Character Contest 12: The Image Nineties

A certain style of character became hugely popular during the early 1990's, and while it quickly spread to all corners of the comic book universe (driving a college-aged Jeff from reading them altogether), "Image" was definitely the heart and soul of the new standards in super-hero design. Your challenge for this week is to come up with a character that best represents the kind of thing Image would have enthusiastically printed during that decade, something the really symbolizes what the whole thing was really about.

You know, thigh pouches.

Now now, that's not fair. There were also arm pouches, belt pouches, chest pouches, headband pouches, and ginormous guns. Giant claws dripping blood and/or ichor. Ridonkulous hair flying every which-way. Musculature usually only found in body-building magazines and medical journals under "Freak". Characters who all have "Blood" or "War" or "Death" or, even better, all three in their name. That sort of thing.

The person who turns in the character most in tune with that ideal will win either a caricature of their head or any one item of their choice to be included in the final version of HeroMachine 3. Either way, you get to be immortalized!

Good luck everyone, I have to say I am almost giddy with excitement to see what you come up with.

79 Responses to Character Contest 12: The Image Nineties

  1. Damn. Hopefully the next contest will be Self-Portrait.

  2. I dunno, Whit, the response to that idea other than from you ranged from “AAAAAAAGGGHH!” to “EEEEEEEK!” 😀 I still think it’s neat, but it doesn’t seem to have much of a following outside of the two of us.

  3. Double damn. I’m used to being a minority, though.

    And, since there’s not going to be a self-portrait contest, I might as well let everyone see what I created here:

    I used this photo as the model:

  4. Hey, the 90s weren’t COMPLETE garbage! Kingdom Come was a product of that era, so is Planetary.

  5. Personally, I’m still looking forward to the Jeff Hebert character contest! Who knows, the winning entry may be the start of the next big hero, following in the steps of such greats as Sups, Bats, and good ol Cappy!

  6. Yeah, but Timespike, I GUARANTEE you that when you say ’90s Comics’, the first thing to pop into most comic geeks heads is ‘Image’. And I say that with the utmost respect for comic geeks, considering that I am one. 😀

  7. I’ve got one that should fit this already made, but I’ll need to remake him, just incase it wasn’t done completely with HM3. And I’ll make another hooded character for this as well, if I have time, because my hood was awsome, and suprisingly quiet simple to make if I do say so myself.

  8. Avatar Zorbas The Awesome

    I reluctantly bring you!!!!: WarBlood the death bringer!!!

  9. Avatar Zorbas The Awesome

    and Mr.Green the Eco-Warrior (not to be confused with the 90’s crap-hero Captian Planet) (or an eco friendly Mr.T)

    Dont Forget


  10. Avatar MartianBlue

    Ok. I gave the comic cover a try.
    I give you HeroMachine Comics
    Whisper #1
    Srry for the double post.
    The First one is wrong, just discard it.
    Thank you

  11. Avatar Almost Insane
  12. There absolutely were some good comics in the Nineties, but this is the IMAGE Nineties contest!

  13. Here’s my (possibly only) entry:
    Notice the tiny feet.

  14. I dont think i get what we have to do 🙁
    could you simplfy?

    and i would love to do a self portrait contest 😀

  15. @Haydn: The Nineties Image characters all kind of were the same — big huge ridiculous muscles, tons of useless pouches, giant blades coming out of their hands or other arm parts, long spike nutty hair, pointy teeth in stupid grins, and an insatiable thirst for violence. The theme this week is to come up with a character design that fits in with that kind of stereotype. If you weren’t around then and don’t get what it’s about, there’s no shame in sitting out a week, this is definitely a contest for geeks “of a certain age”, i.e. old farts like me.

  16. Not all IMAGE comics were like that. I love The Savage Dragon for example which is totally different from that. And Witchblade and Fathom were more T&A than guns and pouches.

  17. True, Legatus, I should have included “Gratuitous T&A” as one of the hallmarks of the stereotype, my bad.

  18. Yeah, Fathom! I forgot about that one. I liked it; much more thought and love went into the creation of Fathom than most Image stuff.

