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You Decide ’11 – Best Designer in Superhero Comics?

Each day this month, I’ll be posting a different poll question – each poll will last five days, and I’ll reveal the results of the finished polls every Tuesday.

This way, for this month, we can see what our readers feel about various comic book questions. For a month, you folks will decide! Click here to see the other questions that you can answer as well as checking out the latest poll results!

Read on for the latest poll question!

For this one, I’ve decided to let you fill in your own choice if you prefer someone not on the list. I’ll only list the write-in votes if they’re higher than any of the artists on the given list.


71 Comments

Dave Cockrum. His work on the X-Men makes him a winner. Jim Lee’s work on the X-Men make me question why he’s on this list.

I gotta show some love for the late great Dave Cockrum, whose imaginative designs helped redefine both the X-Men and the Legion.

I’m surprised Alex Ross isn’t on the list. His Astro City work alone should earn him a mention.

Gil Kane! His designs on characters like Green Lantern, The Atom, and Captain Marvell (among many others), helped define the Silver Age of comics!

Are George Perez and Jim Lee on the least for irony?

Captain America. Thor. Magneto. Galactus. Darksied. The Thing…

KIRBY WITHOUT A DOUBT, BABY!

I’m surprised Alex Ross isn’t on the list. His Astro City work alone should earn him a mention.

Yeah, fair enough, I’ll add him (and I’ll just add in any write-in votes he got to his totals).

Mike Mignola isn’t my favorite artist (he doesn’t crack the top five) but he’s got the best design sense of anyone working in comics these days.

(I was tempted to go with Ditko for Spidey, Strange, and the Question but then I remembered that I never cared for the look of his women)

I haven’t even read books he’s done art for, but I’ve seen the covers and the interiors, so Jim Steranko is my write in!

Easy, Dave Cockrum

I’m a little conflicted on Cockrum. He did great redesigns, but at the same time he was guilty of recycling and reusing design elements a bit too much (sashes, thigh high boots, those pointy shoulder pads Nightcrawler and Colossus had, Wolverine and Timber Wolf’s hair…

One problem I have is I’m not certain who designed a lot of costumes, even for the characters I’ve read a lot.

Kirby had some good ones, but I think he had even more hideous ones. Romita was pretty good at civilian outfits (even when they look silly and dated now, you have to keep in mind how they would look at the time), but I’m not sure I can come up with any super-people costumes that he did (except I think I have read that he did the Punisher). John Byrne had some really good ones in Alpha Flight, and especially his redesign of the Fantastic Four uniforms (still the best version).

I think I have to go with Cockrum, because I remember the list of his designs that you had on here a few months ago, and there were several great ones there.

Thank you for not including Romita, jr. His X-Men costumes were particularly ghastly.

I don’t know who the best is. Could I vote for the worst?

George Perez.

George Perez is one of my favorite artists, but he’s not a good costume designer. I had to go with Kirby, although there’s some pretty compelling arguements for Cockrum here.

John Buscema: The Vision’s green and gold collared get-up! Pure 70s superhero!

Marko Djurdjevic. I really enjoyed the new looks I’ve seen him give characters. Jack Kirby had some good stuff, but a lot of the Asgard stuff looks ridiculous and gives him a tarnish to his record in my book.

It would have been the King if you asked me back in the early 80’s, but Alex Ross wins it now, from his work on Astro City and Kingdom Come alone, not to mention his X-Men and Batgirl/woman redesigns… ><

Answer this question:
Who designed the most costumes that are either still in use, or the basis of revamps based on his designs?
There’s only one…
Jack Kirby!

There is a certain amount of selection bias towards the older artists. The only stuff anyone remembers is the stuff that was so iconic that it has survived a dozen re-designs. Kirby would be the best example. He designed dozens of the most memorable costumes still in use today. He also created hundreds of other character designs that are happily forgotten on the dustbin of comic history. So it’s easy to point at characters are say that one’s a Kirby and that one over there is a Kirby too. It’s harder to judge what percentage of his total designs have stood the test of time.

Note, none of this is a bash on Kirby. He is simply the best example of a wildly prolific creator. Anyone who replies to this defending the quality of specific work of his is missing the point.

Can I say Janet Van Dyne?

Jack Kirby – his designs (Captain America, FF, Thor/Asgard, Doctor Doom, Silver Surfer, The Inhumans, The Fourth World, The Eternals/Celestial) are still been used over 30 years on, and when interpreted in other media are the touchstone that is used.

