DC’s Big Three!

Here is another piece I worked up for fun. This one features DC Comics’ “Big Three,” Superman, Wonder Woman and Batman.

In a recent post, I mentioned how my Superman is inspired by longtime Superman artists, Curt Swan and Jose Luis Garcia-Lopez. Both Wonder Woman and Batman also draw upon the work of Garcia-Lopez.

A few notes on some of my choices…

Overall, I was trying to keep a timeless feel about the piece. My “essential” DC is the work of Garcia-Lopez and the looks he captures in his now legendary DC style guides which perpetually make the rounds on Facebook. Please google them, if you haven’t seen them. They’re what the DC Universe SHOULD look like …ALWAYS! I do try to infuse a few details to modernize the characters a bit and not leave the piece as an anachronistic homage to the 1980’s. That said, I also try to resist the needless noodling and detailing that many contemporary artists indulge in. I don’t want to clutter a streamline look like Superman’s or the Flash’s with unnecessary seams and stitching.

Looking at Superman, I kept his uniform simple and mostly evocative of his most timeless classic look. I didn’t give him those arbitrary wrist bands that he wears in his most recent costume. They’re largely inoffensive but I prefer the single line of one simple wristband. I’ve never been the fan of a raised three-dimensional S logo, but I don’t mind a little shiny rendering on the S itself. I’m not sure of the shape of Superman’s current belt buckle but I was always okay with the simple oval that he’s worn for most of his history. Its a simple shape and yet distinctive enough from other super hero belts most of which tend to be large pilgrim-sized squares and rectangles. Beyond these little details, Superman is mostly the classic Superman most of us recognize and love.

Wonder Woman is a little trickier. Like Thor, Wonder Woman is a character that keeps getting pushed back into her mythological roots. The end result is she becomes more Xena: Warrior Princess or Teela from The Masters Of The Universe than she does Wonder Woman. For me, my first love in genres has always been super heroes and I prefer my Wonder Woman… as I do with Thor… in the role of the super hero. There’s that quote I often hear attributed to Len Wein that I’ll paraphrase here… You can tell all the stories of Thor on Asgaard that you want but every now and then he has to come back to Earth and fight the Absorbing Man. I’m okay with Asgaard but ultimately, I’m all about those Absorbing Man stories. Wonder Woman is the same way for me. My mind can only wrap itself just so far around Paradise Island stories, Ares, and the rest of the Greek pantheon. I want Cheetah stories. With Wonder Woman’s costume, I did make use of some detailing and a few seams. I did try to avoid making her look like a female Spartan and tried to keep her as much of a super hero as possible.

As for Batman, his is the look I needed to edit or modify the least given that we only see his head and maybe one shoulder. I do have a preference for eyebrows on my Bat-mask. It evokes that classic Garcia-Lopez look but it also gives Batman an additional opportunity for expression.


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