Saturday, 18 May 2013

Thunderbolts week

Here's a rough sketch of Mach 4 of Thunderbolts
(at least I think its the fourth version).
aka Abner Jenkins aka The Beetle.

I enjoyed doing this, I'm not to familiar with thunderbolts so
it was fun researching the team.

I'm going to clean this up, might even try colour it too.
Hope you like it, see you all next week.

Monday, 13 May 2013

Songbird! Now with Pretty colours!



As I've said before, I love the Thunderbolts team, so much so that we had to do a Thunderbolts REDUX week to make up for the last one. Thunderbolts was actually one of the few comics I collected religiously from issue 1, and it's definitely the comic I collected the longest. From the Busiek/Bagley era, to the Ellis/Deodato run all the way up to my personal favourite run by Jeff Parker, Kev Walker & Ireland's own Declan Shalvey. I've grown up with these characters so this week was a big deal for me. Songbird was the obvious choice because she's one of the original members back when the T'Bolts were villains posing as heroes. But she quickly got the hero bug and went legit and it's a crime that she has yet to make it to Avengers status. Soon though Melissa will get bumped up to the big leagues and Songbird fans like myself everywhere will rejoice.

And in all seriousness if you haven't checked out Jeff Parker's run on T'Bolts yet then get on that shit because that's the run that brought me back into the world of comics.

I also want to thank Jordie Bellaire and Neil Delaney for giving me some much needed tips on colouring. I normally suck at that sort of stuff but I'm really happy with how this turned out.

Sunday, 21 April 2013

Patchin' it up...

Really sorry, guys, this week has been absolutely CRAZY between flights, family visits, a MILLION things to work on, and other shit... Well, long story short, I actually forgot about the blog!

So, just to try and patch it up, heres smthing I ALWAYS try to avoid: a recycled old piece!



It's a classic-looking Luke Cage pin-up done as a warm-up a LONG time ago.. better than nothing, I hope!

Sorry again, people!

L.

Monday, 15 April 2013

Songbird!

A low-res pic. A high-res will replace hopefully followed by a colour version.
I love the Thunderbolts team. Thunderbolts was actually one of the few comics I collected religiously from issue 1, and it's definitely the comic I collected the longest. From the Busiek/Bagley era, to the Ellis/Deodato run all the way up to my personal favourite run by Jeff Parker, Kev Walker & Ireland's own Declan Shalvey. I've grown up with these characters so this week was a big deal for me. Songbird was the obvious choice because she's one of the original members back when the T'Bolts were villains posing as heroes. But she quickly got the hero bug and went legit and it's a crime that she has yet to make it to Avengers status. Soon though Melissa will get bumped up to the big leagues and Songbird fans like myself everywhere will rejoice.

And in all seriousness if you haven't checked out Jeff Parker's run on T'Bolts yet then get on that shit because that's the run that brought me back into the world of comics.

Sunday, 7 April 2013

Never Compromise...Even In The Face Of Armageddon!







"Rorschach's Journal October 12th, 1985: Dog carcass in alley this-morning, tire tread on burst stomach. This city is afraid of me. I have seen its true face." These are the famous opening words of probably the single most important sequential artwork story produced in the latter half of the twentieth century.

Tonight a comedian died in New York.

Watchmen by Alan Moore and Dave Gibbons is as far as I'm concerned, the finest piece of comic book story telling in print on this planet. Watchmen is set in 1985, in an alternate history United States where costumed adventurers are real and the country is edging closer to a nuclear war with the Soviet Union (the Doomsday Clock is at five minutes to midnight). It tells the story of a group of past and present superheroes and the events surrounding the mysterious murder of one of their own. Watchmen depicts superheroes as real people who must confront ethical and personal issues, who struggle with neuroses and failings, and who (with one notable exception) lack anything recognizable as super powers. Watchmen's conventional superhero archetype, combined with its innovative adaptation of cinematic techniques and heavy use of symbolism, multi-layered dialogue, and meta-fiction, has influenced both comics and film.

Rorschach By Dave Gibbons.


The story begins with the murder of one such former hero (though I use the word loosely): The Comedian. This attracts the attention of one of his former team-mates Rorschach, a character who is the embodiment of faceless vigilante justice. Rorschach starts an investigation into what he believes is a "Cape Killer", an investigation which will lead him not only to his former retired team-mates but into a conspiracy to bring about a new world order through the atomic fire of all out nuclear war between the global superpower states. The world Watchmen inhabits is often what I feel allowed the book to set itself apart from other superhero stories. It is a world that is given a sense of seriousness and grounded reality through the inclusion of real life historical events, and how the characters of this world fit into those events such as the Kennedy Assassination and the Vietnam War. This allows the reader to be truly enveloped by the story as you get a sense that this could actually have happened.

Publication.

 

Originally published by DC Comics as a monthly limited series from 1986 to 1987, it was later republished as a trade paperback, which popularized the "graphic novel" format. To date, Watchmen remains the only graphic novel to win a Hugo Award, and is also the only graphic novel to appear on Time magazine's 2005 list of "the 100 best English-language novels from 1923 to the present".

Alan Moore, who wanted to transcend the perceptions of the comic book medium as something juvenile, created Watchmen as an attempt to make "a superhero Moby-Dick; something that had that sort of weight, that sort of density." Moore also named William S. Burroughs as one of his "main influences" during the conception of Watchmen and admired Burroughs' use of "repeated symbols that would become laden with meaning" in Burroughs's one and only comic strip, The Unspeakable Mr. Hart, which appeared in the British underground magazine Cyclops.

The Watchmen By Dave Gibbons.

Moore and Gibbons originally conceived of a story that would take "familiar old-fashioned superheroes into a completely new realm." Initially, Moore looked towards the defunct MLJ Comics line of superheroes for inspiration. "I'd just started thinking about using the MLJ characters — the Archie super-heroes - just because they weren't being published at that time, and for all I knew, they might've been up for grabs. The initial concept would've had the 1960s-'70s rather lame version of the Shield being found dead in the harbour, and then you'd probably have various other characters, including Jack Kirby's Private Strong, being drafted back in, and a murder mystery unfolding. I suppose I was just thinking, 'That'd be a good way to start a comic book: have a famous superhero found dead.' As the mystery unravelled, we would be led deeper and deeper into the real heart of this superhero's world, and shown a reality that was very different to the general public image of the superhero. So, that was the idea."

