Thursday, 25 February 2016

Spider-Man Week 4 - Part 4

Doctor Octopus and Lizard
Doctor Octopus - "A guy named Otto Octavius winds up with 8 limbs. What're the odds." That line from J Jonah Jameson in 'Spider-Man 2' is so perfect I just wanted to include it here.

I don't like it when this character is put into spandex or armour and depicted as mad. I mean, he *is* mad. But I see him as subtley, quietly mad. I see him as a dignified scientist who doesn't want to be famous, leaving stuff like that to Norman Osborne, and he wouldn't see the accident that fused him to metal arms as an opportunity to dress like a super villain. Instead, his villainly comes from the fact that he has a ruthless dedication science and a cold heart regarding consequences, the arms giving him a powerful reach he never had before. Whilst I've depicted him in a suit, I do think it's cool when he's depicted shabbily. He's someone who has to go into hiding a lot, and it's in those desperate moments that you have a good reason to show the madness a little more.

Lizard - I've always liked the character of Curt Conners, though my impression of him comes from the 90s animated series of Spider-Man. He was kind hearted, friendly and always ready to help out Peter Parker or Spider-Man. They must have liked him too, 'cos whenever he turned into the lizard, Spider-Man would beat the crap out of him and then let him return to his normal life.

I also like this character because he has a real story. When I was a kid, cartoons, comics and superheroes weren't as prominant among adults as they are. 'Geek culture' wasn't cool. So when a character came along with genuine motivation I would get really excited because it felt like I could talk about it. Curt Conners only has one arm, which motivates him to study the way lizards can regrow tails and try to apply that to human healing. Of course, the serum he develops doesn't go how he wants and he turns into a monstrous creature. It's still mad, it's still disregard for reality, but that motivation is genuine.

I liked that about Otto too. He didn't invent robotic arms so he could terrorise the world, he invented them to aid him in science. If Otto Octavius had met Curt Connors and developed a mechanical arm with him, mechanical limbs for all amputees, they could have both been happier men.

Sandman and Venom

Sandman - This guy is a shape-shifting element much like Hydo-Man so I was worried they'd look too similar. I had to conciously do something different but I really like drawing wild, swirling shapes. After looking at some images of explosions in sand and some free sketching, I stumbled across the dea of choppier swirls, bursting shapes, dusty clouds and broken clumps. I say clumps, because I wans't prepared to draw a billion individual grains.

I don't know much about Flint Marko other than the fact he seems to constantly switch between good and evil. That's a good path to keep with. He wants wealth, he wants respect, he was lucky enough to stumble onto a power that could get him both. But he's impatient, short tempered and controlled by his impulses, resulting in him never achieving either.

Venom - This guy's popularity has only grown since he was first introduced in 1988. For me to even hint that I want to change some things is probably heresy. Well don't worry, I don't work for Marvel. Nothing I write here will affect him. But I'm gonna go ahead and write it anyway.

Over the years, he's been depicted more and more muscular. Almost Hulk-level of size. I don't like it. He's gotten more and more teeth, more and more drooly. I think it's been forgotten that he's essentially an evil version of Spider-Man. That's why he was popular. People love dark versions of heroes, unshackled by morals and responsibility. When you see muscle Venom swinging around on a thin spiderweb, it looks ridiculous. He should be as limbre as Spider-Man, matching him move for move.

That said - a muscular Venom drooling through rows of sharp teeth *is* also cool. I just think he should only get like that during a battle - perhaps when he's losing or just enjoying himself -  when the man inside the symbiote starts losing control.