My last post covered the first part of the heroes of ZEPPELIN HEIGHTS, so today we'll finish that out because to do otherwise would just be rude.

This fun little gal is GRACIE SPACE, our astronaut of the piece. She ends up going into space to overtake a kinetic bombardment satellite AKA a "Rod from God." The "Rod from God" is basically just a giant tungsten telephone pole that is dropped from orbit. The destructive force comes from the kinetic energy of the giant rod impacting the Earth. It's like dropping a small nuke without all that messy radiation. Moving at at least 9 kilometers per second -- orbital velocities, folks -- the weapon would inflict massive damage. Conceived of as a bunker buster, the weapon has the explosive yield of a small tactical nuke.

These are the things I read about in my spare time.

She originally wore mirror shades until I realized she had no way of taking them when wearing her helmet. But does that really matter in space?

Next up is one of the Nightsabers. These gals are special operations forces dedicated to personal security and special missions. There's only about a dozen of them, but they are scary lethal. This particular NIGHTSABER is the personal security for COLONEL BLACKSTORM (seen in part I) and she has dedicated her life to protecting him in any way necessary. As a result, she's kind of a bitch.

SILVER STAR is your basic infantryman, except his body's been turned into organic steel. He's strong enough to lift a city bus, invulnerable, fast, just the perfect soldier in every way. Imagine a whole platoon of these guys fighting a war. How badass would that be? The guy could punch a hole in tanks.

Then there's KENSAI. I had so much fun drawing this guy. I had just got my hands on Manga Studio 5 -- the program I use for comic book inking and production -- and was playing with the new brushes and settings and junk and stuff. Everything about inking him just flowed with such precision and grace ... Ever have a moment when you feel like your actions are guided by a higher power? Well, the bad news is that's not God. That's you tapping into the higher resources of your brain, using a greater percentage then you normally would and pushing yourself through evolution.

There is no God. There is only you on this Earth. And that is wonderful.

KENSAI is Japanese for 'sword saint.' Miyamoto Musashi and Kojiro Sasaki were KENSAI. Musashi once developed the two-sworded fighting style while in combat against dozens of samurai and he won. Later on he killed Kojiro Sasaki with a wooden katana he carved out of an oar on the boat ride over to their duel.

Miyamoto Musashi was real. That man walked our Earth.

My KENSAI is like that, except his sword is carved from an actual dragon's tooth and the spirit of that creature is now starting to overtake his body. So, y'know, drama.

Im including his raw inks so you can see my process and why I enjoyed inking him so much. I'm not sure which version I like better, to be honest.

TALOS here was a real pain in the ass to design, mainly because I was making him way too complex originally. TALOS comes from Greek mythology, the first robot, a giant man of bronze who protected Europa from Crete.

I love the Greeks and their mythology.

So I kept over-designing and screwing up the designs for TALOS until finally I stripped him back down and gave him a pseudo-Spartan helmet. Tossed the T on his chest and that was all I needed.

He is, of course, 12 feet tall. And there's a dark secret behind his creation because he comes from Greek mythology. And his illo is, of course, unfinished.

I have ADD.

See these here AEROSQUADRON SKYROCKETS? I'm gonna re-design them. I don't like them. Well, I do like the jet pack. And I kind of dig the helmet. But there's just too much crap on that outfit. I need to strip them down the way I did TALOS and get back to the core concept of a legion of flying soldiers (screw you, Air Force) who act as air cavalry instead of paratroopers.

And that's it for now. There's a couple other unfinished illos on the big spread, and maybe someday I'll tell you folks about them. For now they're just the beginnings of ideas that I took too far, as opposed to complete ideas that I haven't finished yet.

Not sure what tomorrow will bring. More MIDNIGHT CONFIDENTIAL? More MIDNIGHT THEATRE? Feel free to share your opinions in the comments and let me know what you think!

"Quickly, Robin! To the Bat-poles!"


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