Hey kids, look! A super simple drawing (which I had lying around) dressed up to appear to be a real blog post! But at least it’s super late as well!
I want you to know that I’m giving myself a judgemental look:
Hey kids, look! A super simple drawing (which I had lying around) dressed up to appear to be a real blog post! But at least it’s super late as well!
I want you to know that I’m giving myself a judgemental look:
First off–if you’re here because of my Tron Calamari post from two weeks ago, welcome! I got a few re-tweets regarding that post, not the least of which were from renowned Twitter maven Bonnie Burton, and the official Star Wars Twitter account! So a big thanks to Bonnie, the folks at @StarWars, everyone else who re-tweeted me, and everyone who dropped in to look at my blog (both new and long-time readers). And of course, another big thanks to my crony Dave, who came up with the title Tron Calamari.
Secondly–I was in a bit of a rush last week, so I didn’t get a chance to mention what I thought about Tron: Legacy–so how about a five second review?
Tron: Legacy (In theaters in 3D and IMAX 3D)
The dialogue was mostly very standard for a special effects blockbuster, with occasional moments of brilliance (often via Jeff Bridges’ unexpected moments of channeling the Dude/himself). The 3D was uneven and generally not a big deal–though I’ve heard a lot of people say otherwise–your mileage may vary, as projectionists at individual theaters may not have their gear properly calibrated. The pacing and performances were strong, and the special effects and art direction were pitch perfect. But most importantly, this movie knows what it is, where it came from, and isn’t ashamed of it.
Verdict: Awesome. I had fairly high expectations, and was pleasantly surprised to have those expectations satisfied. A big bucket of black glass, neon piping, and FUN!
For More Computer World Adventure: Track down the original Tron, or watch some Reboot (coming to DVD soon, by the way!).
And now back to our abnormally scheduled nerdiness:
So, the tradition around here is that I draw up a Skeletor or He-Man (or some version thereof), and post it to commemorate the New Year. Well, I wasn’t sure which version to go with, and as I sat here looking at the menagerie of action figures on my desk, it occurred to me that the Masters of the Universe Classics version of Orko (character info/figure) would probably be the only figure I would keep if I had to sell off my He-Man collection. This in turn made me realize that Orko is one of my two favorite He-Man characters (the other being the Sorceress). True, Orko was most often relegated to the role of goofy sidekick, but I always thought he looked cool, had a cool species backstory (he’s a member of the inherently magical Trollan race from another dimension), and as a character, he always had the potential for more. Anywaysss… here he is:
I threw in some costume elements from the 200x version of Orko, but mostly kept his classic proportions. The big “O” on his chest, while iconic, was always a bit too goofy for me–so I styled it as a circular magical ward. Yes, I know, I’m splitting very nerdy hairs in regards to what’s goofy and what isn’t. Perhaps most significantly, I changed up his eyes, to give him more of an otherworldly quality. I don’t think Orko should ever be played as “dark” or creepy, but giving a character an alien look can add a little edge to him, without changing his personality.
I think this is a huge improvement over my earlier depiction of Orko’s lady friend, Dree Elle.
Happy Nerd Year, everyone! (Note: that was intentional, not a typo. You nerds.)
Today I’ve got another He-Man variant, re-imagined. This one is based on a prototype for Laser Power He-Man. The prototype had a costume that was significantly different from the production version, so I thought it was worthy of yet another new character. Her name is based on the Spanish version of Laser Power He-Man, and I envision her as the cousin of Lazeros, the variant I drew based on the standard version of Laser Power He-Man. Here’s Luminosa:
Her sidekick, X-1060, is named after the product code for Laser Power He-Man, and his form is based loosely on the backpack of one of the prototype versions of that same figure. To answer your question–yes, it did just get nerdier in here.
And it’s about to get even nerdier… BACKGROUND INFO!!!
PROFILE: While a bit naieve and idealistic, and slightly reckless at times, LADY LUMINOSA is nevertheless a bright and determined young woman, with a keen sense of justice. She is somewhat sheltered and knows it–which makes her eager to seek out the world. Luminosa is close to her cousin, Prince Lazeros, who is both big-brother-figure and mentor to her. She has adventured in Etheria a few times, befriending young freedom fighters like Sorciela and Korujito, and finding strong female role-models in the older generation of freedom fighters.
In battle, Luminosa is armed with equipment similar to Lazeros–a synthetic Korodite-powered battle harness, and an energy sword. Her energy sword is actually a conduit that channels her innate powers into a blade of energy far more powerful than Lazeros’s. Between this device, and her incredible fencing abilities, Luminosa is very dangerous in melee combat. Though Lazeros is still her fencing instructor, he believes her swordfighting skills alone will one day overshadow his own, and once she learns to channel the full potential of her energy powers, she will be a truly unstoppable force. Luminosa’s battle harness is much more compact than Lazeros’s, but as a result does not provide as much enhanced strength, and provides no field of protection. This lack is compensated by X-1060, a lab droid modified by Lazeros to generate a portable forcefield and act as a protector for Luminosa. X-1060 is intellectual and fretful, constantly lamenting Luminosa’s willful nature and thrill-seeking.
