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Author Topic: Crime Syndicate Concept Art Thread  (Read 343 times)

Offline Tomato

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Crime Syndicate Concept Art Thread
« on: April 13, 2020, 02:25:44 AM »
For those not on the discord, despite being in the medical field, which you'd think would be in sore need right now, I was recently furloughed. Thankfully I qualify for unemployment, and I'm not in a horrible financial situation or anything, but I'm currently at home moping and generally not being productive.

Well, I'm not really up to skinning anything right now (I have a few projects lined up for that I might start when I'm less down) but I still want to be a bit creative/productive. As some of you in the Discord might have seen, I've been using a program called Fabrica de Herois (Hero Factory) to help make concept art as a starting point for skins I've been doing lately. They're very rough, and sometimes what emerges in the skinning process is 10x better, but it's helped me rough out ideas and color combinations so I can start getting skopes ready, as well as have something visual to show so I can bounce ideas off people.

The idea for this thread is to do basically the same thing, except do a bunch of characters, including those I might not necessarily intend to go back and skin. I know a lot of people like to see my thought process for creating characters, so this is sort of a fun exercise of that, without me having to feel obligated to turn around and skin every design I make. Not to say I won't ever skin versions of anything I post here, just that that's not the point of the thread.

So... yeah, if anyone has any suggestions, characters they'd like to see me take a crack at that maybe I haven't gotten around to yet or that are kind of low tier characters, suggest away. That said, obviously the intent is to do mirrors of actual DC characters (I love Marvel too, but DC is quite enough), and I'd really appreciate it if no one posted huge lists of characters all at once. Focus on a couple characters you really want me to tackle first, and we'll see how this goes.

Anyway, just to start things off and give an idea of what we'd be working with, here's some concept art I posted on the Discord of the Commander Malevolent family (Thanks to Benton for the name). I should note that despite Mazash just being the name of the Wizard in the Tomato CSA-verse (none of that Wizard's name is the hero name because of rights BS in MY headcanon), if I do skins of them down the line I'd likely do the extended Malevolent Family from the film/n52 version, I just kept to the original 3 for my proof of concept. I just wish they all had actual names. These are roughly based on the Captain Super designs from CoTE, with the original intended color schemes from the character designer that he posted on DeviantArt.


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Re: Crime Syndicate Concept Art Thread
« Reply #1 on: April 13, 2020, 06:30:55 PM »
I like them. I get a Legion vibe from the designs, a little Cosmic Boy and Lightning Lad. I also get a Zod vibe from the Commander.
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Offline GhostMachine

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Re: Crime Syndicate Concept Art Thread
« Reply #2 on: April 14, 2020, 04:17:54 AM »
Those designs look good.

How about evil versions of The Spectre and Deadman?




Offline BentonGrey

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Re: Crime Syndicate Concept Art Thread
« Reply #3 on: April 14, 2020, 06:15:01 PM »
'Mato, I'm sorry for how this has broken for you, my friend.  This seems like a nice idea for a low impact project to take your mind off of things.

I like the look of the Malevolent Family!

My suggestions would be maybe some more heroic versions of my Injustice League members.  I designed the DCUG IL with corresponding villains for my Big 7 League, so they'll fit as the core to the Justice Underground for the CSA as well.  They include:
  • Lex Luthor (Whom you've done)
  • Joker (Whom you've done)
  • Mirror Master
  • Solomon Grundy (I think a mirror version of him presents an interesting challenge)
  • Cheetah I (Justice version in the DCUG, essentially a human with cheetah powers through magic instead of mad science, but pretty much any version could work for a mirror twist)
  • Sinestro (who presents problems, because he is essentially his own mirror version)
  • Black Manta (We've got the excellent mirror universe version AA did years ago, which I'm currently using for his counterpart)

So, really, I guess I'm just suggesting Mirror Master, Grundy, and Cheetah, ha!

Other than them, the logical next steps in your program seem like more JLA members like Zatanna, Red Tornado, the Hawks, and Elongated Man or back to the past for more JSA members.
« Last Edit: April 14, 2020, 06:18:25 PM by BentonGrey »
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Offline Tomato

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Re: Crime Syndicate Concept Art Thread
« Reply #4 on: April 14, 2020, 07:53:58 PM »
How about evil versions of The Spectre and Deadman?

