Drawing the impossible? Fully dressed Superheroines

Artist Michael Lee Lunsford stresses that the goal of his redesign project is not to push some sort of moral code on to you. He says it’s an exercise in character design – do these superheroes feel the same to you even though their costumes are different?

I take Mike’s point… he’s not pushing a moral code on to me. That said; it’s hard not to take a lesson from this collection.

Fully dressed Supergirl

Fully Dressed Supergirl

Fully dressed Powergirl

Fully Dressed Power Girl

Fully dressed Wonder Woman

Fully Dressed Wonder Woman

Fully dressed Black Canary

Fully Dressed Black Canary

Fully dressed Zatanna

Fully Dressed Zatanna

Fully dressed Elektra

Fully Dressed Elektra

Fully dressed Psylocke

Fully Dressed Psylocke

Fully dressed Vampirella

Fully Dressed Vampirella

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871 comments
triangle
triangle

In this day and age you can get T & A everywhere, i read comics for story and artwork, not for party shots and what i like to call 'the cleave angle." I'm sure you can guess as to what that is. Not that I think it will happen but maybe its about time we move past skin tight and straps and actually love our favorite heroines for they're abilities and the fact that they kick massive butt, not unlike their male counterparts. 

optimusj1975
optimusj1975

With the exception of Wonder Woman, whom I think a more more "greeky" clothing would be cooler, I loved those costumes.
SPECIALLY Black Canary and Zatanna. I always felt that 40s style doesn't fit post-90s Black Canary. Honestly I would go even further and make her hair short.

btcguru81
btcguru81

And then reality sets in: Bring back my tits or my money goes elsewhere.

Sabrina
Sabrina

These are all great! My favorite is probably Elektra. I can't imagine what I would have done if I'd had to do her. Very impressive!

Katie McConell
Katie McConell

Functionally these outfits work waaaay better. I'm a girl, and I always wondered how ANY of these women coul go around fighting crime in heels and strapless outfits. Morality aside, it just makes sense. Also, Elektra's looks incredible!!

Anthony Emmel
Anthony Emmel

I don't like the look of Wonder Woman and Black Canary; they look too bulky, I think. Not sure about WW; more something more armored, Greco-Roman in style; yes, still show her knees, but the kilt to just above the knee and caligulae to just below the knee. Canary, straight-cut (not hip-hugger jeans) with like a trench coat.

The other presentations are spot on and a refreshing change from the norm.

Terri Wells
Terri Wells

I think they actually look BETTER that way...and dare I say it? Even sexier.

generic female #1
generic female #1

I have no problem with women super hero costumes, frankly, because they are not REAL people. It's such a non-issue that it's ridiculous.

I do have to say though, These outfits are pretty hideous.

One can be fully clothed and hiding the goods, while still be fashionable and well put together. Most of these outfits look like they were thrown together of the bargain rack at Walmart.

As a woman, I'm sick of this two tier system of character design. Women are either fully clothed and therefor shabby or frumpy looking and with no style or flare to themselves, or they are scantily clothed like sluts. Lots of flare with no substance.

Neither of these is accurate or correct or appealing.

One can be fully clothed and still look good. There is an entire industry built around it called fashion.

That being said, check out these scantily clad male hero pics I found: http://www.tencentticker.com/projectrooftop/2012/09/28/she-designhe-design-joe-phillips-white-queen-and-starfire/

Pretty hot in my opinion, regardless of the gender wearing it.

Zerbertina
Zerbertina

Apparently it's okay for manga to feminize straight males, and make a fetish of the relationships of gay and bisexual men for the benefit of straight female readers, but it's wrong to show women in revealing clothes. Nice hypocrisy, there.

l-
l-

FINALLY!

Goz
Goz

Not bad at all, though a fully dressed Vampirella is missing the point.

Bard
Bard

I actually prefer most of these costumes. IDK... i guess I just feel like they'd be more practical.

However, that being said, WTH is up with Wonder Woman's kahki pants??? They just look... strange. Maybe a pair of nice leggings instead?

Megan
Megan

Some of them work, but some... Don't. I mean... The clothes are so baggy. I don't think I'd be ok with cargo pants and awkward, baggy dress shirts..... I am so so so sorry if this sounds rude, and it might just be me with growing up with my comic book characters wearing tight stuff. I love the artwork! :)

carmen
carmen

yes, now you can actually respect and relate to the feminine these superhero's are meant to represent. They look more capable, more relatable and colourful personalities. They are Super hero's and not just sexy sidekicks to the male superhero's.

Bill
Bill

I don't want to see more clothing on my female superheroes -- I want to see LESS clothing on my male superheroes!

And I don't want it for titillation but for realism: whenever it's possible for them, men and women will dress lightly while engaged in physical situations that will require them to perspire heavily but do not require them to wear protective gear.

