Wednesday, February 17, 2010

1001 (Saturn) Knights

"An obvious copy of Iron-Man"

It is what I was told when I showed my roommate at the time an early version of Saturn knight.

And to this day.... I am still scratching my head at how it can have been perceived as an "obvious copy of Iron-Man." I could almost... almost have understood such comment from the color version since it had a good chunk of yellow in it.... but from the penciled version???

I don't get it.

It was also called "an obvious copy of Guardian".
Other then the energy glow that can surround both characters.... again I fail to see it.

The script of the first Flashback Universe comic required of Saturn Knight to have some sort of force field. Since I knew that I would be doing the colors using my "friend" Photoshop... I figured that I could use the "outer glow" feature to give our character a cool force field... and a cool effect.

But Saturn Knight was never meant to be another "Iron-Man" or "Guardian"... it was from day one always meant to be our very own....


Jim and I are HUGE Nova fans. 
And Saturn Knight was always meant to be our Flashback Universe counterpart to Nova... just as Nova was meant to be Marvel's counterpart to DC's Green Lantern... Hal Jordan.

In retrospect... I guess a simple way to describe the Flashback Universe in the early days would be;
"What if Nova was the flagship character of Marvel and a founding member of the Avengers"
Since Saturn Knight is our flagship character that we used to establish the look/feel of the
Flashback Universe... and we made him a founding member of the Vanguard.

Originally... Jim meant to call him "Captain Saturn".
I can't recall why... but at some point... we went with the name Saturn Knight... after the name of a regular poster on Newsarama from about 4 years ago.

I made a rough early design attempt... which allowed us to get the ball rolling and discuss what Saturn Knight should look like. For example, in this early design we could see the character's eyes... but we decided it would work better not seeing the eyes.

To Jim's credit... HE was able to recognize the drawing for what it was: a rough early attempt that served no other purpose then to get the ball rolling and start the creative process. It was a first step to figure out what Jim had in mind when it came to the look of the character. And also the look/feel we wanted to give the Flashback Universe's characters in general.

After a few versions... and much color attempts... we settled on a few versions of the character that we both kind of liked.

So we moved on to designing the rest of the Flashback Universe.

Although Saturn Knight had nothing to do with Iron-Man, we did come up with our
Flashback Universe counterpart to Iron-Man with the Artifact. When Jim mentioned this character.... I just knew that we had quite literally our "iron" man. Although a strange thing occurred. I wanted to give him a rust covered look... and when I did so... it made me realize why DC's Robotman was colored orange.
Probably to give Robotman some sort of rusty look.

It had never occurred to me until I colored the design of the Artifact. 

And as we started adding more and more characters that we would need not only for our first issue.... but also that we would need to populate our Universe..... it was now time to design our villain for our first issue.
I am not sure why Jim wanted her to be the grand-daughter of Captain Nemo... but one thing was clear... she would be our Doctor Doom.

So Doom was my starting point.
So of course... she would be wearing some sort of armor... and she would have various dots suggesting some sort of rivets of some kind.... and let's not forget the cape.

Also since she would be a Saturn Knight villain.... I asked myself... "Who is Nova's counterpart to Doctor Doom???

One name came to mind....
The Sphinx.

So I decided to give Lady Nemo some sort of Egyptian motif. Being Royalty... I wanted her to have some sort of Egyptian "crown".

So in short... Lady Nemo would be a "female Sphinx/Doctor Doom" amalgam.
In retrospect... I am surprised that I did not make her armor "gold". Maybe I had already designed our character Sandwalker with a similar Egyptian motif?? Could be.... this was over 4 years ago... the specifics are a little fuzzy in my memory. So odds are, I made Lady Nemo a different color to keep her distinctive from Sandwalker.

She was later compared to Marvel's Jocasta.
Funny how a female version of Doom can end up being called a copy of Jocasta. Although I have seen this many times in my career... it never fails to surprise me.
I guess that any metallic lady could end up being compared to Jocasta.

The funny part is that such comment has inspired me for an upcoming comic that we are working on.
No I won't spoil it.... you guys will have to wait and see. ;)

Once we had a truckload of characters in stock.... we looked at our first character... Saturn Knight.... and now that we had designed a lot of them characters... we had a clearer picture of what we wanted to do.
So we went back to the drawing board and decided to redesign Saturn Knight.

Once again... we made various attempts.... and we tried pretty much every color combination we could think of... until we decided on the FINAL version of the character.

In the end... no we did not make 1001 version of Saturn Knight.
I once counted as we were in the design process and we had about 127 different versions... so we made over 127 versions of Saturn Knight. That is counting the different designs, and all the color variations that we made....

Until there was only one left.


Caine said...

This was great fun, I'm looking forward to a similar post regarding The Purple Puma, The Raven, & RuneWraith....even if it's all in one post

cash_gorman said...

See, when I saw the early drawing of Saturn Knight, my first thought was Nova. I don't see the Iron Man vibe at all.

If your villainess was to be descended from Nemo, seems like an Indian motif would have been better sense backstory wise.

Pierre Villeneuve said...

Caine; I am sure that at some point I will get atound to making a blog about them characters.

The Purple Puma by himself will require a full Blog... I guarantee it. ;)

Cash; For the Iron-man comparison.... I have a theory or 2 about that. Will have to explain my theory in an upcoming blog.

For Nemo... I wanted to stay away from what was done in LXG. I am pretty sure that giving her an Indian motif would have started a flood of "your ripping off LXG" comments.

But in the end, we got some "your ripping off Jocasta" comments instead.

Oh well.

But I really wanted a Doom/Sphinx vibe for her... so I ignored the Indian motif for her armor.

cash_gorman said...

"ripping off LXG", the Indian Nemo actually is from references to Verne's MYSTERIOUS ISLAND while Nemo in 20,000 LEAGUES is a bit different. That and some other inconsistencies between the two books as well as "Nemo" appearing in some other dime novels not by Verne fuel Philip Jose Farmer's take that "Nemo" was several different people over time, one of them being a Moriarty.

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