The Charton Comics Characters.
Dick Giordano, who had worked for Charlton Comics, suggested using a cast of old Charlton characters that had recently been acquired by DC. However, the Charlton heroes were being slowly integrated into the normal DC continuity. Because Moore and Gibbons wanted to do a serious storyline in which some of the newly acquired characters would die and the world would be drastically altered by story's end, using the Charlton heroes was not feasible. Giordano suggested that Moore and Gibbons simply start from scratch and create their own characters. So while certain characters in Watchmen are loosely based upon the Charlton characters (such as Dr. Manhattan, who was inspired by Captain Atom; Rorschach, who was based upon the Question; and Nite Owl, who was loosely based on the Blue Beetle as well as Batman), Moore decided to create characters that ultimately would only casually resemble their Charlton counterparts. Originally, Moore and Gibbons had enough plot for only six issues, so they compensated "by interspersing the more plot-driven issues with issues that gave kind of a biographical portrait of one of the main characters." During the process, Gibbons had a great deal of autonomy in developing the visual look of Watchmen and inserted details that Moore admits he did not notice until later, as Watchmen was written to be read and fully understood only after several readings.

Reception Upon Release.

 

Watchmen was published in single-issue form over the course of 1986 and 1987. The miniseries was a commercial success, and its sales helped DC Comics briefly overtake its competitor Marvel Comics in the comic book direct market. Watchmen also received several awards spanning different categories and genres including: Kirby Awards for Best Finite Series, Best New Series, Best Writer, and Best Writer/Artist; Eisner Awards for Best Finite Series, Best Graphic Album, Best Writer, and Best Writer/Artist; and a Hugo Award for Other Forms.

Watchmen received praise from those working within the comic book industry, as well as external reviewers, for its avant-garde portrayal of the traditional superhero. Watchmen became known as a novel which allowed the comic book to be recognized as "great art", rather than a lowbrow or unsophisticated genre. Time magazine, which noted that the series was "by common assent the best of breed" of the new wave of comics published at the time, praised Watchmen as "a superlative feat of imagination, combining sci-fi, political satire, knowing evocations of comics past and bold re-workings of current graphic formats into a dystopian mystery story." Don Markstein of Toonopedia wrote that, "What The Maltese Falcon did for detective stories and Shane did for westerns, Watchmen did for superheroes. It transcended its origins in what was previously considered a lowbrow form of fiction."

Rorschach's Mask.

Watchmen's status as a seminal book in the comic book field was recently boosted when acclaimed comic book author Stan Lee, responsible for creating the majority of Marvel Comics' most successful characters, called it his "all-time favourite comic book outside of Marvel." A review by "Revolution SF" goes on to say that Watchmen is "one of the most important stories in comic book history". Moore himself acknowledged that the plot closely resembles an Outer Limits episode called "The Architects of Fear". According to him, while he was around issue 10, he came across a guide to cult television that featured this episode and was surprised by its similarity to his already planned ending. A belated nod to "The Architects of Fear" is made near the end of Watchmen . He also accepted responsibility for the proliferation of "dark" comic stories, featuring classic characters, that followed Watchmen. In his review of the Absolute edition of the collection, Dave Itzkoff of The New York Times wrote that the dark legacy of Watchmen, "one that Moore almost certainly never intended, whose DNA is encoded in the increasingly black inks and bleak storylines that have become the essential elements of the contemporary superhero comic book," is "a domain he has largely ceded to writers and artists who share his fascination with brutality but not his interest in its consequences, his eagerness to tear down old boundaries but not his drive to find new ones".

Watchmen The Motion Picture 

 

http://images4.wikia.nocookie.net/__cb20090216204825/watchmen/images/6/6e/N504563173_1403093_8754.jpg
2009 - Watchmen - Movie Poster.
Watchmen is a 2009 film adaptation directed by Zack Snyder. Set in 1985, the film follows a group of costumed vigilantes as full-scale war threatens to break out between the United States and the Soviet Union. Feelings among fans were mixed on the film. I personally love the Ultimate Cut of the film which contains the comic within a comic, Tales of the Black Freighter reintegrated with the Directors Cut of the film.

The film is well cast with Jackie Earle Haley as Walter Kovacs (Rorschach), Billy Crudup as Jon Osterman (Dr. Manhattan), Jeffrey Dean Morgan as Eddie Blake (The Comedian), Patrick Wilson as Dan Dreiberg (Nite Owl II), Malin Akerman as Laurie Juspeczyk (Silk Spectre II), Matthew Goode as Adrian Veidt (Ozymandias),  Carla Gugino as Sally Jupiter (Silk Spectre I) and Stephen McHattie as Hollis Mason (Nite Owl I).

Go watch it and judge for yourself. Though don't expect to see Alan Moore's name anywhere in the credits. He quite publicly distanced himself from any and all film adaptations of his written works.
Silk Spectre & Nite Owl

Before Watchmen - Prequel Comics 2012


Following months of rumours about a potential Watchmen follow-up project, in February 2012 DC announced it was publishing seven prequel limited series under the "Before Watchmen" banner: Rorschach, Minutemen, Dr. Manhattan, Comedian, Silk Spectre, Nite Owl, and Ozymandias. Among the creators involved are writers J. Michael Straczynski, Brian Azzarello, Darwyn Cooke, and Len Wein, and artists Lee Bermejo, J. G. Jones, Adam Hughes, Andy Kubert, Joe Kubert, and Amanda Conner. Each issue would feature an instalment of the backup series "Curse of the Crimson Corsair", written by Len Wein and featuring art by original Watchmen colourist John Higgins, and the project will conclude with a Before Watchmen: Epilogue one-shot.

http://media.dcentertainment.com/sites/default/files/field/image/before-watchmen-list-head.jpg
The Before Watchmen Promo Banner by Lee Bermago.