Realistically, outside of social taboos, there is no reason for any Kryptonian or Asgardian standing around normal humans to wear a stitch of clothing at all.

Monique Revell
Monique Revell

Another little bit of a play round with re-clothing heroines

Laura
Laura

I'm a straight girl, but I don't like them dressed like this. I think the reason is because I've grown up with their uniforms being half naked, so it's strange to see them fully clothed. Plus, to me, it seems like he tried too hard to keep the original design while covering more skin. So it looks kind of bulky. I have a feeling though that if they had originally been designed like this and not half naked, I wouldn't have a problem with it.

Alexander Convard
Alexander Convard

Congrats. Their clothing is now more concealing than most male superheroes.

Mike
Mike

Some look good like Elektra and Psylocke but others...ugh The Wonder Woman and Black Canary ones are horrible!

Songstress
Songstress

I'm not a fan of the redone superhero costumes because (as some have already mentioned) they are mismatched and frumpy-looking. When I see a female superhero, I want someone I can relate and aspire to. I want someone whose role I can imagine filling. Khaki pants do not communicate the sort of power I want to communicate with my choice of superhero or my choice of clothing. This is the same reason why I don't like these particular heroes' original costumes. As a few have mentioned, constantly having to pull a bathing suit down to prevent physical discomfort (and awkward situations) does not communicate power.

I also understand the concern for slut-shaming. However, I don't think the desire for dressed superheroines reflects a desire to strip them of their sexuality. I certainly want to see the female supervixens stripped of their sexual story-lines or personalities. I just kind of prefer to see them dressed while they are kicking ass, so I can imagine kicking ass in their place, without getting the sudden urge to pick at an imagined wedgie.

In my eyes, the perfect blend of female sexuality, pride AND overt physical power is Fallen Angel by Peter David and David Lopez. She owns her sexuality and kicks ass without having to worry about falling out of her top. Hidden bonus: I can dress up as her without people grabbing my ass. That is what I look for in a superhero.

raymk
raymk

I like most of these but Zatanna and Black canaries just don't work. Not to mention they tried black canary with pants 3 times(and fully clothed twice) already and none of those worked for her. Zatanna wears the magician clothing like real one's and she was created like this to not look completely like her father. Also you aren't supposed to change characters that are in tune and comfortable with their sexuality.

Also its not really the pants that are the problem or the tight clothing its the poses that are the problem. What the hell does clothing even matter to superman or supergirl type characters? The majority of male heroes don't wear protection either, they are just fully clothed in spandex which isn't used for defense but just moreso a costume and that's all. If the majority of the magic type characters that are male can fight in there none combat gear like dr fate or dr strange then so can zatanna.

D
D

Honestly, I like some of the character designs, but the main problem is that some costumes are far too layered. Psylocke works because there is less layers to worry about, as does Vampirella. However, Power Girl could have been done much simpler and more effectively for a crime fighter.

Okie
Okie

Very nice.

Sebastian Villegas
Sebastian Villegas

Well, these drawings are impressive. I love these, I really do. :)

Thomas Atchley
Thomas Atchley

You guys DO KNOW the whole point of Zatanna is she's a female magician...and female magicians actually dress like the way she does. with the Leotard and fishnet deal? Ever seen Melinda? And even more to the point do their pants have to be baggy? If you want to dress Zatanna like that she should at least not be wearing something two sizes too big. And something about Black Canary dressed like she's about to go Parkour seems wrong to me. I mean Vampirella, Power Girl, and Super Girl have pants that fit to their legs, why not these two? Also I don't understand what's wrong with Wonder Woman's actual pants, they would have worked pretty well with the new top design they drew.

Ugly American
Ugly American

Everyone is born naked.

It's clothes that are the cultural construct.

ultron unlimited
ultron unlimited

Maybe I'm the only sexist pig here, but I think all of them suck. Every single one of them. Now you can tell me that this is more logical and less sexist. Ok,let's take that as if it were true, although I totally disagree with the fact that showing sexy woman is sexist. If you tell me that you consider the other costumes offensive and these are more reasonable I can accept that. What I can't believe is that somebody tells me that these are as sexy as the original ones.

James Lightfoot
James Lightfoot

The Elektra concept works well. The others I don't find as appealing. There is a certain logic to wearing comfortable and practical clothes when fighting crime. In some ways, requiring less clothing is a display of the character's power. They do not need physical protection. The more clothing they wear, the more human they seem. Does super girl need to worry about getting cold or scraping a knee? Can she still fight evil even in high heels? Yes she looks awesome, but that is part of her power. The reason I like the Elektra concept is because it is practical for her as she has no real super powers.