HISTORY: Lady Luminosa was born to a noblewoman, and a low-born, but reknowned wizard. Around her thirteenth year, she began exhibiting the ability to manipulate light energy. Four years later, her ability was growing exponentially more powerful, but she could not control it. Her father failed to treat the problem with magic, and so they turned to science, and to Luminosa’s older cousin, Prince Lazeros. Lazeros became Luminosa’s temporary guardian, and began overseeing her education while studying her abilities. Using a modified version of his own battle harness, Luminosa’s powers have been contained so that she can gradually learn how to control them. However, when it became apparent that Luminosa also had an innate knack for science, Lazeros gladly recruited her as his research assistant. To Lazeros’s chagrin, Luminosa (athletic and adventurous, much like her cousin), was more interested in gallantry than science, and stowed away on several of his adventures. After Luminosa had proved herself useful on more than one occasion, Lazeros reluctantly decided that his strong-willed young cousin was enough of an adult to accompany him on his many quests.
I apologize because I’m about to become to become a person who quotes his own twitter, but as I “tweeted” a few days ago:
I’ve had enough out of you 2009. When is your smarter, taller, better looking sibling 2010 getting here?
Well the new year is here at last. This had better be good! By the way, yes, I’m now “tweeting” semi-regularly. Super inane updates can be found at @jasonhohoho.
As has become a tradition around here, I celebrate the New Year and my Bloggiversary (in this case, my third Bloggiversary) by posting a sketch of Skeletor, He-Man, or some variation thereof. Here’s Laser Power He-Man, re-imagined as a new character:
His name is pronounced like Lazarus, but with an “-os” instead of an “-us.” What’s that, you’re dying for some super-nerdy background info on this character? HERE YOU GO:
PROFILE: An adventurer, inventor, and aristocrat, PRINCE LAZEROS is something of a hybrid between a Renaissance man and swashbuckler. He puts forth a devil-may-care attitude, though in reality he is a deeply motivated individual. Using his family fortune, Lazeros has developed an array of high-tech weaponry and armor. His battle harness (powered by synthetic green Korodite) mimics the principles of He-Man’s own battle harness, providing a personal protection field, and enhanced physical strength; his bionic arm-brace allows him full use of his crippled arm; and his energy sword is a formidable weapon, capable of cutting through metal and stone. In He-Man’s absence, Lazeros has become a friend and colleague to Man-At-Arms (the two have a friendly rivalry with respect to inventing), and a trusted ally of Team Grayskull. Lazeros has become somewhat smitten with Teela–this has brought him into occasional conflict with Savage (Team Grayskull’s other frequent ally) who is already his polar opposite in so many ways.
HISTORY: Once nothing more than a frivolous young aristocrat, Prince Lazeros’s life changed when he was caught in a terrorist attack while visiting the Eternian capital. The attack was perpetrated by none other than Skeletor and his henchmen. Inhaling a dangerous dose of nerve gas, Lazeros was lucky to escape with his life, though his right arm was left forever crippled. Had it not been for the intervention of He-Man, Lazeros and many others would have died. Inspired by He-Man’s heroism, Lazeros dedicated himself to bettering the world, and was able to use his financial resources to become an inventor and adventurer. In the years following He-Man’s disappearance, Lazeros is one of several young heroes who has stepped forward to fill the void. Dubbed the “Prince of Power” by the Eternian media, his exploits have won him much favor with the public.
Today’s post is for a re-design challenge at the He-Man.org fan-art forums. The thread is here, my post is here. The voting thread is here–I placed second. The subject is Scrollos, an obscure character from the UK Masters of the Universe comics:
The reference pictures of Scrollos all had slightly different color schemes, but almost all of them included some element of blue/cyan or purple/magenta. However, the picture that struck me the most had an all-green color scheme. At first I tried to combine the various color schemes, but that was too complex a task for my humble coloring skills. I settled on the green scheme, which I’m content with.
On the whole, everything in the picture is supposed to give a sense of a character who is powerful, but aloof and preoccupied with knowledge and information. The floating scrolls and holographic displays are there to emphasize the contrast between science fiction and fantasy that makes me so fond of the He-Man Universe. Inserting some of my previous art into the holographic displays took me a surprisingly long time. Hopefully the details are visible enough to warrant the time spent.
Drawn for a re-design challenge at the He-Man.org fan-art forums. The subject is Gygor, a never-made concept for a He-Man toy, as described by a former Mattel employee. Read up on Gygor, and check out the other entries in the challenge’s thread. My post can be seen here. First round polls are here and here. Final poll is here.
It was tough making the colors from Gygor’s description work. Maybe they don’t work? On the other hand, the description of Gygor’s colors very much paralleled the garish colors of Battle Cat, so maybe if the colors don’t work that means they are working? Anyways, I designed Gygor’s helmet to mirror Battle Cat’s as well. The guns are all modelled on Stridor‘s armaments. The chair mounted on Gygor’s backpack should give you a sense of his scale.
A garishly colored giant gorilla decked out in a cape and high-tech energy weapons… hmmm… something’s missing. Oh, I know–how about some supplemental nerdy background info, written by yours truly? Here you go:
PROFILE: Standing at well over 13 feet tall, the ancient being known as GYGOR is one of the most powerful entities on Eternia. His physical strength surpasses that of He-Man, his wisdom rivals that of the Sorceress, and his knowledge encompasses aeons of Eternia’s rich history. His helm is made from the hide of a powerful prehistoric Eternian beast, and he is outfitted with a battle harness powered by an enchanted gem. The harness is armed with two heavy shoulder blasters, two hip mounted stun rays, and rotating light rapid fire blasters mounted on the back turret. Gygor rarely needs to rely on more than his brute strength and great wisdom, but he has also demonstrated powerful spellcasting abilities from time to time.
