Comic Book Concept Art, The V.O.I.D.. Pencil, Ink, Opaque Gouache, China Marker, Digital Color.
Long ago, circa 1990, a very good friend and I had the notion to create our own superhero group, and possibly pitch it to DC Comics. Although we never really solidified everything to everyone's satisfaction, we did manage to pique the curiosity of an editor with our proposal/presentation. Unfortunately, things eventually fell by the wayside, as sometimes happens, and we never mustered the focus to develop the project properly. Perhaps we still may someday.
In any event, I loaded the presentation with plenty of concept art. And as a visual shorthand, I deliberately and strategically incorporated specific actors' likenesses for the characters in order to instantly indicate what type of character we were going for, based on whatever iconic role that actor may have played. For instance, when you saw the old wizard character with the face of Sir Alec Guinness from STAR WARS, the idea was generally conveyed as to the character type, with little further explanation required, except for whatever twist we intended. Of course, this did necessitate the assurance that no actual likenesses would be utilized in the final design! Haha!
Now, I won't get into the core details of the concept, just in case my friend and I do decide to revisit this project. I'll merely tease with the broad stokes of what the antagonists were centered around, which was a covert organization pretending to be one thing, yet revealed to be the opposite, something monstrously dark, far-reaching, and potentially apocalyptic. Of course, such concepts are more commonplace than ever today. But that goes to show how old this project is. Hahaha! Anyway, it was a shadow organization called the V.O.I.D. (partly modeled after Marvel Comics' S.H.I.E.L.D., and HYDRA). The acronym expands to Versal Operations and Intelligence Division, with "Versal" signifying "universal," "entire," and "whole." So, basically, this was a covert organization with a twofold meaning. It monitored, encompassed as well as superseded all other covert organizations -- GLOBALLY. Essentially, at the deepest levels, it would control S.H.I.E.L.D., the C.I.A., K.G.B., the Mossad, etc., and yet remain totally "invisible," as hauntingly empty as -- a void. Nothing is ever provable, but the influence is undeniable. Smoke and mirrors. And if the VOID wants you to disappear, that is exactly what happens. The VOID was everything, and it was nothing.
The head of this spooky organization, or as it would seem, was a man for whom I used actor Terence Stamp (General Zod) as a model. Obviously, the scarred-face idea is far too cliché to be of use anymore. The initial storyline had something to do with a modified spy-plane, the model for which I used the SR-71 Blackbird, now obsolete. On the fringes of the "game" was the very risky threat of thermonuclear annihilation, and our heroes would fail to defeat a very deadly timetable. The reason for this failure, if this was to be a DC Comics licensed property, would be the sudden action of Major Victory, a character I co-created with writer Mike W. Barr for Batman and The Outsiders. Originally, I designed Major Victory as DC's equivalent to Marvel's Captain America, mixed with a healthy dose of the Christopher Reeve Superman, plus an added bonus of mega-energy abilities. Major Victory winds up being an unwitting pawn. But he is still heroic at his center, redeemable, which is why, in this new color treatment, I kept him free of the murky shadow covering the rest of the illustration.
For this presentation piece, as is plain to see for most movie fans, I directly referenced the late, great Chris Reeve's Superman.
Another pawn in this deadly game was going to be the archer, Merlyn (nemesis of The Green Arrow), and for him I used the very distinct eyes of the late Ricardo Montalban (Khan!!!).
So, those were some of the broad strokes, folks. Again, I can't divulge any other details in case the future brings us back to this project. I ran across this old art in my files, and decided to color it up as Photoshop practice. It was fun to recall these memories, and to see how much has changed since then.
I hope you've enjoyed this flashback with me. As always, thanks for viewing, and for reading! Oh! And, remember, trust no one, and deny everything. This post will self-destruct in 5....4.....3....2....