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By: Alexander Jones

Designer Kris Anka has just crafted some new threads for Jessica Drew A.K.A. Spider-Woman, a woman in need of a super-makeover. Anka has been pulled into reinvent some classic costumes with great results, including Storm’s newish outfit during Marvel NOW! that stuck around only because it was really fantastic. Anka’s new design for Drew will first debut in the Spider-Man Unlimited mobile game, then in March it will spin into the Spider-Woman ongoing title by Dennis Hopeless that spun it’s first web straight from the Spider-Verse.

The new outfit features a jacket, that is almost reminiscent of the new Batgirl outfit, with a couple more refinements in color scheme. The webbed tail surrounding the edges of the sleeves in particular is a great callback to past Spider-Man outfits, as are many of the other little details in the costume itself.

Brian Truitt debuted the news on USA Today, and shared this quote from Spider-Woman editor Nick Lowe:

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“they’re clothes to kick ass in.”

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Another interesting new feature are the gloves that sport the same black and red design from the rest of the outfit. It’s also great to see Marvel combatting some of the bad press they have seen with the Milo Manara variant cover with an outfit that seems more conservative in nature, especially when factoring in the preliminary sketches. It’s also simply enjoyable to see the same old Jessica Drew leaving 1977, she’s not a character that gets a costume design update once a year.

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30 COMMENTS

  1. Leave the jacket on over the spider symbol shirt. Or make the shirt with just a symbol, but keep the jacket on. I like the glasses though.

  2. “a woman in need of a super-makeover.” – No. Just, No. I might be in the minority, but her current, and long lasting costume is one that has just simply stood the test of time. It’s still beautiful today, it doesn’t even feel dated to me! This new one is just gah. Horrible, and teen trendy just to be teen trendy. No.

  3. >> That’s the street one block south of Burnside in Portland, OR, for those who don’t know >>

    That’d be Ankeny St.

    But Stark is a few blocks south, sure…

    kdb

  4. Kurt, it actually runs perpendicular to Burnside so when you’re a block west of Powell’s books, it’s a block away. We can both be right!

    I just hope they don’t make Spider-woman start tweeting and taking selfies and order gluten free stuff…

  5. I always feel bad for the artists in these situations. I know they are just following orders but they are the one’s who will be laughed at 10 years from now someone puts up display of bad old costumes and asks “What were they thinking?”.

  6. I like it, the same way I like the Bargirl of Burnside costume. Both she and Batgirl seems to have gotten younger and considerably less busty with their new costumes, which makes the brokeback pose harder.

    Someone mentioned the ease of cosplay for this new costume – it also makes a lot more practical movie costume as well.

  7. This costume is awesome. I don’t get the hate. It makes more sense, it’s younger and fresher, and it suits the character.

  8. I’m in love with this shift from “spray on bodysuits” to practical costumes for female characters. Technically, this was shifting before Batgirl. Captain Marvel’s flightsuit and Ms. Marvel’s costume were both modern and showing the potential for appeal. My wife saw these sketches and was immediately more interested in the book. What’s interesting in this feed (ignoring the random trolls) is that everyone who seems against this shift for female heroes and thinks the old look was just fine are men. Guys, I’m telling you: Women want to read comics, women want to read comics starring women, and women want to read comics starring women that don’t dress like bodypaint models in the Superhero issue of Playboy.

  9. Zeke, superhero costumes are not “spray on bodysuits”, they are just drawn that way. (In other news, “there are no lines in nature” either!) It’s a genre trope. Some are making it to be as bad as blackface. How is it disrespectful? I grew up reading “Spider-Woman” and it only reaffirmed my respect for strong independent women. Heck, I even married one! What’s next, ban violence in “capes”?

    “Women want to read comics”? Great news! Create a new character in this wonderful new costume.

  10. Risba, I’ve read comics my whole life (approaching 35 years now) and I’m well aware of the tropes for superhero costumes. So I feel like I can address each of your points as diplomatically as possible.

    “How is it disrespectful? I grew up reading “Spider-Woman” and it only reaffirmed my respect for strong independent women.” – While that is good to hear and I myself also married a strong independent woman, I have to say, the thought process that went into the original designs for female costumes in the 70s and 80s were not to court all readers, just adolescent male ones. Tits, ass, etc. The rules of design should establish function as well as form in something like comics. It’s why Iron Man, Captain America, and Batman all have costumes that follow that rule. Cap goes into battle not in a spandex costume, but composite armor, weapons vest, and even a helmet.

