Sometimes a design is so spot on that every later alteration to that look diminishes its impact. Case in point:
4. Solomon Grundy
Based on the famous Jack Pierce design for Universal Studio’s version of Frankenstein’s Monster, Paul Reinman’s Solly is a nightmare. Eight feet tall with long, gangly limbs, tiny pupilless eyes, and a mouthful of huge jagged teeth, clad in tattered blaxk clothes too small for him, Grundy exuded pure, mindless evil. His Silver Age makeover into an albino Hulk, dictated at least in part by the Comics Code Authority, drained him of much of his menace and few rtists since have been able to recapture the horror of the Golden Age original.
Post by MechaGodzilla on Dec 21, 2017 9:05:51 GMT -5
4, Iron Maiden
About little more than year ago, I've never heard of this character in my whole lifetime until I've stumbled on shaxper thread regarding T.H.U.N.D.E.R Agents and seeing pictures that he posted about Iron Maiden that was drawn by Wally Wood and what a design it is and I just amazed how well this villainess look so sleek and sexy wearing an armoured costume like this. I liked the elbow (lone) spike and the red cape as well. The Helmet Design is very extraordinary and very bold and quite original and that the whole beauty of this creation. I prefer the Tower Comics version over anything else and she became one of my favorites because I've an affinity for redheads. If I had to have an actress to play Iron Maiden ... Rita Hayworth and/or Eleanor Parker would be my picks to play her; and the bottom picture of her sharing a moment with Dynamo over a glass of ginger ale and seeing how glamorous she really is she was a serious contender to supplant Jean Grey Marvel Girl as the sexiest redhead in my world of Comic Books.
Sometimes reading a T.H.U.N.D.E.R book ... I've admit that I stop reading and admire the artwork done by Wally Wood and I've enjoyed seeing it and it's takes me 2-3 times longer to go through it because I've enjoyed seeing it. I just loved the Background Art more than anything else and that's a keeper.
I have a dear friend who have a great collection of T.H.U.N.D.E.R Agents Comic Books and I've occasionally go to his place to just to read them in his basement of where I'm allowed to go through long boxes of books that I can read and I usually reads these books for 2-3 hours a time before we go out for dinner together. I do this about once a month at his place and I've always like to read and admired the works of Wally Wood's ... Iron Maiden of which I've no idea that she existed until I've stumbled on Shaxper's thread.
Like an old saying ... Curiosity kills the Cat ... and the Cat got me!
P.S. I'LL CHANGE MY AVATAR ... to reflect my love for IRON MAIDEN.
Such an extremely bizarre visual look when you stop to think about it. It's the contrast between hard, scientific steel and soft, flowing, mystic-like garb surrounding it. Dr. Doom himself is a balance of science and sorcery, and his design captures that brilliantly. But, perhaps more simply, his look ALWAYS feels surprising, powerful, and a bit unsettling to me.
My second Catwoman arrives on my list and from one the board's favorite artists, Darwyn Cooke. "Trail of the Catwoman" came out in 2001 as a backup story in Detective comics, by Ed Brubaker and Darwyn Cooke and became an instant hit. Cooke's retro designs in everything he did on the page exploded with great detail. Giving Selina a shorter haircut, a cross between the weird Year One Miller/Mazzuchelli look and the end of the 90s Balent era. But it was the suit that makes this hit my list. Simple black with clunky boots, which isn't really very cat burglar-like but works well with the outfit. The hood redesign is fantastic. Still with the ears, it was inker Mike Allred that suggested the googles to be 1950s cat-like to go with the suit. Grounded in real world look instead of high fantasy, it works extremely well.
This 9th Day finds another villain from among the vast stars:
One who has the power of four: The Super-Skrull Kl'rt who was given the combined powers of the Fantastic Four along with his Skrull shape-shifting and hypnotic abilities. Is there a cooler visual than SS utilizing all 4 of his FF powers at the same time with a flaming/stretching Thing encrusted arm while being invisible? He has fought the FF, Captain Mar-vell, The Avengers, Ms. Marvel, Namor, Nova and others always able to bounce back from whatever thrashing he receives and continue to fight another day. Since Kl'rt there has been a vast array of other Super-Skrulls but he is the 1st and best warrior ever.
Originally created in Fantastic Four #18 September 1966 but my 1st connection with him came in the pages of Captain Marvel #'s 2/3 where his looks and powers as an alien warrior captured my imagination.
Post by hondobrode on Dec 21, 2017 10:06:53 GMT -5
Yes folks he's made the list already, but the flaming menacing Dormammu of another dimension was absolutely riveting in my little Pocket Book reprints
The Human Torch is aflame, but Dormammu has a deep base sound to the character.
