Earlier this week I had the good fortune of being invited to a press screening for THE MARVELS. You can find the resulting article; the official KungFuMagazine.com review there. Feel free to read that one first then come back here, for my rant on one of the best designed superheroes of the 80’s
Some of what made this design outstanding. Color: the design is essentially black & white, a bold choice at a time where even recent upgrades in printing and paper quality could result in read-through. Where one can see enough of the artwork and text printed on the opposite site of the page, visible through the unprinted white. The use of a counter-intuitive light-pink to denote the reflective “silver” of that fabric. Over time they would change this to a light cyan which looses some of the effect (that tone of color is most used to denote ice.
Silhouette: those unique under-arm-wings are rare. Comic Artist Dave Cockrum used a variation for the initial design of the X-Men’s Storm. John Romita Jr. (a fellow alumnus of the State University of N.Y. Art and design program) made these essential in making the character’s silhouette recognizable. Seen either from the front or back or while using her powers — to transform into different forms of light.
After a number of years as a member of The Avengers comics, the character would be written off. Her title of Captain Marvel would be unceremoniously handed off to lesser characters. The character would return with updated moniker, outfit and attitude in 2006. The new title was called NEXTWAVE: AGENTS OF H.A.T.E. and launched with Monica Rambeau—going by her given name—and a team that included Elsa Bloodstone (monster hunter recently featured in the Diseny+ Halloween Special WEREWOLF BY NIGHT 2022), Machine Man (an android created by Jack Kirby for the comic=book adaptation of 2001: A Space Odyssey 1977) & Boom-Boom (former member of X-Factor, The New Mutants and most famously X-Force of the X-Men franchise)
The popularity of that series would bring those characters back into more mainstream corners of the Marvel Universe. It would be here where more modern costume updates would prove to be a working template for what we would see in the movie.
For less than a minute Monica is given a sub-par adaptation of her under-arm wings which are immediate removed. Considering the fundamental misunderstanding of how those wings integrated with her sleeves; better to have them off. Still, it’s not like there absence did any favors for these overly complicated and ill-fitted costumes.