Gibbons stated, "The original series of WATCHMEN is the complete story that Alan Moore and I wanted to tell. However, I appreciate DC's reasons for this initiative and the wish of the artists and writers involved to pay tribute to our work. May these new additions have the success they desire."

Moore criticized the project, calling it "completely shameless", and stated he was not interested in monetary compensation, but rather “What I want is for this not to happen.”

I really enjoyed reading the series of prequels, though I did feel that as a whole the project could not live up to the original. Go read them and judge for yourselves

Watchmen - By Nerd Invasion 

 

To those who don't know, this week's theme - Alan Moore & Dave Gibbon's Watchmen - was chosen by  Nerd Invasion's friend Darrin O'Toole (writer of Tales from the Void, Earthruler and countless others in the future), who was the lucky winner of our recent Facebook draw. He even went so far as to provide us with a Ozymandias piece himself. So without further ado here's Darrin's contribution (and kickstarter) to Watchmen week.
 

Ozymandias - "I don't mind being the smartest man in the world, I just wish it wasn't this one".



Ozymandias by Darrin O'Toole.
 Adrian Alexander Veidt, a.k.a. Ozymandias in the manner of Ramesses II, he is a modified version of the character Thunderbolt from Charlton Comics, and is a member of the Crimebusters. His name recalls the famous poem by Percy Bysshe Shelley, which takes as its theme the fleeting nature of empire. 

 

Next up is Chris Duffy's contribution for Watchmen week

The Comedian - "Justice is coming to all of us".


The Comedian By Chris Duffy.


Edward Morgan Blake, better known to the public as The Comedian. He is one of the only masked adventurers (along with Captain Metropolis) to be a member of both the Minutemen and the Crimebusters, and had been active for forty-five years through the aid of government-sponsored activities and the press conjuring him into a patriotic symbol of war and victory. Blake is a cigar-chomping, gun-toting vigilante turned paramilitary agent. He is described variously as "deliberately amoral" with a "practiced cynicism", meaning that he usually has little regard for social conventions or human life. Always in character as the Comedian, he describes the world as a sadistic joke that only he understands, but in the end his practiced cynicism is shattered when he discovers a plot that he regards as a "practical joke" even he can't believe anyone would pull.

Next up is Luca Pizarri's contribution for Watchmen Week

Moloch The Mystic - "And for my next trick"

 

Moloch The Mystic By Luca Pizarri.
Edgar William Jacobi, also known as Moloch the Mystic, is a retired supervillain. He was a prominent enemy of both Dr. Manhattan and the Comedian in the post-Minutemen era. Moloch. Beginning his magician career as a teenager, he transitioned to crime. It is revealed in Hollis Mason's Under the Hood that he had been a frequent enemy of the Minutemen.He was part of Adrian Veidt's conspiracy to get rid of Dr. Manhattan, in which he was hired by Dimensional Developments and given cancer (unbeknownst to him).

Next up is Daryl Cox's contribution for Watchmen Week

Nite Owl II - "What happened to us...what happened to the American dream?"


Nite Owl II By Daryl Cox.  
Daniel Dreiberg, a.k.a. Nite Owl II relied more upon technical wizardry and tools than toughness, which set him apart from his fellow costumed adventurers. Still, he has demonstrated more than adequate skills when defending himself. All of his gadgets and costumes are based on an owl theme. He uses an owl-shaped flying vehicle nicknamed the "Owlship" or "Archie" (after Archimedes, Merlin's pet owl in The Sword in the Stone), equipped with a variety of offensive and defensive devices.

 

So I never contribute pictures as I can't draw! ... But I did dress up with some friends as the Watchmen a few years back!

 

Dr. Manhattan - Johnny Osbourne, The Comedian - Ciarán Marcantonio, Silk Spectre - Gill Dempsey, Rorschach - Darragh Rushe.




Gratuitous Comedian shot!
So that's all from us here at Nerd Invasion for Watchmen Week I hope you have enjoyed it. Stay tuned to Nerd Invasions Facebook page for updates on upcoming themes. Finally here are some interesting videos so go I'll ask this final question.

Who Watches The Watchmen?

 

Alan Moores Reaction to Before Watchmen Announcement - Part I

 

Alan Moores Reaction to Before Watchmen Announcement - Part II



Saturday, 6 April 2013

Nite Owl from The Watchmen

Hi I'm Daryl and I like to draw so it's great to be a part of the Nerd Invasion.

As part of the Watchmen week I have drawn Nite Owl, I based his suit a little
more on the movie as there is just a lot more to it.

I really enjoyed doing this and I'm looking forward to seeing what next
on Nerd Invasion. There are some very talented creators involved
here and I always enjoy seeing the work.



Thursday, 4 April 2013

"And for my next trick..."

"...I'll get cancer and die almost anonimously".

I have to say, Ive never been one of those people rippin their own hair off because of how cool Watchmen is. I mean, I TOTALLY get the historic and narrative relevance of such a HUGE piece of work, but I cant help thinking that probably seeing it unfoil month after month at the time it actually came out must have been enormously more mind-blowing than reading the complete GN now. I mean, I know the reason it looks... obvious? is because basically the whole medium started lifting from it, but it DOES look a bit obvious to me nonetheless.

But then theres Moloch. Amidst the big drama, the killings investigation, the torn superhero aspect, there was this guy who once was a modest supervillain, then retired, basically kept living like you imagine your grampa would, then gets cancer and is very unceremoniously shot in the head. While Captain America or even Superman died heroically in their duty, this guy gets a deadly prostate disease and dies with his slippers and blanket still on. And thats it. I cant help but feel genuinely sorry for this guy, the Bela Lugosi of super-villainy.



Anyway, blue lead and Pentel brushpen on cheap toothy paper plus some digital shenanigans.

L.

Monday, 1 April 2013

Justice is coming to all of us.


