Maybe it's just me, but I look at the 'new' Batgirl costume and I find myself thinking it's less 'new' and more they mostly just adapted her "Batman: White Knight" outfit for the mainstream DCU.
It doesn’t strike me as ‘new,’ no. (’New’ here meaning something we’ve never seen before.) It very clearly is riffing on earlier variations of costumes she’s worn, and the fact that Sean Gordon Murphy designed it probably accounts for any similarities with the White Knight version.
If you’ll indulge me, I thought I’d compile my favourite ten paper cutouts that I made last year. Click on the title of each to jump to their specific post for additional content.
Batgirl of Burnside - Like one or two other people, I really dug the new Batgirl costume redesign when it was announced. I mean, sure, leather isn’t as bulletproof as skin-tight spandex and boots are less practical than the traditional heroine stilettos, but I got over it. So I wanted to join in on the fun and create my own fan art. Of course, with me and my process, joining in on the fun means join the party several weeks late, but I think it was worth the wait. Easily my most viewed cutout, although it was the post of the close-ups that got the most attention. Which makes sense, since there was an insane amount of detail for that one. Probably the hardest one I’ve ever done.
Daenerys Targaryen - Finally figured out something I could do for my wife (within the context of paper cutouts, that is). And she liked it! Made all that staying up late while she slept worth it.
The Bat Family - This one sits in a frame on my son’s wall. Bruce Timm’s style is always the easiest to replicate with paper, and each of these four are among the easiest I’ve done. But when you put them together, you get a better sense of the power of Timm’s minimalism. My son likes that they all have their own Bat symbols in the skyline.
Elsa from Frozen - The superhero cutouts are for my eldest son. But I was starting to worry that his baby brother would feel left out once he got old enough to realize that his bedroom walls are rather barren in comparison. Rather than push superheroes on a one-year-old, I decided to stick with the more age-appropriate Disney. At the time, Frozen was his favourite movie/music videos/collection of moving visual content, so I decided to give Elsa a try. To make it a little extra special, I went out and bought special paper to make her top all shiny like it is in the movie (the thinner paper for her train I already had). I think it turned out well. Additional Disney pieces are featured on my other Tumblr.
Mary Marvel - My son is a fan of Mary even though her cartoon appearances have been brief. One episode of Brave and the Bold and one issue of the Justice League Unlimited tie in comic. That’s it, unless you count 1981’s The Kid Super Power Hour with Shazam!, which we do, since my son and I watched it off YouTube. This left me without any animated source art to work from, pushing me into actual art, which was something I avoided prior to Mary. For the most part, animated designs are less complex than their comic or fan art counterparts, which is helpful in a medium that doesn’t allow for the mixing of colours. But he wanted Mary Marvel on his wall, so I had to stretch the boundaries of my established talent to get her. And I must say, it worked out. I think she’s really pretty. After this one, I was more comfortable working in different styles (as you can see from others on this list).
The Metal Men - A bit of a cheat, since this is actually six different cut outs, but the request was for all of the Metal Men, not a specific one or ones, so I’m counting them as one (I did them one after another). Really, why would anyone just want Gold or Iron? (That’s a question to ask the toymakers associated with the Brave and the Bold series, btw, who only made Gold and Iron). Since the Metal Men’s whole deal is that they’re, you know, metal, I figured simple coloured paper wouldn’t be enough. So I bought six sheets of metallic paper to make each one, making this easily the most expensive set I’ve worked on yet. Don’t tell my kid that for the price of his Metal Men art, he could’ve had another LEGO set.
Robin (Stephanie Brown) - Once I established that I could work with non-animated source files, I was finally able to give my son what he’d asked for since a Google image search turned up a picture of a girl wearing a Robin costume: Girl Robin! This one is sourced from the great Marcio Takara.
Red Arrow - It’s a little unfortunate that my best looking Young Justice cutout is of the guy who never wanted to be a part of The Team, but I love how this one turned out. Compare the detail work here to the earlier ones I did of The Team (which are currently some of my oldest surviving cutouts on his wall, as I’ve replaced the first several I made) and you can really see how far I’ve come along. It’s not outside the realm of possibility that I eventually replace all those too.
Huntress - I just like the colours. The construction is really well done too, showing that while animated styles may be a little simpler, they still produce some worthy art work as well. But I chose this one over several other contenders because I really liked finally getting to use a bunch of the purple sheets I’d bought in a pack. I’m a fan of purple.
Hawkman - After building Hawkgirl’s wings a feather at a time, I was not looking forward to making Hawkman. Didn’t help that the guy did not make many animated turns. Using Cliff Chiang’s beautiful source image gave me not only a powerful pose to use for the sometimes goofy looking hero, but also presented a better way to do wings, which while difficult in its own right, was far less tedious.
DC Comic writers Brenden Fletcher and Cameron Stewart, along with artist Babs Tarr will be taking over the Batgirl comics this upcoming October. Along with the new talent, they are also giving Batgirl a new costume. This will be the latest of many changes Batgirl has been going through since her first appearance.
In regards to feminism, Batgirl has a strange turbulent history, but an overall strong personality which will no doubt remain constant. The changes her character has gone through have been riddled with controversy and praise, but that is a topic for another time. For now we will focus on her latest change.