Purple costume, a color normally associated with royalty, the perpendicular triangular shapes at the tops of his boots, along with those shoulder accents, the black metal head gear, a lack of nose, and just his eyes and mouth, along with the golden wrestling belt of hate, make Dormammu terrifying
I just noticed the similarities to a previous post with a similar character, Trigon
THAT would be a throw down
Great design by Steve Ditko
Last Edit: Dec 21, 2017 10:07:18 GMT -5 by hondobrode
Post by Roquefort Raider on Dec 21, 2017 10:18:00 GMT -5
4. Doctor Doom (again!)
I suppose it is unavoidable that we see great designs pop up repeatedly as we get closer to Christmas!
Doom has several qualities expected of a comic-book villain: an armour (I love armoured villains), a frightful mask, and a secondary colour scheme. He wears a hooded cape and a suit straight out of some fantastic Middle-Ages.
He's also a brilliant scientist, a sorcerer, a political figure, a narcissist who likes to speak of himself in the third person and say BAH! a lot, and he has a scarred visage that scares those who see it. Plus he lives in a medieval castle. He's ambitious and possessed by a personal hatred of a major hero. On top of all that, he's also as much a failed hero as a true villain! Such a great creation, such a great Kirby design.
I must admit that Jack's version is not my absolutely favourite Doom... I prefer the little things that John Byrne did on the character, particularly regarding Doom's mask. It's no longer a one-piece thing... It looks like it's made of several articulated metal pieces that together look like a stylized human skull (albeit one with a pointy nose). Even the "eyebrows" seem to be mobile, and we can assume that Doom could convey emotion even with the mask on.
Great, great look for one of the baddest bad guys in existence.
The Beetle's original costume was...weird. Bucket helmet, cumbersome-looking wings and those weird fingers (I'm sure some people love it though!) I like this redesign, which is more streamlined and aerodynamic, and makes him look like an actual beetle. As with Moonstone I love the bulbous eyepieces.
Post by Prince Hal on Dec 21, 2017 10:45:33 GMT -5
Death-Man, Batman 180, May 1966 (Kanigher, Kane and Anderson)
I so wanted to turn to the first page in this issue to see that kind of art and that kind of skeletal face.
I din't, but that never has lessened the impact that Death-Man's appearance had on me. I could imagine (as, truth be told, we young readers did with so many comics) that the how the insides would look, and that always helped a bit.
We can't overestimate the importance of a comic book's cover back in the days before subscriptions, before specialty stores, before pre-ordering, and this cover is an example of why those covers were so important. To a certain extent, the insides didn't matter. If the cover grabbed you, decision made. Down to your last 12 cents, with only this and Hot Rod Racers #8 lying on the shelf, (Check it out here at the invaluable Mike's shebeen, not wasting an image: www.dcindexes.com/features/newsstand.php?publisher=charlton&type=calendar&month=3&year=1966&sort=alpha I think we know how everyone would have chosen.
Death-Man. Like his costume, which needed no cape, no splash of color, no large "D" on a belt, his name went straight to the point. How simple. How scary. No hyperbolic, overdone "Deathmaster," "Deathdealer," "Deathbolt" or "Deathstroke" for this guy. His mask reinforced the subtlety. No leering grin, no attempt at personality beyond the wryest of grins. Very much like Mrs. Pruneface, now that I think of it, my Day 2 entry. (Love me those skeletal faces.)
The .45 in his hand may seem almost an afterthought, but I noticed it right away. "Super-villains" didn't pack .45's in the DC and Marvel Universes. Their gunsels, thugs, and assorted toughs might, but their guns really weren't prominent. Super-villains used their super-powers to defeat you. Of course, a .45 is much more efficient and quick. No wonder Death-Man seems more a Dick Tracy villain than a gimmick-guy.
It added one more element of grim believability about this villain who dropped in from nowhere, and never returned. Yes, like a few others on my list, Death-Man never reappeared. (I guess he's shown up in Batman '66, but I think you know what I mean. He was a one-time danger. That also makes him an even more of an archetype.
Of course, we might argue, Death-Man did reappear, several months later, on an equally stunning cover, this time by Infantino and Roussos, not Kane and Anderson.
I can't recall reading about any link between the two, but Deadman's costume and overall look seems to owe at least a little something to Death-Man, one more reason I can't resist including him on my list.
Last Edit: Dec 21, 2017 10:46:41 GMT -5 by Prince Hal
"The rarer action is In virtue than in vengeance." -- The Tempest, 5.1