Friday, August 13, 2010

Absolutely Necessary

I've already talked about my problem with the story side of Batman, Inc. But did you know I also have a problem with the art?

You've all seen the new Batman costume by now. You know that they're bringing the yellow oval back. I have no issue with that. What I do have a problem with is Batman's... Lower regions. Namely, they've done away with the black trunks.

I'm sure many of you may think that this is long overdue; the "underwear on the outside" is seen as ridiculous by a great number of people. But for me (and for others as well I imagine) it appears jarring and wrong.

Comics are largely a visual medium. But not like photography. Color and shadow don't exist from the beginning; they must be created. Contrast is vital. That's why most characters are given brightly colored (or darkly contrasting) costumes. It's important for them to stand out. The yellow oval has the potential to add that. The loss of the black trunks does the opposite.

When I look at the new costume I see that they have done away with that color contrast. In its place they've added seam lines and whatnot. This takes away from another key aspect of a super-hero costume: simplicity. The fewer extraneous lines you have the better and clearer you'll be. That's one of the things that has been so successful the DC animated shows. Simplicity. Contrast.

The new Batman costume has sacrificed these in the name of "progress" or "modernity." Too many people think the black trunks are not needed. But me? I say they are absolutely necessary.

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At 5:36 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Seams will make for bad art.

The black trunks were key for highlighting the utility belt.

Also...does anyone else agree that the "First Wave" books have been terrible?

At 1:56 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I didn't notice that change on first glance, but now that you mention it, I feel uncomfortable looking at him. Like he's getting older, and sometimes he forgets to put pants on. Batman should (almost?) never forget his pants.


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