I've never hidden the fact that I find Watchmen over-rated, I've just never seen the appeal. In saying that I do love Jeffrey Dean Morgan so The Comedian was the obvious choice for me. Now before I start ranting I'll just leave you with a Comedian quote -
"See you in the funny pages"

I don't mind being the smartest man in the world, I just wish it wasn't this one

To those who didn't know we recently ran a draw of this week's theme on Facebook and Nerd Invasion's friend Darrin O'Toole, writer of Tales from the Void, Earthruler and countless others in the future, was the lucky winner and he chose Alan Moore & Dave Gibbon's Watchmen aka the best selling graphic novel of all time. He even went so far as to provide us with a Ozymandias piece himself. So without further ado here's Darrin's contribution (and kickstarter) to Watchmen week.





Thursday, 28 March 2013

"Finish Him!"

Now, that was an EASY post title, for once ;)

Heres my piece, Kabal was an obvious choice for me coz MK3 was the VERY first Pc game I actually saved money for and went out and bought (as opposed to being given as a present or buggin' my parents until they got soft), and I remember I thought him and Striker were the COOLEST.

Also, Baraka was kinda obvious too, coz hes "horror movie night" enough for me to approve ;)



No colorin' or photoshoppin' this week, Im afraid, coz Im fucking swamped. I dont even know why Im still here writing stupidly long blog post while those pages arent gonna pencil and ink themselves.

See ya next week!

L.

Monday, 25 March 2013

You Just Got Caged, Jax!

A Placeholder until I get to a proper scanner

There's not enough love for Johnny Cage. Everyone is obsessed with Scorpion, Sub Zero, Raiden, etc and yet Johnny C barely gets a word in. I truly hope this will change in the future otherwise you might get CAGED!

Sunday, 24 March 2013

Can't we all just get along?... NO... HADOUKEN!!!

http://fc01.deviantart.net/fs21/f/2007/241/8/9/Street_Fighter_Street_Jam_by_UdonCrew.jpg 


Let me just start by saying I'm shocked! Not one of the Nerd Invaders decided to draw Ryu, Ken, or M. Bison. I thought the announcement of a Street Fighter week would lead to an all out battle to the death between our artists to draw these characters but instead everyone calmly chose their characters and went about there sketches (which are great - scroll down the blog to see them). So this weeks theme is Street Fighter: the world famous video game franchise set in the "Beat Em Up" genre. I could literally write forever on this subject so I'm just going to focus on its beginnings and the most famous version - Street Fighter II.

Humble Beginnings.


http://images1.wikia.nocookie.net/__cb20081121192916/streetfighter/images/6/6f/Street_Fighter_Ryu_vs_Retsu.png
Street Fighter - 1987
Street Fighter made its debut at the arcades in 1987, designed by Takashi Nishiyama and Hiroshi Matsumoto. The player took control of a lone martial artist named Ryu, who competes in a worldwide martial arts tournament spanning five different countries (United States, Japan, China, England, and Thailand) and ten opponents, two per country.

Street Fighter 2010
Street Fighter 2010 - The Final Fight - 1989
After the release of the original Street Fighter, Capcom produced an NES game known as Street Fighter 2010: The Final Fight. This futuristic action game bore no real connection to the original Street Fighter or it's canon, although the English localisation of the game changed the main character's identity from Kevin to Ken, implying that he is the same Ken from the original Street Fighter. The side-scrolling beat 'em up Final Fight was originally promoted with the working title Street Fighter '89. While the game's title was changed due to its drastically different game play, Final Fight, unlike Street Fighter 2010, does take place in the same universe as later Street Fighter games.

Following on from the release of Final Fight, the decision was made to make a direct sequel to Street Fighter which would incorporate the game play changes from Final Fight and once again feature Ryu as the main character. This game would go down in legend and forever change the beat 'em up genre. Street Fighter II was born. Notably, even when Street Fighter II was released, Capcom had no idea what sort of phenomenon it was about to create. It believed that the game would do somewhat (but an unknown quantity) better than its CPS-based contemporary games, Final Fight and Mercs.

The Game That Changed The World.


Street Fighter II Japanese flyer
Street Fighter II - Original Promo Poster
Street Fighter II was the first one-on-one fighting game to give players a choice from a variety of player characters, an option which created previously unknown levels of depth and replay value for an arcade game. Each player character had a fighting style with roughly 30 or more moves, including previously non-existent grappling moves such as throws, as well as two or three special hidden attacks per character. In the game's single-player mode, the player's chosen character is pitted against the seven other main characters before confronting the final four opponents, who were CPU-controlled characters that were not selectable by the player. Like in the original, a second player could join in and compete against the other player in competitive matches, with the multiple available characters allowing for more varied matches.
Street Fighter II proved to be popular due to all these factors, eclipsing its predecessor in popularity, eventually turning Street Fighter into a multimedia franchise. Numerous home ports of Street Fighter II followed the original arcade game (Arcade, SNES, Mega Drive/Genesis, PC Engine, Amiga, Atari ST, Commodore 64, ZX Spectrum, 3DO, Sega Master System, Game Boy, Game Boy Advance, PlayStation, Sega Saturn, PlayStation Portable, PlayStation 2, Xbox, Mobile phone, Xbox Live Arcade). In fact, demand for the game was so high that pirates created an unsanctioned, copyright-infringing Famicom/NES version, which saw a very limited release in Asian markets. Computer versions were released for 16-bit PCs, first by a number of copyright-infringing fans who strove to develop a PC version of the game, and later by Capcom, working with an external programming house.

Street Fighter II comparison
A selection of format screens Arcade, Snes & Sega Magadrive
Street Fighter II follows several of the conventions and rules already established by its original 1987 predecessor. The player engages opponents in one-on-one close quarter combat in a series of best two-out-of-three matches. The objective of each round is to deplete the opponent's vitality before the timer runs out. If both opponents knock each other out at the same time or the timer runs out with both fighters having an equal amount of vitality left, a "double KO" or "draw game" is declared and additional rounds will be played until sudden death. In the first Street Fighter II, a match could last up to ten rounds if there was no clear winner; this was reduced to four rounds in Champion Edition and onward. If there is no clear winner by the end of the final round, then either the computer-controlled opponent will win by default in a single-player match or both fighters will lose in a 2-player match.

