Winners Announced For 'Re-Create A Wrestler' Design Contest From CHIKARA & Project: Rooftop

By Chris Arrant

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After nearly three months of waiting, the results are in for Project: Rooftop's "Re-Create A Wrestler" Design contest done in partnership with the wrestling promotion CHIKARA and Bleeding Cool. The contest, announced back in March, threw down the gauntlet for amateur and pro artists alike to redesign one of four established wrestlers from CHIKARA, an independent professional wrestling company based in the Northeast. After the dust is settled we have our winning design for each character – and it's a clean sweep.

CHIKARA is providing prize packages for the top 3 scoring entries for each of the four wrestling characters, including tickets to live events, CHIKARA t-shirts and DVDs, as well as a grand prize for the top entry for each character: the winner will be hired (and paid) to provide illustrated work in an upcoming CHIKARA comic collection. Aubrey Sitterson, who has edited comics for Marvel as well as The Walking Dead, has also offered to do an online portfolio review for the highest-scoring entries for each wrestling character.

Thanks to our judges, CHIKARA founder Mike Quackenbush, comics writer and editor (and alum of Marvel & WWE) Aubrey Sitterson, former Marvel & DC editor Ruben Diaz, comics writer Vito Delsante and comics journalist and P:R co-founder Chris Arrant.

And now, on to the results!

SHARD

Matt Buzzy

Shard - Matt Buzzy 2

45 out of 50

Ruben Diaz: Fantastic. Love the angularity of the hood and shawl. The purple really pops, especially accented by the silver cracks. The exposed eye gives the character one more tool for expression. Score: 9

Aubrey Sitterson: I love this. You managed to completely reinvent the Shard's look, while also maintaining what makes the character iconic and recognizable. Part of that is sticking to the black & pink/purple color scheme, but what I really respond to here are the conceptual choices: The hood entrance gear, the blasted open left eye, the cracks throughout the pants. All of them contribute to a really effective presentation. Score: 9.5

Mike Quackenbush: All the things I identify with the feel of The Shard are here, and yet, you've brought some exciting new ideas to it, which is really inspired. It sets an immediate mood and tone! A great idea that is rendered beautifully, and would totally translate from the screen to CHIKARA. Score: 8

Vito Delsante: This is incredible. The hooded cowl for the ring entrance. The broken glass motif. The colors are great contrasts against the black. So well considered and immediately ring ready. Score: 9

Chris Arrant: Wow, Matt Muzzy understands wrestling and superhero design. The loose fitting Tajiri-esque pants, the armbands, and the topper of the dual masks and that sharded edge really take advantage of the Shard character map. As others have stated, the open left eye on the undermask seals the deal here. Score: 9.5

Todd Loessy

Shard - Todd Loessy

44.5 out of 50

Mike Quackenbush: Wow! This is sleek and fresh, but you immediately know THAT is The Shard. A sublime design that is equal parts luchador and super villain. Score: 9

Ruben Diaz: Enjoy how clean this design looks, yet it brings lots of interesting complexity in the areas Todd choses to work in. The S on Shard's mask even appears like a half face. I'm going to presume that was intentional, if it wasn't  — don't admit that, Todd. Score: 9

Aubrey Sitterson: I really like how you've retained the essential pieces of Shard's aesthetic (the jagged bits, the black, the pink) and taken them to create something totally new and different. This costume also stands in stark contrast to the mask/pants combo that is seen on a lot of CHIKARA talent, which is a great thing to help Shard stand out from the pack. Score: 8.5

Vito Delsante: I can't add anything that the others haven't. That "S" logo on the mask is incredible. It makes the whole piece work, from top to bottom. The story possibilities here are endless. Score: 10

Chris Arrant: Todd Loessy is full of win here. The other judges hit the high points here, especially the S in the mask — my only quibble is the lack of any pre-match gear and also the clothed neck which might be tough to work with in a match. Score: 8

Eric Schuster

Shard - Eric Schuster

34 out of 50

Ruben Diaz: Nice clean design, incorporating elements of his existing costume. The shoulder pads are cool, but would need to be removable or giving Shard a huracanrana is going to hurt! Score: 7

Mike Quackenbush: I like the way this cranks up the elements of the original enough to retain that feeling, and yet it still becomes something new. I'm not a big fan of the sleeve things, but bring on the Legion of Doom spikes (if only for entrances.) Score: 7

Vito Delsante: Keeps the same color scheme, while really incorporating the idea of shards, even on the shoulder pads. I like it, but I wish the motif carried to the boots as well. Score: 7

Aubrey Sitterson: I love that the colors and shapes from the original design have been retained, and conceptually, I'm a big fan how the shards have been made more prevalent in the design. However, the shoulder spikes feel a little too Road Warriors-esque to me. Score: 6

Chris Arrant: This looks like CHIKARA's Shard turned up to the next level, and I like what Eric Schuster is thinking. The other judges have touched upon the shoulder pads, and while I agree they are based on the Road Warriors spikes, they too took theirs from another source; I think the "shards" over the straight spikes gives it enough difference to be a great addition to Shard's pre-match ensemble. One thing I'd like to see Eric take further in this design is the visibility of Shard's eyes; his current costume has them completely obscured, by Schuster offers the hint of seeing the wrestler's eyes — and I'd like more of that. Score: 7

Matt Muzzy

Shard - Matt Muzzy 1

33 out of 50

Ruben Diaz: Very interesting and out-out-of-the-box mask design. Love the spiked jacket and glove accents. Futuristic and evocative of a villain from Tron. Score: 7.5

Mike Quackenbush: You've exhibited terrific imagination here, Matt. How a mask like this could be made is beyond me, but that makes for an exciting challenge! The jacket you conjured for his presentation gear (to be shed between bells) is wonderful too. Score: 9

Aubrey Sitterson: I really like that you tried something new and different with this one, but I worry that it's gone too far afield. The 3D triangle shapes start to look less like shards, and more like ruffles, which isn't exactly a badass wrestler look. Additionally, I worry about the practicality of such protruding mask. Score: 5

Vito Delsante: This one is a bit…I can't see it working in the ring. It's a great concept, but again, the practicallity of it is almost non existent. Too good to score lower though. Score: 7.5

