Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Poll 3: Which Is Your Favorite Supergirl Costume?

What with all the talk recently about Supergirl's current costume, I figured it might be fun to start a poll asking all visitors here which version they prefer. So, as always, please vote. And feel free to post why you prefer that costume. Poll closes next Wednesday at noon, just in time for the local comic shops to open and sell Supergirl #34 with Jamal Igle's new look.

Here are the costumes for you perusal. I tried to pick a couple of covers which featured the costume in a positive way and in some different angles.

1) 'The Original' or 'The Blue Skirt' - This is the version that Kara was wearing when she burst from that rocket on the cover of Action Comics #252. It's old school in a good way, harkening back to adventures when Kara was a girl young enough to be embarassed about her crush on Jerro the Mer-boy, riding a super-horse, and just finding her way in the world.

2) 'The Hot Pants' - Shortly after Supergirl graduated from being the back-up feature in Action Comics to headlining Adventure Comics, she switched to the 'Hot Pants' costume, complete with V-neck puffy sleeve shirt. This was the primary costume for Supergirl until the mid-80's.

Now certainly there were some minor changes, beaded short bottoms vs athletic shorts, slippers vs boots, choker vs no choker. But overall, the design remained fairly constant. This is the Supergirl I grew up with. The first Supergirl I read and enjoyed, making her my favorite character.

3) 'The Variants' - During her Adventure Comics run, the editors actually invited readers to design new versions of Supergirl's costume (see the cover the Adventure Comics #397 at the top of this post). Some of them were featured in issues!! I cannot imagine anything more engaging to readers, something which of course would never happen today. These versions include bathing suit styles and body suits as seen above but also thigh high boots and funky belts.

None have ever caught on with me, but I am sure there are fans out there.

4) 'The Headband' or 'The Crisis'- In the early 80's, the Supergirl movie was being made and the producers decided her costume needed to be changed. The original movie design included a head band and red shoulders on the shirt as well as a red mini-skirt.

DC Comics decided to change the comic book costume to be more in tune with the movie and so unveiled the costume above. Kara explained that she added the headband as a flourish of Kryptonian culture.

Alas, the movie changed their mind and went with a more Matrix-esque version. DC kept the headband look for the remainder of that Kara's career, cut short in Crisis on Infinite Earths #7.

5) 'The Matrix' - My personal favorite. When John Byrne re-introduced Supergirl as Matrix, the protoplasmic heroine from a pocket universe, he put her in this costume, one which I feel is the most iconic. Here with a flowing skirt of decent length and the classic blue shirt with S-Shield, she exudes presence and strength.

Flourishes I like are the pointy sleeve ends and the pointy belt. Supergirl just looks like a hero in this costume.

6) 'The White Shirt' or 'The Timm' - In the late 90's, DC Comics was enjoying great success with animated versions of their properties. Bruce Timm was the mastermind behind Batman: The Animated Series and the Superman: The Animated Series.

In the Superman animated series, a Supergirl was introduced, a young girl named Kara from the planet Argo, a planet in Krypton's solar system. She lands on Earth and befriends Superman, living with the Kents and fighting crime. She dons an updated costume with a white belly-shirt and blue dress.

In a case of 'history repeating itself', DC decided to take advantage of the animated branding by having the comic book Supergirl, a conflicted and now slightly depowered girl named Linda Danvers, don the white shirt costume. She wore this costume throughout the remainder of her run as Supergirl.

7) 'The Turner' or Current- In 2004, DC decided to re-introduce Supergirl as Superman's cousin. Suddenly my beloved Matrix/Linda Danvers version was ret-conned out of existence, paving the way for a young Kryptonian with a 'simple origin' to take on the mantle of Supergirl.

With a new design by uber-fan-favorite Michael Turner and written by Jeph Loeb, a conflicted Kara lands on Earth and dons this version, apparently designed by Ma Kent. Again, Supergirl is in a belly shirt, now the more classic blue, with gold trim and a blue mini-skirt. There have been slight variations along the way different belts and different lengths and sizes of shirt and skirt, but the overall design remains Turner's.

All versions have their plusses and minuses. And I am sure I have missed or not mentioned some of the rarer or seldom seen costumes (adult Linda Danvers full white shirt version from Many Happy Returns comes to mind immediately) but I think I covered the big ones.

I hope people vote. I really enjoyed hearing people's thoughts about the Final Crisis #3 cover.


Heath Edwards said...

aargh, i'm torn between the headband version, and the turner version. i must pull out the garza issue, and see how he used kara's headband.

Marc Burkhardt said...

I liked the Matrix costume, but I gotta go with the Hot Pants. That's the Supergirl I grew up with.

Anonymous said...

I went with #1, the original blue dress. The Matrix costume is a close second; I just like the solid blue look better. I didn't really grow up with any version of Supergirl (other than a vague memory of the Crisis), so I'm basing my choice simply on what I think looks best on her.

That blue bodysuit from that issue of Adventure Comics is a good look too.

Anonymous said...

I went with the Matrix outfit... not only is it the one i'm most familiar with but it makes Supergirl look modest.

Anonymous said...

#6. i loved when Peter David's Supergirl started wearing that costume. :)

Anonymous said...

I like the hot pants and slippers, mostly because they were the best compromise between sexiness and practicality as defined by the middle aged men that ran DC circa 1971.
I have though, a very very soft spot in my heart for the original 1959 blue minidress with it's variable hemline and occasional pleats...call me old fashioned.

John Feer

Anj said...

Thanks all so much for your comments! I love hearing what other Supergirl fans have to say about her!

I like the scatter so far too, with no version pulling away.

Anonymous said...

the movie costume..

for more reference, check this little project of mine, still have to add 3 more costumes..


Anonymous said...

Although deep down I like the notion of a super-wardrobe...different costumes for different occasions. Hell I don't understand how male heroes wear the same thing day in day out let alone a young fashion conscious female.

John Feer

Anj said...

for more reference, check this little project of mine, still have to add 3 more costumes.

Nice work!
Very comprehensive ... especially of 'The Variants'!

Anonymous said...

Supergirl has not been treaty the same way as male characters and some other female characters, the notion that is a teen aged girl has given creators ideas that maybe right for characterization (teens change the way they dress frequently, they go with fashion, etc..) but are not good for merchandising and product recognition.

thanks for the comment on the image.

Anj said...

I agree with mhunt (thanks for the post) that frequent costume changes for characters do hurt the branding, especially for something as recognizable as the S-shield.

I am a one costume kind of guy.

Anonymous said...

100% total agreement with, anj! :)

Personally, I'd have to go with mhunt in preferring Supergirl's official costume being the 84 movie's/John Byrne eras 'Matrix' look! (Only WITH the pointy sleeves and LOSE the red belt loops though! Looks even more stream lined that way. ;))

hhg said...

Hi! I voted for Supergirl's Matrix costume. I feel it is the most iconic of her costumes. This is the costume I saw Supergirl wear in the 1984 movie when I was first introduced to the character. It is my favorite costume because it reminds me of Helen Slater's performance, and all the good she represents. Leonard Kirk also did amazing artwork with this costume! I liked the way she looked so powerful. I liked the way he drew her cape long, and the way the cape flowed from her shoulders.

Anj said...

Leonard Kirk also did amazing artwork with this costume! I liked the way she looked so powerful. I liked the way he drew her cape long, and the way the cape flowed from her shoulders.

Thanks for the post.

I also like Kirk's art on the PAD series. I really did a great job with that costume, and that was with him following Gary Frank (huge shoes to fill).

Anonymous said...

I recon!

On another note, it seems that the "Matrix" era look seems to be in the lead right now out of most preferred looks.