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: