Thursday, June 19, 2008

The REAL power of the DC Universe poster

I know that this poster was unveiled at the New York Comicon back in April, but it was the focus of this week's DCNation column and I thought worth reviewing.

The idea here was to have Adam Hughes draw a poster of DC's 10 most powerful super-heroines, but put them in white evening gowns rather than their costumes. This gives some glamour to the women of DC, sort of an Annie Leibowitz 'Vanity Fair' take.

No doubt, Adam Hughes was the right guy for the job. He does draw women very well. He recently had a phenomenal run of Catwoman covers and also had a great run of Wonder Woman covers.

But you only need to go to his website to see that occassionally (okay more than occassionally) his pictures are more of a cheesecake variety than heroic. His women's proportions are usually over the top curvaceous and he places them often in provocative positions.

One thing that I have noticed however (at least in the images that I have seen), is he never seems to draw Wonder Woman or Supergirl in that manner. Wonder Woman always seems majestic and regal and powerful. Sexy, no doubt ... but in a more beautiful sophisticated way.

His Supergirl's tend to be more coy, cute, 'come hither' sexy. Remember, the current DC Supergirl is supposed to be about 17, so she shouldn't be over the top. Here is a close-up of her in this poster.

Sort of skirty and flirty right? Although that skirt can't get much shorter.

Here is his variant cover the Supergirl and the Legion of Superheroes issue 23.

Again, nothing over the top here. It has sort of a 50's ad campaign vibe to it.

And here are his designs on his Supergirl Women of DC Bust, modeled more on the Silver Age Supergirl.

Again, there is that understated peek-a-boo quality of sexiness here. It works well with that version of the Kara character.

I think he really hit the nail on the head here in this poster. Kara looks perfect.

Now there are other things to talk about when it comes to this poster.

First off, the DCNation column states that Dan Didio wanted Hughes to leave Catwoman off, but Hughes drew her in anyways. Thank goodness! Hughes is an known for Catwoman as he is Wonder Woman. I love how he put only her in black gown, showcasing her rebellious nature and moral ambiguity.

But second, can we really call this the 10 most powerful DC female heroes? First off, are Poison Ivy and Harley Quinn even heroes? Second, are these the most powerful? Where are Starfire, Big Barda, and Donna Troy just to name three? Maybe what they meant was the top 10 most powerful DC female heroes who are recognizable in white evening gowns rather then their costumes (although Starfire would be a no-brainer). As it is, it took me a while to puzzle out that the seated woman is Batwoman.

Anyways, at least he got Supergirl in there and represented her appropriately.


Heath Edwards said...

that is a NICE poster. love to get a copy of that...
and, i never would've been able to pick the batwoman if you'd not pointed it out. i think she might still be a little obscure, despite her being talked about all over the place. had a bit of trouble with black canary and vixen, too. i am disappointed not to see lois lane, but i suppose its all about the metas...
adam hughes draws a definitive zatanna, as well as wonder woman and catwoman...
you're dead right with supergirl. cute as a button...
t a pity, its not larger. i think the rest of the birds of prey would've fit pretty well into the company...

Anj said...

Thanks for the post.

I agree that there are plenty of other characters I would have loved to have in the poster. As you mentioned, Huntress would have been great.

As for me, I would have loved to see Barda and Donna Troy.

And if Oracle can be there, Lois Lane should have a spot too.

Manu Mane said...

I think Mister Hughes really respect the character of Diana. He's my favourite Wonder Woman illustrator for it !

I dislike the way of drawing superheroine like Playboy model. I've no problem with Playboy model, but I think this is a kind of treasom against the characters....

The huge talented Dick Giordano said in a book the seduction was not a breast size or leg lenghts issue, but it was in the light on the face and in the attitude ^^

I think to draw the superheroine in this way is better, because it doesn't take their dignity off :o