Jack Kirby, his designs are still in use, and the touchstone when the characters appear in other media.

Do note that if the person you want to vote for is on the list, you should not then write-in their name (I’m looking at you, Cockrum-voter!).

how can i see the rankings so far?

You can’t. Results go up next Tuesday.

I’ll write in Mike Grell. His Warlord designs, his LSH costumes (skin-porn as they are), his Green Arrow redesign and even his Jon Sable conceptions show a level of design skill that I don’t think any of the others show. Some of them have good work to show, but most designed a fair number of failures as well.

Alex Ross is the runner-up.

Cockrum…not only X-men…but the Legion of Superheros, too.

A lot of Bruce Timms designs have made it into mainstream Batman continuity.

Costumes that make no practical sense, that have giant shoulder pads and armor pieces, that have straps and buckles and pouches everywhere, that have pointless helmets, that have ridiculously over-sized weapons, and that have logos and initials on them, even though the character wouldn’t care about such things.

Did I just describe the worst of Marvel’s 90s excess or Jack Kirby?

It’s Dave Cockrum all the way.

Hard to pick between Kirby and Cockrum.

What about that guy who made the iconic costume(s) in INVINCIBLE? Shouldn’t he get a vote? ;-)

Mark Bagely for me – his design work on the Thunderbolts was amazing, creating iconic, eye-catching, memorable costumes, as well as his re-design work on Ultimate Spider-Man, taking classic characters and looks giving them a modern and – in my opinion – improved look.

Dave Cockrum. Responsible for the overhaul of the Legion. 12 issues! What an impact.

Dave Cockrum. The revamped Ms. Marvel and the All-New, All-Different X-Men are classics, and his Legion costume designs STILL look sleek and futuristic over 30 years later.

What about Jim Starlin?

I wrote in for Rob Liefeld.

Tough, tough call… damn tough.

Kirby designed such a VOLUME of stuff, some awesome, some awful and some outright impossible, yet defining. (Any god stuff, the FF uniforms, the Inhumans, some 4th World characters – almost all awesome.)

Cockrum has a wealth of cool, sleek designs, and all of them seem interrelated (as if any of his creations, despite company, era created or time-frame represented) could co-exist in one reality.
That is a good thing… AND a bad thing, as many of his trappings became overused (hip boots, sashes, “V”-shaped torso garments, bejeweled accoutrements, etc..).

Even Romita SR. as art-director was responsible for many classics, but not all of them were stellar (original Wolverine’s cat-mask and The Shocker’s quilted jammies leap to mind.) Even so, he comes very close to being one of, if not, THE best.

Yet all of those guys fall slightly short of a costume designer’s ultimate goal:
To make the costume unique, and immediately recognizable as belonging to a specific character – from ANY small portion of that costume.

One artist kept that goal in mine with every costume he created:
Steve Ditko.

His art style may have been kinda wonky (especially his 1980s and beyond stuff, when he did mostly loose breakdowns), and, yes, his women’s faces were all sorts of fugly at times (with a few exceptions)… but his COSTUME DESIGN was top-notch:

– Spider-Man (hand’s down one of the BEST designs EVER)
– Doctor Strange
– Mysterio (fishbowl head and all – LOVE it)
– Iron Man (the original red/gold armor that replaced the big bulky box-style armors)
– Kraven the Hunter (distinctive and bold)
– Elektro (kooky face mask and all)
– Princess Python (one of the sexiest costumes from the era)
– Dormammu
– Eternity
– Adria (her original outfit)
– Green Goblin (campy? or frightening? You decide!)
– The Creeper (with that furry, “feather-boa”-looking neck piece?! Crazy, man.)
– The Question (although Question can’t be distinguished from any guy in a suit except for the “face” – which was part of the design intent.)

Are all Ditko designs great? No.

– Doctor Octopus (cool though, but a chubby guy in a lab-coat even with those freaky arms isn’t fantastic)
– Vulture (pretty much only one way to go with that costume given the name, right?)
– Scorpion (could have been better)
– Lizard (like Vulture… not a lot of wiggle room. Current redesign by Bachalo is awesome and creepy as hell. Ditko’s original? Not so much).
– Chameleon (suit, tie, faceless mask)
– Speedball (sucks some suck, but you KNOW who it is from ANY part of that get-up. Design mission success!)
– The Beetle (as much as I LOVE that crazy armor design… it was insane to think anyone could function with it on).

