Karl Kerschl Variant Cover for Superman/Wonder Woman #10

I’m absolutely in love with the Trinity redesigns on this cover illo from one of my favorite comics creators, Karl Kerschl, featured as part of DC’s variant covers celebrating Batman’s 75th anniversary. I checked in with Mr. Kerschl (soon to be launching the Gotham Academy series with writers Becky Cloonan and Brenden Fletcher) over on Twitter today to ask about these redesigns, and they are indeed his original creations, having been given some leeway from VP of Art Direction and Design (and the first person at DC Comics to ever give me his business card–old school logo!) Mark Chiarello.

I’m not at all surprised to hear that Mr. Chiarello chose to give Karl a free hand in the costuming department, as he’s been a shepherding creative force behind so many of the best things DC’s done in recent memory: Wednesday Comics, Batman: Ego, New Frontier, etc. Anyway, this shot from Karl is so flipping exciting and fresh. The looks are instantly recognizable and all-together original. I’d love to be reading THESE incarnations of Bruce, Clark, and Diana in some team-up title somewhere. Come to think of it, why isn’t that a thing? A Mini-Justice League Heavy Hitters book? Been a long time since Kurt Busiek’s Trinity.

As a bonus, Mr. Kerschl provided me with this original version of the layered inks–featuring boss-as-Rao mechawings for Clark–to share with all you Rooftop Readers. Flipping cool!


Everything about these looks is awesome. They’re modern and exciting without relying on conventional redesign tropes we’ve seen over and over for these characters (and so many others). No stripe or seams down the sides of the torsos ala the Legion of Superheroes costumes. No cape-into-the-shield for Superman. Clever invisible armor for WW, and cool details like the emblem on Bruce’s shoulder, the Supershield shape as the bottom triangle in Superman’s chest emblem. Is that a signal watch? Is Diana’s tiara shaped to resemble an eagle’s beak?

On Karl Kerschl’s drawing board, these three look sleek, exciting, and unstoppable. Not bad for an illustration of three septuagenarians. Sure as heck puts a smile on my face. –Dean

13 comments to “Karl Kerschl Variant Cover for Superman/Wonder Woman #10”
  1. Oh man, invisible armor for Diana. All these decades, and no one ever thought of that before? (Cue WW fans with issue references to correct me)

  2. This illustration simultaneously breaks my heart and reminds me that there is still good in the world. With everything the New52 has done to Superman, it’s always uplifting to see that some people at DC still get it.

    These designs are actually modern and fresh, as opposed to the Jim Lee redesigns, which are just plain old boring and predictable.

    Why doesn’t Lee go ahead and just give everyone mullets and trenchcoats already?

  3. I’ve always thought a yellow bat signal would look good on Batman. Not really digging the two-tone blue on Supes, and I prefer gold to silver on WW, but overall very, very good.

  4. It looks like Supes has some kind of mechanical wings in the line art that didn’t make it into the final color.

  5. I don’t think I’d have noticed the tiny Supershield shape if you hadn’t pointed it out, but I really love it. How has nobody done that before? It seems so obvious now.

  6. Methinks someone has been watching some Gatchaman (Battle of the Planets) when designing Batman’s helmet. Specifically the villain Berg Kattse/Zoltar. ;)

  7. I love duotone blue on Clark.
    I like the odd collar he’s wearing too, it’s at least different from the New 52 nehru collar. I would have echoed that design at the wrist, because Superman with gloves is a sin. Wait, is he wearing a watch?

  8. Yeah, those are great. I like the bat helmet ;) (and everything else, of course).

    Also really like the way the chestplate on Supe’s costume updates, but doesn’t overcomplicate. Lack of a cape is an interesting choice.

    The faceplate on Diana is pretty wicked. Her hips are weirding me out a little? Is that just me?

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