Sort of distracted by the armored bat-boobs and the butt-cape, to be tactless about it. They are symptomatic of how this seems to be three competing costumes on the same figure – sleeves don’t have much to do with the rest of the costume, are those stripes on the midriff? I like a lot of disparate elements of the costume – the collar in particular, the mask mostly (although it seems very front heavy considering the back of the skull is apparently fabric) – I have to admit that I thought the mechanical clutter on the billboard behind her was, the first time I looked at the illo, part of her costume (and I liked it).

Brett: 6.5. The little cape is a fun touch to an otherwise serious design.

Jessica: 6.5. I’m pretty sure this is supposed to be a future Nell from the BGM Batgirl series, and that delights me, but I’m having a lot of problems with that boob-harness.  I think the butt-cape can work but it needs to be as part of a sleeker, more tailored-looking whole.

Vito: 7.5. The only thing tripping me us is that the cowl looks like Batgirl stole it from Huntress. But let’s say this IS Huntress. It’s still a little clunky to me.

Dani: 6.5 Boots are practical and well designed. I like the idea of a bat half skirt but it does seem a little out of place. Almost like it was added just to remind us were are dealing with someone in the bat family. If she’s going to have armor on her upper half it should cover all her vulnerable areas. Additionally I think classic Hawkeye when I look at her helmet.

Zoe Maxine
Zoe Maxine
66.5 out of 100

Dean: 6.5

Rachel: 6. Between lack of belt and the center seam (zipper?), this reads to me as onesie pajamas. Awesome onesie pajamas that I would wear the hell out of, but still onesie pajamas. I love the tattered cape.

Chris: 8.5. This one really lives up to the hype of Batman inside Gotham, as a force rather than as a person — and I really enjoy that. The tattered cape is pretty boss in my book, and the wraparound mask reads more bandit-y to me than the classic Batgirl/Batman mask design. Interesting things could be done visually with her taking that off by hanging it down.

Glen: 8. I get motorcross suit more than onesie, me, and I love the cape’s detailing — which evokes a sort of creepy/moth-eaten-shroud effect.

Joel: 6.5. The mask is great, especially in profile. I really like the way it fits on the face. The costume needs something to break it up around the midline. A utility belt is the obvious solution, but there are other ways to achieve the same effect. Love the big honkin’ boots. The tattered cape strikes me as too busy. Batman would never allow someone to go out in a cape that was seemingly designed to get snagged on things.

Brett: 6. I think I would be more on board with this design if it had come with a motorcycle of some kind, to really hit home the motorcross suit vibe Glen brought up. I can totally picture that, but just on its own, it leaves me wanting a little more. This does look like a Batgirl costume that fans could easily cosplay as, which is a huge plus.

Jon: 6. I do like the mask and the cape is an interesting idea, it implies a story to the character on sight. The elements that are on display are pretty strong, but I echo the “onesie” sentiment, the costume just ceases to exist between the ribs and knees.

Jessica: 6.5.  This looks more to me like Cassandra Cain got a call in the middle of the night, pulled her boots on over her pajamas (which of course are Batjamas because such is her dedication!), and went out to kick bad guy butt.  But man, I’m just so glad to see a Cass in this contest.

Vito: 7

Dani: 5.5 I’m jumping aboard the onesie train. I do like the mask and the fact that the artist has stuck with a dark palette for the exterior of her costume. It’s just TOO simple for me though.

Kirstie Bell Diongzon
Kirstie Bell Diongzon
65.5 out of 100

Dean: 7.5.

Erica: AGH. It’s so cute. Is that a mid-length cape? If it is, I like it. The inset grey is really great except for the black bra shape. That with the bat over makes for too much boob emphasis. Those boots and gloves are great though.

Jon: 7. I like this one – it seems to touch on a lot of elements which are popular in the entries, this time around – but I agree with Erica about the black bra-bat. The capelet is a great touch, I like the shaping, the gloves and the mask are also really well done.

Rachel: 6.5. Not into the bra. Super into the glasses with antennae in lieu of mask–that’s a great Oracle / Batgirl bridge.

Chris: 6. The crotchbat from Kelly Smith’s entry has migrated north to be the bat-brazziere. Seriosly though, I enjoy the boots on this but everything else seems ill-fitting for Babs.

Joel: 6. It looks to me like we have two aesthetics battling each other in this design: cute-but-awkward nerdiness vs. badass take-me-seriously armor. I’d love to see this design played with until those two concepts reconciled, but they’re not there, yet.

Glen: 7. Dig the glasses, which as Rachel points out neatly conflate the Batgirl and Oracle identities. The rest doesn’t do quite enough to distinguish itself.

