Note: Some characters when they first come onto the comic scene are burdened down by costumes that don’t quite do them justice — just look at Marvel’s Daredevil. It wasn’t until Wally Wood came on a few months later did he switch it up to the Daredevil costume we know of today. In the pages of the current series X-Factor, artist David Yardin took on the challenge of redesigning Shatterstar, originally designed by Rob Liefeld. For it, Yardin toned back the design excesses of the 90s while keeping the spirit of the character alive. – Chris A.
Update: Shortly after posting this, Yardin chimed in to say that this redesign is partly based on the redesign Valentine DeLandro did in X-Factor #45, particularly the blades, the boots and the “X’s on his sleeves. Thanks, David! – Chris A.
Note: Some of the best designs in comics were one-off creations for an alternate reality story, and one of the best (in my own opinion) was the X-Force seen in the 1992 X-Force Annual #1. The designs for Shatterstar, a merged Power Pack heroine called Powerpax and a mature Magik by Greg Capullo were inspired. The other X-Force redesigns aren’t anything to talk about, but these three still stick in my mind. See my thoughts below. – Chris A.
When he was introduced, Shatterstar was little more than a teen version of Longshot and his costume by Rob Liefeld had a lot to complain about. This redesign by Capullo reconciles Liefeld’s ideas into a more cohesive design, and adds a more swashbuckling aspect to it. I like the loose top with the tight pants, and the armored headgear, shoulderpad and gauntlets work better than the previous leather ones.
Going by the name Darkchild in this continuity, Illyana Rasputin seems more level-headed and mature than her 616-counterpart, and this design brings in her armored elements with a nod to her brother’s metal visage is a good thing. The buccaneer gloves and boots might need to be reigned in a bit, but overall it’s memorable and functional.
SCarrying the mantle of Power Pack, this heroine Powerpax is a hereto-unknown new character called Francine Powers carrying the powers of the entire Power Pack team. The story’s too short to get into this unique amalgamation, but the design is solid.
Note: Artists redesign characters to give them new look, but also to give them a new story. Concept artist David Tran recently dreamt up a team of X-Men lead by Magneto that’s striking in both the character design and the intrigue of the story behind it. – Chris A.
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