Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Solutions for Supergirl...

Sorry about taking so long to post this, I was called away from HQ to investigate reported sightings in Northern Canada of Alpha Flight, Canada's premier superhero team. While I was unable to find them I spent some quality time with a chipmunk, who was more than happy to eat from my hand and promised to alert me to the presence of any badly dressed costume commandos. In case you happen to spot them, this is what Alpha Flight looks like, and as you can see most of them are in desperate need of a makeover. But this post is about Supergirl, who is slightly related to Alpha Flight in that her cousin was created by Canadian born artist Jerry Seigel (with American born writer Joe Shuster) which can only lead one to suppose that in Shuster's mind Canada must be Krypton, and reveals the fact that Americans' fear its eventual overtaking of the world with its superior glacier technology. This also explains the chunky icy look in the film adaptations of the great planet Krypton--where fashion logic does not resemble our Earthly logic. Thankfully Canadians as a society dress better than Kryptonians (we tend to keep our underwear under our clothing) and avoid shiny glow-in-the-dark polyester robes. Supergirl is a character who has had a hard time getting out from under the shadow of her older, more established male cousin. Often portrayed as a female copy of Superman, yet emotional, more gullible and seemed to possess the unspoken super power of falling in love with the villain in disguise. While I find that amusing I'd like to see Supergirl become tougher (and she certainly has since Kara Zor-El was re-introduced into the mainstream DCU by writer Jeph Loeb and artist Michael Turner--read the collected issues in the Superman/Batman TPB "Supergirl"). While still maintaining her sweetness, youthfulness and exuberance she still wasn't afraid to let loose with the heat vision. So I took direct inspiration from her cousin's look and tried to give her a more imposing and powerful look. Her long sleeve mid-riff baring top has been replaced with a no sleeve blue bodysuit and yellow belt with red shorts, red boots and red gloves. I wanted something with clean lines and no cape, as both Superman and Supergirl wear their costumes under their clothes and capes tend to add a lot of bulk. I love a cape as much as the next guy, and certainly Supergirl has little to fear from cape catastrophes I still thought it might be nice to try a capeless look for the Girl of Steel. With that in mind and again looking to Jeph Loeb's re-vamp of the character I decided that I'd like to see a more obvious Amazon influence in her costuming as she states the fact that part of her uniform takes its inspiration from Amazonian culture. While Supergirl generally needs no armour I liked the idea of a stylized breast plate with a reinforced leather bodice and thought the Amazons' would likely have awarded her bracelets as a sign of their acceptance of her. Her hair is slightly inspired by Wonder Woman's from the 1970s Super Friends series. The blue pants and red boots acknowledge her connection to Superman and she still bears his symbol. I also really loved what Jeph Loeb did with Kara and would like to see more of that reflected in her attitude and dress. Anything likely to hurt Supergirl would be more than likely to hurt such a uniform, but I love the idea of Kara playing bullets and bracelets with kryptonite bullets, which since her arrival on Earth have been in plentiful supply (check your local K-Mart...you never know). While I believe a lot of said Kryptonite has been locked away for Kryptonian protection, it'll only be a matter of time before the vault explodes and every petty villain will have kryptonite in their backyard. Again. Part of Supergirl's role in the DCU is to act as a balance to her cousin and an inspiration to young women everywhere. In a sense she's a kind of cheerleader or as some prefer "inspiration leader". With that in mind I wanted something cute, and with a skirt and cape. I'm not against either if used properly. Skirts should be at the minimum mid-thigh and accompanied with hot pants or some similar piece of underclothing that you will look decent in when you are inevitably exposed. Capes require a suspension of disbelief for a variety of reasons but they still look good on a hero so we accept them most of the time. Also if composed of Kryptonian fabric the cape affords a shield of invulnerability that is useful in protecting innocent bystanders. I decided to make a nod to her connection to Power Girl in terms of colour scheme while still using to small "S-shields" to anchor her cape, and remind us of her cousin and origin. I kept the gold trim of the Turner design but changed the boots to white. While I recognize for most people white boots are problematic, these are Kryptonian boots which are indestructible, so a quick blast of heat vision or super breath will keep them looking clean and pristine. If Superman is the world's biggest Boy Scout than Supergirl should have at least a dash of Girl Scout, and I like the look of her as the world's deadliest cheerleader. I think it was Peter David who spoke of the Supergirl we all love and remember as the 1960s-70s Supergirl full of innocence and joy and ready to fall in love with any handsome super-villain she could find. Peter David's run on Supergirl was amazing, and while Kara Zor-El was not the title character her presence resonated throughout the series. You should read it (though only two TPBs were released the first one simply called "Supergirl" introduces us to Matrix and tells the story of how she becomes Linda Danvers, and the second, "Supergirl: Many Happy Returns" introduces Linda Danvers to Kara Zor-El). At any rate I digress, though good stories artist Ed Benes in the second TPB transforms Linda's skirt into little more than a spandex belt. The last thought on Kara that I have is actually Kara Zor-L, or perhaps as she's better known--Power Girl. For a long time she's been unable to publicly acknowledge her ties to both Krypton and the House of El (or L). Now everyone knows she's the Earth Two Superman's cousin from an alternate dimension, here as a powerhouse in the JSA and now appearing in her own eponymous monthly title. So I thought an addition was an order. I know it's a big gag in the comics world--the size of Power Girl's boobs and that her boobs are her symbol, but I think it's a little old. She can have an "S" and still bare a bit of chest, and while we're at it, notched bottoms--NO THONGS. I really quite like Power Girl and really enjoy Amanda Conner's art--I'm looking forward to reading it. I am very far behind on my comic book reading and have a week's worth of reading to do to catch up. I'm also collaborating on my own original works including an online comic or two and some animated stuff, but more on that later. So between chipmunks, hunting for Sasquatch and all the rest, the Fashion Sentinel has been a little busy as of late. But not so busy that I haven't been constantly attempting to locate my many and various targets. As the Fashion Sentinel I often feel it is part of my duty to avenge the costume crimes committed against the various heroes and villains I target. After all, its not their fault if they look bad, they're just drawn that way. Sometimes it seems to me that the artists and writers aren't giving the characters the portray enough respect, and with that we come to my latest target in need of avenging. TARGET ACQUIRED: Wanda Maximoff AKA the Scarlet Witch and member of the Avengers.
Superman, Supergirl, Power Girl, Wonder Woman, Kara Zor-El, Kara Zor-L, Linda Danvers, Matrix and all related symbols, insignia, costumes etc, are all © Trademarks of DC Comics and the images reproduced here are used only as examples of my ideas for various costumes and the promotion of DC Comics
Alpha Flight, the Scarlet Witch, the Avengers and all related symbols, insignia, costumes etc, are all © Trademarks of Marvel Comics and the images reproduced here are used only as illustrations for the purpose of costume critique and the promotion of Marvel Comics

7 comments:

  1. Love 'em all, but love Supergirl's hair in the Amazon one!

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  2. I especially love the Amazonian Supergirl re-imagining - just gorgeous.

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  3. Thanks--its my fav too, but I have a bias.

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  4. My fave is your Powergirl... she looks strong and feminine, and I love your take on the bustline - the flesh 'S'!

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  5. I love Supergirl since I was a child, however her costume never has been so genial. I like the last one because make her looks sexier than the others. Also I hate the first one because she looks like if she is gonna Purchase Viagra ,don't you think

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  6. Buddy I like your article too much, but I would like asking you something... Do you know if is true Super Girl is gonna have her own movie the next year or it's only a rumor??? BTW, great post, I like it even more than Generic Viagra .

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