Okay, guys, can I let you in on something? This is a safe rooftop space, right? I’ve ALWAYS disliked Spider-Woman’s costume. Sure, there’s an elegance to the simplicity, but the naked+lines look feels really dated, and kinda has in my mind, at least, since I was in school. I’ve often thought about a Spider-Woman redesign contest here at Rooftop, but there’s so much love from fans of the retro, boobtalanche design, so I’ve held off. Fortunately, P:R mainstay Kris Anka has been murdering on new looks for Marvel this past few years, and they asked him to take S-W’s wardrobe apart and put it back together.It’s pretty obviously a great updated, drawing on the potential street-wear aesthetics of the best superhero redesigners in the business right now, Jamie McKelvie, Cameron Stewart, Babs Tarr, Robbi Rodriguez, Joe Quinones, and Anka himself, all folks who sure know how to bring out playful, the practical, and the cosplayer love. As a shop manager, I’m a little bugged this wasn’t the art and design with the launch of the new Spider-Woman series, which saw its share of controversy. But for my comics buyers, this looks like a great big step in the right direction.
What really catches me about this update is how much of the original Marie Severin design has been kept, while suiting her up in a more wearable, functional outfit. The color scheme, a simplified hourglass, now built into a spider emblem (home run), and the, um…underarm webs. Worked for Nightwing in the Animated Series. Kris was kind enough to let us in on the story of how this design came to be, so here are some thoughts from him as well as behind the scenes sketches of his thought process while working with editor Nick Lowe: Kris Anka: So it all began last July, during SDCC ’14. Nick Lowe came up to me and pulled me aside like we about to go down some back-alley, and whispered to me that he was looking to give Jess Drew a new design come the second arc of her solo series. KA: So it all began last July, during SDCC ’14. Nick Lowe came up to me and pulled me aside like we about to go down some back-alley, and whispered to me that he was looking to give Jess Drew a new design come the second arc of her solo series. KA: He gave me a quick pitch on the direction Jess was going to go with her life, then grasped me by the shoulder, looked me dead in the eye and said that we must get rid of the arrow pointing to her crotch.
KA: The initial idea I was given was a much more street-level look. Which I will grant you, was a little tough notion for me to get my head around. after some back and forth with Dennis Hopeless and a few other editors in the Spider-office, we began classying her up a bit more, getting away from the standard leather jacket look. KA: With each round of notes more “superhero” kept being added to her look (I was really pushing for the idea that she just uses floating lenses that could adhere to her face when it became a mask due to shield-tech or the some such). Then after a round of notes with Joe Quesada we arrived at a final look that I took a last pass over and flushed out the design to what it is now.