Character Contest 26 – Golden Oldies

Look at this vibrant Golden Age lineup of spandex-clad super-heroes, led by none other than the redoubtable Big Red Cheese himself, Captain Marvel:


Sadly, the only one of these valiant warriors from a bygone age to survive into the modern universe is Captain Marvel. His outfit hasn't changed a stitch in all that time, which I guess shouldn't surprise anyone since Billy Batson never hit puberty either, despite fifty years to bake. I guess the lightning giveth, and the lightning taketh away.

His fellow adventurers were not so fortunate, sadly, and except for Bulletman have largely disappeared from the face of comic-dom.

That's where you come in.

Your challenge this week is to bend your enormous creative skills (with a little help from HeroMachine, of course) to the task of reimagining one of these other four masked men. Take their fundamental concept and twist it, change it, tweak it, update it, make it modern and cool and stylish. And of course, that means they need new threads, because these supporting cast-members don't have all-powerful wizards flinging thunderbolts around to quell the fashion police.

From left to right on the cover, your targets are (click to get more info on them) Spy Smasher; Bulletman; Minute Man; and/or Mr. Scarlet.

You have one week! On next Monday, I will select the best proposed redesigns and post them for a community vote for the overall winner, who will as usual receive their choice of any one item of their choice, or a portrait of themselves, to appear in the final HeroMachine 3 program. Their character, along with the runner-up, will also be featured in a prominent ad on to be seen by millions of visitors for the week.

The other rules are the same as always:

  • All entries must be left as a comment to this post, including a link to a publicly-accessible web site where an image of your creation can be found;
  • No more than three entries per person, which can be three variations of one of the characters, or three separate characters, or any combination you like;
  • No image editing in PhotoShop-like applications except for basic cropping.

Good luck everyone! And sorry this is so late, in the mass of contest posts earlier I somehow forgot to do the new one. Thanks to Danny and Kaldath for poking me.

82 Responses to Character Contest 26 – Golden Oldies

  1. Niall Mor says:

    So the dominant characteristic of all these characters is that red is the dominant color in their costumes?

  2. Gero says:

    I am so doing Bulletman!

  3. Tristan says:

    Is minute man any relation to Hourman from the Juctice Society?

  4. Gero says:

    Jim Barr was the son of a decorated police detective. When his father was murdered by criminals he tried to join the police force to carry on his legacy, but was rejected because of his physical short-comings. He turned instead to experimental genetics, enhancing his body and mind to super-human levels. Jim then created a Gravity Regulator Helmet, that allowed for flight and the deflection of projectiles. He promptly realized this was a stupid idea and would probably break his neck, and destroyed the device, building a back-mounted version instead. He now fights crime under the alias “Bulletman”, hoping to both protect his city, and honor his father’s memory…

  5. Danny Beaty says:

    Joseph McCarthy would have had a field day with these guys!

  6. Dknighthawk says:

    I give to you the new MR. Scarlet
    replacing all his gadgets and gear for simple spells and charms. An arcane adventurer of american apotheosis.

  7. DerKork says:

    Reginald Weston was an unknown member of the Weston family. And nobody would expect that he has taken the costume of his grand-uncle Jack.
    He is the new Minute Man:
    (Before anyone complains: I’m a beginner with HM3.)

  8. Marx says:

    I’m sure I’m not the only person out there who realizes that Spy Smasher already HAS been updated for the 21st century. For your consideration, I’ve HMd the latest incarnation whom you should all recognize instantly…

  9. Jeff Hebert says:

    @Markx (11): Even the acting ability is the same!

  10. Gero says:

    Jack Weston was a soldier in the U.S. army when the country was decimated and invaded during World War III. He now leads a resistance group dedicated to taking it back. He is…the Minuteman.

  11. Gero says:

    I forgot to mask the gun in my last one; here’s the fixed image:

  12. MartianBlue says:

    First entry

    More of a joke, hope you enjoy

  13. Danny Beaty says:

    @DerKork: welcome to HM3!

  14. DerKork says:

    Thank you, Danny. I hope I didn’t totally fail.

  15. Jake says:

    Is it cool if I post mine with the closeup of the face right next to it?

  16. Jake says:

    Here is my first entry. This is a rather drastic departure from the original Minute Man. It is kind of like the difference between the Golden Age and Silver Age Green Lantern.

    Minute Man is a villain, trapped inside an hourglass. Over the years, his consistency has become more akin to sand than of flesh. Long ago, a sorcerer trapped him inside, tormenting him for eternity by turning the hourglass over as soon as he reformed on the other lower half.

