Tag Archives: DC Comics

Love is a temporary madness. (Sanji’s Star Sapphire)

4 Dec

Like Nami, Franky and Brook before him, Sanji’s lantern motivation comes from one the simplest character traits about him: he loves ladies. All of them I might add, in his field of vision.

Though it is often played for comedic affect, as he gets turned down, acts goofy or has to deal with some unattractive admirers, its hard to deny that Sanji is actually quite passionate. He’s a chef who touts quite a bit of knowledge about his craft and understands, better than anyone, the importance of food. He won’t fight with his hands at risk of losing them, his passion and reason for being. He’s passionate about the crew (especially the ladies), his dreams of the All Blue and his mentor for giving him life. He is a romantic and a lover of loving love and thats why he fits into the Star Sapphire’s.

The Star Sapphire’s wear violet power rings fueled by the emotion of love, one of the two emotions, with the other being rage, that most influence their user. The corp mostly consists of women, who have been loved and spurned and the Star Sapphire power was originally used as a way to enact revenge. Now they use their overwhelming power of Love to aid people, sometimes forcing them to change their minds along the way, by encasing them in a mind-warping crystal. This was the most difficult one to work with, not because of Sanji’s normal outfit, but because of the Star Sappphire standard wears. The corp is mostly made of women and their costume takes the form of a crystal swimsuit. I’m sure Sanji looks good in a violet speedo but we’ve already got on guy in the crew doing that so…

I think if you are out looking for love, a suit is the way to go guys. You look composed, thoughtful and all together powerful in the face of any challenge. Sanji knows this; he owns the suit. So it made sense to just work with the idea of a pink suit, playing to his sensitive and understanding nature. Pink is romantic and charming. Pink conveys a playfulness about someone.

There are several levels of sophistication in this outfit, especially when the pink is paired with his grey undershirt. The two compliment each other, blending rather than clashing. I didn’t want to adorn this outfit with the rather large symbol, so like Brook’s, I worked it into the shoes, which again I am very proud of. The reason that I am focusing so much on the importance of shoes stems from my love of a recent modern noir film titled Brick. The tale is about a former drug dealer who acts a detective & begins to unravel the murder of his former lover and if you haven’t seen it, I suggest you do. The director Rian Johnson uses shoes a design element and way to “instantly snapshot the essence of the characters”, a quote which really struck me. So Sanji’s shoes represent sophistication and a sort of chivalrous heroism. They are reminiscent of a more western style of shoe; a bit of a cowboy feel to them. Perfect for rescuing damsels in distress…

Anger is never without reason (Zolo’s Red Lantern)

3 Dec

Although Roronoa Zolo’s life hasn’t been the whirlwind of tragedy that many of the other Straw Hats have had, I still firmly believe that he is the crew member that best represents rage, which is the emotion tied to red light, and here’s why: According to Wikipedia, rage is a mental state that is one extreme of the intensity spectrum of anger, which is usually induced by a threat of some sort. When a person experiences rage, it usually lasts until the threat is removed or the person under rage is incapacitated. Rage can sometimes lead to a state of mind where the individual experiencing it believes, and often is capable of doing things that may normally seem physically impossible.

Zolo is not a character purely driven by rage but more of a disdain towards his situations and interactions with people and I think this stems from a past issues that he’s yet to overcome. As many of you may recall, when Zolo was first training to become a swordsman, he befriended a young girl who pushed not only his buttons but his limitations and belief in his own ability. She became the perfect catalyst for the growth of Zolo’s potential but unfortunately, met with an untimely end, prompting Zolo to make the promise to become the worlds greatest swordsman in her honor.

This character motivator is wonderfully complex. One on hand, it gives him honest and compelling justification towards his actions, making the reader feel more connected to the character, as he becomes closer and closer to achieving his goal. It allows the character to shine when he takes this step forward but when he gets set back, well that is a horse of a different color (sorry, really wanted to use that) Zolo, despite his notable victories, has been put in his place on a number of occasions. During his first encounter with Mihawk, he is devastated at his loss and nearly perishes because of it. Similarly, he is irked by the chance meeting with Tashigi, who bears a strikingly similar image to his long gone friend. What I am getting at, is that as much as this promise drives Zolo, he has essentially haunted by it and when he lacks to the ability to achieve his goals, it drives him to madness.

