Superheroes designed by little girls

Alex Law's "little girls R better at designing heroes than you" is a great, occasionally updated Tumblr that features illustrations of superheroes based on the hero costumes little girls have made for themselves.

Kids are more impressionable than you, but kids can also be less restricted by cultural gender norms than you. Kids are more creative than you, and they're better at making superheroes than you.

This is a mini art project where I draw superheroes based on the costumes worn by little girls.

little girls R better at designing heroes than you (via MeFi)


  1. Well, this is sweet and everything, and no doubt true, but if the implication is that the superheroes shown in the illustration are original creations of these little girls, that’s not the case. This is (obviously) Power Girl and Huntress, major DC characters.
    Maybe I just didn’t understand the piece.

    1. Did you read the text from that entry?

      “One of the main reasons I like these girls’ costumes is because of how simple they are. Often times when artists want to re-design female superheroes to be less sex-objecty they end up changing a bunch of unnecessary stuff. It doesn’t have to be like that, just get rid of Power Girl’s tit window and give Huntress a full leotard. It’s easy!”

  2. I think Alex’s Law falls apart in our house. Our kids wear underpants as helmets or masks and long sleeved shirts as leggings. Super cute but not what I would call super heroic.

    1.  My kids are Power Girl and Huntress in this and they chose to be these characters. We helped them create the costumes (because honestly, what can you do at 5 and 8 years old…you have to have help from adults.) But these costumes were their idea. They are fully aware of the characters.

  3. I see. So the kids didn’t “make” the superhero, they redesigned existing superheroes so as to be less appealing to teenage boys, and more appealing to little girls!
    Fair enough! Go for it! But FYI, Power Girl has a variety of costumes, many without the oval “opera window”.

    1. “But FYI, Power Girl has a variety of costumes, many without the oval “opera window”.”

      Not according to google image search.

  4. You know, the “tit window” was common in women’s clothing designs of the era in which Wally Wood created that character.  Sure, it’s a busty woman with cleavage showing, but it’s been blown out of proportion by A.) juvenile artists who seem to focus solely on her breasts, and B.) reactionary fangirls with more time on their hands than OJ Simpson.

        1.  I posted it without commentary and certainly without any “screeching”.  As I said, readers may judge for themselves.  Getting mighty defensive there, aren’t we?  Some might even say “screechy”.

      1. I’m sorry. I can’t hear you. Her cleavage is acting as a giant anechoic chamber.

    1. Don’t undersell Wally Wood’s aptitude for drawing tits. Love it or hate it, he was famous for that.

      While I wouldn’t say that I hate it, wysinwyg is not mistaken.

      1. In the immortal words of the great Tim Minchin:

        “fuck, I love boobs, though: 
        I just really love them.
        I don’t really mind
        if I am behind
        below or above them…..

        ….from the first little sip of colostrum
        to the grope of the nurse in the old peoples’ home
        we’re just fucking monkeys in shoes…..

        And I……will always love boobs!”

      1.  Well, that’s a ridiculous argument.  Do you realize that Wonder Woman’s tank suit is a 1940’s era swimsuit?   Or that many male characters wear what amount to women’s haute couture from the fifties and sixties, or grotesque parodies of the same?  Look at the outfits worn by Colossus, Darkseid, Dr. Strange, Magnus Robot Fighter and others.  Do those look particularly masculine or flattering?  Look at Spiderman, whose outfit was allegedly inspired by the fetish culture blossoming in the early sixties.  For over seventy years Superman dressed like a circus strongman from the turn of the last century.  He looked ridiculous, but we all loved him. To argue that these reflect actual clothing is ridiculous.  They all look like fanboy garbage in the wrong hands.  . 

        1. I don’t even know what your argument is, anymore. You seem to just seethe with directionless rage. 

          Your “point,” whenever you’ve wandered into the neighborhood of a point, seemed to be that Power Girl’s outfit was based on trends at the time. My point is that Hawkeye’s outfit was too… and that both of them could use a little editing from time to time.

          1. Well, then we agree, after a fashion.

            The fact that you think I have a seething rage seems to undercut this discussion on your end. I’m not even slightly angry. You, on the other hand, with that comment alone, sound unhinged and irrational. Sorry, but you do. Your “read” on me is an example of why these kinds of discussions usually end in hard feelings. Take a nap.

          2. No. Seriously… the one who sounds consistently unhinged and irrational is you. You keep saying similar things to other people, but honestly, you sound like you have a seething… something.

            I’m thinking the constant “over reacting” “irrational” “unhinged” thing may be projecting on your part. Because you clearly have a bone in the fight and a dog to pick :)

          3. You, on the other hand, with that comment alone, sound unhinged and irrational.

            He who smelt it, dealt it. You’re shrieking like a howler monkey.

          4. Sure. That’s what I’m doing. No wonder these kinds of conversations get so ugly. And saggy.

          5. Why don’t you go screech about something worthwhile FFS.

            -you to me.  Sounds kind of angry. No wonder these conversations get so ugly.

    1. As the father of the two girls pictured: It was a joint effort.

      I think the larger issue is that the girls want to be the hero of the story — not the love interest — and that they want a costume that is appropriate for them to wear.

      Anya (the Huntress) wanted to be a bad-ass — not a sex-pot. Mission accomplished.

        1. Anya (the older) was very excited. I printed out a copy for her and she tacked it up on her “nerd wall” over her bed. It joins a Captain Marvel (Carol Danvers) poster, Journey into Mystery with Sif, Black Canary and a host of self-created superheroes and miscellaneous sketches.