HISTORY: Gygor was already ancient in the days of King Grayskull, and in fact, records indicate that Gygor was a staunch ally and advisor to the legendary king. Allegedly, in modern day Eternia, Gygor has been sighted travelling towards Castle Grayskull. Has Gygor returned to aid the heroes of the land in the dark times that have descended upon Eternia? Only time will tell…
(Posted early for the New Year)
So, I’ve now been at it on this sketchblog for two full years! Please, hold your applause until the end of the post. I just want to take a second to thank anyone and everyone who’s dropped by to take a look or leave a comment. I hope you all stay tuned, I’ve got plenty of nerdy sketches left in me yet.
And on that note–I started this blog with an illustration of Skeletor, so here for my second bloggiversary, at last, is Skeletor’s mortal enemy, the hero of Eternia, He-Man:
My take on He-Man is primarily drawn from the cartoon version, but with a few minor creative liberties. I rendered the red elements on He-Man’s baldric as Korodite crystals, and made the straps on the baldric a darker color. I gave him slightly longer, more unruly hair (with sideburns), instead of his original, inexplicable, pageboy hair cut. I wish I hadn’t drawn the legs so hyper-elongated. But I am happy with how the colors came together.
Hang on–here comes another convoluted nerdy ramble from yours truly. I like to make things complicated, don’t I?
There’s another re-design challenge at the He-Man.org fan-art forums. The subject this time is Teela, as she appeared in The New Adventures of He-Man. This version of Teela had almost no resemblance to previous versions–however, I liked the character design so much that I decided to just draw a straight-up interpretation rather than a re-design. Because I didn’t change the design aside from a few details, I didn’t enter her in the challenge, but I did give her a new name and persona, and post her in my variants thread instead. The post is here. And while I didn’t enter the re-design challenge, there are some awesome entries, which you should definitely check out.
Less talking, more super-hott space-amazon with sword:
I’m happy with how this one came out, especially her somewhat relaxed-yet-ready-to-kick-ass pose. The colors (which are loyal to the source material) are somewhat cliche in their “girliness,” but ultimately I think it’s a good color scheme. I can take no credit for the great details of the costume–the slick-looking sword, the arrowheaded scabbard, the multi-pronged helm–everything was present in the original design.
The new moniker, Leeta is an anagram of Teela. I do have a bit of a backstory thought up for her, but it requires me to reveal some other plot points of my own concoction, so presented below is a bare bones version of her bio. And just in case anyone is keeping score at home, in my interpretation of The New Adventures of He-Man, Primus is merely a distant planet, not a future locale requiring time travel.
PROFILE: An invaluable member of the Galactic Guardians of Primus, LEETA is a Paladin belonging to the order of an ancient warrior goddess. Having shed the headstrong recklessness of her youth, Leeta is a disciplined master warrior, with amazing sword skills, and strong leadership abilities. Her strength and speed appear to be significantly beyond ‘normal’ levels. Leeta is a friend and frequent sparring partner to Mara.
HISTORY: Not long after Leeta first joined the Galactic Guardians, He-Man and Master Sebrian were able to negotiate peace between Primus and Denebria. With true stability established, He-Man was finally able to begin his long journey back to Eternia. Years later, the people of Primus discovered that He-Man never made it back to his home. Indebted to the Eternian hero for bringing peace to their solar system, the leaders of Primus and Denebria assembled a joint task force to find the whereabouts of He-Man. Leeta was one of the first to volunteer, and acts as one of the top lieutenants, under the task force commander.
Make sure you check out the rest of the Paper Lotus blog and Karen‘s own blog too! And in case you want to know what kind of a person Karen is, she gave me some cheeseless (vegan, I think?) macaroni and cheese today, and it was delicious.
Today’s post is another He-Man piece. Actually, it’s multiple He-Man related pieces combined into one giant montage for a re-design challenge at the He-Man.org fan-art forums. The subject is the Talon Fighter and Point Dread. The thread is here, my post is here. The voting thread is here–my entry landed first place!
Woof, there’s a lot to cover here, so I’m going bullet-point:
Now, how about some in-depth, in-fiction info?
Point Dread: In the distant days of King Grayskull, the children of Zoar the falcon god flew freely in the sky. These giant birds of prey were friends to good, and enemies of evil. Point Dread, was originally a meeting place for the children of Zoar and their humanoid allies, an outpost against the forces of evil. Today, Point Dread has been reclaimed by a small force commanded by Man-At-Arms, once again establishing an outpost against the many dangers that threaten Eternia. The giant perches where Zoar’s brood once roosted are now occupied by squadrons of Talon Fighters.
Talon Fighter: Talon, Zoar’s youngest child, was an ally and close friend of King Grayskull. He was widely known for his bravery, but also for his stubborn recklessness. Disobeying his father’s warnings of caution, Talon fell in battle, mortally wounded. Zoar would not heal his foolhardy and arrogant son, so King Grayskull ordered his followers to rebuild Talon’s body from sacred metal that had fallen from the skies. Even in his new form as the Talon Fighter, the son of Zoar was willful and reckless–only his good friend King Grayskull could calm him and fly him into battle. In the modern age, only He-Man can pilot the Talon Fighter, due to his genetic lineage to King Grayskull.
Talon, the Son of Zoar Reborn: With He-Man missing, and Eternia in dire need of heroes, Zoar has decided to give his brash son another chance to prove himself. Talon’s consciousness has been fully restored, and he can shapeshift freely between the the shape of the Talon Fighter and his new humanoid form.
Prototype XTF-1 (Experimental Twin-Seat Fighter): Charged with fortifying Eternian defenses in the face of invasion, Man-At-Arms has been researching new technologies from Point Dread. Seeking to duplicate the awesome power of the Talon Fighter in a more controllable form, Man-At-Arms and his team of scientists and engineers created the XTF-1. Mass-production of the XTF-1 was scrapped, but its creation did eventually lead to the development of the TF-2 series. Only two XTF-1′s are in existence, and are still used on a limited basis. The XTF-1 has speed and firepower comparable to the original Talon Fighter, but has slightly weaker armor, reduced maneuverability, and poor fuel efficiency.
