WIP - Supervillain, The Hero Defeated

Another illustration for the POWERS BEYOND Superhero RPG.

This is actually a reworking of an older illustration I did to get my feet wet with Manga Studio: I was really focused on creating an old-school art style by inking and recoloring the original renders. The original illustration featured Doctor Doom standing over a fallen hero. Here, I’ve reworked the bad guy, and I hope it’s enough.

The supervillain is M4 using a free Dr. Doom outfit from ShareCG. I manually recolored him in Photoshop, and (since the illustration was already finished) I rerendered the scene with the M4 Skelton in the same location and pose as the M4 Doom. I then swapped out the head in Photoshop.

The hero is either G1 or G2 – I just can’t recall at the moment, and I’m too busy to go back and look it up.

QUESTION 1: Is the bad guy significantly different enough from Dr. Doom? I know there are similarities, but is he different enough.

QUESTION 2: What do you think of the sky? Which version do you prefer? Or do you want to see something different?

1200 x 1858 - 1M
1200 x 1858 - 1M


  • LinwellyLinwelly Posts: 5,428

    I guess it gets clear who is the villain here, but... this is trying to unite too many different stiles, while th floor is too even the detail in the back on the buildings are to much. on the one hand you have detail in the faces and the clothes and at the same time you hace a hatch / or dot in the sky that is larger than an eye. In both scenes the sky is overthrowing attention. you could go with the more dramatic sky but reduce the brightess and put more grey in the colour. just my uneducated thoughts

  • IceDragonArtIceDragonArt Posts: 12,548

    This may be nit picky but I think it would have more impact if the eyes were looking at the viewer instead of to the left a bit.  It would engage the reader a bit more like he was talking not just to the people in the comic but to the reader as well.

  • So, first, I'll remind you I don't do comics and my opinion should be taken with a grain of salt, MM.  Here are my thoughts.  I love the overall images.  I love your style and how you manage to get the effects that you want.  I really love the red sky as it is very dramatic and really adds a certain element of danger to the overall render.  My one problem is that when I look at the two images my eye is drawn more the the red sky when I look at that image than when I look at the one with the blue sky.  In the one with the blue sky, my eyes are immediately drawn to the protagonists.  That being said, I think the one with the blue sky doesn't exactly help with the mood your are trying to emote.  Maybe if you toned down the red sky so it was quite as dramatic?  I don't know what would work if you wanted to change it up.  Maybe try playing with the textures, but again we are getting into an area that I've only played with a little when I got some of the Manga and toon shaders here and I really haven't played with it much.  The other technical stuff I can't really help with because it isn't my area of expertise if I had one which I don't I have yet.  I do think the villain and hero are different enough.  I immediately could have figure out which was which even without the text clouds.

    I hope this helps a small amount.  I will say this, if you were putting both pictures up as a done deal and just said which do you like better? It would be the one with the red sky.

  • Thanks one and all! You guys definitely hit the things that were in my mind (and a few I didn't). 

    Ice Dragon: Hmmm. This is an EXCELLENT point. I'm not sure I have time to fix it, though. Still, if I get a few minutes I'll try to rerender the head and put it in as you suggest.

    KnittingMommy and Linwelly: you are both saying exactly what I thought. The red sky is more dramatic, but overly so. And the blue just isn't right. The contrast in details is also a problem I'm aware of, especially about the ground (which I've never liked, but most of the textured ground I used clashed with the hero and didn't give him enough contrast to pop).

    The short answer is this: I need to do another pass at this tonight.

    Thanks again, everyone!

  • evilded777evilded777 Posts: 2,419

    My only opinion, and because you asked: no he is not different enough, way too Dr Doom.

    I love the style, I tried to do some work like this, but the shaders just lost me.  Having to redo every surface in a scene was just so tedious.

  • My only opinion, and because you asked: no he is not different enough, way too Dr Doom.

    I love the style, I tried to do some work like this, but the shaders just lost me.  Having to redo every surface in a scene was just so tedious.

    Oh, I totally misread that question.  So, MM, you can totally ignore my answer that probably has you shaking your head.  I'm afraid I don't know who Dr. Doom is.

  • Knittingmommy:  LOL! Dr. Doom was the villain in the Fantastic Four movies (and comics, of course). 