So, while I originally leaned toward Kirby, and contemplated Cockrum and Romita Sr, I have to give it to Ditko.
(and NOT because of my love for Dr. Strange. Seriously.)

As for some of the others?
It’s in bad taste to state why I didn’t vote for any of the others.
I actually admire, respect and LOVE almost ALL of their artwork. But I won’t pick apart their design sense.

——————–
“Tamam Shud!”
~P~

Steve Rude!

Weigh my opinion on this topic with full knowledge that my favorite costumes of all time are the original Power Man and Iron Fist, Wonder Man’s red safari jacket, the Punisher Max black trench coat/Punisher t-shirt look, and all time #1… The Creeper.

See, that just means you have taste.

How is Jim Lee even on this list? I mean…really? Especially with the latest design, which is his Wonder Woman travesty?

Jim Lee’s costume designs are consistently horrible, even though he’s a great artist. 90s Rogue, Cyclops outfit with all the buckles, day-glo Kyle Rayner…ugh.

I actually liked Jim Lee’s X-Men designs, despite the ’90s-ness of it all. His WildCATs, though, are friggin’ hideous.

Please note, Alex Ross has designed some great costumes, but mostly riffs on old Kirby or Kane looks.

Kane & Ditko were top-notch designers. Alex Toth would probably get my vote if he had done more work in the genre. Cockrum had an amazing string of good costumes in the ’70s.

Kirby, though, gave us almost every major marvel character of the ’60s and the New Gods (outside of the Black Racer, I love his 4th world designs), The Demon, Manhunter, the Eternals, and probably a couple dozen I’m forgetting. He designed my all-time favorite super-hero costume with Black Bolt. His name was the first one that popped into my head. Jack Kirby all the way!

Wally Wood, based solely on the Power Girl boob window.

Ronald Kearschner

February 27, 2011 at 2:50 pm

Craig B. I wish I had a “like” buttton for comments on here.

Sanctum said it best, I went with Ditko but Cronin once again you did it. I went in with a “Oh this is easy”line of thinking but then thinking over the choices, the vote got progressively harder.

Good one Sir!

I gotta voted for Quitely just because out of the artists on the list, his superhero costumes looked the coolest and most appealing. (Adore his New X-Men redesign)

It’s gotta be Kirby.

Yeah, on sheer imagination alone, this becomes a Kirby/Ditko/Cockrum race. But I feel a DESIGNER should create things that make sense visually, not just stun you with bizarre designs. So, I voted for Perez. (Who has his share of WTF designs- Jericho, for example- but in general, every time I saw a new Perez character, I felt like “Yeah, that’s he/she should look like”.)

PS. Edna Mode wants to know why she isn’t in this poll. :D

@Sanctum Sanctorum Comix

The Iron Man redesign could have been either Kirby or Ditko. It’s really up in the air.

Much like Travis Pelkie above, i was ready to vote Janet Van Dyne. But since we’re talking real world, I’d have to say Dave Cockrum.

Honorable mention goes to Al Milgrom, who I presume designed Firestorm’s costume…which is one of my favorites no matter what anyone says.

I love Kirby, but his “shooting percentage” on costume design was not great. He did some classics and he did terrible costumes. That makes his primary virtue taking a lot of shots.

Conversely, Ditko designed a limited number of costumes and rarely missed. He did Spider and Dr. Strange. He did all of their classic Rogue’s Galleries. He did The Question and Blue Beetle. Captain Atom and Nightshade were not bad. The Creeper was cool as well. I always liked Stalker as well, but Sword & Sorcery stuff doesn’t count.

Gil Kane was better still. Hal Jordan has a Top 5 costume. Ray Palmer has a Top 20 costume. They both so cool and modern. Sinestro has a great look, so does Black Hand. Even a Mort, like Bug-Eyed Bandit, had a distinctive appearance.

Carmine Infantino also did some awesome Silver Age designs. Alex Toth did a great design for Black Canary and did an amazing look for Wonder Woman on TV. Byrne did some nice designs on Alpha Flight. I always liked Jim Lee’s take on Rogue, but maybe that is just me.

However, the King of Costume Design is Dave Cockrum. Everyone of those New X-Men designs was cool. His Disco-era Legion totally transformed that team as well.

Dean sez…
I love Kirby, but his “shooting percentage” on costume design was not great. He did some classics and he did terrible costumes. That makes his primary virtue taking a lot of shots.

