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Topic: Spider-man costume -red and black? (Topic Closed Topic Closed) Post ReplyPost New Topic
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Sergio Saavedra
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Posted: 17 September 2007 at 6:09am | IP Logged | 1  

I'm not sure if it was here where I read that according to conventions of the time, black costumes were drawn with blue reflections to reflect the volume, and so "the Bat-man's" cape was originally intended to be black (I like it black more).

I've had the opportunity to read some of the first Spiderman issues, by Ditko, and I've found that the blue parts of his costume are mainly black with some blue reflections. Was the costume originally intended to be red and black?

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John Byrne
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Posted: 17 September 2007 at 6:13am | IP Logged | 2  

This has come around many times. And there is always strenuous contention. This is my standard response:

Ditko's original cover, being more obviously set in daylight, makes the point even better.

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Sergio Saavedra
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Posted: 17 September 2007 at 7:31am | IP Logged | 3  

I didn't know it was a recurrent discussion. Thanks a lot for your answer.
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Daniel Gillotte
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Posted: 17 September 2007 at 11:31pm | IP Logged | 4  

It's like Conan's hair.

Blue or Black? Of course, black... more HERE.
I like Spider-man's constume better as blue and red, though.

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John Byrne
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Posted: 18 September 2007 at 7:07am | IP Logged | 5  

Or Superman's hair. It's one of the longest standing traditions in comics, superhero or otherwise -- black stuff has blue highlights.

This has not stopped people asking me, with perfectly straight faces, why no one can tell Superman and Clark are the same guy since they both have blue hair!

Whenever this debate comes 'round, it seems to come down to the same thing. Should we change the names of various characters? Should it be Blue Bolt? Blue Panther? Blue Widow?

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Greg Reeves
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Posted: 18 September 2007 at 8:51am | IP Logged | 6  

It's tricky, because dark blue outfits will be covered in black shadow, such as Cyclops' outfit.
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John Byrne
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Posted: 18 September 2007 at 8:54am | IP Logged | 7  

Cyclops' outfit is black. So is the non-furry Beast's.
So was the pre-red Angel's. The original X-Men
uniforms were yellow and black.
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Stephen Robinson
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Posted: 18 September 2007 at 9:00am | IP Logged | 8  

Red and black seems more "spidery" -- and I like Spider-Man to wear different "colors" than Superman.
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John Byrne
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Posted: 18 September 2007 at 9:11am | IP Logged | 9  

Time for an oft-repeated history lesson.

Many characters have begun their careers not only with black costumes, or costume parts, but with outfits that had much more detail than subsequent versions. Ditko's early Spider-Man was red and black, and the red parts were thick with webbing. As the book continued, and deadline pressures began to crowd him, tho, Ditko (perhaps unconsciously) began simplifying the web pattern and leaving the black parts more and more open for color.

Same thing happened to Batman. Originally in a black cape and cowl, with black boots and trunks, it did not take long at all for them to "turn blue". Ditto for the X-Men's school uniforms. Ditto for their "graduation" costumes.

Another factor besides deadlines worked into this. Many artists did for "full pencils" what would today be called breakdowns. They put in all the line work, but they left it for the inker to spot blacks. If they didn't -- well, suddenly the FF no longer had black collars and circles around their chest emblems. (This also affected a lot of Kirby's costume designs. He would often draw the character fully detailed only in the first shot, and leave it for the inker to carry thru with the details in the rest of the issue or appearance. Check Magneto's first appearance, or the Destroyer.)

Curiously, some characters went the other way. Daredevil, for instance, started with a red costume, with little shading, but from time to time, depending on the artist, it would look more like a black costume with red highlights.

Of course, nothing will ever explain to me how anyone in his right mind could look at this costume...

...and think it's supposed to be WHITE!!

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Aaron Smith
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Posted: 18 September 2007 at 9:13am | IP Logged | 10  

WHITE???
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Joe Hollon
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Posted: 18 September 2007 at 9:20am | IP Logged | 11  

Yeah, white....like this....

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John Byrne
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Posted: 18 September 2007 at 9:28am | IP Logged | 12  

White. At a San Diego con, a couple of decades back, I was approach by some animators who were working on the X-Men cartoon. "Settle an argument," they asked. "What color is Storm's costume?" "Shiny black," I said. Apparently this was not the answer they expected. "You mean white." "No," I said, "shiny black. The hi-lights are white."

When the cartoon came out, Storm's costume was white.

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