After every third match in the single player mode, the player will participate in a "bonus game" for additional points. The bonus games includes (in order) a car-breaking event; a barrel breaking bonus game where the barrels are dropped off from a conveyor belt above the player; and a drum-breaking bonus game where drums are flammable and piled over each other. The bonus games were removed from the arcade version of Super Street Fighter II Turbo.
 .
Like in the original, the game's controls uses a configuration of an eight-directional joystick and six attack buttons. The player uses the joystick to jump, crouch and move the character towards or away from the opponent, as well as to guard the character from an opponent's attacks. There are three punch buttons and three kick buttons of differing strength and speed (Light, Medium and Heavy). The player can perform a variety of basic moves in any position, including grabbing/throwing attacks, which were not featured in the original Street Fighter. Like in the original, the player can perform special moves by inputting a combination of directional and button-based commands.
SF2-characterselect
The original Street Fighter II character select screen

Street Fighter II differs from the original due to the selection of multiple playable characters, each with their distinct fighting styles and special moves. Additionally, the player can also "cancel" during animation by performing another move, allowing for a combination of several basic and special moves. Both of these features would be expanded upon in subsequent installments.

From here the franchise grew to become a multimedia sensation spawning multiple sequel, spin off & crossover games (my favorite being Marvel Vs. Capcom III) in numerous formats; comic books, an animated series, a series of animated films and of course the much hated 1994 live action film starring Jean-Claude Van Damme  (the less said the better). So now lets move on to the characters our Nerd invaders decided to focus on for their sketches this week.

AKUMA - Chris Duffy's Monday Sketch.

Akuma breathe 

"I am the master of the fist!"


Akuma (悪魔 or アクマ, "Demon, Devil"), known in Japan as Gouki (豪鬼, Gōki, "Great Devil", "Great Demon" or "Great Ogre"), is a popular fighter as well as a popular villain in the Street Fighter series and UDON comics. He is known as "The Supreme Master of the Fist." Originally appearing in Super Street Fighter II Turbo as a secret character and hidden boss, he is Gouken's younger brother and Ryu's adoptive uncle. Akuma is voiced by Tomomichi Nishimura in all of Capcom's 2D Games; in Street Fighter IV, Marvel vs. Capcom 3 and Street Fighter X Tekken he is voiced by Taketora.

Akuma by Chris Duffy
Akuma is a cold and extremely powerful warrior whose sole purpose of existence is to hone his fighting skills by battling and destroying strong foes. He rarely displays any signs of emotion, aside from occasional bursts of anger, and almost never smiles. He takes his training very seriously, and deals brutally with those who dare interrupt him, as seen in his Street Fighter III: 3rd Strike ending. Occasionally, he likes to test himself against worthy rivals (e.g. Gen, Oro). In combat, Akuma almost never resorts to his true strength since he has yet to find an opponent who can withstand the full extent of his powers.

Akuma detests his brother Gouken for not giving in to the dark side of their arts which is, according to Akuma, the way they were intended to be used. He also blames Gouken for sealing off the darkness within Ryu thus preventing Ryu from reaching his true potential. This forces Akuma to give up on his planned duel with Ryu as he believes that only a fellow practitioner of Satsui no Hado can one day hope to defeat him.
Akuma refers to himself as a 'denizen of hell' and 'evil incarnate', and is seen as such by many.

Guile - Rob Carey's Wednesday Sketch.

Guile-oldstance 

"Are you man enough to fight me?"

 

Guile (ガイル, Gairu) is introduced in Street Fighter II. Although his role in the Street Fighter story was at first minimal, he is considered the third leading and best male character in the series, after Ryu and Ken, largely due to his effectiveness as a character and his popularity. 

http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-cIwFm9miH3c/UUxRfP2FTCI/AAAAAAAABSs/FDzZTHGsCjk/s1600/Guile.jpg
Guile by Robert Carey performing a Sonic Boom.


When Guile was a trainee in the United States Air Force, he befriended his superior officer, Charlie Nash and asked him to teach him in his unique form of fighting, which Charlie agreed to do. Guile learned the style, but his hot temper caused him to lack proficiency in the moves (shown in how Charlie can shoot Sonic Booms with one hand, while Guile needs both.) 

Holding M. Bison responsible for the death of his best friend, he seemingly dedicates his whole life to exacting revenge on Bison, who has somehow survived the explosion. A court case against the Shadaloo dictator fails when Bison bribes all the judges to let him go free. Bison by this time wants revenge on Guile, Chun-Li, and many other people who had hindered his syndicate's efforts. To this end, he sets up the second World Warrior tournament to trap them, among other reasons.  Guile, for his part, takes the bait, deserting his wife and daughter to pursue the vendetta.

Sagat - Luca Pizzari's Thursday Sketch.

Sagat-sf2-stance1

"You are not a warrior; you're a beginner!"

 

Sagat (サガット, Sagatto/สกัด, Sagad)  was originally a boss character in the early editions of the series. He was later turned into a regular, playable character. According to Street Fighter co-creator Finish Hiroshi, Sagat's style was modeled after dramatic television kick-boxing personalities - particularly that of Muay Thai/Thai Kick Boxing - as Sagat is also referred to as "The King of Muay Thai" or "The God of Muay Thai" in the games, as well as possessing various attacks similar to that of a Muay Thai kick-boxer.

http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-uqRDGsuCzls/UUtAgInvgrI/AAAAAAAAAsM/DXOINE1Np-o/s1600/sagat.jpg
Sagat by Luca Pizzari.
Sagat rose from a childhood of extreme poverty in Thailand, being constantly bullied by other boys from his village due to his "abnormal" height and general lack of finances. Sometime in his early days he watched a small-time Muay Thai championship, which motivated him to practice the martial art, using his height as an advantage in combat.

