Friday, May 3, 2019

Red Widow

And here's probably the last After Avenger I get to before I see Endgame tomorrow! This is Red Widow, Adoma Orlova. And her origin is a little more complicated than the others because I wanted her's to be more rooted in the existing MCU. Adoma is the daughter of Ava Orlova, the first Red Widow (she's, uh... it's complicated... she's from the book Black Widow: Forever Red and the comic Red Widow if you want to look her up). As I see it, Ava feels very abandoned by the world, which is what draws her to help other people she sees as abandoned. Hypothetically, she found lots of people over the years who felt this way too, including a traditionalist Wakandan sorcerer who felt like he didn't have a place in the new future-centric Wakanda. Eventually together they decided that they were not defined by the mistakes of the people they were trying to be better than. And the result of that decision was Adoma. But the worlds of spies and magic don't mix. She, like Black Widow before her, is something of a wanderer. Natasha Romanov always had control of her situation but struggled to overcome her origins. Adoma, I figured, kind of turns that on it's head. She has to decide for herself who she is.
Kind of like Star Brand I guess. I realize looking back most of the After Avengers have some theme of searching for purpose. That's partly because the present day generation of heroes is so defined by their origins. I think it's usually peoples choices, not their tragic backstories, that shape them. And I guess that reflects in my work.
Her design is basically pulled straight from Jonathan Hickman's "50 Into the Future" comic (like Star Brand), though we don't learn anything else about her. The genre she's based on is modern fantasy movies. So many have leaned into darker or more realistic settings lately. Some frame the government as a danger to the fantasy world (like Shape of Water for example). A lot deal with the idea of "normal" people so weird they fit better in the fantasy world. As such, Red Widow is an agent who's part of a fantasy world.

Today I'm home! I'm back from college. We were all surprised it worked out this way, but I'm so glad I get to be back one night early. Thank you God!

Update 5/4/2019: Saw Endgame today. Wow. Well, now I'm extra glad I named her Red Widow instead of Black Widow. Even what I have written here almost feels irreverent now. 

Wednesday, May 1, 2019

Major Victory

Thank God for this drawing. I wasted so much time this morning I thought I wouldn't get to do something like this today. The semester's winding down, so today I don't have any scheduled activities at all. Usually I can reasonably manage my time, but for some reason this morning I was trapped at my computer after devotions and breakfast. Anyway, this is Major Victory. He's the second character I knew I wanted to be an After Avenger. He's pulled directly from Marvel comics too, though I changed his design somewhat. In the comics he was one of the original 1969 Guardians of the Galaxy (very different from the Guardians we know today). He was experimented on so he could survive a trip to another solar system in suspended animation, but found society had passed him during his trip and already formed on the planet before he got there. Eventually he traveled back to his past, the present Marvel universe at the time.
I felt like adding more details, but I remembered what happened to Other Guide and I stopped myself. My drawing here would still need to be added too (obviously) if there was ever a live-action movie of this. I drew a lot from astronaut suits and some from, unsurprisingly, Captain America's costume in Winter Soldier. I'm actually very satisfied with how I got his head armor to look. The shield was by far the hardest thing to do, and it still doesn't look right. Trust me it was much worse. In my version, he represents the many, many post-apocalypse science fiction movies that have come out recently. Since Captain America came to the present from the past, I thought it would be interesting if this version of Major Victory came from a post-apocalyptic future to our time. He could even meet himself, like in the comics. That would be cool to see in a Marvel-like movie, and he'd certainly have a unique perspective on the challenges the After Avengers would face.
I already have another After Avenger sort-of queued up. But I want to make some finishing touches to that one, and I wanted to post Major Victory first since he's been waiting since before I first drew Baymax 6. I should probably mention I'm not going to see Endgame till the end of this week.

The unshaded version, again.

God help me to use the rest of my time today to do what you want me to and also to not worry. I'm so happy to have you in my life.