    BTW: I decided that the background and ground plane are the problems, so I rendered some rubble and broken buildings. I'll add them tonight and tone down the explosive clouds. I've got an idea in my head that should work. Thanks, everyone!

  • evilded777: I'm a little concerned about that... but I think he'll still make it through, anyway. Although I may lose the cowl -- so that may help. I'd love to go with a flaming skull, but then I'd be wandering into Ghost Rider territory. As I said, this is a repurposing of an existing image, so I don't have time to redo it all, otherwise I would come up with a different design for the bad guy.

    And I know EXACTLY what you mean about retexturing everything. I actually found it faster to recolor this in Photoshop.

  • Knittingmommy:  LOL! Dr. Doom was the villain in the Fantastic Four movies (and comics, of course). 

    Seen one of the movies (2005?), don't remember a thing about the villain, although I do vaguely remember a doctor villain type. blush Never read the comics.


    evilded777: I'm a little concerned about that... but I think he'll still make it through, anyway. Although I may lose the cowl -- so that may help. I'd love to go with a flaming skull, but then I'd be wandering into Ghost Rider territory.

    Now, Ghost Rider, I remember hearing about when the movie came out.  I had to look him up because I didn't ever remember seeing that as a comic back when I did read comics as a kid.  And, no, I didn't go see the movie.  Although, to be honest, the main comic I read as a kid wasn't even put out by Marvel and didn't involve any super heros.

    I know, I'm terrible!  wink

  • So... now I have to know. What was the main comic you read as a kid? There's a VERY good chance I read it... and still might be reading it.

  • Okay, don't laugh.  I'll definitely be showing my age with this one.  Waaaaaay, waaaay back in the day when the original Dark Shadows was a daily serial, there was a comic version of it on newstands.  I read most of those and still have one or two copies of it somewhere packed in a box with almost the complete series of books that was produced with the serial.

    I do have to admit that I have read one of two Superman comics along with I think one Wonder Woman comic when I was in my teens, but I think those were both DC comics and the only time I read those was if a friend had them.  I didn't go out of my way to get any comics other than the Dark Shadows ones.

  • Knittingmommy: I was correct! I have a few issues of Dark Shadows, too! Although I was in elementary school when Dark Shadows aired, so I didn't watch it back then (no way my mom would have allowed that: "It'll give you nightmares!").

    Later, though I became a big fan of the show. I watched it when it aired in the 1990s on the Sci-Fi channel. I recorded the show every day (while I was at work) and watched it while I rode my exercise bike. It was a wonderful series! I even have a box set of DVDs with the first episode and then it jumps ahead to when Barnabas arrived in the show. Dang, I'm really itching to dig it up and watch some of it again...

    ALSO: I have the entire set of paperbacks, except two! I bought the set from a fan back in the 1980s!

    As for the DS comic -- I have around 10,000 - 12,000 comic books. Amidst all those books, there are a few issues of Dark Shadows. I enjoyed them then, and I might reread them sometime in the future (I like digging through the old boxes and reading the old stuff again when I get the chance).

  • KnittingmommyKnittingmommy Posts: 8,168
    edited January 2016

    Wow! I really didn't think you would have seen those.  I was in elementary school (starting in first grade around the airing of the second season) when I watched it, too.  I don't remember watching the earlier year, but I remember when Barnabus Collins showed up.  I remember watching it every day after school when I got home during the second season.  It came on right after General Hospital which my mom watched.  I don't think my mom stuck around to watch it with me, memories are a little fuzy, which might be why she never prevented me from watching it.  It was the start of my love of vampires and everything paranormal then I moved on to be a fanatic fan of Bela Lugosi and late night movies.  I love classic vampire movies.

    Somewhere in a box, hopefully since I haven't actually seen it since my big move to FL, I have the complete series of books minus about 4.  I've read every one about 10 times along with the 2 issues of the comic that I still had, also in that box.  When it reaired on Sci-Fi, I rewatched the series and got to see that first season in B/W.  At least, the season that they still had.  I believe the actual first season was lost.  I think the first B/W season that aired on Sci-Fi was when Barnabus Collins first shows up.  There was a season before that.  That season with Barnabus was when it really started taking off those.  I used to have that whole first silloquey that Victoria Winters said at the begining of each show.  "My name is Victoria Winters..." and that is all I can remember now.

    I did watch when they did the remake which was okay, but no where near as good as the original.