I only just saw this a bit ago, so I'm still brainstorming ideas for Deadman parallel, but for the Spectre...

The Wraith
Spoiler (click to show/hide)

Nothing special in terms of design (went back to the monster well that Spectre comes from conceptually), but I think given what the Spectre already is, a "mirror universe" version wouldn't actually be that different given how much the Spectre already stradles the line in terms of modern morality, killing whoever he deems worthy of his Vengeance. As such, I think he'd still be the Spirit of Vengeance in a mirror universe, but I think where the Wraith would differ is both in the character of his hosts, and how his Vengeance is then applied. I don't want to get too into the weeds with the religious aspect, but where the main DC tends to focus on vengeance for sins of murder and greed, Wraith would focus on sins of Pride, Dishonesty, Corruption and Hypocrisy... especially if the primary host was a criminal forced to steal to survive.

  • Mirror Master
  • Solomon Grundy (I think a mirror version of him presents an interesting challenge)
  • Cheetah I (Justice version in the DCUG, essentially a human with cheetah powers through magic instead of mad science, but pretty much any version could work for a mirror twist)
  • Sinestro (who presents problems, because he is essentially his own mirror version)

Eh, I disagree. Yes, if we go by the post-crisis of the CSA and the Qwardians being from the same universe you can SORT OF make that case (even though Sinestro was from the main universe and merely got his ring from Qward)... but while they got some good stories out of it, I'm personally of the mindset that the mirror universes (Which in Tomato-canon are not E3 or whatever, but E-1, E-2, etc... borrowing from DC's designations for the Dark/Negative Multiverse) have or had parallels to everyone in the main universes.

So, yeah, I'll add the 4 of them to the list, Dextro included.

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Offline Deaths Jester

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Re: Crime Syndicate Concept Art Thread
« Reply #5 on: April 14, 2020, 08:29:32 PM »

The Wraith
Spoiler (click to show/hide)


Finally...someone does an alt avatar of...oh wait....blast it!!!
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Offline Tomato

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Re: Crime Syndicate Concept Art Thread
« Reply #6 on: April 15, 2020, 01:50:30 AM »
Don't be salty just because you're too lazy to send me your avatar for other projects when I asked, I didn't even remember that was his name (tbf, I think of most FR members by their usernames). Wraith is just another spectral monster type thing and worked for "Evil" Spectre.

Death Wish
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After managing to make his way onto the most wanted lists of several cities, Career Cat Burglar Boston Brand, seeking a new kind of thrill, decided to hide himself in plain sight. He adapted his skills from his years of death defying criminal escapades to the trapeze, making a new name for himself as "Death Wish," a World Renowned Circus Performer. However, his newfound fame and popularity did not sate Boston's greed, and soon he had amassed a network of pickpockets and ne'er-do-wells both in and out of the Circus, until the day that his own gang rose against him. Tired of having to pay Boston his cut, his closest lieutenants sabotaged his trapeze lines, causing Boston to fall to his death.

However, mysterious forces would grant Boston's spirit a chance to seek Revenge. But after tracking down all those who had wronged him, Boston found he had once again become addicted to this new kind of thrill.

Offline GhostMachine

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Re: Crime Syndicate Concept Art Thread
« Reply #7 on: April 15, 2020, 02:54:54 AM »
Those both look great, Tomato! The Wraith looks better than I could have imagined. But do you envision his full skeleton being visible beneath the cloak when its not in a resting position, or would his limbs be invisible?

An alternate Sinestro, depending on the point on his career, would either be an evil Green Lantern (ie, another Power Ring) or a good Yellow Lantern. But if a Yellow, it could be a Yellow Lantern outfit or his costume before they decided to add more Lantern Corps.


Offline Tomato

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Re: Crime Syndicate Concept Art Thread
« Reply #8 on: April 15, 2020, 03:28:34 AM »
I saw Wraith as being more or less like the classic depictions of Death, the skeleton in a cloak version. For the most part I imagine the cloak covering most of him, with the skull in shadow, but the skeleton arms coming out when he goes to claim the victims of his Vengeance.

