Spider-Woman Gets A New “Functional” and “Modern” Costume

Spider-Woman#5--CoverFor those who looked at the Spider-Solicitations for March of 2015, you might have noticed that even though there was a solicit for Spider-Woman #5, there wasn’t a corresponding cover accompanying the issue. Turns out there was a reason for this, as Marvel was holding back the release of the cover in order to make an announcement.  Because it turns out this coming March, Spider-Woman, aka Jessica Drew, will be getting a new “contemporary” costume.  As reported in USA Today:

After nearly 40 years of the same red-and-yellow curve-hugging tights, Marvel Comics superheroine Jessica Drew is getting a modern makeover. A new costume designed by artist Kris Anka can be seen beginning today when Spider-Woman debuts as a playable character in the Spider-Man Unlimited mobile game, and the fresh threads will be seen on comic-book pages in March when the character begins a new direction in her life in the recently launched Spider-Woman solo series.

“As much as I’m a fan of spandex and it has its time and place, I felt Jess as a character could move away from that for a good long while,” says Spider-Woman editor Nick Lowe.

And series writer Dennis Hopeless hopes both changes cement her as one of Marvel’s A-list personalities. “You’ve seen her as a superspy and Avenger and soldier. Now let’s see this person as an old-school hero.”

Apparently, plans for updating Jessica Drew’s look were underway ever since Nick Lowe became the Spider-Man group editor in February, as he “[didn’t] love the classic one,” and was in development before the controversy surrounding Milo Manara’s variant cover for Spider-Woman #1 ignited last August. It’s also, according to writer Dennis Hopeless, a design which will be more in keeping his planned “real world” and “street-level” approach to the character post “Spider-Verse.” 

So what’s your thoughts on Jessica’s new duds? Is it a much needed improvement? Something which should have been left well enough alone? Or perhaps a little too coincidental in light of Cameron Stewart and Babs Tarr’s redesign for DC Comics’ Batgirl which debuted earlier this year? The full design sketches for the new outfit can be seen in the sourced links below.

Sources: USA Today and Newsarama


(26) Comments

  1. PartyHardy

    It makes sense given the choices her character would most likely make, and that seems to be the angle they're pushing, but it's becoming a disturbing and tiresome trend with first Batgirl, and now Spider-Woman. This needn't become a thing.

  2. Rama

    Oh good! Something they'll just have to change back two years from now. I mean...I'm sure this will be great, because stuff like this always sticks and becomes the new standard. Sarcasm intended.

  3. Sano

    I feel like all these costume designs are made to accommodate the influx of female fans coming into comics. It's not necessary. They were fans before the costume changes. And Spider-Woman's new outfit sucks anyway.

  4. Bill

    It's quite an unattractive design IMO. This smacks of just more change for the sake of change to me. Not to actually make something better, just to make it different to promote the illusion of progress. It always cracks me up when they try to make classic comicbook characters more "real world". The more serious and "realistic" you try to make superheroes the stupider they look. Trying to explain everything too much and make it "realistic" just doesn't work in stories that are about people who get bit by radioactive spiders and then get spider powers as a result. It's that mindset that has totally ruined superhero comics, and made them unreadable for a great many longtime fans. In short, Spider-Woman's classic costume was pretty awesome and dynamic, and a lot more interesting than the boring "street level" piece of junk they came up with to replace it. (For no good reason).

  5. Evan

    @ #19 hornacek -- I just saw the Greg Land cover of Spider-Woman #2, and in light of the new costume announcement, it is interesting to me that Jessica appears much more concealed in that image. I cannot help but think that the costume redesign has less to do with a change in direction for the character or "functionality" and more a reaction to the controversy associated with the Milo Manara variant cover, as Mike said. But her pose on the cover of #2 may just be a coincidence, so we will just have to see if future covers bear this out. With that said, I do think the new costume is neat, though I do question just how much of a disguise those glasses will afford, even with the push-button extension. At least she is not wearing giant Doc Martens-style boots like Batgirl.

  6. hornacek

    To be honest, her original costume always seemed to be saying "Look at my boobs!" As for the new costume, I wasn't thinking of the new Batgirl costume comparison until I looked at the 4th image in the USA Today article (the one with the 4 Jessicas). It just shouts out "We saw the sketches of the new Batgirl costume and the response to it, we can do that too."

  7. Enigma_2099

    Did someone Ok this with BMB? he let them do this to her? Whatever. I like her other suit better. And she still can't top Symbiote Spidey.

  8. RDMacQ

    "A good long while" being "Until her series is cancelled and she's brought back for a guest appearance."

  9. Stillanerd - Post author

    @#13 Drewmeister -- Too be fair, one of the sketches shows that her glasses can "transform" into a mask by pressing a button on the side. http://www.gannett-cdn.com/-mm-/9d33d2de0e031af482f457d96e20b9ef7c2e393d/c=69-0-1569-2000&r=183&c=0-0-180-238/local/-/media/2014/12/18/USATODAY/USATODAY/635544607501615699-SpiderAccessories.jpg

  10. Drewmeister

    My only real complaint is that she's basically relying on sunglasses to keep her identity a secret. I mean, we can see her eyes right through it. In this day and age it would be super hard to keep a secret like that for very long, and now she's just one step away from Clark Kent hiding his identity by taking off his glasses.

  11. Ryan3178

    It's not a bad costume and I see what they are going for here. However, I agree a little too close to Batgirl.

  12. Nick MB

    @10 I guess maybe they wanted to slightly space out the Spider-Woman launch from the Silk and Spider-Gwen #1s that are already scheduled to follow straight after Spider-Verse.

  13. MC3

    #7, I think they probably should have made Jessica's Spider-Verse crossover a mini-series all of it's own and then launched her new look with a fresh #1 in March

  14. Ben

    I think this 'street' look suits the Bat-characters (Batgirl and Red Hood) better just because they A) Lack superpowers and need a more 'functional' costume to store their gadgets/weapons, and B) the New 52 DC universe is so consistently bleak and 'gritty' that the costume style just fits. I normally like my Marvel heroes to look more colorful and classic, but I'm okay with this redesign, it seems to suit the new direction Marvel seem to be taking Spider-Woman in. I wouldn't really call a tight jacket and a pair of sunglasses particularly functional though....

  15. Nick MB

    Looks good. If they're pushing the urban/down-to-earth detective thing as her new angle, makes sense to have a costume that reflects it. No idea why they waited until #5 to debut it instead of just pushing it in #1 though.

  16. hornacek

    Marvel's main concern regarding the new costume: "Can we still draw her on a cover and prominently display her butt?"

  17. Iron Patriot

    The Batgirl comparisons are very valid. Even Cameron Stewart, who redesigned Batgirl, commented on the similarities. While I don't think this is quite as good as that one, I do like this quite a bit. While I've come to dig Jessica's iconic costume, it doesn't really make sense as a design. This retains just enough elements of the previous one, like the red yellow and black color scheme, the exposed hair and the triangles, while giving Jess something new. It's been 37 years anyway.

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