    I love dipping into old boxes, too.  One of my favorite things is going through stuff I have packed up and rediscovering how much I loved something like old books.

    edit: memories are a little sketchy and I may have things a little out of order up there.  And I was like seven so I'm really stretching the brain cells trying to remember things back then.  Now I need to go watch things again.  I think it is still on instant download on Netflix.  I may have to see if it is still in my watchlist.

    Post edited by Knittingmommy on
  • I just checked and all of Dark Shadows does exist -- except one late episode (#1229, I think). It's just that they usually don't bother to air the early ones without Barnabus. I suspect you're only a smidge older than me (okay, I'll admit it, i'm 51). If it's still on Netflix, I may watch some of it again. I really did enjoy it. 


    Gotta run!

  • Not by much.  I'll be 52 in March.  Although, most days I don't feel that old although sometimes trying to remember back that far is a little trying.  While my boys help keep me young, I sometimes feel like my brain cells took a beating once I started having them and I haven't gotten them back on track yet.  I might feel older once they are all out of the house, but that won't happen for a while yet as my oldest just turned 15 and my youngest will be 12 next month.  I'll have to see where Netflix starts the DS season.  It is hard to remember back that far.  I barely remember what I had for breakfast at times let alone what happened over 40 years ago. cheeky

  • Am I wrong for thinking this works best with no background at all?

    Or does the new rubble I added contribute to the scene?

    900 x 1393 - 381K
    1200 x 1897 - 851K
    900 x 1437 - 668K
    900 x 1410 - 532K
  • LinwellyLinwelly Posts: 5,428

    I like the third one best as the composition helps concentrate on the scene in the front but as well gives hints about what happened bevore this scene. Two changes would be needed though, for one the defeated hero is floating above the ground/ rubble and the other change would be to reduce detail on the broken wall and rubble maybe to lineart and cell shading.

  • I actually like the third one as well.  I like the addition of the rubble.  I think the background buildings look more dramatic and that, with the rubble, seems to give more a sense that a battle has taken place and that there was definitely a victor.  I waffled back and forth between the others, but I finally figured out that the third one has a background and color that seems to add to the overall image without taking over and drawing my eye where it shouldn't be going which is away from the two protagonists.

  • mmitchell_houstonmmitchell_houston Posts: 2,453
    edited January 2016

    Well, everyone, I think one of these has to be it. I just don't have any more time to devote to this. Even though I would love to fix a few more things that you guys suggested (fix the direction he's looking, make him look less like Dr. Doom, etc.). I'm just out of time on this one.

    Thanks to everyone for your help. Let's give it one last shot: With flames or without?


    Post edited by mmitchell_houston on
  • I honestly don't know, but my first instinct says no flames.  When I go back and forth between the two, I can't decide, though.  So, I'm not much help.

  • LinwellyLinwelly Posts: 5,428

    no flames, from me as well

  • I submitted it without the flames.

  • mmitchell_houstonmmitchell_houston Posts: 2,453
    edited February 2016

    Here's an almost-complete reworking of the illustration. As you can see, I changed:

    • Costume colors on villain; I also gave him a tattered cape to add drama and to move it away from the hero
    • Changed villain eyes to solid red so they would stand out more.
    • Costume colors on hero (brightened them)
    • Background colors -- bricks now have color, instead of just being black
    • Added simple gray background, a slight orange glow, and some sketchy lines for wisps of dust/smoke
    • Made the text smaller, and moved it away from his head a little bit to the right: also removed the black lines around the red text -- needed to improve legibility at a smaller size (also edited the text shape for his name)
    • Added the panel border, and a new yellow caption box to make it even more old-school

    I hope there are no mistakes or needed changes, because this one is going out as-is. There's just no more time before this has to go into the book

    Even so, I'd still like to hear constructive criticism, as this will also be used in an ad or promo material soon, so I can make changes/improvements for that usage. So, suggestions are very welcome.

    Thanks to everyone for your help -- you made this a much better illustration than it was to start with.

    1200 x 1735 - 1M
    Post edited by mmitchell_houston on
  • evilded777evilded777 Posts: 2,419

    I like the final version a lot. The rubble and ruins is much more dramatic than the generic future city from the first versions.  The sky in the back fits perfectly, and the tones on the rubble are a nice mix. I like the villain much more, and the Doc Doom resemblance seems less heavy-handed.


    Nice job.

Sign In or Register to comment.