    Now, Minute Man waits for the day when someone unwittingly frees him from his prison and he can take revenge on the sorcerer’s descendants.

  17. Danny Beaty says:

    Well gang, once more into the breech!

    Minuteman is an expert marksman and is in peek physical condition. He is an excellent hand to hand fighter.

    Bulletman can fly, has superhuman strength, and can generate a plasma field which allows him to go through anything.

    Spy Smasher is an expert marksman and an expert mixed martial artist. He enjoys his work.

  18. Adrian says:

    No Ibis? He was always my favorite Fawcett second-stringer.

  19. Rozenstal says:

    Bulletman-2010.Realistic version.))

  20. Gero says:

    @Rozenstal: Hillarious!

  21. TopHat says:

    The redesigned Spy Smasher, defending America from the Communist menace during the Cold War.

  22. Matt says:

    @Rozenstal: You’ve got my vote πŸ˜€ .

  23. Marx says:

    [Deleted at author’s request.]

  24. Marx says:

    Back at Fawcett College (home of the Scarlet Mastiffs) Assistant District Attorney Brian Butler was an Olympic class gymnast and track star as well as an accomplished student of bojutsu. Recently the inner-city college has fallen on hard times, and crime is rampant on campus. Butler returned to his alma mater where he teaches history by day, but at night, armed with an extending pneumatic staff and a standard issue grappling gun, he protects the campus as “Mr. Scarlet”!

  25. Capshot says:

    Here’s my attempt at Mister Scarlet.
    Hope you like it.
    And here’s a close up of his face.

  26. DCicatriz says:

    Been using Heromachine for a while, first time doing this. Kind of nervous 😐 Here goes!

    Spy Smasher:

    Mr. Scarlet and Pinky the Whiz Kid (does that count as two characters?)


    Minuteman (kind of a disillusioned war veteran turned anti-government patriotic crime-fighter deal)

  27. Luc says:

    Here’s my entry for the contest… As you can see, he’s alot more Smasher than Spy πŸ˜›

  28. Marx says:

    @DCicatriz #35 – Nice work. Good posing! You got nothing to be nervous about.

  29. kyle says:

    when are we going to vote?

  30. Brons says:

    Being an old fan of the old comics, I did a pretty straight updating of Mr. Scarlet. The new Scarlet, grandson of the original, adds a bit of mystic power to his repertoire of gadgets in the form of the Crimson Eye of Z’tivel. Like his predecessor, the new Scarlet has a sidekick named Pinky, but the new Pinky is both more beautiful and more deadly than the original Whiz Kid.

    Scarlet gives the appearance of an stern and other-worldy figure and is even rumored to be the ghost of the original Scarlet, but this is just an act put on to strike fear in the superstitious criminal element of Gotham. In reality Brett Butler is quite capable of emotions, as Pinky could readily confirm.

  31. The Imp says:

    When US military operations began to be farmed out to private corporations in the 2020s following the disastrous War on Terror, many of these companies sought to create patriotic personalities to spearhead their operations.

    Jack Weston was one of these new soldiers. Augmented by subdermal neural-net combat systems and TriKevlar woven into his musculature and bones, Weston fought for Fawcett Tactical Solutions in anti-terrorism operations from the Persian Gulf to Indonesia to the Caribbean.

  32. The Imp says:

    @Kyle: You should probably read the post. All the pertinent information is right there…

  33. vampyrist says:

    Here is a predecessor to the Minuteman. Like Jake my version has a more readical change. The new minuteman is Jared Westen, grandson of the original. When he discovered he could rewind time one minute, he decided to become the new minuteman.

  34. Fabien says:

    Spy Smasher in the Image 90’s style :

  35. Hammerknight says:

    I’d like to say welcome to the contest to the new people. We are all family here so no worries. Great job on your entries, and again welcome to the contest.

  36. Jack Zelger says:

    The new Spy Smasher. I made him look a little rougher than the original, happier version, but wanted him to still be able to fit into the 1940s. Not the most radical redesign, but I like it. πŸ™‚

  37. Brad says:

    My Bulletman revamp, although I may have remade him up to the point of a retcon:

    A full description is available below the portrait. πŸ˜€

  38. Demented The Clown says:

    @Jeff I didn’t see the 3 entrys only thing, I retract my bulletman and group photo entrys

  39. Danny Beaty says:

    This Is Mr. Scarlet. His costume is composed of carbon nanotubes, making it impervious to bullets and shrapnel. The costume is also fire-proof and acid-proof. Mr. Scarlet is an expert hand-to-hand combatant, a good detective, an expert marksman, and an Olympic level gymnast.


