GL of Earth-616

I was thinking about Simon Baz and the idea of Green Lanterns + guns, then I was thinking of the traditional Green Lantern Corps uniform with white gloves and what other characters wear white gloves and then this happened:
 

 
Notes:
– RE: the ring-construct weapons… I dug up photo reference of various weapons at angles that would work for what I had in mind, arranged them fanning out in a somewhat wing-shaped collage (I bit that idea from one of The Expendables movie posters), then I did a simplified sketchy trace-over.
– The costume is basically an inverted Hal Jordan/GLC uniform mashed-up with Frank Castle’s traditional Punisher costume.
– I guess I shouldn’t be surprised that after drawing Green Lantern characters for two weeks I randomly felt compelled to draw a super nerdy crossover. This isn’t the first time I’ve drawn an unlikely Green Lantern mash-up! (Previous incidents: HERE, HERE, and HERE)

Okay, back to regular GL characters, there are still a lot that I want to draw!

GL & Friends

Just sketching up some of the Green Lantern cast…

Notes:
– I draw really long necks.
– Pay no attention to the completely wrong perspective on Alan Scott’s lantern.
– John Stewart has been around for so long that you could give him his classic hairstyle back and it would be hip again (so I did exactly that).
– I was trying to draw a more classic Abin Sur, but he doesn’t look enough like an alien.

HQ

 
Haven’t seen the movie yet, but I like Harley Quinn’s costume in Suicide Squad. I wanted to draw a version of it that was in traditional Harley colors with a more streamlined cartoony look. There’s a dash of the Amanda Connor roller derby version in there, and the tattoos are inspired by the excellent cosplayer Katy DeCobray!

Cap.

I took a trip to Portland a few weeks ago, and sat next to a really friendly couple on the plane. I drew this Captain America sketch for their son. They asked me to, I don’t just force sketches on strangers when I’m on a plane!

 

(Posted this on Instagram, but thought I’d put it up here too, just for archive purposes and all of that.)

Draw… SOMETHING (03)

Everyone’s favorite Russian sibling mutant superheroes who are sometimes supervillains:

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My apologies–I drew a Soviet Union flag when I should have drawn a Russian flag!

Art dump, incoming!

The past few weeks have been busy and frustrating. Minor physical maladies (shoulder/neck pain) have made drawing difficult. I will not bore you with details! I am fine now, and the past few days I’ve been drawing whilst continuing to marathon Star Trek: The Next Generation.

I have enough posts to catch me up (5 total), but I’m going to split them up rather than group them all together in one post. Why? Because I am a nut for proper organization and categorization.

First up is your friendly neighborhood Spider-Man:

 
Roughly 3.75″ x 5″, drawn with black Sharpie and white color pencil on the back of an extra RSVP card.

SMILE

When I see green, orange, and purple color pencils on my desk, I say to myself, “Damn, I should draw the Joker.”

So, I drew the Joker:

 
You can probably tell that my idea of the Joker is heavily based on Bruce Timm’s animated version, with just a dash of Brian Bolland thrown in.

(This Joker is not intended to go with the timeline I have imagined for my “Sons of the Bat” re-designs, but I imagine I will use this as a basis for a future Joker if/when I get to the villains of that era!)

Allies of the Bat: Phoenix

For those who missed the first round of drawings or want a refresher, these re-designs imagine a future timeline combining elements from the comic book continuity (pre-New 52) and the Bruce Timm animated universe. For context as to how far in the future this timeline exists–Damian Wayne is in his mid-20s. Here are links to the original Sons of the Bat posts:

I’m going off the reservation a bit for today’s entry. The subject is Kathy Kane, who was the original Batwoman (on either Earth-1 or Earth-2), not to be confused with Kate Kane, the modern day Batwoman who, if I understand correctly, is distantly related to the first Kathy Kane who may or may not be retconned from existence in the current DC universe. Listen, I know. It’s confusing.

I have further complicated matters by deciding that in my fabricated “Sons of the Bat” continuity, the mantle of Batwoman is now taken up by Barbara Gordon. This means both Kathy and Kate Kane need new identities. I’ll get to Kate soon enough, but for now I have renamed Kathy “Phoenix” which is a codename meant to match her niece, Flamebird. Just go with it:

