Marvel Comics revealed this morning via USA Today that popular character Spider-Woman/Jessica Drew is getting a redesigned costume after 40 years of her classic costume.
The new look ditches her traditional red and yellow spandex and half face mask for a more practical, realistic leather jacket and pants combo that converts from street wear to costume.
“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,” said Nick Lowe, editor of the newly re-launched Spider-Woman ongoing that spins out of the current “Spider-Verse” event running through the Spider-Man line.
The change comes several months after the debut of a similarly redesigned Batgirl from DC Comics, where the character lost her gear in an apartment fire and replaced it with a modernized costume designed to emphasize practicality and realism. It similarly follows the redesigns of characters such as Hawkeye and Luke Cage who ditched superhero togs for more practical streetwear designs.
Unfortunately in the case of Spider-Woman, I don’t really feel like it works. With Hawkeye and Batgirl, it made sense; Hawkeye has never been one to really care for the superhero game much, and Batgirl had been written with a lighter tone that the change wasn’t so jarring.
But Jessica Drew has always been written differently, especially since her reintroduction. A little darker, a little more bite. The new suit does have practicality and realism to it, sure, but it doesn’t match up with the super spy reimagining of Spider-Woman that Brian Michael Bendis debuted when Spider-Woman was soft rebooted into the Avengers and S.W.O.R.D. after “Secret Invasion”.
Admittedly, her traditional costume didn’t make any more sense than the redesigned one, but it fit in the context of her having worn it for so long. The new look is a somewhat clumsy fit for the character, and smacks of trying to cash in on the successful Batgirl redesign.
We’ll see how the new look is received soon enough. Spider-Woman’s new costume is first set to debut in the upcoming mobile game “Spider-Man Unlimited” before making it’s debut in Spider-Woman #5 in March 2015, but if it’s anything like her counterpart Spider-Man’s luck with costume redesigns, she’ll be back in the original suit by June.