So, a little while ago, someone asked me if I was going to do a companion series to my "DA 90's!" pieces, depicting my idea of concepts and characters that could arise during that decade. I initially thought that I wouldn't do that, since the 80's for superhero comics didn't have the same distinctive quality that comics in the 90's had. That they weren't, appropriately enough, as "Extreme."
However, recent events had me reconsidering that position, and it made me realize that while the "Big 2" didn't see as much radicalization in the 80's as they did in the 90's for their brands in terms of their concepts, there was a scene that did seem to start to make a name for itself- the independent comic book market.
Granted, independent comics existed before. But I'd say this was when they moved from more personal and political works into pieces that tried to be a little more action or adventure oriented. This is when we saw the rise of the works of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. Mage. Usagi Yojimbo. Grendel. And much more. And unbound by the restrictions of the "Big 2," these works could be about whatever the creators wanted, no matter how absurd. There was a real rock and roll, punk rock quality to some of these ideas. They were strange. They were wacky. But a lot were rather interesting.
So with that in mind, I decided to try and create some concepts that could seem right at home in the 80's. With, as an added caveat for some, that could be the types of work a network executive could see at the time and thing "That would be a great Saturday morning cartoon!"
First up- BUGG!!!
This was sort of my "Throwing concepts at the wall" sort of idea. Heavily inspired by the TMNT, which was all over the place in terms of ideas and concepts, but was still a serious attempt at trying to be a legitimate action oriented work.
I saw BUGG as being the creation of a group of alien scientists to serve as their ultimate warrior to lead their armies in the invasion of Earth. Bugg would possesses all the powers of the insect kingdom- the strength of the ants, the armor of the beetles, the stingers of the wasps, the legs of the grasshoppers, and so on and so on- as well as being a mechanical genius. Rebelling against his alien creators, Bugg would escape to Earth and settle down in New York, taking refuge in a run down tenement building and serving as their janitor and landlord. From there, Bugg would help defend the Earth against his alien creators, as well as other various threats that would pop up in his adopted home.
Bugg would also be aided by Junkyard Joe- a human proprietor of a local junkyard that was injured during one of Bugg's fights, whose life was saved when Bugg placed his brain in a powerful mechanical body he designed from the scrap around the junkyard, and Princess Ayayala (That sounds 80's enough, right?), a member of alien royalty and Bugg's love interest.
I know that's a lot of detail to go into one image that I have no plans of expanding upon. But sometimes it's fun to come up with this sort of backstory for these ideas.