TF-2 Series (Mass Production Single-Seat Fighters): With the help of newly discovered partial blueprints from the original Talon Fighter, and the Sorceress’s arcane knowledge, Man-At-Arms has successfully perfected a Talon Fighter design suitable for mass production. Faster, and drastically smaller, the TF-2 series are invaluable in the aerial defense of Eternia against the forces of evil. Several variations have arisen for specific uses, including the TF-2LR (Long Range Scout Fighter), and the TF-2H (Heavy Assault Fighter).
XTF-2E (Elite Space Fighter): Still considered to be somewhat experimental, though already approved for field use and eventual mass-production, the XTF-2E is the crowning achievement of Man-At-Arms’s Talon Fighter program. Capable of space flight, and equipped with the latest in hi-tech armaments, only 15 XTF-2E’s are in existence. Talon Fighter pilots are already regarded as elite amongst the Eternian military, and the pilots of the XTF-2E are regarded as the elite among the elite. Historians may also note that while Man-At-Arms and the Sorceress had begun to slowly rebuild their personal relationship during the development of the TF-2, it was during the development of the Elite Space Fighter that the two finally rekindled their long dormant romance.
If you picked up the Simpsons reference in here, you get a gold star. Two gold stars if you know which episode it’s from.
A cactus woman with built in spikey tonfa, thigh-high platform boots, and an an elegantly crisp color scheme? I was instantly won over the first time I saw this character. Read about Kactura here, and then do yourself a favor and check out Super-MunkyBoy’s art for yourself–right here.
With this post, I’m wrapping up my first batch of Masters of the Universe variants re-cast as new characters. There are still a lot of variants to tackle (and I will!), but for now I’ve covered the main classic variants. Allow me to present a lady codenamed Flying Fist, with accesories and armor courtesy of Flying Fists He-Man.
The original Flying Fists He-Man figure was not particularly feminine, but once I re-cast Terror Claws as a female, it made sense to give Team Grayskull another woman warrior as well. As far as the costume itself, I combined the redundant double-belt of the action figure into an armored girdle. The perspective on the shield is messed up, but I can live with it. Color-wise, I initially had some difficulty making things mesh, but once I decided to make her furry barbarian short-pants black (instead of brown), the rest of the colors really clicked into place. The end result is pretty faithful to the original color scheme (with the exception of the aforementioned furry barbarian short pants). Now how about a bio for this little lady?
PROFILE: Peace-loving and kind, ADELINE, known on the battlefield as FLYING FIST is essentially a gentle but fair soul who has taken on the role of protector. She is strongwilled, but when faced with failure she has a tendency to blame herself.
Adeline’s mechanized triple flail can pulverize granite and break solid plate armor, while her rotating shield is capable of generating a defensive barrier of wind, or firing an offensive whirlwind blast. When held aloft, she can utilize it as a limited one-person helicopter, and in the past she has also used the shield as an improvised boat propeller. The flail and shield are both semi-magical items, requiring the input of the user’s chi for proper use.
Adeline wears an armored girdle that grants her the strength of a storm giant, and an enchanted breastplate that conforms to the shape of its wearer, allows for a full range of movement, and provides magically enhanced stamina. However, even without her girdle, she has an abnormal level of strength. The cause of this is unknown.
HISTORY: Adeline hails from a serene and remote village in the foothills. Her mother Adele was famed amongst the locals for using her tremendous strength as the village’s protector, earning her the nickname “Flying Fist.” For the most part, the village was peaceful, and Adele used her strength for mundane tasks such as helping with construction and demolitions and clearing fallen trees. Occasionally some small-time bandits would show up, or a bear would wander too close to town, but all in all it was a peaceful existence. Adeline knew that her mother’s strength came from the magic girdle, though her mother never explained where the girdle came from. And when Adele passed away, some five years ago, Adeline inherited the girdle and the role of village protector. It wasn’t long before Adeline inherited the nickname “Flying Fist” as well.
Following another dream-vision, Teela visited Adeline’s village with Team Grayskull in tow. Adeline had long been in possession of a magically locked chest belonging to her mother, and with the help of Teela’s magical powers, she was finally able to open it. The chest contained a breastplate marked with an ancient heraldic symbol of Grayskull’s line. After this, it quickly came to light that Thunder Punch was in fact Adeline’s father, and like Thunder Punch, Adeline’s mother Adele had once been a champion of Castle Grayskull. Initially, Thunder Punch was vehemently opposed to involving his daughter in the struggle between the protectors of Castle Grayskull and its would-be conquerors. However, the Sorceress convinced him that while it was not Adeline’s inevitable destiny, it was the legacy of both her parents, and she had a right to choose for herself.
Adeline had planned to reject the invitation to join Teela’s group, but after witnessing a battle between Team Grayskull and some Horde Troopers, she understood the bigger picture–in order to protect her village, there was a bigger world outside of it that needed protecting as well. With a tearful goodbye, Adeline bid farewell to her village.
Shortly after arriving at Castle Grayskull, Adeline came across a room with two broken and discarded mechanical devices. In her village, Adeline’s strength made her ideal for carrying out repairs on large structures like windmills and water wheels, so she had developed something of a sense for mechanics–she tinkered with the devices a little, and was able to restore them to perfect working order, and even improved them with some minor modifications. Thus, the mechanized triple-flail and rotating shield became Adeline’s primary tools in combat. When Team Grayskull isn’t searching for He-Man or battling the forces of evil, Adeline often spends her hours trying to repair the ancient technologies contained in Castle Grayskull, with the “assistance” of Orko..
