“Ultraman is not an evil Superman. He’s a Superman who believes in power and strength. Strength is the most important attribute, above everything else. If you’re strong, and you’re the strongest there is, that’s all that matters. And that’s how Ultraman views everything.
The fact that there was a being that destroyed Krypton and then ravaged his Earth and could possibly come to ours — he actually is worried in the back of his head that there’s something out there that’s stronger than him. His motivation is to shore this world up and prepare for war.
And Ultraman’s a perfect example of the absence of empathy. Complete absence of empathy. He comes to our world and he sees things like soup kitchens and homeless shelters, and he sees us taking care of the sick, and he does not understand it. Why do we waste our time? In his mind, we’re keeping our gene pool weak. And that all points back to his paranoia about our world not being ready to fight, or strong enough to survive an attack.”
– Forever Evil writer Geoff Johns, discussing the Crime Syndicate and their “different breed of villainy”
Brian Stelfreeze is a well-known cover artist, with runs on DC Comics’ Batman, Birds of Prey, Firestorm, Shadow of the Bat and others, but that immense skill often overshadows another of his talents: superhero costume design. Very early in his career he created what has become the seminal Nightwing, and he recently did some more DC character redesigns — but this time for fun.
For the past few weeks, Stelfreeze has been drawing redesigns of DC’s Crime Syndicate of America and posting them on a Yahoo! Group devoted to his work. The idea came about when Stelfreeze was talking to his friend Robert Jewell about the comics they grew up with, and they pinpointed an issue of Justice League of America they read as kids that focused on the Crime Syndicate. With the Crime Syndicate getting new life in DC’s current Forever Evil, Jewell and Stelfreeze thought it’d be fun for the artist to redesign these classic characters. Using notes from Jewell and members of the Yahoo! Group, Stelfreeze took on these characters and developed his own takes on them — with amazing results.
I’ve seen people make little statues out of empty aluminum cans, but Makaon takes it to a whole other level. Her Batman is probably my favorite, but hit the jump to see a Smurf, Pikachu, Ultraman, and an Imperial Stormtrooper. And of course, there’s lots more at her website.
Welcome to another episode of Send Us Your Shelf Porn, where we take the photos you send us of your comic book collection and paste them here for everyone to gawk at. And no, we’re not changing the name of this column. Sorry.
This week Carl Jansson, a former manager of Comic Universe in Fountain Valley, CA. Before we begin, however, I want to thank everyone who’s sent in photos over the past week. The amount of interest I’ve received has truly been staggering, and I promise each and every one of you will get your day in the sun. So don’t fret if you haven’t heard back from me yet; you will, and soon. I promise.
And now let’s join Carl on a tour of his home …