As for Dextro/Dextero (I'm being super wishy washy on this, what do you guys think?), I think he'd absolutely have been a Power Ring, but much like Jessica in the main DCU, he stood up to the Ring's influence and his own Fears and used the power of the ring to dismantled the brutal regime of the previous Power Ring on his home world. After being exposed by Joseph Harrolds (Hal Jordan counterpart) and having his powers stripped from him, he enlisted aid from Volthooms enemies to create a ring fueled by Courage, and used it to try to free others ensnared by the promises of power given by Volthoom.

Offline BentonGrey

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Re: Crime Syndicate Concept Art Thread
« Reply #9 on: April 15, 2020, 04:13:15 AM »
Nice!  I like the Wraith and the Deadman ersatz.  For my own personal headcanon and DCU theology, I wouldn't have an Anti-Matter Specter for much the reasons you point to, but it's a nice design, fittingly creepy.

Eh, I disagree. Yes, if we go by the post-crisis of the CSA and the Qwardians being from the same universe you can SORT OF make that case (even though Sinestro was from the main universe and merely got his ring from Qward)... but while they got some good stories out of it, I'm personally of the mindset that the mirror universes (Which in Tomato-canon are not E3 or whatever, but E-1, E-2, etc... borrowing from DC's designations for the Dark/Negative Multiverse) have or had parallels to everyone in the main universes.

So, yeah, I'll add the 4 of them to the list, Dextro included.

Yeah, you know my design philosophy for the DCUG, streamline where possible and go for a 'neater and tidier' universe.  I like the Qward/CSA connection as it simplifies matters and makes sense.  In general, I feel like the CSA concept gets a little fuzzy around the edges when off-planet characters get involved, but Sinestro is the only one that gets particularly troublesome to me.  I wonder if his alternate would end up coming tou the main universe and getting a Green Lantern ring....ha!  Nonetheless, I'll still be very interested to see your alternate Sinestro!

:EDIT: I like the backstory!  I do think having him crossover and get a GL ring would be rather fitting, ha. 

:EDIT 2: What's your reasoning for the name?  Actually, seeing as Sinestro himself is just going by his last name, would this guy also just be Sinestro?  :lol:  Ha, ah, I see it.
« Last Edit: April 15, 2020, 04:23:41 AM by BentonGrey »
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Offline daglob

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Re: Crime Syndicate Concept Art Thread
« Reply #10 on: April 15, 2020, 09:10:34 AM »
I saw Wraith as being more or less like the classic depictions of Death, the skeleton in a cloak version. For the most part I imagine the cloak covering most of him, with the skull in shadow, but the skeleton arms coming out when he goes to claim the victims of his Vengeance.

As for Dextro/Dextero (I'm being super wishy washy on this, what do you guys think?), I think he'd absolutely have been a Power Ring, but much like Jessica in the main DCU, he stood up to the Ring's influence and his own Fears and used the power of the ring to dismantled the brutal regime of the previous Power Ring on his home world. After being exposed by Joseph Harrolds (Hal Jordan counterpart) and having his powers stripped from him, he enlisted aid from Volthooms enemies to create a ring fueled by Courage, and used it to try to free others ensnared by the promises of power given by Volthoom.

 :thumbup:

Offline Deaths Jester

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Re: Crime Syndicate Concept Art Thread
« Reply #11 on: April 15, 2020, 02:28:24 PM »
'mato: During Age of Hellscorp/Volt my avatar used the name Wraith - normally it's Death's Jester. My comment - I'm always salty, baby - was more about the skeletal "remains" than the name....

...and you really think I know where my avatar is?!? Have you seen how much I drinj?!? O_O
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Offline Tomato

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Re: Crime Syndicate Concept Art Thread
« Reply #12 on: April 15, 2020, 02:46:16 PM »
https://twitter.com/TomatoisJP/status/1250432216540180484

I'm being wishy washy on it. Both technically work (Sinestro changes the ending to "tro" and changes the second vowel of Sinister to an "e". Dexter doesn't have a second vowel outside of the changed ending, so I can either add one with Dextero or leave it off for Dextro.) I just can't decide what sounds better.