Chris Arrant: Very angular, and it would work great as an entrance ensemble I'm frightened by the idea of that mask once the actual wrestling began. From both an outward perspective of the pointed edge to the question about Shard being able to see, this leaves me with more questions than answers. Score: 4

Paul Cesar Medina Valdez

Shard - Paulo Cesar Medina Valdez

32.5 out of 50

Ruben Diaz: Sweet jagged fins off the mask, gauntlets and kickpads. This very much makes him look like a gladiator. Score: 6.5

Aubrey Sitterson: I'm digging this – it's stripped down, but still very much feels like wrestler gear. I also appreciate the effort to carry the shard concept throughout the attire, on the gauntlets, kickpads and even the mask. My only real concern is that with the color changes and more erratic designs, it begins to look less like the Shard and more like a new character altogether. Score: 6

Mike Quackenbush: I'm immediately struck by the rough and jagged feel of this design. Very evocative! I'd also enjoy seeing this same idea, but rendered in a palette closer to what The Shard currently wears! Score: 7

Vito Delsante: I like it…it might be too ornate, but it could work. It's very 90's lucha. Easily translatable into ring gear too. Score: 7

Chris Arrant: This looks like an mid-90s AAA wrestler, and in a good way. I feel there's something lost in the unfinished nature of Valdez's design here, but there's a lot of possibilities. Score: 6

Joe Lozanno

Shard - Joe Lozanno 4

30.5 out of 50

Ruben Diaz: Another bold choice of colors. White is a tricky color to work with because it ends up being more revealing than anyone intends. And limits you to tidy-whities. Score: 6.5

Mike Quackenbush: A fresh take here that really opened my eyes. This scheme evokes a playing card (suit: diamonds) in my imagination, which takes me away from the idea of shards of broken glass. So I like the colors and the athletic feel, but my interpretation of the design elements leads away from what The Shard is in my mind. Score: 6

Aubrey Sitterson: The white with red accents is a really striking choice, and maybe somewhat counterintuitively to non-wrestling fans, is a great color for heels. I also really like how the shard components have been utilized throughout the gear. Score: 7

Vito Delsante: This one, however, is bit closer to what I would imagine. I like the white, as it's not the usual color scheme and the shards are well placed (ie, randomly). Score: 7.

Chris Arrant: A great design, but no so much for Shard. Would poeple know know who the Shard is recognize him if he came out in this? Score: 4

Joe Lozanno

Shard - Joe Lozanno 2

28.5 out of 50

Ruben Diaz: This one really opens up the look with bold color contrasts. Red is always a great accent color. Fingerless gloves are always a better option than covered hands due to needing a clean grip for the purposes of safety. Score: 6.5

Aubrey Sitterson: I love the addition of the red – the primary colors in this costume really sell the idea of Shard as a hero. Unfortunately, I still worry that there's not enough of "Shard" left in this design, as the eye designs are all that remains, and even those are less jagged than in the original. Score: 5

Mike Quackenbush: Joe, this one feels like it can jump from your image into the ring. I really like the color choices you made here. This one has a life to it. Score: 7

Vito Delsante: I love the colors, but I still think that the idea of a shard is lost with all of these bigger elements. Score: 5.

Chris Arrant: I see some life in this one, but the red doesn't seem to match with the dominant purple/yellow color scheme. Score: 5

Joe Lozanno

Shard - Joe Lazanno 3

26 out of 50

Ruben Diaz: Striking, especially in contrast to his mostly red tag-partner. Blue is a difficult color to reflect musculature well, but there are certain materials that might be usable to achieve this look.  Studs on the head are  a wicked touch. Score: 6

Mike Quackenbush: A frightening reinvention of the Shard from top to bottom here. If this man wrestles, I'm glad I retired. The image shocks me. Score: 7

Vito Delsante: I like the concept of the costume more than I like it for Shard. I don't think this says Shard as much as it says Batman's Bane. Score: 5

Aubrey Sitterson: While I appreciate the effort to do something different, giving Shard full-body attire, I worry that it reads more as a superhero costume than wrestler gear. That, coupled with the loss of Shard's signature colors, makes this one a tough sell for me. Score: 4

Chris Arrant: Like Vito stated, this is a good costume — but I don't see Shard in it. If Shard were to run into a match unannounced people have no visual continuity to his previous design to begin to think it's the same individual. Score: 4

Joe Lozanno 

Shard - Joe Lozanno

25 out of 50

Ruben Diaz: One consideration when designing costumes for wrestlers is giving them enough exposed skin to release heat. Most materials we use are synthetic, which naturally retain heat Going full at full fighting speed surrounded by spotlights can raise a person's body temperature rather quickly. Score: 6

Mike Quackenbush: I don't know that I detect any part of the original Shard in this. It feels the most alien of the ones Joe did for us. I feel like I am looking at a fearsome creature here, not so much a wrestler. That isn't a knock. Just what comes to mind when it meets my eyes. Score: 5

Aubrey Sitterson: I love all of the accoutrements here – the boots, the gloves, and especially the belt. But again, I worry that what we have here is less an example of wrestling gear, but a superhero or even speed skater suit. Score: 5

Vito Delsante: I have to agree with Mike, as it's almost unrecognizable, but I love some of the individual elements, especially the necklace. Score: 5

Chris Arrant: A full body suit his extremely hard to work in — just ask a WWE wrestler like Golddust or Sin Cara. That being said, I like some of the ideas Joe Lozanno has presented here but they don't seem fully realized to be a great design. Score: 4

Henry Rivers

shard - henry rivers

23 out of 50

Ruben Diaz: Very close to his current design. Makes him more uniform with his tag-partner Jigsaw, though. Would like to see what kind of footwear accompanies this outfit. Score: 5

Vito Delsante: Yeah, almost too close. Not enough innovation. Score: 6

Aubrey Sitterson: Shard has great attire to begin with, so I understand the urge to not mess with it too much, but I would have liked to see something new brought to the table here. Score: 4

Mike Quackenbush: The Shard looms sharp and pointy in my mind, and this is softer and rounder. He's not so Shardy here, he's lost his edge, literally. I don't mean that in a Gorilla Monsoon way. Score: 5

