Ladies and gentlemen, courtesy of the 1994-era Landmark Entertainment Group, I would like to show you what happens when you let a committee of marketing weasels design a super-powered character:


I like to imagine the meeting going something like this ...

Marketing Weasel Boss (MWB): We need a head villain to go with this whole Skeleton Warriors toy line.
Marketing Weasel 1 (MW1): Well, "skeleton" is right there in the name, I say we do something with that.
MW2: Great idea!
MW3: I definitely think we should play up the whole bones angle, you know, do away with all the skin and flesh and just do bones!
MWB: I think that's what a skeleton is, Bob.
MW1: Hey, you know what skeletons have instead of heads? SKULLS!
MW2: Eeeeww!
MW2: That is so true!
MW3: Wow, yeah, that would totally fit on the body of bones! And you know what, since this guy is the head of the bad guys, and his head is a skull, we could really drive home the branding message by repeating that motif ...
MWB: You mean ... ?
MW1: That's right, skulls everywhere! Even kids can't miss that. Like maybe he has this big skull necklace.
MW3: And a skull on his shoulder pads!
MW2: Lots of skulls on his should pads!
MWB: Hey, I know, let's make his shoulder pads entirely out of skulls!
(General alarums and excursions and applauses and whatnot, huzzah!)
MW2: I like the way you think, Boss!
MW1: I don't know if we really nailed it yet, though, I feel like there is still some low-hanging fruit.
MW3, sotto voice: Not on a skeleton there ain't ...
MW2: Well ... If having the head of the skeletons have a skull for a head is good ...
MW3: And if repeating skulls everywhere is better ...
MW1: Then ... we could ... yes! Put a skull on his skull!
(General alarums and excursions and applauses and whatnot, huzzah!)
MWB: Brilliant! Have some dweeb in Art draw it up and send it to manufacturing, we're geniuses, gentlemen!

I certainly think that scenario is plausible, at least.

20 Responses to Overkill

  1. I’m only surprised by the distinct lack of mismatched skull themed shin guards and boots with skulls. Think of the potential, think of the “bare bones” construction just screaming out for skull themed protection!

  2. It looks like Baron Dark has a really muscular red right arm. Am I correct here, or is that just vague art? Makes it look like he had a lonesome adolescence.

  3. Always bet on “bad art”, that’s my general rule for the 1990s.

  4. Avatar Demented The Clown

    Now We Need LIVING SKULL! With Shoulder Pads And A Necklace Made Of Skeletons!!! BRILLIANT! Oh n A Skeleton Hat!

  5. Don’t forget his beard (a bone beard of course), and a loincloth (which, since he’s a skeleton is clearly unnecessary). And in the background we have our pointy-nippled friend who is also wearing a skull.

  6. http://img709.imageshack.us/img709/1070/reworkinglightstar.png
    You probably remember that I saw some potential in Lightstar’s costume, but it was weighed down by too many details. To make it more palatable to our eyes, I made this image on Heromachine.

    Here’s what I did:

    I made the thigh armor and shoulders more symmetrical, got rid of the *bleep*ing eye spikes, simplified the boots and shinpads and also cleaned up the hair. As well, I though the headdress Lightstar had was too cluttering so I, too got rid of that.

  7. Well done Jigglypuff!

  8. How does a skeleton make phlemings

    It’s a wonder that the superhero genre survived the 90’s. It was truly an era wretched excess, especially of pointlessly over complicated costumes and pouches. Lots of pouches.

    I don’t even want to think about where Baron Dark’s pouches are.

  9. So true, Mr.MikeK. I know I am not the one volunteering to look under that skirt, that’s for sure.

    The other (well, ONE other) stupid thing about this mini-issue is how they all get their powers. They’re all lords in this fantasy realm that is powered by a magic crystal. Which has no guards or a cage or anything. One day Baron Dark dares one of the princes to touch it, but he refuses because he’s a Good Guy. Whereupon Baron Dark touches it and it explodes, turning them all into metal-nippled or grotesque skeleton versions of themselves. Why? Who knows.

    Why hasn’t someone touched this completely unguarded crystal before? Who knows.

    Why does the magic crystal the supports the whole kingdom explode on touch, and how did it pass Faerie Quality Control with that particular “feature”? Again, who knows, the point is they get to carry big swords around while wearing skulls, and in 1994, that’s all you needed to know.

  10. I still don’t get why the name? “Living Skeleton”?! Really?! Find me a less thought of name, come on, I dare you.
    The excessive skull theme is nothing, more skulls I say. At least those are different skulls (on the head is an animal skull, his skull is not human and those on his neck are different from each other too).

  11. I didn’t point out, but I think it’s funny, that although you can’t really see it in this drawing he’s wearing demonic skeleton flip-flops. Because nothing says “Undead Danger” like beachwear.

  12. If he’s wearing flip-flops, not boots, then that explains an earlier question. Those ‘boot-like’ extensions around the legs? Note that the left leg (higher knee) has some kind of handle-like thing behind it, extending down into the ‘boot’.

    The reason? My guess, purely speculative, is this:

    -Those- are the pouches. The first wave, at least.

  13. My god, I used to have a toy of this guy, but I never knew what he was from. I was 5 and saw it in a store, and just had to have it. If I remember correctly, he came with detachable wrist chains and some kind of big, purple gun…

  14. Thanks for the praise, Jeff.

    Just as a lack of detail can destroy a costume, too much can overwhelm it. My opinion is that before you go printing you character, check your character, and take at one piece or detail off him/her. Observe what happens to your creation’s appearance. If the character looks better without that object, then it’s possible that the outfit had too many conflicting delinations. That’s what happened with Lightstar. He had too many details on his costume that it was difficult to see where one part end and another begins.

  15. Avatar HalLoweEn JacK

    Wow… I guess they found Skeletor a little too subtle.

  16. I think the ginormous skull necklace serves a practical purpose – it allows the artist to be lazy and not have to draw all those ribs in every panel. 🙂

  17. another posibility is that they had a surplus of skeleton heads and now had to create some character to get rid of all of them…

  18. What I did(n’t) do with the Lordi heromachine:


    Couldn’t find flip flops in there, or hair but skull are plentiful.

  19. I actually used to watch this show when I was a kid. Here is the Opening credits to the Cartoon.

  20. Y’all forgot to mention he should have skulls for knee and elbow pads 😉 and maybe a little one for each knuckle… just to drive the point home HAHAHAHAHAHAAH