Wednesday, July 19, 2006

Gender Reassignment Challenge: Black Canary To Black Eagle

In the Gender Reassignment Challenge, I take a superheroine with a very feminine look, and I redesign the costume for a male hero. My goal is to use as many elements of the original costume as possible without the hero looking like a man in woman's clothing. With fashion, the lines between "masculine" and "feminine" can be whisper-thin -- remember George Costanza and his Gloria Vanderbilt eyeglasses?

I've gotten a lot of requests to do a male version of Black Canary. She's a tough one, alright. Probably because she looks like a cocktail waitress. The bustier, the tight little jacket, those darned fishnet stockings--! It's a real puzzler. A few months ago, I did some sketches of a Man-Canary (and no, Scipio, I'm not calling him that!) but I never could come up with anything I liked. The closest was this godawful baggy hip-hop outfit with a lot of mesh. It sucked. And it would be a total cop-out for me to just draw a guy in a tuxedo. But I think I came up with a decent -- and very modern -- solution.


Here's a guy I call the Black Eagle. 'Cause that sounds manlier than "Canary." He's dressed like a pro wrestler. The jacket, trunks, and boots are all leather. (Down, boys.) I figure Stone Cold Steve Austin could get away with wearing black leather trunks out in public, so why not this guy? I approximated the shape of the Canary's bustier with an eagle tattoo. I also used tattoos in place of the fishnet. It's criss-crossing lines of barbed wire. Badass, am I right? I even kept the long blonde hair from the female version, only now it completes the look of a big, strapping Nordic dude. Lotta Viking blood in there.

Next: a "Rescue Me" design for Hellrazor!


Phillip said...

Wow, you appear to have pulled it off! Congrats! I can imagine you going through a lot of design ideas on this one. I'll admit at first I thought the leg tattoos were tights with a design printed on them. Obviously, that's not nearly manly enough for this guy.;)

Jeremy Rizza said...

Thanks! I just redid the coloring on the image a little -- his legs were as pasty as Jeremy Rizza's before, so I made him more tan. Which also had the pleasing effect of blurring the tattoo lines a little and making it seem more natural. I think that'll help it look like his legs are bare.

Steven said...


Like the original Canary, is the blonde hair a wig? And does he still have screaming powers (or is it more of an eagle screech?)

And what's that hand gesture? "'Excuse me, I need to punch this guy"?

Scipio said...


Black Manary.

Jeremy Rizza said...

Steven: I figure the blonde is his real hair, and he wears a wig in his civilian identity. Maybe something darker and badly-cut, plus he'd have glasses and maybe a fake belly. Plus, he'd wear a lot of layers, to hide the tattoos. And hell yeah he'd have an eagle screech! It's manlier! (I thought about maybe calling him the Black Lion so it would be a super-deep lion's roar but that was taking it too far afield from the bird theme.) The gesture is a "I'm a-callin' yew out" deal. He's pointing at the guy he's about to pound into submission.

Scipio: Haw!