Thursday, April 25, 2019

Other Guide

This is the first After Avenger I basically built from the ground up. I'm very happy with him. He's about two days in the making (today and yesterday). The amount of time I spent just on his name felt kind of ridiculous. See, Marvel names are made up of very physical concepts (elements, titles, animals, letters, numbers), that don't often go together and combine to say something about the character. That may sound obvious, but it's actually an important detail that determines whether a name is distinctive and fits in the Marvel Universe or not. For example, my previous creation "Titan-Boy" is a name I'm really proud of looking back. It's made of two concepts that don't really go together. The difference is I already knew I was going to use the "Boy" suffix. I had half of the name. Same with Baymax 6. With Other Guide I had no idea. I went to sleep with different names swimming around in my head. But this afternoon I finally decided on this one.
He uses that helmet to receive and broadcast ideas across the internet and through other people's heads. It's basically telepathy with virtual reality. In keeping with movie genres, Other Guide is inspired by the thought provoking horror movies we've gotten recently. He's from a bubble city floating just under the ocean's surface near Indonesia. See, in the future, I think governments and corporations are going to build floating water cities on the oceans. Because the ocean isn't currently owned by any one nation, this is going to open up the possibility of a lot of exploratory and good new governments. However, some of those bubble nations aren't going to be so good. Other Guide comes from one of those. 
He lived most of his life not knowing the rest of the world existed. But overtime he slowly learned his community was founded by Symbiotes, who used all-too-eager interventionist big businesses to create a society of humans to use basically as food. 
In addition to keeping this society isolated, they were harvesting a mind-altering liquid called "virtulacrym" from their own forms that they got from another alien race (the same way Venom absorbed Spider-Man's webbing). The virtulacrym kept their humans in check. But when Other Guide was exposed to a large amount of it while investigating, he gained telepathic and even some telekinetic abilities. And, after an adjustment period, he and the other resisting humans fashioned a helmet and staff that allows him to effectively use his powers. The staff works as an antenna, and also a blunt instrument and plasma generator, cause Symbiotes don't like plasma. Now he uses his powers to communicate between people from different worlds.

This is the first picture I drew of him. I think I did too much detail in both drawings. I feel like it's just not as good as my other two After Avengers drawings. I'm not the character designer I want to be. The arm straps and helmet were inspired by Virtual Reality equipment I've seen, but now looking at it I'm worried it looks to much like sports gear, which was not my intention. I tried changing it a bit, but I don't know. I think it could still look really great in real life. (Update 5/9/2019: I did not realize how much it looks like Whiplash's first outfit. It must have been at the back of my mind, but it was not in the front.) The strap on the back of the helmet is so he can take it off and it will still be connected to him. It's hard to tell from these two drawings, but he's actually wearing a jumpsuit (like a SHIELD uniform or the suit people wore in his bubble city) half-undone and tied around his waist. I should have used more references to draw that. I wanted his suit to not be as covering as most MCU suits. A large part of horror is about vulnerable characters, and I still remember talking with my mom about how much more powerful Wonder Woman looks when she's in a war zone because she's not wearing full-body armor. I wanted that different kind of power.

Sometimes when I look back at my work I wonder "where did that come from?" And I'm so thankful that God gives me these things and gives me the pleasure and honor of being part of creating things that I never could on my own. Thanks, God.

Friday, April 19, 2019

Star Brand

This is the first character I knew would be on the After Avengers, and who I imagined as kind-of the main character. This version of Star Brand is pulled directly from the Jonathan Hickman comic "50 Into the Future" which I mentioned in the last post. In this hypothetical MCU, maybe Kevin Connor the first Star Brand was introduced in some form or another, either in the main movies or one of the many streaming series coming up. But if not, this Star Brand would still work. We never learn her name in the comic, only that she was there when the first Star Brand died and transferred his symbol to her forehead. "It was beautiful," she said (Update: Okay, read the comic again. Technically she says "It was magnificent." Somewhat different.). The first Star Brand struggled with coming to terms with the power he now possessed. I imagine the new Star Brand as having the opposite problem: that what used to be her life feels pointless in comparison to the awesome universe shaping power she's been branded with. But is it? Is she meant for a greater purpose? Or is her old life worth keeping? How did the original Avengers deal with it? In terms of modern movie genres, she'd represent the really excellent Science Fiction stories we've gotten lately (Interstellar, Arrival, Westworld, Annihilation) that feel like homages to classic sci-fi. She'd embody that same kind of realism mixed with fantastical existential wonder.
I think it's worth noting that, in my head, the After Avengers are not the team of Avengers that forms immediately after the original Avengers retire in Endgame. With a difference of Fifty Years between the two, the second Avengers team is whoever Marvel has in mind for Phase 4 (the "New Avengers"), and since the original Avengers operated for about eleven years, there's at least one more team (hypothetically the "Next Avengers") between the first Avengers and the After Avengers.
I like how I drew the first "The After Avengers" logo better. I think it was a little more uniform in terms of size and spacing. I think I managed to capture the MCU look a little better here without resorting to random buckles.

This is the first picture I drew of her before I knew what pose I wanted to do for the main picture. Whatever pose I ended up with, the big thing was for it to be different from the other Marvel movie poster poses. Recently, God saved me from backsliding into pharisaism. I need to remember that an easy life here and now is not one of the promises, and that the things that bring me joy everyday are unbelievable, impossible. Love you, God.

Monday, April 15, 2019

Baymax 6

For a few years actually I've had a document in Google titled "Future MCU." It was just a fun twist on my usual thinking about the future to entertain myself. But I didn't get around to actually writing anything in the document until very recently. There was a small explosion of ideas, but I ended up wanting to write about a team of heroes based on Jonathan Hickman's "Fifty Into the Future" comic. Fifty years after Infinity War, in my hypothetical timeline, is about when most of the original Avengers have died naturally. This period is dubbed the after Avengers era, and the newest team of Avengers must deal with being the protectors of a time that no longer believes their organization upholds the values set by the original Avengers. They are, the After Avengers.