All things considered, Adeline has adapted to life with Team Grayskull rather smoothly. At times, her relationship with her father is strained, but overall, Adeline and Thunder Punch are both doing well in mending their estranged relationship. Teela has become a surrogate big sister to her, and Orko and Cringer are both very fond of her. There’s something of a brewing romance between Adeline and Battle-Scar, at least when Battle-Scar isn’t attempting to rile her up by calling her “She-Man.” Such behavior generally earns Battle-Scar a punch in the nose.
I didn’t like Flying Fist much as a name, but at the same time I didn’t want to drop it completely. I finally decided on giving the character a ‘real’ name (Adeline) and using Flying Fist as a nickname, kind of like Duncan/Man-At-Arms. Adeline and Adele are both variations of a German name, meaning “noble,” and chosen to be evockative of the ad sound in Adam and Adora (the real identities of He-Man and She-Ra respectively). The relationship between Adeline and Battle-Scar is somewhat meant to mimic that of Akane and Ranma from Ranma 1/2. Man, these character bios keep getting longer and longer. :P
For my other “new characters from old variants” posts:
Getting back to my self imposed task of changing He-Man and Skeletor variations into new characters, today I bring you Thunder Punch He-Man, now simply (you guessed it), Thunder Punch:
Thunder Punch is supposed to be an older, grizzled veteran of the battlefield, so hopefully that comes through in my drawing. There’s a little bit of action in this one, a bit of a change from my usual static ways. The right leg and foot are awkward, but luckily I had to place some type in there anyways, so I covered that up a little. The colors aren’t anything special, and in hindsight, I really meant to make the skin much more tan in contrast to the fair hair. The perspective on the shield is pretty wonky. Overall, this is a piece that I was excited about when it first started coming together, but I’m somewhat disappointed with it as I pick it apart. Oh well… I’m still pretty happy with it as far as the concept goes. Read on!
PROFILE: Cynical and world weary, THUNDER PUNCH nonetheless possesses a heart of gold, awakened by the moral purity of his new-found allies. His many years of experience have made him hard edged yet pragmatic. He is a natural leader, though a reluctant one–shortly after Flying Fist joined “Team Grayskull,” Teela was forced to leave the group, and she named Thunder Punch the leader, much to his chagrin.
His battle harness enhances his strength, speed, and rudimentary psychic abilities. The enhancement allows him to perform maneuvers such as his trademark “Thunder Punch,” a devastating attack, enhanced by a burst of chi. His shield further amplifies and refines his psychic power, and recently Thunder Punch has developed a new technique where by concentrating his battle aura upon his shield, he can manifest a psychic power sword.
It is clear that Thunder Punch knew the Sorceress at some point in the past, though the specifics of this have yet to come to light. It has also been hinted at that he was accquainted with Man-At-Arms and King Randor.
HISTORY: With a heavy heart, King Randor was forced to indefinitely suspend the kingdom’s search for the missing He-Man. With the Horde threat becoming increasingly aggressive, Randor simply could not spare any resources towards what seemed to be a hopeless effort. Refusing to relent, Teela resigned her position as Captain of the Royal Guard and exiled herself from Eternos, vowing that she would not return unless she had He-Man with her. Cringer, Orko, and Battle-Scar accompanied her as well. With a heavy heart, Man-At-Arms told his daughter Teela that the kingdom would need him in the war against the Horde and he could not accompany her on her quest. However, he urged Teela seek refuge with the Sorceress, and complete her training in the magical arts. As Man-At-Arms watched his daughter and his closest friends ride away, he said to himself, “If anyone can find He-Man, they can.”
Teela and her fellowship did take refuge with the Sorceress at Castle Grayskull, and investigated every possible lead over the following months. They found many clues and possibilities, but nothing concrete. In the meantime, the Sorceress continued to guide Teela’s education in magic, and Teela’s sensitivity to the supernatural developed quickly. A breakthrough came to Teela in the form of a dream-vision, telling her to seek out a warrior; a lost descendant of the legendary King Grayskull, who would aid her in her quest. Teela, Cringer, and Battle-Scar set out to find this lost scion of Grayskull.
What they found however, was a grizzled and bitter man living in isolation in the wilderness, a once idealistic knight errant, turned hardened soldier of fortune, who had ultimately decided to reject the world and its corruption in favor of life as a hermit. He knew he was a descendent of Grayskull–he simply did not care. Unable to break through his jaded shell, Teela’s group left the hermit in the wilderness. At the edge of the wilderness, they were ambushed by Force Commander Scorpia, Modulok, and a contingent of Modulok’s test-tube engineered warriors and monstrosities. Incapacitated by Scorpia’s poisonous stinger, Teela was unconscious and capture was imminent. The hermit, who had shadowed Teela’s group to ensure that they left his sanctuary, had a split second to make a decision. Before he realized what he was doing, his legs were carrying him into the fray, and with nothing more than a wooden cudgel, he was able to beat back Modulok’s creations long enough for Cringer to carry Teela to safety, and for Battle-Scar to regroup with the hermit. The ensuing battle was brutal, but the hermit and Battle-Scar were able to fight off the Horde attackers. Scorpia’s poison, however, was spreading fast through Teela’s blood. The hermit squeezed his eyes shut, concentrating upon the astral plane, searching for a response… with a flash of light, Battle-Scar, Teela, Cringer, and their new accquaintance found themselves on the Jaw Bridge of Castle Grayskull–Orko flew to them with haste, and treated Teela with a magical antidote. Standing at the gates was the Sorceress herself, holding a red and silver battle harness, and a matching shield.
