Friday, September 9, 2011

CHARACTER DESIGN _ Fun with the X-Men

Over the course of my year+ working on FEEDING GROUND I would post on the Bendis Board for camaraderie and often warm up in the morning by posting designs on the art threads, most often character re-design threads. Some fantastic designs and artists on there.

Here are some specifically X-Men related sketches. None of them are meant to be totally polished art but I think there are some good ideas in there.

Ororo Munroe has been worshiped as a goddess and led the X-Men as a powerless punk. She was also botched onscreen by Halle Berry, has spent years dressed like a bassist from the band Heart, and is now languishing as wife to The Black Panther. I wanted her to have a costume that paid tribute to the design flourishes concocted by co-creator Dave Cockrum and also presented her with the barefoot confidence of an iconic earth mother who can stand next to Marvel's A-list men.

One of the main X-Villains, Apocalypse's clownish blue appearance never seemed to fit his power and ambition. Evolved over centuries, he's often depicted with ancient Egyptian artifacts and roots so I'm presenting him as an Alpha Egyptian dressed as a polished black scarab. Not perfect, but feels a little bit more like a guy who can call himself Apocalypse and get away with it.

In brief, AMALGAM was a concept/story that combined the characters of the DC and Marvel Universes. For example, "Dark Claw" was equal parts Wolverine and Batman and "Iron Lantern" was a mix of Iron Man and Green Lantern.

For this thread, we created our own Amalgam characters, and, in my case, a combo of Hellboy and Beast called "Hellbeast."

For extra nerdy fun, here's a write-up on Hellbeast and his team, the BXRD (combo of the BPRD and the X-Men).

The Nazis are winning! With an army of giant Sentinel robots, the Nazis have turned the tides against the Allied Forces. But, Hank McCoy, chief science officer for America's Bureau X, unites The Right Hand of Doom and The Soul Sword, ancient artifacts of hellish origin, he becomes possessed by a spirit that may win the war or, ultimately conquer the world!

Be prepared to EAT SCIENCE! with Hellbeast and his Bureau of paranormal teammates every month from Dark Marvel Comics!

Jean Sherman - Pretty obvious amalgam of Liz Sherman's firepower and the Phoenix force

Scott Sapien - I was picturing Abe's fish form, but, with a glowing red Cyclops eye.

The Wolverine - A Daimio/ Logan Amalgam where Daimio shares Logan's past and is attacked by a Wolverine god instead of a Jaguar. In human form, he has Daimio's scars and Logan's hair and can use his claws. BUT, he fully beasts out like Daimio).

Piotr the Homnuculus - An organic metal version of Roger and Colossus.

Kitty Corrigan
- Kate and Kitty, naturally.

Professor Johann Xavier - Wasn't sure if Chuck would be a better match with Prof Bruttenholm or Johann. I chose Johann.


  1. Is that the Eye of Osiris in his hand? Hmmm...

    I don't think I was reading X-Men anymore when Apocalypse showed up, but your redesign makes sense if they alluded to an Egyptian background. The scarab armor works! Wondering what you would do with the Angel and Cyclops....

  2. Yeah - that was my thought. Thanks Javier. And, actually I recently rediscovered my favorite Apocalypse design in Joe Casey and Ladronn's Kirby-influenced run of Cable. More regal than badass.