Over the decades many characters major and minor have had their costumes or general looks "tweaked," that is, a particular artist or the editorial powers have made a slight change in the way the character is presented visually without making a big deal about it and usually without any in story reason.

For example in the early 90s Todd McFarlane began drawing Spider-Man's costume with far more intricate web patterns (so intricate that when he was drawn from a distance the webbing on the costume was usually left off because it would be too small to render) and made the eyes on the mask HUGE, covering most of his face. As far as I know, it was never explained that Peter Parker changed his costume.

Another even more subtle change was that when John Byrne revamped Superman, He made the "S" insignia much larger on his chest and the blue was made a shade darker. It was a small enough change that the general public probably didn't even notice it.

What made me think of this was looking at some of the art for Captain America: Reborn. Cap had an unannounced, unexplained alteration in his uniform around 9/11 when someone got the bright idea to draw the heretofore subtle chain mail of his shirt as scale mail (a completely different type of mail, by the way).


I hate this look. It looks clunky, uncomfortable as hell and impractical. How would you like to have metal plating in you friggin' armpits while in battle?

Still I do like some of them. I really like the alterations in the Flash costume that mimicked the look of the short lived TV series.

Also, I kinda like bug-eyed Spidey.

Which tweaks work for you? Which don't?

Again, I'm not talking drastic changes or in-story changes like, say, Iron Man upgrading his armor or Thor being reborn with new togs.

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Wonder Woman's had changes in her vast array of stars on her shorts -- and at one point, John Byrne drew them as only two, IIRC. It upset the traditionalist in me, but I actually grew to like it just fine. I *do* however, miss her sandals.
There's a few people that they can tweak till next Sunday, and I don't mind. The one that immediately comes to mind is Cyclops. When artists sign a contract to work on an X-Men book, I think there's a clause in there that requires them to come up with a costume tweak.
For the most part, I like the all the subtle changes he gets.

I also have generally been intrigued by Nightcrawler's changes, which have accelerated since he left Excalibur. These usually keep the his red-and-black color scheme, but alter its placement.
Lumbering Jack said:
There's a few people that they can tweak till next Sunday, and I don't mind. The one that immediately comes to mind is Cyclops. When artists sign a contract to work on an X-Men book, I think there's a clause in there that requires them to come up with a costume tweak.

While there was an in-story reason for it, I liked it when they introduced the New X-Men and Dave Cockrum redesigned Scott's visor. The wider, curvier visor with visible ear cups looked more hard core to me.
But then Cockrum went wild with the boots.
When Busiek and Perez brought Wonder Man back from the dead, Perez mildly tweaked Wonder Man's 80s costume from West Coast Avengers. He altered the simple sleeveless black T-Shirt with the red "W" on it by giving it pointed, shoulder coverings (I don't know any better way to describe it). I didn't like the change much. To me the sleeveless shirt was cool because it was something an extremely fit person with ego issues might wear to highlight his arms, and it was something anyone could create on their own. The shoulder coverings are something that simply wouldn't work in the real world.

I love Perez. He's a phenomenal artist, and judging from the couple of times I've met him, a helluva nice guy. But he should never be allowed to design costumes.
Unless they're going to be drawn by Garcia-Lopez. When he took over Teen Titans, he made those costumes work better than anyone other than Perez.
I like it when Batman is shown wearing thick-soled boots with workman-like treads on them. That's probably a post-Miller thing. They seem very practical for leaping from roof to roof. With special prototype shock absorbing rubber and internal ankle support no doubt.

Come to think of it, the shock-absorbing rubber would interfere with kicking his opponents in the head though. To the scum of the criminal underworld it would feel like hitting your head on the special covering in a children's playground.
Figserello said:

Come to think of it, the shock-absorbing rubber would interfere with kicking his opponents in the head though. To the scum of the criminal underworld it would feel like hitting your head on the special covering in a children's playground.

Having been bopped in the head accidentally by a rubber mallet once, I can safely say they would still feel it and wouldn't enjoy it one little bit.
Rich Lane said:
Figserello said:

Come to think of it, the shock-absorbing rubber would interfere with kicking his opponents in the head though. To the scum of the criminal underworld it would feel like hitting your head on the special covering in a children's playground.

Having been bopped in the head accidentally by a rubber mallet once, I can safely say they would still feel it and wouldn't enjoy it one little bit.

Well, I have to admit I haven't TRIED bopping my head on the surface of children's playgrounds so... point taken.

Sounds like Batman should keep a rubber mallet in his batbelt too.
The Joker has a trademark on mallets.
Namor's been tooling around in variations of the black and gold outfit he was sporting in the early 70s. I like the fact that I don't think he's been show wearing the same version of that suit twice in modern times. Sometimes it has sleeves, then it's sleeveless, then it has a collar, then it's not open, then it's cut to the navel..

He's a king, you'd imagine he'd have a big wardrobe. Thumbs up!
Rich Lane said:
Namor's been tooling around in variations of the black and gold outfit he was sporting in the early 70s. I like the fact that I don't think he's been show wearing the same version of that suit twice in modern times. Sometimes it has sleeves, then it's sleeveless, then it has a collar, then it's not open, then it's cut to the navel..

He's a king, you'd imagine he'd have a big wardrobe. Thumbs up!

Namor has the great advantage that even if he's running around in a 3-piece suit, or his underpants (his preference) you'd still recognise him.

If Steve Rogers turns up at Avengers tower in his underpants, well, it could be Hank Pym flipping out completely, or Hawkeye returning from a REALLY big bender.

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