Click To Enlarge
It's been a while since I've done a "Greatest Alien Atlas Art Ever (This Week)" post, because they're often very time consuming, September's 5th anniversary celebration wore me out, work became more demanding, the holidays kicked in, and I'd like to have some exclusive villain commissions to post going into 2013 (like I wasn't going to play with the rogues gallery in a big way in '13?) Still, I've got to run my two 2012 Despero pieces for his December (and I almost threw in a lookalike Mercurian one, but we'll save that for later.) I'm still treading water in life, but the good thing here is that you folks have already been introduced to The Manhattan Projects artist Nick Pitarra through his Image Comics mini-series The Red Wing, and his prior spotlight posts here illustrating Martian Manhunter and B'rett. Heck, I even told you his Space City Con story while presenting a Saturnian Criminal commission. All I have to do for this post is put up the art!
I wanted to get a second piece out of Pitarra at the con, and I wanted a second Despero, so one naturally connected to the other. I had a few pieces of Despero reference, but had left one at Comipalooza, limiting Pitarra's options slightly. Still, he chose Despero the Reborn, the character as he appeared immediately following his transformation in the Flame of Py'tar to battle the Detroit era Justice League (though I think they were in Gotham throughout the story arc.) This is probably my favorite Despero period, since he looked cool and was a fearsome force, without being treated as a Sabretooth/Hulk hybrid reliant solely on brute force and energy blasts. I like the solemn pride and heightened alien quality Pitarra brings to the character, allowing him greater range of personality. I really dig the attention to details in the reference that I'm sure myself and most other people forget about the Luke McDonnell design, like the leather straps and chest emblem. My only complaint is that I miscalculated how towering the fin was, so that even my reduced Xerox copy of the original 11" x 17" art space was too big to fit on my scanner (trimming a chunk of that swank belt.) I was quite happy with this piece, and honestly, is it any wonder Pitarra has become Jonathan Hickman's go-to artist on creator-owned projects? See more at Nick Pitarra.com and Comic Art Fans!