The same madness that many of the Red Lanterns in the DC universe have undergone. Formed by a shamanistic, intergalactic criminal, the RLC is a group of individuals who have had enough with the atrocities of this world. They, much like the Black Lanterns, are driven purely by the wrongs that were done to them and the revenge they seek to dish out to rectify that. The big notable difference between the abilities and appearance of the RLC with another other corp, is the use of blood. Upon donning their rings, the heart of the recipient is rendered useless, and the blood is changed to a corrosive, acidic state, used only in the violent nature of attack. But, as you’ll see in my Zolo design, blood is so much more than that…

I didn’t use the standard white shirt, haramaki and black pants outfits because to be absolutely honest, I find it really boring. I was really struck by a picture of Zolo, post battle, with his outfit torn and his body covered in blood. He looked defeated, hurt and like he was quietly building his rage to counteract this wrongdoing. So I took that, reformed his outfit to a toga-esque (but with pants) outfit and went “blood-crazy” with it. It’s interesting because the outfit is so unsophisticated that it really speaks to the nature of rage; that it is a baseline human trait.

The blood is on Zolo’s hands and its a fine color. It symbolizes the life and vitality that is in Zolo, covering his whole body to further emphasize the point that he is ready to take action. Red is also sometimes used as a color to protect us from our fears, because of its very bright intensity and associations with strength, which can also be interpreted here. As serious as this design is (blood stains on a black outfit. my lord), it is very energetic in a powerful, almost scary way. I had a lot of fun designing this outfit and this might be my most original piece in the collection. I wish I was better at doing the blood stains though.

In Brightest Day, In Blackest Night (Luffy D. Monkey’s Green Lantern)

28 Nov

I can’t think of a better One Piece character to start off with. Luffy D. Monkey is the hero of our title this month and the captain of the Straw Hat Pirates. Although he can be absent-minded, overly boisterous and just down right exhausting, Luffy is a man with a golden heart. He is willing to literally stick his neck out for his friends and often puts his own life on the line for the safety of not only their physical being but their hopes and dreams. He is the perfect choice for a Green Lantern and before I get into why exactly, let me tell you a bit about the Green Lantern corp itself; in terms of admittance, design, etc.

The GLC is an intergalactic police forces that patrols up to 3600 sectors of the universe, accumulating over 7200 members in the entire corp, as two lanterns are assigned to patrol each sector. Members are chosen by the ring for being able to overcome great fear, as well as for their notable responsibility and honesty. Upon recruitment, each  Lantern receives a Power Ring, a Power Battery shaped like a lantern (with which the ring is recharged), and a uniform. The default uniform design was a green section covering the torso and shoulders, black arms and legs, green boots, white gloves, green domino mask, and a chest symbol of a stylized Green Lantern icon on a white circle (Reference Picture here). Lanterns were allowed to customize their uniforms as long as the color scheme and the symbol were present .

What I present to you now, is Luffy’s Green Lantern uniform

Luffy’s costume was very easy to design, because although Luffy fits the honest and strong willful nature of a Green Lantern, I see him being very particular about what he wears. Meaning he wouldn’t be too keen on wearing a uniform like everyone else. So I didn’t want to take that individuality from him. Also, what he’s wearing originally synchs up with what a Green Lantern stands for. His vest, which is usually open, and torn shorts show that Luffy isn’t afraid of hiding anything about him; he is exposed to the world around him.

Despite the individualistic differences, this look is still very uniformal though. Black is the most dominant color, creating a sleek, powerful look, which is accented by the green at the top of his vest & hat. It’s color theory in action; the Black, a color normally associated with power, grounds & empowers Luffy while the Green, close to his heart and mind, allow him the freedom to pursue new ideas. Its a very balanced look and gives Luffy a much-needed composure, which make him perfect for fighting crime. I really like subtly, especially when it comes to symbolism, so instead of going for the big, bold Lantern smack dab on Luffy’s chest, I placed it off to the side, as well as on the left side of the pants. David Welsh or the Manga Curmudgeon said that they reminded him of pockets, which he thinks Luffy would need considering all that he eats.

All in all, as I said before, I think Luffy is the perfect candidate for a Green Lantern, especially when it comes down to the Straw Hats. It was and wasn’t a tough decision; of all the emotions to choose from, Luffy can be paired with a number of them. He is hopeful in his dream to find One Piece and form his ultimate crew. He is compassionate towards others, especially his crew; look at the Arlong Park arc, as he comforts Nami in his own way before jumping into battle. When Luffy sets his mind to something, he will stop at nothing until it’s complete. And that’s why he’s a Green Lantern.