thom chiaramonte

I draw comics, ride bikes, and eat melon; sometimes simultaneously.

TRDL 2011 Series No. 78 - Batwoman [TRDL Redesign]

TRDL 2011 Series No. 78 - Batwoman [TRDL Redesign]

TRDL 2011 Series No. 78 - Batwoman [TRDL Redesign]

I like some of the New 52 designs, and I really struggle with others. I dislike Gordon back in tights, because I really appreciated a strong spandex-free character and powerful disabled individual to boot, neither of which you see much of in comics. However, taking this design challenge to include the parameters that it must be recognizable as the Batgirl mark, and that it must attempt to respond to the New 52 design mandate of ‘contemporary, tech-based’ style, I came up with this look.

Some details include:
1. The uniform is all black. I appreciate the retcon that Bruce’s yellow batsymbol was to attract shooters to his chest armor, but I’ve NEVER been able to tolerate yellow on Batman, and by extension, loopy bright colors on his compatriots. I will give them credit in Batgirl: Year One back in the day for creating a plausible character-driven reason for all the yellow in Gordon’s original look, but not for me. The New 52 look is blue and yellow with a purple cape. Mine is black on black. Shadows, element of surprise, all that. I admit, she should have the hair hidden too, but letting the locks flow and the skin show were ways to keep her from being as serious as the brooding Bat, yet stay within the realm of design consistency with what I think Batman’s people need to be: black, with non technicolor details and toolbelts.

2. I was inspired somewhat by the pre-reboot version of Huntresses’ uniform, where the microshorts were paired with thigh boots, though here I did without garter details and bare midriff and all the other sexed up stuff in the other design. I’m a big fan of small areas of flesh being visible in a monochrome uniform, so I let this reflect a youthful energy.

3. I used short, back-swept stubby bat ears, because I love that look for Batman as seen in some of the Year One interpretations, especially Darwyn Cooke’s version. I used the same style for her forearm blades.

4. The batsymbol is not a raised, metal surface (guh, hate that) and not a removable weapon. The cape’s three layers die into the seam of the symbol, simple as that. The cape itself, as I noted, is in three overlapped segments. When she leaps or glides, they flare out at the bottom and create the effect of the bat motif in three sections.

5. I gave her goggles with clear lenses. I like seeing the batperson’s eyes, but I also like the idea of integrated tech so this is a set of smartgoggles that hide her HUD and various optical modes. So, no cowl. Pull the visor up and her face is exposed.

6. Instead of putting truncheons, my weapon of choice for her, in the utility belt or on the thighs (which I often imagine as being detrimental to physical activity if you have strong thigh muscles) I fitted them into sleeves in her bracers. They can act as a parrying tool in this mode, or be removed for use as melee weapons.

This was fun! I drew it while we were in the delivery room waiting for my son to be born, inked it after he was, and colored it the day we returned home!

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TRDL 2011 Series No. 87 - Pixie

TRDL 2011 Series No. 87 - Pixie

TRDL 2011 Series No. 22 - Storm

TRDL 2011 Series No. 22 - Storm