Monday, February 27, 2006

Gender Reassignment Challenge: Saturn Girl To Saturn Boy

Here is the first of a series of costume design challenges I've set for myself. In the "gender reassignment" challenge, I reimagine a highly feminine superheroine costume for a male version of that character. To make it difficult, I try to make the new costume as manly as possible while still incorporating as many of the female aspects of the costume as I think I can. Up first is Saturn Girl. Let's take a look at her.

Saturn Girl

I've done preliminary sketches based on the costumes of many superheroines, like the Scarlet Witch, Storm, Ms. Marvel, and the Black Canary. Saturn Girl's outfit was by far the girliest of these, since it was essentially a one-piece bathing suit with opera gloves and pirate boots. I've found many ways around the confounding A-lines and bustiers of a lot of superheroine duds, but I upped the difficulty with "Saturn Boy's" costume by keeping the exposed shoulders and midsection. I worked a real long time on this design, and I'm still not totally happy with it but I freely admit the damn thing just stumped me.

Saturn Boy

I attached the gloves to the body of the costume to make the top all one garment. The cut-outs originally revealed even more skin but it was still too ladylike for my tastes. Since I absolutely loathe the combination of bare thighs and boots on male costumes -- as you probably know if you've read this blog for a while -- I made the bottom of the outfit baggy shorts. To balance them out and add a new-wave feel to the costume, I incorporated a high, wide collar. And to maintain the level of exposed skin, I shortened the boots considerably. They got cuffs, too, to match the collar. The whole thing's red, since I sure as hell wasn't going to keep it pink. At one point I had made it a really dark red, like "dried blood" red, but that felt like cheating. This still looks awfully fey. I dunno. I don't think it's a complete success. Ah well. I'm really excited about my designs for "the Scarlet Warlock" and the guy version of Storm, though. They turned out a lot better. And sexier! But I should probably keep that to myself. At any rate, you'll see them in the next few weeks.


Michael said...

I submit to you, from Sept. 1970 in Action Comics 392.... Saturn Lad!

It's really a couple of male Legionnaires trying to convince the girls that they didn't exist (long story). You can't really tell from that picture, but Saturn Lad's side cutouts are solid white. I guess they felt the cutouts were too girly. Prince Projectur looks a lot like Dollman of the Freedom Fighters, by the way.

Phillip said...

This costume's not bad at all! I like the collar (spud fashion never dies!), and I'll admit the cutouts are weird, but they balaced out by the shorts and lower boots. Good work! Much better than that 1970 example.

Jeremy Rizza said...

Thanks, phillip! You're a pal, as always.

And thank you, michael, for remembering that old comic book! It's what gave me the idea for this, actually. I read a black-and-white reprint of that story in a cheap paperback maybe twenty years ago (yikes!) but it got lost and I could never remember which actual comic book it came from. The only thing that stuck with me was how unbelievably stupid Saturn Lad looked.

Verification word: "dehlhmz" -- it's how I pronounce "Doll Man" after a few martinis.

Daniel said...

Well, you could admit defeat--let's face it, that costume never really looked good on her, either--and start with any of the other half-dozen costumes Saturn Girl has worn over the past 40+ years.

Daniel said...

Besides, next to Tyroc...

Hey, there's an idea. What would Tyroc's costume look like on a girl?

Jeremy Rizza said...

Re: Saturn Girl's pink swimsuit costume, daniel, I remember thinking it looked okay... when I was eleven. It sure looks tacky and dated to me now,though. I chose that specific costume to redesign because of my vague memories of Saturn Lad and also because it was just so gol-danged feminine. It seems like all of her other looks, from the original green-yellow-black number onward, have consisted either of jumpsuits or a combination of a long-sleeved tunic and leggings. There wouldn't be much I could do to them to make them more "manly."

I'm not all that broken up about how my Saturn Boy design turned out. I knew I was tackling a really difficult assignment, and on top of that I had given myself some pretty hefty restrictions. So to me, it's like I tried to scale Mount Everest but only made it 3/4 up the mountain. I didn't meet my goal but it's still an accomplishment.

Tyroc's costume on a girl? I think it would look perfectly appropriate -- if a bit slutty -- on a woman. No alterations required!

And daniel, thanks for dropping by!