Monday, May 14, 2007

Rescue Me: Black Abbott

In the early 1960's, stylish women wore pillbox hats. In the early 1980's, pretentious supervillains were pills with boxes for hats. Case in point:


Ah, so that's where they got idea for the ending to "Se7en." Backstage at the CMA's, a dickhead in a box! I suppose the vet put that thing on him to keep him from licking himself. Y'know, I have this really strong urge to fill it with packing peanuts. ...What? You want me to get on with it? Alrighty then, you killjoys!

This idiot is "Black Abbott", one of many D-list supervillains who done got themselves kacked by the Scourge Organization. Yes, the Scourge Organization, dedicated to ridding the Marvel Universe of pretty much every supervillain who first appeared in either "Marvel Two-In-One" or "Marvel Team-Up." Which is actually kind of a shame, since a lot of these dumb shmoes actually had a lot of potential! Like Black Abbott, just for an instance.

Black Abbott had the kind of mental mojo one can acquire under the tutelage of bald, pseudo-Buddhist monks... sort of a pulp novel/David "Kung Fu" Carradine deal, drained of all genuine spirituality. And for some reason he dressed in a big, box-like hood, like a circus clown version of Anne Boleyn. Oh, and one time "psychic feedback" caused him to burn his own hand off. Er, oops.


That's right! Get pissed, you stupid bastard! Oh, he's positively livid! Look at 'im, clenching his teeny, impotent little fists! And who can blame him? He sucks! No wonder he got offed by Scourge! And off-panel at that! But here's the part that fired my imagination: Black Abbott's wonky, ill-defined ESP allows him to basically possess several people at once, and even speak through them. I'm sorry, that's just completely bad-ass. Ever see "Slither"? Then you know what I mean.

And y'know what? Black Abbott has used his "disciples" to impersonate him in the past, so he could still be around. Bring Black Abbott back, I say! But if I might make a few suggestions...


He needs a new costume, of course. That's a given, and I'll get to it in just a moment. But more importantly, he needs a bit of a tune-up in the villainy department. I was going to quibble about the extra "t" on the end of his name but it looks like that's an accepted British spelling, so what the hell. (Still, I'm guessing most American comic book readers -- and most Americans in general -- read the word "Abbott" and think of the skinnier, more taciturn half of a certain old-time comedy team instead of the head of a monastery.) But--! How's about we add a "The" to the front of his name? That way he's the Black Abbott which sounds way more mysterious and hard-core. Not to mention it carries more historical weight. It sounds like a character from a Gothic novel, or at least a Sherlock Holmes story. And yes, readers, it's kind of like the early Batman villain, the Mad Monk. Nerds. Aannyway, I think "the" Black Abbott would have imparted more menace if he'd ditched the goofball duds and just dressed more like a monk. Specifically, a Satanic monk. Behold!


Now we're thinkin' outside the box hat! My early sketches had "the" Black Abbott all dolled up in everything from just a basic monk's robe to a gaudy Satanic ceremonial affair (with goat-head themed mask and shoulderpads, and even one of those Hellraiser skirts like Pinhead likes to wear). This, I think, is the happy medium. We have the monk theme with the hood, and the stylized cape evokes a monk's robe while still allowing him to run and fight hand-to-hand. Meanwhile, the body suit with the inverted cross gives him some standard supervillain flavor so he doesn't look too out of place while he's getting his ass handed to him by Power Man and Iron Fist. The gloves are fingerless, the better for him to gesture evilly, and to coordinate with the gloves I gave him my patented calf spats. And yes, I drew him with two hands. Why not? It could be prosthetic. Or hell, he's got magic mental powers, maybe he regrew the damn thing. I know, I know... it's obvious wish fulfillment on my part. *gazes sadly down at robotic dingus*

Note: stylistically, I wanted to try drawing in the style of Korean artist Min-Woo Hyung, as seen in his manwha series, "Priest."

Next Monday: a post nineteen years in the making!

Previous "Rescue Me" challenges:


MaGnUs said...

First comment! WOOHOO!!!

Anyway; I like the suit, but I don't like it for The Black Abbott (we shall call him like that from now on); it's all red, and his name is Black!!!

Just kidding, but I would have preferred the cape to be black. By the way, where's the Black Laurel?

Bill S. said...

Fabulous! You have totally made me want to see stories featuring The Black Abbott. You make him sound cool!

Jon the Intergalactic Gladiator said...