The hermit’s expression was impassive, though his eyes betrayed mixed emotions, “It’s good to see you, Sorceress.”
The Sorceress smiled in her usual mysterious manner, holding up the rough implements of war in her elegant hands. “I kept these for you.”
For my other “new characters from old variants” posts:
I started this a while back when I was trying to get into RPG Maker. The general proportions of the head (particularly the spacing of the eyes) mimic those of RPG Maker’s character sprites, but this was rendered from scratch. I did try animating this at one point, but it was choppy at best. However, this is definitely something I’ll try more of in the future.
And as a bonus treat for anyone who likes He-Man, She-Ra, or awesome Thanksgiving parades:
Another Masters of the Universe action figure variant re-purposed (by me) into a new character. It’s the opposite number to last week’s Battle Armor Skeletor re-vamp, Battle Armor He-Man, reborn as “Battle-Scar,” for obvious reasons:
On the one hand, I think I more or less got across what I was trying to with this piece. On the other hand, I think it greatly suffers because I have not yet posted an illustration of He-Man proper, for comparison. I need to remedy that soon. In the meantime, I’ll just have to point out the differences that would be apparent if I’d had the foresight to finish a pic of He-Man first. Lame!
Anyways, where He-Man has blonde hair and orange (copper?) bracers & belt, Battle-Scar is strawberry blonde, and has gold bracers & belt. I’ve given Battle-Scar pale skin and blue eyes, in contrast to the cartoon version of He-Man, who had dark eyes, and deeply tanned skin. The idea was to give Battle-Scar more of a Celtic or Nordic look (which is where his title of Berserker comes in as well). In terms of facial features, the cartoon depicted He-Man with more or less classic good looks–in comparative nerd terms this means that if you ignore his coloration and haircut, he pretty much looks just like Superman. I gave Battle-Scar a face that was a little closer to the rough-hewn looks of the toy. His armor is slashed and dented, to represent the battle-damage gimmick of the toy, and the scars on his body were added to continue the theme and give a visual cue as to his ability to take punishment (more in the profile below). On its own, I think this character re-mix comes off as just a version of He-Man, but once I post my take on He-Man, hopefully the differences will be more apparent.
My drawing is a little static, but hopefully it gets across the idea of raw power that I was going for. No characters with axes next week–I promise!
PROFILE: Young, loyal to a fault, and still somewhat naive, BATTLE-SCAR is nevertheless a veteran of the battlefield. Even before he obtained his magical breastplate, Battle-Scar was well known for taking heaps of punishment on the battlefield. His immense stamina and resistance to pain are magnified to demi-god levels by the breastplate.
Ostensibly, Battle-Scar was the first member of the entity that would become affectionately known to the populace of Eternia as TEAM GRAYSKULL, named so by Orko, much to the chagrin of their reluctant field commander THUNDER PUNCH. It is notable that Battle-Scar is the only member of the core team who is not a blood descendant of King Grayskull.
HISTORY: Years ago in the northern lands, the boy who would become known as Battle-Scar watched as He-Man saved his village from a brutal attack by Skeletor’s forces. This left an indelible mark on the youth, and he strove to live up to He-Man’s example of bravery and honor. Thus when word of He-Man’s disappearance spread, Battle-Scar (now a young yet experienced warrior) wasted no time, travelling to Eternos immediately to pay his respects to his missing (and possibly fallen) hero and offer his axe in service to Eternos and Castle Grayskull.
Initially He-Man’s allies were unsure of what to do with the young scarred warrior who stood before them. Teela decided to consult the Sorceress, and was bringing Battle-Scar to Castle Grayskull, when they were attacked by a platoon of evil Horde robots. Teela and Battle-Scar managed to fight them off long enough to retreat into the safety of Castle Grayskull’s dark halls. However, more Horde Robots were on the way, Teela had been gravely injured during the battle, and Battle-Scar’s axe was shattered, and his armor was blasted to pieces. The Sorceress saw to Teela’s wounds and lead Battle-Scar into a room pulsing with magical energies–the armory of King Grayskull himself!
“According to prophecy, only the just and even-handed–those worthy of King Grayskull–may wield these implements of war,” the Sorceress told him, “choose wisely, young warrior!” Battle-Scar was humbled beyond words–he could not bring himself to even touch the magnificent arms and armor before him. Everything was elaborately crafted and intricately inlaid with precious metals and gems. He spotted a dusty breastplate and axe in the corner; unlike the other items, these were plain and ungilded. The axe was rough and worn from use, the breastplate marred by slashes and dents, and marked with an ancient heraldic symbol of Grayskull’s line. In spite of their obvious wear, both were sturdy, and well-crafted–they would serve his purpose. Battle-Scar hastily equipped the breastplate and axe, promising the Sorceress that he would return them as soon as the battle was over. As Battle-Scar ran to the Jaw-Bridge, the richly crafted weapons shimmered and faded–in their place was a collection of humbler, and yet more powerful implements–like the axe and breastplate that Battle-Scar had chosen, these were the true weapons of Grayskull’s armory. Sorceress smiled to herself, “Well done, young warrior.”
Now armed and clad like a god of war, Battle-Scar dispatched the Horde robots easily. After the battle, Battle-Scar attempted to return his newfound weapons. The Sorceress explained to him that he truely was one of Grayskull’s chosen defenders, and Battle-Scar pledged himself to defend Castle Grayskull until He-Man returned.
