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Monday, January 6, 2020

NuPerspective: STEEL

What's up peeps!! HAPPY NEW YEAR!!!!
Well, 2020 is finally here, and while we may not have any flying cars yet, we here at NuPerspective are still excited about what the new decade has to offer. What IS Nu-Perspective you ask? Well, it’s a bi-weekly column I started with my writing partner Fabian Wood with the purpose of spotlighting, revamping and updating various underdeveloped, underutilized and all-but-forgotten Nubian comic book and pop culture characters. Our goal is to showcase them in fresh, contemporary and exciting ways both visually and story-wise.  

Things got hectic there for a while and we had to take a little hiatus, but we are back on the grind and we want to welcome you back to a new installment of this revamp column.

And we're kicking the year off with a DC character of some notoriety, STEEL. 
 
Steel original comic book cover



But this isn't who you're used to though. Read on to discover the "Nu" Steel.  

NuPerspective design by Shawn Alleyne


Real Name: Dr John Henry Irons(former Steel)/Paco Irons(current Steel)
Current Alias: Steel
Identity: Public(John Henry)/Secret(Paco)
Occupation: Founder of Steelworks Community Center, Engineer (mechanical/computer)/Employee of Steelworks Community Center(Paco)
Place of Birth: Washington DC
Base of Operations: Washington DC
Affiliations: Justice League, Team Superman
First Appearance: Adventures of Superman (1993)
Original Creators: Louise Simonson & Jon Bogdanove


Story: Named after the American folk hero John Henry, young Irons was supposed to be destined for greatness. A genius engineer and a brilliant inventor, John Henry Irons used his intellect and skills to help mankind through his inventions. Sadly, manipulated and exploited by the likes of Lex Luthor and his former employer AmerTek, his creations were perverted into weapons that found their way onto the streets of Metropolis. Inspired by the courageousness and the ideals of Superman, John fashioned a prototype exo-suit to fight back and be the hero he was meant to be. Coming into his own as the superhero “Steel”, John could not seem to escape the shadow of his inspiration, or his namesake. For a time, he aided other heroes as best he could, including his own niece Natasha who blossomed into her own hero. But after a series of life tragedies and self-reflection, John realizes he has not lived up to his full potential, as a man, community member nor as a hero, instead looking towards others for guidance. Irons decides to open the community center “Steelworks” to curb the gang violence and poverty in his city. Knowing he must lead by example, John reunites with his estranged family and takes in and adopts his nephews Jamahl, Tyke and Paco, and his other niece Darlene. John especially takes to Paco and becomes a mentor to him. But trouble soon rears, and when new weapons on the streets threaten to through his city into chaos, Irons finds out these weapons are extra-terrestrial in nature. Stealing from his enemies’ playbook, John reverse-engineers this new Apokoliptian tech to upgrade his Steel armor. While working on it with Paco, they unwittingly activate the dormant Entropy Aegis, an alien armor John encountered before. Now Paco must learn how to control this reincarnated weapon and forge his path as the new Steel. 

Powers/Abilities: Paco has no innate superhuman abilities. He possesses a high-level intelligence though not the genius level of his uncle. He is learning mechanical and electrical engineering from John.

Paraphernalia: Steel’s new upgraded exo-suit armor is a patented malleable stainless-steel Metal-0 alloy enhanced by Apokolips tech. This grants him nigh-impenetrable invulnerability, superhuman strength exceeding 500 tons, super speed and teleportation abilities. Even if damaged or compromised, Steel’s new armor can self-repair within seconds. The Steel armor is also outfitted with numerous lethal and non-lethal weapons and devices including lasers, energy cannons, flamethrower, tazers and micro missiles, all hidden in malleable nanotech form. The sentient computer brain of the Entropy Aegis also enhances Steel’s senses and provides an array of sensory scanning functions. Steel’s signature “smart” hammer is made of the same substance as his armor and is capable of independent programmable flight, and is imbued with an inertia dampener, so the farther it travels the harder it hits and the harder it is to stop. It can return to Paco upon his command. It also possesses electro-magnetic capabilities and due to the Apokoliptian tech, can alter its physical size, composition and density.



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And there you have it. Check out his original look and story and let us know if you like what we did with this revamp. Then see ya sooner than later for another Nu-Perspective.

But wait, before you go, check out this Q&A with yours truly as I dive deeper into my process, complete with bonus sketches.

What do you like most about the character? 
Truthfully, I was never a big fan of Steel. Way before the terrible movie.But if I had to pick one thing I would say I love the intelligence of the original Steel John Henry. He is a severely underrated genius. Fabian and I tried to keep that aspect in this iteration. 

Second sketch on nailing the pose
Did the character pose a challenge to update and if so what was the hardest part of the redesign?   
This was a tough one, mainly because I fell into the classic artist trap where I had one particular idea and couldn't see past it. I really wanted to incorporate a farmer brown/overall aesthetic and it just wasn't working.I finally settled on a design I liked.

