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.

Tomorrow: Megatak!


Anonymous said...

I was listening to KISS' Destroyer yesterday, so I dig the glam-rock direction you took here. The motif gives him some Marvel-style cosmic flava.

And from what you mention, it sounds like Basilisk, moreso than some Scourge targets, was hard-done-by.

I await the regarbed Megatak with bated breath, BB!

Anonymous said...

wha-a-at? i LIVE for male nipples!
very nice outfit re-design, btw.

Anonymous said...

I always thought the Basilisk got a raw deal. I'm surprised Marvel hasn't made a second Basilisk. After all, what happened to his power stones, anyway?

I, too, look forward to seeing our favorite obscure bad guy with an "M" on his face, Megatak, tomorrow. Gotta love that name, man.

Scipio said...

Good lord, you're reptilosexual!

Anonymous said...

Actually, I kind of like Basilik's original design, though he sort of reminds me of a gay Drax the Destroyer or something.

Interesting redesign, though, BB.

Matthew E said...

Basil Elks, really? Not Basil Fisk? They totally missed the boat by not making him Basil Fisk. Not only does it match his nom-de-guerre better, but it opens up all kinds of other possibilities.

Anonymous said...

It's definitely an interesting direction but I dunno; maybe it's just that all the shiny metal and scales don't come through in pencils, but it seems to need a little something. All the interest is in his eyes and his boots leaving a bit blah space in between. Some red highlights matching his eyes on his gloves or on his necklace might help. Yeah, display his red powerstone in his necklace.

By the way, Fabian Nicieza wrote a big grand Kree-powerstone unified theory in Thunderbolts a while back. I have no recollection of what it was, but there was some good reason they all kept showing up on Earth.