Thursday, May 28, 2009

Michael Turner's Costume Designs


I recently posted about Jamal Igle's proposed redesign of Supergirl's costume. And, as usual, there is a lot of talk on line about Kara's costume in general ... much of it focused on Igle and Matt Idelson's inclusion of bike shorts under her skirt.

With all that talk still resonating, I thought I would post some of Michael Turner's ideas about the costume. It is interesting to see how he took pieces of some of his different concepts to piece together Kara's current look. Looks like the belly shirt was a unifying theme to his thoughts.

These pictures are from the back pages of the Superman/Batman:Supergirl trade. Sorry for the lousy scans for pics that crossed the binding.

In this look we see the belly shirt and mini skirt look. Her boots are the classic Superman boots she wears now. But notice the short sleeves. Interesting.

I like how Turner played around with a variety of color schemes. I really like the first iteration with dark blue shirt and red skirt. I would have been very happy with that costume. The all white version is interesting, a play on the animated/later Linda Danvers look.

The last 2 in this series wouldn't have worked for me. Those powder blue boots look hideous.


This string looks very similar to our current uniform albeit with no cape. I kind of like the shorter looser appearing pirate-y boots. And here we have the gold ringed trumpet sleeves. Add these sleeves to the sketches above and you have the current costume.

For some reason, the red skirt and long blue sleeves is not as pleasing to me as the short sleeve version of the same color scheme above.

I definitely don't like the earth tones or war paint.



This last series seemed a bit too similar to Wonder Girl's uniform for my tastes. A sleeveless belly shirt and pants just doesn't say Supergirl to me. Again, there is no cape. I think this look has a little too much of a 'harem girl' feel to it as well.

But again, the different color schemes contemplated are sort of fun to look at.

The red based ones really seem too much like Cassie. Of all these, I like the last one best - white shirt, blue pants, and red boots. Feels like the embodiment of 'truth, justice, and the American way!'


Anyways, I think Turner put together a fresh look for Supergirl. I am more of a fan of the Matrix look. But if we were going with the belly shirt, I think I may have preferred this 'short sleeve dark blue shirt, red skirt' version.

What do you all think? Any of these strike your fancy?

23 comments:

mspote said...

I guess my problems are not so much with the costume as with the fact that Turner's Supergirl is anorexic and oversexualized. I am glad Igle has at least added the bike shorts and has made the midriff more covered. I wish they'd go back to a Helen Slater, classic style costume, though. Modest yet very attractive.

Nikki said...

I'm glad he went with the blue skirt like the first costume she wore. Girls wear the Turner outfit to every convention and they look great in it. We have to give Turner some allowances for his drawing style, all his girls are lean.

TalOs said...

Anj said...Anyways, I think Turner put together a fresh look for Supergirl. I am more of a fan of the Matrix look. But if we were going with the belly shirt, I think I may have preferred this 'short sleeve dark blue shirt, red skirt' version.I think it's a brilliant look too! Only you'd have to ditch the belly shirt and add on a Kryptonian bracelet in order to truly complete the look intended otherwise it will look as if the artist didn't put much thought in to wanting the overall flow of the design to match up. ;)

mspote said...I guess my problems are not so much with the costume as with the fact that Turner's Supergirl is anorexic and oversexualized.But we can't really fault the late Mr. Turner for this because that's just the way/style he drew in and if DC wanted different they should've got someone else to pencil her return at the time instead.

I am glad Igle has at least added the bike shorts and has made the midriff more covered.Oh agreed. Although, I'd might choose to make the bike shorts in to short-shorts instead so the shorts themselves don't end up being seen more so then her dress.

I wish they'd go back to a Helen Slater, classic style costume, though. Modest yet very attractive.Dude 100% fully agreed with, ah. Only I'd alter the look a tad wee bit in order to modernize it for the 21st Century. (And no that doesn't mean I'd give her a belly shirt ;))

Nikki said...