Chris Arrant: This is different from the current Shard, but not in a good way. As Mike says, Shard's identity is in those harsh angles and pointed designs, and this smooths out those edges in a bad way. Score: 3

Felipe Andre Lira Rivas

Shard- Felipe Andre Lira Rivas

23 out of 50

Ruben Diaz: Typically, I'm not a fan of capes on my superheroes. Quite the opposite with my luchadores. Shard's leggings are closer to Jigsaw's here, which bring that pair more consistency. I would liked to have seen the cape designed with a bit more functionally. Score: 6

Aubrey Sitterson: Other than some color tweaks and the addition of the cape, I worry that this is just too similar to Shard's current design. Score: 4

Mike Quackenbush: This feels like the start of something good, but I would like to see where Felipe ends up 4 or 5 iterations down the line. I want to see this flower bloom, and I feel like I'm just seeing the bud here. Score: 5

Vito Delsante: While I'd like to see the entire costume, this is still plenty to get the idea. It's too close to what we already know, like Aubrey said, but maybe that's not a bad thing? Familiarity is a good thing sometimes; and sometimes…it's not enough. Would love to see Felipe go further. Score: 5

Chris Arrant: I'd love to see Felipe spend some more time developing this — at present it's too close to the original, and the changes made seem unnecessary. Score: 3

HALLOWICKED

Matt Muzzy

Hallowicked - Matt Muzzy 2

42 out of 50

Ruben Diaz: The half mask design would be very unique. I'm all about stylized jackets, and this one matches his stable mate's, Ultramantis Black, with that high collar! The muted ochre pops very well against the black. Score: 8

Aubrey Sitterson: My favorite thing here is the bandito-esque half mask, which I really like as an alternative to all the traditional style lucha masks. My only complaint is that the wickedness of the mask and eye makeup are somewhat undercut by the jolliness of the jack-o-lantern on the back of the (very, very rad) ring jacket. Score: 8.5

Mike Quackenbush: So much cool stuff going on in this one. I like the tattered feel, like he's been clawed apart by demons on his way into the real world. My favorite is that presentation jacket though, and that type of collar evokes mystical or supernatural types like Dr. Strange in my mind – bonus! Score: 8

Vito Delsante: The dark eyes are an incredibly creepy touch to this already fantastic costume. It feels too…risky for Hallowicked to take on, but I would love to see someone take this one all the way. Score: 9

Chris Arrant: I'm loving this — the darkened face is reminiscent of Kane's initial unmasking, but Muzzy has pulled it off with Hallowicked 10 times better than WWE's costume designers did. There are a couple tweaks I'd make, such as the logo, but other than that it's golden. Score: 8.5

Matt Muzzy

Hallowicked - Matt Muzzy 1

39.5 out of 50

Ruben Diaz: Very spooky design. The hand and leg wraps are a nice touch. He's slightly reminiscent of another Spectral Envoy member, Crossbones. The trees and ribcage piping please me aesthetically. A great look. Still miss the pumpkin stem. Score: 9

Mike Quackenbush: You may not know these CHIKARA characters, but this is very much an amalgam of Rorschach, Crossbones, Blind Rage and Hallowicked, who have all worn a black/orange color scheme at points in their career. I like your illustration, but because of these past characters, I see more of them coming out of your art at me than I do Hallowicked. Great idea here, Matt. Score: 7

Aubrey Sitterson: Wow. There's a lot going on in this design, but it's all stuff that I like a lot, so no complaints there. I love the wraps around the arms and legs, as they bring a spooky feel that's unique from all the skulls and crossbones that people typically use for that purpose. Those, combined with the ornate hanging belt give the design an Ancient Egyptian feel that really works for me. Score: 9

Vito Delsante: Between his two entries, I like this one the most. It's the most sinister of the two and looks like great in-ring and entrance gear. I'm staring at this wondering why I haven't seen it yet. Score: 9.5

Chris Arrant: I hate to say this, but it's not Hallowicked. This is a great awesome character though — I'd love to see Mike maybe team up with Matt here and bring him to life in CHIKARA. Wishful thinking? As it is though, it'd take a few tweaks to make it Hallowicked but then it'd be perfect. Perhaps. Score: 5

Paulo Cesar Medina Valdez

Hallowicked - Paulo Cesar Medina Valdez

36 out of 50

Ruben Diaz: Dig the breastplate! It could stand to take more definitive shape. The tassels on the elbow pads and mask would be a dynamic source of motion. Score: 6.5

Mike Quackenbush: I could see this translate well to the ring wars, and I can immediately picture this on Hallowicked in a match. You've retained the things intrinsically him, and brought something new to it as well. Score: 7

Vito Delsante: Overall, it works really well. It's very evocative of Konnan's early ring gear, so I know, by looking at it, that it would work. And it's got Hallowicked written all over it. Colors are right, the practicality is there. It's a good showing. Score: 8

Aubrey Sitterson: What I really like he is that despite losing the the signature torn t-shirt, you managed to keep much of the aesthetic that we identify with Hallowicked through the pumpkin head as well as all the torn accoutrement. It's also a distinctive look, which is always a good thing. Score: 7.5

Chris Arrant:  From the shoulders up I love this costume — but it seems to loose it in some barbarian-esque tangent after that. Score: 7

Nicholas Stacey

Hallowicked - Nicholas Stacey

35 out of 50

Ruben Diaz: Reminds me of DC's The Creeper by way of Tim Burton. Not sure if the design is calling for a mask or face paint. Curly toed boots rock! Score: 6

Mike Quackenbush: Nicholas, I really like that this brings to life Hallowicked's tagline of "the nightmare warrior." I really feel that as part of your design, which places a festive quality beside a macabre aesthetic. It's creepy AND cool! Score: 8

Aubrey Sitterson: I agree with everyone else – very, very Tim Burton feel here. But as great as Tim Burton is, his aesthetic doesn't exactly scream "WRESTLER" to me. All the stripes, combined with the toe boots, makes the whole thing seem more whimsical than threatening or serious. Score: 6

Vito Delsante: Ruben's Tim Burton comment is 100% dead on. I would never think that wrestling and Burton would ever look good combined, but Nicholas proved me wrong. In fact, I think that this costume could ONLY work in a wrestling ring. Score: 8

