Tuesday, April 28, 2015

The Difference An Artist Can Make

I hated the new Red Hood design when I saw the covers for the new Red Hood/Arsenal series. Then the variant for issue one came out and it made a different impression on me.

Red Hood/Arsenal #2

This was done by Howard Porter who's work I usually enjoy. In fact I like everything about this image except the Red Hood costume. To be fair it also has to do with the coloring choices that makes the tan/flesh color of Jasons' sleeveless jacket look weird. Everything else is a little too bright. Nothing seems to go together with the design and coloring on Jason. What seems to be a red collar in both of Porters' images also looks pointless and an odd choice.

Red Hood/Arsenal #1 Variant
Former Red Hood and the Outlaws artist Kenneth Rocafort did this. The more muted colors really make a world of difference. Jason has the sleeveless jacket open which is actually more of his style and it looks so much better. The helmet is shaped more like a helmet, the posture is more natural and I can tell how the costume is supposed to work. What I thought was a red collar on Porters' work is a actual hoodie attached to the jacket. That detail works a 100 times better than the other. These outfits look like the characters are going into war compared to their RHATO designs. Especially Roy who is more covered and the green pants Jason has gives that association to the army better here. (That's the only reason I can think of for him having green pants.)
Granted it's hard to tell which images are closer to the actual uniforms at this juncture since there are design elements that are different in the two covers. Rocafort for example has more gold trimming/detailing on Roy and solid black pants. His take just works a hell of a lot better and with luck the characters will look more like his version. The interior art is Denis Medri which likely means this is more of their interpretation of the new designs.

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