There seems to be a great improvement the old one was gray in which matched the color sceme of the forum making it look dull. By adding the color one that did not match the forum's tone you have made the siggy have the popping out effect sort of like a group of black puppies and one puppy covered with rainbow fur.
The old version is good itself, but the gray color doesn't makes it any special.
And C.C. doesn't really seem to fit with the banner, because of the pixel-ish picture? The guy doesn't really seem to stand out because his side is bright.
But you did a nice job with the new version. By adding a line in the background, plus with a 'bright' color, you made the characters stood out more. And the border is basically 'locking' these 2 characters in the banner itself, which is awesome. ;D!
I also like the blurry overlay effects that you created, it gives the signature a soft touch. <3 (I assume that you gaussian blur it and then set it at overlay, right? If not, ignore this, haha. :P)
So, yep, good job! You should be proud of yourself.