In case anyone didn’t pick up on it, the whole “choose wisely” bit is totally lifted from Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade.
For my other “new characters from old variants” posts:
My version of “Savage He-Man” has been re-purposed into a new character, just as I did with Starburst She-Ra several months ago.
The visual details of Savage are largely the same. The contrast between the color of his hair and the color of his furry underpants is greater than in the toy, but I think it helps break up the monotony. I chose to interpret the toy’s ruddy brown weapons as blood-stained tools of destruction. The blood stains were accomplished by choosing a “spatter” shaped brush in Photoshop and messing around with the shape dynamics and scatter settings. It doesn’t completely blend with my style of rendering, but I’m happy with how it turned out because I basically accomplished what I was trying to do. Actually, I had a few options on how to render the weapons, and it was friend Annie (who was hanging out whilst I was coloring this) who challenged me to do it this way. If not for her I would have tried to take the easy way out. She also suggested that his eyes be hazel, and they are.
I have alternating feelings of lukewarmth and satisfaction towards the drawing itself. As far as proportions, the arms are far more ape-like than I intended. The right arm in particular is terribly awkward, even beyond the usual level of awkwardness resulting from my loosey-goosey depiction of anatomy. On the other hand, the intensity of his expression is about what I was aiming for.
Oh, by the way, the title of this post, and Savage’s “Heroic Barbarian” tag, are both references to Conan the Barbarian–according to rumor, Masters of the Universe was originally intended to be a Conan toyline, but was repurposed into an “original” franchise, for whatever reason. Fans speculate that the “Savage He-Man” toys may have been discarded “Conan” figures that were produced before Conan “became” He-Man.
But, what’s this you say, dear reader? It has been far too long since I posted a painstakingly written bio of a fan character? Read on!
PROFILE: SAVAGE is a ruthless and experienced warrior who has little use for words. He fights with whatever tools he has at hand, or his bare fists if need be, and is a master of improvisation and opportunism. Savage is a capable tracker, and is well versed in jungle survival techniques. Superficially, his cultural differences alienate him from some of his allies, but his sincere sense of honor and valor are deeply respected by all.
HISTORY: The disappearance of He-Man and the Horde invasion of Eternia have left the planet in dire need of heroes. Teela, now developing her latent spellcasting abilities under the tutelage of the Sorceress, found herself isolated and outnumbered by Horde troops. In desperation, and lacking control over her newly emerging abilities, she attempted to summon He-Man by magical means. A mis-wording of her incantation resulted in summoning not He-Man himself, but one ‘as good as’ or ‘as noble as’ He-Man. Thus emerged the hulking barbarian Savage–with his sheer power to compliment Teela’s skill, the Horde Troops were easily dispatched. Though Savage was displeased at being summoned without any choice in the matter, he was taken by Teela’s beauty and fought alongside the forces of Eternos (the Eternian capital) for a time. Coming to terms with the fact that Teela was still infatuated with this so-called He-Man whom he had never met, Savage travelled back to his distant jungle home. Savage remains an ally of Eternos, and is leading his people in fortifying their territories against the inevitable spread of the Horde army.
(Posted early because I don’t know if I’m going to be sitting in front of my computer when midnight hits. I just might be unconscious with fatigue.)
This He-Man action figure was originally billed as being “evil.” The cartoon, however, made it pretty obvious that he was a neutral figure who leaned very heavily towards the side of good. As far as characterization goes, I take most of my cues from the cartoon, so I’m filing him under the good guys.
This time, the static pose was actually intentional–meant to emphasize his supposed neutrality. The holographic globe (which is meant to emphasize his cosmic nature) is just something I came up with, as far as I know. It’s possible that my brain pulled it out of the subliminal depths of long forgotten He-Man episodes from my misspent youth. But those episodes won’t be forgotten for long–I do plan on completeing my He-Man DVD collection soon.
The costume tweaks that I made on this design are rather similar to the modifications that I made in my illustration of Tri-Klops–I consolidated the harness from his chest plate with his belt to avoid a redundant-looking double-belt, and I ‘covered’ his neck. The covered neck on Zodac, as with Tri-Klops, is inspired by the 200x version. The rest of the costume is pretty much straight up from the original.
For more anagrams:
The subject today, is the mother of Mekaneck‘s son Philip. I phrase it like that because she is a character who was neither seen nor referenced in the old He-Man cartoon. The only inference of her existence is the existence of Philip. In fact we don’t even know if Philip is Mekaneck’s biological son. But for the sake of my entry, I make the assumption that Philip is the biological son of Mekaneck and this classy lady:
What you are looking at is essentially the very first drawing I did of this character. I’m pleased with how it turned out–yes, it’s a typical static girl-pose that you would expect from me, but something about her stance is natural and relaxed (well, relatively relaxed, considering that she’s armed to the teeth). And it’s always nice when you get something on the first try.
The colors, on the other hand, are pretty bland, I think. The colors of her uniform follow Mekaneck pretty closely, and she has blonde hair to match her son. The lighting is even less dynamic than usual, but I didn’t want to spend a ton of time on a really obscure character who’s the estranged wife of a second-stringer. How do I know that she’s estranged, you say? I’m glad you asked–read on for some background info, nerdily composed by yours truly!
HISTORY: Mekorset and her husband Mekaneck, were both injured when trying to to track their son Philip through a violent storm generated by the evil sorcerer Count Marzo, who had kidnapped Philip. The couple each received bionic prostheses which not only saved their lives, but gave them new powers. However, the loss of their son, compounded with the fact that they had married at a very young age, caused excessive strain on their marriage. Mekorset, as she was now called, became one of the King’s wardens, and transferred to a distant outpost, overseeing some of the King’s territories on the frontier.
