Tuesday, 14 June 2016

Captain Britain Attempt

This is an attempt I made at drawing Captain Britain in his original costume.

Friday, 10 June 2016

Dragon from Marvel UK's Dragon's Claws

Dragon's Claws was a great title in the Marvel US format, published by Marvel UK. It featured a dystopian future and featured the sublime, action packed art of Geoff Senior. It was written by Simon Furman of Transformers fame. This is an attempt I made at drawing the team's leader - Dragon.

Thursday, 26 March 2015

Fantastic Four #258 Classic Issue

John Byrne's run on the Fantastic Four was one full of innovation, no question. Byrne continually pushed the envelope with the medium in the 1980's. This issue features one of Byrne's masterstrokes: a full 22 pages focusing on the FF's main protagonist Doctor Doom, with absolutely no appearance of any member of the FF whatsoever. A bold move. 

The cover features Doom's gloved hand clawing at the paper, partially uncovering the splash page featuring himself - another innovation, 

'It is good.'

The issue opens with an impressive splash with an inposing Von Doom standing on the battlements of his castle.  Doom is surveying the street below, where hale and hearty Latverians are happily engaging in honest labour, or taking five with a game of chess. The shops are picturesque and beautiful. 

This pleases Doom, and Doom notes that the people of Latveria are happy 'as I commanded them to be.' Herein lie one of the essential and often contradictory elements of Doom's persona that Byrne is well aware of and explores adeptly; Doom is a megalomaniac and completely ruthless in pursuit of conquest and destroying Reed Richards and the rest, but he loves his country and ensures that his people have the best life possible under the rule of his gauntlet ed fist. He treats his subjects fairly and they, in turn, treat him as a deity, almost. 

 One of those subjects informs Doom that Doctor Strange is without a disciple, and Doom ponders this. His maniacal ego struggles with the notion of studying under anyone else, yet he acknowledges Strange's mastery of the mystic arts and mulls over the idea of becoming his disciple, 

 Byrne here, lays the goundwork for Roger Stern's Torment greaphic novel featuring the two doctor's quest to save Doom's mother from the nerfarious clutches of Mephisto. It's a classic story and well worth reading .

One of the loose ends from David Michelinie's classic Doomquest story from Iron Man #149 & #150 is tied up here also as one of Doom's top scientists/assistants who betrayed Doom in retribution for his brother's death at Doom's hands is killed by Doom. 

 Hauptmann creates a means of granting the power cosmic through a chair like device and invites Doom to try it in order to kill him. 

Victor smells a rat and insists Hauptmann tries it instead. He is then disintegrated by the powerful energies. 

How Doom sees through the ruse is classic: if someone had the means to obtain the power cosmic why would they give it away? 

This is Doom observing others through the warped prism of his own morals. However, his warped logic is proven correct.

Also explored is Doom's guardianship of a young orphan called Kristoff of whom it is clear Doom is very fond of. The boy who was orphaned during the overthrow of Zorba in #247 is overjoyed at the sight of his master returning and is being treated to the best of tuition the Royal Court has to offer. We see here a softer side of Doom explaining to the boy the ways of a monarch. 

 This parental side of Doom is tested when Kristoff calls Magneto Doom's rival and Doom explodes with rage lifting young Kristoff from the ground!! 

Interestingly, the Doom that Arcade struck a match off in the pages of Uncanny X-Men is revealed to be a Doombot as Byrne felt unhappy with Chris Claremont's treatment of Doom and uses this as a means of rectifying that misuse. It seems petty but Byrne obviously took Doom's character very serious and it shows here. It would be a further cause of discord in the Bullpen when Shooter used him in the Secret Wars a year after. 

The Doombot is summarily destroyed for allowing such an affront. 'Doom needs no one.'

Doom sends his robots to obtain Terrax, Galactus' former herald who fell in battle to the FF, and is now simply Tyros once more. Doom intends to re-power him with the power cosmic in order to defeat the Fantastic Four. Doom uses Hauptmann's machine to achieve this end. This energy augmentation is temporary and will end up killing Tyros. Here we see the callousness and ruthlessnesss of Doom and no matter how charismatic he is, Byrne deftly reminds us that he is an amoral villain who will stop at nothing to achieve his ends. 

There are interesting exchanges between Doom and Tyros, both egomaniacal men of might. Tyros flies off on his mission and the stage is set for one of the best battles of Byrne's run!

Tyros embarks on his mission
All in all, this is a great one issue character study showing Doom as a highly comple, multi-faceted character with depths that many less capable writers failed to plumb. I honestly believe that this is the best and most well realised treatment Doom has ever received. 

Tuesday, 24 March 2015

Superman House Ad 1986 - John Byrne

Classic house ad from DC. This ad ushered in the modern post Crisis era of Superman. Man of Steel had been a critical and commercial success and the Superman titles were given a fresh coat of paint, with a new 'Team-up' approach to Action Comics. 

The Superman title became 'Adventures of Superman' and we got a Superman #1!! All three titles were high quality and 'Adventures' by Wolfman and Ordway had a slightly different flavour than the two Byrne books.

It truly was a magical era for the character.

Superman John Byrne

Saturday, 14 March 2015

Iron Man Vs Doctor Doom

Trying to imagine a cool scene where Iron Man defeats Doctor Doom during the Doomquest storyline. It didn't quite turn out the way I wanted.

Iron Man vs Doctor Doom