We often think how cool it would be to live in a world where superpowers exist. The problem is along with the superheroes, there also comes the supervillains. For a group like A.R.G.U.S., we often wonder what their true intentions are. Their motives can sometimes be questioned but that really falls on the person or persons calling the shots. These soldiers are, for the most part, just doing their jobs. And they likely will be putting in overtime this Fall when there apparently won't be any heroes left.
Recently DC unveiled an early look at the redesigned armor by Brett Booth and Philip Tan. As A.R.G.U.S. starts having a bigger role in the New 52 universe as well as an upcoming FOREVER EVIL one-shot, some thought and care had to be put into the redesigns. We had the chance to ask Brett Booth, no stranger when it comes to redesigning characters, about the process and what we can expect.
Comic Vine: You're one of DC's go-to guys for character redesigns, was anything specially asked for when doing the new A.R.G.U.S. agents' armor?
Brett Booth: The original notes asked for a bit bulkier look, but Brian Cunningham asked me to sleek them up a bit, but also to not make them super complicated. Having drawn Steve Trevor in JLA I knew what he meant, complicated! Took forever to drawn him (it was worth it though, cool design!) If I remember, the writer wanted a battery pack on the back, Brian was sort of on the fence about it. Said I could go either way.
CV: How would you describe the changes? Are they simply cosmetic or do they serve more of a purpose?
BB: David [Finch] gave them lots of little pieces that fit together in JLA, I took a more Batmany approach, under armor with chest, head protection nothing to big, and nothing too complicated to draw multiple times. These were for the ARGUS soldiers, so chances are you'd be drawing lots of them!
CV: How durable is the new armor? Could the agents stand up against big powerhouses now?
BB: I don't think they'd be able to protect you for long against Superman but you might be able to keep Cyborg or Aquaman at bay... for a few minutes;) Also, no pun intended:) Batman's going down! Or so he'd have them believe;)
CV: What's your approach when redesigning characters? Do you go through several takes or do you think it over first and then put the pencil to paper?
BB: Really it depends. Sometimes the design just pops out, other times it's a struggle. I tossed the first two ideas I had, didn't look sleek enough, too complicated. I just didn't like them. I usually take an evening to sort of formulate an idea, then the next morning I draw it up. Sometimes I get lots of input from the writers/editors so it's not that difficult. Other times it's like pulling teeth (my own!)
CV: When you designed this armor, did you think about what it'd be like if you had to actually wear it?
BB: A bit, you want the to be able to move so you don't have to fudge too much stuff when you draw it. Sometimes things like shoulder pads and knee pads just don't really work... you sort of have to mess with them when drawing them so the character do things like lift their arms or turn their heads. I didn't have too much problems with them for the ARGUS #1 cover and since this was just sort of a base soldier, you can add or subtract things pretty easy. The design is 'loose' enough that other artists and mess with it pretty easy to create their versions (we're big on that).
We can expect to see more in the New 52 and be sure to look for FOREVER EVIL: A.R.G.U.S. #1 on sale October 23.