Chris Arrant: This really takes Hallowicked down a different road, and I'm interested. I'm trying to imagine how this would work with other artists, or it being done as a real costume, and that's my biggest hang-up. Score: 7

Tim Robinson

Hallowicked - Tim Robinson 1

32.5 out of 50

Ruben Diaz: As a child, I once got ill from too much candy corn. Now I have an involuntary visceral reaction to it. I do appreciate the elongated stem and half-cape. Anything that helps add visual dynamics is worth considering. Score: 6.5

Mike Quackenbush: These mask variants are fantastic! I immediately envisioned this character as a villain for the Golden Age Flash, I have no idea why. It's a very fun re-imagining of the character. Score: 7

Vito Delsante: Well, I'm all for a "lightening" of the character, but…I don't know about that stem or the candy corn design. Still, fantastic thinking in this design. Score: 8

Aubrey Sitterson: I love candy corn more than most, but this just isn't working for me. The lighter colors, combined with the more lighthearted approach and cape makes it appear more like asuperhero version of the Great Pumpkin than an in-ring competitor. Score: 5

Chris Arrant: I like the individual elements, but they don't really add up to me to be a great design. I enjoy the thought Tim Robinson has put into this, especially the different faces, but big picture it doesn't grab me. Score: 6

Joe Lozanno

Hallowicked - Joe Lozanno 2

30.5 out of 50

Ruben Diaz: Frightening! I love the pumpkin head, though I doubt any mask could truly capture the detail and form of this drawing. Perhaps some muted tones instead of the primary colors? Score: 7

Mike Quackenbush: Ghoulish and intimidating, both at first and upon further study. I would love to see this rendered up in color palette more synonymous with Halloween. Score: 6

Aubrey Sitterson: I really like the way that you've brought the Halloween gimmick to the forefront here, especially in regards to Hallowicked's pumpkin mask. But as much as I like that, I worry that the gimmick is undercut by the other color choices, as the red and yellow of the costume are too bright and cheery for the character and create a disconnect with the mask. Score: 5

Vito Delsante: I think the design is great, but the colors are off. Black and orange are necessary, especially for a character that deals in Halloween. Still, that mask is boss. Score: 7.5

Chris Arrant:  A good start, but a couple elements throw it off from being a top contender. Score: 5

Tom Rebello

Hallowicked - Tom Rebello

27 out of 50

Ruben Diaz: Yes! Yes! Yes! If Hallowicked transforms into a Kaiju, this design wins hands down. The leafy collar and dangling pumpkin necklace says scary, yet always up for a luau. Score: 8

Mike Quackenbush: Disclaimer – I have been dropped on my head a lot over the years. I am not really clear on what I'm looking at here. If there's a luchador lurking in this, I can't find him. Score: 5

Vito Delsante: I don't know how many times I've looked at this, and it took me until just now to see the figure in there. And I definitely haven't been dropped on my head as much as Mike! That said, I'm not sure I can see it working in the ring. Hallowicked as a comic book monster? 10. As a wrestler? Score: 6

Aubrey Sitterson: This is a fantastic drawing, and I'd read a comic about this guy and whatever he gets up to on weekends pretty much whenever you've got it ready. But it's just far too abstracted and expressionistic to actually be used as a costume design. Score: 4

Chris Arrant: Sweet christmas. I love this design, but as a wrestler — even a CHIKARA wrestler — I can't see it working. See what WWF did with Mantaur? Now imagine them trying to make this work. Score: 4

Joe Lozanno

Hallowicked - Joe Lozanno

26.5 out of 50

Ruben Diaz: Terrifying look for a big bad rudo. The overall design is appealing, even if the color scheme needs some further consideration. Score: 6

Aubrey Sitterson: Yowza! That's a big wicked monster, alright! My concerns are twofold, however: 1) With the radically different color scheme and goblin head, the design doesn't really read as Hallowicked anymore, and 2) The cape, boots and full body costume make the character feel more like someone on the DC roster than the CHIKARA one. Score: 5

Mike Quackenbush: This is so outrageous, and so far removed from where my mind goes when I think of Hallowicked, I must applaud. Fearless color choices here, which I love. Go bold and spooky, Joe! Score: 7

Vito Delsante: It's certainly a departure, and that's not a bad thing. The CHIKARA logo as the Ultimate Nullifier is cool. It's just hitting me as overly thought out. Some scaling back could work. Score: 6.5

Chris Arrant:  I don't see anything recognizable as Hallowicked here. Looks like Marvel's the Destroyer mixed with Count Nefaria. Could be a great character design, but it's not a great Hallowicked character design. Score: 2

Joe Lozanno

Hallowicked - Joe Lozanno 4

26.5 out of 50

Ruben Diaz: Evocative of the Green Goblin meets The Boogeyman. The webbing could serve better in a light contrasting color against a darker tone. Score: 6

Aubrey Sitterson: I really like the sinister feel of the orange on green in this design, and while I'm not thrilled with the grinning pumpkin chest logo, I do really dig the detail on the mask. The biggest problem for me is the red, as the combo of red and green brings to mind the wrong holiday. Also, I worry that this isn't entirely in keeping with the Hallowicked character. Score: 5

Mike Quackenbush: This feels the least like Hallowicked to me. I cannot imagine a real world version of this costume, on Hallowicked. It is just so out there and wacky though, I am sort of charmed by it. Score: 5

Vito Delsante: Ooh, this could be a good one. I get a Green Goblin vibe from this one and if those red tights were purple, I'd love it. As such, it's still a fun design. Not sure if this would be in ring or entrance gear, but I still like it. Score: 7.5

Chris Arrant: I can't see this working in any way with a wrestling character. Great idea for a new character in a comic book, but not for this. Score: 3

Henry Rivers

hallowicked - henry rivers

22 out of 50

Ruben Diaz: Very chaotic design, if a little similar to what he currently wears. I do like the scary kitten motif on the shirt in lieu of a skull. Score: 5