Brett: 6.5. I think this is a great design, it just seems a little more “Beetlegirl” than “Batgirl”t o me, maybe because of the antenna and exo-skeleton-esque chest design.

Jessica: 6. Now I’m envisioning Ted Kord and Barbara Gordon’s incredibly nerdy offspring.  This illustration is so cute but the costume falls victim to something we see a lot of: very busy upper torso, gloves, and boots, and plain black tights.  I’d like to see it balanced more throughout the costume.

Vito: 6. It’s cute, and that half cape is nice, but now that Rachel has pointed out the bra shape on the body armor, I’m having a hard time not seeing it.

Dani: 7 Cute. I like the shape of the boots and I’m always a fan of a mid-length cape. The bust area is a little funky and I’m not digging the antenna. It seems like they would break right off.

Calvin Patimeteeporn
Calvin Patimeteeporn
64 out of 100

Dean: 7. Calvin’s Babs just got back from the MegaFuture, and is here to kick all bojo asses. Definitely a fun look. I especially dig the scalloped scarf.

Rachel: 6. Batgirl as designed by Dr. Light! My main gripe is the old-school pouches–I’d like to see a sleeker, higher-tech utility belt to match the look of the rest of the costume, and no utility garter–that’s an accessory that really should have been allowed to die with the 1990s.

Erica: Anyone that knows me knows that I’m a sucker for the Megaman cankles look. The more accurate bat ear is a fun touch too. I’m not a fan of the loose belt that has an extra garter to help it stay up. I wish it were just a belt. It’s a fun robofuture take with a nice nod to Stephanie Brown though.

Jon: 6. Very cute, innovative, it’s not necessarily where you’d immediately go with the character and that makes it interesting. Good balance of colors and shapes, it’s a great redesign for a story which calls for a Tokusatsu-influenced version of the character (Batman Inc’s Batgirl of Japan?)

Jamie: Nice colors but where are the forearm claws coming from? And her right foot is driving me nuts.

Chris: 7. With such a futuristic suit, you’d think the designer would have a better system for storage than the strapped-on military pouches. Otherwise, I dig — this gives Annie Wu’s Batgirl Beyond official design a run for its money.

Joel: 5. The helmet is a really solid design. The bat ears are fun, and the orange lock of hair sets off the green visor nicely. The scarf is a great contrast to the armor, adding a touch of fluidity. From the neck down, it gets a little too busy, with elements seemingly added willy-nilly.

Glen: 6. Always a sucker for bat ears that look like bat ears, and not devil horns. Dean’s right — the scarf makes it.The thigh-strap breaks it.

Brett: 7. This one takes me right back to my ’90s childhood, in all the right ways. I can’t help it, I have a soft spot for pouches! This is a Batgirl that would have had my attention, had I run across it in “Wizard” when I was a kid. Plus, I love the idea of Batgirl using a bo staff.

Jessica: 7. Yeah, I’m seeing this as the perfect costume for that requisite episode of every 90s cartoon where the hero gets zapped into a video game.  The scarf and the pouches aren’t working for me – too analog for this look – but I love the colors and the goggles.

Vito: 8. Love the colors (very Steph/Yvonne Craig). Love the scarf in place of the cape. Everything works for me…except the footwear. It seems totally impractical and impossible to move in. It’s a small gripe, but I like this one.

Dani: 5 This is just too much for me. The scarf, although I do like the flourish of the bat edges, just doesn’t make any sense. This costume is hard and robotic and the softness and fluidity of the scarf serves no purpose.  I totally agree with Jamie about the foot thing and the bat symbol comes off as unfinished and rushed. It’s such a heavy, stiff overall look and I want her to move as fast as she can.

Nick Malara
Nick Malara
64 out of 100

Dean: 7.5.

Jon: 6. Feels like all of the attention went into the boots, gloves and cape, a bit? The bodysuit seems to have come right off the rack. I might suggest that it would have been neat to see the lines and shapes of the cycle design reiterated in the costume.

Chris: 7. Nick seems really close to a breakthrough here — one more draft might have earned him two extra points. The helmet, the cape (especially the frontspiece) and the boots are all pristine but the form-fitting bodysuit seems like something right off the rack of a superhero costume store (I think Silhouette of the New Warriors bought the same one). I’d love to see Nick do some more work on this and submit it to P:R down the line as its own piece to see where he could push this to. Like Jon said, there’s some ideas in the cycle that could be rolled back into the costume (such as the scalloped fins).

Joel: 5. Yeah, the bodysuit is holding this one back. The cape has a nice shape, and I like the profile of the mask/helmet.

