Search This Blog

Saturday, June 1, 2019

NuPerspective: Nightmask

Welcome back to another edition of Nu-Perspective, THEE column for all redesigns and updates of various Nubian (black) comic book characters you never knew you loved.

And yeah, I know I know, we're late. This entry was supposed to drop all the way back in April as an Avengers tie-in, but it’s finally here. We give you- NIGHTMASK!!

Nightmask original appearance courtesy of Google. Art by Phillip Tan I believe.

And now, our Nu-Perspective twist...

Nightmask NuPerspective revamp by Shawn Alleyne

Real Name: Adam Blackveil
Current Alias: Nightmask
Identity: Secret
Occupation: Explorer
Place of Birth: Mars
Base of Operations: Cosmic
Affiliations: Avengers; A.I.M.

First Appearance: Avengers #1 (2013) [gestating]; Avengers #3 (2013) [“born”]; Avengers #6 (2013) [as Nightmask]

Original Creators: Jonathan Hickman & Jerome Opena

Story: Born on the planet Mars, “Adam” was created by the Promethean-like trans-galactic extraterrestrial Ex Nihilo to be the perfect “human”. After a fierce battle with The Avengers, Adam was shortly taken into custody by the Avengers to study and decode his strange language. It was later discovered that Adam was to herald the coming of the trans-reality occurrence known as “The White Event”, which in turn heralded a new host of the “Star Brand” in the form of a young kid by the name of Kevin Connor. Adam- now known as Nightmask- lead the Avengers to the new Star Brand, but chose his own path and took Conner to confront Ex Nihilo, who revealed is was he who had caused the White Event with the intent to re-terraform Earth into a sentient planet. 

The situation was found to be far direr when it was announced that the universe was decaying, in an epic trans-universe annihilation event that would be known as “The Incursion”. It was in the best interest for Star Brand and Nightmask to join The Avengers. The odyssey’s effect led to Nightmask” – to revert back to nothingness, but simultaneously rejuvenated the Marvel universe of Earth 616. When the Incursion was averted, and the universe was brought back to life, so was Nightmask. 

Now friends, the two nascent superheroes Star Brand and Nightmask tried to live a normal college life, for which the universe and adventure had other plans. 

While grieving over the death of Connor at the hands of Robbie Reyes (the all-new Ghost Rider at the time), Nightmask escapes to the dream-like pocket dimension of Liveworld. There, he finds the dimension on the verge of merging with our reality. With his own powers compromised by the alien universe he now occupied, he escapes with a Canadian mutant with the power to traverse realms and realities at a whim, and her feral sister, to wage war against the megalomaniacal Dream Queen and her endlessly invading horde of imaginary monsters. But all this may just be a prelude to something far more calamitous, a meta-dimensional cataclysm equivalent to the Incursion crisis, “The Black Event”; one that will take Adam Blackveil and his new allies to the source of the Enigma Force, at the heart of the sub-atomic quantum realm.

Powers/Abilities: While created by Ex Nihilo, Adam’s true progenitor was the universe itself via the “White Event”. As such, Nighmask’s very existence is tethered to the universe’s seemingly sentient “Uni-Power” (an aspect of the omnipresent subatomic quantum energy known as the Enigma Force), much in the same way as Captain Universe, or more accurately the multiverse singularity known as the “Star Brand”. Therefore, Nightmask has access to (or is himself capable of) nigh-omnipotence. Nightmask possesses cosmic awareness equivalent to omnipresence in his native universe only. He can also create spatial portals of limitless distance and size. He can also discharge omni-directional energy blasts from his hands, eyes and glowing halo “runes” on his body, or form the energy into a barrier. Theoretically, Nightmask is capable of matter/energy manipulation on a quantum level, akin to the Power Cosmic. By design, Nightmask is functionally immortal and self-sustaining. He does not need rest, food/water or oxygen to live and is capable of unaided flight in the vacuum of space. His being is virtually indestructible, and the upper limits of his senses, strength and speed remain unknown. Nightmask has also exhibited vast techno-pathic and techno-kinetic abilities regardless of the machine’s origin or composition (even “organic” and cosmic-level machines used by the Eternals). Nightmask possesses super-genius level intelligence, enabling him to comprehend new information near-instantaneously through exposure. Nightmask’s only real hindrance is his novice level of experience and skills with his powers as technically he is still an “infant”.

Paraphernalia: N/A


And there you have it. Check out Nightmask's original look and story (he started as a Caucasian character actually) and let us know if you like what we did with him. Scroll down a bit for some a little Q&A with me and Fabian then see ya sooner than later for another Nu-Perspective entree. 
Nu-Perspective is 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

Nightmask first attempt by Shawn Alleyne. Just wasn't feeling it. 

What do you like most about the character? 
F: When god-like ETs decided to artificially create the perfect man, he had to be Nubian.
S: Those amazing circular patterns mixed into the black. Love it!!

Did the character pose a challenge to update and if so what was the hardest part of the redesign?  
F: Like most nigh-omnipotent cosmic characters ala Silver Surfer or say Dr Manhattan, it’s very difficult to find a satisfying purpose or journey for these “event” characters (someone created for or by a big story arc). As such it became about maneuvering in-story circumstances to facilitate that inherent need in (and for) Nightmask.
S: From an artistic standpoint it wasn't too difficult. I knew going in I HAD to give him a shirt. I don't know what's up with creators making Nubian characters shirtless like our brown skin is a costume. smh
In hindsight is there anything you would do differently now? 
F: Wished I’d seen Shawn’s final design much sooner beforehand. It had me thinking of a whole new (and more challenging) direction.
S: Sorry bout that Fabian. lol Personally I might have made him younger. And did something different with the crescent moon on his face. 

What made you choose this character? S: Unfortunately there aren't many Nubian Avengers to choose from.

Sketches and pose work

Was there a challenge as far as the art itself? 
S:I struggled with figuring out his look, both design wise and pose. I looked back at the original Nightmask, the Caucasian character, who had these tendrils coming off his costume. The modern twist of the scarf gave me that effect. I thought of him as a cool Nubian hipster/shaman. Hence the flowing robes and sandals. Getting his pose right proved problematic for some reason also.

Original Nightmask incarnation Keith Remsen

What was the most fun part to redesign? S: The scarf
Would you want this character’s powers?  
F: To quote one dead uncle; “With great power…yadda, yadda.” So no thanks. S: Nah, I don't think so.

No comments:

Post a Comment