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DC Women Kicking Ass

Thoughts, pictures, reviews and other stuff about the women in comics who kick ass. This is a feminist site. Deal with it.
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Apr 3 '13

A Look at Costume Designs to Fully Clothe Some Comics Ladies

I’ve received many, many, many notes asking my thoughts about the redesigns done by Michael Lee for several female comic characters. His pieces are the result of, as he says, 

An exercise in character design, attempting to clothe the heroines nearly all the way and not making them painted-on, while still keeping the look of their original costumes in some way.  Hopefully keeping them looking as iconic as the originally were. Just showing what can be done with a costume breaking outside the barrier of the norm.

He also notes that he’s not pushing a “moral code” with these designs.

The idea of redesigning costumes to reduce the amount of skin makes a lot of sense particularly with superheroes where exposed skin can mean an injury. And, of course, the fact that with the exception of the occassional costume, most male characters don’t flash much skin.

And they can give characters a new feel. For example, as of the best redesigns of any costume which also reduced exposed skin was done last year for DeConnick’s reboot of Carol Danvers into Captain Marvel. A year later and it already easily recognizable and makes the years that Marvel hung on to the old Ms. Marvel design seem silly. 

You may have seen these redesigns already as they have been all over the net and Tumblr. I saw them awhile ago and honestly? They didn’t all work for me. I certainly admire his effort and do like some of his work and would appreciate seeing less skin and “painted on” costumes. (Although I’m a firm believer that the costume isn’t always the problem). That said some of his elements - longer jackets and tunics, loose pants and color choices - didn’t appeal to me. You may, however, differ in view. And again, this was a great and appreciated effort. Here’s a look at each of the designs and my thoughts.image

I like idea of a suit but I’m not a lover of the long jacket and super wide pants. This would work better for me if the pants had about half the flare (or were tucked into boots) and the jacket was Tuxedo length. Love the pinstripes and the purple lining.


This seems very busy to me. I’d make the pants color more uniform to the rest of the costume - red or blue. Also I’d make the boots and pants less wrinkly. Less full metal jacket up front as well.


This is my favorite and does exactly what the artist intended - takes an iconic outfit and improves it. It would be a joy to look at Psylocke and not want to punch a wall.image

I like this except for the length of the tunic. I love how he retains the iconic “boob window” but puts some shades on it.


This is my second favorite. I’d like to see her pants more fitted ala Power Girl, but otherwise this looks good.


Similar to Wonder Woman the pants color breaks up the design. Acutally the tunic top is long enough to be a dress so tights would be work fine here. I’d tighten up the material of the boots as well.image

I like this best of all the DC designs. The top is great but the pants look a bit sloppy down the bottom. I’d tuck them into the books or narrow the bottom. Also notice how the shorter jacket tightens up the look.


I’ve long grown used to Vampira’s boobs and butt as part of her appearance but this outfit makes her immediately identifiable without little skin. This also one of my favorites because of the better fit.

There’s some good ideas here. Some of the redesigns of the new 52 have been awful (Power Girl and Supergirl I’m looking at you) and could benefit from some of the ideas here. 

What do you think?

  1. nelson-and-murdock reblogged this from dcwomenkickingass
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  6. unedopinion reblogged this from dcwomenkickingass and added:
    It all looks so… heavy. Thick and heavy, like the costumes are made for winter wear, especially with the wide pant look.
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  13. davidmoser reblogged this from dcwomenkickingass and added:
    Not perfect & the color choice on some seems off but really, really like the concept & the art. Better than a lot of the...
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  16. alpha621tutorialblog reblogged this from ibelievepracticemakesperfect and added:
    A /really/ good post to read that relates to designing costumes for female characters in comic books.
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