Glen: 7. Yep, all the action’s in the mask and accessories. The suit’s a bit … DC HEROES MMO standard-issue.

Brett: 6. The electric blue elements make me think of a Tron Batgirl, which isn’t a bad thing. I also really like the original way the logo interacts with her cape.

Jessica: 5.5. This contest has shown me that I have a really hard time reading a costume as Batgirl without yellow elements.  I agree that the bodysuit’s a bit of an afterthought here, but with no yellow, so little black, and so many shades of blue it also loses a lot of that iconic imagery.

Vito: 7. The cowl and cape are very strong. The accoutrements (gloves and boots) are really good. It all becomes kind of standard in the body. I think it’s a good design, but it needs just…something more. I’m stumped, however, on what that could be.

Dani: 7 I’m having a hard time with this one.

Rachel: 6. There’s something kind of… generic… about this. Like Jessica, I have a lot of trouble buying a batgirl with no black OR yellow. I do like the way the bat is incorporated into the cape, though.

Heidi Foland
Heidi Foland
62.5 out of 100

Dean: 7. I like Heidi’s ultra functional, custom, street-running gear, which is FAR closer to superhero gear I’d actually wear, but it’s not quite flashy enough for me.

Erica: Overall the whole thing works. Everything fits together and works as a set. I just think this is the outfit she wears right before she decides to make something more streamlined. I think I’d get very warm in all those layers.

Rachel: 7. It’s climate-controlled… by JUSTICE. Seriously, though, Heidi has designed something incredibly rare and really cool: a genuinely gender-agnostic superhero costume. That’s easier with street clothes-based costumes than the usual ultra-form-fitting gear, but even given that, I think this is the first time I’ve ever seen a female-identified superhero in an outfit that completely obscures her gender.

Jon: 6. This one says “sidekick” to me, to be sure, this definitely looks like a junior partner’s costume – I think, to Rachel’s point, it’s not only gender-agnostic, it’s generally character agnostic, if you drop that insignia it could be any of dozens of other characters. Could use better signifiers. I’d like to see the upper body and head a little more clearly, as I like the yellow and black color scheme but I’m not sure how it’s played on the upper body.

Jamie: Excellent drawing but I see more “Lost member of the Wu Tang Army” than I see Batgirl.

Chris: 5. I can’t really get behind this — the illustration manages to avoid showing a significant portion of the costume. What I can see I like somewhat, but the way the striping is it feels like the DC supervillain Queen Bee got a sidekick and stole a batarang.

Joel: 6. We often talk about the line between practicality and drama when discussing superhero costumes. With Dr. Strange you can go off the charts on Drama. The Punisher allows you to get gritty with the Practicality. Most characters need a blend. This costume makes a lot of real world sense, but the bulky layering de-emphasizes body language and movement, which are pretty important things convey visually for an acrobatic character.

Glen: 7. Urban guerilla chic is intriguing, but just not distinctive enough for me; I agree with Jon – I’d like to see this costume work a bit harder to convey who’s wearing it, without depending entirely upon the insignia.

Brett: 6.5. I can see this being Batgirl’s winter alternative, because it definitely looks warmer than than spandex. I do love the shoes, and I love a good super hero jacket, but I think the other elements have to step it up a bit.

Jessica: 6. This is a little too functional for me.  Certain heroes can work the modified street clothes thing, but not anyone in one of DC’s Trinity families as far as I’m concerned (Superboy and Wonder Girl, I’m looking at you and your post-Crisis jeans).  Iconic superheroes should look like, well, superheroes!

Vito: 6. It’s certainly branded in a fun way, but I’m missing a unifying element that ties this back to Batman. Granted, in Heidi’s universe, Batman might be more of an urban terrorist, and this get up works for that. I just…it’s a fine line between a member of an urban vigilante fraternity/sorority and being a kid that tags up. I know that on some level, it’s incredibly impractical, but…bat ears would go a long way here. I always like to consider the silhouette of a character as character identifier, and this one…the silhouette just doesn’t say Batgirl.

Dani: 6 Batgirl does Parkour. Points for the clarity of this entry. You know exactly what you’re looking at here. The only problem is this isn’t the  Batgirl silhouette I wanna see, like Vito mentioned above.

Thomas Fummo
Thomas Fummo
57.5 out of 100

Dean: 7. Girl-Bat!

Chris: 5. Really loving the purple that Thomas has injected into Batgirl here, but what really sells it for me here is the bat transformation. If this were a regular P:R contest I’d give it a poor score for adding to the continuity and not just sticking to the costume design, but this contest gives a bit more latitude and Thomas has taken that by the horn — or ears, I should say..

