Monday, July 17, 2006
Rescue Me: The Basilisk
Here's the Basilisk in "Fantastic Four" #289 (April 1986) and it's the first time I ever saw him. I thought, "Hey, this guy's kinda cool!" And on the next page, Scourge blasted him through a window on one of the higher floors of Four Freedoms Plaza.
Apparently a lot of people -- or a very small group of people with great influence-- thought it wasn't worthwhile to keep the Basilisk around. I'm not sure I understand why. According to Wikipedia, the Basilisk had superhuman strength, stamina, and reflexes, and could project beams of intense heat, cold, and force from his eyes. He could fly. Hell, he created a volcano in the Hudson River! Seems like a decent enough supervillain to me.
I can only think of a few things wrong with the Basilisk, from what I've read:
1. His real name: Basil Elks. Pure comic book, that, but it plays better in DC comics instead of the arguably more realistic Marvel Universe where the names are mainly alliterative. You don't generally get a lot of characters walking around with civilian names like Hugh Mantorge or Will Verene.
2. His powers, at first glance, seem generic. What's worse, he got them (in an accident, natch, this being Marvel) from a Kree gemstone. And then he boosted them by using a second Kree gemstone. Criminy. First Moonstone, then this guy. I don't know what the problem is with the Kree that they can't keep their power-bestowing gemstones on their own freaking planet. That shit's like the Marvel version of Kryptonite. But don't forget he's got the eyebeam gimmick, people! And he's called the Basilisk! That's his hook!
3. His costume, which features the World's Largest Ascot. Thurston Howell III only dreams of owning an ascot like that. But the costume is not a huge obstacle. I could have fixed it. Behold!
Keep on truckin', Basilisk! In some legends, the basilisk has yellow scales. So for the Marvel capital-B Basilisk I designed a golden/bronze-y glam rock armor for him. Dig the KISS boots. Since he's green and scaly, I wanted to show off a lot of his actual skin. That's why I didn't give him a helmet or cover up his shoulders. Also, you may notice that I didn't draw in any nipples. That's because, since he's reptilian, I figure he wouldn't have any nipples. Nice, huh? It's a real win-win situation, since I enjoy drawing topless males, and a lot of my readers hate seeing (male) nipples.