ByVictor Abarca, writer at Creators.co
Hi all! My name is Victor Abarca. I'm the creator of UNKNOWN BASTARDS ® comic.
Victor Abarca

I wrote and drew this story a long, long time ago. My idea was born using the reference TV series' Hanna Barbera and Challenge of the Superfriends.

I use the same characters and enemies that appeared in these TV series' at that time. The TV series' were very much in keeping with the times: they were cheerful, with themes for children, which often depicted very naïve subjects and the usual plot of superheroes versus villains. Either way, today when I see them I still like them, as they are part of the learning and visual training from my child. Back then I would not necessarily have noticed it, but now that I'm grown I can notice more details. The story I tell now pays tribute to those inspirational visuals from my childhood, but with an updated look that is more relevant to the age I was at that time (29 years) when I created these illustrations: an adult theme.

Then the vision I wanted to give was completely different to that of the cartoons ... very different.

Illustration done in watercolor which is part of the JLA
Illustration done in watercolor which is part of the JLA

If the TV series was cheerful, my idea was to make my version dark, somewhat depressing and hopeless. When we see the segmentation of the comic periods (Golden Age, Silver Age, etc.), I thought of the idea to build this dark reality, hence the name Dark Ages.

The concept was: Darkness.

Then I decided to place these superheroes in a desolate, destroyed, post-war reality. I wanted a recognizable place that you cannot quite see, with only certain visual elements that make us think we were on earth; like the scene of Batman showing corpses of soldiers who have long been rotting. In general, the human race as we know it would not appear until well into the story.

ABOUT THE HISTORY

Gone is the JLA, each superhero walking alone or in pairs, such as Flash, or Superman and Wonder Woman and Hawkgirl. Aquaman and other superheroes are in other place, far from their superfriends. Batman works solo (as usual), but Detective Marciano accompanies him with apparent consent. Everyone is looking for traces of an apparently defunct company.

Character sketches that would develop in the narrative
Character sketches that would develop in the narrative
Cover, where visualization and dark aspects of history is presented
Cover, where visualization and dark aspects of history is presented

ABOUT THE CHARACTER DESIGN

They all have recognizable faces, as if they were the actor, and the costumes follow the rules of the TV series, however their logos are changed, each one in one color: Black.

Flash was one of my favorite when it comes to paint, because I love the color vermillon and for that reason quice spice, energy and strength, and the color represents those concepts
Flash was one of my favorite when it comes to paint, because I love the color vermillon and for that reason quice spice, energy and strength, and the color represents those concepts

I worried a lot about the character design, so I did depicted them using various common sense assumptions. For example, Flash would have a body anatomy where the muscles are accentuated in the legs, for obvious reasons. Also I designed glass spectacles, which do not allow mosquitoes to get in his eyes while running.

The same is done with Aquaman. I thought of a fish to design his ears, as these would allow him to breath underwater, and also made a quite different costume design from what is commonly known.

Aquaman, dibujo original a lapiz, posteriormente se le anadirian colores
Aquaman, dibujo original a lapiz, posteriormente se le anadirian colores
Cover of a number of maxiserie JLA: Dark Ages (12 chapters), each of the characters would have their cover.
Cover of a number of maxiserie JLA: Dark Ages (12 chapters), each of the characters would have their cover.

ABOUT THE OVERALL PROCESS

Some characters were drawn separately and in different plates. Everything was done with the idea of them being animated in mind, since the characters and backgrounds would be superimposed while doing postproduction editing in Photoshop for the narrative sequences.

Original sketches that helped the design of the characters in JLA
Original sketches that helped the design of the characters in JLA

THE PREVIEW

After completing the whole process of designing characters and backgrounds, I designed a narrative to present the actions that represent the abstract of the story. There it is and I hope you enjoy it.

I thank you sincerely for your time.

CHARACTERS

Each of the characters from the illustrations were designed to generate relevant narrative verisimilitude. Here are the main characters:

Two graphic novels will come out soon: HUNTERS and UNKOWN BASTARDS

If you want to see more of my work please visit my blog and my Behance profile.

I thank you sincerely for your time.

And I'll leave another picture to enjoy our heroes:

Always work from the illustrations should be a moment of satisfaction
Always work from the illustrations should be a moment of satisfaction
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