Aubrey Sitterson: Hallowicked has a really iconic, instantly recognizable look, so I understand the urge not to mess with it too much, but this is just way too similar to what the wrestler already wears. The nasty teeth on the shirt are a nice addition, but I would have liked to see that concept carried throughout the design. Score: 4

Mike Quackenbush: The Hallowicked color scheme is present, but the part of him that ties him to Halloween seems mostly absent. He's been softened up here, and he needs his edge back. Score: 5

Vito Delsante: Mike is absolutely on the money here. It's instantly recognizable as Hallowicked, but it's missing something. Score: 5

Chris Arrant: Hallowicked is one of the best-designed characters in CHIKARA, and I feel like that greatness has made it hard for Henry here to really jump in and do something of his own. I'd love to see him really work with this and make it his own. Score: 3

EQUINOX

Matt Muzzy

Equinox - Matt Muzzy

48 out of 50

Ruben Diaz: Flipping the opposites from hot and cold to night and day is an interesting touch. Nice armbands and gloves! A character that stands apart from his predecessors. Score: 9

Mike Quackenbush: Certified fresh by me, Matt! You've done a magnificent job here – that is clearly Equinox, but updated. I feel the legacy element perfectly, and yet it is clear this is something new entirely. Mystique even further enhanced by your design. Score: 10

Vito Delsante: Boom goes the dynamite! This is perfect. This needs to be in the ring immediately. It's incredible. It's got EVERYTHING. Jeez, what more can be said? Score: 10

Aubrey Sitterson: Now we're in business! I love how you've taken the moon/sun dynamic and amped it up, making it clearer and bringing it to bear on all of Equinox's gear, and the cape is just tremendous looking – I can totally see him throwing it off in the center of the ring. Score: 9.5

Chris Arrant: Matt Muzzy, where have you been all my Project: Rooftop life? You really know how to get to the heart of a character and understand its key elements and reinterpret them. The cloak is full of awesome too. The only tweak I'd make is in the shape of the eye-holes. Score: 9.5

Nicholas Stacey

Equinox - Nicholas Stacey

38.5 out of 50

Ruben Diaz: Great Mortal Kombat-like design. It would be great for a character with more experience than the greenhorn Equinox. Love the air of mystery to this look. And the sash gets my thumbs up for free flowing visually dynamic accessory. Score: 8

Mike Quackenbush: Apart from the CHIKARA Equinox, there is a character called Equinox I know from Batman: The Brave and the Bold, and that's what the black/white costume choice makes me think of. That is neither good nor bad, just what springs to mind. This one is a few too many steps away from a luchador and in the direction of a ninja. Score: 6

Vito Delsante: These are great too, and these are easily translatable into the ring. I just think that in the wake of Matt's design, this is a close second. Score: 9.5

Aubrey Sitterson: Wow. The white/black colorway is really, really striking, and manages to find another angle on the day/night gimmick that is core to Equinox's design. Even though it goes really far afield from the original design, this is really, really working for me, and could help Equinox stand out in the CHIKARA locker room. Score: 9

Chris Arrant: Equinox meets Marvel's the Inbetweener? Through in some Mortal Kombat and you've got something here. Score: 6

Joe Lozanno

Equinox - Joe Lozanno 1

37 out of 50

Ruben Diaz: Good distribution of contrast. This design retains Equinox's identifying markings and streamlines it to it's most prominent elements. Score: 7

Mike Quackenbush: This is a wonderful concept, Joe. I like the design, and of all the costumes Equinox wore over the years, I like the full bodysuit best, which is what you have revisited here. The colors are perfectly chosen.Score: 8

Vito Delsante: This might be Joe's best entry. It's got that dual color scheme mixed with some kind of Ultraman/Jet Jaguar vibe. I really like it. Score: 8

Aubrey Sitterson: I really like how you've taken a key visual element of Equinox (the red/blue split) and made it more prominent in your design – it's really working for me. I'm still a little worried about the full-body nature of this costume, and have some concern that it looks less like a wrestler and more like a gimpsuit, but I could definitely see it working. Score: 7

Chris Arrant: Joe's bringing it here — the only things I'd pull back on are the full bodysuit – maybe through in some mesh elements like Kane's late 90s costume and you'd earn another point or two from me. Score: 7

Nicholas Stacey

Equinox - Nicholas Stacey 2

36 out of 50

Ruben Diaz: Totally feeling that chest piece. The mask is effective in its stark design, though the legs feel bare without any piping or color contrast somewhere. Score: 7.5

Mike Quackenbush: Simple and stark. Well done. The lines and the colors are well chosen, and the sun/moon chest design feels right on. Score: 8.5

Vito Delsante: This could work really well. Colors are great contrasts. It seems as though black is a good background color to make a lot of these designs work. Score: 8

Aubrey Sitterson: I like the chest bandolier emblem thing a lot, but worry somewhat about how it would look and move around while Equinox was actually wrestling. That's easily solved by taking it off though, so no worries there. The muted palette is also a nice change and could work to set Equinox apart, though I worry that there's not enough of him left in the design. Score: 7

Chris Arrant: The chest portion reminds me alot of Lei Kung from Marvel's Iron Fist corner of comics continuity, and as a whole this design doesn't add up to be overpowering. Score: 5

Tom Rebello

Equinox - Tom Rebello

34 out of 50

Ruben Diaz: Once again, Tom is on a level of his own. How bause would a giant arm of lava and a giant arm of ice be!? Moving the old mask design to the chest emblem was a nice identifying touch. Metamorpho approves. Score: 8

Mike Quackenbush: I like this a whole bunch. I love the colors and how they are laid out from head to toe. The fact that this intentionally or accidentally summons the Equinox villain from Marvel Team-Up to mind is good for the extra credit with me, Tom! Score: 8

Vito Delsante: I'm torn because, the arms aren't necessary for me to see Equinox, but then if you take them away, it's nothing really all that new. I like it a lot…it reminds me of Metamorpho as a wrestler. But I'm just not sure how much is new here. Score: 7.5

Aubrey Sitterson: Again, I love your design sense, but I had to do some headscratching to think about how this would appear on an actual person. As much as I like how you've simplified the blue/red dichotomy while extending it across the chest, I worry about how the arms would appear in real life – my hunch is that it wouldn't exactly play, because they're just too different from the rest of the costume and would feel out of place. Score: 5.5