Joel: 7. Fun concept, and very considerate of Fummo to provide a little narrative context for us! I like that Girl-Bat design tremendously. The lilac accents and Nami and curlicue patterning add just a note of cuteness that undercuts the big hairy monster just right. The Bat-Girl design feels a less resolved, with a few too many focal points combating for the eye’s attention.

Glen: 6. Agree with Joel about the Bat-Girl design, which between the bike shorts and the jacket seems like something John Byrne’s late-90s Wonder Woman would embrace. Girl-Bat’s a nice touch.

Jon: 7. Definitely agree that the Girl-Bat is a very strong design, I might’ve tried uniting the two – some elements of the untransformed costume appeal to me, like the gasmask, which is unique among the Bat-Family’s standard costumes but which makes a lot of sense, but i’m not so crazy about the dated bike shorts and jacket combo. Imagine how great it would be if Stephanie Brown came back as a bat creature, riding around on her motorcycle, it’d be a kick…

Brett: 8. Geez, this is just a lot of fun. The Batgirl design is solid, but the real star is the Girl-Bat creation. The juxtaposition of big scary monster and pretty colors is unlike anything we see on a regular basis. I could really see this being a kick ass action figure or slightly unsettling plush toy.

Jessica: 5. It doesn’t work for me as a Batgirl costume, but I need that Girl-Bat incorporated into the DCU post-haste.

Rachel: 6. Girl-Bat, not Batgirl, and better in concept than execution, but still a lot of fun.

Vito: 6. Agreed on all ends that Girl-Bat is inspired genius. Where the Batgirl falls apart on me is the gas mask. It just seems so…I’m going to say, “dark,” but what I mean is “heavy.” Not in a cumbersome way, but in the way that…Batgirl should have a little fun, and her facial expression, and the ability to see it, goes a long way for that. I know it’s sacrilegious to say this, but…I was never a fan of Cassandra Cain because of her mask. Here, we’re only limited to the eyes. Which is why Girl-Bat is so good…we can see her face. Small quibble, but…

Dani: 5. It’s like Gambit, Batgirl and Bane had a love-child. The bodice shouldn’t be over the utility belt and if you’re gonna wear shorts there should be some kind of shin protection. Great Girl-Bat but I’m looking for Batgirl.


Thomas Branch
Thomas Branch
57.5 out of 100

Dean: 7.

Rachel: 4. Do we have a front view of this? Or anything that shows more than a sliver of the costume?

Jon: 7. Yeah, I’m liking what we see here a lot, but I have no idea what the actual design is. The blue/charcoal palette is a nice implementation, and it’s interesting to see Batgirl moving in a heavy armament direction, but I’m very curious about the presentation of the costume from the front.

Chris: 4. What I see I like, but since I can only see about half of the costume I can only give it a fraction of the score I could’ve..

Joel: 4. I’m not able to see enough to feel confident in commenting on the total design. What I can see looks like one of Granny Goodness’s Female Furies heard about Batgirl and thought “I could bite that style.” I think this impression is largely created by what appears to be a superfluously technological hairband.

Glen: 6. I like what I can see (the revolver, not so much).

Brett: 7. I definitely want to see the rest of it, which means that I love what I do see. Of all the heavy armor costumes in the contest, this one fits with my idea of Batgirl just because Thomas drew her smiling. Such a tiny choice, but it shifts the entire mood. I also love the introduction of blue-gray into Batgirl’s look. But yeah, I want to see this from the front!

Jessica: 6. Yeah, I need to see this from the front.  My first thought is that it’s not Batgirl, but Oracle with the use of her legs back, and that’s really intriguing to me.

Vito: 7. It’s too nice to go lower, but I would love to see the front, too. I have to know what the logo looks like to make a good judgment. But Jess, your Oracle idea is a great workaround for that. She doesn’t necessarily need a bat logo then.

Dani: 5.5. Oh man, I really wish I could see what’s going on in the front of this costume. I like where this is going but I can’t score it high because I can’t see the whole thing. Nice smile and i enjoy the shade of blue used here. Points for that.

Mike Maihack
Mike Maihack
56.5 out of 100

Dean: 8.

Erica: I like this a lot. It’s very close to Batwoman though.

Jon: 8. Beautiful as all get out, but it did remind me of Batwoman quite a bit. I think if the full cape had been replaced with a capelet or some other treatment, then the Nightwing-esque chest insignia would have had more space to shine and it would have seemed a little more unique to Batgirl.

Rachel: 4. Lovely drawing. Way, WAY too close to the current Batwoman to be a viable redesign.

