Thursday, August 09, 2007

Gary Frank sketchbook: updated Dawnstar

Gary Frank, the artist on Action Comics starting with the storyline "Superman and the Legion of Super-Heroes" (Action #858), has a sketchbook up on Wizard Universe with an article and commentary by Geoff Johns:

And according to Johns, the finish line is nowhere in sight. “He’ll be on for good,” says the writer, who previously worked with Frank on Avengers [Vol. 3] #61-#62. “We’re going for very classic stories in Action with modern interpretations. Our first arc is called ‘Superman and the Legion of Super-Heroes.’ It spins out of the JSA/JLA crossover, but it’s really a story that stands on its own. It’s Superman finding out what’s happened to the Legion.”

Dawnstar gets a makeover (click to enlarge):

Though it’s not the classic design, look for the Legion’s resident winged warrior to show up in Frank’s run on Action.

“Dawnstar, as she’ll appear, will have gone through some stuff,” teases Frank. “I wanted the costume to reflect that and be a little less cute. I also wanted to close up some of the holes and make it look like a more serious piece of work-wear. She is supposed to have a Native American look, so I wanted to emphasize those strong, proud features. We sometimes have a tendency to equate beauty in comics with things like a button nose and big, blue eyes, but if you are prepared to adjust your approach, you can move away from that and come up with something at least as beautiful and a lot more interesting.”


Greybird said...

I'm glad Dawnstar's shown off this well. Gary Frank is clearly being thoughtful and isn't taking a path of least artistic resistance.

Her original look still isn't going to be topped in terms of sex appeal, mystery, personal flair, and even Native American allusion, I'd say.

It was a passionate creation by Mike Grell, done from his affection for that heritage, and as any of his more recent sketches show, that still gives it power and presence.

Yet I came to think it wasn't likely to be kept for her these days — even with its being brought back in the "Lightning Saga" stories, largely to visually signify her return. (What a great word. After 17 years and with all six limbs. Sorry, I still can't get over it!)

The "politically-correct" types have made their stand in comicdom, as they have everywhere else, and have criticized anything they see as even remotely evoking stereotypes, whether or not it's justified ... I could say more, but I'll leave it at that.

A more functional look was inevitable, and I'm just glad it's this attractive. Some have suggested that it resembles a leotard or gymwear. I don't think so. If anything, it's mostly an anti-spandex look, and still aimed at being somewhat decorative.

As for still-covered shoulders and arms — which some have said they dislike — they've always been part of Dawny's iconic visual effect. Along with those {ahem!} well-turned and visible legs! If these touches all still work for someone like Power Girl, why not keep them here?

(Some of these comments were first posted on the DC message board. As to providing a reference, my scanner and I didn't wait for the WizardUniverse site to catch up with the printed book. Michael acts more "responsibly," o'course, than I do {rueful smile} where Dawny is concerned.)

MaGnUs said...

I like the re-design.

Siskoid said...

That looks great.

I too have affection for the original costume, but every other Legionnaire has had multiple makeovers. This is a good blend of what worked for the original, and a neew sensibility.

Bryan said...

My browser must be displaying a different picture because the Dawnstar outfit I'm looking at is ugly as hell.

MaGnUs said...

Or you disagree with us.