Greg Weisman and Domo Stanton plan on putting the stars of STARBRAND AND NIGHTMASK through the ringer. Sure the young heroes have already fought the Avengers and then joined that same group to save reality, but now they must deal with making third period at Empire State University.
The cosmically-powered pair plans on keeping up with their heroic duties while also going to college. This concept might seem fairly normal for super hero comics, but don’t forget that Starbrand accidentally killed everyone at his old school and Nightmask just gained sentience as an artificial human not too long ago.
To get an idea of how these two heroes will balance their adventures with class commitments, we talked with Stanton about their different visual presentations in and out of costume, the bad guys they will face, and much more!
Marvel.com: These characters had a history before being introduced to the mainstream Marvel Universe. Did you look back at those New Universe books at all when developing their looks?
Domo Stanton: I did look back at some of the old New Universe stuff, [but] not for developing their looks, just more general research. It would’ve been fun to play around with new designs for these guys but they were already well established, and well redesigned in AVENGERS before they got to me.
Marvel.com: Both of the stars will be bouncing between college life and super heroics. How do you alter their visual representations from one to the other?
Domo Stanton: Mostly in their shapes and builds. In their “civilian” clothes they’ll feel more “normal” [and] smaller, to blend in their surroundings. Then when they transform hopefully they’ll look a lot larger than life, more heroic, although Kevin—still learning his potential as a hero—will have his moments of clumsiness; actually very similar to Peter Parker versus Spider-Man in a lot of ways.
Marvel.com: Can you talk about the development of some of the threats they might face?
Domo Stanton: Many of the threats we bring in I think will hit a few nostalgia nerves for some readers. As far as the development, I would say it was more research and a bit of playing around with sketching to make them my own. New threats, and characters in general, usually start with a description-slash-race from Greg, then a back and forth of sketches and options before coming to something we know will look awesome.
Marvel.com: In addition to the characters, you’re working with Empire State University. Did you design the whole campus or base it on an existing one?
Domo Stanton: This one’s a little column A, a little column B. Since Doreen Green is also an attendee of ESU we first consulted with the UNBEATABLE SQUIRREL GIRL office and grabbed whatever reference we could to keep up with continuity. Besides that, I am indeed currently building a campus that’ll hopefully be usable not just for my own sake, but for anyone else drawing a character who’s attending or will attend the school.
Marvel.com: College can be both universal and very specific to the place and time. How has it been capturing that on the page?
Domo Stanton: It’s been fun actually. Although I didn’t go to this “type” of school, college wasn’t that long ago for me, so a lot of the experiences are still fresh in my mind. Besides small specific details in certain areas I’ve pretty much had complete freedom to handle the scenes as I see fit, so hopefully as long as they read on a college campus and not a high school or asylum for the criminally insane, I’m happy.
STARBRAND AND NIGHTMASK #1 enrolls on December 16 thanks to Greg Weisman and Domo Stanton.