Catwoman and Supergirl are getting updates to their costumes, though it’s unclear if both announcements happening on the same day was a coincidence, or signals more to be revealed soon.
I have an automatic bias against superhero costume redesigns, because it means my carefully researched infographics are instantly outdated. And I’m especially wary of any attempt to redesign Catwoman because I feel like Darwyn Cooke achieved perfection with the costume he designed (with input from Ed Brubaker and his wife) in 2002.
But kidding aside (about the former; I’m not kidding about the Cooke design), the new costume design by Joëlle Jones is pretty good, even if it’s little confusing at first glance.
As revealed on DC’s website:
At it’s core, it’s basically the costume Michelle Pfeiffer wore in Batman Returns — corset and all — minus the stitches and heels. The Batman Returns outfit happens to be my second favorite Catwoman costume, so I’m okay with this idea.
The only questionable bit is the armpit windows. Is it an unusual fashion statement? Practicality in the form of ventilation? On closer inspection, it looks like her sleeves are actually a separate piece that are attached in middle over a sleeveless top. Now that I know what’s going on, actually kind of like the look. Maybe if the sleeves were a different color than the rest of the costume it wouldn’t look like strange cut-outs, especially when drawn almost in silhouette like on the cover of Catwoman #2 above.
The sleeveless top with arm coverings reminds me a little of the short-lived Frank Robbins-designed costume (which was actually just a modified version of an outfit worn by Golden Age heroine Black Cat).
But this might be just a coincidence, whereas the ring Jones included (attached where the sleeves connect?) is a clear callback to the zipper ring from Cooke’s design.
The new Supergirl costume revealed at Syfy.com is similarly confusing at first glance. When I first saw it, I thought it looked like three different costumes I might like all being worn at the same time.
But as writer Marc Andreyko points out in the interview, this is only a temporary costume. At the bottom of the page is a series of new designs by Jorge Jimenez that are going to appear.
“C” looks like a variation of “B” with a full body suit underneath, and a black cape that swings around in front to form a dramatic loincloth. And it turns out I was right, version “D” is basically all of them put together, plus a white logo out of nowhere.
I think what bugs me about the “D” sketch is that there are too many colors without a clear theme. There’s black-and-white, there’s blue-and-red, and then there’s two shades of red (the gloves and boots are a dark red?).
It works a little better on the solicited cover, where the gloves and boots have been colored black to go with the hood, and the cape is the only red element. Color theme restored? But the loincloth bit still isn’t quite working for me.
Syfy also included a preview of the cover for the following issue (on the right), in which she’s wearing “A.” Is each cover and issue going to showcase a different costume? Possibly leading up to a final, new costume? I guess we’ll see.
Mild-mannered UI/UX designer by day and freelance writer/artist by night, nothing can stop Kate Willaert in her quest to analyze everything in geek culture. She also writes about video game history for GameHistory.org.