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Tag: Deathstroke

Titans Forever! (Well, for at Least Two Seasons)

I was recently gifted a subscription to the new streaming service DC Universe. Like Marvel Unlimited, DC Universe offers access to digital content such as movies, TV shows, and comics. While the comic library is not quite as extensive as Marvel’s library, DC’s service includes their massive collection of animated shorts, older films, and complete series of Wonder Woman, Constantine, Lois & Clark, and Young Justice.

Nigthwing Tail

Some fashion questions are better unanswered.

Overall, I’m enjoying the service. I’ve been able to catch up on some series I’ve always wanted to read and have been reminded that the 90’s were just not a good time for comics. (I had completely blocked Nightwing’s ponytail from my mind. Now, I can never un-see.) Unlike Marvel Unlimited, DC Universe offers exclusive access to new television series. Promised shows include Doom Patrol and Swamp Thing. They released the pilot episode of their first effort, Titans, last week.

It’s easy to forget just how much Teen Titans pushed the limits of comics.

Titans jumps off the pages of the comic book of the same name. Former members of the Teen Titans, Robin, Wonder Girl, and Beast Boy, as well as some newcomers like Raven and Cyborg, team up to fight super baddies, all while navigating the angst of their early 20’s. Not only do they have to deal with the evil forces of Brother Blood, but they also must keep their day jobs.

Yes. DC Comics went there.

It’s easy to forget just how much Teen Titans pushed the limits of comics. The book depicted the clearly middle aged Deathstroke in a sexual relationship with a fifteen-year-old Terra. An image of Starfire and Nightwing naked and in bed together raised eyebrows. Think about it. The 80’s didn’t take kindly to un-married, extraterrestrial couplings. 

Titans uses titular characters from the comic series, Robin, Starfire, Raven, and Changeling (aka Beast Boy), and places them in Detroit, Michigan. Like the comic, it looks like it’s going to push some boundaries. I’m can’t say I was a big fan of hearing Robin utter, “fuck Batman,” in the trailer. Gritty for the sake of gritty doesn’t really excite me. Still, I was looking forward to watching the series pilot.

It didn’t suck, but….

The character’s oft stripperific costume works in context.

It’s an adjustment. Given how far the CW’s Arrow wandered from the original source material, you’d think I’d be over “interesting” takes on some of my favorite characters from comics. I survived and am enjoying the re-imaging of Black Canary, for example. Still, certain characterizations of Titans will take getting used to.

This is not the Starfire I’m used to, yet.

Visually, I think Anna Diop, the costuming and special effects crews nail the physical appearance of Starfire. She appears unworldly and they even made the character’s oft stripperific costume works in context. I also know that passions drive the warrior trained Koriand’r and New Teen Titans #1 shows her blasting away enemies. However, watching the rather bloodthirsty Titan’s version of the character snap someone’s neck then incinerate a baddie jarred me. My last exposure to Starfire came courtesy of Jimmy Palmiotti and Amanda Conner. The cute yet capable “fish out of water” from that story looks nothing like what I saw on the screen.

Teagan Croft portrays a character barely able to function, paralyzed with fear and trauma.

Teagan Croft as Raven

Teagan Croft as Raven.

Likewise, Titan’s vision of a young, frighten Raven shook me. In the comic, the semi-demonic Raven must control her emotions to suppress the evil within. Teagan Croft portrays a character barely able to function, paralyzed with fear and trauma. Here, the special effects crew won another victory. The evidence of Raven’s empathic powers emerging in reflections and dreams feels spot on. As in the New Teen Titans #1, it’s Raven who reaches out to Robin in his dreams with the goal to unite the team. Titans makes that all too common trope work and the character believable.

Brenton Thwaites as Robin.

Titans adds nuance to the character of Robin. Like Starfire’s costume, his “fuck Batman” line makes sense in context. Brenton Thwaites offers us a character in conflict. Dick Grayson struggles against becoming another Batman yet feels hinders by the relative ineffectiveness of his role as a city detective. He can arrest the bad guys as a police officer. He can’t always make sure they get put away. As Robin, he can at least ensure they face some kind of justice. Overall, I get the feeling this is a character due for some serious development. I would love to see a Nightwing emerge from this Robin.

