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Josh Smith
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Posted: 21 September 2007 at 5:37pm | IP Logged | 1  

What color is Angel's red uniform? I think you all are saying it's black and that's cool but why's it got red in it?
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Michael Roberts
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Posted: 21 September 2007 at 5:38pm | IP Logged | 2  

No, I meant a non-color because black absorbs all light and doesn't
reflect any color.

---

In theory, that is what black is. In terms of real-world pigments, there is
some light reflected, and you have blacks that are "blacker" than other
blacks. That's why my Epson printer has Photo Black, Matte Black, Light
Black, and Light Light Black. (Or because Epson likes money.)

Buy two pairs of black jeans and run one through the wash a few times.
It's not accurate to call the washed ones "dark grey". They're still black. In
some of the examples above, the blue highlights just look like a
convention to indicate a different shade of black from a more "pure"
black.
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John Byrne
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Posted: 21 September 2007 at 7:25pm | IP Logged | 3  

What color is Angel's red uniform? I think you all are saying it's black and that's cool but why's it got red in it?

•••

Ah, now this is where it gets weird. Comics, as noted, are full of colors not found in Nature. The Angel's red costume is --- red. But his "blue" costume is black. (A quick glance at Neal Adams' original design confirms this. Or does anyone really believe Nea intended the Angel to be wearing blue leather boots?)

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John Byrne
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Posted: 21 September 2007 at 7:27pm | IP Logged | 4  

Here's an example of Cyclops vs. Havok, a dark blue vs. black outfit:

•••

No, a shiny black vs a non-reflective black.

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Kevin Hanson
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Posted: 21 September 2007 at 8:03pm | IP Logged | 5  

So, Spandex then?
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Glenn Brown
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Posted: 21 September 2007 at 8:06pm | IP Logged | 6  

I think at least some of the confusion stems from artists who either don't know how or don't take the time to properly render the highlights and reflected light upon the planes of the costumed body.

They either leave wide swatches of material open for color...so that the viewer sees large areas of blue, or red, or whatever and naturally assumes that to be the costume's color...or they render the forms incorrectly so that the lighting is random and not grounded in reality.

Many cartoonists learn from looking at other artists, not from life...so their work is a bastardized, stylized hodgepodge of techniques rather than solid fundamental drawing ability.  Hence, the viewer often is confused over exactly what he's supposed to be seeing.

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Joe Hollon
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Posted: 21 September 2007 at 9:12pm | IP Logged | 7  

Those real world examples of shiny blacks were great!  This debate/discussion has come up so many times and this is the first time I ever felt like anything got cleared up!  Very interesting!

Thanks!

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John Byrne
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Posted: 22 September 2007 at 4:48am | IP Logged | 8  

So, Spandex then?

•••

As a general rule, no. Superhero costumes are usually made out of materials which, like the colors, don't exist in Nature. Run a quick list and it is difficult to find too many who would really be in Spandex -- especially in the Marvel Universe, where it sometimes seems Reed Richards has loaned or leased out the "unstable molecules" material used in the FF uniforms to just about everybody else. In the DCU, so many costumes are of alien or at least extraordinary origin, Spandex again seems unlikely.
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Landry Walker
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Posted: 22 September 2007 at 5:07am | IP Logged | 9  

 John Byrne wrote:
Ah, now this is where it gets weird. Comics, as noted, are full of colors not found in Nature. The Angel's red costume is --- red. But his "blue" costume is black.


(My apologies if this has been covered elsewhere.)

Being color blind, I found myself obsessing over understanding what the colors must be when I was a child. The fact that black hair was typically colored with blue highlights helped me form some pretty strong theories, but was not accepted as evidence by most of my friends. If I recall correctly, you're color blind as well. Have you ever found your logic on this type of subject dismissed due to your vision?
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John Byrne
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Posted: 22 September 2007 at 5:09am | IP Logged | 10  

My color-blindness affects only a narrow range of green and brown tones, which I tend to reverse. As Roger Stern delights in pointing out, I drew my first half dozen issues of IRON FIST thinking his costume was brown.
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Brad Brickley
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Posted: 22 September 2007 at 8:49am | IP Logged | 11  

My color-blindness affects only a narrow range of green and brown tones, which I tend to reverse. As Roger Stern delights in pointing out, I drew my first half dozen issues of IRON FIST thinking his costume was brown.

