You ARE the Critic, Black Condor Edition

For this week's "Bad Super Hero Costume" edition, I thought I'd turn it over to you all to provide the critique. Our subject was suggested by Kaldath, and I think it's a great example. Ladies and gentlemen, I give you, Black Condor!

In the comments to this post, take your best shot at explaining why this is (or isn't!) a bad super hero costume. It's going to be hard to pass up the "jazz hands" look of this specific drawing, but that's why we're paying you the big bucks.

Have at it, intrepid fashion reporters!

P.S. It isn't relevant to the costume necessarily, but it probably bears mentioning that in this guy's original origin story, he learned how to fly because he hung out with condors. Not magic condors, or alien condors, just regular old endangered species condors. Apparently just living close enough to living beings that have an ability is enough to grant you that ability, although that fails to explain Pauly Shore.

37 Responses to You ARE the Critic, Black Condor Edition

  1. Zaheelee says:

    Wonder Woman called: she wants her boots back!

  2. William A. Peterson says:

    I actually kind of like it… It’s showing a bit too much skin, but otherwise, it’s not too bad!

  3. Doornik1142 says:

    Yeah, if they just covered up the exposed skin with spandex it would be fine.

    Just as long as the spandex isn’t blue. That much blue-on-blue is just boring.

  4. Tuldabar says:

    How in bloody heck is that strap across his chest staying put?! What, is it sewn into his undies?! “Cause it’s tucked into them looks like!

    So what does this guy do, other than fly? What makes him more qualified than your average Joe to fight bad guys? Pure curiosity on my part.

    Okay, I just have to say it: What exacly is “black,” or “Condor” about this get-up? When did he get up in the morning with the idea that “pseudo-naked flying blue guy, what a great costume”? (Spiderman SDs reference, Electro level)

  5. Jeff Hebert says:

    He just flies. That’s it. He carries some kind of futuro-pistol, but pretty much “Flying” is the entire contents of his dossier.

  6. Jessica says:

    Okay, this costume is wrong for so many reasons. It would take me all day to point out everything so I will just name the most horrible. I’ll start with the top. That collar freaks me out! I mean, if you’re going to cover half your chest why not cover it all the way with a full shirt? It just isn’t right. And I totally agree with Tuldabar. That strap is driving me crazy. It looks like it’s either sewn into the collar (see comment above) or his underwear. You need somewhere that defines where a strap like that comes from. Not to mention that I’ve always had a problem with straps of any kind on a superhero costume. It looks too much like something a male stripper would wear. And lets take a look at the diamonds. I mean, seriously, are you so insecure that you have to point out what you have below the belt, which doesn’t look like much considering the shape of your spandex underwear? Then there’s the so-called cape. It looks like a really bad Banshee knock-off cape. And cuffs should never be used. If you want cuffs, talk to your local Stag Shop. Then there are the boots. I haven’t seen boots that horrible since the moon boots came out. Of course, my biggest pet peeve is how much nakedness is going on here! Not that I have a problem with nakedness but the muscles could have been drawn a little better. He looks like a midget version of Arnold Schwarzenegger when he was still a male bodybuilder. Okay, I’m done now.

  7. Gero says:

    This guy was in a article. It said that in edition to the whole “I can fly because I was raised by birds” thing, he also stole the identity of an assassinated senator after he failed to save the guy…

  8. Myro says:

    Well, he is rocking the Killraven combination of shoulder garment, baldric, and hot pants. And by “rocking,” I if course mean “making a spectacle of himself. Add in the cape wings which lack the rigidity to make actual flight possible, and I dare say I don’t think there’s enough material there to make a decent attempt at gliding. Fail!

  9. Worf says:

    Oh wow. Public nudity, a costume that the fashion police should shoot on sight AND identity theft. Great qualifications for a “hero”.

  10. Kaldath says:

    I don’t think he is wearing a cape and shoulder pads, what I think we are seeing in this picture is what is left of his turtle neck sweater after he had a battle with the Killer Moth!

  11. I see absolutely nothing wrong with any of it. Me thinks he looks FABULOUS!

    As for powers, seems to me that a half-hearted Care Bear Stare would put this guy on his bare covered keester.

    BTW the Gay Desperado wants to know why Black Condor doesn’t call anymore 😉

  12. I meant BARELY covered keester, aka his arse

  13. McKnight57 says:

    Why do I feel like Greg Louganis just one day stole Wonder Woman’s boots, raided Banshee’s back-up costume drawer and decided to jump off the roof and glide around fighting crime? And by “fighting crime” I actually mean “turning himself into a blue flying target.”

  14. Going out on a limb (wing) here. The lines are aesthetic. The blend of white to blue and red. Look at the background which displays in red a stern, serious man against a tortured soul in the upper left corner. The transforming dive into a soaring bird in the upper right. The liberating form emerging from the bottom right corner. To the a hurried, scampering, in-over-his-head costumed man in the bottom left, running and shooting. This guy is Eric Forman.

    Not saying it’s a masterpiece. The costume definitely creeps me out. The hair holds left while he’s flying right? Super-Mousse! I’m listening to Erasure’s “Blue Savannah Song” just to calm my nerves.

    It does convey a certain sense of liberation juxtaposed against lamentation. Very disco. It is very… PG-words… “Village People”… still it has a lot of sub-text and story.

    Now, the origin of learning to fly by just hanging out with birds? That’s just plain silly, you goose.

  15. Reader Kate says:

    It’s just not avian enough. He calls himself Black Condor, not Navy Blue Dancer. That dippy little cape looks like something that would be worn by a fourth grader playing a bird in the school play. The boots are just plain ugly, and how the hell does that top-half-of-a-turtleneck thingie stay on?
    He needs to wear something more Gatchaman-like. Something that you can actually look at and think “condor.”

  16. Nick Hentschel says:

    OOOO!!!! Did you take this out of “Who’s Who”, Ch. 2? I used to have that; it was one of the first comics I ever bought!

    Thanks for the memory.

    P.S. Arthur Dent learned that the secret to flying is simply to throw yourself at the ground… and miss. (@ Atomic Punk[14])

  17. Dan says:

    Did this putz come out before or after The Falcon at Marvel? He seems like a bad DC rip-off. And I guess he’s a little chilly, that’s why he’s wearing a shawl. Doesn’t he know that unless you’re some kind of monster, like Thing or Beast, or a non Human like Martian Manhunter, you can’t pull off the bare chest / bare leg combo? We should do a 90’s remake. Bare chest + big spikes, shoulder pads, and pouches = awesome. But not really.

  18. punkjay says:

    I think this guy is the sidekick of The Gay Desperado?

  19. X-stacy says:

    You know, put him in a white bodysuit under all that blue, give his bandolier a place to go–and maybe a point? perhaps grenades he could drop as he flew over evil-doers!–and…well, no. It would still suck, and would be even less Black Condory than it is now. Hmm.

    Maybe you could dress him up as a kachina eagle dancer, except all in black. Then his silliness would be both hard to see in detail and hard to insult without sounding racist–a win for both sides! (…probably won’t help with Village People comments, though.)

  20. spidercow2010 says:

    I can explain all this. He was raised by condors, right? They didn’t care about clothes. He spent all his boyhood naked, and he prefers it. Upon learning that he could inexplicablly fly, he decided to fight crime in the world of men, but found he’d need to cover, at least, his junk to be taken seriously. Hence the shorts. The cape was (again, inexplicably) the best aerodynamical design for in-flight maneuvering, since the gliding on updrafts the condors taught him wasn’t all that effective in catching felons. The dickie is part of the cape, and the strap keeps the dickie from strangling him in a power-dive. The boots…well, he found the boots, and figured they’d be good for hard landings. It’s all blue because, um, he likes blue; it remainds him of his boyhood home in the Andes. And those aren’t diamonds, they’re graphic representations of a raven in full caw mode, comin’ at ya. As for why the strap only anchors the right side of the dickie, that’s because…um…oh, hell, I don’t know. This outfit has stupefied my critical faculties. I wass trying to make a ‘form follows function’ argument, but this guy’s function isn’t worth the formation.

  21. spidercow2010 says:

    When i said raven i of course meant condor.

  22. von Bek says:

    OK, so apart from the gormless grin (like a dancer?), the edge of the collar-thingy sticking up, while he’s going forward, the lack of any restraint to the cape along the arms (are they stuck on, ’cause surely they don’t just rely on the cuffs?), the bandolier/strap thing that goes into the middle of his underpants, the lack of any clothing that would make flying at altitude really dangerous, the diamond belt buckle that if solid would stab you in the gut everytime you leant forward and the raygun-whatsit that seems to be on the belt with no means of attachment, I think it’s great!

  23. @Nick Hentschel(16): Any opportunity to cite “Hitchhiker’s” is a good opportunity. 😉

  24. Skiriki says:

    I foresee many accidents (high speeds, enemy punches, rips, etc) involving his tightie-blackies peeling away, and exposing Happy Sausage in a manner guaranteed to attract law enforcement. Won’t somebody think of the children! 😉

  25. P.F. Bruns says:


    “I wass trying to make a ‘form follows function’ argument, but this guy’s function isn’t worth the formation.”

    Nothing I could ever write about this costume could possibly sum up my thoughts and feelings better than this.

  26. Watson Bradshaw says:

    No wonder the Condors are dying out if this is their idea of what a superhero should look like! I’m just gonna say it, chafing from high wind speeds will happen. Can he even throw a punch with that cape attached to both arms like that, any criminal could just grab and gather that from behind and his arms are useless. And frankly, he does look more like a male stripper than a hero, but we all need a 9 to 5 I guess.

    well DC did get their act together and the new Black Condor looks pretty awesome.

  27. Moognation says:

    Flying with bare nips…Exhilerating!!

  28. TheNate says:

    @Moognation – he prefers frozen nipples to chafed ones.

    @Watson Bradshaw – Bear in mind Johnny Cash wiped out lots of condors with a single “Ring of Fire”:

  29. Watson Bradshaw says:

    @TheNate- Johnny Cash: Nature Lover!:)

  30. Gero says:

    Wow, I just realized that in my last comment, I spelled “addition” as “edition”…

  31. McKnight57 says:

    Please leve a comment on my poll. I’m going to be teaching a class session on the effects of comics and graphic novels on society. I need another example or two:

  32. EXILE says:

    NO I WILL NOT ALLOW THIS! You must let me design a better costume on the heromachine Jeff! Please let me resign this horrible design!Please!

  33. Fuzztone says:

    I’m not sure about a costume critique, but the caption for this is “I know, but this was all they had left”.

  34. Steve says:

    To Dan, Oct.12th, regretably, this guy came from 1940 courtesy of artist Lou Fine (probabnly drunk) and writer Will Eisner (probably wasn’t paying attention. Black Condor later showed up in DC Comics Freedom Fighters. Fortunately, he never had an action figure produced, because I’d be a little worried if my kid wanted this guy instead of…welll…anybody else (including Wonder Woman!)
    What’s shocking is that he doesn’t even want to wear a mask, just so he could be a mystery man in a (unfinished) costume like that! Somehow, the dark blue just doesn’t live up to its manly, tough-guy reputation when paired with those booties, undies, and towel-used-as-a-cape.

  35. Frevoli says:

    See in the golden age, no one knew about science and that… making it much easier to be creative

    The Wizard (who I use as my mentalist in FNF) trained himself as a child, and gained telepathy, super strength, hypnosis, clairvoyance and a photographic memory.

    Who knows, perhaps by living with condors he accessed some kind of animal man Geo-Force… which also stopped him from becoming a feral child, despite being raised in the wild

  36. Frevoli says:

    sorry, my mistake – he WAS a feral child, but then he was educated my a mountain hermit… simple explantation

  37. Steve says:

    Heyyy! Some of my bestest wisdom comes from my own mountain hermit! And I grew out of my feral stage to grow up as a well-adjusted red robin dressed only in shorts, boots, and half a cape!