In the aftermath of Mekaneck discovering and rescuing Philip from Count Marzo, Mekorset has reunited with her son and her estranged spouse. By decree of King Randor and Queen Marlena, Mekorset was transferred to an outpost closer to the Eternian capitol (roughly half a day’s ride on a Stridor unit) where she remains one of the King’s most trusted Wardens. Mekaneck, who still serves as a special agent in the reconaissance division of the Royal Guard, now lives with his wife and son at the outpost. Mekorset and Mekaneck are currently seeing a marriage counselor, and seem to be well on their way to rebuilding their family. Their son Philip recently became a junior recruit in the Royal Guard.
Further Tangential Fan Speculation Regarding Mekaneck’s Family: Some folks on the forums pointed out that another Philip who showed up might be the same Philip as Mechaneck’s son, though no reference is made to corroborate this.
Also: Yes, I realize this is all ridiculous, but as you ought to have guessed, I have unsurpassed affection for nerdy and obscure things. IT’S JUST WHO I AM… O_O
The original Stridor toy is a solid, straightforward design without much room for improvement. My solution for the re-design challenge was to instead give him a completely new humanoid transformation. Actually, it’s not too much of a transformation–he pretty much just stands up on his hind legs, and his articulated hands pop out; a few other things shift around, but nothing too complex. To accommodate his humanoid mode, the tail gun is now mounted on the hip, and a protective shield guards what would otherwise be a vulnerable belly. The jousting lance is my addition as well. Color-wise, I stayed pretty faithful to the original–a notable addition being the coppery orange that I used for his joints:
PROFILE: On the battlefield STRIDOR is a courageous leader, a shrewd strategist, and a firece fighter. Off the battlefield he is gentle and easy-going. In horse mode he is the size of a large armored war horse, and in humanoid mode, he stands almost twice as tall as a man. His ranged weapons include dual heavy laser cannons, and a rapid-fire hip blaster. His primary weapon in close combat is a heavy jousting lance.
HISTORY: The Stridor Project began in Man-At-Arms’ laboratory as a simple experiment in robotics and simulated AI. His goal was to create a robotic mount with the equivalent of a horse’s IQ, for military use. The Stridor prototype was field-tested by Teela, Captain of the Royal Guard, and over time Man-At-Arms gradually improved on Stridor’s design and programming. The Stridor prototype became the template for a mass-production model that would completely mechanize the Royal Armored Cavalry.
When the Eternian capital found themselves under seige by an army of centaur-like cyborgs–conquerors from the remote planet Equestris–Man-At-Arms engineered an alternate humanoid transformation for the original Stridor prototype, so that he could more efficiently battle this new threat. With casualties running high, and few human soldiers available, Stridor went into battle with his robotic bretheren, a so-called “unmanned cavalry,” and drove the gladiators of Equestris off of Eternia.
However, it soon became apparent to Man-At-Arms that the original Stridor prototype had developed sentience, as a result of the continued improvements to his programming. Faced with a crisis of conscience, Man-At-Arms could only grant Stridor his freedom, rather than forcing him to serve in the Royal army.
For several months, Stridor travelled the lands of Eternia, pondering his place in the world. But when the armies of Equestris returned to Eternia for vengeance, Stridor knew where he belonged. He raced back to the capital and again, lead his robotic bretheren to victory (with some help from He-Man). Stridor was heavily decorated for his heroism, and asked to be reinstated in the Royal Armored Cavalry, under one condition–that the other Stridor models be given humanoid forms and the freedom to choose their path as they developed sentience. King Randor and Man-At-Arms gladly agreed.
Stridor was made Commander of the Armored Cavalry, and he has come to regard Man-At-Arms as his father, and Teela as his sister. Eventually, all of the Stridor models developed sentience, and were granted humanoid forms and freedom, and have chosen individual names for themselves. To this day, you can see Stridor’s descendants mingling with the other denizens of the lands of Eternia. Most have opted to serve the kingdom, but more than a few have chosen a path of their own.
In Case You Were Wondering:
You may or may not notice, but the inks on this sketch are much cleaner than anything else I’ve posted so far. This is the result of a few factors:
Here’s a brief profile that I whipped up for the two of them (oh, and the cheesy names were completely created by me):
TRAKKA (an Eternian “human”) and RAYN-JA (of the Tree People) are expert foresters and sworn sisters. They patrol the wilderness ranging between the Eternian capital and the ancient home of the Tree People, guiding travellers and merchants, apprehending poachers, and negotiating disputes between various forest-dwelling tribes. TRAKKA’s skills in archery are unparalleled by any villains that the Horde or the Snakemen have to offer–only Skeletor’s henchman Ninjor has ever equalled TRAKKA’s deadly aim. RAYN-JA uses her MOON STAFF to channel potent druidic powers that allow her to shape and communicate with the wilderness. They frequently ally with Moss Man, and the matching hunting knives that they carry were given to them by King Randor in honor of their heroic deeds.
Dree Elle is the girlfriend of Orko, from the He-Man cartoon. And if you don’t know who Orko is, I honestly don’t know what to do with you. Fine, fine, you can read about Orko here. Anyways, Dree Elle is basically a female version of Orko, but she’s more competent, and she has sexy bedroom eyes. Frankly, I think she’s got it going on, girlfriend. *snap*
Fun Fact: The original title for the this post was “Nowadays everybody wanna talk like they got something to say/But nothin comes out when they move they lips/Just a bunch of gibberish/And m*********s act like they forgot about Dre (Elle)”