After long, extensive years of training, Sagat won the title of Emperor/God of Muay Thai from Nuah Kahn as a teenager, and became a national hero. He defended his title from a fighter named Go Hibiki in a match where Go destroyed Sagat's right eye (explaining his eyepatch), causing the ominous former Muay-Thai Emperor to violently beat Go Hibiki to death in a fit of uncontrolled rage accidentally. Go's son, Dan Hibiki, swore revenge on Sagat. The scar on his chest is the result of an early battle with Ryu.

Dhalsim - Daryl Cox's Saturday Sketch.

Classic-dhalsim 

"I will meditate, and then destroy you."

 

Dhalsim (ダルシム)  hails from Kerala, India. Dhalsim is famous throughout the Street Fighter series for his unique personality, his stretchy, lanky body and fire attacks.Dhalsim enters the tournament to raise money for his village, but realizes that it contradicts his pacifist beliefs. Dhalsim retires from fighting after the second World Warrior tournament, and continues to roam the world helping those in need.
 

http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-YAJBGKEkvoo/UU3b2gGTQnI/AAAAAAAAAHc/Xy1-_InlSDA/s1600/Dhalsim.jpg
Dhalsim by Daryl Cox performing Yoga Flame.
Dhalsim shares some character similarities towards Ryu, as he is equally stoic, serious, self-disciplined, humble and very stern when needed. Being a pacifist, he will never hurt more than necessary or kill an adversary, even the most evil ones such as M. Bison. His pacifistic beliefs also allow him to be a greatly loving father and husband towards his family, just like Guile. Being an extremely altruistic man, Dhalsim fights mostly for the poor and oppressed, as he constantly tries his best to raise money for his poverty-stricken people. In contrast with Ryu's younger (but still serious and self-focused) type, Dhalsim has a more "mature" and less "enthusiastic" nature. He regularly relies on his traditional yoga meditation rites to expand his spirituality and keep his inner neutrality off any emotional involvement that may prejudice his discipline.

So as Street Fighter week comes to a close I'd like to thank all of the artists for their contributions especially Daryl Cox, this week making his Nerd Invasion debut. I look forward to seeing more great sketches in the weeks to come.

Next weeks theme will be MORTAL KOMBAT. The following week we will have a special week. To celebrate reaching 100 likes on Facebook we held a competition and at random selected one of our followers to pick the theme. The winner, Darrin O'Toole, chose WATCHMEN as the theme and has even said he will contribute a guest sketch for the week. I really look forward to seeing what the Nerd Invaders will come up with for this. Until next week that's all from me.



Thursday, 21 March 2013

"You are not a warrior, you're a beginner!"

The half-blind little bastard...



Am I the only one who actually DIDNT completely hate his movie version? I though underworld overlord/heavyweight champion/weapon dealer was a pretty cool re-imagining...

Anyway, Pentel brushpen and some markers on Bristol, and definitely more Photoshop than usual.

Hadouken!

L.

Monday, 18 March 2013

"I am disgusted... You have zero potential!" ....Gee thanks Akuma


I've always thought Akuma was the coolest looking character from the Street Fighter series, ever since the first time I stumbled upon his secret boss fight in Street Fighter II Turbo and thought I somehow broke the game. Akuma is a dick to fight against, a bastard to learn how to use properly but once you do he'll quickly become your favourite Street Fighter character too. Plus he's just an all round badass.

Thursday, 14 March 2013

Not-so-secret Avengers...

I mean, one has badges all over and the other can fucking FLY... Talk about subtle, uh?

Anyway, I dont even remember who came up with the theme but kudos to you guys, its was a really cool book drawn by one of my top 3 fav artist right now (which change every day, but oh well), the fellow Italian Matteo Scalera.

Anyway, got so excited I have 2 sketches today.

Captain Britain, coz Matteo FINALLY made him badass (LOVED the Alan Davis version, but he/you could never take him too seriously).

Pentel, new grainy paper, crappily colored on photoshopped as usual.

And Beast, simply coz I never did before.

Same.

Ok, guys, have to say, its damn good to be back.

LuCa.

Tuesday, 12 March 2013

War Machine

And so it would appear that it falls to me to get this week rolling, here is war machine ready for action. Enjoy!

Monday, 11 March 2013

Avengers Assemble!! But be quiet about it.


After a long absence of a Nerd Invasion post we're back with Secret Avengers week. The Secret Avengers were one of the best things to come out of the Heroic Age written by Ed Brubaker and drawn by Mike Deodato. Over it's 3 year stint so far it's hosted 3 of my all time favourite Marvel characters in the squad: Nova, Hawkeye & Agent Phil Coulson. A great book and I'm so glad we got around to drawing some of these amazing characters.

Sunday, 27 January 2013

Its Morphin Time MuthaFucka!!


 


Firstly let me say sorry, I'm a day late with this. Other projects have kept me busy this week. But on to business, I was a fan of the Mighty Morphin Power Rangers when I was a kid. They were pretty much tailor made for me to be crazy about. Lets see Superheroes... Check! Bad Ass Martial Arts... Check! Freaky Alien Villains... Check! Most importantly of all... Big Frakkin DINOSAUR ROBOTS that combine to form the Voltron-like MEGAZORD! Oh hell yeah thats a CHECK!!! Those who know my comic book writing are aware of just how influential that last part has been. I was delighted when I heard that we here at Nerd Invasion were going to dedicate a week to the original incarnation of the Power Rangers. While there have been countless Rangers recruited over the course of the shows now 20 year lifespan, none have been as influential as the original team of Red Ranger Jason Lee Scott, Pink Ranger Kimberly Hart, Black Ranger Zack Taylor, Yellow Ranger Trini Kwan, Blue Ranger Billy Cranston and my personal favourite Green (and later White) Ranger Tommy Oliver.

 

How The Show Was Born.

