8.30.2014

ZEPPELIN HEIGHTS

Another day, another blog post.

So I had an idea ... I've always loved team-ups in comics. I love when a couple heroes get together to fight some united front of villainy. World's Finest (Batman and Superman), Brave & the Bold (Green Lantern and Green Arrow), stuff like that. But even better is when teams get together and we see whole groups of heroes forced to interact. Huge stuff, like Secret Wars or House of M, stuff that affects everyone and shakes up the status quo.

And I love sci-fi. I love mad science ideas and all the crazy stuff that goes along with it. I love sci-fi characters and weapons and gadgets and junk and stuff. I love laser guns and jet packs and power rings and ... Well, it's a long list.

So I had the idea of combining all those things into a big crossover, but I needed an event, something major for everyone to get together over. That meant WAR. But I've already trashed Victory City a dozen times over in the multiple story lines I've got coming up. I wanted to create some place new for things to happen, some place even more mad-science and crazy-idea than Victory City already is.

Don't ask me how -- because I honestly don't remember the actual impetus -- but that led to ZEPPELIN HEIGHTS, the city in the sky, suspended by dirigibles and traveling all around the world, picking up refugees and survivors, creators and scientists, in an effort to create a better world.

Now that I think about it, there's some Flash Gordon in there. Probably some of Star Wars' Cloud City as well (which is just saying Flash Gordon anyway).

So war comes to Zeppelin Heights as the city is conveniently traveling to Victory City. Only this is different, because the invading army is a bunch of Fifth Reich time travelers coming back to our time and aligning themselves with Czernobog and his legion of demons from a hell dimension. The Fifth Reich has laid waste to the planet in their timeline so they figured "Screw it, we'll go back and invade someone else's time and just take all their shit."

Nazis are jerks.

ELECTRELLA EVERSMITH
So the good guys from the future come back in time to prevent the Nazi/demon takeover from happening, enlisting the aid of heroes such as the Victory Knights, the Black Hawk family, Night Shift, and many, many more.

This is planned as a Secret Wars level EVENT.

But enough of that. Let's get down to some characters and junk and stuff!

(I'm starting to think I should've named my blog '... And junk and stuff.')

First up is Electrella Eversmith. How great is that name? She's a wielder of the crimson volta, which is like ... which is a surprise. Tough shit. I loved designing her. I love her style. She's got a great hat and check out that chest! I mean the lightning bolt on the chest, not the chesty part itself.
COL. BLACKSTORM

Perverts.

Next up is Colonel Blackstorm. He's Electrella's battlefield commander, like Robert Duvall in 'Apocalypse Now' but with less surfing and not such a douchebag. He's the guy who has to make the hard battlefield decisions. Electrella gets to say 'Send in the ground troops!' but Blackstorm actually knows who those people are and that they're probably gonna die.

CRIMSON VOLT
Lots of people are gonna die in this story, just FYI. I planning on squeezing the status quo by the nuts and making it scream like a bitch.

One of these days I'll post the raw work I did to make this guy happen. There's so much vector work in his turbine arm that it's silly.

The next guy is the Crimson Volt -- not to be confused with crimson volta or the Crimson Bolt. He's the embodiment of the volta and Electrella's boyfriend -- lucky bastard. He can do some serious damage with those mojo hands of his. Also a fun design.
THE FOG


MISTY
This next guy is The Fog and I just love him. He's cold, cantankerous, bristly, blunt to the point of rudeness and maddeningly effective. Everyone would distance themselves from him but he's just too damn good at what he does. That's why he's got his three devoted sidekicks, Misty, Smoky and Cloudy.

I just realized I never finished Cloudy's illo. Gotta make time for that.

SMOKY
Back to The Fog -- I really dig his look. I'm posting him with and without the helmet because I'm still stuck wondering which is better to use. I could draw someone in a loin cloth with that helmet and they'd be interesting enough, but I also really like the idea of someone seeing that helmet pumping fog out of the sides as it comes at them like a freight train in the dark. Then again, he's not a guy who would care about a helmet because he just kills every bad guy he encounters.

These are my thoughts, folks.

CLOUDY
And what the hell, here's a nice detail shot of that helmet. I looked at art deco trains of the 1930s and 40s for inspiration and I think it's reflected pretty nicely here. That front lower jaw piece? That's a cow-catcher.

I'm not kidding.

KLYDE
Moving on, we have KLYDE. Ten feet tall with a hammer that shoots shotgun shells. KLYDE don't take no crap.

Still not happy with how the texture of his skin worked out, but don't tell him I said that.

I'm not sure how I forgot the most important guy in all of this until now, but here he is: DOKTOR NACHT, the bipolar, hypo maniac, Bavarian, rock n' roll mad scientist creator of ZEPPELIN HEIGHTS.
DOKTOR NACHT
DOK NACHT is everything you love about rock n' roll and absolutely do not want in one of the most brilliant minds ever to strut his bad self across the face of our earth wearing a pair of leather jodhpurs. When I say mad scientist I mean that he really is crazy as hell. He's a drug addict, a drunk, a hyper genius, guitarist in a German rock band and all around lunatic.

I love him.

And with that I'm gonna call an audible. This post ran long, so I'm breaking it into two parts. Part II will introduce you to more heroes, including GRACIE SPACE, the AEROSQUADRON SKYROCKETS and KENSAI. Here's a low res version of a big ass poster to tide you over.

Until that time, Eustace. Until that time ...

S.