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  • Age: Early 50′s
  • Although she had left Gotham and retired her “Batwoman” identity long ago, heiress Kathy Kane was more than content to do good in the world as a philanthropist and entrepreneur. But when her nephew and most of his family is killed, she returns to action, reborn as Phoenix, and partnering once more with her niece Bette Kane, AKA Flamebird. Following the trail of the murderers to Gotham, Kathy decides to move back to the city, bringing Bette and Rebecca (her orphaned grand-niece) in tow. While seeking answers and justice, Kathy inevitably crosses paths with the Sons of the Bat, who agree to aid Kathy’s investigation in any way possible.
  • Kathy’s ulterior motive for returning to Gotham City is to ask Dick for guidance, knowing that he has been through a tragedy similar to what her grand-niece has suffered.
  • With Bruce comatose, the safety of Gotham is tenuous, as is the security of Wayne Enterprises. Tim pushes for a longer term alliance with Kathy, both in her identity as Phoenix and in her civilian role as a businesswoman and investor. Initially, Selina Kyle-Wayne vetoes this alliance, questioning Kathy’s motives, but eventually the two develop a level of trust and respect.
  • Yet another case of a minor re-design, plus some color shifting. I wanted to keep her original costume’s red and yellow to match up with the phoenix/fire theme, but I added in some black to help ground the costume.
  • Her simplified emblem is meant to be ambiguous enough to be a bird or a bat.

I feel like the original Batwoman and Batgirl get crapped on a lot, so I wanted to respect the characters, and give them identities that moved beyond ‘heiresses with crushes on Batman and Robin.’ I also wanted to tie in the modern day Batwoman, which I’ll elaborate on later.

The black/red/yellow colors running through the last three posts have been unintentional, I assure you! Apparently that’s a popular palette for Batman’s friends and rivals, and I don’t want to change any character’s representative colors unless I can come up with a good reason!

Not sure what the next post will be… I have some Allies of the Bat ideas lined up, but I might take a break. You’ll have to tune in to see!

Allies of the Bat: Anarky

For those who missed the first round of drawings or want a refresher, these re-designs imagine a future timeline combining elements from the comic book continuity (pre-New 52) and the Bruce Timm animated universe. For context as to how far in the future this timeline exists–Damian Wayne is in his mid-20s. Here are links to the original Sons of the Bat posts:

Today’s entry is Lonnie Machin, AKA Anarky:

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  • Age: Late 20′s
  • As a child prodigy, Lonnie Machin developed an iconoclastic world view at an early age. In adulthood, Lonnie has managed to balance his idealism with realism while staying true to his beliefs. Though he and the Sons of the Bat sometimes find themselves at odds, they share a mutual respect for each other’s beliefs and skills. This alliance truly solidified when the Calculator orchestrated a physical and digital assault on the Sons of the Bat–Anarky came to Oracle’s aid, and was instrumental in destroying the digital criminal empire that Calculator had built.
  • I see Lonnie and Tim as kindred spirits. On the other hand, Lonnie and Damian have a somewhat antagonistic relationship, but their philosophies and goals ultimately have a lot of crossover, and I think someone like Lonnie would keep Damian honest. Jason is amused by Lonnie’s rebellious and subversive personality, and loves seeing others riled up by him.
  • This is another slight re-design. Actual costume changes are very minor, but I shifted a few colors around. You can see from the other drawings in the series that I like giving the lining of a cape a striking color that offers stark contrast to the character’s body, creating a strong silhouette.
  • It doesn’t really make sense for Anarky to wear a scalloped bat-cape. However, thematically it’s an abstract nod to the fact that Anarky has something in common with the Batman Family’s moral code, even though they aren’t always on the same side.
  • As a child, Anarky’s costume was built to create the eerie illusion of a tall adult. I like the idea that he’s since sprouted up into a weirdly tall grown-up. I should try playing around with body types more on the other designs…
  • In addition to being a melee weapon, his baton can discharge energy to stun his weapons, and has a retractable grappling line.

Maybe when I first encountered him, I was just at the right age to be receptive to a character named “Anarky,” but I think he’s an awesome character. In spite of his name, he’s not as obvious as the usual rebels and anti-heroes, plus he has an intellectual side that is sorely lacking in many comics these days. Definitely an underused character.

Allies of the Bat: Azrael

I was rather pleasantly surprised earlier this month when someone on Twitter pointed out to me that Project: Rooftop had featured my Sons of the Bat re-designs!

From the feedback I’ve read, people have generally been positive (which I truly appreciate), and would like to see Barbara Gordon as well as other female characters (which I would have guessed). As I mentioned before, I have every intention of drawing up the Daughters of the Bat. However, for the moment I decided to draw a few of Batman’s supporting players (male and female) who don’t quite fit the category of being his “children.” Allies of the Bat will be an open set of drawings and/or re-designs that I post here from time to time.

