Today the section of Comics Twitter I follow keeps on talking about how terrible the costume of a Marvel lady hero named “Dagger”, who is basically wearing a white jumpsuit with a dagger-shaped cutout that goes all the way down to her belly-button, if not further. She’s got a themed partner named “Cloak”, who’s a big dude with some kind of shadow powers. And apparently people are talking about Dagger’s absurd costume because they’re going to be on a TV show soon, and trying to implement that full-body boob-window is going to either be a nightmare of glue, or a nightmare of Standards & Practices.
I googled them up and learnt a bit more: she’s a rich white girl, he’s a stuttering black boy, and they both got their powers from Tainted Comic-Book Heroin. Which may have been retconned to the heroin triggering their mutant genes, I dunno, whatever, I’m not gonna change their costumes to “Needle and Spoon” or anything like that.
Also I noticed that Dagger’s costume is basically designed to make it look like her head and neck are the hilt of a giant flesh-shaped dagger. Okay. That doesn’t sound dirty at all when I write it out like that.
So I asked myself “how can I make the dagger stand out against the white suit without making it be a giant cutout”, and the answer was pretty quick: make it pitch-black, and make Dagger’s skin pretty dark as well. Now she’s got a ton of internal contrast, the better to distract you when she pops out of the shadows, while her shadowy partner slips up behind you to kick your ass. I see no reason she can’t still be a rich kid. Also I gave her some shoulderpads because damn, she could use some armor. If I wanted to iterate on this a little more I’d make them work better as the dagger’s guard, but this is about as much work as I want to put into publicizing a Disney brand without being paid. Which is also the reason I left Cloak pretty much untouched, he’s a perfectly fine instance of the Shadow/Batman vibe with a nice little ‘repeated slightly-nervous lines’ thing going in his outfit.
Apparently there have been like four or five variants of Dagger’s costume and nobody’s thought to stop dressing the poor girl like a stripper. And they’ve wondered why girls never pick up her book. There sure are a bunch of geniuses working at Marvel.
And now I go back to drawing a commission of a dark-skinned nerdy girl beating up an alien with her xenobiology textbook.