  19. hmm this is just a joke one
    pouches of war

  20. Hysterical, Berserker!

    Note to those who might not get it — this contest is supposed to be fun, funny, satirical, ironical, lighthearted, mockalicious, and/or snarky. We can go back to being super serious next time, take a week and lighten up and just go for the most ridiculously over-testosteroned stereotypical fan-boy character you can think of.

  21. A 90’s character :
    Inspired by the Thunderbolt Meteorite costume.

  22. Avatar silentbilbo

    Here is mine. Scantily clad girl with huge gun for no apparent reason.

  23. Say, were dudes like Cable and Shatterstar made then??? If so, could Glowing eyes be part of the stereotype?


    Mystik Cyberdragon Ninja–featuring such 90s cliches as bright colors, misspelled names, cyborgs and ninja looking characters

  25. Here’s my first draft. Still not happy with some details but perhaps I’ll come to that tomorrow.

  26. Avatar darkvatican

    @Berserker: That Pouches of War if HILARIOUS! I ROFL-ed all over the place when I saw that!

  27. @Hakoon: Yep, those guys are from that era, glowing eyes would definitely be a nice touch.

  28. Avatar The Strange Goliath

    Hello, first time poster here. Gotta say, I love the blog.
    So, without further ado, here’s my entry for the contest.
    He’s some sort of modern day Elven warrior or something.
    But he loves violence. And pouches. That much I know.

  29. Here’s my entry: Bloodblade. Another one of the design tropes of the 90s was being able to carry huge amounts of stuff on one’s back without any explanation or apparent means of support.

  30. Here is a great place to find out the characters of Image.

  31. Avatar MartianBlue

    Welcome Strange Goliath

  32. Avatar MartianBlue

    Timespike, I think your guys name should be Overkill! 4 samurai swords, for two arms? Yup the name fits
    Just to clarify, I’m not trying to be a jerk, although it may sound that way

  33. I present to you the latest comics sensation: BLOODSPATTER!!

    He carries a gun that shoots freakin’ SWORDS. Seriously. What’s cooler than that?

    Points of note:
    -Feet are hidden and poorly shaped.
    -Two left legs (not easy to see)
    -Codpiece (hidden but there if you dig down the layers)
    -Gun on the INSIDE of the thigh
    -Lots and lots of random spikey bits.
    -Flowing green hair with TWO ponytails and braids!
    -Misshapen face
    -Phlegmy drool
    -No pupils
    -Grenades AND throwing stars
    -Route-44 Samurai Sword
    -Ridiculous armor

  34. No worries MartianBlue. I wish I’d thought of that name myself.

  35. Ian, you have created a Liefeld character. H.P. Lovecraft would be scared of that monstrosity. That is to say – good job!

  36. Considering that I’ve never read a comic book cover-to-cover (please don’t beat me up), I think I did okay with:

    Lady Warblood

    I plan to submit three pictures altogether. There are two 1990s cultural clichés, not comic-book-related, that I’m also including. The same clichés will appear in all three. Whoever figures them out gets a cookie.

  37. And yes, she’s balancing that entire gun on her index finger. That’s another stereotype I’ve picked up on–utter disregard for physics.

  38. Avatar darkvatican


  39. I was thinking of entering this with a “be-coinpurs-ed,” nay “be-duffel bagg-ed,” phlegmmy toothed, leaping so you can’t see the feet, grenade chucking “bulkitudinous” example of pulchritude, but I have to give it up to Bloodsplatter.
    Even the name is very Image ’90’s! Clawed hands and uncomfortably placed knee spikes would go well with the gun that shoots swords … I can’t get over that masterpiece (well crafted)!

  40. Avatar MartianBlue

    Wow, I almost poked my eyes out, or well… I guess Lady Warblood did, or at least parts of her. Lol.

  41. I decided to try my hand at a more serious Iron Age (as the 90s are called) character. Here’s Sandshadow:

  42. Unnecessary pouches? Check.
    Enormous package? Check.
    Pseudo-clever name? Check.
    Unwieldly and redundant weapons? Check.
    Schlocky mid-90s foil cover marketing gimic with ginormous price tag? Check.