I'm glad he went with the blue skirt like the first costume she wore. Girls wear the Turner outfit to every convention and they look great in it. We have to give Turner some allowances for his drawing style, all his girls are lean.True, true only i'd respectfully have to disagree come the blue instead of red skirt color theme. Heh.

Anonymous said...

I can recall a lot of comment about the debut of the "Helen Slater costume" in Supergirl #13 back in what...1983? Some folks thought the skirt impractical for the modern super heroine on the go and there was the usual twittering about her high-cut leotard as well.
For me the skirt is symbolic....yes a feminine image but also slightly confrontational in that after the big battle, Reactron, Luthor or the Toyman may all reflect on the fact that they got their @sses whupped by a "girl in a skirt".
:D
Me though, I'm still a sucker for the hot pants.

John Feer

Gene said...

I like your choice with the red skirt too Anj. At least we have that version with the animated Kara in the final season of JLU.

The Matrix outfit is also my favorite, but I do like the current costume after Jamal added more fabric to it.

Anj said...

I guess my problems are not so much with the costume as with the fact that Turner's Supergirl is anorexic and oversexualized. I am glad Igle has at least added the bike shorts and has made the midriff more covered. I wish they'd go back to a Helen Slater, classic style costume, though. Modest yet very attractive..

Thanks for the post.

I think Turner was Turner. His women were all thin.

The Helen Slater is very close to the Matrix so I like it too.

Anj said...

I'm glad he went with the blue skirt like the first costume she wore. Girls wear the Turner outfit to every convention and they look great in it..

Thanks for the post.

I never thought about how Turner might have felt the blue skirt was retro to her original modest Silver Age costume. That's an intriguing point. Thanks!

The blue skirt fans must be sick of us red skirt rabble rousers.

Anj said...

I can recall a lot of comment about the debut of the "Helen Slater costume" in Supergirl #13 back in what...1983? Some folks thought the skirt impractical for the modern super heroine on the go and there was the usual twittering about her high-cut leotard as well..

Thanks for the post.

I also can remember those discussions expecially after Infantino did a couple of upskirt shots in the later issues of the 80s title.

Anj said...

I like your choice with the red skirt too Anj. At least we have that version with the animated Kara in the final season of JLU.

The Matrix outfit is also my favorite, but I do like the current costume after Jamal added more fabric to it.
.

Thanks for the post.

It is true that the JLU series ended with her in the red skirt. The upcoming Women of DC bust also has her in a red skirt.

And I have said it all along ... I also like the Igle tweaks to the current costume.

Yota said...

I've always thought that the blue skirt was boring; I, personally, hate it when people wear a top the same colour as their bottoms (Boo, tracksuits!). Red skirt all the way! Although, I do admit that I like the one with the pants, all the way to the right, with the white top, blue pants, and red boots; I'm sorry, but it's always seemed ridiculous to me for a hero that flies to wear a skirt.

Hm... Could Jamal's addition of red bicycle shorts be a throwback to the red skirt days?

--Yota.

TalOs said...

Yota said...Hm... Could Jamal's addition of red bicycle shorts be a throwback to the red skirt days?Heh, Y'know, I was thinking the very same thing as of late too! ;)

Anj said...

Although, I do admit that I like the one with the pants, all the way to the right, with the white top, blue pants, and red boots; I'm sorry, but it's always seemed ridiculous to me for a hero that flies to wear a skirt..

Thanks for the post.

That's the one that caught my attention too. Seemed like it worked together.

Anj said...

Yota said...Hm... Could Jamal's addition of red bicycle shorts be a throwback to the red skirt days?.

Heh, Y'know, I was thinking the very same thing as of late too! ;).

Thanks for the posts.

It is an interesting idea to exlpain the color of the shorts.

Whoever runs into Igle next should ask him.

Kandou Erik said...

What do you mean by Biker shorts? Have they already done this to Supergirl's costume (I did notice they where actually drawing actual pants underneath her skirt. Is that what you mean?)

