Shocking Character Design: A New Take Superheroines

5 Apr

Artist, Michael Lee Lumsford created some new character designs featuring fully-clothed superheroines. He stated that these designs were not a moral statement, just some exercises. However when they are set against the classic comic book depictions of these ladies, its a strange comparison. *Lumsford’s illustrations are the ones on the top.

Black Canary




Power GirlImageImage



Wonder WomanImageImage


I’m not advocating that superheroines should don habits. I just had such a visceral reaction to these images. I could not believe how shocking Zantanna in trousers seemed. We have been conditioned to expect bare skin on leading ladies in comic books. This is just some food for thought, we should be aware of what we are consuming. This poses so many interesting questions about the role of women in the world of comics, and the expectations we have as readers.

One Response to “Shocking Character Design: A New Take Superheroines”

  1. John Grigas at 5:57 am #

    This was an important exercise that got a surprising amount of attention. As comic stories have matured, the ridiculousness of the costumes have only become more obvious. Who would engage somebody in battle while wearing a small swim suit? The redesigns make sense.

    I first was linked to these drawings by an exec with a mid-level publisher who tweeted about how awesome the Zatanna costume was. I’d have to agree!

    And of the redesigns, the one for Black Canary fits the best, I’d say, with her leadership personality, although she’s such a skilled martial artist it would probably to need to seem less heavy.

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