  40. The Imp says:

    Here’s a redesign of Spy Smasher as an anti-communist agent during the 1980s.

  41. Marx says:

    @The Imp #51 – Niiiice Cap’n Morgan pose. I also like the consistent color/pattern scheme and your repetition of the red diamond logo is particularly effective.

  42. The Imp says:

    Thanks, Marx! πŸ˜€

    I like your Mr. Scarlet; awesome pose there.

  43. Gero says:

    (Note: on Spy Smasher’s Wikipedia page, it mentions that after WWII he changed his identity to “Crime Smasher”, so I’m taking the liberty of changing it again, as the times have changed)

    Alan Armstrong is a former Covert-Ops agent for the CIA, who was fired after failing to stop a sleeper cell from committing a terrorist act within the U.S. Wanting to redeem himself, Alan stole a large amount of espionage and combat equipment from his former employer, using it to track down the enemies of America as the vigilante “Terrorist Smasher”…

  44. vampyrist says:

    Here is another version of minuteman. This second version is more patriotic.The second Minuteman is Jared Westen, grandson of the original. Like him he has peak human qualities, but his strength and healing are superhuman.

  45. El Jefe says:

    @ Martin
    I REALLY like it!
    Keep it up!

  46. El Jefe says:

    This is my try at Bulletman, or in this case Bulletgirl

    Bulletgirl is the granddaughter of the original Bulletman.
    When she found out about her granddads job, she believed it was her duty to pick up this heritage.
    She created he own costume based on the one she found from her Grandpa. She added steel shoulderplates for extra protection. Luckily, she had a black belt in mixed martial arts and a gun license. She now roams the street fighting crime.

  47. El Jefe says:


  48. El Jefe says:

    ok im having trouble uploading it.(its my first time)
    How do i do it? i use photobucket. Please help me

  49. El Jefe says:

    woohoo got it nvm

  50. Gero says:

    @Jefe: Post your #60 again, but without the image brackets, and it’ll become a link…

  51. Zyp says:

    Sigh… I won’t be attending any competitions in like six to twelwe months ‘cos i’ll be in the military which is compulsory for every male in this stupid country.. It sucks

  52. El Jefe says:

    I really wish i would hav discovered these contests earlier, because i have a nice entry for the fables contest.. And also for the fantasy one

  53. The Imp says:

    My last entry is a redesigned Bulletman. This guy is a robotics graduate student who, admiring the original Bulletman (and let’s face it, who doesn’t?) builds a robotic suit with built-in arm cannons.

  54. Me Myself & I says:

    I wish I had discovered them earlier as well. Oh well, that is life.

  55. Me Myself & I says:

    OK, so the only thing I really know about these super heroes is what I’ve read here so I may be off the mark but here are my interpretations.

    Mr. Scarlet;
    Am I the only one who figures he is very much like Daredevil? Except for beong able to see. Oh, that’s right, Daredevil can pretty much see can’t he?

    And a close up.

    The Minute Man;
    I figured he was the patriotic type. Oh, and that is a knee brace; I like heroes with some weeknesses.

    The Bullet;
    Quite a change for this one.

  56. El Jefe says:

    My mr Scarlet
    He has a jetpack and is a master in various martial arts.

  57. marx says:

    @drummergirl4 #67 – That’s a tricky getting pose getting the arms and hands aligned to the same object like that. I’ve done something similar in the past and it took a lot of work. Very well done!

    @The Imp #70 – Awesome Bulletman! Love the color palette. The pose with the out-turned wrists is dynamic without being complex and it’s very effective. I’m going to have to have to steal that one someday.

  58. Soccerchoco says:

    Entry one: Spy smasher:
    I think I was trying too hard to keep it close to the original design, sorry its a bit rubbish -_-

  59. Gene says:

    @32 Marx – that’s pretty cool! Great Pose work…

  60. Soccerchoco says:

    Entry 2: Mr Scarlet
    Something not right there either…

  61. Capshot says:

    My Second Entry:Bulletman
    Here he is.
    In case you didn’t notice,
    the colored circles are a lens flare.
    And here’s a closeup of his face.

  62. D says:

    My take on Spy Smasher

    Nothing startling, I’m afraid. The outfit was inspired by her namesake, comic pack Cover Girl and DC character Blackhawk.

  63. Gene says:

    And my Final Entry
    Mrs. Scarlett

    I guess if I had put more thought into it, I’d have done Spy Smasher as a woman, and they could have been Captain Marvel’s Angels πŸ™‚

  64. Jake says:

    This one was a bit rushed because my browser locked up at one point. Not fun. Anyway, here is my Mr. Scarlett.