 


The idea for Power Rangers came about in 1992 when producers Haim Saban and Shuki Levy acuired the rights to redub the popular in Japan (but unknown to rest of the word) series Kyōryū Sentai Zyuranger. A show that basically was Power Rangers but with an entirely Japanese cast. Rather than do a straight redub they devised a plan. They would re-cut all of the action scenes from the series, where the actors faces were hidden behind the now iconic masks of the Rangers, and film new sequences using American actors to fill out the episodes. This would become the yearly method of production on Power Rangers from this point forth. Each year the Haim Saban company would recieve the Kyōryū Sentai Zyuranger series which had aired the previous year in Japan. They would rewrite the stories, film new scenes with American actors and re-cut these with the action scenes already filmed for Kyōryū Sentai Zyuranger and BOOM! Each year we would get a power-set change or a new set of Zords. All in all a very cost effective way to produce a multi-million dollar franchise that at its peak was viewed in over 80 countries around the world. 

The Rangers

Drawn in a group shot this week (minus Blue Ranger WTF?) by Nerd Invader Luca P.

 

Red Ranger

 

Jason portrayed by Austin St. John, is a martial artist from the fictional town of Angel Grove, California. In the beginning of Mighty Morphin Power Rangers, he is selected by Zordon and Alpha 5, along with his closest friends Zack Taylor, Billy Cranston, Trini Kwan, and Kimberly Hart, as the five "teenagers with attitude" to become the original Power Rangers who defend Earth from the forces of the evil Rita Repulsa. When Zordon first confronts the teens to give them their powers, Jason is the only one who initially believes him. Jason becomes the Red Power Ranger, is given the Power Coin of the Tyrannosaurus "Dinozord" (a type of Transformer-esque robot), and is made the team leader. He leads the Rangers into many successful battles against Rita's monsters, establishing a rivalry with Rita's number one henchman, Goldar.

 

Black Ranger

 

Zack portrayed by Walter Emanuel Jones, was chosen as the Black Power Ranger, gaining the Mastodon Power Coin and the Mastodon Dinozord. Zack enjoyed martial arts just as much as he did dancing and, as a result, created his own fighting style, called Hip Hop kido. The customized art consisted of dance-like maneuvers flourished with fast and powerful strikes, much like Capoeira. This effective combination of power and prowess made Zack an incredibly formidable combatant. However, he would sometimes tone down his style and mimic the attacks of Billy to simultaneously strike opponents. He was also very resourceful.

 

Blue Ranger

 

Billy portrayed by David Yost, became the Blue Power Ranger, and was given both the Triceratops Power Coin and the Triceratops Dinozord. Billy began the series as the stereotypical "nerd". The other Rangers, especially Trini, defended him loyally, but Billy later evolved to become a stronger individual. He was one of the top members of Angel Grove High's science club and often helped its younger members with their experiments. One such example was with Willy, a young boy he helped to create a virtual reality simulator for a Science Fair. In the episode "High Five", Billy not only created the communicators, but also the interface that allowed the devices a remote access to the Command Center's teleportation unit. David Yost would go on to be the last remaining and longest serving original ranger.

 

Pink Ranger

 

Kimberly portrayed by Amy Jo Johnson, received the Pterodactyl Power Coin and the Pterodactyl Dinozord, thus becoming the Pink Power Ranger. Kimberly starts the series as a stereotypical valley girl, but with a heightened awareness for her friends. Throughout the series, she is the member of the team most likely to fire off a sarcastic or witty retort. However, as the series progresses, she becomes a deeper and kind-hearted person, due to experiences such as switching bodies with the nerdy Billy Cranston and being turned into a punk after Baboo administers a potion to one of Kimberly's drinks. Kimberly was a capable gymnast, and was often shown training and using her abilities in fights against Rita's forces. She fought with a blend of gymnastic maneuvers, elbows and kicks. Kimberley's Pink Ranger is drawn this week by Mansloth aka Robert Carey.

 

Yellow Ranger

 

Trini portrayed by Thuy Trang, was chosen for her compassion, quick wits and martial arts talent becoming the Yellow Power Ranger, given the Saber-Toothed Tiger Power Coin and the Saber-Toothed Tiger Dinozord.Trini is well versed in kung fu. She would later become proficient in the art of Praying Mantis Kung Fu. Trini's signature fighting style included lightning fast maneuvers, and powerful high kicks. She attempts to neutralize foes with the least amount of force. Trini is one of the intellectuals of the team, often having to translate Billy's techno talk for the other Rangers. Thuy Trang sadly passed away not long after leaving the show in its second season.

 

Green / White Ranger

 

Okay just to say this is where I am going to focus alot of this article, as Tommy Oliver is by far my favourite character and his story is also my favourite from the original run of Power Rangers. So with that said on we go. He's drawn this week by Nerd Invader Chris Duffy.

Tommy portrayed by Jason David Frank, is first introduced in the mini-saga "Green with Evil." As a new student at Angel Grove High School, Tommy faces the Red Ranger and leader of the Power Rangers, Jason Lee Scott, in a martial arts tournament. Here, he catches the attention of both the Pink Ranger Kimberly Hart and the evil witch Rita Repulsa. Tommy's fighting talent equaled that of Jason, prompting Rita to turn him into the Green Power Ranger. Rita casts an evil spell to make Tommy loyal to her. Following a battle with the Putties (Rita's endless horde of disposable minions) to test his skills, Tommy's given mission is to destroy Zordon, the Command Center, and the Power Rangers, thus leaving the world defenseless against Rita's conquest. To do this, Rita equips him with all the powers and tools of a Ranger including his own Zord: The Dragonzord.

Tommy succeeds with the majority of his mission, discarding Zordon, demolishing the Command Center, and infecting Alpha with a virus while ejecting the Power Rangers from their own Megazord. His Green Ranger powers give him an added tool not possessed by the other Rangers, the Dragon Shield. Controlled by the Dragon Dagger, the Dragon Shield promotes advanced healing and can deflect energy attacks. Added to this is the ability to generate powerful energy projections, and the Green Ranger is able to contend with all of the other Power Rangers at once, to be warded off only by the Megazord.

After the nefarious Scorpina is released from her isolated internment, she and her newly reunited mate Goldar begin wreaking havoc together. In a then never-before-seen act of malice, Rita makes the Green Ranger grow alongside her henchmen. Together, the trio easily dispatch the Megazord and send its powerless body plummeting into the Earth's lava-filled core.

