Monday, October 22, 2012

Supergirl Trade Talk: Costume Design

The first trade collection for the DCnU Supergirl came out this week and collected the first 7 issues of the title as well as a few extras. At 160 pages, Volume 1 Last Daughter of Krypton, is something of a steal at only $14.99.

One of the things that struck me is that the issues read well when read in one sitting, obviously the benefit of trade treatment. While I am still struck that the first couple of issues are decompressed, the momentum builds through the seven issues. Once the trip to Argo happens and the World Killers show up, the story moves faster and feels weightier. There is more for the reader to sift through, trying to piece together the puzzle of her origin just as Kara is doing the same. There still might be a bit too heavy reliance on splash pages and it was a relatively quick read but the pacing of the story seemed much better when read en masse.

And the trade ends on just the right note, this uplifting page of a tired, proud, smiling Supergirl ... thrilled she has won this battle and helped save Earth.

I was glad to see some extras in the back of the trade. There are some preliminary designs of the World Killers by Mahmud Asrar. And there is an unused cover for Supergirl #6 as well. But for me, the best of the extras are some costume designs for the DCnU Supergirl that weren't accepted.

So here are some of the other designs that Jim Lee came up with for Supergirl. I am glad that these weren't chosen. I think Supergirl needs to have the S-shield and this free-floating S just doesn't do it for me.

Of any of these, the bottom one, which has a little Laurel Gand feel to it, works best for me.

And it seems those 'open-kneed' boots were always part of the equation.

I have to say, this one stuck out to me as being the most visually unappealing. The mish-mash of blue and red and the silver shoulders on the cape just seem distracting. A costume should be sleek and smooth. This is too visually jarring.

Add to that the boob mini-window, the open neck and shoulders, the elbows being exposed. Well it reminded me too much of this ...

I should never ever ever ever ever ever be reminded of this horrific Invisible Woman costume, perhaps the worst hero costume ever.

More intriguing is this page of costume designs by Mahmud Asrar.

I think the bottom right is interesting as it looks like a sort of fetal version of the current Power Girl outfit. The 8 in the S-shield is also a nice touch, reminding me for some reason of DC 1,000,000.

I don't think I would like the mid-riff, pants version.

But this one is actually quite fetching. The single piece dress is evocative of her first costume and multiple variants that have been seen recently. The larger symbol being incorportated into the cape and collar gives it a sort of regal feeling. And the boots lack the open knees. Add flourishes of blue and this is a winner.

Of all of Jim Lee's versions, I think the one chosen is the best. I am glad they went in this direction rather than any of the above Lee designs. This has enough classic elements to make it feel right.


Kent G. Hare said...

Reverse the blue and the red on the next to last one (by Asrar?), the single-piece dress, and I think I would have liked that one best of all. You're right, though - of all the Lee designs they went with the least bad....

Martin Gray said...

The least bad indeed, but based on this little lot, Jim Lee really seems to be a terrible costume designer. I was tickled that you saw a Laurel Gand there there, Anj.

I'm not that struck by Mahmud's either, but agree that the leathery-looking one is best - as it is, I could see it as something for a Power Girl-aged Supergirl, rather than the younger version. i like Kent's colour ideas!

Anj said...

I think reversing the colors of the Asrar's red one piece would look great.

Reminded me of similar versions we have seen elsewhere:

Gustavo Delamarques said...


Anonymous said...

Y' know now that I look at it from a design standpoint it vaguely references ye old hotpants costume, red shorts with a blue top and offbeat footgear.