Wednesday, May 29, 2013

2013 “New 52 Thantos” art by “Illegal Machine”

Click To Enlarge

As previously mentioned, my best friend “Illegal Machine” was instrumental in the creation of this blog, and decided to doodle a Martian Manhunter villain for me a number of months back. I kept putting off posting the art for various reasons, then lost the file to an OS change, and asked for it to be re-sent in April. The Ill Mac was never really happy with the first piece though, so my request started him down the road to revision for a more thorough reworking of Thantos the 3-In-1 Man. As he put it, "I'm obsessed with how the [redacted] to draw his eye sockets/nose with 3 eyes."

My response to the above offering was, “Oooo! I like this one a lot better than the "real thing." Very cool alien vibe, although I am compelled to point out that he can no longer use his head like a drill bit. He's clearly Post-Crisis, then.” I very much enjoyed the way Thantos' unibrow formed a sort of winged creature, the soft but still unsettling eyes, the broad flat nose, and the metal neck guard. Regardless, the Ill Mac was compelled to begin again from scratch...

Click To Enlarge

“I forgot about the drillbit head. Hmm. Maybe I'll take another shot tonight. He started to turn out a little "Main Evil Guy From Harry Potter Whose Name I Can't Remember". I was also trying to picture how his head would be drawn from the side. NOT IMPORTANT.

I was looking at some of the pics of him you have on the site, and I honestly don't think his original creator had a clue how his head was constructed. Just a jumble of lines around the sketchy parts. I RESPECT HIS BOLDNESS, THOUGH.”
What I dubbed the "New 52" model was closer to Joe Certa's original design than Not-Really-All-That-Lord Voldemort-Like. It was also many times more creepily inhuman. I still quite like his first try, but it's a question of magnitude, with the first being a sympathetic vivisectionist and the second being full throttle genocidal horror show. Those three soulless eyes atop that crooked plastic doll face gives me the heebie-jeebies, and the spiral neckpiece didn't just allude to his drilling powers, but let you know that he did horrible things with them. "I don't know whether to congratulate you or report you to the authorities. Let me know when you're satisfied enough to stop drawing and I'll post this beast. Very impressive!"

Click To Enlarge

The Illegal Machine continued to elongate Thantos' head, polish his chrome, and fill out his shoulders to better suggest his towering height (even in comparison to J'onn J'onzz.) Secure in his mastery of "Thanatos" (I had to correct him repeatedly,) Ill Mac thought "Maybe side view?" Possibly unwise, given his audience. I unleashed a litany of off-color jokes about Thantos' rather phallic profile, which apparently did not amuse the Mac, as he packed up his (sex?) toys and stormed home. I pressed him to see if he had anything left to offer. "I'm totally going to post the side view. It adds a psychosexual/body horror element to the character-- kind of a mutant Brian DePalma thing. I just had to tease you because a) peen hee-hee! and b) it's totally going to come up one way or another if I lay it down for public display." Mac gave me a list of three bullet points he wanted covered in the post, all of which were illustrated best above, but I thought I'd use his final point verbatim.
"the eyes/ cheek bones/mandible were interesting on the actual in-comic renderings of Thantos...when you look at it closely, you can tell the artist didn't put much thought into how his face is actually structured. I always like to picture what the skull underneath looks like when I draw. Pretty challenging with this dude."
Despite giving the Ill Mac a hard time over the 3-in-1 Man (see what I did there,) I still think this revision of the character is friggin' awesome. As much as I dig the Vile Menagerie, I figure a lot of these guys are irredeemable goofs bound for the scrapheap. I never would have figured Thantos' silly ass could be salvaged, but the Ill Mac did such a magnificent job with his update, I could totally see him as a player in modern comics. I got a Thantos commission at Comicpalooza that has dazzled everybody who has seen it, but these are still my favorite illustrations of the character...

...Even if it does look like he totally had a guest appearance in Farrah Superstar: Backdoor Teen Mom...


Click To Enlarge

The Ill Mac can't stop fiddling with his third eye drillbit. After this post was published, he decided to take one more pass at the 3-in-1 Man's side view. I made a lot of penis jokes over his previous try, but now... I think it looks even more like a circumcised pecker than ever before. Mark 1 was more like one of those Pyrex wands. Why yes, I do give these sorts of matters considerable thought...


Anonymous said...

Glad you picked up on #1 thoughtful, cerebral alien-villain-bro, and #2 a villain who looks like he would drill through things with his head.

Side profile is a mess. Proportions are totally different. Disaster. ...and its the cheek bones that make it look so....dirty....

Also, now that you mention "plastic doll face" I realize he kinda looks like the doll from Saw. Oh well.

It was fun drawing THANATOS. I relish any excuse to put pencil to paper in my world of spreadsheets and traffic.

-Illegal Machine

Diabolu Frank said...

I don't think I've ever had the opportunity to mention this, but your design is vastly different from the Jigsaw Killer's in that yours doesn't suck a duck. Aside from the high cheekbones and alopecia, there's not much in common. I'm incapable of fearing anything that paints one of those hippy spirals on their face. The stupid doll looks so damned cheap I imagine it breaking randomly like a McFarlane figure. Tobin Bell blew his budget on traps.