By dorsk188 4 Comments
You may remember this guy to the right, or you may not. His name was Darth Maul, and he was meticulously designed by George Lucas and company to be the indisputable face of evil in the Star Wars prequels. This Sith lord was hyped beyond belief. Just as Darth Vader had become the symbol of tyrannical evil for an entire generation, Darth Maul was going to be violence incarnate. Or that's how it seemed in the ad campaign. Ultimately, he was not a new Darth Vader, he was just a one-dimensional henchman. But honestly, that didn't really matter because he looked so awesome!... Right?...
But what makes him look so awesome? It's the red and black, baby. Red, the color of blood, rage, war, and Republicans (or Communists, if you prefer). That's a strong, primal color. And then there's black. Black is an awesome color because, as any fashionista can tell you, goes with everything... In fact it goes especially well with red. But it's also the color of darkness, shadow, mystery, and intrigue. Sounds cool!... Right?... Darth Maul's design said all you needed to know about him. He's dark and edgy, and definitely a mature character for an adult audience. In fact, the character's design was far more interesting than his role in the movie itself.
DC Comics has apparently discovered George Lucas' secret to creative character design because they've been playing a similar note in many of their rebooted, redesigned, relaunched, re-re-re DC Universe coming in September. Because they want to bring that same level of sophisticated storytelling that George Lucas showed in that edgy and dark masterpiece: The Phantom Menace. Well, that's not exactly accurate, because DC's definitely edgier and darker, because they're giving the Sith treatment to their heroes as well as their villains.
Check out this recent design for Nighwing on the left. He was already dark, but that blue is lacking something.... Oh, I know, how about red instead? As we've already learned, red is the best color, especially when it's paired with black. I know what you're thinking, but don't worry. DC also has the rights to Batman Beyond, so they can't get sued for this.
What about the Teen Titans? Already a lot of black and red with Superboy and Red Robin, but I'll bet we can do better. First off, let's make Kid Flash's costume more red... like a lot more red. Get rid of the yellow in Cassie's costume. So far so good. But then there's the problem of Beast Boy. He's already wearing red, but... well his skin is green and green is the most anti-Sith color there is. I'm genuinely sorry to say this, but he's got to go. Superboy's a bit of a challenge because his whole costume is already just red and black... The only responsible thing to do is add more black. Black is slightly more awesome than red, so Superboy's going to have to be wearing all black. As we all know, wearing all black is how to achieve maximum awesome.
Red Robin's already figured this out, as has his fellow former Robin, Red Hood. Red is awesome, so more red red red. Oh, and black. For good measure, let's eliminate half of the color palette in favor of red, yellow, black, and brown. Now the whole team looks like evil dopplegangers from some Star Trek parallel universe, mission accomplished!
But here's a real problem... What about a character like Harley Quinn? Her costume is already primarily red and black... Is there anything we can do to make her villainous qualities more obvious? This is especially important because she'll be sharing the page with all these revamped heroes who look like they're 20 hours down the “evil” path of a Bioware RPG. There's only one answer: skin and lots of it.
Watch as the modest Harley becomes evil-er before your very eyes. Also, we need to get rid of the white in her costume and blonde in her hair. White and blonde are not Sith colors at all. Red and black are both good colors for her hair... but I can't decide which... Screw it, just do both.
So there you have it, folks. The handy-dandy DC guide to redesigning established comic book characters and teams in four easy steps:
- Red, red, and more red.
- Black on black with black black black.
- When all else fails: make her slutty.
- Repeat to ridiculous levels because none of this actually matters, as we'll be doing a universe-wide reboot in a few years anyway.
DC Comics: Because the best symphony is playing the same note over and over and over and over and over and over and over and over....