Some of the most intense debates over minor comic details often come from one single element of the superhero genre: Batman's costume. Yellow oval or black bat? Belt pouches or capsules? Blue and grey or all black? With as many variations as there have been on one of the most iconic looks in history, there's no shortage of things to argue about, and today, we're going to settle one of the most long-lasting debates: How long should Batman's ears be?
Cartoonist Kate Beaton, in her always insightful webcomic Hark, a Vagrant, recently published a page of comics about Marvel's Cloak and Dagger, and specifically about the obvious problems with the dagger-shaped cut-out in Dagger's costume. You should read the whole thing, much of which we can't post here because of the cartoon nipples.
Obviously Dagger's look is coming under increased scrutiny because a Cloak and Dagger television series is on its way to the Freeform Network. It says a lot about the weird standards of superhero comics that we don't even have to wonder if Dagger will be dressed similarly on television; there's simply no way the TV show will use the same costume. A plunging dagger-shaped cut-out that reveals cleavage and navel simply isn't something a television superhero might wear. But in comics, it's a costume that can last for thirty years.
This week saw the release of Batman #50, and as you might expect from that big round number, it's a pretty big deal. It's the final act of Scott Snyder, Greg Capullo, Danny Miki and FCO Plascencia's "Superheavy," in which former Gotham City Police Commissioner Jim Gordon took over the role of Batman with the help of a robotic bat-suit, and --- perhaps unsurprisingly --- it marks the return of Bruce Wayne to the cape and cowl. A slightly different cape and cowl.
Yes, he might still be Batman, but this issue features the debut of a new costume for the Caped Crusader, and that means that it's time once again to go deep with an extremely thorough review of Batman's new costume.
The comics community is certainly no stranger to fans dressing up in costumes to show their love for their favorite characters, but while conventions are dominated by cosplayers who put an incredible amount of time and dedication into their craft, Halloween is for the rest of us lazy slobs. Yes...
We live in a time of awesome superhero costumes in comics. The rise and rise of cosplay culture, the emergence of comic artists with a savvy understanding of fashion, and the slow diversification that's making heroes palatable to a broader audience, have all contributed to a costuming culture with more to offer than capes and pants.
Superhero costumes have always been an asset to the industry, because iconography helps establish character and create a brand. But the value of costumes in reaching audiences and reinventing characters seems to be recognized now as never before, leading to the rise of artist-designers like Jamie McKelvie and Kris Anka, who don't even need to be on a particular book in order to be called in to make-over the characters. This is a great leap forward in understanding just what a good costume can do -- and the special skills required to do it.
With Captain America: The Winter Soldier and The Amazing Spider-Man 2 in theaters now and an X-Men movie just around the corner, we are once again in the midst of the summer superhero movies, and that can mean only one thing: It's Infographic Season! Yes, we are once again at the mercy of those easily digestible fact sheets with slightly dubious information, designed to go viral just like some horrifying apocalyptic disease created in a lab by a mad scientist.
Oh c'mon, I'm kidding. But really, when you put something up and claim that it's "Every Costume Spider-Man Has Ever Worn," like Mashable did this week, you're just asking for some dork to come along and correct you. And today, my friends, I am that dork.
Q: What do you think is the essence of making a great iconic costume? -- @thenoirguy
A: With comics being a visual medium and all, especially one that's dominated by a genre marked by its own goofy language of symbolism and iconography, I think about superhero costumes pretty often. I mean, I cannot count the number of times I have written the words "Batman's Batman-Shaped Kneepads" over the past three years, but that said, I'll admit that I might not be the best person to answer this question. As Erica Henderson (artist of Subatomic Party Girls and the Ask Chris logo above) pointed out, I'm not an artist. Then she went ahead and answered the question, telling me that "It's pretty simple, iconic is something that's quick and easy to recognize. that's why nobody talks about Cable's costume."
Listen, Erica, I don't know what circles you run in, but I talk about Cable's costume a lot.
Though Justice League War is the first of DC Entertainment and Warner Bros. Animation's features to adapt a storyline from the New 52, it seems Wonder Woman will be getting a unique new look rather than donning Jim Lee's DC Comics design. In an image tweeted by PR professional Gary Miereanu, Wonder Woman (voiced by actress Michelle Monaghan) can be seen chatting with Steve Trevor over ice cream cones in a sleeveless suit with armbands, a higher-than-traditional neckline, and a slightly darker color scheme (more navy and crimson rather than brighter blues and reds). You can see what you think of Diana's upcoming Justice League War look -- or at least one of them? -- after the cut.
Movies: Comic book fans should be able to recognize some prominent eye, web and chest emblem changes to Spidey's suit in The Amazing Spider-Man 2 so far.
Movies: New Iron Man 3 character images see Pepper Potts and Tony Stark clutching some worse-for-the-wear helmets...
Novels: Marvel and Hyperion books are partnering for two new romance+action novels in June. Marta Acosta is writing The She-Hulk Diaries and Christine Woodward is writing Rogue Touch.
Gaming: Killer Croc, Riddler and Penguin have all popped up in a new Injustice: Gods Among Us still...