*********

Might be cool to see a brown Iron Fist costume, maybe someone could photoshop one.
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John Byrne
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Posted: 22 September 2007 at 9:20am | IP Logged | 12  

T'is easy done. . .
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Joe Hollon
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Posted: 22 September 2007 at 9:24am | IP Logged | 13  

Here's an actual brown costume appearance with no enhancements:

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Brad Brickley
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Posted: 22 September 2007 at 10:58am | IP Logged | 14  

Like it.  Very nice combo I think.  Thanks.
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Josh Smith
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Posted: 22 September 2007 at 12:42pm | IP Logged | 15  

JB if that costume were gonna be black with brown highlights what would it look like? I'm trying to get a handle on this is all. Thanks -


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John Byrne
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Posted: 22 September 2007 at 1:00pm | IP Logged | 16  

Iron Fist's costume is like Daredevil's, in that it mostly went the opposite direction from the usual in these situations. Where the X-Men, Spider-Man and others lost their blacks, IF gained more. As originally drawn by Gil Kane, his costume was clearly a dark, but glossy material. Instead of becoming more and more open, it gained more and more blacks until, like Angel's red outfit, like Deadman, like so many others, it became one of those colors not found in Nature -- black that has a color hi-lite nothing to do with the surrounding environment.

Funny thing about that --- playing around with my 3D modeler, I discovered there is actually a setting which makes it possible to create surface textures that have just this quality. Thus, this:

His suit is shiny black, but I told the color to reflect dark green, and voila.

In this image of Cyclops, I told the black surface to reflect nothing of the surroundings ambient light…

While for this group shot, I gave each of the black-suited characters a different color to reflect.

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Paulo Pereira
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Posted: 22 September 2007 at 10:44pm | IP Logged | 17  

Cool models.
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Gene Best
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Posted: 23 September 2007 at 12:45am | IP Logged | 18  

Cool thread, in general.
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Wallace Sellars
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Posted: 23 September 2007 at 5:08am | IP Logged | 19  

Sweet Marvel Premiere cover.
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John Mietus
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Posted: 23 September 2007 at 9:13am | IP Logged | 20  

 John Byrne wrote:
Run a quick list and it is difficult to find too many who
would really be in Spandex


About the only one I can think of would be Spider-Man as originally depicted
(well, had Spandex been available in '62), since his was obviously made at
home with fabrics he purchased and silkscreened.

And oh, hey, seems to me I remember someone actually having Peter's
original costume be Spandex in a retelling of his origin story. Let's see,
where was that...
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Greg Reeves
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Posted: 23 September 2007 at 10:01am | IP Logged | 21  

Those 3D models are great, JB- it would be a neat side job to create designs for video games or some such.  I completely agree on how Angel and Beast's outfits would reflect light, as two different materials of black color (though I believe Angel, like Cyclops, has been more commonly accepted as wearing blue rather than black- even if the original intention was to wear black).  With more reference of how you have Beast colored in that one scene, I think the argument could be made that he's wearing dark grey (the way the modern Black Panther is depicted), but it definitely could be black and the environmental light is subtle.

I really don't think Angel's boots were considered blue, but perhaps they were colored with the same idea behind coloring black hair: not true to life, but more interesting with some color within.  Anyhow, like someone mentioned, it isn't of vast importance, but rather what it means to each of us (someone telling me Cyclops' outfit is black is like me seeing a modern interview with George Lucas saying that the Special Editions are how he always intended the trilogy to be- he may be the creator of it, but even he can't dispel 30 years of what I saw :-). It would be interesting to hear the opinions of long-time and modern colorists or painters of comics about the colors of key characters.  If someone like Alex Ross paints Cyclops as blue (not needing to fill in highlight areas as with inked artwork) can we assume he thinks it's blue?  What about action figures or statues in which there is no black at all?