For those who missed the first round of drawings or want a refresher, these re-designs imagine a future timeline combining elements from the comic book continuity (pre-New 52) and the Bruce Timm animated universe. For context as to how far in the future this timeline exists–Damian Wayne is in his mid-20s. Here are links to the original Sons of the Bat posts:

Onwards! Today we have Jean-Paul Valley, AKA Azrael:

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  • Age: Mid 30′s
  • At various times Jean-Paul Valley has been an ally, substitute, and antagonist for Batman. After many years of chaos, Jean-Paul faked his death (unbeknownst to all but Bruce Wayne and a few others). He travelled the world searching for his own identity, as well as seeking to better his mind and body. He studied martial arts with Connor Hawke, and meditation with J’onn J’onzz. In Madripoor he sparred with a grizzled warrior, and in Texas he debated faith with a preacher. Newly grounded, with a fresh outlook on life, Jean-Paul Valley returned to Gotham City. When he heard that Batman had fallen and the Sons of the Bat were in dire need, he sprung into action as Azrael once more.
  • With the telepathic aid of J’onn J’onzz, Azrael is completely freed of his previous mental conditioning.
  • This is a verrry slight re-design. I basically streamlined and simplified things, and made his body suit black to offer more contrast against his red cape.
  • His retractable flaming blades have been replaced with the hard light constructs which are more precise and have no risk of collateral fire damage.

(If you caught the two non-DC Universe references in the quick little bio I wrote for Azrael, then you are a good nerd!)

So, to be honest, I’m rather torn about this costume now that I’m posting it. The problem with Azrael is that (I feel) everyone basically wants to see him in his (more or less) original costume… however, storywise, that costume represents everything the character is trying to escape. I guess I am struggling with Jean-Paul Valley’s identity as much as he is. I reserve the right to give Azrael a proper redesign in the future, besides which, I need to consider the Suit of Sorrows as well!

Anyways, during my preliminary sketches of Azrael, I did a really crude color study to see how I felt about the increased amount of black in the costume. I was going to use this as one of images in the backdrop, but when I monochrome-ized* it, I liked it enough that I thought I should post it. Plus, you know, I’m one post behind, so I needed to catch up. Two bats with one stone! So to speak.

*monochrome-ized… past tense of monochrome-ize… that’s a word, right?

Aqua Zone

For no particular reason, here’s a drawing of Aquaman zoning out:

 
I FEEL THE SAME WAY, AQUAMAN.

As you can see, I’m continuing to experiment w/ shapes as opposed to lines and forms. Not sure where this is heading, but sometimes you just have to let the current whisk you away. YOU SEE BECAUSE I DREW A PICTURE OF AQUAMAN UNDERWATER, AND CURRENTS ARE THINGS THAT HAPPEN IN THE WATER. K, time to sleep.

(Why yes, I am both late as well as one post behind. Sigh.)

Hand and Foot

Here’s a dual post to cover last Friday as well as today. I had two pieces of sturdy cardboard lying around, so I grabbed some markers and did these two pieces:

 
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Sketched in color pencil, lineart inked with a Sharpie, silvers filled with a Sharpie, and reds and blacks filled with Marks-A-Lot markers.

I’m sure similar such cross-over pin-ups have been drawn before, but I thought this wold be fun! (For those who don’t know, Eastman and Laird’s TMNT was inspired by Frank Miller’s seminal run on Daredevil.)

Sons of the Bat… Parts 4 and 5 (of 5)

(Previously: Parts 1 and 2, Part 3)

Today we move out of the realm of Batman’s adopted sons, and on to two of his actual genetic offspring.

The son of Bruce Wayne and Talia al Ghul, Damian Wayne, AKA The Demon:

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  • Age: Mid 20′s
  • Damian has matured as both a man and costumed hero, and left the nest a few years ago to travel the world. After the apparent final death of Ra’s al Ghul, Damian seized control of the League of Shadows with the instrumental backing of his mother, and the assistance of his father and ‘brothers.’ Under Damian’s leadership, the League has become a force for good, though he and his mother are constantly battling splinter factions who wish to remain true to Ra’s al Ghul’s ways. Damian is still competitive with his brothers, but the interactions have lost their antagonistic edge. Of particular note, he and Tim have eased into a very friendly dynamic (Oracle has assisted the new League of Shadows countless times), and he has surprisingly become quite the big brother to Terry (however Tim is apparently the only member of the Bat-clan who knows that Damian and Terry are actual brothers).
  • This backstory combines elements from standard continuity, as well as aspects of the Kingdom Come version of Batman and Talia’s son.
  • Damian is still prone behave imperiously, so red is a fitting color, I think.
  • The cowl is something of a hybrid between Thomas Wayne’s masquerade bat costume and Ra’s al Ghul’s demon mask–a nod to both of Damian’s grandfathers. The V-shaped brow is an element from Damian’s Redbird costume, to add an element of his own identity on top of his dual heritage.
  • The rest of the costume combines elements of Damian’s Robin costume with Ra’s al Ghul’s high-collared cloak (modified to bring it in line with the cloaks of Red Hood and Oracle).
  • His scimitar is a hard light construct.

