Starfire has new clothes!
OK, not really. But I’m pleased to announce Blair J. Campbell’s costume redesign won Superhero of the Month’s most recent contest, in which V. and I served as guest judges. For me, it was a tie between Campbell’s costume and Michelle Scuito’s, which was V.’s favorite.
In case you missed it, here’s what we had to say about our two top picks:
V: This design is simple, functional, and still a bit cheeky. The hair isn’t overdone, but still represents the signature flame. The costume works for the character. I can see Koriand’r zipping around in this. Whether fighting a villain in space or poolside; Campbell’s design strikes a happy medium.
E: I love the streamlined simplicity of Blair J. Campbell’s design. It’s clean, fresh and youthful, and it would work for Starfire as a kid (think Teen Titans cartoon) or an adult. While it’s certainly eye-catching, it doesn’t completely overshadow the character. With Starfire, there seems to be a great temptation to gild the lily, so to speak. This costume goes in a completely different and refreshing direction.
E: Kory is an alien, and this striking, full-body costume conveys her other-wordly qualities and power. While there are plenty of details, like the green jewel embellishments, it isn’t overdone. Sciuto’s lovely design hits some very high notes, so for me it’s a dead heat between hers and Campbell’s.
V: This design is my favorite. When I think of Starfire, I think of her battling Lady Styx in space. This looks like a royal space uniform. I am a fan of simplicity, and this one is simple and pretty. The jewels make for an appropriate embellishment. This, too, is a happy medium as I could see a young Starfire wearing this, as well as a more mature, curvier rendering. Basically, this is an awesome space suit! And the hair, while a bit over the top, looks fantastic.
As V. said earlier, few characters need a new look as badly as Kory. This is not about looking down upon a female character who expresses her sexuality. We got no problem with that. What I do have a problem with is that the current costume is tacky and seems designed solely to inspire ogling. Nevertheless, the whole thing got me thinking about the difference between raising a legitimate complaint in this area and being prudish. I reached out to Sue at DC Women Kicking Ass to get her take, and she summed it up well:
“Are the men and women drawn in a similar fashion? Is the woman posed unnaturally or have a body shape that is unnatural (i.e. Boobs don’t work that way)? Is your eye drawn to the page or to her boobs? Does she seem to have agency in the moment? I like cheesecake when the women are in on it. See Amanda Conner to see what I mean.”
(By the way, it would be fantastic to see Conner come up with some new threads for Kory. I’m just putting that out there.)
Congratulations to Campbell for nabbing the top spot, and major props to her and Scuito for coming up with such imaginative, fresh designs. What do you think?