In hindsight is there anything you would do differently now? 
Not sure. lol 


What made you choose this character? 
Like I mentioned with another character, if anyone needs the Nu-Perspective treatment it's THIS guy.




First attempt at getting the pose right




Fine print: All characters are copyrights and trademarks of the respective publishers and creators. This column is used solely for artistic enjoyment. We aim to showcase Nubian characters in fresh, contemporary and exciting ways both visually and story-wise.


NP

******






Monday, August 19, 2019

NuPerspective: VIBRAXAS


What's up peeps!! Welcome to another installment of Nu-Perspective, THEE home of revamps and updates of various underdeveloped, underutilized and all-but-forgotten Nubian (black) characters!!

This entry was supposed to drop in July, and I ask you to please forgive the lateness as we take care of some stuff. My Nu-P collaborator Fabian Wood is on me to catch up and we'll be dropping more heat soon. But without further ado we give you: VIBRAXAS!







And now our version....
 

Real Name: N’Kuno
Current Alias: Vibraxas
Identity: Public
Occupation: Adventurer
Place of Birth: Wakanda
Base of Operations: Wakanda
Affiliations: Hatut Zeraze
First Appearance: Fantastic Four #391 (1994)
Original Creators: Tom DeFalco & Paul Ryan

Story: The son of the original Vibraxas (N’Kano) and the disgraced Dora Milaje (female Wakandan Pretorian guard) Asira, N’Kuno’s life was already at a disadvantage. A pariah for his tainted parentage, N’Kuno only wanted to bring honor to himself and his family. Seeing the sincerity and nobility in young N’Kuno, T’Challa, The Black Panther and his king, sent him on the same academic and spiritual pilgrimage he undertook outside Wakanda. It was then that young N’Kuno got a taste of his latent mutant powers and the world of superheroes. Returning home with this newfound knowledge and inspiration, N’Kuno decided to become a superhero of Wakanda, even though it had the Black Panther as its champion. Rather than feel threatened, T’Challa encouraged N’Kuno’s role as the new “Vibraxas” and overseer of the Hatut Zeraze (secret service/national guard). With rising political tensions, social unrest and factions and sects looking to reshuffle the balance of power within his homeland, N’Kuno must remain watchful of sedition within his ranks and among his fellow elite guards while ever mindful of a new home-grown terrorist cell looking to plunge Wakanda into a state of anarchy. His quest to protect the state may send N’Kuno down a path that leads to Wakanda’s darkest and perhaps most shameful forgotten atrocities that will not only shake N’Kuno to his core, but the very foundation of the nation as well.

Powers/Abilities: Unlike his father who could not fully control, and by extension, master his vibration powers, N’Kuno is naturally imbued with these abilities. Like his father, N’Kuno can generate vibrations from his being to cause localized earthquakes, suspend objects and persons in vibrational stasis, crush objects and phase through solid matter. He can also generate powerful shockwaves, and while not true self-propelled flight, can use vibrations to levitate off the ground up to seven stories. His body has an above-average resilience to physical and energy attacks, which his body naturally absorbs the kinetic input and can discharge it as sonic bursts. He can also cancel noise within a localized area of effect. He can also induce vertigo and debilitating migraines in others through infra and ultrasonic pulses. Due to his naturally vibranium imbued DNA, N’Kuno’s physical prowess are on par with T’Challa, but lacks the Black Panther’s extensive training, intellect and discipline. N’Kuno is also an accomplished diplomat and negotiator. 

Paraphernalia: The suit he wears is a modified version of the suit his father wore, but unlike his father who had to wear it to help stabilize his powers, N’Kuno’s powers are more controlled, thus he only uses the suit amplify his abilities and grant added durability.


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And there you have it. 

Check out his original look and story and let us know if you like what we did with this revamp. Then see ya sooner than later for another Nu-Perspective.
What IS Nu-Perspective you ask? Well, it’s a bi-weekly column I started with my writing partner Fabian Wood with the purpose of spotlighting, revamping and updating various underdeveloped, underutilized and all-but-forgotten Nubian comic book and pop culture characters. Our goal is to showcase them in fresh, contemporary and exciting ways both visually and story-wise.   



Fine print: All characters are copyrights and trademarks of the respective publishers and creators. This column is used solely for artistic enjoyment. We aim to showcase Nubian characters in fresh, contemporary and exciting ways both visually and story-wise.


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Tuesday, July 23, 2019

Nu-Perspective: NIGHTWATCH

What's up peeps!! Welcome to another installment of Nu-Perspective, THEE home of revamps and updates of various underdeveloped, underutilized and all-but-forgotten Nubian (black) characters!!
Here we are in the dead of summer bout to drop even MORE heat on you. My Nu-P collaborator Fabian Wood and I will be shedding the spotlight on a character who started off as a Spawn rip-off, and who's backstory was a head-scratcher to figure out and revamp, but we think we nailed it. Without further ado we give you: NIGHTWATCH!!

Original Nightwatch design. Art by Ron Lim.




