Friday, 4 January 2013

Redesign: The Teen Titans

For the first post of this new year (6.5 billion and 13) I decided to try something special.
I remember being hooked on Cartoon Network's show, Teen Titans which, despite its anime-esque animation style, really appealed to me. I liked the characters and their personalities and even enjoyed a little light shipping (BB + R 4 eva).
Therefore, as a tribute to the show, and an excuse to draw something in this new swirly style to send off to Project Rooftop in the vain hopes that they might actually like it this time... here are my redesigned Teen Titans.



With Robin I wanted to try several things. Firstly, get rid of that godforsaken 'R' logo which I have hated since as long as I can remember. I have never understood why the sidekick to somebody like Batman would resort to actually attaching their initial to their chest. I'm just glad that when he became Nightwing (and when Tim Drake became Red Robin) they ditched the letters for symbols. Second, really drive home the animal theme. Batman actually looked vaguely like a bat. Robin should, therefore, look vaguely like a bird. Thus, the beaky helmet, red-breast tunic, feathered cape and clawed boots. I gave him the batons and red section on the chest to make this outfit look like a transitionary piece, between the original Robin outfit and the Nightwing look. This is Dick starting to grow up and step out of Batman's shadow, becoming the leader of the Teen Titans. 
Beast Boy was always my favourite character on the show (he could change into animals and was a vegetarian!). I like the comic book version too, but I have nonetheless been a bit skeptical about such a power. If you wanted to stick to his original power-set, this is Beast Boy goofing off at the camera by morphing several different parts of his body at once. However, if I had the chance the write the character, I'd change his power-set from actual shape-shifting, into something a tad more plausible. In my mind, this Beast Boy's DNA was merged as a child with that of several other animals, so as to grant him as many of their unique abilities as possible (strength, speed, night vision, poison fangs, tail, heightened senses, etc.) In other words, his freakish appearance is permanent, but he now possesses every single animal ability he could ever need at once: he's a sort of super-beast. 

This is essentially the same Starfire redesign I did last time, with a few tweaks. I changed her outfit into something more alien, and made her feet a little less weird-looking. I kept the feline look as I was really fascinated to learn that Tamaranians are supposedly descended from a cat-like race. 
Again, if you stick to the comics, those green halos around her hands are her starbolts firing up. However, in my re-imagining, the energy actually comes from those jeweled rings she's wearing on each finger: I imagined they were a piece of highly advanced technology from her home world, which were handed down to only those of royal blood. As a princess, Kori gets to use them to go zappy zappy boom boom on Earth with her friends.

I didn't change too much with Raven, at least not outfit and colour-wise. I added the longer boots, dress and gloves - and more noticeably the inscribed bandages - to capture her more introverted side. As the daughter of a transdimensional demon, I always figured Raven as the most powerful of the team, who had to work tremendously hard to contain all that raw energy. I don't see her as the snarky and grumpy goth she was on the show, but more as a shy and quiet soul, who only uses her powers when absolutely necessary. Thus I borrowed a little from Doom Patrol's Negative Man design and wrapped her in magic bandages, to symbolise that attempt at control and repression. Underneath, she's not that different from some Lovecraftian Black Hole of Terror, who has wrapped herself up to look more human. 

Finally Cyborg. I decided to go for less of a Robocop 'more machine than man' route, and instead leave a little more of Victor Stone visible. I wanted to emphasise his torn nature as a former athlete who is partially reconstructed with hardware, by putting most of the robotic components in the lower half of his body. In my re-imagining, Vic used to be a fantastic runner, and the loss of his real legs would have thus dealt a particularly painful blow. His new robotic legs are inspired by real-life prosthesis, as used by several para-olympians, only augmented. The plate on his chest functions as a replacement for his lung and part of his heart, helping him conserve energy for much longer periods of time. His new eye possesses thermal, microscopic, telescopic, night and x-ray vision, and his robotic hand can transform into a high-powered railgun. This version of Cyborg usually tries to stay out of the heat of battle, but I imagine he has some kind of nanite solution that can grow a layer of strong dermal armour all over the human part of his body, just in case.

That's all :) Let me know what you think in the comments down below!
Thanks for reading,
TF



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