Tuesday, July 11, 2006
Rescue Me: Shellshock
Here's the second beneficiary of my new plan to redesign the costumes of anyone Scouge has ever killed, or tried to kill: Shellshock! Okay, maybe "beneficiary" is overstating things, since Shellshock is dead. And rotting!
Did you know... Shellshock was created by Stan Lee and Jack Kirby? I shit you not. I read it on the internet; therefore it must be true. It turns out he first appeared in "Fantastic Four Annual" #5, back in 1967. He was one of Psycho-Man's henchmen! Only he didn't have this particular costume. In fact, he looked a lot like the Mad Thinker, only in red instead of in green. And his gun was much cooler. Because it was designed by Jack Kirby. Anyway, Shellshock showed up in the above panels from "Marvel Two-In-One" all gussied up for the very first time in a boring new costume and a mask that had no discernable connection to his theme and wielding a convoluted new weapon that looked like a very uncomfortable fusion of a sex toy and a gardening implement. ("The Ass Weasel! By Ronco!") And in his next appearance, Scourge killed him.
Here's the deal: I think Shellshock could have worked as a bad guy. His codename is catchy. And his basic concept is workable: criminal strategist and electronics genius. I think all he was missing was a great costume! With a snappy costume, you're a supervillain that readers want to see again. Without it, you're a supervillain that editors want to see dead. So here's what I would have done:
Shellshock uses a concussive weapon that can blast through walls. So I based Shellshock's outfit on riot gear, since it's meant to resist flying rubble. There's a lot of bulk to it. In addition to the padding on the shoulders and the chest, the costume features thick gloves and protection for the knees and shins, plus a great number of sweatsocks in the crotch (kidding). I kept the color scheme the same as his most recent costume. Navy and yellow is a striking, masculine combination. In place of that stupid catfish mask or whatever the hell it was supposed to be, I gave Shellshock a close-fitting helmet. The shape of the tinted visor is based on the silhouette of the old mask. It's an interesting shape, but by flattening it and making it smaller, I lessen its visual signifigance. On the old costume, it was the first thing a person's eyes went to, and it made no sense whatsoever. Now it's part of an ensemble. In case you're wondering, the strap on Shellshock's left thigh is part of the holster for his gun. See, I don't just throw around straps for no reason, Rob Liefeld. I decided to simplify the gun itself and just give it a "tuning fork" theme. It's still red, for contrast. And I put a matching spot of red on Shellshock's chest with the grenade symbol. This keeps the color of the gun from looking so random.
Any more Scourge victims you'd like me to redesign? I'm makin' a list!