Shawn Alleyne Nu-Perspective redesign


Real Name: Dr Kevin Barry Trench
Current Alias: Nightwatch
Identity: Secret
Occupation: Physician, Vigilante
Place of Birth: North Dakota
Base of Operations: Los Angeles
Affiliations: N/A

First Appearance: Web of Spider-man #97 (1993)
Original Creators: Terry Kavanagh, Derek Yaniger & Alex Saviuk

Story: In the original story of Dr Kevin Trench, it was said that one night he witnessed a costumed crime fighter lose his life fighting a group of terrorists. Unmasking the deceased would-be superhero, Dr Trench made the horrific discovery that it was himself, but an older version. Hoping to avoid that tragic fate, Dr Trench stole his future self’s costume; but it was this very act that would lead him to become the nocturnal vigilante known as “Nightwatch”. He then fought alongside other New York crime fighters for many years, including the likes of Spider-man, Venom, Captain America, Deathlok, Firestar, and more, eventually retiring as NightWatch and even "dying". 

Years later a Kevin Trench shows up to hire attorney Jennifer Walters, aka She-Hulk to solve a mysterious case. It was eventually discovered by She-Hulk that the man known as Dr Kevin Trench was originally the super-criminal “Nighteater”, who had grown despondent with his villainous lifestyle, and through magically altering the “vibrational attunement of reality” was able to re-write his own history and make it seem as though he was Nightwatch, the selfless superhero. Thanks to the spell, which cost hundreds of people their lives, most of the universe is unaware of Trench's criminal history. Instead, they remember him as a heroic Nightwatch figure. As a consequence, some (if not all) of his recorded history as "Nightwatch" may be completely inaccurate, as the spell was cast at an unspecified point in his history. With the secret discovered She-Hulk brough Trench to justice.

Most recently, it was uncovered his original origin as Nighteater was much darker that initially believed. He was a chosen servant of the Illuminati-like cult “The Pride”, a clandestine criminal superpower (made up of surreptitious aliens, time-travelers and mutants). Growing to detest his overlords it pushed Nighteater to re-write reality so he could hide in plain sight.
However, now that the spell is lifted, The Pride (who answer to their own masters of the ancient, extraterrestrial mages called “The Gibborim”) are on the hunt for Trench. With this new development Trench must now stay alive, fight to bring an end to the remnants of The Pride once and for all, and perhaps atone for his crimes and the deaths he has caused in the original timeline.

Powers/Abilities: Apparently one truth is that Trench is skilled as a physician, and thus has an extensive knowledge of the human anatomy. An extension of this knowledge is that it has allowed him to develop his own form of self-defense which exploits weak points and critical areas of the human body to down foes in seconds.

Paraphernalia: Nightwatch’s costume is comprised of highly advanced self-replicating nanites that enhance his physical attributes and senses to super-human levels. They provide a considerable degree of durability (bullet-proof), but if damaged, can rapidly regenerate itself or damaged tissue, organs or bones. The nanites also possess environmental camouflage, giving him a cloaking ability. In addition they grant Nightwatch a level of tactile techno-pathy, and also allow him to merge other technology with his. Another feature is that it gives him an omni-directional “danger sense”, but only for an area of 100 meters. The nanites can, to a degree, supply protection and oxygen is dangerous environments such as irradiated areas, under water or places with extreme temperatures. The nanites in his "cape" can respond subconsciously to Trench's thoughts to form highly malleable "tendrils" to grab and hold things and they can increase or decrease in scale and form. In some cases it allows him to guide long distances on air currents, mimicking actual flight.

Extra: It is unclear how Trench originally gained his nanotech costumme. 

*****************

And there you have it. 

Check out his original look and story and let us know if you like what we did with this revamp. Then see ya sooner than later for another Nu-Perspective.
What IS Nu-Perspective you ask? Well, it’s a bi-weekly column I started with my writing partner Fabian Wood with the purpose of spotlighting, revamping and updating various underdeveloped, underutilized and all-but-forgotten Nubian comic book and pop culture characters. Our goal is to showcase them in fresh, contemporary and exciting ways both visually and story-wise.   



Fine print: All characters are copyrights and trademarks of the respective publishers and creators. This column is used solely for artistic enjoyment. We aim to showcase Nubian characters in fresh, contemporary and exciting ways both visually and story-wise.


 ****

Q&A with Fabian and Shawn with bonus sketches and ref pics 

Original pose and look but it wasn't coming together.

What do you like most about the character? 
I hate to say it but I never liked the character. However, THIS version Fabian and I did...? Imwould read that all day!!!

Did the character pose a challenge to update and if so what was the hardest part of the redesign?   
The hardest part for me was incorporating the Spawn-ish type designs of the original costume into the new look. Aside from that I had a pretty clear vision of what I wanted to do. Oh, and actually the second hardest thing was a pose. I couldn't get it right at first.

In hindsight is there anything you would do differently now? 
Nope  

What made you choose this character? 
If anyone needs the Nu-Persp[ective treatment it's THIS guy.



NP

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