I like Supergirl's costume as is. It's a modern look, but classic enough to please old and new fans alike. Yes, Michael Turner did draw her like a over-skinny runway model, but the artist on Supergirl has been drawing her just fine.

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TalOs said...

Kandou Erik said...What do you mean by Biker shorts? Have they already done this to Supergirl's costume (I did notice they where actually drawing actual pants underneath her skirt. Is that what you mean?)Yes that's exactly what we all mean when referring to them here. :)

I like Supergirl's costume as is. It's a modern look, but classic enough to please old and new fans alike.I too truly love, love, LOVE Micheal Turner's overall Supergirl costume design, however, in having has said that I really wish he didn't end up giving her a belly shirt (that's BARELY covering her breasts) and that 'blue' colored skirt that should be 'red' instead.

Yes, Michael Turner did draw her like a over-skinny runway model, but the artist on Supergirl has been drawing her just fine.Jamal Igle? Oh totally! He's just one of the best! BD

Off topic for a sec, y'all HAVE to check out the latest edition entry up at DC's The Source blog because it features some spoilers regarding the Superman family including Supergirl and an actual 2 page sneak peek preview to Supergirl Annual #1 even at that! ;)

Here's the specific url link:

http://dcublog.dccomics.com/2009/05/29/just-another-day-for-the-superman-group-editor/

TalOs said...

Doh! Try this instead:

http://dcublog.dccomics.com/2009/05/29/just-another-day-for-the-superman-group-editor/

TalOs said...

Oh and lastly, over at Newsarama's recently added "Dan DiDio: 20 Answers and 1 Question" edition Dan DiDio has asked the following regarding Superman...

And now for my question this time - now that we replaced Bruce Wayne with Dick Grayson, if we wanted to do the same with Superman, who could the one character to replace Clark Kent?Say wha? 0_0 Is he seriously looking in to replacing Kal-El as "Earth-0's" all new Superman while Kal-El stays on New Krypton? If so I vote for either John Henry Irons/Steel, Eradicator or Kon-El/Connor Kent/Superboy to be his replacement if DC is indeed ditching Mon-El who was intended to replace Superman while Superman is on New Krypton. If they really wanna be daring I'd say let Supergirl take over as Metropolis's newest protector in Superman's absence but I think Superman fans world wide would have such a hissy fit if they went a head with this. :/

Gene said...

TalOs: "If they really wanna be daring I'd say let Supergirl take over as Metropolis's newest protector in Superman's absence but I think Superman fans world wide would have such a hissy fit if they went a head with this. :/"

Reminds me of a story in Supergirl Showcase #1 where Clark Kent has a dream that he was old and retired and a grown Supergirl was Metropolis' new protector.

Jason said...

Thanks for this post Anj! I think this has been a great discussion. I do love the fact that it seems Supergirl's variation in costume style is something that has always stayed with her and with the fans since as long as she's been around. Her costume and fans' opinions of it has always been a part of her history.

Now where do I stand on it? Personally I would prefer an updated Helen Slater/Matrix version of the costume. It seems the most traditional to me, but it's also the one I grew up with the most. With that said, I do like Mike Turner's design. I don't think there is anything overtly wrong with it. Yes, I would prefer there was no belly shirt.

However, I think what he did at the time was combine to try to pay homage to the different versions of her costume over time. Here's how I think Turner's design breaks down. I think the blue skirt was an homage to her first appearances. I think the skirt itself regardless of color was in homage to most of her past costumes having a skirt. The belly shirt..as much as I dislike it...I can see is an homage to the belly shirt costume Linda wore toward the end of Peter David's run. And finally the pointed sleeves at the end appear to me to be an homage the Matrix costume. So...understanding all of that, I can respect his overall design as a tribute to all her past costumes.