Offline daglob

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Re: Crime Syndicate Concept Art Thread
« Reply #13 on: April 15, 2020, 02:50:11 PM »
'mato: During Age of Hellscorp/Volt my avatar used the name Wraith - normally it's Death's Jester. My comment - I'm always salty, baby - was more about the skeletal "remains" than the name....

...and you really think I know where my avatar is?!? Have you seen how much I drinj?!? O_O

He could look in the avatar archive I have on Mediafire...

Offline Tomato

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Re: Crime Syndicate Concept Art Thread
« Reply #14 on: April 15, 2020, 04:07:35 PM »
I feel like I did that and I couldn't find the version I was most familiar with (the one I based his pony on) but I'll look again at some point.

@Benton: Why would he get a green ring from the prime universe if PR also has a green ring? I feel like he'd get the Guardians to make him a Yellow one based on Volthoom's design. Also, like with the GLs (Joseph Harrolds, etc), in my head his name is Dextero/Dextro Thuul.

Spoiler (click to show/hide)

Two versions, one based on his pre-Corps days and one post. Yes, they're in some respects just inversions, but I did so based on artwork of an "Anti-World" Sinestro from "The Green Lantern" series.

Offline Tomato

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Re: Crime Syndicate Concept Art Thread
« Reply #15 on: April 15, 2020, 09:32:06 PM »
Sir Grundy

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So for those not aware, Sir Solomon Grundy is actually already canon to the Morrison era version of the Justice Underground. The canon version is a bit more posh, but I opted for a more "Those were the clothes Cyrus died in" type of look (were I to skin it, there'd be more holes and tears and general frumpiness, but that's too much effort to add in here). If anyone wonders how he still maintains the monocle and hat... magic.

Offline GhostMachine

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Re: Crime Syndicate Concept Art Thread
« Reply #16 on: April 16, 2020, 12:39:23 AM »
Maybe his soul is actually trapped in either the monocle or hat. Sort of like how the hat makes Frosty The Snowman alive.

Offline BentonGrey

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Re: Crime Syndicate Concept Art Thread
« Reply #17 on: April 16, 2020, 05:07:40 AM »
Haha!  I want to see a canon story about how his hat is magic and can survive anything.  We need to know about Sir Grundy's monocle and hat!  Those are the burning questions that need answering. 

So, 'Mato, fair point about the ring color.  I hadn't thought about the fact that Power Ring is already green, and you lose the contrast without a yellow ring for him.

Dextro (my choice, little cleaner): Both of those are nice, clean designs.  I think I particularly like the yellow one.  The issue I'm running into is one we've talked about before.  For many of the CSA, their classic designs are such that they could really be just alternate versions of their main universe counterparts.  Your designs fit perfectly in that sense.  However, when designing CSA universe characters, I always find myself wanting something more distinctive.  I like the inversion of #2, but...hmm...maybe no mustache?  Haha, that would communicate that it isn't the same guy just about better than anything else I can think of, as Sinestro's mustache is his signature!  :lol:

Sir Grundy: Yeah, here we run into a similar issue, for my view.  His original design seemed too similar, poshness not withstanding.  How about some color?  Maybe a blue or red coat?  Or at least some highlights of color, methinks. 
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Offline Tomato

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Re: Crime Syndicate Concept Art Thread
« Reply #18 on: April 22, 2020, 01:58:05 AM »
I'm still trying to nail down my thought process on Cheetah (Silverlion gave me an interesting idea, but I haven't sat down and played with it yet) but for now I wanted to knock out another of Benton's requests, Mirror Master. However, I realized right from the start that doing Scudder was nearly impossible on his own... I needed to have at least some idea of how the Rogues, and specifically Captain Cold, worked if I was to do any members of the group justice.

The idea I hit upon was pretty simple: Building off the idea of the Renegades from the n52, my heroic mirror take on the Rogues, rather than being vigilante heroes, would actually be fully deputized Police Officers. Led by the honorable Commissioner Leonard Snart, colloquially "Commissioner Cold," the Honor Guard (tentative name) take up more advanced armaments in defending Central City from Johnny Quick. This not only works to separate the mirror Rogues from other superheroes in a similar way to their comic counterparts, it also justifies the ranks being part of so many of their names (Though I personally think Captain Harkness would leave the Captain out of his name, because "Captain Boomerang" just sounds ridiculous). I've only done counterparts for two of the Rogues so far (Cold and MM) but the others would be similarly molded by their police background.

