Thursday, August 23, 2012

Superman and The Avengers

It's images like this that remind me why Superman needs an "S" shield on his cape.  For some reason or other, designers want to keep it off the costume and I feel that it just makes him look a little more generic.  It started with Superman: The Animated Series and on into Justice League and Justice League Unlimited.  OK, those shows got just about everything else right, so I can give them a pass and accept the reasoning that it was too hard to animate (although somehow they managed it on Super Friends, decades earlier).  But then the live action movies decided to drop it - first on Superman Returns and now on Man of Steel.  I just don't get how in this era of CGI that it would be a problem and again, it works so well design-wise to keep the shield.  The worst cut was in DC New 52 costume redesigns, where now it is gone even in the comics!  I can understand the reasoning behind losing the red trunks but this omission I just don't get.  Add in the fact that they changed the color of his belt to red, and you now have hardly any yellow on the costume at all.  The overall result is that the uniform just looks like it's missing something.


Paper said...

Ross, I fully support DC's attempts to get rid of as much "yellow" (and red) as possible from Superman's look and design- from the belt (it was corny back then, its corny now)to the red boots. That goes for the "S" too. Personally, as a primary fan of Batman, I never "got" Supes. He was too powerful. If I ever brought an issue, it was due to the villians he fought. I could not relate to Superman, but I could ASPIRE to be Batman.

Rich Meyer, harbinger of Chaos said...

Unfortunately, most of the folks working in Hollywood and for DC Comics right now have no idea what the terms "classic" and "iconic" really mean, when they revamp and reboot things so they bear little semblance to what inspired them.

Bob Greenwade said...

DC's been spending far too much time over the past quarter-century "messing with success." They cite contradictions and confusion, and just end up generating more and more of it with every reboot -- every "fix" seems to only make matters worse. I haven't read any of the new stuff, but from everything I've seen (here and elsewhere) the latest reboot is worst of all.

I think they should ask the fanbase what would work best, and do one final reboot based on the consensus.

In a way, this cover represents the situation; the only time Marvel has done a true reboot of Earth-616 (that I can think of) was the "House of M" storyline. If the dead person on this cover had been the Scarlet Witch, it could have been a perfect commentary.

Hm... maybe you could address this with a future cover, teaming up the Scarlet Witch with some of DC's "no longer part of the DCU" characters?

GF said...

DC's revisionist designs are not capturing the imagination of the comic buying public, and it shows in the ho-hum response to the current continuity. Is it any wonder the company has rebooted so many times in the past 10+ years? Everything has to be darker, while finally removing as much of the iconic imagery and stories as possible...yet what have they replaced it with) Stories few care about.

About your cover: great crossover, with classic Superman and one of the more interesting Avengers line-ups. Clever use of what appears to be an Adams Superman on a Buscema Avengers cover, as both were masters at muscular, flexible forms always appearing to be in motion.

How about Cap appearing on a Silver Age JLA cover?

Ross said...

There's a Cap/JLA cover coming up - in fact it's one of my favorites.

Mikeyboy said...

Great cover....fits perfectly. Period artwork and the lettering looks genuine

Anonymous said...

Dear Paper: it's all about the proverbial half-glass of water. Superman's costume uses bright primary colors because he always tries to use his powers, non-lethally. Ergo; he represents the people who see the glass as half-full. That is; the ones who want to make this world a better place through their own collective abilities. Even if they're far from superhuman, individually.

Whereas, Batman operates at night (like his chiropterid namesake) because that's when most criminals operate. Hence, his costume nearly always being black-and-gray. He blends into the darkness to insure that nobody else has to go through what he went through after his parents' double-murder. And, while he won't break the law to do this, he does bend it quite a lot. Because, he knows that conventional authorities are (more often than not) hamstrung by the letter-of-the-law when it comes to enforcing same. While the lawyers who represent organized crime have gradually--and ironically--become more adept at escaping justice through strict observance of it!

That's called "seeing the glass as half-empty."

Another way to describe it would be to compare Superman and Batman to different sides of the same coin. The former is optimistic; the latter, guardedly realistic. So, it is just as big a crime for DC to mess with Superman's classic color scheme as it would be for them to mess with Batman's.

Here endeth the lesson.

Anonymous said...

Love the covers. I really like the way this one looks with the white background. You do great work.

Lionel Braithwaite said...

Sorry, but as dangerman1973 ( has said, Superman's trunks should go, for a unitard-type costume, and I agree with him. In fact, others have said the same over the years; looks like DC decided to do if and get rid of the trunks. The 'S' on the back of his cape makes no sense to me, unless it's on a (red leather) jacket (which I'd love for Superman or Supergirl to wear), and it also make no sense to others too, so it should go.

Once again Ross, great work.

Cary Killingbeck said...

Dangerman's dead wrong. The trunks hide what many would still regard (and rightfully so, as far as I'm permanently concerned) a needlessly obvious bulge just below the waistline. Like Martha Kent so rightly observed in the LOIS AND CLARK series premiere, back in the Nineties:

"They don't call them tights for nothing!"

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