Comics Creators

Superhero design discussion thread


This thread was inspired by the recent controversy around Erik Larsen’s tweets regarding female costume design.

Here, we can discuss all superhero design, not just the female. Best designs, worst designs, etc.

Marvel's Jack O'Lantern: a study in design
The Marvel Comics Thread

If you’re not bullet proof, wear armor. If you are bullet-proof, don’t wear armor.

If you’re Daredevil, retire. Seriously, Spider-Man, Punisher and Luke Cage can handle your turf.


My favorite costume is PreNu52 Apollo’s from the Authority. I’ve always loved the simplicity and cleanness of the design. Most of my old City of Heroes characters had at least one Apollo inspired costume to use in raids where capes and auras could cause major system slowdowns.

On the other end in terms of a costume with a life of its own, I like Storm’s original look… especially the unstable molecule double gull-wing cape. The costume piece was a character before McFarlane did it with Spawn and Batman.


Funny you should mention Spawn. I’ve never been too fond of that design. It’s too busy, with all the spikes and chains and pouches and the cape that could carpet a living room floor.

Another design that I’ve never been too fond of:

No disrespect to Walt Simonson, but there’s just too much going on this design.


It’s funny you should mention City of Heroes: I was thinking recently about how a lot of recent costume redesigns, particularly upcoming DC ones, should probably have been tested on the old CoH costume tool first.

I miss that game.


Many of the redesigns probably might not have made it if they had.


Erik Larsen expands on his comments on Twitter and they aren’t anywhere near as controversial as they appeared (he made his Ms Marvel comments about Carol Danvers having forgotten the names had changed):


The concept of “revealing” is weird as a character wearing spandex top to bottom is essentially naked as drawn; coloring her a flesh tone color or the color of the uniform doesn’t really make what she is wearing more or less “revealing.”


Here’s an interesting discussion on some of the costume designs that have been brought into question more recently. I like the artists’ thoughts on design.


Correcting a slight oversight. Starting a thread about superhero designs and not posting a link to this website:

Project : Rooftop


I usually only like costumes that adhere to my own personal rules regarding clothes. Never wear more than 3 colors at a time, keep patterns to a bare minimum and red and black always looks cool.


A lot like the costume for Silk Spectre was handled in Watchmen, huh? Drawn as thin silk, it was enhanced with a bunch of Spandex or panty-hose or whatever to prevent frostbite. Phantom Lady (Spectre’s model) was even more with the three-hankies-and-a-belt.

Super-people do not wear plaid.


Well it is funny. If you have a super-heroine wearing green spandex, then she’s covered up. But if the exact same figure is She-Hulk, then she’s showing a lot of skin.


This Phantom Lady, right?

Phantom Lady 17.jpg
"Phantom Lady 17" by "Phantom Lady #17". Grand Comics Database Project. Retrieved 2005-06-19.. Licensed under Fair use via Wikipedia.


Exactly. She wore green at times, too - a bit like early Catwoman. Phantom Lady was hard core! :smile:


The Quality Comics Phantom Lady dressed conservatively by comparison:


10 SUPERHERO Extreme Makeovers: The Good, the Bad, and the OMG!


The movie version actually made a bit more sense, but was still a bit ridiculous. I get the feeling that the yellow and black design was something of an homage to “B” (bee) in KILL BILL.


The flaw in your theory is that the Silk Spectre colour scheme predates Kill Bill by a couple of decades.