Marvel Superhero Squad
Are you familiar with the Marvel Superhero Squad Show? Based on the Marvel Super Hero Squad action figure line from Hasbro, it was a comedy-adventure series that portrayed the Marvel Comics characters in a cartoonish super-deformed-style. Each episode had a “title card” that showed the title of that episode next to a parody cover, based on a classic Marvel Comics cover but depicting characters in the style of the show. I drew several of those for the show’s first season, and I wanted to share some of them with you!
Typically, I would be told what cover I was to parody, and what (if any) characters on the cover were to be substituted with other Superhero Squad characters. I was provided with model sheets for the Superhero Squad animation designs of all the relevant characters, and I then I’d get down to work!
Incredible Hulk #1 cover
The first of these covers was for Superhero Squad episode #4: “Hulk Talk Smack!” The cover to be parodied was The Incredible Hulk #1, the first appearance of the character! The Hulk was to merely be replaced with the Superhero Squad version of the character, but all the other characters depicted were to change. The solder on the left was to become Wolverine, General Ross and Betsy were to become Ironman and The Wasp, the soldier behind them was to become Thor, and Dr. Banner himself was to become The Falcon! They also wanted the rocket-pad background eliminated, and the Hulk figure a little smaller in the frame so it wasn’t “cropped” by the edge of the frame.
Squad Cover #4 pencils
Squad Cover #4 Inks
MSHS Cover #3 Color
Here’s the pencil version of the cover I had to get approved before I could proceed with inking. One of the ongoing challenges with these covers was to replace characters with (more or less) human proportions
with the stocky proportions of the Superhero Squad characters, and yet I had to preserve the composition of the original. Sometimes this was tricky, but this time around everything was framed around the large Hulk figure, and his proportions were relatively unchanged. Still, you can see where I made some slight alterations in the composition to make it work with the new proportions. Also, note that the Hulk has lost some fingers and toes
in translation to his Squad form!
The inks are by me, and the color is by another artist working for Marvel. Click on the color version to see the cover with revised color and complete with logos. One of the issues with these covers is that the “Superhero Squad” logo is very square, which meant it didn’t usually fit well into the space at the top of the cover art.
Squad #4 Title Card
Finally, here’s how the cover appeared in the TV episode, next to the credits for the writer and director. I always thought this was something of an odd format as the story title and other text are fairly small and there’s a LOT of pen space the text and cover art are floating around in. But he, I wasn’t going to complain. It was giving me work!
More Superhero Squad covers soon! As always, questiosn and comments are welcome.