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All-New Marvel NOW!

Open Up Steve Pugh's All-New Invaders Sketchbook Pt. 3

See exclusive art and sketches, plus get commentary on process and more!

On January 22, ALL-NEW-INVADERS #1 offers not only a new take on several classic super heroes, but a return to greatness for Marvel's original super team. In that spirit, we offer a unique, three-part look into artist Steve Pugh's sketchbook that will illuminate the groundwork that led to his final designs and layouts for the series.

With the arrival of ALL-NEW INVADERS comes a challenge worthy of Marvel's original super team. Artist Steve Pugh has invested a lot of thought into illustrating the star-spanning Kree race, maintaining their historical status, but also building upon that to shape their future. In addition, he's also designed the look of an all-new addition to the Kree's hierarchy, a woman who will give the Invaders a run for their money in many ways.

Marvel.com: Steve, how much historical Marvel design have you used on the look of the Kree and how much of it will be your own vision? 

Steve Pugh: We start off with them looking very familiar; I deliberately mixed a lot of [Jack] Kirby influences into the art to establish a familiar look, to let everyone know where we were in the Marvel Universe. Then we introduce the new characters: a hard elite, a Special Forces strike force dedicated to protecting the Kree's position and interests in the shifting power structure of the various galactic empires. They're an evolution of the classic Kree military into something darker, more sinister.

Kree Special Forces designs by Steve Pugh

Again we're not treading over the past, which is important for a book with such an important and loved legacy, but we're adding to and expanding the world and its characters. The new co-existing with the established. 

Marvel.com: Overall, what one brand-new design of yours for ALL-NEW INVADERS are you most proud of and why? 

Steve Pugh: The biggest piece of design so far has been Tanalth, the leader of the Kree Special Forces, and she was a blast to design. The brief was to create someone who "looked like she could kick Captain America's ass," and that meant no noodle-limbed super models. Tanalth is, I hope, in the tradition of the powerful Kirby women I remember seeing when I discovered his work. Part roller derby girl, part Spartan warrior, she's probably not going to strike a cute pose with her hands on her hips, but she may very likely hit you upside the head with half a car.

Marvel.com: In your sketches, we see that you have Tanalth's feet exposed?

Steve Pugh: Actually that was only in the initial sketch. There were a couple of thoughts behind it. I figured a warrior with a big muscle mass would look daft in heels, so I tried a sandal, like a Spartan warrior or something, and I thought it looked a bit primitive and wild, offsetting the rest of the costume's futurism. Also the idea of her "weighted" arm and leg sleeves was actually based on an Indian dancer I remember seeing as a kid. She had these similar sleeves on her legs-but with bells--instead of disc armor obviously!

Tanalth designs by Steve Pugh

Anyway, in the end I came up with a Doc Martin type military boot, with a soul that thickened at the back to hint at a heel; they look like they belong to a woman, but hopefully avoid being in any way "girlie."

Marvel.com: To bring this look into your sketchbook home, do you feel this series demands a certain unique approach, as far as your page layouts go? 

Steve Pugh: I think the fashion right now is for more conservative layouts. I think it's a reaction to the crazier designs that sometimes lost the viewers eye in the story telling, like those old oil paintings you see that are totally overwhelmed by their massive gold painted frames. It's unnecessary, let the art speak for itself. Books like HAWKEYE have shown that you can do that; good art is enough. Also of course more structured layouts help with the transition to digital editions which you have to be mindful of. I've kept things simple, held the wacky stuff back for the moments that demand it. 

      Mark down January 22 for ALL-NEW INVADERS #1!

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      Marvel's lackluster attempt to create a book based on 40's heroes... DC 40's characters are and have always been entrenched with the rest of the DC Universe.  I sorry this issue will last 12 issues at most and then get lost amongst the Avengers "pile it on" .