    War Wolf, Issue #1:

  43. Avatar Danny Beaty

    Here is my entry:

  44. Avatar darkvatican

    @MartianBlue: Crimson Rain actually looks pretty cool, man. I hope that I’m not committing reputation suicide by complimenting this pic, considering the contest theme is (and I’m being generous) VERY sarcastic.

  45. Avatar MartianBlue

    Thanks for the compliment darkvatican. Concerning my first two characters, I was trying for a cool looking character, with a Image type look. In spirit of the contest, I decided to go less serious with my next entrant, Gun Runner

  46. My second entry, Dethblud:

    Have you figured out yet the two non-comics 90s clichés I’ve been including?

  47. Avatar MartianBlue

    I have no idea, but what I’ve noticed is as follows
    1.) Open Mouth w/ Spit
    2.) 3 Ponytails Each
    3.) Giant private Anatomy Parts
    5.) White Eyes
    6.) 1 Arm Tattoo Each
    7.) Blood Used in Both Names
    8.) Exposed Abdomens, Arms, and Legs
    9.) Single Colored, Gradient Backgrounds
    10) Hidden Feet

  48. Here is My take on 90’s style Comic book character, but I didn’t really use a lot of the 90’s clichés. Again, I am using my deviant art page, So enjoy SKULLKRUSHER!!!

  49. My final entry, Wardeth:

    I’ll reveal tomorrow what the two non-comic 1990s clichés are.

  50. @MartianBlue: Yes, the tattoos are one of the NON-COMIC 1990s clichés. I’ll tell you the other one tomorrow.

  51. AAAAAAH!!!! It’s the ThighMonsterDeathWarBloodPouchMonster!!!!!

  52. AAAAAAH!!!! It’s the ThighMonsterDeathWarBloodPouchMonster!!!!

  53. Oops, forgot to make the link clickable:


    BlackBlood the Briner of Storms

    Hidden feeet behind foreground that shouldn’t exist.
    Background that is nothing but a hasty blur.
    Normal Torso.
    Larger than normal arms and legs which warp the body.
    Excessive pouches and more specifically grenades.
    Large unneccessary claw hands.
    Angry screaming face, blue-tinted hair.
    Excessively large single shoulder pad.
    And a name longer than should be allowed.

  55. No pouches, but it’s still grimdark megaserious adult 90s comic book ACTION!!!!!1!!

    It’s Blood Wraith:

  56. The two clichés in my three pics. MartianBlue already pointed out that all three are wearing tattoos. The other is that all three have purple and teal somewhere on their body. Anyone who was a sports fan during the 1990s knows just how 90s purple and teal are.

  57. Ooops! Try this link




    Here’s Lazarus the Annihilator. A homage to my favorite Tropic Thunder Character.



    Im sure you can see plenty of cliches in this picture

  60. i present nebulus energy weapon,cyborg,army,gambit mask man

    and another i didnt enter for the animalia contest but fits this one as well i think

  61. opps srry forgot to put chastity belt. i was in a hurry

  62. fire claw

  63. Here is BlackBlood, the Warhound.

    and Jeff, this one contains another cliche… the black character with black in the name! 😉 PLUS:
    – The grenade bandoleer
    – The awful color scheme (with a black character wearing purple to boot)
    – The pouches
    – The glowing eye with requisite star outline
    – Too many weapons
    – The misaligned blades
    – The “cleverly” hidden feet
    – The large “package”

    and as extra bonus… He looks as if he’s about to chop his OWN head off!

  64. im not really gunna entry this contest 🙂 i wasnt really around in the 90s, well not until 1995 :L
    im hoping the next contest, i can take part in! *cough cough*self portrait*cough cough* 😉

  65. Ladies & Gentlemen I give you…KillZone! Tried to make him as Liefeldian as possible.

  66. Fishpants: Okay. You win.

  67. Thanks Eric! I couldn’t pass up the chance to try this one.