Up next is Terry McGinnis, AKA… Batman??

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  • Age: Early 20′s
  • With Bruce Wayne comatose and in critical condition after a battle with a coalition of Batman’s greatest rivals, Gotham is in need of a Batman. Terry McGinnis, having served as Robin to Bruce’s Batman for a few years, thinks he’s the least likely candidate for the job. However, Dick, Jason, Tim, and Damien all have unique roles to play as their current alter egos, and they urge Terry to take up the mantle. It was possible that they would have come to this consensus regardless, but “the Robins” don’t realize that Tim subtly nudged them towards this decision because he was the only one aware that Terry is actually Bruce’s son. With no knowledge of his true heritage, Terry agrees, knowing that he will be backed by the four men who have become a second family to him.
  • This isn’t a redesign at all! The only thing I changed was the color of the belt! To be honest, I wasn’t always crazy about the Batman Beyond costume, particularly the use of red. But it grew on me over time, and now I think the red is very appropriate for Terry’s hotheaded youthfulness. By making the belt yellow, I hoped to tie the colors of Terry’s costume to Damien’s costume. A subtle indication that the two have more in common than they realize.
  • The wing technology (shown in retracted position) was already being field tested by Nightwing, but the suit itself is a brand new piece of experimental technology.
  • His retractable claws are hard light constructs.

Well, that was a fun series of designs to draw! I have a lot more ideas for this imagined alternate continuity. I realized yesterday that I actually need to add two more Sons of the Bat. Of course I fully intend to (eventually) follow this series with Daughters of the Bat (there are at least 6 or 7 to draw). Plus there are several characters who don’t quite fit either category…

(In closing out this series, I have also closed out my post deficit! Returning to regular posting, the first one for this week will be up late Tuesday or early Wednesday. After that, let’s see if I can get back to posting at regular intervals.)

Sons of the Bat… Part 3 (of 5)

It’s Friday night before a long weekend. I don’t know what you nerds are doing, but I’m posting a blog about a Batman character. Jealous?

Continuing in order from the previous segment, here’s Tim Drake, AKA Oracle:

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  • Age: Late 20′s
  • When Barbara Gordon returned to action as Batwoman, it only made sense for someone else to take up the mantle of Oracle and provide information and support for the heroes of Gotham. Initially Tim took up the role as a temporary position while injured, but he assumed the role permanently when he realized how well suited he was for the task. Since becoming Oracle, Tim has been working closely with Bruce Wayne and Lucius Fox to research and develop new technologies. Perhaps most notably, Tim was instrumental in the development of the hard light melee weapons. Tim keeps in shape for the occasions where he must return to the streets and rooftops of Gotham. This isn’t a regular event, but it happens often enough that the criminal underworld now fear Oracle’s agility and precision as much as they fear the reach of his intelligence.
  • Tim has had several costumes in both comics and animation that have dropped green out of the design, leaving red as a dominant visual. As stand alone designs, they were fine, but the color red just doesn’t suit Tim in my opinion. Tim is well-adjusted, centered, and cerebral–he’s much more of a green than a red. It’s those same attributes that lead me to assign him the vacant identity of Oracle.
  • The emblem on his chest is very similar to Barbara Gordon’s Oracle symbol, but modified to resemble the “face” that was often found on Batmobiles (and other Bat-vehicles) of the 40′s and 50′s, just as I did with the Red Hood’s emblem.
  • I always thought of Tim as being a little bit more “kung-fu” than the rest of the Batman family, probably because his early adventures and rogue’s gallery featured a lot of DC martial arts characters, so hopefully the costume reflects that.
  • Overall this costume is strongly based on his original Robin outfit, as a reminder that Tim will always be strongly associated with that alter ego, arguably more so than anyone else. While many “mainstream” fans of the Batman franchise will think of Robin as Dick Grayson, I think most actual comic readers think of Tim as Robin, and Dick as Nightwing. But I digress.
  • I purposely excluded visual nods to Tim’s current Red Robin costume–I actually like that costume a lot, but it always felt too reminiscent of Doctor Mid-Nite, and the emblem felt too reminiscent of Hawkman’s.
  • Tim’s signature close combat weapon (a bo staff) is now a hard light construct.