I can’t speak much for Changeling. He only showed up for a moment at the end of the episode. I can’t say I’m a fan of his breaking and entering a big box store to steal a video game, but, once again, the special effect crew did a great job with a CGI, green tiger. I’m willing to watch what happens next.

It’s certainly more like Arrow then Supergirl.

It’s certainly more like Arrow then Supergirl. So far, Titans looks willing to show us a fresh collection of brooding, young superheroes on the small screen, characters we might not always recognize from their recent comic book depictions. The show also offers up some decent production values and top-notch special effects, and a talented cast. It’s already been renewed for a second season. I’ve got to give it at least one more episode, if only to see what they do with two of my favorite characters, Hawk and Dove.

You can find Titans at DC Universe.

Iron Man + Bondo + Paint = Deathstroke!

I am blessed with a child who enjoys cosplay. For Anime Midwest 2014, we decided on going as a father/child pair. After looking at a few options, we decided to go as Deathstroke and his daughter, Ravager, from DC Comics. I knew that if I could get the mask right for Deathstroke, I would be in good shape for the costume.

After cruising through the wealth of information YouTube offers on cosplay, I decided to build out the mask using a plastic Iron Man costume piece as a base. I planned to take the mask, use Bondo to mold it the shape I wanted, sand it down, and then paint it up. In this case, the simplicity of the execution actually matched the design. I couldn’t argue with the cost, either. Excluding the Dremel tool, construction of the mask cost less than $30US.

To make this Deathstroke mask, I used:

  • Marvel Iron Man 3 ARC FX Mask
  • Bondo All Purpose General Putty
  • Putty knife
  • Sandpaper, medium and fine grade (a Dremel tool can help with sanding, a lot)
  • Masking tape
  • Paper, pencils, and scotch tape for stencils
  • Black elastic, ¾” wide x 12″
  • Spray paint: Safety orange, flat black
  • Modeling paint: Flat white
  • Screen repair kit
  • 2″ x 2″ slip of cardstock
  • Hot glue and gun
  • Plastic bag
  • Scissors

Before jumping into the process, I want to note a few things about working with Bondo. Bondo is a product line of putties and fillers created by 3M. Originally used to repair cars, the brand has expanded to a multitude of uses: wood filler, fiberglass, and adhesives. I used Bondo All Purpose General Putty for the mask. It hardens to a very paintable gray color and was easy to shape and sand.

Bondo gives off some heavy fumes. I recommend working in a well ventilated area while using the putty. A pair of latex gloves will prevent the material from sticking to fingers. How long Bondo takes to harden depends on the temperature and humidity of the workplace. I had much more time to fill gaps and holes on a hot, sticky day than on a cool summer’s evening in my garage.

 

I started the project with an Iron Man 3 ARC FX Mask.Marvel-Iron-Man-3-ARC-FX-1024x1024 After snipping of the red elastic from the back, I used Bondo to fill out the nooks and crannies on both sides to get a more rounded shape. To fill in the right eye socket, I attached a slip of cardstock to the interior of the eye with hot glue before pouring in the putty. The Bondo would settle a little as it dried and required multiple applications.

I allowed the putty to dry 48 hours before settling down with my Dremel tool to sand out the bumps and ridges. The Dremel saved me hours of work in smoothing out the mask. I used a rough grain bit to get the shape I wanted, then completed the work with some fine grain sandpaper.

Before painting, I cut out a section from a screen repair kit to fit in the left eye and attached it to the back of the eye opening with hot glue. Mesh over the eye hole makes it more difficult to discern the color of an iris and the skin underneath, creating a more dramatic effect.

Once satisfied with the shape and smoothness of the mask, I started painting. I taped off half the surface, covering one side with a plastic grocery bag.

mask1

I cut out a paisley shape to cover the right eye. I pained the black half first before attaching the paisley stencil to the mask and spaying the orange.

mask2

A few coats of white paint to fill out the paisley and a black border nearly finished the mask.

mask3

Once I re-threaded some black elastic though the loops at the side, it was complete.

mask4

A balaclava, black technical shirt, tactical vest and pants, some paintball gloves, and a pair of knee high DocMartins rounded out the costume. My daughter’s cosplay took some more serious work, but we were very pleased with the results.

seated

standing

This article was previously published on Geek Bar DLC. All the content it mine, even with the watermarks.

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