This character is actually the first and currently only After Avenger that I made up myself. Baymax 6, also known as Baymax Hamada, is the sixth version of Baymax, the personal healthcare companion. I was thinking about how the original Avengers all have added themes of very classic movie genres: War, Monster, Fantasy, Spy. So I wanted to make all of the After Avengers based around genres that are especially prominent today. Baymax 6 is inspired by our remake culture. She's the first human-looking Baymax version, but also the first version of Baymax not made with Tadashi Hamada's original code. It'd be something for her to seek. She's still a healthcare companion, but she additionally has all the technology of the original Big Hero 6. See, part of the question she'd raise is "if robot superheroes can do just as much and more as human superheroes, do we even need human ones?" This question is usually given an easy answer by having the robots turn evil, but what if they didn't? And this could be punctuated by making her face fully digital in the movie, or something similar.

Her suit can shape-shift to use all the various powers more effectively. I imagine it shifting more like gel or goo than Iron Man's nanobots, for example. As you can see I tried to show a color palette, just for the armor. I don't know that I know exactly how color palettes work. I imagined the left arm to be like Wasabi's suit, the right to be like Fred's, the legs like Gogo's suit except a dusty orange color instead of yellow, and the body was white, with maybe some red thrown in there. Also there'd be some black. I tried to MCU-ify the costume a little by adding random buckles and lines, but my style doesn't really lend itself to live-action depiction. Just imagine what she'd look like live-action.

This was a doodle I did after I finished the first drawing. I decided to keep it just because I like how I drew her fingers here. It's surprisingly competent.

The unshaded version, in case you're interested. 

I'm really happy God gives me stuff like this. I'm so happy with how she turned out and how I get to share this with people. Thanks God.

Wednesday, April 3, 2019

Father-Daughter Time

Yeah, more of this. I did this drawing yesterday. Honestly, I'm surprised and amazed with how much I've been able to get done in the last few days. And it's all from taking a few minutes to not do anything. See before I was always filling up my time with little things trying to get myself to relax. And now I've been just sitting in a chair for 10-45 minutes just chilling with God. The first day it was really hard. I couldn't sit still, but I feel great. I've even been sleeping better and falling asleep quicker since my body already knows how to relax. Would recommend for anyone struggling with insomnia. I didn't realize it, but I was basically stressed out all of the time. Now I just sacrifice my time to God and watch how much he can help me do in just a few short minutes, including this drawing. Praise the Lord.

Anyways, this drawing is of Harrison and his daughter Moira. I drew it with barely any coloring in at first because I was worried I'd mess it up, but I think it turned out really cool. I wanted to show the progression. When I took the picture I was getting this weird lens flare effect on Harrison's face. So I fixed it with one of the crazy filters on my phone called "Vogue." Which I thought was humorously appropriate for this picture even though I don't know anything about vogue.
At first I was trying to go for a low-angle effect, but I guess I kind of dropped that in the process. It would've looked better if I'd tried to do the same thing on the car (And if I'd gotten Harrison's thumb on the correct side. I mean seriously, I have thumbs. I could've checked. No excuse.).
I think Harrison looks a lot better in this picture than when I drew him before. The night before yesterday I tried to start this drawing right before bed, which I knew was a bad idea but I did it anyway, and I just totally couldn't do anything. It's amazing what you can't get done when God is trying to get you to go to bed. Inversely, it's amazing what you can do when God is on board with it. Before I was having trouble getting Harrison to not look like a thug since you couldn't see his eyes. So I ended up basing his head shape on Slade from the classic Teen Titans cartoon. I added another scar because why not. The trick with Supervillain Family is to get it so they aren't super obviously evil, but they're just off enough that people would avoid them like the plague.
Moira was really fun to do. I wanted a little bit of her hair in front of her face, but when I was drawing that line I just sort of kept going. I like how it turned out. What's crazy about her expression is that originally it was reflected past the center of her face, and it looked too actually tough and disinterested. I flipped it around and bammo.

Thanks so much for this God. I love you.

Tuesday, March 12, 2019

Character Exploring

"Yeah. Why do you come on these trips with us?" 
"...I'm just here to call 911."
Just a drawing of two characters in this idea I have. Originally I just wanted to draw this for myself, but I ended up liking it so much I thought I'd put it here. Rarely have I gotten quite such cartoonishly expressive expressions out of my drawings, but this time I felt like I exaggerated it enough. On the other hand I didn't draw Kinsley's book well enough. Just to be clear, the little girl behind the tree isn't super tall; she's actually very tiny. She's just climbing (which would be clear in context). Funnily enough this also marks my 100th post. I'm very happy. If this idea ever became a reality too, I don't even know if this would be the style. I feel like I've evolved so much when it comes to drawing, so imagine how much different I would draw something like this in a few years. I don't know. God's will be done.