Character redesigns in comics aren't all that uncommon. In fact, characters typically go through a litany of different costumes throughout the years, and some uniforms even change from issue to issue. It's one of those things that most readers take for granted - changing one's clothes in comic books is almost easier than doing it in real life.
Surprisingly, Spider-Woman (a.k.a. Jessica Drew) has pretty much held on to the same costume since the '70s. That doesn't necessarily mean that the costume is that great - it's the same overly-busty, skin-tight number that most major super-heroines wear, but it's still unique simply because it's remained relatively unchanged since its debut.
However, now Marvel artist Kris Anka really changed things up for Jessica. Thanks to USA Today, we now know that Spider-Woman will join the legions of superheroes wearing tight-fitting leather!
Spider-Woman editor Nick Lowe spoke highly of the new 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."
Any sort of originality in mainstream comics is more than welcome, but Jessica's new outfit is anything but unique. "Functional" leather outfits have become the norm throughout the entire comic book industry. For example, when DC redesigned Batgirl's new costume recently, she too received a healthy dose of leather:
Even before that, DC tried to 'redesign' Wonder Woman's outfit, too. Her new outfit, despite being nothing more than a leather jacket wrapped around her shoulders and a new top, caused fans everywhere to absolutely lose it. Wonder Woman's new suit was the most hated thing out of DC Comics since Jason Todd, and it barely changed a thing:
It wasn't long before Wonder Woman had ditched the leather jacket (which was a shame, because Wonder Woman has looked like a 1940s USO showgirl since her inception), but it was just too drastic of a change for fans to handle.
It remains to be seen whether or not fans will embrace Spider-Woman's new look. Comic book fans can be extremely set in their ways, and change is scary - though, perhaps a smart, functional redesign for a character's outfit will finally stick.
To be honest, the new Spider-Woman isn't a bad look. It's certainly not the most original thing in the world, but the new outfit is certainly a step in the right direction.