No idea where i first saw Jack of Hearts – he’s just one of those characters who pop up here and there in the Marvel Universe – he eventually had a decent run in the Avengers books a few years ago before being blown to smithereens – so due back to life any minute i expect. Initially his half blackened/scarred face was as a result of exposure to a new experimental fuel and the armour was created as a containment suit to prevent his new found powers getting out of control. At some point down the line someone decided to convert his original origin to a cover up story for his true origin as a half alien/half human hybrid to explain his powers and the scarred face (all the aliens were like that).
This is one of the simpler versions of his costumes but i still don’t think i’d like to draw that too regularly.
Iron Fist was another of my favourite Marvel characters as a kid, he was basically a super powered martial artist. I grew up with the original Claremont and Byrne series which then merged into the Powerman/Iron Fist series – an unusual combination of characters in that series but one of the best Marvel books of the time. Hence my doodle being the original costume. Iron Fist was killed off in the last issue of the Powerman/Iron Fist series. But again, as it’s the Marvel Universe, death didn’t hold him back and he’s alive and kicking in his own title and the New Avengers these days. Turns out it was actually a living vegetable/plant clone copy that had died and not him – gotta love the nonsense you can get away with in comics.
Daimon Hellstrom – the Son of Satan, first appeared way back in the first issue of the original Ghost Rider series and has been dotted around the Marvel Universe since. He’s had a couple of short lived series but was a regular in the Defenders for a while and is currently with the New Avengers. Probably the closest marvel has to a John Constantine type character.
Hellcat has appeared mostly in the Avengers and Defenders titles, although her civilian identity of Patsy Walker has been kicking about in comics since 1944 where she starred in her own teen romance comics. She married Hellstorm after meeting up in the Defenders, but his demonic side eventually drove her insane and she committed suicide. Luckily she lives in comics world and has recovered from her death fine – in fact she’s pretty fit for a resurrected lass that’s been kicking about since the 40’s.
Gargoyle is probably one of the more obscure characters on my Marvel A – Z list. He’s had his own mini-series or two and appeared in various titles, but his mainstay was the Defenders comic – specifically the ‘New Defenders’ era. I’ve seen him drawn as skinny, short and fat and of course the standard superhero stature. The wings too have ranged from tiny to huge, so have had to make a few decisions for this one based on my memory of the character.
This was commissioned by Marvel UK as part of a proposed superhero puzzle magazine. The brief specified only that the Fantastic Four needed to be in it but i had complete freedom over everything else. I decided to create a battle scene where Franklin Richards has been captured and the the maze is formed from Mr. Fantastic’s outstretched arms.
I think this was possibly my first fully digital attempt at a comic illustration from a few years ago – not a pen or pencil or even layout doodle in site. The Silver Surfer figure was created in Poser (ver 4 or 5 i think) and dropped into photoshop to be painted up along with a spacey background. I would probably change most of the techniques i used on this now – at the time i was busy just concentrating on experimenting with different digital techniques rather than the composition and overall image, but it served it’s purpose at the time and i learnt what i needed to from it.
Firelord is one of Marvel’s ‘cosmic’ characters and an ex-herald of Galactus. I don’t think he’s had his own series at any point but makes regular appearances in books like Silver Surfer, Thor, FF, Avengers etc. I was introduced to him as a kid in old Marvel UK weeklies and always kind of liked him because his attitude was a bit different – basically a bit of a prat (that’s the PG description). Guess he had the same appeal to me that characters like Gregory House have now – outside the norm of expected/accepted behaviour, doesn’t give a monkey about others opinions – so entertaining to watch from a distance but you would hate them if you knew them in real-life.
Some more bad guys for my Marvel A to Z set. These characters are again long running villians, primarily from the Thor and Avengers books. The characters aren’t that well known out of the comics and some cartoons but i believe they both feature in the upcoming Thor movie due out this month, so they will probably be a bit more in the public eye then.
The first villian thrown into the mix for my Scotch Corner Marvel A to Z set. Doctor Doom is one of Marvel’s classic and longest lasting villians and probably one that most people will recognise or at least have heard of outside of the comic community.
Cloak and Dagger sketch – inking this one up was good fun and allowed me to be a lot grungier with my style than my norm – although it took me days to get all the ink off my fingers. I’ve always liked these characters since way back when they were introduced in the Spider-Man books. Although they have had a few series of their own over the years, they have all been pretty short-lived, most recently they have been a part of the X-men books.