Regarding the shorts under the skirt, I'm glad Igle added that. Though I really wouldn't have a problem with it being simply the bottom half of a one-piece bathing suit. I kind of don't like the shorts being so long in some of those shots. It just seems awkward to me.

Now I've pulled out my "Supergirl" tradepaperback that collects issues 1 - 9 of Peter David's run to make sure I say this next thing correctly. During these issues at least, Gary Frank drew the main part of Supergirl's costume as essentially a one-piece bathing suit with a skirt on it. I think that is perfectly tasteful. Looking threw these issues, there were shots that showed her skirt flipping up to reveal just the bottom half of this bathing suit (for lack of a better term), and I thought they were done tastefully because they were simply reflecting actual physics. If you look at the covers of Supergirl #2 and #3 of David's run, you can see examples of such shots. They look fine to me. There is a panel on page four of #3 of this run where her skirt if flipping up as she is floating down and again it's simply a one-piece bathing suit that we see - nothing graphic or dirty in my opinion. There is a shot in #4 of this run where Supergirl is trapped inside Chemo and she's upside down, and again we get what is in my opinion a tasteful shot of the bottom half of a bathing suit under the skirt. I'm fairly certain there are more examples of these shots in these 9 issues, so I will leave it at that instead of going on and on...LOL. Something tells me Anj probably has these issues and/or this tradepaperback, so he can confirm for himself. I don't mind under the skirt shots like that if it's done realistically and tastefully as I feel these particular examples are. Because honestly, if the girl is floating straight down feet first, conventional physics says that her skirt is going to flip up. You just can't get around that. Therefore I don't think there is anything wrong w/ tasteful shots that reflect this simple reality.

That's where I stand at least.

Anj said...

What do you mean by Biker shorts? Have they already done this to Supergirl's costume (I did notice they where actually drawing actual pants underneath her skirt. Is that what you mean?).

Yeah ... we mean the bike shorts under the skirt as added by Jamal Igle when he took over the title.

Anj said...

Thanks for this post Anj! I think this has been a great discussion. I do love the fact that it seems Supergirl's variation in costume style is something that has always stayed with her and with the fans since as long as she's been around. Her costume and fans' opinions of it has always been a part of her history..

Thanks for the great post.

I think about the Adventure comics run where readers submitted their designs and some made it into the book as a historical point about Kara's fans and obsession over her costume. So it has always been there.

I might need to post some of those issues at some point.

Regarding the shorts under the skirt, I'm glad Igle added that. Though I really wouldn't have a problem with it being simply the bottom half of a one-piece bathing suit. I kind of don't like the shorts being so long in some of those shots. It just seems awkward to me. .

I think you either have the shorts so that the skirt can obey the laws of physics. Or you have no shorts and the skirt magically stays down.

Gary Frank drew the main part of Supergirl's costume as essentially a one-piece bathing suit with a skirt on it..

Yes and that was also how it was drawn in the 'headband era' by folks like Infantino and Perez.

If you look at the covers of Supergirl #2 and #3 of David's run, you can see examples of such shots. They look fine to me. There is a panel on page four of #3 of this run where her skirt if flipping up as she is floating down and again it's simply a one-piece bathing suit that we see - nothing graphic or dirty in my opinion..

And you see similar shots in the later Infantino issues and even in COIE #7.

In some ways it points to the fact that it is not just the images but the context of the character and the artist. Given more cheesecake style of Churchill and the Kara of those issue, the up skirt shots seemed more titillating than these other examples.

Anonymous said...

Oh and let the record show, the upskirt shots (of Kara's leotard something as titillating as anything you'd see at the ballet) commenced in the new costume's debut issue (#13)...
:D
John Feer

Bubbly Bunny said...

Hey I think her costume currently is nice But that belt is very annoying I like how it was drawn in cry for justice but I think if they wanna stay with the turner design they should use the costume that supergirl wore in the later half of justice league animated series it looked like this: http://media.comicvine.com/uploads/0/3133/179838-197874-supergirl_super.JPG