As you can see, I had a little bit more to say about Tim than Dick and Jason. Just around the time that I was really getting into comics, Robin #1 came out, and Tim quickly became one of my favorite characters. I think I followed Robin longer than any other monthly book.

(2 more missed posts to make up. Hopefully I’ll be able to wrap up this series in the next few days and close out that debt! We’ll see…)

Sons of the Bat… Parts 1 and 2 (of 5)

I know, I’ve continued to be bad at updating my blog in a timely manner. However, at least this time I can say that it’s because I was actually drawing and coloring and I didn’t want to stop to write a blog post!

Today I’m presenting the first two parts in a series of re-designs of Batman’s many “sons.”

I’ve been thinking about Batman a lot since I watched The Dark Knight Rises (which I loved). My enjoyment of the movie really just led me down a path of remembering how much I love Batman and his extended ‘family.’ I started doodling Batman characters in my spare time, and it wasn’t too long before I started messing with their look.

My doodles started taking shape when I started to think of them as an assignment for a hypothetical cartoon series. These re-designs imagine a future timeline combining elements from the comic book continuity (pre-New 52) and the Bruce Timm animated universe. For context as to how far in the future this timeline exists–Damian Wayne is in his mid-20s. More on him in a future installment!

For now, let’s kick things off with Dick Grayson, AKA Nightwing:

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  • Age: Late 30′s
  • Dick is the heart of the Batman family. He stepped out of Batman’s shadow with ease and confidence, and is his own man. Even-handed, approachable, and reliable, he’s a de facto big brother and field commander to the other heroes.
  • Color symbolism is very important in these costumes. I kept Dick in black, blue, and yellow, because it symbolizes that he’s completely graduated from Robin status, and he is truly Batman’s peer.
  • I brought the collar back as a nod to the first Nightwing costume, which was itself a nod to the Flying Graysons’ costumes. It’s a subtle reminder of Dick’s non-vigilante heritage.
  • Batman Beyond-style retractable wings allow for gliding.
  • Batons are hard light constructs which can materialize almost instantaneously.
  • The crescent eyes, scalloped wings/capes, and hard light weapons will be unifying motifs through out these re-designs. I definitely didn’t want to stray into the realm of matching uniforms for these characters, but I did want a few elements to tie everything together visually. Additionally, the wings and hard-light weapons are there to help push the idea that this is a future timeline.

Up next is the troubled Jason Todd, AKA Red Hood:

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  • Age: Mid 30′s
  • Whatever may have transpired in the past, Jason has found some degree of redemption and inner peace, and he’s now ‘back in the fold,’ as a trusted member of the Batman family. However, he’s definitely the “Wolverine” or “Raphael” of the group–a maverick who does what he sees fit and frequently comes in conflict with the others.
  • This probably doesn’t qualify as a re-design, really it’s just a minor tweak of the Frank Quietly-designed Red Hood costume. To me, the white, black, and grey represent the ill-defined boundary between right and wrong, which plays into Jason’s persona perfectly. The red symbolizes Jason’s connection to both the Joker and Robin, but also represents the violence in Jason’s life.
  • I did however change the emblem on his chest from a skull to a more abstract face. It’s meant to invoke the “face” that was often found on Batmobiles (and other Bat-vehicles) of the 40′s and 50′s. Just a little something to tie the design closer to Batman’s visual motifs.
  • In imagining a rehabilitated Jason Todd, his appropriation of the Joker’s former identity as Red Hood is even more powerful. I’ll probably always think of The Killing Joke as the definitive Batman story, so the poignant irony of Red Hood as a ‘good guy’ really strikes a chord for me.
  • His kris is a hard light construct, and a nod to his past connection to Ra’s al Ghul and the League of Shadows. No longer armed with pistols, his holsters hold non-lethal weapons–perhaps a dart gun and a taser?

I should mention that the pieces in this series are colored with a Photoshop gouache brush setting that I picked up from an excellent tutorial on DeviantArt.

I’m having fun with these, so I hope you’re enjoying them as well, dear reader. I would say tune in again, same Bat-time, same Bat-channel, but I’ve been posting so erratically, I can’t guarantee the time. But I guess it is the same Bat-channel no matter what. Listen, I’m over-complicating this. Just come back soon, okay? THANK YOU!

(These 2 drawings cover the end of last week and the beginning of this week. Still hanging in there at 2 missed posts, BUT, it looks like I’ll be able to zero out that deficit with the rest of this series. ALMOST THERE.)