          1. Please tell your daughter that she is my new hero. Any fellow girl who digs Carol Danvers has my vote.

          2. She likes the idea of Captain Marvel — and her team-up with Spidey in The Avenging Spider-Man. 

            The book itself is a bit too talky for an 8-year-old.I love it, though.

            If I can figure it out, Anya would love to do that costume next year. I’m afraid it’s too complicated for me though.

      1. Only tangentially related , but your younger daughter’s expression in that photo is *priceless* sir. That is one to save for her when she is an adult.

      1. That kind of combo would have been exactly me as a kid. “I want to be a fairy mermaid princess of cat people who also cuts off the heads of bad guys and is a witch…”

  5. Side-note, the kids in the pic are the spawn of  a fellow, who headed up an effort to get an initiative on the CA ballot to ban divorce.  You know, to be biblically and logically consistent, if, here in CA, we’re going to protect marriage.  I submitteratored it a couple times, but no dice.  We actually had a protest march on the capital that coincided w/ a Tea Party rally (this was ~2011) which led to a lot of serendipitous interactions. :)

    1. I wonder if there has ever been a super-hero divorce. Is it a super-power to not have the option of divorce?

      1. Well how many super heroes get married? Some… but I think having your partner die is some horrible way is more common. Must be stressful.

      1. It’s an ironic campaign to force “traditional marriage supporters” to live up to their own rhetoric.

        1. The site was hacked a while back and I never updated it back off the basic WordPress theme. It used to look much prettier.

  6. Cory, a simple edit of “based on the hero costumes little girls have made for themselves.” to “based on the hero costumes little girls have had made for them.”  would be more accurate (although I’m sure some did the making themselves, but primarily it’s a parental effort.)  /shrug :)

    Glad to see the post, though. :)

    1. I think that he reproduced the language that the Tumblr blog used.

      Regardless, it’s an exercise in semantics. Not worth arguing over. 

    2. Where do you draw the line? Designing them? Sewing them? Weaving? Spinning? Growing the fiber?

  7. Comic book artists should be given credit for their work. Attributing what they’ve done to small children is ridiculous.

    That’s worth arguing over.

    And if you can’t recognize superheroes like Power Girl or Huntress, don’t rant about comic book art.

    1. Point missed entirely.

      They are credited with redesigning them, not inventing them. We all know who the superheroes are.

      1. “Superheroes Designed by Little Girls.”

        I don’t see any credit for them “redesigning” them. According to the headline, they “designed” them.

        “… superheroes based on the hero costumes little girls have made for themselves”

        These superheroes weren’t based on costumes designed by little girls. They’re superheroes designed by artists working for DC comics.

        I don’t see any mention of Power Girl or Huntress.

        Therefore, wrong.

        The photos are cute, but credit where credit is due.

        1. You don’t get any credit for pointing out the obvious, because nobody else has actually failed to grasp it.

    1. As the parent of Power Girl and The Huntress, they were not store bought. 

      We did find some pieces that we could use off the shelf, but most things we had to make.

    2. The point of the “tutu variant” costumes is that the tutu is a way to make an outfit look feminine and fun without resorting to butt and boob shots. As a former dancer and martial artist, I can also say that tutus are less annoying to fight in than capes.

  8. Is there some reason the artist feels the need to sexualize little girls in his art?  All but one of these pictures has ended up as an adult female superhero… one without a shirt on.

    1. 1. The artist is a woman.

      2. I don’t think those drawing are sexualized in the slightest. She drew the heroes as teens/adults to demonstrate that female costumes do not have to be overtly sexy.

      3. “One without a shirt on”? You do realize that is a silly drawing of a male Hulk dressed up as a little girl ballerina, right? 

      I think your sense of outrage is outweighing your common sense on this one.

      1. Just a simple observation.  1: So?  2: Maybe.  3: No.  That is the little girl, taller, muscled, green, with giant green breasts… but the same face and hair.

        1. Did you see the costume it is based on? It’s a little girl in a tutu wearing the  _male_ Hulk chest piece — complete with fake muscles — that you can buy in the store as a costume. 

          I do not see female breasts — at all. And I dispute that turning a woman into a ‘roided-out, bright green Schwarzenegger clone with no chest is somehow “sexualizing” her.

          Although I suppose it takes all kinds.

          1. No no…. it is much healthier to tell the little girl that wearing the costume of a big hulk man makes her dirty for showing her breasts :/

            Because she’s a girl… and that means her breasts are inherently sexual no matter what. Mmmm…. never to early to start traumatizing girls with sexism!

          2. Topless tutu Hulk is
            clearly female.   She doesn’t have huge cartoon character boobs, but that
            doesn’t mean she has a male chest. 

            Funny story: As a very
            little girl– I must have been in kindergarden at the time– outside on a hot summer day at camp, I figured it was okay for me
            to remove my shirt since other people were doing it.  I was a kid, I
            didn’t have boobs, so what was the problem?   I was told that I had to put
            my shirt back on because I’m female.  I tried to argue about it, that my chest was a flat as the boys’ but the
            camp counselors were having none of it….

            Furthermore, recall the classic tale from the Vinland Saga of  Fredis Leifsdottir standing her ground against a group of attacking native Americans.  Too pregnant to run,she  faced them screaming a battle cry and slapping a sword across her bare breasts in challenge.  Her attackers were intimidated and left her alone.

            Why should a female Hulk necessarily wear a shirt, I ask you?

          3. Honestly? I don’t care much either way. I just thought it was funny that this was used as an example of “sexualizing” the kids.

            Male or female, that is not a “sexualized” Hulk.

    2. Wooow, so you’re implying that drawing a drawing of an adult woman is immediately, undeniably, a sexually charged image?  You need to seriously step back and rethink the way you’re looking at the world and a good 50% of its inhabitants, jeez.

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