I wasn't going to draw all the members listed in the Handbook, so I went with the original lineup. Also, I cheated a little by going with Giant Man rather than Ant Man, but I only did it because in the course of this sketchblog I've discovered that Ant Man is lame. The Wasp, on the other hand, is awesome.
Attilan, the home city of the Inhumans. Once located in the Himalayas, before being relocated to the Moon, and then back to Earth onto the site of Atlantis, and then to the Himalayas again, and then into space, back to the Moon once more, and now, apparently, to the Kree homeworld, Hala. The first time they moved the city was momentous, so much so that succeeding writers have sought to emulate that story again and again. The problem is, the more times they move the city, the less significant the act becomes, until now, it has all the weight of taking the family car out for a drive.
I drew the city in transit, because wherever it is right now, it's probably not going to stay there.
So I got to thinking, why do representations of Atlantis always look like an ancient Greek city except underwater? First off, even if Atlantis sank in ancient times, wouldn't they just keep renovating and building the same way everyone living on land has? So the Doric columns go.
Next, buildings on land look a certain way because of the physics involved in their construction. Um, I guess you'd call that engineering. Right. So the engineering constraints would be completely different underwater. You wouldn't need a building to be wider at the base than at the top, for example, because its weight is supported by the water. Also, a long, thin structure would be subject to ocean currents, so you'd want something short and squat, or something that can move, or something shaped like a stalagmite (which, I guess contradicts my point about the buildings not needing to be wider at the base than at the top). A good place to look for inspiration is underwater plants.
With all that in mind, and given that Marvel's version of Atlantis changes from comic to comic depending on who's drawing, I sketched the above.
This guy is one of the great comic book villains. Nazi geneticist, engineers himself a new body, but with the brain in the chest cavity (for protection, duh). And so you don't feel weird talking to him, he rigs up a projection of his face ON HIS CHEST. He doesn't even need a code name, because his birth name is Arnim freaking Zola.
Christ on a pogo stick.
This is the sort of stuff Jack Kirby came up with in his sleep. Zola isn't even one of the big Kirby villains, he's practically a throwaway. "What? We need a Captain America villain? Okay, how about a guy with his face on his chest, a metal box for a head, and he cloned Hitler a new body allowing him to survive the end of the war? Let's go for breakfast."
Here's a character with kind of a cool visual. I wonder why we don't see more of him? Maybe it's the name. Armadillo. That's not really too badass. And with the orange and stocky with a crusty shell look, I guess he's a lot like the Thing, except with claws. Okay, now I really don't know why we don't see more of him.
Now this is a character I'd like to see get revamped and given proper attention. There's so much potential, and the visual elements are just so strong: a flying carpet and a scimitar (which I didn't draw for some reason, sabotaging my own point) all in a Middle Eastern setting. I'd love to see someone with a grounding in Middle Eastern mythology take a crack at the Arabian Knight, G. Willow Wilson for instance. I'd draw that comic in a second.
Here's a character that I've never understood - visually, I mean. I don't get what he is, or how all the pieces fit together, or why he's always yelling. Having drawn him for the first time ever now, I will say that I like the raggedy wings.
Another shining example of Marvel's (and really most comics') cultural sensitivity. Native character? Give him a headdress! Hm, seems stereotypical... Is he a Plains Indian? Doesn't matter! An attempt was made to remedy the situation by recently updating the costume to a leather jacket and a motorcycle helmet. Kind of a lateral move, really.
On a related note, when I posted El Águila a few days ago, I forgot to mention that his first appearances depicted Madrid as being a little village complete with burros, despite his adventures being set in the present day.
El Águila is Marvel's version of Zorro. Except he's a mutant, who shoots electricity through his sword. Electric. Zorro. How does this guy not have an ongoing series, a cult following, and a hit movie on the way!?
My purpose in starting this sketchblog is to improve my drawing by making sure I work on it daily and by making myself draw something new each time. The first part is straightforward, and for the second part, to ensure that I don’t draw just what I’m comfortable with, I’ve gotten some outside help. Every day I’ll draw the next alphabetical entry from my trusty Marvel Universe Handbook (Deluxe Edition). I figure I might need to skip the occasional one, if it’s too abstract, but otherwise this should be comprehensive. I don’t know how many individual entries there are, but if it’s less than 365, then I’ll move onto DC’s Who’s Who series.
I felt I should get this explanation out of the way before posting today’s somewhat silly entry (above).