Andrés Tommy Tejeda is an Emmy-winning character designer and occasional director who has worked on most DC-related animation since the mid-90s. To help promote the Justice League cartoon, Tejeda was asked to produce this piece, which was reworked by Bruce Timm into one of the most recognizable and oft-used images from that series.
The eyes in this original are a bit sinister, so removing them was probably best. Timm also improved most of the team's stances to make them more dynamic and character specific. However, Tim's inclusion of belts for everyone is a head-scratcher, excepting Flash's lightning bolts and Wonder Woman's girdle.
On the other hand, Timm's cross-armed Batman is boring, and the appearance of the bat-symbol anatomically incorrect. I prefer Tejeda's more exaggerated and mysterious take on the Dark Knight Detective. Tejeda's 3/4 turns on Flash and Green Lantern allowed for far more distinct heads (plus wings!) than Timm's black blobs of nobody. It was smart of Timm to put Wonder Woman's hands on her hips, but Flash looks too docile in the same pose.
The one element that really puts Tejeda's design over the top is the use of large iconic symbols for each hero. Timm really muddied that part up, and made some alternate choices I disagree with. For instance, a lot of people have used the red "X" as a symbol for Martian Manhunter, but there's a ton of DC characters identified with crossed straps on their chest, most notably Hawkman. Ever since I bought my Super Powers Collection figure in the '80s, I've preferred the "pie" belt buckle as J'Onn's icon, which dates back to his very first appearance. Timm blew that off and bought him a Faded Glory one from Wal*Mart instead. I love the big honking Green Lantern symbol, and though Timm's stance draws attention to John Stewart's fist, nothing sells a power ring like energy emanating.
My biggest complaint about the popular version was always the sissy J'Onn J'Onzz, too skinny and just standing straight, diddling his cape. Tejeda's figure is much more impressive in breadth and stance, looking as big as his teammates instead of much smaller. Tejeda also angles the popped collar to look coolish, instead of like a child's Dracula costume.
For more by Tommy Tejeda, check out his blog, Vibrational Frequencies. I'm also having a spotlight at my blogs, so give 'em a look.
- Earth's Mightiest Heroes
- 2001 Justice League Animated Art
- 2007 Lobo verses Wolverine
- 2009 The Submariner vs. Aquaman
- 2009 Tigra versus Cheetah by Tommy Tejeda
- 2009 Warner Brothers Animation Mural in Burbank, CA
- 2010 Doctor Strange vs. Doctor Fate
- Tommy Tejeda Martian Manhunter Art Gallery
- Tommy Tejeda Wonder Woman Art Gallery