Friday, July 19, 2013

Suiting the Sleuth From Outer Space #9

In trying to get J'Onn J'Onzz into pants and away from the garish red highlights on green base from his classic costume, I spent a lot of time playing with variations that incorporated large expanses of white. Too much time. White was an excellent peace broker when I needed to find ways to deal with conflicting or overused colors, but it also meant I have so many different white suits applied to these xeroxed Kevin Maguire sketch bases, I have trouble keeping track of which ones I've already run in blog posts. I didn't want to get to this one yet, but it took me too long to make sure it wasn't a duplication, so let's just get this last repetitive blanco out of the way.

I found it redundant to use two different shades of blue to differentiate between the cape, the boots, and where applicable, pants. White tights didn't help with the boots and cape, but it made the distinction less necessary. I went ahead and kept the red chest straps, and they even interact with the green skin, but the white defuses some of the eyesore qualities. Also, the red adds a bit of pop to a muted interaction between the other colors, and I kind of like the pointy bits on the belt that discreetly reference the robotic Manhunter Cult design. All that said, it's still dull, compromising the original costume and failing to augment the Martian Detective aspect of the character. You can tell by all the hand inking I was doing that I was trying to sell it to myself and present the design in the best possible light, but it just sits there. Also, that little white ascot looking thing at the neck bugs the crud out of me.


LissBirds said...

Frank, do you think when you come up with a redesign to the original costume that you like, that it will usurp your opinions of the New 52 costume? I've been watching these redesigns and wondering if that's what you've been going for all along, but I wasn't sure.

I do like the idea of white/silver, though. Remember the Brightest Day interlocking covered with the "White Lantern" silver costume? I think that idea could go places if someone took it and ran with it. It had a certain something to it that I really liked but could never put my finger on.

LissBirds said...


Diabolu Frank said...

Liss, every design I've posted so far has been from over a decade ago, and I'm not sure if I'll go back to the drawing board once I run out of these old images. I suspect that I might try to tweak the New 52 suit, since it offers some great notions that could reach perfection with a nudge.

White just compliments the lighter green Martian skin tone common in comics prior to the late '90s. The tendency to color J'Onn since hurts its viability, plus I think it's not a very "detective" look. Finally, once Miss Martian was created, she claimed "ownership" of white, and I'd hate to see J'Onn cannibalize the concepts of his pseudo-protege the way Wonder Woman did hers.