Chris: 4. As Jon says, this mirrors J.H Williams 3’s Batwoman too closely; if Barbara went out with this on, there’d be a Batfight on Gotham’s rooftops. Seriously though, the color scheme and the composition of the design borrow too heavily from Batwoman. As a Batwoman design this’d be an 8, but as a Batgirl design I have to judge it on the merits of it working as a Batgirl design.

Joel: 5. Because of the hair, I assume this is Barbara Gordon, but perhaps the city in the background is meant to signify that this is a future Batgirl, one who combines the legacy of the Gordons and Kanes? If it is Barbara, I’d be interested in what sort of character arc would lead her to cleaving so closely to the visual identity of relative newcomer Batwoman after so many years of having her own.

Glen: 6. Agree, doesn’t seem far enough afield from current Batwoman.

Brett: 6. Yeah, I can’t separate this from the current Batwoman design, they’re so similar. But the image itself is straight up gorgeous and has such an elegant sense of motion to it. I know we’re judging the designs, but I have to give props to Mike’s artistic talent too.

Jessica: 5. Such a beautiful illustration but yes, this is basically just the Batwoman costume.  It’s a shame because Mike has done so many wonderful redesigns in his Supergirl ‘n’ Batgirl comics.

Vito: Illustration = 10. Design = 5

Dani: 5.5 Love this illustration but yeah, this isn’t Batgirl. Vito hit the nail on the head.

19 comments to ““Batgirl Begins Again” Runner-Ups”
  1. Thanks for including me in the runner-ups guys – some great feedback there, and not to worry Vito, I didn’t read it as ‘snarky’ at all!

    For those who read the reviews on my entry just a few comments from me on the points raised…
    When designing this costume I went with a more armoured look because I felt that after Batman’s own spinal injury, and Batgirl’s shooting in The Killing Joke, Bats would probably insist on a more armoured suit for any future sidekicks – after all, he is the world’s most famous non-powered superhero is he not? I figure they could all do with a little extra protection.
    The shoulder spikes were added so that when her cloak/cape is drawn, there is FINALLY a reason for the spiky shouldered silhouette! How Batman’s muscular shoulders have magically turned into 80’s-style spiky shoulders as soon as his cape is drawn has always bothered me haha! The cape in this design would only be drawn for standing menacingly on rooftops, or blending into shadows, and would always be fastening for ease of movement when in combat.
    And finally I didn’t mention it, but I thought it would be neat to name the 2 prongs on the right-hand gauntlet the ‘bat-bite’, and it could include a paralysing electric shock – as could the baton’s in the boots.

    Some really great entries in this round, as always – really honoured to be counted amongst them :)

  2. Wow :) I’m so chuffed I managed to get into the Runners-up! Thank you so much for your thoughts on my redesign (or rather, re-imagining :D) I realise it was pretty ‘out there’ and reliant on concept, so this comes as quite a surprise (especially the 6s, 7s and 8 it managed to get!) Feels great to be included in this list of fantastic designs.

  3. WOW Just WOW!!! I can’t even list which I like the most cause that’d be the whole list!! Great stuff. Really love all the ones with the tech influence for Babs.

  4. Wow, Mike Maihack’s illustration is full of win. The Batwoman comparisons don’t even bother me; wasn’t her suit originally intended for a returning Barbara anyhow?

    A close second for me is Mark Bello’s. The colors do blend a bit, but I think if they were lightened up, it wouldn’t be a problem. The purple-black combo really works for me.

  5. If Ron Weaver’s is to Paul Pope / Batman 100 (which nails it perfectly) than Chris Saunders & Victor Newman are to Frank Quitely and depict Bab’s as Batwoman to Dick’s Batman from The Batman and Robin run with Morrison.

  6. I did NOT expect to make it on this list. Thanks for the comments! All great feedback.

    And geez, what a fantastic bunch to be included in. I can’t wait to look through these in more detail.

    Thanks! Looking forward to the next contest!

  7. Wow! I’m super honored to be one of the runner ups! I really appreciate the feedback and now I totally understand the critique on the pouches, I tend to go overboard on them! And these were some awesome entries! Great job everyone!

  8. Oh wow- I seriously didn’t expect my design to make the runners up list! I didn’t realize this was going to be a judged competition when I submitted it (my fault for not reading more closely), or else I would have maybe drawn something bit more extreme. As it is, my thinking was Babs a bit grown up and taking on the Batwoman mantle, so It’s cool to see that’s how it came across. Thanks, guys!

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  10. Most of these are way too futuristic and some of these dwell too much on her home made costume. also I’m not a huge fan of metal/plastic body armor for superheroes, I like more fabric then latex/armor.

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