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Face Off – Heroic Proportions

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Face Off Heroic Proportions

Face Off tries to create superheroes again, this time meeting up with some actual comic book artists at San Diego Comic Con to give the contestants a creative nudge.

Last season, the superhero episode used cars as inspiration. This time, the contestants have no real directives, but they meet with DC Comics publishers Dan Didio and Jim Lee and a host of top notch comic artists (David Finch, Mark Buckingham, Nicola Scott, J.H. Williams III, Cliff Chiang, and Tony S. Daniel). The creative character ideas range from interesting (a winged heroine who protects animals; a man made of glass who builds himself from shards of nearby windows) to groan-inducing (Freedom Fighter, whose power is drawn from the World Trade Center towers; Robot Girl, with her oh-so-ironic obvious name).

Last season all the superheroes were military experiments gone awry. This year everyone had a vengeance story.

As it turns out, the bottom looks actually had some decent ideas. Michael’s “son of one of the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse” (I’m going to go out on a limb and say it was Pestilence) who sucks in disease and breathes it out onto his foes was pretty cool in theory, and I liked Katie’s electric-powered punk. I think she was ripped on by the judges somewhat unfairly this week.

Meagan should have been sent home just for naming her hero Freedom Fighter. It’s just terrible and unoriginal to begin with, but then you add the “twin towers” backstory and then there are just untold layers of unintended irony. Then to show up with this asymmetrical face and goofy bracers literally just duct taped on? I’m not a huge fan of what Michael put together the last two weeks, but Meagan’s design this week wasn’t even “Halloween costume” bad. It was “I made this myself the night before the 3rd grade talent contest” bad.

So now we know exactly what it looks like when someone gets to the end of last looks and are simply not finished. I think Alam has the potential to surprise a lot of people this season – she has limited experience, but she’s got some creative ideas. Unfortunately, the inexperience may prevent her from executing those ideas, like this week, when her Glass Man literally fell apart. It was pretty obvious that her back piece with all the jagged edges needed to be attached to the costume with something other than glue. Some kind of over-the-shoulder straps that attached to a chest piece (which would have looked better than just a leotard) comes to mind. I loved the stark, inhuman lines of that face, though.

I really liked Jenna’s bird hero. I’d have put that one into top looks, but of course the judges don’t respect fabrication, and she didn’t do much makeup. There was a lot of cool fabrication across the board this week, with purple lights here, electric hands there, cone noses, wings, guns and even pumping lungs.

Speaking of lungs, although I found Eric’s detective uninteresting, he did amazing work with the peek-a-boo organs. House’s cyborg in a miniskirt had a backstory I’ve read in the summaries of 100 anime movies and series (vengeance? Sure), but the execution was mind-blowing. The face peeling away from the bloody cybernetics underneath, man…awesome.

If you watch Face Off long enough, to start to see the same designs turn up again and again. One of them is the volcano guy. Red or orange underpaint with a black surface looks damn impressive, but after you’ve seen it half a dozen times, it loses some luster. Anthony brought it back to life, though. Look, this competition is Anthony’s to lose. There’s a lot of talent on Face Off, but Anthony’s sculpting and painting is just so far beyond anything I’ve seen out of the other contestants. He has yet to lose a single challenge. The way the magma appeared to be erupting from the bulging rock head of his hero made it dynamic and interesting. If only he’d finished that chest piece, because that sculpt was incredible.

Anthony’s volcanic character will appear in Justice League Dark #16, which goes on sale on Jan. 30.

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Posted by on Tuesday, January 22nd, 2013. Filed under Dark TV, Headline. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can skip to the end and leave a response. Pinging is currently not allowed.

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