I say…
Who designed the most costumes that are either still in use, or the basis of revamps based on his designs?
Jack Kirby!
Percentage-wise a lot better than almost everyone else!

Dean sez…
However, the King of Costume Design is Dave Cockrum. Everyone of those New X-Men designs was cool. His Disco-era Legion totally transformed that team as well.

I say…
Dave DID do several iconic costumes as well as THE defining Wolverine ensemble, but…
Phantom Girl. BellBottoms. Ponytails. (And that’s the most obvious.)
What’s the deal with Colossal Boy? What’s the eagle stand for? Is he Colossal Eagle Boy?
Overused…Hip Boots…Sashes…BIG ShoulderPads.

Cassaday. I really enjoyed the look of Planetary…each character had a very distinctive look. His redesigns of the X-Men outfits have lasted (for the most part…save for a couple tweaks here and there since) for the past 7 years now…pretty decent run.
He just doesn’t have the quantity that some of the others do.

@ Atomic Kommie Comics Sashes rule. You can’t overuse something that totally rules ;)

Considering that my favorite female costume designs are Ms. Marvel and Dark Phoenix, I might be biased. Maybe.

Nonetheless, I vote for Cockrum.

I vote AGAINST Alex Ross simply because once you take away supersizing a character’s symbol and thinning their hair, he’s out of ideas.

Gotta go with Kirby here, though Cockrum came second to my mind.

After Kirby, the only two on the list who have contributed anything of lasting value are Ditko and maybe Dave Cockrum. Infantino I think is responsible for alot of the classic Silver Age costumes still in use. So my list would be Kirby, Ditko, Infantino. Aesthetically, I like alot of Kurt Schaffenberger’s ruirtanIan uniforms, in a retro way. Of the Marvel bullpen stalwarts, Don Heck, John Romita, John Buscema, and Gene Colan, maybe Romita had the best design sense? Although Heck did a ton of design, It’s tough.

Dave DID do several iconic costumes as well as THE defining Wolverine ensemble, but…

Dave had nothing to do with Wolverine’s costume. John Romita designed the original costume. The new mask was designed by Gil Kane. Byrne designed the brown suit. Cockrum was responsible for designing Wolvie’s face underneath the mask, which was iconic enough, especially the hair.

My big problem with Cockrum was that his costumes were a bit too distinctive from traditional superhero costumes yet similar TO EACH OTHER, like they were all designed by the same person. Whether it was a Starjammer from space, an X-Man from the 70s or a teen superhero from the 31st century, they all had the exact same design sensibility as if they were created by the same guy. It’s the visual equivalent of how Bendis speech patterns are distinct from those of other writers, but he makes everyone he writes sound like EACH OTHER no matter what their personality.

That to me is what makes Ditko so much better a designer than Cockrum. All his costumes were unique not only from those of other artists but from each other. Each costume he does looks like it was done by a different person with a different personality. Sandman’s look doesn’t blatantly look like it was designed by the same guy who designed Electro’s costume or Mysterio’s or Spider-Man’s. It’s the visual equivalent of giving every character a unique voice.

George Perez best designs
Medieval Avengers #’s 2-3
Deathstroke
Taskmaster
Nightwing
Stargod
Cyborg
Starfire
Peter Gyrich

Best

@ A.K.C.

I am not sure that lasting is a virtue by itself. It is not as though you can simply count up the number of years a costume goes un-modified to determine how good it is. By that standard, Namor and Adam Strange are fantastic designs.

To me, the standard of a good design is whether I could show an image of the character to a layperson and they have a sense of the character’s personality. Cockrum’s design of Phantom Girl works pretty well. Tinya Wazzo was rebellious, but not “bad”. She chaffed at authority, but didn’t want to hurt anyone. I think that Cockrum brought that across pretty well. However, those Disco-era costumes are pretty dated and were retired. No shame in that.

@Julian,

re: Iron Man red & gold armor:

Nope.
It was Ditko.
An actual documented fact.

Les Daniels’ book “Marvel: Five Fabulous Decades of the World’s Greatest Comics:

————

Quote: “[Don] Heck’s solid background in war comics helped him get Iron Man off to a good start, but he wasn’t entirely pleased with the character’s armor despite his boundless admiration for Jack Kirby.

Kirby’s original Iron Man suit, realistically bulky given the circumstances under which Tony Stark had to build it, soon changed form forbidding gray to gold. Later, it was streamlined into a red-and-gold design by Steve Ditko.”

