Note: There’s more to life than work, even for DC’s featured females. Elizabeth Beals has taken some of DC’s top heroes and villains and given them some after-hours hipster makeovers. Harley and Kory are the best! – Chris Arrant
Note: We’ve been fortunate to have many talented artists come thru P:R over the years from then-unknowns like Jamie McKelvie and Joe Quinones down to more recent breakout stars like Kris Anka and Dennis Medri. One of our most favorite P:R alums has been Annie Wu, and she’s currently tearing up both the comics and animation world. In addition to working on Marvel’s Hawkeye series, Wu is doing a stint on DC’s Batman Beyond series with writer Scott Peterson introducing an all-new Batgirl. And given Wu’s previous redesigns we’ve featured here, I couldn’t imagine a better artist to take on this challenge. With the first chapter of Wu’s Batman Beyond coming this weekend digitally, we talked to her about redesigning Batgirl for Neo Gotham. Thanks to Annie and DC for giving us the exclusive on these design sketches. – Chris Arrant
Project: Rooftop: Thanks for agreeing to do this, Annie. First thing’s first – how did you and Scott develop this new Batgirl and this new look?
Annie Wu: Scott Peterson broke down some of the main points for me to keep in mind, but apart from that, I had a nearly blank canvas. A lot of her attitude and look came down to what kind of character I wanted to see when I was a teen. So after hitting those ideas hard in initial scribbles, I presented a refined sketch to Scott and our editor at the time Jim Chadwick. The only big note I got was about adding a splash of color somewhere because, being as I am, I sent in this, like, all dark-grey and black uniform. I think that was the only thing, actually. So from there I refined things and messed around with some details on my own.
P:R: Since it takes place in the time period of Batman Beyond, how did you accommodate trying to make it look futuristic without being cliché?
Wu: Of course, the immediate thought when given the task to create a costume for Batgirl Beyond is to do a girl version of Terry McGinnis’ awesome suit, but you can’t! First of all, that’s no fun and, secondly, it doesn’t make sense because she’s not coming from the same place as Terry. So I guess I was addressing it more with the focus of “What are the needs of this particular individual who lives in Neo Gotham” rather than “Holy crap, it’s the future, I need to make it look futuristic.” With the former approach, any futuristic vibes are inherent, whereas the latter is kind of a slippery slope for clichés. Not that I don’t love a little bit of future-campiness sometimes. Actually, now that I think about it, I realize I’ve completely squandered an opportunity to put a Bat-character in one of those Back to the Future II hats.
Note: Some say you never get a second chance to make a first impression, but Pericles Junior hopes to do that with his second rendition of the Teen Titans kids. After appearing here last month, Pericles brought back the kids and posed them more front-and-center to show off his various ideas for the costumes. While not all of them are home runs, I like the the militaristic Superboy — especially offset by the slacker Supergirl. – Chris A.
Note: It seems seeing your favorite heroes and villains transformed and twisted into new times and locales is a popular past-time for artists, as Costa Giovanni has stepped up to the plate and taken Gotham’s gang into the Wild West, Sergio Leone style. Costa’s style really works here, and the standouts for me are the turncoat Two-Face and the Native American Nightwing. Thanks, Giovanni! – Chris A.
Note: A new artist comes into the P:R fold today as Ha Huy Hoang submitted some excellent redesigns of Batman and his associates. Designed with the intention of it being an animated series, Hoang mixes practicality with straight-up cartoony-ness that is a lot to love. I especially love that Red Hood design. – Chris A.
Note: We’ve seen artists do super-hero mash-up costumes from years, from fan-driven ones to offical ones like the DC/Marvel Amalgam books and the more recent Phoenix Five heroes in Avengers Vs. X-Men. And now, the energetic artist Corey Lewis has turned into us a mash-up that leaves them all in the dust — Sailor Moon meets Batgirl. Lewis has really made this more than just a quick wardrobe changing, putting alot of thinking to make this a cohesive design that’s faithful to both characters. The only question I have is… does this make Batman Tuxedo Mask? – Chris A.
Note: After reimagining Batman, Nightwing and Robin in the seedy 1950s greaser scene, artist Denis Medri returns to take a look at the rogues of Gotham and more of Batman’s supporting. Catwoman, Joker, Poison Ivy and Bane join Batgirl, James Gordon and Alfred in round out this amazing collection of Rockabilly gothamites. It’s interesting to note that reimagining Catwoman for the 1950s brings her costume full circle, close to her original suit from the 1940s. – Chris A.
Note: Readers of Project: Rooftop have seen Ming Doyle grow to become an artist dynamo. She won our Superman: Man of Style contest, ranked high with her cosplay of Batgirl, and has become an integral part of the site. Doyle recently began doing work at Marvel on Girl Comics #1 and the recent Fantastic Four #600, and we’re excited to see what she does next! – Chris A.
Note: Batman: The Animated Series inspired an entire generation of artists, and storyboard artist Matthew Humphreys is paying that forward with this set of inspired animated reboots of some of Gotham’s Finest. No Batman here, but he’s not needed with the style and substance on display. Check out Poison Ivy’s cloak, and the haunting redesign of Clayface! – Chris A.