    “What’s next, ban violence in “capes”?” – I don’t see how costume design and this statement are a lateral debate line so… No? Probably not?

    “Women want to read comics”? Great news! Create a new character in this wonderful new costume.” – Why? I mean seriously, why? This isn’t changing Jess as a character at all. In fact, this is making her make more sense in the role. It’s even stated there. Also, just from a business perspective, Marvel is taking every opportunity to get women to enjoy their CORE characters. Hence why they’re trying to avoid perpetuating this:

    http://wac.450f.edgecastcdn.net/80450F/comicsalliance.com/files/2014/12/spider-woman-oldlook.jpg

  11. Zeke, agreed on the first part. Just saying I didn’t see it as exploitative. Similarly I didn’t see the violence as gratuitous. Even in my gentle formatting years I appreciated the aestheticization of it all.

    I don’t agree about the second part. Again, it’s a genre convention. Nobody pumps Batman’s tires, Zeke.

    As for the last part, I can only hope you’re right. I’m afraid it’s more complicated than that but I have no data to back it up. I guess we’ll see. I only wish it wasn’t on my expense.

  12. I hate SJWs as much as anyone but Spiderwoman’s old costume looks like it belongs in a Whitesnake video. And I don’t know what costume you’re looking at but the new one is still pretty tight.

  13. Not to mention, it would be impossible for a costume to change Jessica’s character, because she doesn’t any characterization. Hopefully this is the start of a multi-faceted approach to making better use of the character and giving her some actual personality.

  14. Kurt Busiek says:
    12/18/2014 at 6:52 pm
    >> That’s the street one block south of Burnside in Portland, OR, for those who don’t know >>
    That’d be Ankeny St.
    But Stark is a few blocks south, sure…
    kdb

    Considering the topic at hand, shouldn’t she be the Spider-Woman of DIVISION Street?

    I honestly have no problem with either costume…except I like the smaller glasses over the large facehugger glasses of the new design (they seem to be drawn differently for some reason….artistic license, maybe?) Know why I have no problem with the old or new costume? It’s comics. It can be whatever anyone wants it to be. Don’t like it? Move on. Do like it? Buy it. However, this costume redesign screams Daredevil #319 to me.

    I like the original designs for their, for lack of a better term, “comic-booky-ness”, but I like most redesigns for the more realistic practical feel. Nothing to get worked up over.

  15. I like the new costume. Despite this design and the new Batgirl costumes being designed for women, I’d totally wear a jacket with these designs as geeky every day wear. I wouldn’t wear the movie Star-Lord jacket, which never generated many complaints. Cool down, my geek peeps!

    The sided by side illustration makes me worry (as Portlandian notes) that not everyone will understand how to draw it. The leggings and sleeves both seem to be made of thick tough elastic fabric, like jeggings. The glasses are thin rimmed. The torso of the jacket is a leather like material (ha, it’s a reverse varsity jacket!) and is tailored but NOT form fitting and elastic.

    Frankly, even the initial sketches seem confused on the shapes when the jacket is unzipped. The folded over flap doesn’t match the shape of the zipped up front panel. This will all be cleared up when a talented cosplayer makes the jacket.

  16. “It’s why Iron Man, Captain America, and Batman all have costumes that follow that rule. Cap goes into battle not in a spandex costume, but composite armor, weapons vest, and even a helmet.”

    Alot of that comes from fans (and creators for that matter) who can’t suspend their disbelief long enough to allow for the fantastic elements (and fun) in superhero comics nowadays.

  17. I think Nostradamus said it best:

    “Everything is peaceful: Then someone redesigns Spider-woman costume… Shit gets real.”

  18. Will there be an in-story explanation as to why Spider-Woman has changed her outfit, like how there was in Batgirl? Just curious. Often outfit changes are sprung on us (and the characters) and everyone (other characters) act ignorant, as though the new costumer has always worn it.

    I guess Spider-Woman needed this makeover, since there’s going to be 2 other Spider-Women books. What a shame for Jessica, her chance to finally shine after Bendis’ short run, and they won’t even let her do that.

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