70’s SuperBetty

Betty as Supergirl remains one of my all-time most popular sketches. I draw her often because she doesn’t tend to last long in my portfolio. This time I chose to outfit SuperBetty in the costume Supergirl wore in the late 1970’s and very early 1980’s. I know its become popular to knock this look as dated and to call it the “Disco Supergirl” costume, but to me, it remains a personal favorite. I’m sure nostalgia plays a big part in my unrelenting affection. After all, this is what Supergirl wore when I first “met” the character as a kid. When you look over Supergirl’s history, however, you’ll see that the character underwent many, many costume changes and sadly, not many of them were very good. For my money, I go with her original outfit and the one I drew above. Everything else? BLEH!

This goes for many of her more contemporary designs. As I’ve often bemoaned, many current artists can’t resist succumbing to two of my biggest personal peeves…


  1. They can’t resist over-designing and over-noodling. I’ve written about this before. There are a number of characters who have very sleek, strong and elegantly simple designs. I think of characters like Captain Marvel, the Flash, and the Legion Of Super Heroes’ Mon-El. Contemporary artists can’t seem to resist letting a simple costume stand without the clutter of needless seems, littered, random bits of metal, and lightning bolts, star patterns and other busy do-dads making a mess of what would otherwise be a very clean, simple look that is striking in its simplicity.
  2. An increasing peeve of mine is the over-trampification of certain female characters. Be clear that I have nothing against a sexy costume. Vampirella should forever wear her classic red outfit and to change that is absolutely sacrilegious. It all depends on the character. Just as there are certain characters who are suited to a sexier look, there are some characters who by there personality should be more reserved. I’m thinking of the Scarlet Witch, the Invisible Woman, Mary Marvel and Supergirl!

What are your favorite super hero designs? And what are your personal design pet peeves? Please let me know in the Comments below!


Thanks, Everybody!


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