Mitch DeWester
Mitch DeWester

Most of them look pretty good, actually prefer the Supergirl and Zatanna costumes...though the pants on Wonder Woman and Black Canary look a little odd

Bronwyn
Bronwyn

Interesting how the fully clad versions look more casual or more old-fashioned than the originals. For casual, I think it's because formal and business clothing for women is often tailored or clingy, while casual clothes can be baggy. (Palazzo or harem pants are the only formal baggy pants for women I can think of, and more voluminous draped outfits are not practical.) For old-fashioned, I think it's because the degree of coverage is much closer to Edwardian era norms than modern norms, plus several costumes above have a period look anyway.

Klondite
Klondite

Most of them look like outfits from Assassin's Creed

Shane Zeagman
Shane Zeagman

I love everything except for Wonder Woman's pants. The brown doesn't work. Super Girl and Zatanna look amazing though :)

Fusionater
Fusionater

All look great except for Supergirl(Who's chest changing to that shade of blue looks odd and unnatural) Wonder Woman(the bulky armor looks odd) and Black Canary(Only because it doesnt even look like a superhero costume) Otherwise these are fantastic!

WordPlayStinksLikeFart
WordPlayStinksLikeFart

I think the only one that looks odd would be Wonder Woman. She looks like she's wearing khakis. And while I'll admit, I do think PowerGirl looks more like PowerGirl with her boob window, her costume is still pretty awesome.

Greg Price
Greg Price

Guys, it's just fanservice, and there's plenty of impossibly ripped, tightly clad beefcake for the ladies as there is skin for the guys...which is no more or less objectifying.

Can we please as a society collectively "unpucker" and not dissect every little thing looking for something to be offended over?

Kenneth Cunningham
Kenneth Cunningham

I don't believe it. If the goal was just to cover them, body suits would have just been fine (which most of these characters have had at one point). All of their natural curses were covered. Conscious or not, this is overcompensation.

On a less serious note, Vampirella covered up is just WRONG!! :)

Samuel Eden
Samuel Eden

This is great. But I have to ask: where's the push to re-design the men's costumes? If I have to look at Superman's super-shlong for one more comic, or one more close-up of the spider-bulge as Spidey swings through New York, I may go insane. Where are their pants?

Timfads
Timfads

I like them with these outfits more. Wonder Woman needs more armor though

btcguru81
btcguru81

@Zerbertina Of course it is. "Feminism" is all about setting women up as the perpetual victims of a "patriarchal rape culture". Women have extreme freedom, but anytime a man has a sexual thought, or a hobby, or a behavior it's rape. It's always rape.

btcguru81
btcguru81

@carmen Yes, because skin is so unrelateable. No one has skin and they NEVER show any of it if they do.

DestinyParker
DestinyParker

@Laura i happen to be a bi-sexual women. i admire the feminine body and even still i think superheros should dress more fucking modest. i think your completely stupid for wanting to sexualize women. it makes them nothing more than objects. i think it's GREAT to see people finally moving on from the "porn-star-superheros" thing and treating women equally to men. you don't see their dicks outlined or them half dressed. so i appreciate that people are willing to put clothes and suggest a change in the women's outfits.  

p.s - i like the art, nicely done :)

Songstress
Songstress

It should of course say: I certainly DON'T want to see them stripped of their sexual story-lines or personalities.

raymk
raymk

Also I know the point of the exercise just voice my opinion is all just like the people who did the drawings. I do think the being practical excuse should go out the window when over 90% of costumes male and female aren't something we'd wear in the real world. In the real world we don't have powers but they do so they can risk and wear what they want. If I had super strength or superman powers I wouldn't bother wearing anything practical at all but what I want to wear.(which wud be no shirt and shorts)

raymk
raymk

Exactly,I do understand what they are getting at though because woman barely have any sort of role models that aren't half naked. Still I think some examples that are used when it comes to gender equality for superheroes sucks, like something needing to be practical when said characters can't be hurt to begin with and like clothing actually protects from anything.

raymk
raymk

Honestly Zatanna looks boring like that and she looks like her father. Her and black canary are the only 2 characters that I don't agree with wearing pants. Especially zatanna because magicians in general don't wear practical clothing anyway, they were what they do their sorcery in or magic acts.

devovit
devovit

How about you read the fucking disclaimer that the guy wrote, moron?

Trackbacks

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  3. […] Can you tell what’s different about this picture? This isn’t the usual Psylocke everyone is used to seeing and Michael Lee Lunsford intended it to be that way, not to upset the girl hungry nerds, but to heroines can still be appealing to the eye even with a more conservative look. And he does’s a fantastic job of it too, from Supergirl right down to Vampirella, who’s usually more noteablly known for her next to nothing look. Michael does some great work here and it really shows. [GeekNative] […]

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