Chris Arrant: I don't know if this would work for a real-life wreslter, but I'd love to see Quackenbush and his CHIKARA team try. I see something like Big Van Vader's Japan mask here, with Equinox wearing these arm contraptions to the ring then taking them off pre-match… then maybe hitting people with it during the match. Score: 5

Paulo Cesar Medina Valdez

Equinox - Paulo Cesar Medina Valdez

31 out of 50

Ruben Diaz: Another striking black and white design. The mask is very intimidating and evokes a dangerous rudo. Not sure if Equinox can carry such a fearsome look. Might not be bad for The Shard, though. Score: 7

Mike Quackenbush: Ruben just took the words out of my mouth. For every mask, they say, there is a counter-mask. This is like the alternate universe evil Equinox, which is cool to see, and your illustration communicates an attitude that leaps off the page. Score: 6

Vito Delsante: It reads a little too Rorschach from Watchmen for me, but it's still an effective design. Score: 7

Aubrey Sitterson: As seen earlier, black and white designs can be really striking, and can be super effective in putting forward Equinox's gimmick. However, those designs make use of a stark contrast that I just don't see here – the gear is all too busy, so that you never really get the bold look that it'd need to work. Score: 6

Chris Arrant: I love the color elements of Equinox's costume, and this sadly evicts all of that from the picture. Looks more like Venom / Anti-Venom than Equinox to me. Score: 5

Joe Lozanno

Equinox - Joe Lozanno 2

25 out of 50

Ruben Diaz: Not too sure where the cape would detach from. The inverted E design is interesting, but the others circles aren't strong enough to be recognizable. Score: 6

Mike Quackenbush: This guy looks like fun to me, he has a Silver Age villain feel about him, which speaks to my childhood. I don't feel much Equinox in there though, apart from the red and blue mirroring "E"s on his chest. Score: 5

Vito Delsante: Yeah, this guy came from the Legion of Super-Heroes future. I'm not sure I buy Equinox without a mask, or how interesting his look would be without one, but I dig this design a lot…just not for Equinox. Score: 7

Aubrey Sitterson: I feel like I'm bringing this note up a lot, and it probably has to do with the nature of the competition, partners, etc. but this one definitely looks more like a superhero than a wrestler. Even outside of that though, I don't like how much of Equinox has been lost, especially as the mask is such a crucial part of so much of the CHIKARA locker room's aesthetic. Score: 4

Chris Arrant: Not all masked wrestlers need masks (see Juventud Guererra, Alberto Del Rio), but some do — Rey Mysterio Jr. and Equinox. That and the superhero garb doesn't really suit Equinox. Score: 3

Henry Rivers

equinox - henry rivers

20 out of 50

Ruben Diaz: The idea here is good, though it appears to need a little more fleshing out. Score: 5

Mike Quackenbush: Dig the color scheme here. I would like to see this with greater detail, as it seems to be a good start. Score: 5

Vito Delsante: I'm not sure I can understand what is going on here. I apologize, Henry. I'm sure there's a great idea here. Score: 4

Aubrey Sitterson: Like the rest of the distinguished panel, I'm a little disappointed by the lack of detail in this peace, mostly because what I can suss out, I really, really like. The sun and moon dichotomy on black gear is great at evoking the Equinox concept – perhaps better than Equinox's current gear. But again, things are just too rough to make this work. Score: 3
Chris Arrant: It's a start, but nothing close to a final finished design. Score: 3

ICARUS

Matt Muzzy

Icarus - Matt Muzzy

43 out of 50

Ruben Diaz: Here's another good use of contrast. Interesting placement of wing fins. The emblem also frames his torso well. This would work well with his current flaxen locks. Score: 8

Mike Quackenbush: To bring this to life, I can see our gear makers choosing a prismatic or holographic material for the colored elements, which would look sharp against the black base. This would totally work in the ring as well as it does on the page. Score: 8.5

Vito Delsante: Another simple but strong design. I like that Mike has already figured out what kind of material could be used to make this come to life and yeah, that is automatically great ring gear. One thing I would change? I'd make the black a navy blue…just to be a little more heroic. Score: 9

Aubrey Sitterson: Wow, this is a really striking design, and I love the idea of having those shimmery accents on a black base. While it deviates from that classic Icarus look, I don't mind because all of the changes (addition of the I, more wing-based touches) serve the character so well. Score: 8.5

Chris Arrant: This is several shades of great. Matt has not just one great elements, but five — the boots, the boot wings, the thigh lines, the "I" logo,  and those sleeves. Add in the holographic material Mike mentioned, and this could be a great visual. Score: 9

Eric Andrew Koch

Icarus - Eric Andrew Koch

42 out of 50

Ruben Diaz: I can really picture Icarus wearing something like this. It's reminiscent of rudo-style with the flare of his current attire. It's a very punk design that fits Icarus's rebel attitude. Score: 8.5

Mike Quackenbush: I love the attitude dripping from this piece. I agree with the sentiment that this could absolutely be made, created by one of our gear makers I mean, and worn by Icarus. Totally rings true. Score: 7.5

Vito Delsante: The most interesting aspect, to me, are the wrist wraps. I'm not sure if Eric intended them to look like ropes or not, but it's an eye-catching detail. I don't see much in the way of being too different than what Icarus wears now (except for maybe the black), and it veers a bit away from the Jannetty-inspired look he currently wears, but it's still a good design. Score: 7

Aubrey Sitterson: This. Is. Bad. ASS. Obviously, it keeps a lot of the look of the original design, but what really works for me is how it takes something that could be perceived as a little goofy and makes it into a legit threatening attire. It looks like something a gang in THE WARRIORS could wear, and that's high praise coming from me. If this doesn't win, I want to use it for Halloween this year. Score: 10

Chris Arrant: Having seen Icarus wrestle, I could very easily see him coming out in this. It would work as a stepping up of his ring gear, and is totally in line with everything he does. Good job, Eric. Score: 9

Daniel Ramirez

Icarus - Daniel Ramirez40 out of 50

Ruben Diaz: Here Icarus keeps remnants of his Rockers-inspired gear. A fan of the gauntlet tassels for aforementioned reasons. Those wings may even work well as a cape of sorts. Score: 7

