Earlier this year, I’ve paid homage to one of my all time favorite comic book covers, Jack Kirby’s The Fantastic Four #12, from 1962. You can see the original cover here:
Here is the revisitation of that cover that I drew:
Once again, I’m revisiting this great classic composition with the new piece above. This time I’m using a batch of my favorite characters, Captain Marvel and the Marvel Family, along with their arch-nemesis, the evil, Black Adam! I’ve jumped into the cover theme completely by even adding a faux-logo, cover blurbs, and all of the trade dress of the original… with some variations! I do intend to ink this one. I’ll see if I have the time to color it. If there’s enough interest in it, I may turn it into a print in time for next year’s convention season. We’ll see…
I’ve been a long time fan of Captain Marvel and I deeply enjoy any and every opportunity I have to draw him or ANY of the Marvels. I hope you enjoy this piece as much as I enjoyed drawing it.
Speaking of my fondness for the Marvel Family, as much as I love the Big Red Cheese and his pals, I haven’t always loved what DC Comics has done with him since they acquired him. Here are a few things I’d like to use a magic word and make go away forever…
- Captain Marvel’s name is CAPTAIN MARVEL! I cringe at DC’s utter surrender on this point by renaming Billy Batson’s alter ego as “Shazam!” Ugh! Stop it, DC! Before this mistake is further cemented in the public consciousness just stop it!
- I despise the idea that Captain Marvel is an adult with the mind of a little boy. The concept was pretty popular about twenty to ten years ago. I’m not sure if DC has stuck with it with their post Nu52 Shazam or whatever they call him these days. Aside from the whole wisdom of Solomon thing and the fact that Billy Batson has never been as immature as recent writers enjoy making Cap, this whole idea has NEVER been a part of the Captain Marvel premise until contemporary writers decided they needed some sort of “freak factor” to make Cap more interesting. He doesn’t need it! The World’s Mightiest Mortal is interesting enough as he is!
- Captain Marvel has one of the great all-time most iconic costumes in comic book history! Unfortunately, there are a number of designs that are absolutely elegant in their simplicity and that current artists can’t resist littering and cluttering with seams, bits of armor, and other busy needless details. I’m looking at the Flash, Kid Flash, and the Legion Of Super Heroes’ Mon-El!
- Mary Marvel is a cute young girl. She’s Cap’s little sister. She’s not some trampy super vixen. In drawing Mary in the past, I’ve done a Google search for reference on her and I’ve been horribly depressed at the images that come up. A lot of fan artists… and a bunch of pros too… can’t resist “vamping” up poor Mary. When they do this, she loses a lot of her character and really just becomes very generic and of course, just crass and tacky.
- I may be in the minority, but I prefer Captain Marvel without the flap on his chest. I know he may have been drawn that way originally, but when I first discovered him, the Big Red Cheese wore his simple red tights. No flap and for the love of God… NO GAUDY GOLD TRIM ON THAT FLAP! Often, when Cap is drawn with that flap, he tends to look gaunt and weak inside his own suit.
- Similarly, I also prefer Cap’s belt to be a simple band and not a sash.
- Captain Marvel’s wrist bands should be FIVE simple bands. They should also be gold in color and not gold armor.
- The lightning bolt on ALL the Marvels should be on the center of their chests. Some artists seem to like connecting it to the neckline… especially on Black Adam and Mary Marvel.
- I’m not a fan of Black Adam knowing Doctor Fate, Hawkman (And don’t get me started on all that re-incarnation stuff, Metamorpho and anyone else DC had running around Ancient Egypt. Isn’t the DC Universe large enough that its characters don’t have to bump into each other every five minutes? All that incestuous crossover stuff always seemed very fan fictiony to me.
- I realize that this has become popular since Alex Ross’ Kingdom Come, but I utterly DESPISE Captain Marvel using his magic lightning bolt as an offensive weapon. It’s never worked that way before! In fact, in a few instances, when the magic lightning has been deflected and struck other people, it’s turned THEM into super-powered Marvels!
Okay. There are some of my pet peeves and picky preferences regarding The World’s Mightiest Mortal! What are yours? Please let me know in the Comments below!