Phi Lama Lama

At the suggestion of some folks yesterday, I wanted to throw out a challenge and an invitation. We previously had a contest to see who could redesign the costume of golden-age character "The Black Terror". I thought you might like a non-contest follow-up to that, so after the jump I'm going to discuss another favorite from that time, "The Green Lama", and his outfit.

Let's take a look at the original design for this character:


As you can see, it's pretty basic -- one color, cape, boots, full body leotard, the usual. The hooded cowl makes for some nice possibilities, and the floppy boots give him some flair. But in general, while this is certainly a serviceable costume, it's a little boring.

I think we can do better.

Whenever I want to re-imagine an existing character, I go back to basics. So I looked up Lama on Wikipedia, and the sense I get there is of someone who's a sort of guru, a mystic whose purpose in life is to guide people to a higher state of being.

In the actual comics of the time, of course, The Green Lama mostly beat guys up, which is almost but not quite the same thing.

So you've got two things to work with in his name, a color and a cultural heritage. The original character is a Westerner, which has possibilities, but they didn't really do much with that in terms of costume design.

I could see going in a lot of different directions with the basic concept of "The Green Lama", but this really is about seeing what YOU come up with. Although there's no prize here, it's just for fun, I'm curious to see what kind of choices you'd make and why you would make them. Don't limit yourself just to what's gone before with this guy either, if you want to take him in a totally different direction, go for it. Just the name has to stay the same.

You can either post an image of what you would design, or just a description of how you think he ought to look, or parts of his outfit you think would stay, or whatever you like. This is sort of a "costume redesign open thread", so feel free to bounce ideas off one another.

31 Responses to Phi Lama Lama

  1. John says:

    Ain’t no “higher state of being” that can’t be gotten to without the one-two application of a Lama knuckle sandwich!

  2. Whit says:

    I went with a fairly literal interpretation, and re-envision him as a pacifist.

  3. Jeff Hebert says:

    There’s nothing to “win” on this one RJ, it was intended just to be a group discussion of how we’d redesign the character if we were given the job.

  4. RJ mcd says:

    so do you like my parody jeff?

  5. Whit says:

    RJ–when I googled “lama” to get some ideas, the first several pictures were of llamas–I think some languages drop the first l.

  6. Xshadow031 says:

    this is my first contest submission, and one of my first creations with the hm3 alpha, i think its pretty decent for a first submission

    i interpreted him to be a guru, monk like person so i made him in kind of a meditation stance, and put scales as his insignia to represent justice.

  7. RJ mcd says:

    whit that was the joke 😉

  8. Ian says:

    When I saw “Lama”, I decided to add an extra “L” and go the funny-animal route. So, from Earth-C, I present the newest member of Captain Carrot and His Amazing Zoo Crew, The Green Llama!. With her mystical powers, she elevates the citizens of The United Species of America to a higher level before sending them on a trip to the groan bin.

    PS: Jeff, I really needed a four-fingered hand for this one. LOL

  9. Niall Mor says:

    Whit, I really like your interpretation–as far as his being a pacifist, you could always make him like the Kwai Chang Kaine character from the old “Kung Fu” TV show. He would always talk about how violence never solved anything, we should always seek peace, reason, enlightenment, blah, blah, blah–but when the chips were down, and he had no other choice, he would use his martial arts skills to beat the living tar out of the bad guys, which was what everybody watching wanted to see anyway 🙂

  10. Niall Mor says:

    I happen to be a fan of Old-Time Radio as well as comics, and there was a radio character called the Green Lama (sort of a knockoff of The Shadow). His name was Jethro DuMont (Really!) a wealthy American who had studied meditation and other mystical arts in Tibet and had achieved the status of a lama. According to the show, the color green was supposed to be associated with justice. Jethro DuMont had a Tibetan servant named Tulku who talked like a fortune cookie, and he transformed himself into the Green Lama by reciting the mantra, “Om, mane, padne, hom!” Don’t know if the comic book Green Lama is related to the radio version, but that might give you some ideas.

  11. Walker says:

    Green Lama… possibly gay? Must remember to investigate further…

  12. Danny Beaty says:

    Here is my version of the Green Lama:

    I tried to remain with the basics of the original costume while adding a few new things (some yellow, a mask for mystery, a sash.). I also used different shades of green throughout the costume. I imagine the Green Lama being an expert in both the martial arts and the mystic arts (Doctor Strange meets Shang Chi). Let me know what you think, and always remember:

    When there is trauma,
    don’t go to your mamma,
    just call the Green Lama!

  13. Danny Beaty says:

    @Walker: I like your submission. In my mind I can hear him say “YAY!” like those guys in “Ron Burgundy, Anchorman”.

