049 – The Devil

Inspired by my Crime Syndicate drawings, I decided to make up Crime Syndicate versions of Marvel characters. I’ve only got two so far, and I also plan on finishing out the DC CSA line-up. And also recolor them in the future when I have more time.

So here we have The Devil. Young Matt Murdock saw the old man crossing the street when the truck full of radioactive waste was barreling down the street. Matt pushed the old man in front of the truck because he thought it would be funny and wanted to see what happened when the old man got hit. However, the radioactive waste splashed in Matt’s eyes and blinded him. He soon discovered that the waste that removed his sight enhanced his other senses and abilities to superhuman levels. Using these abilities, he gained work with his father as an enforcer in the mob and fixed boxing matches. When not helping run his father’s racket, he studied the law and went to law school, becoming the consigliere to the Kingpin, Jonah Jameson. Secretly, as The Devil of Hell’s Kitchen, Murdock is actively bringing down the Kingpin’s organization – to take it over.

Or something. Man, I’m tired.

048 – Johnny Quick

Johnny Quick is the Crime Syndicate’s evil Flash, who mainlines a (literal) speed drug. Not as awesome as any Reverse Flash, and not the heroic Golden Age Johnny Quick. Oh well. He looks cool (the original CSA Johnny Quick does not).

047 – Owlman

Owlman, the Crime Syndicate version of Batman. He’s an amazing character in Grant Morrison’s Earth 2 graphic novel, and that is totally trumped by the version of the character in the Justice League: Crisis on Two Earths direct-to-DVD movie. Plus he’s voiced by James Woods, which is simply awesome.

046 – Ultraman

Ultraman, the Superman of Earth 3 (or Earth 2 if you’re a Grant Morrison fan). He is the evil leader of the Crime Syndicate of Amerika. I love dopplegangers, especially evil opposites. Morrison’s Earth 2 graphic novel is a major highlight of his JLA work. Highly recommended if you haven’t read it.

045 – John Constantine: Hellblazer

Hellblazer is my favorite non-superhero ongoing comic, I’ve been reading it for years, and only once has it ever gotten to a point where I thought I might drop it (author Denise Mina’s run a few years ago, for what it’s worth). I’m even one of the only people who love Paul Jenkins’ run on the book – one of the only writers whose work on Hellblazer has never been collected. Constantine is a fantastic character, though the archetype of “charming, lovable asshole” is reaching new heights of popularity, Constantine has a ton of staying power. Outside of Daredevil, Hellblazer is the only comic I have consistently collected and read since I started buying it, and have more issues of than anything else.

Also happy St. Patrick’s Day, and one of the only love interest of Constantine’s to have survived their relationship was Irish, so there you go, something or other whatever who gives a shit?

044 – Self Portrait

From me in the future. On a post-it note with a ball-point pen.

043 – Catwoman

Need to draw more lady characters, need to get better.

042 – Original X-Men

Post-it sketch.

041 – Golden Age Starman

A redesign of the Golden Age Starman, based on my previous attempts at G.A. redesigns. But not as successful. I was kind of going for a mix of crazy mad scientist combined with the James Robinson Starman. Eh. Another one for the “retry later” pile.

040 – Wheeler of Oz

Over at Ok, PANIC! (the nifty artist collective of myself, Jason Young, Kurt Dinse and Jeff Potter [yeah, I left someone out]), we tackled The Wizard of Oz. I decided to do a mash-up of Oz & The X-Men (and I could have done so much more with it too, but I ran out of time). Since I didn’t do a traditional Oz piece there, I decided to do something here for it. My friend Joe suggested I draw a Wheeler.

Coincidentally, Wheeler is the name of the gentleman who is the curator of Ok, PANIC! and partner in crime and color of an aforementioned Jeff Potter.

Anyhoo, I decided to make the Wheeler look different than the movie version (Return to Oz), and looked ’em up on the internets. Not too much reference could be found outside of the “Return” look. So I just kinda made something up.

Then I found Skottie (no relation to Jason) Young’s version. And that kinda sums up the entire problem I had when planning what I was going to do for the Ok, PANIC! piece. Every sketch I started, worked on, planned out, etc., they were all Skottie Young’s version of the characters. Not exact, and not planned. It’s like Skottie’s vision of Oz has overwritten the movie versions in my mind and has seeped into my subconscious. Which is pretty awesome. Skottie has essentially redefined what Oz is, which takes an incredible amount of talent and skill when you’re facing not only the cinematic classic, but the countless Oz novels, too.

Basically what I’m getting at is that Skottie Young is an awesome and amazing artist and I’ll certainly follow his career wherever it takes him. Right now, he’s recreating Oz, and I’m loving it. Check out his work. He’s fantastic, and I didn’t set out to rip him off.