Creator Commentary – Pete Woods Talks Project Superpowers: Hero Killers #2

Dynamite has sent us a new Creator's Commentary by artist Pete Woods about the new Project Superpowers: Hero Killers #2 that he's doing with Ryan Browne.

For the Hero Killers covers we decided to go a bit nuts and spoof all sorts of pop culture and comic book images. For issue one I decided to go for a band photo type image. Matt Idelson actually came up with the winning idea for issue two. This is a riff off an old Supremes album cover. This is the second pass I took at it. It was a challenge to simplify things so much. Very happy with the final image. I'm not sure who wrote the copy, but it's brilliant.Pete Woods

Pages 1-2:
In this opening scene I'm trying to subtly hint at something that will become more important as the series progresses. I don't want to discuss what it is just yet, but when we hit page 22 I will. It touches on the deeper meaning behind this series.

These pages are the first that my daughter Celeste is coloring professionally. She's been helping me out for a while, but she takes the reins on this issue and I think the results are fabulous. Proud dad moment.

Also can I just say that The Face is a fantastic character in both name and design? I just love him.Creator Commentary – Pete Woods Talks Project Superpowers: Hero Killers #2 Creator Commentary – Pete Woods Talks Project Superpowers: Hero Killers #2 Creator Commentary – Pete Woods Talks Project Superpowers: Hero Killers #2

Page 4:
Ryan writes the best sound effects.Creator Commentary – Pete Woods Talks Project Superpowers: Hero Killers #2

Page 5:
Matt did tell us Blue was a cop. I hope that doesn't end up biting the Sidekicks in the ass.Creator Commentary – Pete Woods Talks Project Superpowers: Hero Killers #2

Page 6:
*Ass-bite!* See, Ryan? I can write sound effects too.

Page 7:
I was trying to capture that simplified, slightly awkward look that so many books from the Golden Age had throughout this sequence. It just reminded me of those old stories from series like "Captain Kidd- Explorer" or "Yank Wilson."

Page 8:
Oh, Sparky. Please put on pants.

Page 9:
Rainbow Boy is back! Those Libertyville citizens sure are fickle.

Page 10:
More of Ryan's awesome sound effects. Poor Tim. I sure hope this doesn't push him over the edge. (How am I doing on foreshadowing? Is that how you do it?)

Page 11:
I'll bet having a skull themed house is pretty cool. Also, Tim did a good job of cleaning up the vomit from last issue. I still wish Sparky would put on some pants. Who do I have to talk to to make that happen?

Page 12:
The best sound effects. I'm telling you they're awesome. Do I acknowledge that I screwed up Tim's eye in panel 6 or are we so grossed out by the used condom in panel 5 that no one noticed?

Pages 13 and 14:
Ryan wanted me to go for a Reginald VelJohnson look for our poor, corrupt businessman. I think I came close without going into "Hey! That's Reginald VelJohnson!" territory. Did you know that Carl Winslow is actually Sgt. Al Powell who was placed in the witness protection program after the events that took place at Nakatomi Plaza? Did you know that Sgt. Al Powell began his law enforcement career as a jail guard in New York during the Stay Puft incident? It's a fact. Look it up.

Page 15:
You can tell he's unconscious because his tongue is sticking out. More great sound effects although I would have preferred a "re-fenesrate" instead. Hindsight is 20-20.

I made a broken glass brush in Clip Studio Paint for this scene. It looks so much better than it would have if we tried to draw all those little bits by hand.

Pages 16-18:
This confrontation is going to be important later. Trust me.

Too bad Tim got outclassed by the upgraded Crime Detector. He should have downloaded that update. Never wait on updates. You could get hacked. They send those out for a reason.

Have I mentioned I love Ryan's sound effects?

Page 19:
Sparky, you DOG!
I thought "Empty Arms" would be a good name for an apartment building full of studios apartments.

Page 20:
Well that's awkward.

Serious note here- This isn't intended as "crossdressing is funny" but as "the lengths Big Blue will go to are funny." I want to make sure that I'm clear on this because we're on the edge here. It's the danger of doing humor. Sometimes it can be misread and sometimes I can communicate something I don't intend.

Page 21:
Waaaaiiitttt. If Blue Bolt isn't dead but he's merely been teleported to another dimension then does that mean…

Page 22:
It DOES mean. Black Terror is ALIVE and this time he has a SENTIENT MEAT HAMMER!

So, here we are and Black Terror has a new costume that looks to be influenced by another costume worn by a more famous hero who spends time wondering if demigods bleed. There is a reason for this and it ties into the opening scene. Both are references to comics that this industry can't seem to leave alone.

While what Ryan and I set out to do in this series is tell a funny story that satirizes Golden Age heroes, there's another angle to this series. We want to tell an entertaining story on the surface that stands on its own, but we also want to satirize this need modern comics have to make everything dark and gritty. What is the extreme? What is the final destination? Stick with us and we'll explore that.

For more on Project Superpowers: Hero Killers #2, click here.

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About Dan Wickline

Has quietly been working at Bleeding Cool for over three years. He has written comics for Image, Top Cow, Shadowline, Avatar, IDW, Dynamite, Moonstone, Humanoids and Zenescope. He is the author of the Lucius Fogg series of novels and a published photographer.
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