  14. haydnc95 says:
    quite boring look …

    but i think the Fantastic 4 have THE most dullest costumes ¬¬

  15. Walker says:

    Haha yeah the “new suit” jump!

  16. Xstacy says:

    I think it’s the same character, Niall Mor–not that I can be bothered to look it up, but Jethro is the Green Lama’s name in the Project Superpowers stuff by Ross.

  17. Niall Mor says:

    @Xstacy: Yeah, I think you’re right. After I posted my previous comment, I looked it up on Wikipedia–and we all know they’re never wrong 🙂

  18. Niall Mor says:

    Here’s my first take on The Green Lama makeover. I may be able to come up with some more ideas later. Hope ya like him!

  19. Strange Goliath says:

    It’s the All-New, All-Powerful, The Mystifying…Green Lama!
    A man who has achieved spiritual synergy with the forces of nature, The Green Lama fights crime in the city of New York while funding charities and activist organizations under his alias of Kevin Dumont.

  20. Jaex says:

    By the way, I wanted to explain a few things about my design. Forgive the wall of text:

    In my vision of The Green Lama, Jethro Dumont is a physicist working for the US military. His work is involved with the development of a new undetectable energy source meant to be a power source to covert operations teams. The work goes on smoothly until he finds that his research is instead used as the main source for new explosive weaponry that is untraceable to US military operations.
    To his horror, a weapon created using his energy source is implemented in a secret operation in a historic region of Tibet (which is under control of the Chinese government) killing many innocents in the process.
    Torn by the guilt that his energy source was used in such a terrifying way, Dr. Dumont travels to Tibet to find closure. Upon arrival, he finds the village that was destroyed by his energy source to make peace within himself. Expecting the wrath of the townspeople, he is shocked to be taken in and forgiven by the elders of the village who also happen to be Lamas…
    Overwhelmed by this, he throws away his identity and becomes a student to their teachings until…
    Turmoil and violence erupts in the streets, with small extremist forces attempting to not only topple the Chinese governments’ control, but to seize Tibet under their own rule. The new conflict prompts the elders to reveal their secrets to Dr. Dumont in order to protect the village, as their bodies are now too frail to do anything.
    The greatest secret taught to Dr. Dumont not only bestows him with great power, but it thrusts him into a mysterious supernatural world that is frozen in time…
    My design is Dr. Dumont in this alternate and surreal world where he basically masters his own body, and its supernatural capabilities. In this world, filled with its own dangers, Dr. Dumont becomes a Buddhist master, a lama… and eventually The Green Lama!

  21. Jeff Hebert says:

    Love that story, Jaex!

  22. JWMan says:

    Nothing fancy, but I figured being a monk-like hero, anything flashy would go against his persona. The glowing aura represents his power of inner “chi” as a student of “monk-ness”. I kept some similar original elements and added some black to give him more of a stealthy ninja look as opposed to his previous Robin Hood prancing through the forest look.

  23. Whit says:

    It’s a shame that there are so many UGO pics I’d want to see, but can’t because I and several others have been blocked.

  24. Andre says:

    @ Ian I love your take on the Green Llama, I was a huge fan of captain carrot

    @ Jaex, the background story and your character, his stance, all perfect, really dig it.

  25. MartianBlue says:

    The Green Lama’s costume, isn’t bad, but it seems a little to plain. From the 1st example provided bellow, I guess the single color scheme is what makes it so bland.
    I actually think the above costume is pretty cool, but the overall scheme doesn’t really fit with a tibetan monk. The 2nd example, provided below is pretty good aswell.
    It has an oriental feel to it, but still doesn’t capture the tibetan monk theme. So What I went for, was more of a standard tibetan monk look, with a few extras thrown in, to give him that superhero feel.
    If I was to create him or re-create him, I would try to base his outfit on his influence. And guessing Buddhism runs his life, That’s the overall theme I was going for.

  26. MartianBlue says:

    After looking through some of the characters, I’ve found JWMan’s character shares some of the same traits as mine. Such as the short cape, tied belt, hood shadowing the face, mouth mask, shoes, wristbands, and staff. In my opinion they share lots of features, but they differ quite a bit aswell. Great minds and all that. lol

    Timespikes versions are both great, but I actually think the first one doesn’t fit as the Green Lama. Now with that being said, I don’t mean that in a bad way. I like this character alot, it has a very cool tactical/stealth scheme about it. With a small bit of fine tunning (Making him an original character, instead of a re-imagining of Green Lama), I think he could stand as an actual comic back character. He appears to be a team based character, instead of a solo hero, and in all honesty I wouldn’t mind knowing abit more about him as an original.
    Side note. Timespike, do you have a Forums thread, with your guys?

  27. Rickss says:

    This is the first time I used the Heromachine 3.0 but here is my redesign: