The Top 10 Superhero Not-Costumes

Superheroes and villains have been known to dress a little garish. This is not a new thing. Ever since Superman’s mom thought he’d look SO CUTE in the little red boots and cape, it’s been the norm.
But some people just have to be different. Some people throw together some crap they had laying in their closet and call it a crime fighting outfit. And in the immortal words of Tim Gunn (himself no stranger to donning a battle suit to kick some ass): They make it work.

Gather ’round and assemble everyone!
So to honor these fashion mavericks, I present
“The Top 10 Superhero Not-Costumes”.
Because modern is the new post-modern.

10) The Captain(Nextwave)
Everyone in Nextwave has that same sweet jacket, but all wear their normal costumes underneath. The Captain (just, “The Captain”) didn’t really have one beforehand.
He’s not really very good at this superhero thing to be honest. He’s made his peace just donning a pair of cammo pants and a shirt with a star on it.
What does the star represent? America? The space aliens that gave him his powers? His sense of self worth? Nah. Ultimately, it just seems to represent his lack of imagination. But say it to his face and he’ll kick your head through a toilet.

9) The Runaways

As a group of people NOT wearing individual logos on their chests, it’s pretty easy to tell the Runaways apart.
Original series artist Adrian Alphona smartly created a super-distinct fashion sense for each character. Nico’s homemade goth attire,Victor’s big honkin’ headphones, and Molly’s collection of silly hats made them all instantly recognizable. Even if just one of them showed up in another book, you’d still know who they were by sight alone! And considering the amount of artists content to draw all civilians in a blank shirt and jeans, this is really saying something.

8) Sailor Moon
Okay, she has something of a costume. Some fancy boots, jewels, a nice tiara, all that razzmatazz. But that’s all it is. Sailor Moon changes into a costume in so much as me ripping my sleeves off and putting on a new hat would be considered a “costume”. A slightly skankier version of her normal school uniform is hardly an Ultraman level change up. But it’s that whole over elaborate transformation that’s the key. It’s classic misdirection. She’s a damn magician.

You’re over here like “Holy crap magic and sparkles and wonder!”and then once it’s done you’re amazed, but she didn’t do anything! Just hiked up her skirt and called it good.

7) Luke Cage (Avengers)
Cage has been minus one costume for some time now, but let’s face it, even when he had one, it wasn’t much of a “costume”. The disco shirt and tiara (again with the tiara…) were really just there to lure you into a false sense of security before he inserted his fist into your spleen.
In recent years, he’s moved into the “t-shirt and decorative belt” thing. Looks like he’s got some sweet gloves now to boot. Still not much of a costume, but are YOU going to tell him any different?


“Sweet Christmas! I’m late for Soultrain!”
6) Superboy (Teen Titans)
Of all the individuals on this list, Superboy is probably the most defiant in his lack of a costume. He’s Superman’s clone, and still he says to hell with the cape! How dare he!? To be fair, Superboy came on the scene in a time not known for fantastic costumes. To be fair, his original look was kind of just a lame Starman, but with tighter pants and minus the irony.

Not surprised he was soured on the whole idea. Now it’s just a t-shirt and jeans. Minimalism is the new jacket on spandex. Thankfully…

5) Araña (Young Allies)
You could probably call Araña “Girl Spider-man”, but that would be mean, and untrue, and also contradictory now that I think of it. Peter Parker sat in his room and sewed himself some tights so he could go on TV. Anya Corazon had a huge secret corporation to make a costume for her, but she still said screw it. Just threw on a t-shirt, a backpack, and some goggles. Done! Maybe I’m a minority in this, but I’m a fan. And with Young Allies on the horizon, I’m sure we’ll see lots more of….


4) Zatanna (JLA)
Okay. So Zatanna does wear a costume. The thing is, it’s not a superhero costume, it’s a magician’s costume. And it’s not like some clever visual gag she has going on, she actually works as a stage magician! It’s her day job. That’s what she wears!
It’s essentially the same as some chick getting off her shift at Burger King and fighting crime in her BK hat and shirt. Not having time to change after work doesn’t count as a costume.
But it does count as HOT. So there’s that.


“Hi, welcome to the Watchtower, may I take your Crisis?”
3) Amadeus Cho (Incredible Hercules)
Now this is a man who knows how to wear what he got. He previously ran about in his green hoodie, most recognizable for the coyote pup sticking out of it. His costume was a dog strapped to his chest! Adorable!
But the boy became a man, and the man because accustomed to expensive suits. That’s100% Tibetan Alpaca son. Not everyone can pull off a yellow tie, but he DOES IT. He’s smarter than you, and he’ll make damn sure you know it just by looking at him.

2) Starman (Jack Knight)
Jack Knight pretty much solidified this whole idea, so he’s gotta be up there. He didn’t even want to be a superhero at all! He eventually gave in to the whole idea but
HEY DAD! I’m not wearing your smelly leotard, okay!?
So what does the guy have? Well, he’s got a fly-ass leather jacket with cool crap on the back. He’s got some sweet goggles he found laying around. (Goggles again, I know, right?) And he’s got a little plastic sheriff star,

1) Casey Jones (Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles)

Now we come to the ultimate. The alpha and omega of the rack getups. Casey Jones is the complete personification of this whole idea. His costume entirely consists of some sweats and a Jason Voorhees mask he must have had leftover from last Halloween.
Casey is what you get if you took Batman and took away his money, and allies, and skills…. and common sense. But what puts him over the top is the fact that the concept extends to his arsenal as well as his outfit. He doesn’t have a grappling hook or Batarangs. He has a bag full of sports equipment he hauled out of his closet.

So for being the greatest of all the superheroes more interested in punching people than in having a matching ensemble, I salute you Casey.

Purse grabbing pukes indeed.

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Animinitime Halifax!- April 25

Just a heads up for the maritime area. I’ll be at Animinitime Halifax this Sunday! I’ll also be at the Moncton show on July 17.

I’ll be sitting in Artist’s Alley, selling mini-comics and prints, as well as doing sketches and commisions. I’ll even have a signed and numbered Iron Princess print that’ll be excusive to Animinitime Halifax and Moncton 2010.

I guess that all the tickets are already sold out, but if you’re going, I’ll se you there! There’s still tickets for the Moncton show! All the info can be found at

Filed under Conventions & Events

People Keep Talking About Me

Yes, yet another article from a local news outlet, helping inflate my ego for it’s eventual breakdown. Hooray!

This time, it’s The Halifax Commoner, paper for the King’s College journalism class. So check it out here. Thanks to Jonathan Charlton for the article.

And while you’re there, the Commoner has also done a few other Halifax comic article on Faith Erin Hicks and Adventures in Paper-Routing.

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Aptitude Test 2010 Reader Survey!!

Edit, Feb 01: The poll is now closed. Thanks everyone!
Hello loyal readers, and welcome to Aptitude Test 2010! Now with more lasers and hover jets! It’s the future!

In this new year, my resolution is to at long last get a store up and running on this site! I’ve been doing this comic for about 4 years now, so I think it’s about time.

As I start looking into this project, I need your help! I’ve put together a little survey for you guys to help me figure out who my readers are, and what they may be interested in.

If you complete the survey, I will in fact, be your best friend. So
Click here to take the survey!

Thanks so much to anyone who fills it out. You’re guy’s support up ’till now has been amazing, and I hope to take this thing to new heights in 2010!

Later days!Edit

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Best Comics of 2009!

Hey guys! It’s Julie!
So I’ve made an early New Year’s resolution to blog more. I have this forum to express myself, and I shouldn’t really let it go to waste. So it seemed like a good idea to start with something easy. Here at the end of the year, I thought I’d share a list of my favorite comic of 2009!

These selections are in no particular order other than the order I put them in. Let’s get started!

Invincible Iron Man (Marvel)
WRITER: Matt Fraction
PENCILS: Salvador Larroca

A book that works on a lot of levels. It’s accessible to new readers, and dripping with fan service. It’s a standalone epic while also being a tent pole of a company-wide crossover. It’s fascinating and intellectual but still has a lot of guys in robot suits punching each other. Matt Fraction takes one of the biggest franchise characters in comics, and makes a book that’s still very much his own. That’s a lot of bases covered.

Ultimate Spider-Man (Marvel)

WRITER: Brian Michael Bendis
PENCILS: Stuart Immonen/Mark Bagely/David Lafuente

Tearing the whole thing down and building it back up again over the year, Bendis reaches a new high point in the long running Spidey revamp, with a lot of great artists backing him up. Former pencilers Immonen and Bagely help bring the original run to an end, and when the new volume starts, it’s even better. It’s basically becoming “Spider-man and His Amazing Friends 2009″, which is pretty cool. And then there’s the new artist… I’m not gonna lie. I’m a little bit in love with David Lafuente right now you guys.

I Kill Giants (Image)

WRITER: Joe Kelly
PENCILS: JM Ken Niimura

“I Kill Giants” is a book I can’t sum up in an easy, Hollywood style pitch. It’s subtle and beautiful in ways that a quick summery can’t quite do justice. Niimura’s gorgeous art paints a sort of, I-don’t-know-how-literal-this-is kind of veil over Kelly’s amazing story. I only meant to read an issue of two from the collection, and ended up reading the entire thing in one sitting, oblivious to what time of night it was. I don’t mind saying it hit me on a pretty personal level, as I imagine it would for almost anyone with a heart.
Just take my word on this one. This list isn’t numbered, but this would come in pretty high if it were.

Agents of Atlas (Marvel)

WRITER: Jeff Parker
PENCILS: Gabriel Hardman/Carlo Pagulayan/more

Rina would kill me if this wasn’t on the list. The follow up to the awesome mini-series, the only problem with this awesome “Cool 1950’s archetypes taking down an evil empire from the inside” comic is that it’s already been canceled.Already! But within a year, we got 11 issues, a 2 issue mini series and it started up a backup feature in Hercules. Which is pretty good for the amount of time it had. And it has 2 new minis planned for next year. It seems to refuse it’s own cancellation, which I am willing to put my support behind.

Incredible Hercules (Marvel)

WRITER: Greg Pak/Fred Van Lente
PENCILS: Reilly Brown/Rodney Buchemi/more

Maybe the most fun superhero book in years. On the surface, a super-goofy adventure book staring Herc and teen sidekick/super-genius Amadeus Cho, full of giant fights and the best sound effects in comics. On closer inspection, it becomes a great exploration on the nature of heroics, and the relationship between superheroes and their older brother, ancient myth. For a few months, it even broke the two leads up, effectively becoming two great books, and showing us how great an Amadeus Cho solo book could be. Maybe someday…

Power Girl (DC)

WRITER: Jimmy Palmiotti/Justin Gray
PENCILS: Amanda Conner

Also in the “goofy superhero book” family, we have Power Girl! This book is adorable. Like, super adorable. My history with Peegee is pretty limited, but now I love the heck out of her. I don’t read a lot of DC, because I find a lot of them to be a little devoid of personality. But Power Girl has a fun supporting cast! And a weird cat. And they’re great. and Amanda Conner is the new Kevin Maguire for drawing great facial expressions, so it all comes together pretty well. Personality up the ying-yang.

Detective Comics (DC)

WRITER: Greg Rucka
PENCILS: J.H. Williams III/Cully Hamner

I’ll admit, I started reading this book for theQuestion backup feature. I’d gotten to enjoy her in “52”, and followed her here. Batwoman? Not so much. She was just sort of hanging around in 52, and wasn’t very interesting. But wait! I read this book, and it turns out Batwoman is awesome! And so is her comic! In no small part to J.H. Williams III blowing everyone’s minds with with the most varied styles and thought out page layouts seen in a long time.

Parker: The Hunter (IDW)

WRITER: Richard Stark/Darwyn Cooke
PENCILS: Darwyn Cooke

Some artists are really good at drawing certain things. “Parker” is pretty much a story filled with all the stuff that Darwyn Cooke is really great at drawing. Stylish ladies, mean lookin’ dudes, all that good stuff. Cooke’s artwork looks amazing, coated only in a single tone of blue through the whole book. It’s an exercise in simplicity that makes for a fantastic read.

The Wonderful Wizard of Oz (Marvel)

WRITER: Eric Shanower
PENCILS: Skottie Young

I’m allowed at least one pick on this list just for the sheer eye candy, right? The always amazing Skottie Young turns in the work of his career re-imagining L. Frank Baum’s classic fantasy world. It’s absolutely beautiful. This story has been told a million times, but it feels fresh as ever. Plus, if you’ve never read the novel, you get all the stuff the movie cut out. It was new to me!

The Muppet Show (Boom! Kids)

WRITER/ARTIST: Roger Langridge

I am a dork. Seriously. I love the Muppets so much. You’ve seen that Bohemian Rhapsody video, right? Anyway, I never really thought I wanted a Muppet comic, but it turns out I did! It works really well! I get a whole “Veterinarian’s Hospital” skit in one page, and it reads perfect! So, thanks Mr. Langridge. Thanks for making the book I always wanted, even if I didn’t know it!

There! I did it! A whole giant blog. I can do it! I’m pretty proud of myself. Maybe I’ll try and keep this up, huh? And maybe I’ll try and make Rina update too, though she doesn’t post out of laziness more so than hesitancy. We’ll see!

Please, leave your own comments below. What did you like this year?
Okay. Later!

Filed under Comic Books

Halloween Finalists!

Come back Friday to see who won!

Here are your finalists for the Halloween Contest!

Your choices are:
Nico and Gert (“Runaways” – comic) From Geoff
Rikku and Lulu (“Final Fantasy X” – Video Game) From Dalles
Mulder and Scully (“X-Files” – TV) From Nikki

A big thanks to everyone who entered!

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Halloween Contest!

Hello and welcome to the first official Aptitude Test contest! (It rhymes!)
With October upon us, I need to figure out what to do for my yearly Halloween comic! To refresh your memories, every year I do a comic with Julie and Rina all dressed up for Halloween.
They’ve been Young AvengersStreet Fighters, and Death Weapon Meisters already.

So this year, I’m looking for ideas! Here’s the breakdown:

1) If you have an idea for Julie and Rina’s costumes, send it and write “Halloween 09″ in the subject line. Any idea is good, just follow these vague guidelines:
– A theme for the two of them is encouraged over two unrelated costumes, but it’s not a rule.
– Geeky/pop culture stuff is always good.
– If it’s something more obscure, sending some reference my way would be a help.
– Nothing obscene or weird. I’ll tell your mothers.
– I’m sure my friends are all going to send me ideas, but you guys can’t win, got it? Yes, I’m talking to you Tempo.

2) I’ll pick the top 3-5 ideas (depending on how many I get) and set up a poll. Then everyone gets to vote on what I draw! The contestant who picks the winning entry… is the winner!
– You can send more than one suggestion, but only one will make it to the poll.

3) The winner get both his/her idea brought to life, and I’ll do them afree commission! A fully coloured drawing of whatever they want! Plus, a copy of my new Aptitude Test mini-comic, which features a bunch of all-new character bios and other neat stuff. Cool huh?

So show me what you got! All entries should be in by October 18th.

Some people have told me they’ve had trouble e-mailing me. If you’re one of those people, please try this alternative address:

Or, send me a message on Twitter, or post on the Forums! I am giving you as many possibilities as I can!

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I Will Be Places!

Hey Halifax/Halifax-adjacent readers! I will be appearing some places this weekend! Here is the info for them if you would like to show up! Huzzah!

The UAG Art Collective presents: “All Dressed Up and Lots of Art to Show!”
– The newest art show for local artists from the Upstairs Art Gallery.
Saturday, September 26 at 6:00pm
Aperture Studios
1657 Barrington St, Suite 125.
Halifax, NS

– I’ll have some original pages on display, and there’s loads of other cool art to see.

The Word On The Street Book Fair – Halifax
Sunday, September 27, 11:00am-5:00pm
Cunard Event Center

– I’ll be at the Strange Adventures booth (check the map on the site) doing sketches, and god-willing selling some mini-comics! Yes! I am doing mini-comics, which should be done in time. At the very least, I’ll have some more of the bookmarks I gave away at Free Comic Day.
Plus, everything Strange Adventures is selling is 70% off that day! You can’t afford not to go!

Filed under Conventions & Events

Little Poll

Hey guys! I’m just trying out this little poll program here.
I have a bigger one I’d like to do, but let’s try this as a test.

The next few issues are going to explore some of the superheroes a little more deeply, and I’m curious which ones you guys are most interested in.

Edit: Thanks for voting everyone! The poll is done now. I got some interesting results, and will be pondering them deeply.

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