Commissioner Cold
Spoiler (click to show/hide)

So for Snart, I imagine him being part of a long line of Policemen, someone who takes pride in the badge and what it stands for. Very much a lead from the front sort of man, he refused to sit on the sidelines while his men took on Johnny Quick, and was in fact the first to get his hands on experimental weaponry to take him down. The more colorful guise was his idea as well, his Cold gear adapted from his old police uniform to give citizens colorful heroes to put their faith in (as well as merchandising to get the department much needed funds).

Mirror Major
Spoiler (click to show/hide)

Scudder's basic design is obviously based on JL Doom, but I've attempted to make the design a bit more tactical. The idea is that Scudder is actually a former Army Major, thus the name. He's not super straight laced or anything, but he does have some limited background in combat (though being an officer, grain of salt there) and as such gravitated to a more tactical bent for his "uniform."

Offline Tomato

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Re: Crime Syndicate Concept Art Thread
« Reply #19 on: May 12, 2020, 07:19:34 AM »
So I made another one of these, because, and I forgot to post the other here before now (I had shown it to Benton on the Discord)

Lioness
Spoiler (click to show/hide)

Of all the requests Benton made, this is one I struggled with the most. Unfortunately, Cheetah is a character I don't have a ton of attachment to... I feel she's only really become Wonder Woman's "archenemy" because she's the villain most people remember thanks to Super Friends. Add to that the fact that she's yet ANOTHER woman in a catsuit, which is ground that's been pretty thoroughly mined both in and out of the big two and trying to come up with something fresh was a bit tough.

Now, originally I was trying to come up with something for Jaguar, since it'd be ground that hasn't really been as heavily mined, but I wasn't happy with my attempts... either they were too similar to Cheetah prime, or they just didn't look great. It was finally thanks to Silverlion's suggestion of tying her origin to the Nemean lion which got the ball rolling.

For those unaware, the Nemean Lion was the first labor of Heracles/Hercules. Supposedly, after killing the beast, he used its hide to make a magical set of armor, which he supposedly wore during his war on Hippolyte/Hippolyta. It made sense that someone seeking to stop another Amazon (because that's who my headcannon Superwoman is, none of this Lois Lane/Mary Marvel garbage) would seek to utilize similar magical armor.

I should note, the armor is not intended to be Heracles' own, but a set made from a Nemean Lioness by Priscilla.

Blood Eagle
Spoiler (click to show/hide)

So for several reasons I'm not really in any hurry to skin evil Carter (his time may come eventually, but Benton has a serviceable version and Razor Hawk/Evil Hawkgirl has been such a hassle I'm in no hurry to start ANOTHER Hawk anytime soon. Still, given the direction I took Hawkgirl, I more or less already knew where I was going with the design. The only thing I'm not sure on is the Mace... I'll probably just do the same one I used for Razor Hawk, since the two usually have matching maces, but I almost think it's a shame there's no Injustice Hawkman model.

Helmet is supposed to reference Sky Tyrant, and the outfit is the Thanagarian Armor worn by Hro Talak in the DCAU.

Offline BentonGrey

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Re: Crime Syndicate Concept Art Thread
« Reply #20 on: May 12, 2020, 04:19:53 PM »
So, I've already told you how much I like the Lioness design (though I'm not 100% certain about the cat nose bit).  It's a great solution and reimagines her in an interesting way.

As for Blood Eagle, the helmet is great, very evil looking.  I'm liking the costume, a nice parallel to evil Hawkgirl.  Maybe a complete chest covering?  I sort of like the irony that evil Hawkman has more clothes than good Hawkman, ha.  That's a minor thing, though.  I think he's looking good.  I'd say the same mace is fine.
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Re: Crime Syndicate Concept Art Thread
« Reply #21 on: May 13, 2020, 12:14:18 AM »
Interesting design for Cheetah, not something I would have ever thought of but your explanation works well.
Blood Eagle looks good too and matches with the Hawkgirl skin you posted.
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