Edited by Greg Reeves on 23 September 2007 at 10:02am
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John Byrne
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Posted: 23 September 2007 at 10:57am | IP Logged | 22  

I agree with JB tho, a lot of those swipe comparisons are a huge stretch.  And the breakdown of what Bob claims his inspirations for Batman were - who cares?

••

True. But isn't it odd, as fandom has become so very hyper about "creator's rights" and "original intent" in the last few decades, that so many fans still seem to want to cling to these coloring misconceptions. "So what if Neal Adams obviously intended the Angel's costume to be black! I found this drawing from Don Heck breakdowns inked by Vince Colleta that clearly shows it's blue!"

+++

If someone like Alex Ross paints Cyclops as blue (not needing to fill in highlight areas as with inked artwork) can we assume he thinks it's blue?

•••

Ross seems to think the Flash's costume is Spandex. Does that make if Spandex? (I wonder where he buys Spandex that can be compressed into a ring compartment smaller than a dime?)

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Chad Carter
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Posted: 23 September 2007 at 2:37pm | IP Logged | 23  

 

I may be crazy, but that yellow and brown Iron Fist costume looks so much more appealing to me. I can't explain it.

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Greg Reeves
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Posted: 23 September 2007 at 4:00pm | IP Logged | 24  

Well, I don't mean that Ross is the authority on everything, just citing an example of someone who may believe Angel and Cyclops have blue outfits since he isn't limited by the coloring options that classic comics were.  (By the way, I hope I don't give the impression of being absolutely correct and won't hear dissenting opinions or fact; it's just that I was truly surprised to read about Cyclops and Angel, and that was the first time I had ever read that).

The last couple of days I've been looking through OHOTMU and other comics, and there seem to be more layers to this than I realized.  I believe that there are instances where most images of a character are highlighted with blue, yet the outfit is not meant to be blue, such as Spider-Man's black outfit.  Occasionally the New Mutants' uniforms are highlighted with blue, but are not blue (as far as I believe it).  Then there are characters like modern Black Panther and Miller-era Black Widow that have the vast majority of their surface area in grey.  I'm wearing a soft cotton black shirt right now, and where the room light is landing, it certainly appears greyish.  So Black Widow could be black if enough light is striking her at most times we see her, but then that leaves the problem of the widow symbol on her chest (see below). 

Cannonball as I believe his costume to be:

Cannonball as he sometimes is highlighted (is his uniform really blue, or is he the only one on the cover illuminated by blue light?  More likely he is highlighted not true-to-life)

Black Widow- grey outfit (if she is considered black, then what color is the spider symbol on her chest?)

Then we have Spidey- I would think everyone considers this a black outfit, not blue, yet he has the blue highlights.  Since so much of him is always covered in shadow (as opposed to Cyclops or Angel who are often more brightly "lit") I think it's easier to call this suit black.  But again it's probably similar to the coloring of black hair with blue highlights tradition (though I seem to recall modern Spidey comics' "back in black" storyline having him depicted without blue?  I can't remember EDIT: I found a modern Spidey pic, placed below this one, and it seems to support that it is black, not blue.

Lastly, an Angel bust.  Is this incorrect to you, JB?  I just see it as a blue uniform that creates its own shadows in black based on the lighting around it (there are some black areas on this bust created by lack of lighting rather than being painted that way)



Edited by Greg Reeves on 23 September 2007 at 4:12pm
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John Byrne
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Posted: 23 September 2007 at 4:05pm | IP Logged | 25  

Lastly, an Angel bust.  Is this incorrect to you, JB?

••

Yes. But, then, oddly. Bowen Desgns (so absolutely
spot on with so many things) also gave us Blue Bolt.
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