Redesigning the Future

Anyone who’s seen the newly released Marvel solicitations for comics shipping in July will have seen this cover image (IF you perused every image, as I tend to do– if not, this’ll be new to you). It’s the cover to FRIENDLY NEIGHBORHOOD SPIDER-MAN #10… and it’s an homage to the cover from AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #122. You’ll notice that SPIDER-MAN (2006) is holding a limp SPIDER-MAN 2211 in his arms. He’s a character that appeared in just a few panels of a prestige format book from about 15 years back called SPIDER-MAN 2099 MEETS SPIDER-MAN written by Peter David and illustrated by the incredible Rick Leonardi.

This is a shot of SPIDER-MAN 2211 from that original book. Although I’m a HUGE Leonardi fan, I’m not all that enamored with this design for the character. Chances are, since he was a character that only appeared in a few panels of this book, Rick might have designed him on the fly– figuring he might never be seen again. Well– he’s back. And since I wasn’t all that thrilled with his original design– and knew that I’d be drawing him quite a bit for this particular story arc, I asked Marvel if I could redesign him, and they agreed.

Here’s what I came up with:




As you can see, it’s not really so much a redesign as a…. streamlining of the character. I like things that are more rounded and fluid when it comes to drawing… and so I wanted SPIDER-MAN 2211’s costume/uniform to reflect that. I made his mechanical arms more reminiscent of DOC OCK’s arms for more easy movement. Imagine actually HAVING 6 arms, with shoulder sockets and elbows to contend with on a normal-length torso, and you can imagine the difficulty of movement– and of trying to DRAW smooth, heroic movement with that impediment. Plus, with the more fluid, OCK-like arms, SM 2211 could slightly stretch and retract them as needed (though not NEARLY as much as DOC….). I also gave his helmet a more spider-like appearance by giving him goggles and adding four more eyes/apertures/sensors above them. And the helmet also gives the impression of spider-mandibles with its new look.

So there you go. YOU decide whether the redesign makes sense or not. It certainly did for me– and made the character much more fun and interesting to draw. This post is pretty image-heavy… so my apologies to those folks on dial-up…..

This is Entry 217.


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