———–

It’s also been mentioned in an old Stan Lee penned letter’s page /editorial box waaaay back when.
I Don’t recall which issue, but I remember reading it.

“Tamam Shud!”
~P~

I am SOOOOO tempted to write in Jim Steranko too but his body of work is pretty small but his work is just so vibrant even looking at it today. Kirby had some clunkers in there… they all did for that matter. But I think Cockrum gets my vote.

I vote AGAINST Alex Ross simply because once you take away supersizing a character’s symbol and thinning their hair, he’s out of ideas.

Don’t forget bloating them.

Dean sez…
I am not sure that lasting is a virtue by itself. It is not as though you can simply count up the number of years a costume goes un-modified to determine how good it is. By that standard, Namor and Adam Strange are fantastic designs.

If unmodified longevity counts, than The Phantom wins for a run going 1936 to the present!
Lee Falk RULES!

In comics, it would be Superman, since his first major costume change since 1940 didn’t come until the “electric Superman” look of 1998! (Subby donned his Romita-designed “black leather” look in 1973!)
Joe Shuster RULES!

T sez…
Dave had nothing to do with Wolverine’s costume. John Romita designed the original costume. The new mask was designed by Gil Kane.

Cockrum inked the Gil Kane cover which was probably pencilled AFTER at least some of the interior pencils, since it includes the previously-unseen Colossus, Nightcrawler, Thunderbird, and Storm!
Where do you think Kane got THOSE designs from?
Cockrum redesigned Wolvie’s headgear into the definitive version.

T. sez “My big problem with Cockrum was that his costumes were a bit too distinctive from traditional superhero costumes yet similar TO EACH OTHER, like they were all designed by the same person. Whether it was a Starjammer from space, an X-Man from the 70s or a teen superhero from the 31st century, they all had the exact same design sensibility as if they were created by the same guy. It’s the visual equivalent of how Bendis speech patterns are distinct from those of other writers, but he makes everyone he writes sound like EACH OTHER no matter what their personality.

That to me is what makes Ditko so much better a designer than Cockrum. All his costumes were unique not only from those of other artists but from each other. Each costume he does looks like it was done by a different person with a different personality. Sandman’s look doesn’t blatantly look like it was designed by the same guy who designed Electro’s costume or Mysterio’s or Spider-Man’s. It’s the visual equivalent of giving every character a unique voice.”

T., this was an amazing insight. Well said!

And yes, I forgot to mention how Alex Ross bloats everyone up. And he substitutes GOLD for YELLOW. The man is a GENIUS!

Cockrum inked the Gil Kane cover which was probably pencilled AFTER at least some of the interior pencils, since it includes the previously-unseen Colossus, Nightcrawler, Thunderbird, and Storm!
Where do you think Kane got THOSE designs from?
Cockrum redesigned Wolvie’s headgear into the definitive version.

What actually happened is that Gil Kane made a mistake when doing Wolverine’s mask on the cover, but Cockrum’s pencils were already completed. Cockrum saw the mistake and liked it so much, he went back to his pencils and altered all appearances of Wolverine’s mask to match up with Gil Kane’s mistake.

This story could be urban legend, but I’ve seen it appear in several stories over the years, including Marvel’s offficial website:
http://marvel.com/news/story/7814/wolverine_costume_guide

T sez…
What actually happened is that Gil Kane made a mistake when doing Wolverine’s mask on the cover, but Cockrum’s pencils were already completed. Cockrum saw the mistake and liked it so much, he went back to his pencils and altered all appearances of Wolverine’s mask to match up with Gil Kane’s mistake.
This story could be urban legend, but I’ve seen it appear in several stories over the years, including Marvel’s offficial website:
http://marvel.com/news/story/7814/wolverine_costume_guide

DC’s official policy lists Bob Kane as the sole creator of Batman, even though there’s an incredible amount of info showing Bill Finger as co-creator, so I’d take anything like that with a grain of salt.

here’s a shot of the pencils…
http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3559/3603833417_b2fc83a886.jpg

Kane was not noted for “taking liberties” on costume design. You gave him a model sheet, he followed it.
Why would he change ONLY that aspect of ANY of the costumes?

Anyone have xeroxes of the Cockrum pencils from GS X-Men?

here’s a shot of the pencils…
http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3559/3603833417_b2fc83a886.jpg

Yes, those are the shots of Gil Kane’s pencils. That proves nothing. That’s where the mistake with the mask originated.

