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Redesigns are in, you guys. They’re the big deal. Spider-Woman, Batgirl, Powergirl, Iron Man. It’s a booming business these days. New looks for characters not only sell comics, they also allow the companies to reinvent the character. Sometimes that means simply pushing a character in a new direction, other times it means getting rid of old hangups and doing a full on modernization.
That said, there are still a bunch of characters out there that really need a good makeover. These are just a few.
We’re getting weird right out the gate. Yes MODOK, the flying, murderous head. His design has changed here and there over the years, but it has remained mostly the same. I mean, it’s a Jack Kirby design. A classic! How could you change that? And, honestly, it’s a solid argument. There’s something charming about him.
I think that charm arises from being from another era. It’s pretty goofy. It’s weird. One of those designs that, if you saw it in real life you’d be terrified, but on the comic page it comes off as a little silly. I think that’s why he has shifted from being the iron-fisted leader of AIM to a kind of in-joke. The Scientist Supreme has taken over his role as leader of AIM and his design is cool. Or at the very least cooler.
So imagine a comeback story arc that made MODOK threatening again. That made him relevant again. That starts with a new look. Something sleeker, something more modern. Less floating human head and more David Lynch’s Navigators-from-Dune. A real organism. Something other. That way, he becomes less of a silly caricature and more of a terrifying Mental Organism Designed Only for Killing.
Mystique has been redesigned before. A few times. One design had her just be naked. Still, we can’t help up but come back to the same white two piece dress… thing. I’m not sure what the name would be. You know what I’m talking about. The classic look. We need to find something that to replace that.
Her clothes would need to be form fitting. That’s a given. She’s an infiltrator, the epitome of stealth. Why would she have such a flashy, cumbersome piece of attire like that dress deal? Not to mention she’s a shape shifter so she needs the kinds of threads that could be easily switched as well. Oh, plus she’s blue. That will stick out in a crowd, so maybe exposing a bunch of skin would be against better judgment.
However, I do like the idea of all-white clothes. It’s like a blank canvas for all the looks she copies. At this point we’re heading for a white catsuit, which is probably a little dull. Cut me a break, I’m not here to design them, just tell you who needs it. I’ll leave the specifics up to actual artists.
This is pretty straight forward. Amongst other things, Harley is in desperate need of a new look. Something less cowboy court jester hooker would suffice. It doesn’t even have to be the jumpsuit. I mean, Joker isn’t dressed as a clown, he’s dressed in a purple suit. Harley could be in red-and-black evening wear, whatever. Just change it!
Another Kirby classic on the chopping block! Damn. I am ruthless. Yes, the Silver Surfer — one of my favorite characters — has been more or less unchanged in design since his creation. The outline of underwear comes and goes, but the rest stays mostly the same. And I think that should change. Why?
Mostly because it’s kind of uninteresting. He’s just a silver man. With man being the operative word. Does it bother no one else that Norrin Radd is just a dude? Like exactly a bald man. There have been a few half-hearted attempts to make him look a little more alien over the years, but nothing has stuck.
He needs to remain simple and streamlined, of course. He’s a surfer. But give him something, anything more. A sleek silver armor in the same style as Galactus. Sure, why not? Change his physiology a bit to make him a little more alien. I love the original look, I do, but he needs something else to make him stand shoulder-to-shoulder with Marvel’s other designs.
Have you seen the Nu52 Raven?! Have you?! Guys. It’s, uh, it’s different, I’ll give them that. I had a pretty visceral reaction when I first saw it. The original costume was reminiscent of a witch. A mystic. This one is pretty form fitting. It’s got feathers, all the feathers you could ever want. Feather cape. Feather underwear. Feather… mask.
She really needs a redesign. The light gray and blue is a weird color scheme, especially considering she’s the daughter of some kind of super devil. The all black was pretty spot on. We should go back to some kind of variation of that. The mask doesn’t really work either and I’m not really sure why. I think maybe just its design? Maybe they were going for a plume, like on a bird? I get that, but that’s no plume, that’s a full-on mask. No. Please no.
The idea of making her more predatory than a 70s version of a witch is very intriguing and I’m all for it. Dark, gothic, predatory, mystical. Like a stylized, female version of the Nights Watch from Game of Thrones. I’m trying to picture that in my head. Leather and feathers and darkness. I dunno, again, I’m not here to design them myself. But this is one of the worst redesigns I’ve ever seen and need it to change.
But what do you think? What characters need a redesign? Let me know in the comments below.