June 10, 2011

The DC Reboot & Magic Breasts.

For any of these pictures, click on them and you can see them full-sized.

I’ve tweeted about the DC Reboot, which for those non-comic types was the recent announcement that DC will be restarting all of its major series numerically and content-wise. Origin stories, and chances for fresh starts for characters.

I will say this here, I think this is a great idea. The problem with having extremely long continuities is that it makes it hard for new fans to step in- which is what the comics industry is in dire need of. Also, I do like the idea that you can get it digitally on release day. The only way for the comics industry to stay relevant is to keep adapting with new technology.

I was unsure of a couple things when they announced the reboot and the first few titles. And yesterday, I saw something that made me down right furious.

I wasn’t sure about rebooting Barbara Gordon as Batgirl. Like a lot of people, I’ve spent most of my life falling in love with who she became as Oracle – and I just wasn’t sure I wanted to see that erased. Here’s Jill Pantozzi’s reservations on the subject, which seemed to cover a lot of the reservations from fans. Because of that, Gail Simone (who will be writing Batgirl) sat down with Newsarama to answer some of Jill’s reservations as well as other questions. Based on what she said (pointing out that this doesn’t negate her becoming Oracle- it’s a chance to see her as Batgirl), I am more than willing to give it a shot.

The other thing that made me unsure about this reboot? Jim Lee handled the redesigns. I was not very thrilled with his “edgy” Wonder Woman from last year, and I wasn’t very happy with the first look at his new Wonder Woman. Or some of the other redesigns. Very ’90s.

This is the JLA image that was released with the announcement of the redesign, our first taste of Wonder Woman. It’s a lot like his “egdy” redesign, except that her jewelry is silver, and she has a bustier instead of a tank top. He managed to still give her a choker, albeit one that doesn’t look as lame as the last one.

Since I first saw this picture, they released the cover by Cliff Chiang for Wonder Woman #1. Which immediately made me feel better. Because my biggest complaint about the redesign for Wonder Woman was that Jim Lee gave her the skimpiest bustier known to man.

Men, I know you don’t care- to you it’s just cleavage. But I have breasts, and the image to the left is a problem. It’s the same problem that the Wonder Woman pilot’s costume had. The cups are cut too low. A lot of male artists like to think that breasts don’t move around. Breasts, even fake breasts, move. Especially if there isn’t much material covering them.

Would her costume look great if she were standing around? Yes. But honestly, the second she’d move with the way Jim Lee drew her, she’d be falling out of it. Not to mention, where the silver trim cuts across her cup is essentially where her nipples should be. Not very Wonder Woman-like at all.

So boo to Jim Lee’s drawing, but yay for Cliff Chiang. Also, Eric Canete posted a pretty great version to Twitpic last night.

As far as the other major DC characters go, I’m just not thrilled by the redesigns. Superman has a collar now. Ooooh.

I do like a lot of the titles that they’ve announced- I also like that they’re integrating some of the Vertigo characters in, and having various Justice League titles to accommodate them (Justice League Dark intrigues me). I admit I was a little sad that Blue Beetle wasn’t going to be Ted Kord, but I can see why they went with Jaime. Considering the lack of minorities in comics, getting rid of their first Hispanic superhero would have been bad.

Then came the announcement of Suicide Squad, which will include Harley Quinn.

I wrote a lengthy rant about this costume last night. It began, “I know that she was a psychiatrist when she met the joker, but who knew that Harleen Quinzel put herself through grad school by stripping?” But after drawing her a bit, I realized something- I wanted to judge her redesign on one cover. I have no idea how she’ll be drawn regularly in the book.

Admittedly, I am not a fan of Harley Quinn’s magic boobs. There is no way that that top would stay on the way it’s drawn. There is some cup structure, but as it’s laced, there’s no strain on her breasts at all- it seems to be hovering. I also think that there’s so much skin showing that she’s gone from the “sexy badass” I’m sure they intended to “skanky and desperate.”

Tip #2 for comic book artists: If you want your character to seem sexy, bare one asset. Show off her chest or legs, not both. Especially when you have a character as fair as Harley is, it just makes her seem even more naked.

There are a lot of things I like about the costume- I do like the departure from the red/black color scheme, and the red and blue is more visually arresting to me than the Arkham Asylum/City red and purple. It might be hard to tell, but on that ridiculously laced corset, there are sheaths built in for throwing knives. I also like the neck ruff notion around the neck that’s built onto the cloak- I just need to see more of it to decide if I like their redesign. Not to mention, I love the two tone hair.

What made me hold off on saying I hated it and would never like it? I drew her last night. I was so mad, I set aside my novel writing time to prove that all you had to do is add a little fabric and change the top a little and she’d look great. Ignore my coloring job- I used markers last night, so I made do with the colors I have- and was trying to get it done rather than get it right. I didn’t change much at all. I gave her pants, and tightened the corset (which I added straps to).

No, I’m trying not to be an apologist about my artwork- but I was rushing this. I’m not happy with the proportions, the pose… someday I’ll draw her right, but this was to show that covering her up a little bit makes a bit difference.

So what’s my point? I guess it’s that I’m still tired of artists trotting out 90’s Extreme-style costumes in attempt to seem sexy or edgy. Give me a good story and I’ll buy the next issue, and probably subscribe to the series. Slap a sleazy cover on it and I won’t even bother looking inside. Someone, please tell Jim Lee that most of us are embarrassed by the fashion of the 90s. There wasn’t much that was great about it, both in the real world and in comics. Perhaps it’s time to move on and actually look forward.

Which reminds me: if you want to see what’s possible when people actually look forward and try something new with redesigns? Check out Project Rooftop.

Tagged with: , , , , , ,