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Alex Ross' Robin Redesign Should Be The Mainstream Version

Iconic comic book artist Alex Ross’ redesign of Robin should be the boy wonder’s mainstream look. While many artists have attempted to modernize Dick Grayson’s costume, Ross’ depiction grounds his earliest incarnation with how it would actually look in the real world.

Alex Ross has brought the worlds of DC and Marvel to life through his photorealist paintings, faithfully envisioning classic comic book designs. His depiction of Batman proves that tights can look good, if the general design of the suit is impressive enough. Ross is known to photograph models wearing physical costumes and use them as reference points for his art. Through reading his book Rough Justice, documenting his work for DC Comics, fans can gain a greater understanding of how he brings his unique style to Superman, Wonder Woman, and many other superhero’s. The book also features unused ideas for characters, expanding on their original costumes and bringing them into a new context.

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Alex Ross’ Rough Justice provided a glimpse at his creative process, and also revealed his concept for a redesigned Robin. Although the boy wonder’s costume has been reimagined in recent years as military-grade armor, Ross’ design brings the character back to his roots, utilizing fabrics and scales. The fantastical look echoes Robin’s inspirations, including Robin Hood and other swashbuckling heroes. Ross’ Robin costume features chain mail arms and legs, echoing the original design’s scaled underwear. He also wears a fabric base, likely covering chain mail underneath, with an extended green hooded cape. When he puts on the hood, it is meant to resemble a bird’s neck, similar to Raven’s hood.

Although Ross isn’t focused on making the boy wonder dark and gritty, the suit does depict a more practical design compared to the sidekick’s first appearance in comics. Even Robin’s domino mask appears to be more realistic, as it straps around the back of his head. The suit might have inspired Damian Wayne’s costume, which also utilizes loose fabrics and a hooded cape.

Similar to Frank Quietly’s Superman redesign for Grant Morrison’s All-Star Superman, Ross doesn’t shy away from the fantastical element of the character. The finned boots and flowing cape echo Dick’s time performing as a circus acrobat with his parents as the Flying Graysons. It might not look as intimidating as the Dark Knight, but it doesn’t have to be. While the alternate suit wasn’t used in comics at the time it was illustrated, Alex Ross’ take on Robins uniform deserves to enter the mainstream.

More: Robin’s Costume Was Ripped Off From A Flash Gordon Comic

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