Tommy's Dragon Dagger is capable of summoning and controlling his Dragonzord. Once the Rangers' Zords are gone, he summons his to raze the defenseless city of Angel Grove. Eventually, a newly resurrected Zordon returns the Rangers to their Dinozords after explaining that the Earth's lava naturally healed them. As the Megazord overcomes the Dragonzord, Jason fights Tommy alone in a final battle that sees Jason narrowly outmatch Tommy, destroying his Sword of Darkness - the weapon given to him by Rita that maintains the spell over Tommy. In order to atone for his evil deeds, Tommy agrees to Zordon's rules for being a Power Ranger, accepts a communicator from the Blue Ranger Billy Cranston, and dedicates himself and his powers to battling down the wicked Rita. He becomes more or less the second-in-command of the team behind Jason.

Tommy's fierce fighting abilities are contrasted by his nervousness around Kimberly whom he had alienated when he was evil. Kimberly forgives him for his transgressions, but it is not until he loses his powers to Rita after she uses the Green Candle, made of special wax once touched by Tommy, to sever his link to the Morphing Grid does Kimberly return his affections.

In the adventure involving the Green Candle, Goldar keeps the lit item in the Dark Dimension and holds Tommy captive there, knowing that his proximity would cause the candle's melting process to accelerate. Jason makes the attempt to get through Goldar to retrieve the candle, but Rita's succession of attacks perpetrated by a monster capable of mimicking every Zord and Zord combination, prevents him from getting to it in time. As Tommy's powers are fading he has to use the Dragonzord cockpit to keep fighting the monster. After the battle he is left with one last opportunity to keep the powers from returning to Rita: he has to give the powers over to another individual who possesses a stable link to the Morphing Grid for the Green Ranger powers to function on. He chooses Jason.

When Rita kidnaps the parents of all the students at Angel Grove High School, the Rangers are forced to acquiesce to Goldar's ransom of their parents for their five Power Coins. After making the personal decision to make the trade, Goldar's deception is revealed when he refuses to return the parents, or the Dragon Dagger Rita has brainwashed Billy into stealing for her. As Goldar commands the Dragonzord to demolish the defenseless Angel Grove, Jason reveals his own deception: his gambit of defecting his Power Coin to Goldar leads to the oversight that he still possesses the Dragon Coin.

The Rangers recruit Tommy to reclaim his powers and he is assisted by an energy boost from Zordon. This temporarily energizes him replacing his missing direct link to the Morphing Grid. However, his powers are very unstable and now have to be recharged several times by Zordon. In using the depleting powers to retrieve the missing items, Tommy reaches into a force-field and appears to have been lethally affected. Eventually, it is learned that the electrocution he underwent by the force-field, while wearing the Green Ranger powers, revitalizes its power source substantially. Tommy could once again reclaim his powers, provided that he periodically seek regeneration by a donation of Zordon's own energies. Even with this knowledge, Tommy still chooses to be a Ranger.

In Season 2, Lord Zedd arrives and banishes Rita for her continuing failures to exterminate the Power Rangers. In order for the Rangers to compete with Zedd's powerful monsters, the Dinozords are upgraded into the Thunderzords. However, Tommy's powers are too weak to support a new Zord, though he is able to continue morphing and call upon the Dragonzord. Lord Zedd eventually begins to create monsters for the sole purpose of depleting Tommy of his Green Ranger powers. After unleashing energy stealing monsters such as the Octophantom and the Stag Beetle, Tommy's powers drain further and Zordon himself could not energize them any longer. The next battle becomes the last for Green Ranger.

Upon learning this, Zedd sends down Turbanshell to attack the city to lure Tommy out, as part of his master plan to siphon off the remaining Green Ranger energies into an evil crystal to power his evil "Dark Rangers". Zedd is successful, and with the Green Ranger in such a weak state, Turbanshell is able to send all of the Power Rangers to the "Otherworld", a dark dimension ruled by Zedd. In this dimension, Tommy becomes separated from the others and his remaining powers are drained. Zedd sends Goldar to crush Tommy's spirits by telling Tommy that now he is nothing. Tommy disagrees, stating that his confidence and fighting spirit are what made him a Power Ranger, and he uses his remaining powers to destroy the Dark Rangers' crystal and help the other Power Rangers to destroy Turbanshell.

 

As the White Ranger 

For a short time, Tommy is absent from helping the other Rangers defeat Zedd's henchmen. Distraught by the loss of the powers he did not originally seek out, Tommy retreats into isolation at a distant lake, residing in a cabin his uncle owns. However, when Lord Zedd unleashes his maniacal Nimrod monster, which in turn spawns other monsters AC and DC, Alpha and Zordon decide it is time to take matters into their own hands.

Luckily for the Rangers, Zordon and Alpha are able to create new powers for Tommy, making him the White Power Ranger - a Ranger with powers that have been created from the Light of Goodness and cannot be taken away by the forces of evil. Upon becoming the White Ranger, Tommy also becomes the new leader of the Power Rangers. His new powers come with the enchanted talking saber Saba with which he summons the Tigerzord. He is at first overconfident with his new powers so much so that he loses control of the Tigerzord the first time he summons it. After that, he is much more careful.

 

The End of An Era

After Jason, Zack and Trini are chosen to attend a peace conference in Switzerland (due to a pay dispute between the actors and the producers), replacement Rangers had to be found. These Rangers are Rocky DeSantos, Adam Park, and Aisha Campbell (I didnt like them... I dont think anyone did). The Sword of Light is the power source used to transfer the powers. Tommy is the one who activated the power transfer using the sword. Unfortunately I never felt that Power Rangers was the same after the original rangers left the Command Centre for the last time. It also coincided with me becoming old enough (13 or 14 maybe) that I realised not many girls were fans of Power Rangers, and from then on I didnt really follow the show. Millions of others did though, as it is reinvented year to year and still turning out new material to this day. It seems there really is no stoping those Power Rangers.