Mike Quackenbush: What a great mixture of elements here: Greek Icarus, CHIKARA's Icarus, the Marty Jannetty influence in the color scheme. This is a "winged ring warrior" as true as I've ever seen visualized. Shed the harness and wings before the bell and he's good to go. Beautiful. Score: 9

Vito Delsante: Easily identifiable as Icarus, the wings would need to be "toned down" some to be practical entrance gear…CHIKARA shows are so intimate, those wings might knock some fans out! But it's a beautiful design. I'd go so far as saying it's ready for action today! Score: 9

Aubrey Sitterson: Even if he lost them before the match, the wings are a little much for me, but everything else about this design is so incredibly spot-on that I'll let that slide. I love how you've taken the iconic Icarus design and amped it up, making it look more professional while also keeping the colors and shapes that identify it. Fantastic work. Score: 8

Chris Arrant: Like the others here, I don't see the wings as working — but what if he made a wing-esque cloak to wear to the ring that looked like he had his wings around him? It might impede his energetic entrance, but could be an amazing visual. Other than that, that colorful set of matching pants and wristbands are great. Score: 7

Nicholas Stacey

Icarus - Nicholas Stacey 3

36.5 out of 50

Ruben Diaz: I like the Buck Rodgers vibe here. The side pouch replaces Icarus's traditional fanny pack. And I'm all about the buccaneer boots! Score: 7

Mike Quackenbush: I like the idea of Icarus as someone who loves adventure, and this design speaks to that. As someone who has wrestled in full suits like this though, it might be one of those things that works in concept better than it does in execution. The colors are well chosen and it has a tidiness to it I like. Score: 7.5

Vito Delsante: Here's my only "problem" with this one…it's essentially Airboy from the 40's. That said, it's a GREAT tie to the mythology of Icarus. This is really smart, and it automatically made a connection in my head. I think the only thing this needs to be "ring-ready" is removable sleeves. Really smart. Score: 8

Aubrey Sitterson: I love this design – the retro, steampunky look is great one – and I can totally see this costume bouncing around a CHIKARA ring. I also really like the idea of using the design of the costume to add badges, lapel folds, etc. I'm a little concerned about it not looking Icarus enough, and that it might necessitate some gimmick changes, but really, I love it. Score: 8

Chris Arrant: This isn't a redesign, but a reboot of the character. I love the possibilities of it, but it seems to be too bold and doesn't take anything from the original design. Score: 6

Chris O'Brien

Icarus - Chris O'Brien

35 out of 50

Ruben Diaz: Love the shoulder wings, like an angelic Damien Demento. While I like the mask design, Icarus connects well with the fans because of his facial expressions. I would have liked to see the elements of mask incorporated into the rest of the outfit. Score: 7

Mike Quackenbush: Chris, I almost prefer this as something for Equinox. It's cool and mysterious and would work really well for that character. So the fact that is is for Icarus aside, I think the costume and concept you've come up with stands as something of merit on its own. Score: 7.5

Aubrey Sitterson: I'm an easy mark for mythology references, so I'm definitely your audience for this one. Despite losing…almost all of what makes Icarus identifiable, I really dig this, especially the feathers. That said, I worry about how anything feather-like would hold up in the ring, and more troubling, there's the mask. So much of the CHIKARA roster wears lucha masks that I don't think we should be putting them on other folks, especially ones like Icarus, who are already identifiable without the mask. Score: 6.5

Vito Delsante: This is a really clever design, actually. The sun, the wings…it's very much in keeping with the mythology behind the name. But I'm with Aubrey…adding a mask would be a step backwards for Icarus. Still, it's a great entry. Score: 8

Chris Arrant: I'm loving those shoulder wings — maybe a Flair-esque cloak with wings to go with it? Score: 6

Jideobi Odunze

Icarus - Jideobi Odunze

33 out of 50

Ruben Diaz: I like the idea here, and the color scheme is a different one for Icarus. I even think the look would fit his freshly blond hair. But the arrow near his chest should be wider and or higher. Currently it makes him appear narrower because his shoulders are a neutral color with no design to draw the eye. The points of the widest arrow should frame his collar and shoulders. Follow the arrow arc  along the natural curvature of his chest and deltoids. The mask would be unnecessary, as it doesn't hide much and nothing the audience hasn't seen. Score: 7.5

Mike Quackenbush: Very bold. It immediately feels like a fun costume to put on, and Icarus works great with a royal blue and white color scheme. He is skybound, for better or worse. I like all the parts of this, except the mask, Jideobi. Score: 7

Vito Delsante: This is actually strong and simplified. The colors are bold, the design is simple, but it evokes a lot of the mythology of the name…the arrow pointing up telling us that this wrestler is on the move to better and brighter. The one thing that I'm not liking is the mask. Again, I feel like it's a step backwards for the wrestler/character. But…BUT…it's such a superhero comic looking element that I don't think this piece could work without it and as such, it makes the design work. Score: 8.5

Aubrey Sitterson: While the design is sleek, clean and effective, I worry that there's just not enough of Icarus on display here. The starburst designs are awesome and iconic and could make anyone who wears them stand out from the crowd, but it obscures what we already identify as Icarus. Score: 6

Chris Arrant: A great abstract design, but with what you've added you've taken away what makes Icarus, well, Icarus. Score: 4

Joe Lozanno

Icarus - Joe Lozanno 2

33 out of 50

Ruben Diaz: I like the All-American vibe. The wing emblem is attractive. Perhaps this would look better sleeveless, with the shoulder elements moved to gauntlets. This takes them away from the competing chest design.  What would the boots look like? Or, what would it look like in different color schemes? Score: 7.5

Mike Quackenbush: I feel more Icarus in this one than the previous one, Joe. The blue against the white wing emblem hits home with me. I'm not entirely sure what is on his hands, but it seems extraneous. Score: 6

Vito Delsante: On the other hand, THIS! The wings are great, the colors say "hero" and lines are simple and evocative of the comics that inspired the looks of many CHIKARA stars. This could almost be a modern reworking of the Golden Age Angel (Marvel Comics), and it STILL works. One gripe…the hands. Score: 9