DC’s official policy lists Bob Kane as the sole creator of Batman, even though there’s an incredible amount of info showing Bill Finger as co-creator, so I’d take anything like that with a grain of salt.

The point is moot now since Brian tackled this issue today in his Urban Legends, but using the fact that DC spread misinformation about Batman’s origins as a reason to justify what you want to believe about Wolverine, Gil Kane and Cockrum is, with all due respect, very lazy. Like I said, there are multiple sources for this, not just Marvel’s website. You could have google the issue to your hearts content and seen it’s been widely verified from a wide variety of sources, including from Cockrum in interviews he’s given in the past.

T sez…
The point is moot now since Brian tackled this issue today in his Urban Legends, but using the fact that DC spread misinformation about Batman’s origins as a reason to justify what you want to believe about Wolverine, Gil Kane and Cockrum is, with all due respect, very lazy. Like I said, there are multiple sources for this, not just Marvel’s website. You could have google the issue to your hearts content and seen it’s been widely verified from a wide variety of sources, including from Cockrum in interviews he’s given in the past.

I mentioned the Batman creator info since you quoted Marvel’s “official” stance, and, as the Batman credits prove, the “official” record is not always accurate.
Roy Thomas has pointed out in Alter Ego, that people sometimes “mis-remember” details that happenedl literally, decades ago.

T sez…
Like I said, there are multiple sources for this, not just Marvel’s website. You could have google the issue to your hearts content and seen it’s been widely verified from a wide variety of sources, including from Cockrum in interviews he’s given in the past.

Heck, If you google “first black superheroine”, “a wide variety of sources”, including Wikipedia, and The Reader’s Companion to U.S. Women’s History list the X-Men’s Storm.
“Lazy” people accept it as such, since it’s listed in a “wide variety of sources”.
The truth is far different…
http://heroheroinehistory.blogspot.com/2011/02/butterflythe-first-black-superheroines.html
That’s an example of why I have trouble believing “history by consensus”.
Documentation triumphs over all!

In addition, since John Romita, the costume’s designer was also the company’s art director, every page went thru his hands for review, as was standard procedure.
I’d find it hard to believe the designer of the costume wouldn’t have caught the “mistake” before it was inked, modified it and then passed it on to Cockrum for inking.
If you look at the covers of the period, Romita redrew MANY faces, and even bodies, on everyone, Kane, Kirby, Cockrum, Buscema, etc! (Yes Romita redrew Kirby’s Captain America, Hulk, and numerous others)

And, frankly, IMHO, saying Gil Kane “made a mistake” is something of an insult to the memory of one of the greats of this artform.
I’ve seen literally hundreds of his layouts and full pencils, and I’ve never seen a “mistake” or “off-model” costume.
If he was given costume reference, he followed costume reference.
You note how he got the details right on ALL the other characters… http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3559/3603833417_b2fc83a886.jpg
How did he “screw up” ONLY Wolverine?
Curiously, in perusing the Internet, I notice that references to “Kane’s mistake” didn’t start popping up until after his untimely passing in 2000.

If anyone has copies of Cockrum’s pencils and can post them, I’d be happy, nay, ecstatic, to admit I’m wrong and apologize to all, including T!

Martin Stephenson

July 13, 2011 at 9:35 am

Kirby is the design king, check out the early Marvel universe Heroes, Villians and New Gods
But Cockrum’s work on the X-men, Imperial Guards, makes him an easy number two, the rest
is up to you

So glad to see a lot of other people who don’t like Kirby’s design work. I think his DC New Gods/Fourth World designs are just hideous, so much so that I cringe whenever I see any of those characters mentioned in the solicits. I know a lot of people have pointed out that those costumes haven’t been redesigned in 40 years, but to my mind, that’s a mistake on DC’s part: every one of those costumes needs a massive overhaul. Blech!

But it’s not just the garish costumes that bothers me: I don’t like the way he designed weapons and machines. I don’t even like his ornamentation style: I’ll be watching animated shows and I’ll see that distinctive circle + zigzag design and think, “Why must they refer back to Kirby?????”

My favorite is the anti-Kirby: Dave Cockrum and his groovy, sexy Legion designs and the design elements that lasted in the LSH long after he left and pretty much up until Giffen (who also–ugh–brought Kirby into the LSH universe).

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