By jove you've done it again!

Anonymous said...

I like it, but the upside-down cross/arrow on his shirt pointing to his crotch makes me feel as though his chest should be adorned by some text like "Apply below for snake charmer's position."

Skeleton Munroe said...

Look out, they're at it again!

The Punisher is now being called the Scourge of the Underworld and he's started bumping off minor super-villains, including the Plunderer, Goldbug and Stilt-Man!

When will folks learn?

Oh, well, looks like 'Rescue Me' will continue for a while yet.

Nice redesign on the Black Abbott, though the fact that he's red *is* slightly disconcerting.

LurkerWithout said...

Nice. Very nice indeed...

Jon the Intergalactic Gladiator said...

Oh yeah, I thought of this when I read it: If Black Abbott can have his minnions pose as him, then one of his Minnions could have been the one with the melty hand.

Anonymous said...

In fact, it was one of his minions who got his arm disintegrated, during the first issue of the Black Abbott storyline. The Black Abbott himself didn't appear until an issue or two later.

(I was going to comment on the inverted cross not really fitting with the character's origin (which involved a pseudo-Tibetan monastery), but then realized that his origin didn't fit with his name anyway.)

MaGnUs said...

Where the hell is Blockade Boy? 8 comments and not a word from him?

Jeremy Rizza said...

MaGnUs: I got four hours sleep Monday night and I felt like I was coming down with the flu last night but I seem to be okay now. I made the cape red because some monastic orders wear red hooded robes and also, the body suit is meant to be black (only with my attempt at a different inking style it didn't really turn out that way).

Bill, Jon, Lurker: Thanks!

Justin: Feel free to manufacture my design for any of your extracurricular activities.

Jonathan: Not Goldbug! NOOOOO!!! Oh, wait, I meant to say, "Who the hell is Goldbug?" (For realsies. I only ever heard of the other two guys.)

Jon: Excellent theory!

Kevin: And thanks for confirming that theory! Sweet! Re: the Satanism angle, I edited this out of my post because I wasn't sure if it was even here or there, but what the heck: "The" Black Abbott doesn't have to be a real Satanist. It could just be an angle he's working. Or heck, he could just "convert."

Jon the Intergalactic Gladiator said...

Is that Goldbug as in who Bumblebee turned into on the Transformers?

Who the heck names a robot from a different planet Bumblebee anyway?

Skeleton Munroe said...

I *thought*that I'd heard of Goldbug before, but it turns out that I ws thinking of Goldface. They do have similar names and M.O.s, only instead of going straight and running a union, Goldbug got shot by the Punisher.

He fought Luke Cage and the Hulk, Spider-Man and Namor, and didn' even make it into The Encyclopedia of Super-Villains.

He's got a fairly terrible costume, too.

Phillip said...

Maybe the "Red Abbott" could be blackened by making one side of his cloak black. Which side? Who knows! Great rescue, anyway. Keep up the good work!

Jeremy Rizza said...

Jonathan: I looked up Goldbug on Wikipedia (although I'm sure the Encyclopedia Britannica has quite a lengthy article on him as well). The Blue Beetle crossed with Goldfinger! Two great tastes that taste like shit together!

Phillip: Thanks! Say, "the Red Abbott" ain't a bad name for the guy! No, wait... "the Crimson Abbott"! Yeah!

MaGnUs said...

How about The Scarlett Abott?

BB: Good to know you're ok.

Anonymous said...

How about . . . The Blood Abbott? Mwa-ha-ha. It sounds ominous.

Yankee Jones said...

As a fashion-smart, time travelling superhero, could you see what you can do about bringing those pill box hats back Blockade Boy?

I find them oddly sexy.

Jeremy Rizza said...

MaGnUs: "Scarlet" sounds naughty! *places pinky finger on lips in alluring fashion*

Law Dog: Creepy! In a good way, natch.

Yankee Jones: As a time traveller, i can assure you that pill box hats will indeed come back into fashion around 2009. And I know for a fact that you'll look positively smashing in one!

Yankee Jones said...

Huzzah! Thanks kiddo!

MaGnUs said...

BB: Oh behave!

Jon the Intergalactic Gladiator said...

Oh Blockade Boy, I cannot comment on your most recent post. Why must you tease me so?

Jeremy Rizza said...

Oops! I accidentally clicked on the "no comments" button when I was trying to adjust the time stamp. It's fixed now.