Aubrey Sitterson: USA! USA! USA! As much as I like an overtly patriotic wrestler, I'm not sure it's the right look for Icarus. That said, the stylized wings on the chest really work for me, and would love to see them incorporated in a more Icarus-look. Score: 6.5
Chris Arrant: I liked the wings emblem, but nothing else really gives me anything to grab ahold of. Score: 4

Joe Lozanno

Icarus - Joe Lozanno 3

32.5 out of 50

Ruben Diaz: Is that a roller derby helmet? Like the previous all-white Equinox costume, it may be more flattering on paper than it would be materially. The emblem looks interesting, perhaps with different colors. Score: 6.5

Mike Quackenbush: I like that this is close to a wrestling singlet in its cut, and the Icarus icon and shoe detail excites my imagination. Barring the helmet, this feels a lot more like Icarus to me. Score: 7

Vito Delsante: Yeah, this is…it's kind of weird, but it works as in-ring gear. That helmet can be left in the locker room. White is an odd choice for wrestling gear, but Icarus could pull it off. Score: 7

Aubrey Sitterson: The singlet look is an interesting choice, and I like how much it makes him standout. The white is kind of troubling for me though, as there's just so much of it, with such limited, light accents, that I worry it could make Icarus look washed out and kind of bland when standing next to other, brighter talents. Again, your work designing a new winged logo is really, really nice. Score: 7

Chris Arrant: You need to be careful with the cut of the pants on these to avoid being in biker shorts territory, but other than that it has some potential. My only other concern is an all-white costume being wrestled in, sweat in, and sometimes dragged onto the floors of the wrestling venues. Score: 5

Nicholas Stacey

Icarus - Nicholas Stacey 2

28 out of 50

Ruben Diaz: Those winged epaulettes are cool, but I can't imagine how they would stay attached to his shoulders. The goggles are funky, too, albeit dangerous in the ring. If they were to shatter from an errant blow or impact it wouldn't bode well for his eyes. Score: 6.5

Mike Quackenbush: I am immediately charmed by the wackiness of this one. For a match though, the goggles and wings would have to go, and those are my favorite parts! Score: 6

Vito Delsante: This is a good beginning, but I think we could add some more color and really bring this up. And as a result of losing the wings for a match, we lose the visual tie to the character's namesake. A shirt with wings could be a good hat tip. Score: 6.5

Aubrey Sitterson: Like an earlier design, there's just too much white in this one for me, especially with the sash being the only brighter colored accent piece. In the design, I can see it possibly working, but I know that in real life, this will just look like a guy in white pants (rarely a good look), especially once the goggles and epaulettes are lost. Score: 4

Chris Arrant: This is the beginning of something, but I need to see Nicholas Stacey push this a little further if he wants to make an impact. Score: 5

Paulo Cesar Medina Valdez

Icarus - Paulo Cesar Medina Valdez

27 out of 50

Ruben Diaz: Icarus taps into the powers of The Warrior! Dig the face-paint and the overall design. Maybe some tweaks so it doesn't look like there's a smiley face on his crotch? Or maybe I'm the only weirdo who sees that… Score: 7

Mike Quackenbush: I admire the fearlessness of this re-invention. The red and yellow is great. However, I see elements of CMLL luchador Atlantis and the Ultimate Warrior here that overshadow the parts that need to make me see Icarus. Score: 6

Vito Delsante: It's a good design, but it just doesn't read as Icarus to me. Score: 5

Aubrey Sitterson: You're going to be hardpressed to find someone who digs Ultimate Warrior more than me, but I don't think that Icarus is the right guy to tap into those cosmic powers…at least aesthetically speaking. I worry that for a company that prides itself on independence and innovation, this looks far too derivative of one of the most popular mainstream wrestlers of all time. Score: 6

Chris Arrant: Paulo's going bold here, but I think it would be more identified with the Ultimate Warrior than Icarus. Score: 3

Joe Lozanno

Icarus - Joe Lozanno

24.5 out of 50

Ruben Diaz: This reminds me of the Marvel character, Tiger Shark — which isn't particularly a bad idea. Especially if Icarus has a mohawk.  Maybe a little too 'dangerous' looking for our plucky hero. Score: 6.5

Mike Quackenbush: I thought "Tiger Shark", too, Ruben. And I don't think "Icarus" at all on this particular image of Joe's. Score: 4

Vito Delsante: I don't think it works for Icarus at all. Unless there's a planned heel turn. And even then, it just doesn't evoke anything related to the character. Score: 5

Aubrey Sitterson: Like a lot of these full body costumes, it just comes across looking like someone at the Winter Olympics, not like a professional wrestler. I also wonder why Icarus' signature pinks and yellows have been jettisoned here – if they were utilized, and the full sleeves lost, I could maybe see this working. Score: 6

Chris Arrant: A slightly re-colored Wolverine costume, and not at all with what Icarus projects. Score: 3

Nicholas Stacey

Icarus - Nicholas Stacey 1

24 out of 50

Ruben Diaz: This outfit is all about those tricked out sleeves. It would be better to take advantage and add a piping design instead of a flat color or fabric pattern. I'd recommend a consistent tonal scheme between the top and bottom so they frame his torso and back, much like the one on the left does more than the one on the right. Score: 6.5

Mike Quackenbush: The colorful front and the blank back is an intriguing idea, but this piece leaves me wanting more. None of the distinctly Icarian elements are present. Score: 5

Vito Delsante: I don't see anything that says "Icarus" here. Those pants could go to Shard and I wouldn't complain. The sleeves are interesting because, visually, they almost have a winged appearance…a feather design on those could carry that over and we might be closer. Score: 5

Aubrey Sitterson: My biggest problem with this is that it doesn't look like Icarus. It would be a fantastic Hardy Boyz costume, but by losing the colors and the cut from the original gear, it just doesn't work for me. Score: 4.5

Chris Arrant: I can't help but join in the choir here–don't see Icarus in this at all. Score: 3

About Hannah Means Shannon

Editor-in-Chief at Bleeding Cool. Independent comics scholar and former English Professor. Writing books on magic in the works of Alan Moore and the early works of Neil Gaiman.

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